New York City has been an enduring place in popular imagination, and anime is no exception. I’ve prepared a list, in no particular order, of what I think are the Top 10 New York anime and manga characters, ranging from all genres, stories, and decades.
I’m also sticking to one character/pair per series to keep certain titles (e.g. Blood Blockade Battlefront) from taking over the list. Now without further ado…
— ウルトラジャンプ編集部 (@ultra_jump) May 22, 2015
Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
The grandson of English scholar and warrior Jonathan Joestar, New York anime and manga character Joseph Joestar has inherited from his grandfather the power of the “Ripple,” which allows Joseph to channel the power of the sun. Like Jonathan, Joseph uses this power to fight vampires, but unlike his grandfather or even his grandson Jotaro, Joseph is less about honest, straightforward combat and more about clever trickery. His special moves include “Clacker Volley,” “Hermit Purple,” and “Running Away.”
Chibodee Crocket (Mobile Fighter G Gundam)
Another rags to riches story, this New York anime character lives in a world where space colonies fight each other to determine their leader every 4 years, leaving the actual planet of Earth neglected. Coming from the slums of New York City, Chibodee controls the Gundam Maxter, a representative of everything American. Dressed like a football player with a surfboard for a shield, the Gundam Maxter can even transform into a boxer, taking advantage of Chibodee’s expert pugilism skills.
Sagitta Weinberg (aka Chairon Archer) (Sakura Wars V/Sakura Wars New York, NY)
A member of the New York Combat Revue’s Star Division, New York anime and game character Sagitta Weinberg is both a lawyer from Harlem and the leader of a biker gang. She originally believes in the law above all else, but mellows out over time. Her mecha as part of the New York Combat Revue, Sagitta’s mecha is a custom FENICS AT-05B Highway-Star.
Chain Sumeragi (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
She’s not only a New York anime and manga character, but also an invisible werewolf! As a member of the secret organization Libra, her serious yet sadistic attitude leaves an immediate impact. Again, Blood Blockade Battlefront is full of great New York anime and manga characters, but in my opinion she’s the most unforgettable.
Jet Link aka Cyborg 002 (Cyborg 009)
From the mean streets of New York, Jet Link goes on the run after accidentally murdering a rival gang leader (the gang was called the “Sharks,” making Jet a full-on West Side Story reference). While trying to escape, he’s captured by the evil organization Black Ghost and turned into a cyborg with the power of flight, before rebelling against Black Ghost. A brash yet also level-headed New York anime and manga character, Jet can fly at speeds up to Mach 5. He’s also referenced in later series, including the character Pizza in King of Braves Gaogaigar.
Lucian Stanley (Swan)
This New York manga character is an expert dancer studying at the School of American Dance. When Swan protagoniset Masumi Hijiri comes to the United States and learns to expand her dancing repertoire beyond traditional ballet, it is Lucian’s performance of Ravel’s “Bolero” that enchants her in particular.
John “Sleepy” Estes (Mad Bull 34)
A New York cop also willing to bend the rules, John “Sleepy” Estes is a New York anime and manga character that has the best intentions at heart, even if he does everything illegal in the process. Notably, he runs a prostitution ring on the side, but does so in order to protect the prostitutes from gangsters. As a young teen in New York, his parents were killed by gangsters. In turn, he devotes his life to destroying organized crime in New York City.
A homunculus originally created to be an emotionless killing machine, New York anime and light novel characer Ennis slowly gains emotions over the course of her story. When she befriends the goofy thief duo Isaac and Miria, and eventually Firo, she begins to increasingly break away from the control that her master Szilard Quates has over her.
Rosette Christopher (Chrono Crusade)
An Exorcist for the Order of Magdalene’s New York branch, the New York anime and manga character Rosette Christopher teams up with a young-looking demon named Chrono to not only fight the forces of the occult but also to find her missing brother Joshua. Like many of the characters on this list, Rosette’s parents died when she was young. Rosette and Chrono’s lives are tied together through supernatural forces that limit her life span, but in spite of this (or perhaps because), Rosette is earnest and rebellious.
Revy (Black Lagoon)
Hailing from Mott Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, New York anime manga character Rebecca “Revy” Lee also lost a parent, but that’s because she shot him after years of abuse. Astoundingly skilled with firearms, she becomes a member of the Lagoon Company, an organization hired by criminals to “settle” disputes between them over missing smuggled items.