As a media savvy consumer of all things Japanese American, I often follow JA characters in films, TV and more recently comic books. This is a list of characters with Japanese heritage who appear in western comic books, including the Marvel and DC Comics Universes. Please drop me a note if you know of a character that I’m missing.
Japanese Comic Book Characters (in the West)
Characters from Marvel or DC with Japanese heritage.
Silver Samurai (Kenuichio Harada), the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida, is a Japanese mutant with the power to charge almost anything, most notably his katana, with mutant energy (described as a tachyon field) which enables it to slice through any known substance excluding adamantium. He also sports a suit of traditional samurai armour. It is made of a silver metal, hence his professional name.
Nicknamed Fredzilla, he can transform himself into a Godzilla-like creature. It is revealed that he is Ainu in origin and spent time growing up on a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Japan.
Crazy Shy Lolita Canary is a winged heroine in a Japanese manga schoolgirl outfit. She's the size of a canary and is physically small enough to fit in someone's hand. She possesses a sonic scream, which sounds like many, many voices all mashed together.
The first Japanese government-funded superhero team.
Japan's premier superhero, Shiro Yoshida is a mutant who converts solar radiation into plasma.
Sunpyre, also known as Leyu Yoshida was a mutant and sister of former X-Man Sunfire. She had the same fire-based powers as her brother, but died after a brief stint with X-Corps.
Honey Lemon is a Japanese superhero and member of the Big Hero 6, who has a power purse in which she has access to another, unknown dimension from which she can pull out all kinds of items.
A member of Big Hero 6 since the original line-up Go Go has proven to be a valuable asset to her team.
Baymax is a robotic synthformer created by the young genius Hiro Takachiho when Hiro lost his father. Baymax was seemingly built to be just a bodyguard but soon helped fill the void left by his father's death, certainly helped by the fact that Hiro installed many of his father's memories and emotions into Baymax's core programming.
A trained chef who uses various swords to fight. He can also give form to his Qi-Energy, usually materializing it as throwing knives that can paralyze opponents.
Kioshi was elite police officer of Japan. While trying to fight off a terrorist attack from hydra he encountered Silver Samurai, during the fight Kioshi was struck down and passed away.
A Japanese version of the Justice League.
The place and circumstances of the Super Young Team's formation are unknown; presumably, they were motivated at least in part by a desire for fame and adventure. Seeing their powers as mainly cosmetic, the team never got involved in fights.
Most Excellent Superbat wears a wildly stylized red and yellow uniform influenced by both Superman and Batman. His self proclaimed power is "being rich". He also has an arsenal of gadgets, one of which can generate an energy-based exoskeleton, he also has a pair of rocket boots that allow him to fly.
Giggly, shy, annoyingly cute but fiercely brave denizen of the deep. She's the amphibious, defiant offspring of Junior Waveman Kimura and the genius daughter of Senior Waveman Otomo. She uses special underwater machines and has the ability to create hardwater constructs to fight alongside her teammates.
Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash is a young speedster whose real name is Keigo, with a round helmet and giant athletic shoes. When wearing his shoes and battery pack, Sonic can run at speeds of up to 500 mph.
Big Atomic Lantern Boy is Most Excellent Superbat's second in command. He wears a green outfit which is outfitted with an X-rayed circular porthole on his chest. The porthole displays his skeleton, and allows him to fire green force beams comprised of different types of radiation.
Riki Kimura became an orphan when his family was lost at sea by an army of monsters. He was rescued by a group called the Wavemen, an eighter person Japanese version of the Sea Devils, and was adopted by their leader, Senior Waveman Otomo.
The group recruits Sunny Sumo, a powerful wrestler with self-healing abilities and the potential to resist mind control. Sumo had assisted the Forever People in their original series, but had been stranded in ancient Japan where he lived out a peaceful life.
Boss Bosozuko, is a hotheaded motorcycle rider. Bosozuko's hair is made up of nuclear flames as are the tires on his special motorcycle. His name Bōsōzoku translates as "violent running gang", and stems from the Japanese Bōsōzoku motorcycle gangs of the 1950s.
The being known as Cosmo Racer is an amnesiac extraterrestrial android who requires specials crystals to power his "roller boots" up for interstellar travel. According to his creator Grant Morrison "What only we know is that his "Maker" is a monstrous space tyrant who has sent his little herald out to identify and pacify target planets". Using his roller boots Cosmo Racer can currently travel at the speed of sound. His body is made from an unknown nearly frictionless alien material similar in texture to terrestrial ceramics or plastics.
Goraiko is a psionic construct projected from the mind of an unnamed young Japanese girl who resides in a high tech sensory deprivation tank. The Goraiko construct only speaks in haiku and mathematical equations. The girl has a Totoro styled doll in the tank that appears to be the inspiration for Goraiko's shape, but it is unknown if it is necessary for the manifestation of the being.
Miss Kusanagi a Japanese schoolgirl, who is also a supersmart science heroine pilots the monster fighting suit of powered armor known as a "Hammersuit".
Izumi Yasunari is a Japanese solar physicist who is a longtime member of the Global Guardians.
Samurai is a fictional superhero in the Super Friends cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera. His real name is Toshio Eto, and he is of Japanese descent. He was one of the later additions to the team along with other ethnically diverse heroes in an effort for the show to promote cultural diversity.