While anime is famous for featuring characters using random expressions in English, often in the form of attacks or magic spells, there are many anime characters who are fluent in English in canon. Often this comes with the explanation that the character has spent some time abroad.
This is often lost in translation when a series is translated into English, and the character’s language skills are completely removed or switched to another language. Interestingly, there are some anime series that take place in English-speaking countries, like the United States or Australia, with characters that technically speak English to each other, but “translated” into Japanese for the audience.
10 My Hero Academia: Pony Tsunotori didn’t speak Japanese as a first language
On My hero academia, Pony Tsunotori is half Japanese and half American and was transferred to UA from the United States. English is notably his mother tongue and he even uses it when he gets angry. As Japanese is not his first language, he is also occasionally shown to misinterpret certain phrases, although he is otherwise proficient in the language.
9 Sailor Moon: Minako Aino speaks English in the 90s anime
In the 90’s anime Sailor moonSailor Venus’s alter ego Minako Aino was shown to fight evil in London when she was Sailor V. In explaining this to Usagi, she mentioned that her friend Katarina helped her learn English.
This appears occasionally in later episodes. When Usagi wanted to get more intellectual, she specifically asked Minako to help her with English. It is also useful when the girls are invited to a party with international students. Ironically, in the original manga, Minako seemed to have trouble with English like Usagi, even using a magic pen to cheat on her English homework.
8 Detective Conan: Both Conan and Heiji seem to speak the language fluently
Shinichi, the titular detective Conan, has been shown to speak English at times, probably as a reflection of his vast intellectual talents. It is possible that his fondness for the language is related to his admiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One story shows that he can even distinguish between a British accent and a Texan one.
Heiji Hattori has also been shown to have an amazing understanding of the English language. The reason for this is that his family once took in an American girl. While Heiji helped her learn Japanese, she also helped him learn English.
7 Ojamajo Doremi: Momoko lived in the United States
On Ojamajo DoremiMomoko, the witch in yellow, moved to the United States with her family and spent quite a bit of time there. Because of this, she is often heard speaking English. In fact, the character has to take a little time to understand Japanese after being introduced.
There are a few hiccups here and there: Momoko once referred to her earring as a “piercing,” reflecting the Japanese translation of the word rather than what an American would call it.
6 Kimagure Orange Road: Madoka is a woman of many talents, including English
On Kimagure Orange Road, Madoka has a talent for just about everything: academics, athletics, music, and fighting criminals. It is even loved by both children and animals. It’s surprising that she’s not the one with supernatural powers. Naturally, one of her many talents includes proficiency in the English language.
This appears in a story about the characters visiting Hawaii, where the thugs mistake Hikaru for a local heiress.
5 Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: The Anarchy Sisters have a colorful version of the English language
Given the influence Western animation had on Panties and stockings with garter beltIt makes sense for English to appear occasionally in the series. That said, it often comes in the form of curses, especially when the less-than-angelic Panty is the one speaking.
In fact, the music video for “D City Rock” implies that Panty is quite fluent in the language as she is introduced as the singer of the song and, like many of the songs in the series, is performed in English.
4 Asobi Asobase: Fujiwara & Olivia’s Robot Double can speak English
One of the main characters of Asobi Asobase, Olivia, introduces herself as an American exchange student who doesn’t actually speak English because she was actually born and raised in Japan. His classmate Fujiwara is actually the one who speaks the language quite well.
That said, an android built in Olivia’s likeness appears in one episode and has good command of the English language. Unfortunately, he also likes to curse and violently threaten people who try to make him use decent language.
3 Azumanga Daioh: Chiyo’s father could be a floating bilingual cat
On Azumanga Daioh, a floating yellow cat claiming to be Chiyo’s father appears before some of the characters. In an infamous scene where he appears to Osaka, he actually speaks in English, even stating, “I wish I was a bird.” Osaka asks him why he is speaking English, to which he replies that it is because his daughter would soon be going to America, suggesting that she recently learned the language.
Interestingly, the show’s English teacher, Yukari Tanizaki, is also quite fluent in English, even being able to speak to a native speaker, despite being a listless and talentless teacher.
two Soul Eater: Excalibur Even Sings in English
On Soul Eater, Excalibur is a living sword with immense almost divine powers despite looking somewhat out of The MoominsSince “Excalibur” originates from the Arthurian tradition, it makes sense that he has some knowledge of English. Most famously, he can sing the “Excalibur Song” in English, even beginning the song by saying, “Here we go!”
1 Cipher: the series is set in New York
When the Code The manga was adapted into a promotional OVA, the showrunners decided to get creative about it: Due to the American setting of the story, it was decided that the cast would speak English, with native English speakers living in Japan providing the voice work.
Because of this, various characters, including the two main twin brothers, Jake “Shiva” Lang and Roy “Cipher” Lang, can be heard speaking in English in some clips.
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