If there is something that differentiates a Western production from anime, it is that regardless of the genre or even the medium, if the work is based on real life events, a small image is attached to let the viewer know what to expect.
The headline so common in horror movies and that we olympically ignore due to the creative freedoms of the director, would have a better use in the anime series that we see week by week and that we would not believe that they come from a true story.
Of course, completely sticking to a fact would make it lose its magic, but still it is worth knowing all those Japanese productions that are based on a real event despite their extravagant packaging and that is exactly what we will see next.
The story of two young people who want to succeed in the world of manga, one as a writer and the other as an illustrator, was one of the most popular works of 2000 and, believe it or not, is based on a real life story.
The authors of ‘Death Note’, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, decided to create an autobiographical story of the moment when they decided to start in the chaotic world of publishing houses, capturing their experiences during the serialization of their most popular work.
An anime that brings together samurais and aliens is far from being the historical account that those who enjoy the genre seek, but that does not mean that the series is not based on any fact from real life.
One of its best examples is the Shogunate special police force in Japan, which is the source of inspiration for the Shinsengumi from ‘Gintama’, with members who are based on historical figures of the time.
Some of these even share similar names, the protagonist being Sakata Gintoki, a cartoonish version of the legendary samurai Sakata Kintoki.
It is no secret to anyone that World War II has had a great impact on the world of anime, something especially true for director Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli and a sample of this is ‘Kaze Tachinu’.
This film is a biographical work based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Mitsubishi A5M Fighter aircraft and its improved version, something that unites two passions of Miyazaki, airplanes and criticism of wars.
Not all history is a thing of the past, some of them are closer to us and are portrayed in anime such as ‘Steins; Gate’, the 2011 series that to this day is considered one of the best anime of the decade.
The 2011 anime that caught everyone with a sci-fi story about a scientist who discovers time travel is loosely based on an internet user by the name of John Titor.
Titor rose to fame in web forums, claiming that he was capable of doing the same as our protagonists, only that in his case it was revealed that everything was a lie despite his detailed posts about it.
Tonari no Totoro
‘Tonari no Totoro’ or as we know it in our region ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ is one of the most popular Studio Ghibli films despite the fact that Miyazaki himself thought it would end as a resounding failure at its launch.
Perhaps this is due to the inspiration of this story and is that the work is a portrait of the director’s childhood, who at an early age faced the reality of seeing his mother suffering from tuberculosis.
Miyazaki and his younger brother were left adrift between household chores and their own responsibilities while their father devoted himself to work and the same director mentioned in an interview that the reason why Satsuki and Mei are girls is because they are two boys. it would have been very painful for him to make the tape.
So far we have talked about animes that became banners at the time, but if there is a more recent series that takes us back in time, it is ‘Vinland Saga’.
Its name alone transports us to another era, where Vikings, Danes and the European monarchies are at their peak and although it is not historically 100% correct, in the series you will find nods to stories like those of King Cnut.
Representation has become an important issue for the world and one that has been particularly loud in recent years is the representation of people of color, and anime is no stranger to this.
Since the majority of the characters are Japanese, there is little scope to introduce characters from other ethnic groups in a way that sends a message, but if there is a series that takes care of this it is ‘Yasuke’.
Based on real life events, in ‘Yasuke’ we embark on the life of the first African samurai, a slave who was freed by Oda Nobunaga himself.
Becoming his sword, Yasuke witnesses the death of one of the most recognized daimyo in history and it is in this uncertain portion of his life that anime takes place as an original work.
It is not anime, but we could not help talking about the manga ‘Jisatsu Circle’, also known as ‘The Suicide Club’ that recounts one of the most difficult realities to digest in Japan: Suicide.
In the story, a group of young students commit mass suicide guided by the protagonist, who embarks on a psychologist horror story to tell us how common this type of case can be in the region.
With a reduced list of anime based on biographical stories and true events, this is your chance to make it grow so feel free to leave us your favorite in your comments if it is not included.