The anime world has lacked racial diversity, but there has been a persistent positive change. The old-school shows featured some black characters, but their depictions were often controversial due to stereotypes and questionable aesthetics.
Fortunately, contemporary anime welcomes inclusion and offers a more respectful representation, with the number of black creators and speakers steadily increasing. While some of the anime’s black characters are still relegated to supporting roles, others have evolved into main characters that leave a lasting impression on viewers.
1. Black Lagoon: Dutch
In the gloomy world of Black Lagoon, one character stands out as a reliable and formidable presence, Dutch. As head of the Lagoon Company, he brings with him a confident presence and a wealth of experience.
Dutch – a skilled strategist, who is always several steps ahead of others. However, this is not surprising, since he is constantly navigating the treacherous criminal underworld. He is a captivating character with deep loyalty and stands by his convictions.
2. Soul Eater: Kilik Rung
Soul Eater is a popular anime series, which later even got a spin-off. The anime features Kilik Rung, a fascinating character with a unique personality. Kilik is a master who has mastered various weapons.
With a calm demeanor and a sharp mind, Kilik acts as a voice of reason among peers. He has a strong sense of justice and is always ready to protect his friends. His loyalty and dedication is what makes him shine.
3. Naruto Shippuden: Killer B
Killer B may not be one of Naruto’s strongest characters, but he has a unique and unforgettable way of fighting. By combining the strength of the eight-tailed beast with his impressive rap, he becomes a force to be reckoned with.
B’s unwavering loyalty to his village and friends is obvious, as he fiercely protects them from any threat. Despite his carefree way of life, B has a deep understanding of life’s difficulties.
4. Carole And Tuesday: Carole
Carole and Tuesday give us two talented girls as protagonists on their journey to make music together. Carole is a talented musician who puts her heart and soul into her music despite the challenges that everyday life throws at her.
Carole remains steadfast and true to herself and her passion for music. Their trip next to Tuesday shows the power of friendship and the pursuit of dreams.
5. Michiko & Hatchin: Michiko
Michiko & Hatchin is a great Josei anime with a brave and wild protagonist. With her striking presence and fiery personality, Michiko captivates the audience from the very first episode.
Despite Michiko’s tough exterior, she also possesses a tender and caring side, especially when it comes to Hachin, the young woman who protects her. She is a strong woman with unwavering devotion to her family and friends.
6. Hunter X Hunter: Canary
Canary from Hunter X Hunter is a prominent depiction of black characters in anime. With an eye-catching afro, an elegant tuxedo and impressive powers, she exudes undeniable coolness.
Canary may be a ruthless bodyguard for a family of murderers, but she always keeps an unwavering loyalty to her friends. She always expresses a real concern for the well-being of the people around her.
7. Bleach: Yoruichi
In the world of Bleach, Yoruichi Shihoin is one of the best female characters, as well as one of the outstanding black characters. She is a master of hand-to-hand combat and shunpo and easily overcomes her opponents.
Yoruichi also serves as Ichigo’s mentor and often shares his wisdom and skills. Her transformation into a cat form adds an extra level to her character and personality.
8. Cowboy Bebop: Coffee
While coffee was not one of the protagonists, but was only a minor character, she left an eternal impression. She only appeared for one episode, but gathered a dedicated fan base and wished for a spin-off.
Coffee pursued the same goal as Edward and Ein and got into bizarre situations thanks to the duo. However, she maintained her unwavering focus and radiated effortless style and charm.
9. Afro Samurai: Afro
Afro Samurai is one of the best samurai anime on the market, and there is even a warrior wielding one of the greatest afros in anime. Afro is a skilled warrior driven by a dark past in search of revenge.
He is one of the most complex and multifaceted anime characters and has consolidated his status as an icon in the anime world. Apart from amazing characters, Afro Samurai features incredible animations and some of the most choreographed action scenes. So this is definitely one of those shows that should be on your watching list.
10. Attack On Titan: Onyankopon
Onyankopon’s presence in Attack on Titan is reminiscent of the rich tapestry of characters who contribute to the complex and intricate world of the series.
One of his best quotes sounds when he is asked why he is black. Onyankopon just smiles and says that everyone exists because he is needed. The world is most interesting when it is occupied by many kinds of people.