America is one continent that anime usually valorize, especially if we are talking about North America and the United States.
This is probably due to the socioeconomic relationship that took place after World War II.
Japanese animation has several examples of American settings, both for the North and the South, and you will be amazed to know how many anime follow this rule.
To be absolutely clear, we are talking about the whole American continent.
This listicle is based on our opinions and knowledge, we will update this article as soon as we get new information.
Table of Contents
Heroman is set in Center City, a fictional American town located on the West Coast, supposedly in California. The story’s protagonist is Joey, the classic American boy targeted by bullies.
One day he accidentally finds a toy robot in the garbage, which he decides to pick up to fix it.
During a storm, lightning strikes the little toy, transforming it into a robotic giant with incredible abilities. However, this will attract aliens to the planet, which must be repelled.
It’s impossible not to mention that Stan Lee himself, the father of the legendary Marvel, collaborated on this anime.
17. Mad Bull 34
OAV series from the 1990s with a simple but very effective and distinctive plot.
Daizaburo Ban is a policeman who decides to join New York City’s precinct thirty-four, the most dangerous of all. To make matters worse, he will be paired with John Estes, known as Mad Bull, for his brutal methods.
Set in the 1990s, in New York City, police and crime, lots of crime. If these four episodes don’t spew America from every pore, then we don’t know what does.
16. Red Garden
Red Garden is an anime a 2006 anime that despite appearances features strong horror themes, settings, and atmosphere.
Kate, Rachel, Rose, and Claire are four girls who attend the same American college on Roosevelt Island, on the East River of New York City.
On the surface, the four have nothing in common except that one day all four wake up with no memory of the day before.
That same night, the four find themselves in the dark alley, unplanned, not knowing each other. They see strange butterflies flying and are catapulted into a fight with strange monsters, not knowing what to do, terrified.
From that moment on, the girls’ fate is sealed. During all the nights they see the mysterious butterflies appear, they will have to fight to survive in a sick game they have no idea about.
15. Gunsmith Cats
An OAV series of only 3 episodes released in 1995 with a very vintage and appreciable style.
Rally and May work in the Gunsmith Cats armory, based in Chicago. However, the two also have a second job, bounty hunters.
Rally is skilled in the use of guns, as well as an expert pilot, May, on the other hand, is an expert with explosives.
We will follow the fortunes of this explosive couple, very close-knit and funny, to who you will surely end up becoming attached.
A recent series, released only in 2020 in 13 episodes, light and viewable without commitment, just to make a fun and enjoy a cool samurai anime.
After an accident, engineer Appare Sorano and cowardly samurai Kosame Isshiki find themselves adrift on a boat from Japan that takes them straight to America.
Penniless, the two decide to compete in the Trans-America Wild Race to win the grand prize and return home.
Thus begins their nonstop journey, which will take them from Los Angeles to New York, the race route, passing through many American settings such as the Wild West.
13. 91 Days
91 days follows the steps of Angelo Lagusa, a boy who witnessed the murder of his entire family at the hands of the Vanetti mafia family.
After the tragic events, he decides to leave the town of Lawless and change his name to Avilio Bruno. Seven years later he receives a letter and realizes that he has the chance to come back to Lawless and have his revenge on the Vanetti family.
To do so he decides to infiltrate the Vanetti family by befriending Nero, Don Vincent Vanetti’s son, and then work his way to implement his vengeful plans.
91 days is set in Lawless, a fictional American town that is reportedly located in the state of Illinois, not too far from the existing Chicago.
12. Pet Shop of Horrors
An OAV series of horror and supernatural genres released in 1999 in 4 episodes.
In Pet Shop of Horrors, we make the acquaintance of Count D, the manager of a very peculiar pet store in Los Angeles, Chinatown. In his store, you can find rare animals or real magical animals that can make people’s dreams come true.
Only one rule: never show one of these animals to any other person.
The strength of Petshop of Horrors is being able to disturb and make the viewer uneasy certainly through music, graphic techniques, and atmospheres, but its real boast is another.
It puts the viewer in awe because of its themes, namely the perversions of man, their fears, and insecurities, which lead them to rely on the unknown.
11. Blood Blockade Battlefront
Also known as Kekkai Sensen in Japan, it is a fairly well-known Sci-Fi-supernatural anime, especially for its excellent visual compartment.
The story is set in the city of Hellsalem’s Lot, which stands on the ruins of New York City, destroyed by the collision of our world and the monster-populated world of Beyond.
It’s up to the secret society Libra, composed of superhumans, to solve the problem.
This time we will see a recognizable but ruined New York, populated by monsters of all kinds. This is ideal if you don’t want to watch a realistic anime and you prefer post-apocalyptic fiction.
10. Kaleido Star
A 2003 comedy series focusing on the circus and life around it.
Naegino Sora is a 16-year-old orphan who dreams of joining the nursery of Kaleido Stage, a prestigious circus.
On audition day, she arrives late to the auditions and loses the chance of a lifetime. But this will not be enough to make her give up and indeed, the challenges have just begun.
The anime indeed starts in Japan, where Naegino lives, but quickly changes the setting to America. That’s because the auditions are held in California, the ideal choice for Nagino to pursue the American dream.
9. Phantom Requiem for a Phantom
Young Reiji is a normal teenager who just happens to witness one of the murders of Phantom while he is in America. We are talking about an unknown and feared killer from the organization known as Inferno.
The killer has long been spreading panic with his heinous actions. No one has ever seen him, witnessed his actions, or lived to tell the tale except Reiji.
Captured by members of the organization, the boy is forced to make a choice: immediate death or become, also, an assassin in the service of the organization.
The boy will thus be guilty against his will of several crimes, abandoning the path of good.
The settings of this anime vary greatly. The story starts in America, in the infamous mafia neighborhoods, but with the plot device of an international mafia conflict, it will be later set in Japan.
8. Eden of the East
In the year 2010: ten missiles plummet over Japan. It’s a terrorist attack by a mysterious character, Zero.
Three months later, Misaki Mori, a young Japanese student on college travel in Washington D.C, gets involved in a strange and terrible case. He is rescued by another Japanese man suffering from amnesia, Akira Takizawa.
From here a domino effect of events will begin, leading to an intricate case of mysteries and twists and turns.
An anime where mystery reigns supreme, with a plot full of twists and turns to be revealed that will keep you glued to the screen throughout your viewing.
7. Michiko and Hatchin
Series from the late 2000s are marked by a recognizable imprint of those years, both as animation but also in terms of themes and costumes.
The story, set in a fictional Latin American country named Diamandra, revolves around two women.
Michiko, who has just escaped from a maximum-security penitentiary prison, and Hatchin, an orphan girl adopted by the family of a local clergy member. The tranquility of the two isn’t destined to last though.
The right anime if you want to plunge into the 2000s and experience some Latin atmosphere graphically rendered superbly by Manglobe studio, the same as no less than Samurai Champloo. Don’t miss if you’re looking for one of the best anime set in South America, if not the best.
6. Space Brothers
As the name suggests, this is the story of two brothers willing to go to space after seeing a UFO heading towards the Moon as children.
Hibito Nanba, the older brother, will be the first man to go to the Moon, whereas Mutta is a salaryman. Fate blesses Mutta as he has the opportunity to go to space and catch up with his younger brother.
As far as settings are concerned, this anime doesn’t miss a thing. It varies between Japan, and America by faithfully recreating Texas and Florida, and even space, where it is mainly set.
5. Chrono Crusade
Chrono Crusade is one of the best anime set in the 1920s in New York, with America just emerging victorious from the World War I. On the way to apparent prosperity, evil lurks in the shadows in the form of hellish demons.
In opposition to them was founded the Order of the Magdalene, a military organization suited to training priests and exorcist nuns charged with fighting such demons.
Lots of action, lots of 2000s vibes from the technical aspect, and just as many vibes from 1920s America amid the Prohibition Era.
4. Great Pretender
A recent anime released in 2020, consisting of 23 crime-themed episodes with lots of action.
Makoto Edamura is Japan’s biggest swindler, or so he says. Together with his partner Kudo they put a Frenchman in their sights, but get fooled themselves.
The Frenchman is Laurent Thierry, a man far more capable than they are and who controls the mafia. This is where trouble will begin for the charismatic duo.
And this heist against Thierry will be attempted in a modern and realistic Los Angeles, very much alive and colorful like the whole anime after all.
3. Banana Fish
A very renowned anime in Japan, so much so that it is often mentioned in other literary works. We are talking about Banana Fish.
The plot, as from the background of this list, is distinctly mystery-investigative. The main character Ash Lynx finds himself involved in the search for the truth about a mysterious succession of suicides that are happening in New York City.
The only link between them is the constant repetition of the words Banana Fish.
But these words lead back to nothing less than a drug, as will be discovered later. Banana Fish is its name, and it will play a key role in the unfolding of the plot.
It is amazing how realistically this anime transposes modern New York of the 2010s, unlike the manga, which is set in the 1980s.
This is a very fresh experience in our opinion and it’s a great change from the original source, making this show one of the best anime set in New York.
2. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures: Stone Ocean
The Bizarre Adventures of JoJo started as a shonen manga written by Hirohiko Araki in 1987 and the anime adaptation is still ongoing with the 6th arc, Stone Ocean.
Each arc has a separate protagonist, although some main characters appear in more than one. The plot revolves around the adventures experienced by the various members of the Joestar family over time, with a protagonist on each side.
And precisely the sixth part is mainly set in the Stone Ocean prison in Florida. While a big chunk of the plot takes place within the walls of the jail, we will be able to spot other places like Cape Canaveral.
This is an anime based on a series of light novels written by Ryohgo Narita.
The plot is set in the US, and involves a war that breaks out among various mafia gangs in America during the Prohibition Era.
And this aspect is well rendered, with customs and traditions that look like a real photograph.
There will also be a touch of the supernatural, as the war between these gangs is due to the search for an elixir of immortality that everyone wants to get their hands on.
The American settings will be a lot, spacing from Chicago, New York, and Manhattan, with one of the best anime set in the 1930s you can find.