Earlier this month, we showed you how the anime Charlotte drew up its own version of the Philippines, specifically the slums, a certain red light district, and a certain "Totoy Brown." We enjoyed the article because it was fun to see how another culture might see our own.
In the feature, we also showed you other instances of Philippine culture "dropping by" in Japanese works. These were Ghost in the Shell, and the PS One game Front Mission 3.
These instances, however, were just the tip of the iceberg as the comments section on our Facebook posts revealed. You chimed in, and told us about other such moments. We've compiled them below.
1) The popular boxing manga Hajime No Ippo features several Filipino boxers, the deadliest among whom is Randy Boy Jr.
The others are guys named Malcolm Gedo, Morris West, and Eleki Battery. It's Randy Boy Jr. though who's had the most exposure in the manga, and has a memorable fight with one of the manga's important characters, Miyata. His name is also the most Filipino-sounding with the addition of "Boy" and "Jr."
2) A boxer named "Mani" appears in the fight manga Hanma Baki
He appears in chapter 197 of Hanma Baki (it's easily searchable on the internet). He fights but, well, let's just say the opponent thought "Mani" was a mani of an opponent.
3) The anime series for the Marvel character Blade has an episode done in Siquijor, where Blade fights a manananggal
Budjette Tan of Trese fame has a post on his website dedicated to the episode. The photo above comes from his site as well.
There's a "highlights" clip on YouTube as well:
4) Military-themed anime Jormungand: Perfect Order has a scene set in what anime fans believe is Makati's business district
Image via Deremoe.com
In the eight episode of Jormungand: Perfect Order, the Philippines hosts a gun trade show, according to Japanese culture site Deremoe.com.
5) Eureka Seven Ao features the Subic Naval Base
Image via Deremoe.com
The 22nd episode of mecha anime Eureka Seven AO features a shot of the Subic Bay Naval Base. According to Deremoe.com, the base has become a "crisis center" for those infected by a strange lifeform called "Scub Corals."
6) Fate/Zero has a place called "Alimango Island"
The site Traveleronrevenge.com states that the anime used a "Filipino island setting for Episode 18" called "Alimango Island." It also notes that while there is a real-life Alimango Island, which is located in Negros Occidental, it can't be confirmed if the one in the anime is the real-life one. It is said that the island is where one character, Kiritsugu Emiya, was raised.
7) A game called Sampaguita was once released on the original PlayStation
In 1998, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. released the game Sampaguita, an interactive drama/visual novel featuring a female protagonist by the name of Maria Santos. Santos is a Filipina living in Japan, trying to uncover her mysterious past in the Philippines. While many of the scenes take place in Japan, it is said that there are several flashbacks alluding to our country.
This might be one of them:
8) One Piece has its own version of the infamous "Smokey Mountain"
Of the animes mentioned here, action series One Piece might be the most famous.
And of the scenes being depicted in this article, One Piece's "Gray Terminal" depicts one of the most infamous landmarks in the Philippines: Smokey Mountain.
Here's how it appears in the anime:
Series creator, Eiichiro Oda, confirms this himself in his regular question-and-answer column in the One Piece manga—in volume 62, to be specific.
Asked if the Gray Terminal was indeed modeled after Smokey Mountain of the Philippines, the artist answers that the assumption is correct. Below is the unedited exchange as it appears in the One Piece wiki:
D: "Good work everyday, sensei! Well, a while ago, I was watching TV and thought, 'maybe?!,' but is the "Gray Terminal"'s model Smokey Mountain from the delinquent areas of Manila in the Philippines? by NN Brothers"
Oda: "Ah, so it was on TV. Yes, you are correct. Reality is something that has scenes that go beyond our imaginations, and 'trash mountains burning with smoke rising up from them' is a scenery that actually exists. There, many people really actually live there. How it is displayed in the manga is only the outer looks, and in reality, there are things like diseases that spread, and it's an everyday thing to find corpses lying around in real trash mountains. Even if you wanted to escape from that life, it doesn't go as smoothly as manga. Even if I try to explain, it's sort of not very detailed, so interested people, please look it up."
9) Speedgrapher features Tagalog cursing
The 22nd episode of action series Speedgrapher features these lines:
"Ano ka ba? Bingi ka ba? Umalis ka na.Putang ina mo!"
These lines can be found at the 16:30 mark of the episode (it's also searchable online) in a sequence featuring the primary character Choji Suitengu intruding upon a man having sex with a prostitute. Later on, a prostitute can be heard saying "Pakibigay ang pera sa akin."
The scenes leading up to those also remind us of the Philippines—without being explicitly mentioned in the episode.
Somewhere in Cubao perhaps?
10) This controversial character from Tekken
Eskrima practitioner Josie Rizal is the first Filipino character in the long-running fighting series. Introduced in April 2015, there was considerable negative reactions to the character owing to the fact that she's named after our national hero. The controversy didn't last long, and Josie continues to be part of the Tekken 7 roster.
11) Josie Rizal wasn't the first Filipino fighter from Namco-Bandai though!
That honor goes to Talim, introduced in the 2002 weapons-based fighting game Soul Calibur 2. She has a number of interesting moves including the “tuhod slicer”, “tagga sa kamay”, and “sunggab throw” according to an article from Mineski.net.
What do you think of these depictions? Think they're accurate?
We've also read mentions of Japanese works Angel Heart and Golgo 13 containing allusions to Filipino culture but haven't been able to find something substantial enough to include in the list. Do send us screenshots if you happen to find them!