The inexplicable popularity of British Cold War jets in Japanese animation

Who needs Bikini? We've got Grapple.

Who needs Bikini? We’ve got Grapple.

We've got 160 of these. We got them cheap from a bloke in Riyadh.

We’ve got 160 of these. We got them cheap from a bloke in Riyadh.

The shapes created on the drawing boards and in the wind tunnels of English Electric, Vickers, Avro and BAC have ended in some pretty strange places. Bryl-creemed and tweeded up, the pipe-smoking aeronautic engineers of the 50s could not have predicted the future fictional life of their creation.

We have all penned an infamous White Paper.

We have all penned an infamous White Paper.

Often piloted by overly-sexualised teenagers in spacesuits, many British Cold war aircraft have earned starring roles in Japanese cartoons. Kind of mental, but I like it. Speaking of mental, this ‘Super Lightning’ is pretty insane.

If you like Japanese aeroplanes, you’ll go crazy for this

This boundary layer control works wonders for my miniskirt

This boundary layer control works wonders for my miniskirt

My favourite colour is red. My favourite shape is the triangle. My favourite material is tin. My favourite activity is inappropriately attired skydiving

My favourite colour is red. My favourite shape is the triangle. My favourite material is tin. My favourite activity is inappropriately attired skydiving

Joe Coles & Ed Ward

If you enjoy this, have a look at the wildly luscious top ten BritishFrenchAustralianSoviet and German aeroplanes. 

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4 comments

  1. Vulcan

    Actually it’s quite explainable.

    First, they are quite gorgeous planes in general.

    Second… anime thrives on the exotic. Japanese audiences would be QUITE familiar with American aircraft due to the heavy American military presence in Japan for the past fifty years. British aircraft, on the other hand, would be a very rare sight as Britain has little interest in the area. And thus, the gorgeous and exotic (to the Japanese) British aircraft are the natural ‘go-to’ for anime and manga artists.

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