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The 15 Best Anime Set in America

Updated November 13, 2020 931 votes 322 voters 14.6k views

It turns out there are some great anime with an American backdrop, but which are really worth your time? This list ranks the best anime set in America, including older titles, as well as new American anime that you may not know about.

One great example of anime set in America is Baccano!, based on the light novel series by Ryohgo Narita. In this story, set during the Prohibition era, various unconnected people, many of whom are of disrepute, begin to cross paths thanks to the creation of an immortality elixir. The title itself is Italian and means "turmoil." Another good anime about America is Banana Fish, which follows Ash Lynx as he struggles to survive in New York City's intricate network of gangs. Looking for something that has nothing to do with underground crime? Check out Kaleido Star, which takes its protagonist from hometown Japan to California's Kaleido Stage circus. 

Which anime set in America is your favorite? Vote it up to let your fellow fans know what they should check out next. 

  • Blood Blockade Battlefront takes place in New York City, but it's a very different NYC than the one that most people are familiar with. After a gateway between Earth and the Beyond is opened up, creatures from the other world begin to flood into the city, and the whole thing is sealed into an impenetrable bubble. Now named Hellsalem's Lot, NYC is more chaotic than it's ever been, as humans and otherworldly beings must learn to coexist. 

    Meanwhile, photographer Leonardo Watch recieves a strange power called the All-seeing Eyes of the Gods, at the cost of his sister's eyesight. In order to figure out what the heck is going on and restore his sister's sight, he heads to Hellsalem's Lot, where he's quickly recruited into a strange group called Libra.

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  • Baccano! mostly takes place on a train called The Flying Pussyfoot, and it begins in Chicago, Illinois. But it isn't modern day Chicago - it's Chicago during the Prohibition era, which means that it's overrun with mobsters. As the train departs, a scientist named Szilard and his assistant Ennis are in New York City, trying to track down missing bottles of an immortality elixir. These two storylines collide to create one of the wildest stories ever told. 

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  • Banana Fish
    Photo: MAPPA

     

    Banana Fish takes place largely in New York City, except for a brief stint out to Cape Cod, where protagonist Ash Lynx was born. Ash is the leader of a small NYC gang, but he has a lot more than gang warfare on his mind. He's trying to escape the clutches of Dino Golzine, a child predator and mob tycoon who once tried to groom him to be his successor, trying to figure out the mysteries behind a drug called Banana Fish that destroyed his older brother's brain, and trying to protect his new friend from Japan, Eiji.

    The version of NYC depicted in Banana Fish might feel a little off to New Yorkers - the show is based on a manga that's set in the 80s, but the anime updated its setting to modern day. Therefore, the gang warfare, graffitti, and other traits are more reminiscent of the city in the 80s than its current iteration. That being said, it's still remarkably accurate when it comes to landmarks, and little inconsistencies aren't likely to bother the average viewer.

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    91 Days

    91 Days
    Photo: Shuka

    As a child, Angelo Lagusa's family is taken out by the Vanetti mafia family. He leaves the fictional town of Lawless, Illinois behind, and starts a new life under the name Avilio Bruno. Seven years later, he's summoned back to his hometown by a mysterious letter. The Vanetti family wants his help, but what Avilio wants is revenge. 91 Days follows him as he obliterates everyone involved in his parents' demises. 

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