There have been many, many American characters in anime and manga over the years, and in many cases they tend to use a very odd and unique form of Janglish, where Japanese and English are interspersed. One common way to convey that a character is American (or perhaps just American-esque) is to have them use English pronouns, e.g. “YOU wa baka desu!”
So you’d think they’d use “I” when referring to themselves, but there’s a long tradition of using “ME” (as in “me, myself, and I”) instead. Of course, I don’t quite understand why it’s used over “I.” So the thing I’d like to know is, when did this start? How far back in the history of anime and manga does it go? Is it even something that arose out of anime and manga? Perhaps it has something to do with how Americans spoke in post-war occupied Japan.
As far as anime and manga go, the oldest example I can think of with an American character who uses “Me” as one would normally use “I” is Getter Robo, which features American cowboy and robot pilot Jack King. Another popular American character is Terryman from Kinnikuman.
If anyone has more information about the history of American manga and anime characters, I’d like to hear all about it.
Also, In celebration of this most American of days, I’ve decided to open up the myanimelist club dedicated to American characters a little more, so that non-members can also post. I know I haven’t been able to keep up with requests and such over the past year either, so I’m also going to be opening up officer positions over the next few days so that the truly patriotic can make this club greater than it has been.