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Top 10 Surprising Celebrity Anime Fans

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Who knew the A in A-lister stood for anime? Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 surprising celebrity anime fans. For this list, we’re counting down the celebrities that you may not know are avid fans of anime, whether they love a single show or are actually full-blown otaku. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Surprising Celebrity Anime Fans

Who knew the A in A-lister stood for anime? Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 surprising celebrity anime fans.

For this list, we’re counting down the celebrities that you may not know are avid fans of anime, whether they love a single show or are actually full-blown otaku.

#10: Andrew W.K.

When it’s time to party, he will always party hard, but to this rock star, anime is a party in of itself. Well known for his music, spontaneity and occasional job as the most awesome weatherman ever, Andrew Wilkes-Krier doesn’t seem like the type to just sit back and pop in an episode of Death Note. Oh, but you would be so wrong. In 2009, he released a little cover album known as Gundam Rock. That’s right; he did English covers of music straight out of the much loved mecha series, complete with badass original album artwork by Gundam artist Akira Yasuda. Now that’s a party.

#9: Ronda Rousey

She’ll kick your ass six ways from Sunday, and she also happens to be a massive nerd. In many ways this MMA fighter is the ultimate waifu. While her obsession with Pokémon is well documented, she’s also known to be a huge fan of Dragon Ball Z. Given the amount of fighting and training that goes on in that show, we can kind of see the appeal it would have for her. Oh, and to top it all off, she’s admitted to having a huge crush on Vegeta. Watch out Bulma, you’ve got some fierce competition.

#8: John Cena

You all know his name, so there was no way we were going to pass up the opportunity to put him on our list. During a 2009 interview, Cena confessed to being a big fan of Japanese animation, citing one series as his all-time favorite. And wouldn’t you know it; it’s Fist of the North Star. Considering the premise involves one of anime’s biggest badasses going around and causing raiders’ heads to explode with his bare fists, we totally get why he loves it. We wonder if he’ll one day imitate the HokutoShinken during one of his matches…

#7: Pharrell Williams

You wouldn’t expect an all-around cool cat like Pharrell to be into the otaku scene. However, one look at the music video for the single “It Girl” should convince you – and it proves that Pharrell plus anime equals a match made in heaven. Though it’s an unexpected collaboration, Pharrell teams up with famous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to create a visual feast. Obviously inspired by 8-bit video games, manga and anime throughout the ages, the song is catchy as anything but also shows that the singer has a deep appreciation for the genre. He did collab with Hatsune Miku after all...

#6: Frank Ocean

Having music videos inspired by Japanese animation and nerd culture is one thing, but to purposefully weave mentions of a specific anime into a song? That’s hardcore. For singer/rapper Frank Ocean, the most obvious of his anime allusions can be heard in the track “Pink Matter,” where he makes a reference to Dragon Ball Z villain Majin Buu. Not overt enough for you? Well there was that one time while he had DBZ playing in the background during a live performance of said song. Now that’s how you bring geekdom into the mainstream.

#5: Christian Bale
He’s an Oscar winner who’s proudly taken up the mantle of Batman, but did you know he’s also a huge fan of Studio Ghibli movies? Sure, he may’ve provided the English voice of the lead character in Howl’s Moving Castle, but it’s nice to know that he’s a fan of the work as well. We’re not sure what’s funnier: picturing the sometimes nuanced, other times aggressive demeanor of Bale behind the voice of Howl or that The Dark Knight himself enjoys watching My Neighbor Totoro.

#4: Keanu Reeves

Are you a fan of Cowboy Bebop? Chances are your fandom has got nothing on Keanu Reeves’. The classic anime had such a profound effect on him that he hoped to one day star as Spike Spiegel in a live-action adaptation. Unfortunately due to the astronomical estimated production budget, the whole thing is on hold. However, after hearing about his passion for the project and seeing just how awesome he was in the John Wick films, we’re all in support of Keanu portraying the galaxy’s slickest bounty hunter.

#3: Kanye West

You are not seeing things; Yeezy is a big anime fan, specifically when it comes to the film Akira. While rumors have popped up that he’s partial to the erotic comedy of Golden Boy – which shouldn’t surprise anyone – Kanye has fiercely defended the sci-fi thriller as the best anime movie of all time. If we’re going by his tweets, he believes this so strongly that even Miyazaki films like Spirited Away are only second best. Here’s hoping he doesn’t drop in on any anime award shows in the future…

#2: Samuel L. Jackson

Hey, if the coolest guy on the planet says anime is awesome, then who are you to disagree? Coming upon the genre after watching Ninja Scroll, Nick Fury himself has gone on record saying how much he enjoys it, citing other action oriented series like Black Lagoon as a personal favorite. Of course, we can’t talk about Samuel L. Jackson and anime in the same conversation without bringing up Afro Samurai; a series based around a badass sword wielder voiced by, who else, Samuel L. Jackson! And to top it all off, he also likes hentai.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Dylan & Cole Sprouse
- Jonathan Ross
- Daft Punk

#1: Robin Williams

As it happens, Robin Williams’ love of all things nerdy didn’t just extend to comics and video games, but into anime as well. His preference apparently leaned towards classic titles like Blood: The Last Vampire, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop, though he did state that his all-time favorite was Ghost in the Shell. As if that weren’t cool enough, his daughter Zelda revealed that he possessed a copy of Paranoia Agent signed by creator Satoshi Kon himself. Knowing that such a comic genius truly loved the genre gives many fans one more reason to appreciate Robin Williams.

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