When you’re watching an anime and see a familiar location, that’s because it probably is.
Whether it be through streaming or dubbed versions airing on local networks, Filipinos’ love for anime has lasted for decades. It’s no secret that many of us enjoy a good anime or two, among the other things we obsess over from Japan. And it’s a love that’s reciprocated as quite a few anime have featured in the Philippines in its stories and settings. From sci-fi to slice-of-life, and more, the country and its culture have increasingly been showcased in various projects. Scroll down for a few times that the Philippines appeared in anime, which were probably already spotted by hawk-eyed fans.
DETECTIVE CONAN: BLACK IRON SUBMARINE
LOOK: The Peninsula Manila hotel and Makati CBD appear in Detective Conan Movie 26: Black Iron Submarine 🇵🇭— Secret Jerry (@jeralduy) December 4, 2023
The anti-hero character Vermouth makes her stay in the Philippines, as one of her stops, to help Ai Haibara from her captors. pic.twitter.com/XxRDAlxGKp
Filipino Detective Conan fans were in for a fun surprise when they watched the newest film in the series as a scene shows anti-hero Vermouth traveling to the Philippines and includes shots of The Peninsula Manila and Makati’s Central Business District.
In the Philippines, Alimango Island is located in Negros Occidental in the Visayas region. But in Fate/Zero, Alimango Island is a location featured in the show’s 18th episode. The anime also had a character named Shirley, a native of the island who is portrayed to be bubbly and inviting, traits that are often associated with cheery Filipinos.
Without going into too many spoilers, Tokyo Revengers features a pretty important scene involving protagonist Takemichi Hanagaki and Manjirō Sano, also known as Mikey, in the Philippines. And to top it all of, the anime also features a a half-Filipino, half-Japanese gang leader named Izana Kurokawa.
This anime centers on Yuu Otosaka, who has the power to possess anyone for five seconds. By the show’s finale, he becomes a powerful figure who develops the ability to take people’s powers for himself. And one of the places he does it is Walking Street in Angeles City, a not-so-subtle reference to the city’s red light district. There, he robs a kid named Angelo of his powers.
The long-running Gundam series is no stranger to spotlighting the Philippines. Fans have speculated that Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team is set in the Philippines. But in a more concrete nod, 2021’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash has scenes set in the country, specifically Davao. Cultural mainstay Jollibee, as well as other locations in the city, are featured in the movie. The animators at Sunrise, the production house behind the project, reportedly did field research in the country in collaboration with the Davao LGU and the Department of Tourism.
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Filipino fans of this seminal anime are probably familiar with this moment. But in case you missed it, there are a few scenes where Major Motoko Kusanagi and Batou are drinking San Miguel Pale Pilsen when they have a moment together. Even in a cybernetic world, Pale Pilsen is still a go-to.
There’s just something about remote islands being used as the setting for tournaments. Such is the case with this anime where, in the fourth episode, a special match is held at the fictional Hotei Island located in the Philippines Sea.
Yes, there was a Blade anime. And yes, the show featured the titular character in the Philippines. In an episode, Blade travels to the island Isla del Fuego, more commonly known as Siquijor. There, he meets three aswang hunters, dual-sword wielder Lupit, double spear user Cimarron, and archer Hagibus, who are based on indigenous tribes. The trio are part of Verdugo, a local aswang hunting tribe. Together, they defeat an aswang horde that was terrorizing the island.
HAJIME NO IPPO
Along with basketball and volleyball, boxing is one of the top sports in the country, with many Filipino athletes making a name for themselves in the sport. It’s an aspect showcased in the boxing anime Hajime no Ippo, which featured three Pinoy boxers Eleki Battery, Morris West, and Nefuma Ozca.
Given how Jormungand revolves around Koko, Jonah, and the rest of their crew as they travel the world selling weapons, the show features different locations, including the Philippines. There is a scene that shows the Philippines, and while the location is only referred to as “Philippines”, the high-rise buildings have us thinking it is probably Makati.
EUREKA SEVEN AO
In the sequel to Eureka Seven, this mecha anime features a shot of the Subic Bay Naval Base where a character refers to it as a “crisis center” for those infected by Scub Corals.