Japan and India have quite a few cultural similarities, since ancient times. Japanese society and culture are highly influenced by Buddhism which originated in India. Not just that there have been many cultural exchanges of texts, scholars, literature among Japanese and Indian people, since ancient times. So, it’s no surprise that many characters in anime characters are based on Indian mythology, many characters are of Indian origin, and anime sometimes even takes hints from Indian cultures, like the concept of ‘Chakra’ in Naruto.
If you are curious about characters that are inspired by Indian culture and you love anime, then this list will be interesting and will also pique your interest to watch those animes. Here is a list of all anime characters of Indian origin or inspired by Hinduism/Buddhism.
Indra & Asura (Naruto)
In the Hindu scriptures Indra is the king of Devas who are in a constant war with the Asuras- demigods with not so good intentions. Just like that we have Indra and Asura, children of Hagoromo, who are also in a constant battle with each other, generation after generation. They get reborn into different people and are in an eternal clash with each other.
Yemma (Dragon Ball Z)
If aware about Hindu deities, then there is a god of death and justice- Yamraj, he decides whether a person goes to heaven or hell, on the basis of his deeds done in his lifetime. In Dragon Ball Z we have Yemma who is also in-charge of deciding who goes to heaven or hell. Even his appearance is that of Yamraj as described in the Hindu scriptures.
Silat is a character inspired by the Rajputs in India. Rajputs are known to be great warriors, with very precise swordsmanship skills and other weapons. Silat is also a great warrior, he is trained in ancient India martial artform- Kalarippayattu. His weapons of choice are ‘Talvar’, ‘Chakram’ and ‘Araa’ all weapons of Rajput armory.
Berserk also has many Indian historical and mythological references. There is a Kushan clan which has an emperor Kanishka, this can be an inspiration from the Kushan Empire that existed in north western regions of India, centuries ago. Rakshas is a mysterious character, who enjoys torturing and is basically a killer. In Hindu mythology, Rakshas are demons who kill humans and are a nuisance to the Earth.
The Legend of Prince Rama
The Legend of Prince Rama is an anime adaptation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Ramayana is the story of Prince Ram who is exiled from his kingdom to keep his father’s promise. His wife, Sita, is then cunningly abducted by the demon king Ravana. Rama then embarks on his journey to save his wife from Ravana’s palace, with his brother Lakshman and his close aide Hanuman, while fighting many demons on the way.
Rakshat Chawla (Code Geass)
Rakshat is an Indian scientist and head of Black Knights’ research and development team. She has calm and cool personality and maintains her dignity but she can also be easy going and laid back at times. She hails from the Military District of India.
Kokujo Tengen Myooh (Bleach)
This is the final Bankai stage of captain Komamura, gigantic humanoid wrapped around with ropes. This in English translates to ‘Vidyaraja of Kalasutra’s Heavenly Punishment’. Vidyaraja is one of the wisdom kings whose job was to defend the wisdom Buddha. And Kalasutra is reffered to the black ropes, that are used to send sinners to hell.
Juna Ariyoshi (Earth Maiden Arjuna)
Earth Maiden Arjuna is the story of a young Japanese schoolgirl who is reincarnated as an avatar of time and in return, she has to protect the earth. Juna Ariyoshi’s character is highly inspired by Arjuna from ‘Mahabharat’. Like Arjuna, Juna also has to defend and fight for everything she cares for and is important to her and to protect Earth and she is guided by Chris Hawken, who can be seen as a character inspired by ‘Krishna’.
Gadevi (Arslan Senki)
Arslan Senki has a plethora of characters inspired by Indian mythology and history. Gadevi is one such character. He is one of the heirs to the throne of the Sindhura kingdom, he is devoid of emotions, greedy and would do anything to claim the throne for himself.
Rajendra (Arslan Senki)
Rajendra is Gadevi’s brother and also an heir to the throne. He is a bit reckless and eccentric but he is popular among the people and after getting crowned as the king of Sindhura he rules the kingdom efficiently and lawfully.
Mahendra (Arslan Senki)
Mahendra is the Prime Minister of the Sindhura kingdom and a loyal serviceman to the king. He also has some obligations to serve Gadevi and despite knowing that Gadevi is not the right person for the kingdom, he supports him because he took an oath. Mahendra displays the importance of oath and loyalty that is of utmost importance in the Indian society.
Jaswant (Arslan Senki)
Jaswant is the stepson of Mahendra and an ideal son and a faithful loyalist of the kingdom of Sindhura. He has very strong morals and as strong sense of justice. He never forgets his duties and carries them with sincerity.
Aishwarya Rai (Digimon)
She is a member of Monster Makers, a group of individuals who created the artificial life forms who later evolved into Digimon. She then goes on to help Yamaki and other Monster Makers to destroy what they once created and also help kids who are stuck in the digital world. Her character is probably named after one of the most famous and talented Indian actress, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who also was crowned as Miss World in 1994.
Kuroshitsuji also has many Indian settings, references, and characters. Agni is one of the main characters and comes from a family of Brahmins. He lost his faith in God at a very young age but after meeting Prince Soma, he saw God in Soma himself. He is kind, warm, and welcoming just like ‘fire’ which is the literal meaning of his name. His name can also be traced to Hindu God Agni Dev.
Prince Soma Asman Kadar (Kuroshitsuji)
Prince Soma Asman Kadar is the prince of Bengal and also the 26th child of the Raja of Bengal. Being the youngest child of all Soma didn’t get much attention and care from both his parents. He was in care of Mina, a royal servant. It was Soma who helped Agni take a new life and name while renouncing his old lifestyle. He is charming and loving and loves other people’s company.
She was a royal servant who took care of Prince Soma in his childhood but left India to become Harold West Jeb’s wife. Initially she appears as a kind, cheerful and a loving person but she has some ulterior motives and is self-centered. She left India to become the ‘rich wife’ in England. But she has some affection for Harold West.
Ramdas (Little Princess Sarah)
The story of Little Princess Sarah has a backdrop of British India and is about Sarah Crewe. Sarah Crewe has a servant, Ramdas. He is charismatic, caring and kind. He helps Sarah in any way possible.
D.Gray-Man is another anime which has quite a few Indian origin characters. Jerry is one of them. Jerry’s parents were trained in Muay Thai but he is interested in cooking. So, he embarks on a journey to develop his cooking skills, before joining the Black Order.
She is the widow of the Maharaja who met Cross and Allen in India. She was also one of the lovers of Cross’.
Narain is one of the friends of Allen who later turns into a demon and as fate had it, is killed by Allen.
Amitabh Kapoor (Darker Than Black)
Amitabh Kapoor is a contractor- individuals who have gained superhuman abilities due to the appearance of Heaven and Hell gate. He uses the body of Nori Ukiyama, after his own is lost. To the unversed, a little fun fact: Amitabh Kapoor can be considered quite an elite name, in India.
Sharna Alamgir (Hayate The Combat Butler)
Sharna is a transfer student from India and is very intelligent. She is a friend of Fumi’s and studies in the Hakuo academy. She has long black hairs and wears glasses and looks like a nerd. She also takes the ‘Silk Road’ to India while visiting Turkey with Fumi.
Meena (Dinosaur King)
Meena is an Indian princess but she doesn’t want to be one. She wants to explore and swim to the end of Ganga River to find her prince charming. She met the D-team near the palace and exchanged places with Zoe to help Max and Rex find dinosaur and also have little more freedom. She is the only person to become an official member of the D-Team after getting a badge.
Éclair (Fairy Tail)
Although it can’t be said for sure that Éclair has Indian roots or not but the way she dresses, her Saree, bangles and overall attire is of an Indian woman. Éclair has great devotion for the Phoenix Stone and has to deliver it, when the time comes. She can do anything to protect the Phoenix Stone and can brave any danger.
Janet Bai (Black Lagoon)
Janet Bai is a professional counterfeiter of money from India. She is a perfectionist and doesn’t care about the deadline or money at hand, she will do her job perfectly no matter what.
Bishamonten is one of the ‘Seven Gods of Fortune’. She is the goddess of war and warriors. She is the reimagination of Vaishravan, punisher for sinners. She is inspired by Four Heavenly kings in Mahayana Buddhism. Despite being a goddess of war, she is quite generous with her shinki and accepts any wandering and troubled soul into her family.
Vinsmoke Judge (One Piece)
Vinsmoke Judge or better known as Garuda is the king of Germa Kingdom and patriarch of the Vinsmoke family. Garuda is a golden bird in Buddhism and Garuda Dev is the king of birds in Hinduism.
Lancer Of Red (Fate/Apocrypha)
Lancer of Red also known as ‘Karna’ is one of the most powerful characters in Fate/Apocrypha. Lancer of Red is very much inspired by the legend Karna in the Indian epic Mahabharat. Just like Karna in the Mahabharat, Lancer also has a golden armor around him. Fate/Apocrypha has many inspirations from the Mahabharat, like the ‘Brahmastra’ and many other elements.
Enma (YuYu Hakusho)
Enma is the God of Death in the series. Inspired from the Hindu God of Death, Yamaraj, Enma is the final judge for a soul wanting to enter heaven. Although he appears fierce, but has a gentle side to his nature as well. He rewards the people on their Dharma and conduct and if you are just, you will adore him.
Ganesha is a character in the anime DanMachi, who wears a red elephant mask and is muscular. His attire is gold-inspired and he is flamboyant. He doesn’t care about anything when protecting citizens, their protection is his utmost priority. His character can be traced to the Hindu deity ‘Ganesha’ who is also known as the protector and obstacle remover and has an elephant head.
Akira Agarkar Yamada (Tsuritama)
Akira is mysterious and spends most of his time alone in a corner. But is actually a spy for D.U.C.K. He is from India and wears a turban and is older than rest of the characters.
Mina Kandswamy (Darker Than Black)
Mina Kandaswami is a scientist in PANDORA who is researching on Hell’s Gate in association with the Syndicate. She is an intelligent woman and very knowledgeable, she is the top researcher at PANDORA but gets distracted after meeting Hei and even puts her research on hold to help Hei in missions.
Rajkumar Nair (Eureka Seven)
He is a member of Generation Bleu and a part of the team Harlequin. He is stationed in the General Bleu space station General Bleu.
There you have it people list of all Indian characters and characters inspired by Indian culture in many famous anime. What are your thought on this list & which of these characters represent Indians best? Let us know in the comment section. Also, list the Indian anime character if we have missed him/her.
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Buddhism was o R i G i N a T e D in I n D I a????? WTF
The history of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present. Buddhism arose in the eastern part of Ancient India, in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama.
Not asuras from Hindu literature they are evil beings evil doers sasuke is actually a good guy a protagonist in the anime …… other things look accurate
Soma from God Eater. Dhalsim from the street fighter anime. And we are going to count inspirations, then Goku was inspired by wukong, who was partly inspired by Hanuman. Broly was inspired by Narasingha. Great list!