linspoppa's avatar


  • Sweden
  • Joined Mar 14, 2016
  • 29 / F

Quality anime that takes place outside Japan

Since the anime industry is pretty ethnocentric, it's hard to find shows that feature foreign cultures and locations. The story may take place in a fantasy world, a different country or switch between multiple countries. Fillers don't count. The fantasy world can't be heavily influenced by Japan, and I won't include MMOs either if all main protagonists are Japanese.
1 86: Eighty-Six

86: Eighty-Six

2 91 Days

91 Days

Italian mafia in North America during probation.

3 ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

A kingdom with no similarity to Japan is split into different autonomous regions, but the threat of a coup is still present. Thus ACCA was formed, a syndicate which duty is to monitor activity in the kingdom and protect the peace.

4 Ascendance of a Bookworm

Ascendance of a Bookworm

Isekai but wholesome and stripped of the power fantasy. MC is a Japanese woman who died and was reincarnated as a sickly young girl living in the Middle Ages. The names (Tuuli, Günther etc.) have clear European origins and the architecture draws inspiration from Central Europe.

5 Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Loosely based on Germany and other central European countries.

6 Baccano!


Takes place in the US during the 30's.

7 Banana Fish

Banana Fish

Eiji, a young Japanese photojournalist follows his boss to New York to report on the crime syndicate running the city, gets caught in a dangerous conspiracy and crosses paths with Ash, the handsome teenage leader of one of the gangs.

8 Berserk


A fictional world, Midland is based on France during Medieval times. To watch.

9 Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon

Roanapur is located in Thailand. Bonus points for a large cast of characters with different ethnicities.

10 Blood Blockade Battlefront

Blood Blockade Battlefront

A rift opens in New York, bringing our world into contact with powerful alien lifeforms and plunging the city into chaos before a barrier is put up. An organization of superpowerered people fights to maintain order in the city.

11 Carole & Tuesday

Carole & Tuesday

12 Castlevania


Netflix adapts the game series into an anime and it. Is. Awesome! Wallachia clearly parallells medieval Europe, seeing as the church has the highest authority and witch hunts were common. The actual landscape of Wallachia is located in Romania.

13 Children of the Whales

Children of the Whales

Portrays a post-apocalyptic world in which the ocean has been seemingly drained and sand is all that remains. A huge vessel crosses the 'sea' in search of the few rare isles still brimming with nature.

14 Claymore


Female warriors that are half-human, half-demon hybrids created for the sole purpose of slaying demons. Main religion seems to be Christianity as the church opposes Claymores. The world looks European.

15 Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

Bounty hunters in space that travel around our solar system. The colonies look urban with diverse populations rather than your typical sterile sci-fi utopia.

16 Death Parade

Death Parade

It's basically set in Limbo with arbitrators attending to the dead and arranging games of their own choice where the souls are judged.

17 Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy

It has a post-apocalyptic setting which takes place long into the future when our world is unrecognisable, and nations have dissolved. Going to watch.

18 Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fictional equivalents to Europe and the Middle East.

19 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fictional equivalents to Europe, Middle East and China. Large, diverse cast.

20 Gangsta.


Fictional city that seems to take place in North America. Sadly ends on a cliffhanger since Manglobe went bankrupt.

21 Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Like the classic literature, but with the story taking place in space as well as a futuristic Paris.

22 Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Sci-fi where Earth is a long since abandoned planet with increased ocean levels so most land has been submerged. Watching.

23 Great Pretender

Great Pretender

Characters of different ethnic backgrounds make a living as the world's top scam artists, taking down corrupt billionaires and crime syndicates. No country is too remote and the stakes are always high.

24 Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing Ultimate

Set primarily in England but also shows us Germany as the Nazis are a vital part of the conflict.

25 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

Set in England during the Victorian era. Makes me wanna pose.

26 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind

27 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Another muscular JoJo travels across the world with Cairo as his destination to stop DIO. Has a diverse cast of characters.

28 Jormungand


Mercenaries escaping the law and selling contraband weapons from land to land, very Black Lagoon-ish. To watch.

29 Kino's Journey

Kino's Journey

A parallell world where our heroine travels from place to place in hope of learning more about the cultures there.

30 KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!

KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!

While Kazuma is Japanese, we only get to see Japan for a few minutes in the first episode of season 1. Since he died and was reincarnated to a fantasy world, I'd argue Japan no longer has any relevance to the plot.

31 Land of the Lustrous

Land of the Lustrous

Aside from some Buddhism-inspired designs such as Kongou and the Moon Dwellers, all main characters are gems, a new type of lifeform that emerged after all humans had died out.

32 Last Exile

Last Exile

Fictional country that seems European with European-sounding names. To watch.

33 Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Space opera that doesn't revolve around Earth but rather intergalactic warfare. To watch (it's long okay?)

34 Little Witch Academia TV

Little Witch Academia TV

Luna Nova Academy appears to be an international boarding school, since the students are of different nationalities. The location is unknown, but looks more Western than East Asian.

35 Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss

A small society has been built around a mysterious and seemingly bottomless chasm in the earth. Neighboring countries are never mentioned.

36 Michiko & Hatchin

Michiko & Hatchin

Escaped convict finds her long lost daughter and they embark on an eventful journey. Country is the fictional equivalent of Brazil, which in real-life had lots of Asian immigrants. Bonus points for diverse cast.

37 Monster


A Japanese doctor working in Germany gets caught in a series of unfortunate events after he performs surgery on a dying boy. Watching.

38 Saga of Tanya the Evil

Saga of Tanya the Evil

Japanese man reincarnated as a young girl into a parallell version of WW1 Europe with magic abilities.

39 Soul Eater

Soul Eater

Death City is fictional and bears no resemblance to Japan, apparently it's located in Nevada.

40 Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199

Another space opera, it's about a race against time to secure the key to humanity's survival. To watch.

41 The Case Study of Vanitas

The Case Study of Vanitas

42 The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland

None of the children have Japanese names, and all we can see is the plains surrounding an orphanage.

43 The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles

Cross-dressing woman becomes a royal guard in 18th century France.

44 To Your Eternity

To Your Eternity

The boy lives far up north in the Arctic plains, likely Canada. There are similiarities to Kino's Journey, but with more emotional turmoil.

45 Trigun


Wild West setting in somewhat similar vein to Cowboy Bebop, but the characters live on Earth.

46 Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden

47 Wolf's Rain

Wolf's Rain

While the protagonists have Japanese names, they live on Earth in a post-apocalyptic setting where wolves are endangered and humanity searches for a mystical place called Paradise. Antagonists and other characters have more foreign-sounding names.


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Iconoclass Nov 29, 2018

Little Witch Academia's Luna Nova Academy is shown to take place in Western England on the St. Michael's Alignment Ley-line.

I would add Gurren Lagann to this list, but that's my preference. Otherwise pretty good.

ruthey97 Jun 28, 2017

In regards to Soul Eater, while the city (Death City) is fake, It's supposed to be located in Nevada, USA.