Barack Obama’s The God of High School cameo was replaced by Robert Downey Jr. as President

The God of High School President
It’s no accident that the U.S. president in The God of High School anime bears as stunning resemblance to Robert Downey Jr. Pic credit: Crunchyroll

Did you know that former U.S. President Barack Obama should have been in Crunchyroll’s The God of High School anime?

The Crunchyroll Originals series has been rocking the streaming platform since it premiered in early July 2020.

The story is based on the South Korean LINE Webtoon series by creator YongJe Park, which originally debuted back when Obama was the American leader.

The odd part was that Obama was removed from the anime despite playing an important character role at the beginning of the story.

If you watched the first episode, you know a lawyer is threatening the mysterious Mujin Park over the phone while on an island vacation.

In response to the verbal threat, a giant hand descends from the sky and flattens the island, shocking even the U.S. leaders who watched the event via satellite images.

In the comic, Mujin Park confronts the U.S. President inside the Department of Defense’s Pentagon. He tells him that “from now on, nuclear bombs will no longer be useful as a weapon.”

Barack Obama God Of High School
Based on the timing of the Webtoon’s debut, former U.S. President Barack Obama was originally featured in the story as “Obama Shariff” but he was removed for the anime. Pic credit: YongJe Park

The President in The God of High School anime was modeled after Robert Downey Jr.

It’s not that unusual for sitting U.S. presidents to be depicted in manga. Bill Clinton and George Bush both made various showings over the years. President Donald Trump was also in the opening chapter of the Dr. STONE manga series.

Besides showing up in The God of High School, Obama also featured in the Air Gear manga as John Omaha. Similarly, Obama was in the Baki manga series, but not Netflix’s anime adaptation.

Instead of depicting Obama in the anime or updating the story to reference Donald Trump, anime director Seong Ho Park designed an original American President.

The director admits that the character design “ended up just being Robert Downey Jr.” of Avengers fame.

Funnily enough, the Japanese voice actor, Keiji Fujiwara, who plays the President in the GOHS anime is also the dubbing voice actor for Iron Man in the Japanese dub of the Marvel movies.

“Drawing a character base on an actual person’s likeness requires extreme caution,” said director Park, who happens to have an Iron Man tattoo on his forearm.

“I think Robert Downey Jr. matches the image of a strong U.S. president portrayed in the comic, so I think it’s a great match!”

Keiji Fujiwara’s death in 2020 from cancer surprised fans

The Crunchyroll video made a point of saying that it was “in memoriam” of Keiji Fujiwara, who died in April 2020. Unfortunately, the actor’s role as president in the GOHS anime was one of his last.

In 2016, Fujiwara announced that he was seeking medical treatment for an unspecified illness at the time. He was able to return to work in 2017, but his battle with cancer ended on Sunday, April 12, 2020. He was 55.

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