Celebrities are everywhere. They are on TV, in magazines, in movies, and on billboards. Video games are usually the one respite within the realm of entertainment where you can escape the idolization, minus the occasional cameo or celebrity-themed game of course.
In Japan, people tend to take celebrity worship to a whole new level, and they've even found ways to put some of the world's most recognizable celebrities into locally produced video games and anime.
1. Hulk Hogan — Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
Much like The Rock and John Cena, Hulk Hogan is name that most people know even if they've never watched a professional wrestling match in their life. Ever since the ubiquitous Hulkamania of the '80s, this retired wrestler has continued to gain (somewhat dubious) worldwide recognition, especially in Japan where wrestling is still a big deal.
The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games are about high school kids fighting shadows that can take the form of pretty much anything, from a floating ball with a face, to even a tank. Out of all these different monsters, there is one that bears a strong resemblance to Hulk Hogan, in his wrestling trunks and familiar facial hair. Not only does the monster look like Hogan, but it also acts like him, especially when it attacks with a clothesline or performs the famous Hulk point as it powers up. Too bad we don't see the monster ripping off a shirt or performing the famous Hogan leg drop as a finishing move.
2. Freddie Mercury — Cromartie High School
Here is another man who attained global fame. The late, great Queen frontman was one of the greatest performers of all time. Not only does his legacy live on in music, but so does his likeness in a school that houses the baddest teenagers you're ever likely to meet.
Cromartie High is a school for delinquents who pride themselves on being the toughest S.O.Bs, and in a school full of future criminals, robots and gorillas, there is one man who stands at the top of the heap: Freddie. Though he doesn't talk much, he is shown to be strong and a great singer, even if we don't actually get to hear that voice. Also, he rides a horse to school, which is something I would like to think the real Freddie Mercury would have done.
3. Angry Video Game Nerd And Nostalgia Critic —The Unlimited - Hyobu Kyosuke
Celebrities for the new generation, both the Angry Video Game Nerd and Nostalgia Critic were pioneers of YouTube as a creative platform. Due to their YouTube success, they have also garnered a cult following on the Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga. Many of their videos have been subtitled in Japanese, so the people can get insight into the Nerd and the Critic's respective opinions on video games and movies.
The Unlimited - Hyobu Kyosuke is a spinoff anime from Zettai Karen Children. In one episode feature a cameo of both the AVGN and the Nostalgia Critic. The Critic even addressed this on his Facebook page, pleasantly surprised at this internationally flavored pop-culture shoutout.
4. Barack Obama And Hillary Clinton — Yatterman
Many consider the US presidential race to be comparable to immature school children arguing and having tantrums. Japan seems to share this line of thinking. In one episode of the superhero series Yatterman a parody was featured, consisting of the 2008 election race between Obama and Clinton — but as school children. And this isn't the only time Obama has been portrayed in anime. He is also seen in Mr. Osomatsu, when one of the main characters imagines himself talking with POTUS.
5. Brock Lesnar — Attack On Titan
Professional wrestler and former UFC champion Brock Lesnar is known for one thing above all: Pure, unadulterated power. This is probably why Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama has gone on record as saying that Lesnar was the basis for his character the Armored Titan. This makes sense, seeing as both are monsters with overwhelming power who are known for destruction and athleticism. Now, if only we could see the Armored Titan use Brock Lesnar's finishing move the F5 on some of the other titans...
Are there any celebrities you know about that have been turned into anime? Let us know in the comments below!