I don’t generally comment on such things, but this year’s Google April fool joke is about as close to an anime reference as they’re likely to get—they’ve added a full-globe 8-bit Dragon Warrior homage to Google Maps, including wandering monsters.
Thus far I’ve run across a Goldman hiding in the mountains near Red Bluff, CA, a bigfoot (not technically a DW1 enemy) near Mt. Everest, A Demon Knight nearÂ Dhurkot, Nepal, and a Wolflord nearÂ Gretna, UK.
There are also custom icons for lots of famous landmarks—Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Tower, the White House, and such. Japan’s trees are cherry trees, as well.
Amusing unintended reference: For those familiar with the classic NES game Nobunaga’s Ambition (there’s a jazzed-up version for iOS now), you might remember that Shingen’s home town in the region west of Tokyo is Kai. Well, I do, anyway, because I was playing as him having no idea that I’d be marrying into the region fifteen years later. In modern times there’s a municipal area in Yamanashi still called that, although it only shows up at one particular zoom level. When I went to poke around the area, I saw a town labeled Kai, which immediately brought back fond memories of conquering Japan in 8-bit style.