Japanese Heroes

The Japanese have one of the richest bases of superheroes around. Not withstanding their history and mythology, they also have the largest comic book (manga) and animation (anime) industries in the world. I know I am only scratching the surface when it comes to listing their characters, coming as I do from the West, and certainly not enough to do it full justice.

Universes

Useful Terminology when dealing with Japanese superheroes

Aa! Megamisama

Akira

Appleseed

Blade of the Immortal

Bubblegum Crisis

Dirty Pair

Dominion: Tank Police

Gatchaman

Ghost in the Shell

Guyver

Kaiju (giant monsters)

Kamen Riders

Mazinger

Metal Heroes

Moldiver

Project A-Ko

Ranma 1/2

Sailor Moon

Sazan Eyes

Sentai

Silent Möbius

Steam Detectives

Tekkaman

Tetsuwan Atom

Ultramen

Please note that the below are not strict and accurate translations for the given terms, but rather a quick "short hand" for the nearest English language equivalent I know.

Anime - Japanese animation / cartoons

Daikaijû - giant monster genre

Henshin - transforming hero genre, where the character "morphs" from human to superhero form

Light novel - novel aimed at teens and young adults

Manga - Japanese comics

Mecha - giant robots, generally ones controlled by pilots inside

OVA (sometimes OAV) - original video animation, effectively a straight-to-video anime, not shown on TV first

Tankoubon - a compilation book. Generally used in reference to the collected issues of a manga series.

Tokusatsu - live action special effects films and series (e.g. the Godzilla movie series, Kamen Rider series, etc)

The above terms only scratch the surface, but are a good starter for the newbie.

Individual characters

Alucard

Casshan

Cat Girl Nuku Nuku

Chojin Baromu-Wan

Combattler V

Cutey Honey

Daltanias

Devilman

Devilwoman

Eat-Man

8 Man

Gekko Kamen

Getter Robo

Giant Robo

Goku

GoLion

Henshin Ninja Arashi

Jinzo Ningen Kikaida

Kaiketsu Raion Maru

Kamen Tenshi Rosetta

Kamui

Kikaida-01

Magma Taishi

Mai the Psychic Girl

Marine

Ogon Bat

Polymar

Pretty Cure

Robotto Keiji

Ryusei Ningen Zonn

Sanda Masuku

Shadow Lady

Spectreman

Spider-Man

Supah Jaianto

Tetsujin Taiga Sebun

Tetsujin 28

Venus 5

W3

Zatoichi

Konjiki no Gash Bell

Naruto

Spider-Man

Spider-Man J

Hulk

X-Men (Manga)

Guts

Crying Freeman

Lone Wolf

Karas

Gold Lightan

Ippatsuman

For those wishing to track down copies of some of the anime shows mentioned on these pages, you could try Anime DVD.

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