10 DC characters and their anime counterparts


When exploring different stories, it is very common to find similar character archetypes in separate narratives. This can lead a viewer to find something new to enjoy as it reminds them of their favorite characters. DC comics and cartoons are no exception, with heroes of varying backgrounds and morals showing up on both mediums.

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Whether they’re overpowered protectors or sidelined side characters, comic book and anime heroes often share some common traits of characterization. From the golden age of comics to the most recent anime boom in the West, here are 10 distinct psychic characters who look remarkably alike.

ten Hawkgirl and Kagome

Split image showing DC Comics' Hawkgirl and Inuyasha's Kagome

Hawkgirl has had many names including Shiera Hall, Shayera Hol, and Kendra Saunders. She is traditionally described as constantly reincarnating from an Egyptian princess. Whether she chooses it or not, she often becomes a hero and is typically associated with Hawkman in every life. Kagome of Inu Yasha is the reincarnation of Kikyo, and she becomes a skilled archer.

Much like his past, Hawkgirl is generally a winged hero and a great warrior. Kagome becomes an archer like Kikyo, as well as Inuyasha’s love interest, must love his predecessor. The two women find themselves in similar situations in consecutive lifetimes, and while they don’t expect the path they will end up on, they both choose to fight for the good.

9 Constantine and howl

Split image showing Constantine from DC Comics and Howl from Howl's Moving Castle

John Constantine is a detective who deals with the supernatural, and he’s also a wizard with many magical abilities. Studio Ghibli’s Pendragon Howl Howl’s Moving Castle is a wizard who fights in a deadly war. Both face problems big and small.

Constantine can be very self-centered, intelligent and cynical and yet he always wants to do good deeds. Howl is also self-centered and very focused on his appearance, even having a temper tantrum when Sophie mixes her hair potions, dyeing her hair another color. But, Howl is also someone who wants to fight for good.

8 Martian Manhunter and Piccolo

Split image showing Martian Manhunter from DC Comics and Piccolo from Dragon Ball

To eliminate the obvious, these two characters have green skin and capes. J’onn J’onnz is the Martian Manhunter, the last survivor of Mars who finds a new home on Earth as a hero. Piccolo by Dragon ball z is from an alien species known as the Namekians.

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Martian Manhunter can transform into whoever he wants, and Piccolo can create things with magical materialization. Martian Manhunter also possesses telepathic powers, which he can use to read minds or communicate with fellow Justice League members over long distances. Piccolo also showed telepathic abilities, as well as telekinesis.

7 Nightwing and Vash The Stampede

Split image showing Nightwing from DC Comics and Vash the Stampede

What sets Dick Grayson aka Nightwing apart from Batman is that he has a lighter approach to his hero work, but he still has incredible skills to compete with his mentor. Having lost his parents, Nightwing adopts Batman’s rule of not killing. Vash the rush of Trigoun is a legendary outlaw who oscillates between serious and idiotic, but he is also a pacifist who refuses to kill.

When Dick Grayson was Robin, he often found himself in tough fights against the villainous Two-Face, including a situation where Dick accidentally caused someone else’s death, as seen in Robin # 0 and “Robin: Year One”. Vash’s greatest enemy is his brother, Knives, who causes Vash to accidentally destroy a town. The two heroes find themselves growing up from these respective mistakes.

6 Vixen and Nausicaa

Split image showing Vixen from DC comics and Nausicaa from Nausicaa from the Valley of the Wind

Mari McCabe is Vixen, a Zambezi superhero who can use the minds of animals. Nausicaa is the heroine of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, who uses his glider and various combat skills to protect his home and the innocent wildlife of the poisonous jungle. The two have an incredibly deep connection to nature, like no one else does.

Both characters have a strong desire to protect, and both fight for what they believe is right. Vixen lost her mother at a young age and she was given the totem pole from her family which allows her to use the abilities of any animal. Nausicaa also lost her mother when she was young, and as she gets older she becomes a fighter both for her people and for nature. Vixen is an animal rights activist, and Nausicaa wants people and the jungle to coexist. Nausicaa also particularly defends the Ohmu, who are large, insect-like creatures that everyone vilifies.

5 Green arrow and Spiegel point

Split image showing Green Arrow from DC Comics and Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop

Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow and Spike Spiegel, the main character of Cowboy Bebop, may not be a game that comes to mind at first glance, but there are more than a few similarities between them. Both are good fighters, both can be a bit smart, and both have mysterious pasts.

Where the similarities of Green Arrow and Spike reside most is in their morals; both fight on the side of the good – though sometimes Spike’s fight is to buy the crew’s next meal – but they also break the rules. They won’t go out of their way to kill, but, if a villain is a dangerous enough threat, they’ll do what needs to be done.

4 Catwoman and the Fujiko mine

Split image showing Catwoman from DC Comics and Fujiko Mine from Lupine III

A couple of very similar thieves, Catwoman, Selina Kyle, is a cat burglar in Gotham City, and she often gets away with her stolen goods without any problem. Fujiko mine Lupine III is also a burglar and is sometimes an accomplice of the titular thief of the series.

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The two women are occasional love interests for the main character – Batman and Lupine, respectively – and the two characters have a bit of good and bad going for them. They also both swindle unwilling people into their schemes and are known to double down on the people they work with.

3 Wonder Woman and Usagi Tsukino

Split image showing Wonder Woman from DC Comics and Sailor Moon

Diana de Themiscyra is the legendary Wonder Woman, and Usagi Tsukino is the main character of Sailor moon. These two women are powerful and extremely heroic. Wonder Woman leaves her native island and chooses to defend humanity, and Usagi reincarnates from the princess of the Moon Kingdom, and she too takes Earth as her home to defend her.

Both are wearing fantastic accessories; Wonder Woman has her Lasso of Truth and bracelets, and Sailor Moon has her magic brooch. They also have very similar allies, one being the Amazons of Themiscyra and the other being the sea soldiers. On a smaller note, they’re both often pictured with red boots.

2 Batman and Roger Smith

Split image showing Batman and Roger Smith from The Big O

Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, is a billionaire who uses an armored suit to protect his corrupt Gotham City home, and Roger Smith is a billionaire who uses a mecha suit to protect his corrupt Paradigm City home. Batman relies on his trusted allies, Police Commissioner Jim Gordon and Butler / Mechanic Alfred Pennyworth. Roger Smith relies on his trusted allies, Police Chief Dan Dastun and Butler / Mechanic Norman Burg. So, they’re just a little bit similar.

Roger Smith is the main character of The big O. He physically resembles Bruce Wayne, both have an outwardly playboy image, and both refrain from guns. Roger also has a rigged car called the Griffon, similar to the Batmobile. Batman: The Animated Series was an inspiration for the series, and Toonami publicized The big O like “Part of Bond, part of Bruce Wayne, part of City-Smashing Robot”.

1 Superman and Goku

Split image showing Superman and Goku

It is perhaps the most popular “who would win in a fight between [superhero] and [anime character]”of all, as it should be since viewers can find a lot in common between the Son of Krypton and the Super Saiyan.

Both characters first find their strength as children before becoming extremely powerful heroes of Earth. Stories were also told with the characters before adulthood. Both also come from nearly extinct peoples; Kryptonians and Super Saiyans. Superman is usually associated with his wife Lois Lane and their son Jonathan, and the same is true of Goku with his wife Chi-Chi and son Gohan. The two face enemies that rival their strength, like the enemies of Superman, Darkseid, Mongul and Lobo, and the enemies of Goku, Piccolo, Vegeta and Freeza.

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