Quite a few Chinese novels and movies don't name the main character (or one of the main characters) as Mike or Alice or any name alike. Instead, he/she is called "无名氏".
In general, 无名氏= anonymous, nameless, unnamed.
However, when "无名氏" functions the same as Mike, Alice, etc., how to say it in English?
According to my humble knowledge, "Anonymous" (the first letter is capitalized) works. -- I know a hacker organization calls itself as "Anonymous".
Am I right? Are there any examples from English novels and/or movies? (BTW, I have no access to Google books, because I'm in China.)
无名氏 is NOT the author/narrator. By contrast, it is the name (usually the only name) of the character created by the author.
I make some sentences here for your information:
"Jim, Kate and 无名氏 are good friends."
"Mr. Smith owes a lot of money to both 无名氏 and me."
"I want Mr. Black to have a meeting with 无名氏. Could you make this happen, Mrs. Green?"
"无名氏 knows everyone, and everyone knows 无名氏."
"无名氏" is somewhat similar to the X in "X Ray". X Ray got its name, because Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen (as well as anyone else in 1895) knew little about it.
In different novels and films, the ways that 无名氏 gets his/her name "无名氏" may be different. Some are similar to X Ray, some aren't.
There is a REAL and well-known lake called "未名湖" in Peking University.
未= not yet.
So "未名湖" literally = "The Unnamed Lake".
However, "The Unnamed Lake"(未名湖) is the actual name of the lake. And all educated Chinese know it.
无名氏 creates an aura of mysteriousness, while "John Doe" or "Jane Doe", I think, doesn't.
无名氏 when functions as a proper noun (i.e. refers to a specific person) is an oxymoron (the Nameless is the name) and defamiliarization (compared to any normal Chinese name, 无名氏 looks very different). That's why 无名氏 creates an aura of mysteriousness, importance and particularity.
"The Unnamed Lake" is widely thought as a brilliant and beautiful name, even the campus of Peking University is often referred as the lakeside of the Unnamed Lake.
There are numerous lakes and numerous colleges in China, but there is only one lake called "the Unnamed Lake". If any other institution named its lake as "the Anonymous Lake" or its hill as "the Unnamed Hill", it would be despised as a lousy copycat.
When 无名氏 makes a general reference to people whose name(s) is/are unknown, 无名氏, just like the English word "anonymous", doesn't imply any unusual feature.
"This poem is credited to 无名氏." In this sentence, 无名氏 may be a general reference or may refer to a certain person (the person). It depends on the context. If this sentence just means because the poem was written a long time ago so the author's name has faded away, then it is very similar to "many nursery rhymes are credited to 'Anonymous' as their composers are unknown" (@JamesK's).
In everyday's spoken Chinese, the word "无名氏" (a general reference) isn't frequently used, because it sounds a bit formal. Instead, we say "The book is written by someone I don't know" or "Deng are talking with a woman I've never met". (@JamesK's)