Japan has made and continues to make amazing anime. Every single one of these anime makes use of symbolisms to signify a power or influence of some sort. This pattern can be seen even in earlier anime like the Dragonball where the symbol use is the Dragonball itself or in anime like Inuyasha which makes use of Inuyasha’s sword as the defining symbol of the anime. These symbols are not only intriguing to look at but are also great indicators of an anime’s popularity because if people can identify an anime with just a symbol, it definitely means they’ve watched that specific anime.
Japanese Anime That Have Trademark Symbols: One Piece
As stated earlier, there are a lot of anime that have successfully made the symbols they use into trademarks for their respective anime and manga series’. Despite the vast selection of anime series’ that were able to do this, there still exists some anime and symbols that truly stand out above the rest and the One Piece anime and manga series is surely included in this list of elites.
Like most anime background, One Piece started off as a manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda and was released in the year of 1997. It was adapted into its anime form in the year of 1998 and until this very day, both manga and anime series’ are still ongoing. Currently, there are 85 volumes of this series and each volume you go through will surely get you hooked deeper into the story.
The story starts with a young man named Monkey D. Luffy who was always fascinated with the pirate’s life. As a child, he idolized an iconic pirate called the Red Haired Shanks who spent his life traveling through the waters of the East Blue Sea in hopes of finding the treasure known as One Piece. This is a special piece of treasure because gaining possession of this treasure allows anyone to proclaim himself or herself as the “King of the Pirates”.
When Monkey reached a certain age, he decided to try to put himself in the shoes of his idol and look for the One Piece himself so he started to organize his own crew. He called this crew the Straw Hat Pirates. He was the only member of this crew until fate led him to help and befriend a swordsman named Roronoa Zoro. After gaining the aid of Zoro, more and more characters were slowly introduced into the story and eventually became a part of this notorious crew as well.
Since the story of One Piece is still on-going, Monkey and his crew have yet to find the treasure they are looking for in both manga and anime. Despite the lack of an ending though, the crew’s logo as the Straw Hat Pirates has successfully embedded itself in the minds and hearts of fans from all over the world because of the crazy adventures Monkey and his crew have gone through. This is the reason why the logo of the Straw Hat Pirates has become the trademark logo for this anime.
Japanese Anime That Have Trademark Symbols: Code Geass
When talking about incredible new generation anime whose symbols have imprinted itself in the minds of their fans, Code Geass should definitely be one of the first anime to be included in this conversation. Considering the storyline of this anime, one could easily label it as one of the best anime of all time and a majority will surely concur.
This anime’s original run was aired from the year of 2006 to spring time of 2007 and it clicked so well with the audience that it was immediately followed up with a second season in 2008 that aired all 25 episodes in a matter of weeks. Both seasons of this anime also received awards from the Tokyo International Anime Fair as well as awards from the Animage Anime Gran Prix. Unlike the other anime that usually originate from a manga series, Code Geass is the exact opposite of this because it was adapted into a manga series and a light novel after it was released as an anime.
It comes as no surprise that this anime was turned into a manga because the story and the twists in the story will truly put you through an emotional roller coaster. Code Geass is set in a timeline wherein 3 superpowers technically rule the world. These superpowers are known as the Holy Britannia Empire, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union.
The story of this anime starts off with Britannia forces attacking Japan to expand their control and territory. Japan loses this battle due to the weapons of Britannia that came in the form of robotic suits they refer to as Knightmare Frames. Since Japan lost this fight, the land and all its citizens lost its rights and freedom. This was most evident with how Britannia started called Japan and the Japanese people Area 11 and 11’s, respectively.
Unknown to the majority of characters in the story, the main character named Lelouch is actually the exiled prince of Britannia. Lelouch was sent by their father, Charles vi Britannia, to Japan as a child along with his sister, Nunnally, after their mother was murdered. Charles did not send them to Japan to protect them but to gain political power in that area and this action by their father also dropped all perks of royalty for Lelouch and his sister so it is pretty understandable why Lelouch became filled with anger towards Britannia.
Lelouch is such a unique character in this story because he is technically perfect considering that he is smart, idealistic, cunning, and master tactician. Despite these great attributes, Lelouch was always in a state of chaos from within because he essentially wanted to be the villain and the hero at the same time. He wanted to bring down Britannia for what they did to their mother and them while still wanting to create a world of peace and prosperity for his handicapped sister, Nunnally.
This conflict in the nature of his character would be brought into a brighter light when he gets the power of the kings in the form of his Geass, which he attained from a mysterious woman named CC, who eventually becomes Lelouch’s guide and partner-in-crime. This power allowed him to basically have complete control over anyone who makes direct eye contact with his left eye because that is where the symbol of the Geass was. He can literally ask anything from you and the only thing you will be able to reply is yes to his request. This symbol of the Geass would eventually be the trademark of this anime, not only because of how it signified special powers but also because of how it also became the downfall of Lelouch later on in the story.
The symbol of the Geass was consistent with all the people in the story that possessed the power. If a person would try to describe it as simply as possible, it could be described as the outline of a rabbit’s nose to its ears. It might be hard to imagine it in that sense so if you really wish to see how it looks like, feel free to look it up online. If you are a true fan of this anime though, you are sure to know what this symbol looks like with ease.
Japanese Anime That Have Trademark Symbols: Attack on Titan
While still on the topic of these great new generation anime, there is no way you can leave out Shingeki no Kyojin or “Attack on Titan”. Like One Piece, this amazing anime started off as an incredible manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The first of the manga was released 2009 and like this manga series is still ongoing until this very day.
It took quite a while to create the anime because there are so many important details from the manga that they had to compress into that 30-minute bubble of a time frame so that viewers of the anime can understand the story better. It might have taken a while but its release in 2013 made the long wait worth it. With the use of great graphics, the anime was able to give the manga a new dimension of motion and understanding of how these titans and humans moved around using their gigantic bodies and 3D maneuvering gear, respectively.
Before getting into specific details though, you should know that this story is set in a time when humanity is at the brink of extinction due to the sudden appearance of Titans, which are giant human-looking creatures that eat humans and destroy everything in their path. To give the human race a chance, they developed 3D maneuvering gears for their soldiers to use against these titans.
The human race also had to build and live in areas enclosed by giant walls to keep the Titans away from them. With these divisions, the soldiers were also divided according to serve and protect different areas. There is a group that guards the inner most portions of the walls. There is another that aid the outer areas and lastly, there is the Survey Corps, which is the group of soldiers that go out of the wall to try to find an end to these titans.
The protagonists of this story obviously end up in the Survey Corps because they are the heroes of this story but they got there in ways that even your imagination might not be able to come up with alone. Since the Survey Corps is basically the only group that faces the real danger as well as gives the humans a chance to rise again and because the protagonists are part of this honorable group of soldiers, it is very understandable why the logo of the Survey Corps has become the trademark symbol for this anime.
If Harry Potter fans wore wizard clothing and a sorting hat, the Attack on Titan fans put on the replicas of the Survey Corps’ uniform along with the famous symbol of this group. Even people who have not watched the anime or read the manga has seen this symbol from friends or family because of how crazy the fans got about this anime.
There are a lot of other anime that can be included here like Naruto and the Konohagakure’s Insignia or Death Note and L Lawliet’s initial but the 3 mentioned above has to be the most famous and well-known among all the other anime that can be included in this list. Each anime tells a different tale and is based in a different location but how the symbols they used imprinted on their fans were all the same. These anime were able to make a simple symbol into something with more meaning for them because they relate the symbol to the heroes and events they saw in these astounding anime. With all these being said, these anime are definitely worth the time to watch and if you do decide to do this, be glad to know that more episodes are soon to come for each of them.