This is something that has left me wondering for the past week or so.
As I’ve counted down the days to my birthday, I’ve been wondering who in anime has the same birthday as me. Why have I been wondering this? I don’t know. Although, I did think it’d be quite fun to look into.
Looking into this, I found something quite interesting about characters’ birthdays that I didn’t know before. I obviously knew that fans of a series, or even of a specific character, often celebrate the character’s birthday. I’ve seen many pieces of fan art and birthday cakes surrounded by posters and plushies on Twitter to not know that! However, I didn’t know that shrines were established at game arcades in Japan to celebrate characters’ birthdays. According to this AnimeLab blog post, seas of post-it notes are quite common to see with many birthday wishes on.
Anime birthdays, then, can be a pretty big deal! And this just heightened my need to know if I shared my birthday with anyone! So, let’s get into it… Just who do I share my birthday with?
Byakuren (Naruto Shippuden)
Introduced in Naruto: Shippuden, Byakuren was the first Mizukage ( ) and founded Kirigakure in the Land of Water. A powerful shinobi, Byakuren is noted to be quite cautious yet also quite frank with his words. Alongside his cautiousness, Byakuren was also quite stern which seemed to heavily influence his village’s governance.
Not much more is known about this mizu-rable looking guy, but a village leader? Definitely not a bad start to the list of birthday twins I have!
Iwano Houmei (Bungou to alchemist)
The real-life Homei Iwana was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1873 and was a Japanese writer and literature expert. He had some ups and downs in his literary career, but he did publish some poetical dramas and analyses of literature, as well as autobiographical novels. He also translated Plutarch – a Greek Middle Platonism philosopher and historian.
In Bungou to Alchemist, Iwano Houmei is a young man who seemingly picks fights regardless of the opponent. He’s quite naïve but is honest, with a strong self-centred one-track mind. He bombards others with questions using crude language as a way to start arguments and perpetually seems to have a smug expression. This being said, he doesn’t always think before he speaks.
I’m not too sure how I feel about Iwano Houmei. He sounds kind of cool, although perhaps in a slightly unconventional way, and I often find myself speaking before thinking so I can at least relate a little bit to him!
Tokunaga SUNAO (Bungou to alchemist)
Another Bungou to Alchemist character? Crazy!
Like Iwano Houmei, the real-life Tokunaga was a writer. He was born in 1899 in Kumamoto Prefecture, and was one of the first writers of the Japanese proletarian literature movement to come from a lower-class background. He dropped out of elementary school and became a printer’s apprentice before finding work in 1922 for the Hakubunkan Press. Taking part in union activities whilst he wrote, the union extracted a promise from him to not write any novels. His experience with employees striking inspired his most important novel, Taiyō no nai Machi (translated: The Street Without Sunlight).
In Bungou to Alchemist, Tokunaga is someone who is easily able to brighten up the situation with his Kumamoto dialect. Despite working from a young age, he is quite wise and has continued to independently study.
Working in publishing, ay? Sounds familiar! This quick glance into Tokunaga’s life is quite interesting to me. I wonder if this is a sign of me finding inspiration and then writing a best-selling novel? (Aha, kidding.)
Sakura Kouno (Horimiya)
In this beloved series (of which the anime is currently airing, as of writing this), Sakura Kouno is the vice-president of the Student Council. A well-rounded person, she is kind, responsible and hardworking – as one would expect from a VP. She is quite insecure of herself and this is something she slowly comes to terms with throughout the series, leading her to slowly improve herself.
I don’t really know what else to say here apart from the fact that she seems quite relatable for me, personally. We seem to have quite similar personalities and insecurities, so it’s somewhat heart-warming that a character like this is also my birthday twin!
Opal (Animal Crossing)
And, finally, we have Opal – a green elephant. Yes, you read that correctly.
From the Animal Crossing franchise, Opal is a snooty villager and has appeared in every game in the franchise. Due to being a snooty villager, she may sometimes come across as being rude or arrogant towards the player. She loves a gossip as well as everything to do with make-up and fashion.
It seems like myself and Opal could not be any different. Although I take a slight interest in fashion (i.e. I buy way too much makeup than I actually use), I’m certainly not snooty, rude or arrogant. At least, I don’t think I am. Perhaps some people think otherwise! I used to use Opal as my profile picture on the internet forum Animal Crossing Community for the reason that we shared the same birthday, so I just had to include her on this list as a little tribute to that!
So, it turns out I have some pretty interesting birthday twins! Did I expect to share it with two authors, a village leader, and a green elephant? Not at all! Still, I won’t be giving them my cake today – that’s all for me!
Who do you share a birthday with? Let me know in the comments below!