Written by Jess JavniFebruary 15, 2021
Contrary to popular belief, New Zealand (Aotearoa in Māori) is not the chibi version of Australia. It’s a quirky, strong and independent country that don’t need no Oz, okay?
New Zealanders, affectionally known as Kiwis (like their iconic flightless bird) are laid-back, self-deprecating and proud. A country with so much film cred to its name, it’s only natural for the anime community to reimagine some of our favourite shows set in picturesque New Zealand!
A Giant’s Paradise | Attack on Titan
It’s a fact: Kiwis love giant things.
From Paeroa’s giant L&P soft drink bottle, to life-sized orcs in downtown Wellington, and the sprawling thermal wonderland one might admire while skydiving in Taupō… why not add gargantuan humanoid beings to the mix?
From geothermal bubbling mud pools to dazzling glacial caverns, sprawling volcanic beaches and luminescent rainforest grottos, New Zealand is quite literally a humble paradise of its own making in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
Armin’s anecdote of the world outside the walls could well have been a tourism ad for New Zealand!
“Far beyond these walls, there’s flaming water, land made of ice, and fields of sand spread wide.”
On that day, mankind received a grim reminder…
Many years ago, the last remnants of humanity were forced to retreat behind the towering walls of a fortified city to escape the massive, man-eating Titans that roamed the land outside their fortress.
Only the heroic members of the Scouting Legion dared to stray beyond the safety of the walls, but even those brave warriors seldom returned alive. Those within the city clung to the illusion of a peaceful existence until the day that dream was shattered, and their slim chance at survival was reduced to one horrifying choice: kill – or be devoured!
Eggs | WONDER EGG PRIORITY
“You’re an egg.” If your New Zealander mate says this to you, it means you’re being a bit of an idiot (in the kindest way possible).
It’s figurative slang, of course, but if you were literally an egg—more specifically, a Wonder Egg—heroic protagonist Ai would be tasked with rescuing you from your worst fear… once she’d cracked you out of your tiny shell, of course.
Much like the forage of deciphering Kiwi slang words, WONDER EGG PRIORITY is encased in mystery and rich symbolism. Meshing characters’ past traumas with dream-state imagery, heroic protagonist Ai’s world is one wrought with danger as she struggles to overcome humankind’s inner demons.
A kiwi bird’s egg takes up 20% of the bird’s body. Not sure how Wonder Egg ratios work, but stop asking questions—anything can happen in dream worlds, okay?
Cringing at the thought of a poor kiwi bird pushing out an egg that size? Me too. Imagine trying to get it out of a gacha.
That settles it. If WONDER EGG PRIORITY were based in New Zealand, the kiwi bird would lay Wonder Eggs.
The hatchlings would be better prepped to fight, thanks to more room in the egg during their incubation, and their badass kiwi mother would fight the See No Evils with her adorable beak, because LOOK AT IT.
Smash the Egg and Change the Future
Ai, a young girl with shut-in tendencies, who tries not to interact with others. She keeps one of her eyes hidden behind her hair. One day, she happens to stop by a deserted arcade, where she meets “Aka.”
Spinning the gacha at their urging, she acquires a “Wonder Egg,” and from that moment, her fate begins to change…
Adventure Capital | Made in Abyss
Sure, New Zealand’s creatures are generally less deadly than neighbour Australia’s, but… who knows what lies beneath the ground? We’d love to send Riko and Reg down there to unravel the mystery.
Dubbed the ‘adventure capital of the world’, every day feels like an isekai when you’re travelling NZ. You’ll find landscapes of every colour palette, and a tourist favourite is boating and abseiling in glow worm-studded limestone caves.
Famous for demolishing the rubber window frames of parked vehicles, this cheeky native is the world’s only alpine parrot. It knows more about survival in the mountains than you do, which would make it the ultimate companion for Riko and Reg on their descent in the Abyss. Can’t guarantee it wouldn’t chew up Reg’s helmet though…
When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you…
No one knows what’s at the bottom of the Abyss. No one who’s ventured that far has ever returned.
What is known is that the Abyss is filled with strange creatures and priceless relics that have lured generations of fortune hunters into a diabolical trap. Because while anyone can descend into the Abyss safely, coming back up triggers a nightmarish series of transformations and madness. And the deeper you go, the less chance you have of coming back unchanged.
But when 12-year-old Riko receives a message that her missing mother might still be alive deep in the Abyss, she knows she has to go to her. She must go even if it’s a one-way trip for her and her robot friend Reg as they brave the ultimate darkness in MADE IN ABYSS.
Time Travel | Erased
Time zone-wise, New Zealand is the first major country to ring in the New Year. This means that if you are in any other country, you are living in the past and Kiwis are living in the future.
Reading an insightful and witty tweet from Jacinda Ardern? She’s literally tweeting from tomorrow!
Time travel is a fairly common trope in anime, but Erased tackles some powerful (and confronting) themes with courage, redemption and love at the forefront.
Like Satoru’s relationship with childhood belle Kayo, New Zealand is an old friend that makes you feel safe, welcome and enamoured. You’ll never want to leave the embrace of this marvellous country.
You should watch it, it’s sweet as.
I’m not gonna quit until I find the true culprit!
Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling manga artist who works at a pizza parlor. Ever since he was a kid, he has been holding himself responsible for a kidnapping incident. Finally, the time has come for the truth from his past to be revealed…
Smallest penguins in the world | Penguin Highway
Grab your togs (slang for swimsuit), it’s time to meet the world’s smallest penguins: the Kororā!
In Penguin Highway, ever-inquisitive Aoyama ponders life’s biggest mysteries, such as “the edge of the world could be closer than you think.”
Penguins are best spotted at night, so whilst you’re admiring these tuxedoed beauties, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the ethereal ribbons of Aurora Australis across the night sky.
Penguin energy everywhere and colourful lights in the sky? Sounds like the edge of the world is closer than we thought!
The most magnificent part is that you won’t see these penguins commuting on trains or leaping from soft drink cans…. they’re in their natural habitat. There’s nothing more magical than that!
The Secret Life of Penguins.
Budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery.
When he discovers that the arrival of the penguins is related to a mysterious young woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!
Now that you’ve sussed out our New Zealand anime picks, check out our article, Anime That Could Easily Be Based in Australia. Tu meke!
Which anime do you think would be amazing as a New Zealand reboot? Let us know on our social channels!