10 Great Anime Set in America (North + South America)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Thanks to so much exposure of anime and manga, we’ve seen the streets, gardens, and mostly everywhere else in Japan.
Whether it’s fictionalized versions of spots, historic locations, or one-to-one recreations. Anime has a lot of Japan to show off.
But what about anime set in locations a little further afield?
In this list we’re going to highlight some of the better anime set in America, with shows and movies taking place in a variety of locations. This includes settings ranging from the old US of A, to the jungles of South America, and everywhere in between.
It’s a whistle stop tour of famous places and landmarks, with a few unexpected appearances too.
1. Red Garden
This supernatural thriller follows the story of four girls attending a private school on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
After waking to find out about the death of their friend, they actually realize that they’re dead too.
With psychological horror and thriller moments galore, this is a unique and exciting anime – even outside of its unusual setting.
There’s murder, mystery, and intrigue running through it in rich veins.
Plus no shortage of action either.
Fun fact: this show was animated in a way that’s pretty rare in Japanese productions. The voices were recorded first, then the animation was done around those recordings to create a closer sync between characters talking and the movements on screen.
It’s really well done – and another reason to enjoy this show!
2. Blood Blockade Battlefront (Kekkai Sensen)
It’s New York City again – but not as you know it.
Welcome to Hellsalem’s Lot, where shady humans and horrific creatures from another dimension try to live side by side.
You can imagine that doesn’t go well most of the time.
And you’d be right!
Trying to keep the peace (and stop the city from spilling out into the real world) are the Libra agents, tasked with keeping the awful residents of what used to be NYC in, and keeping the rest of the world outside.
This one is thrill-a-minute action, full of memorable characters ready to pummel each other at the drop of a hat.
There are only two seasons out, too (possibly a third on the way). So it won’t take long to binge.
3. Banana Fish
It might have a ridiculous name, and all the characters might have even more ridiculous names.
But trust me; Banana Fish does not pull punches when it comes to the drama.
For an anime that appears like a fairly shojo fare on the surface, it isn’t afraid to tackle very dark and very adult issues.
While the characters deal with the mysterious “Banana Fish”, there’s also gang violence, murders, the Vietnam war, and taking down some trafficking rings, all juggled alongside the relationship between the two main characters Ash and Eiji.
Those are probably the more mundane names, I’ll admit.
Banana Fish is adapted from a fairly old manga, serialized in 1985, but it holds up thanks to its much more modern adaptation.
Seek this one out, but bring your best excuses for crying too!
4. 91 Days
Strap in, because from here on out there’s a lot of prohibition-era Chicago going on.
Apparently there aren’t that many historical settings in the USA worth setting a story in.
The “91 Days” version of the 1930s follows the story of Angelo Lagusa, seeking revenge against the Mafia family who murdered his own family in the fictional town of Lawless.
From that snippet alone you might think this one isn’t too family friendly – and you’d be spot on, you clever reader you.
Prepare for lots of betrayal, back-stabbing, and more than a few psychopaths as Angelo works his way to the top of the Vanetti family, body by body.
It’s breathless stuff at times, and well worth a watch.
The late Stan Lee, teaming up with legendary anime studio Bones?
As far as collaborations go, this is Avengers worthy on name alone.
Set in a fictionalized version of Los Angeles called Center City, Heroman has it all – giant robots, alien invasions, and of course, characters with alliterative names.
Joey Jones teams up with Heroman, a robot toy struck by strange lightning, to stop alien invaders that have accidentally been brought to Earth by his science teacher.
What more synopsis do you need than that, really?
Bursting with action, Heroman is a superhero story brought into the 21st Century. And if you don’t believe me, take Stan Lee’s word on that.
I’ve heard he knows a little something about superheroes.
6. Michiko and Hatchin (Michiko to Hatchin)
Set in a fictional South American country, Michiko and Hatchin starts as all good buddy adventures do – with a kidnapping.
The two are as opposite as the poles. But as the series goes on, they both realize that without the other, they just couldn’t survive the world they’ve been thrown into.
This anime focuses on relationships both good and bad.
Michiko and Hatchin tells the story of two women and their fight for freedom from their respective prisons – in Michiko’s case, an actual real prison. But it also shows how connections between people can be more important than what we’d see at first.
It has its fair share of drama, action, and heart-warming/breaking moments. And the setting is gorgeous too.
There’s not much here that I can’t recommend, so go watch it!
7. Pet Shop of Horrors
This horror anime doesn’t feature singing plants or sadistic dentists.
But it’s certainly horrific creature rich.
Set in the Chinatown region of Los Angeles, Pet Shop of Horrors is a “monster-of-the-week” style show with the emphasis on “monster”.
The owner and proprietor of this morbid menagerie is “Count D”. And no, there are no prizes for guessing who that name is a nod to.
Each of his creatures has a contract that must not be broken under any circumstances, which is unfortunately not shared with the buyer.
Most episodes deal with the awful fate that the purchasers face after unwittingly breaking the terms of the contract.
It’s messy fun from start to finish.
And while the story doesn’t really run from episode to episode in a structured way (thanks to the format), it’s entertaining enough to watch all the same.
8. Chrono Crusade (Chrno Crusade)
Welcome back to the Prohibition era.
This time it’s the Roaring Twenties in America, and while the Mafia are still ruling the streets and alcohol is a more forbidden nectar than ever, there are also demons trying to take over the world.
When it rains, it pours.
Thankfully, the Order of Magdalene is around to bash, banish, and otherwise boot out the demons wherever they’re found.
The show has a focus on the New York chapter of the society – but travels the USA pretty much from north to south as it progresses.
If you like guns, epic fight scenes, and more than a few holy water-related meltings, Chrono Crusade is for you.
However the anime follows a drastically different path from the manga after a while.
Which is as good an excuse as any to binge them both!
9. Baccano! (Bakkano!)
Straight up – Baccano! is nothing short of an absolute blast.
It’s 1930s America (again) and the Mafia are running riot (again).
But this time there are airships! And people eating each other to become immortal!
It’s as bonkers as it sounds.
Baccano! is critically praised, and with good reason.
The story, the music, the pacing, the action; it all wraps together to form this brilliant whirlwind of action.
If you’re a fan of leisurely walks in the country, mindful meditation, or anything that isn’t a mile a minute gore-fest that talks with fists far more than it does with words… then you might want to give the show a miss.
However, you’d seriously be missing out on a show every anime fan should see.
10. Supernatural: The Animation
I can already sense the “one of these things is not like the other” vibes as you read this title.
While it might not strike you as a “great anime”, hear me out; I genuinely like this adaptation more than the actual live-action show.
It sticks to the monster-of-the-week format much more stringently, which I love.
There are fresh stories thrown in too, and it still keeps its tour of the whole of the USA in a cool car aesthetic intact.
However, arguably the most important part of the show is the dynamic between the two brothers, Sam and Dean, and that was affected by technical difficulties.
While Jared Padalecki was on board to voice Sam, Jensen Ackles could only voice the last two episodes thanks to scheduling conflicts.
So things can feel a little off sometimes, just enough to be noticeable. But in my opinion it’s not off enough to skip the series and never give it a try.