From Hollywood movies to sitcoms to anime, representation is more important today than ever.
But not all fiction is serious.
Instead, attempts at representation can look like flattery if the planning and execution is poor. Or worse, it can reinforce negative stereotypes, which is probably one of the biggest problems associated with misrepresenting characters.
But things are changing a lot these days. And change for the better.
Fortunately, anime has had many memorable and well-designed black characters throughout its history – so let’s take a look at some of the memorable ones here.
25. Jason Ozuma
I’ll start the list with Jason Hajime no Ippo, an African-American boxer and ex-soldier who ran into Ippo in the King Rookie tournament.
Did you notice anything unusual about his appearance? Of course, Jason has a muscular body and can match the hooks of Mamoru Takamura.
But as you can probably tell by his eyes, Jason Ozuma is anything but violent from the ring. Jason isn’t fighting because he wants to provoke.
To be fair, he’s a great guy who just wants to make money to keep his gym running and help his fellow boxers.
24. Blood of Cain
Anime: Banana fish
His name alone would keep you away from him, but Kane Blood is not a terrible person.
Yeah, he’s the leader. No, it doesn’t mean he’s going to hit someone just because he looked at them.
Kane starts out as this intimidating guy, with his tattoos, ripped shirt and sunglasses.
But Ash Links didn’t authorize Kane’s performance – and it worked.
The boss of Black Sabbath agreed to his request. More so, Kane even sided with Banana Fish MC to bring down the dreaded Dino Golzin.
Plus, you gotta love her bubbly personality. No wonder his gang members respect his leadership.
Anime: Cowboy Bebop.
This voluptuous bounty hunter has only appeared in one story involving Edward and Domino Walker (and his hallucinogens).
It wasn’t even a pleasant experience, starting with the fact that the authorities asked her why Ed and Ayn were in the trunk of her car.
It didn’t take long for the coffee to make a strong impression, though:
From his afro hair and sleek black outfits to his grenade launcher and suitably sexy convertible, there might have been a presence in Coffee that would have earned him a spin-off series – or an appearance in a similar anime like Lupin the Third.
She seems intimidating because of her looks (and the fact that she’s a former captain and commander), but Yoruichi also knows how to communicate and have fun with her peers.
Besides, how can you not love her when she can literally turn into a black cat?
So when she’s not busy harassing her friends, she can live like a cat, which basically means she sleeps all day.
Her design is one of my favorites in Bleach, especially with her golden (or amber) eyes, purple hair, and orange top. And Yoruichi is very handsome with long or short hair.
21. Koshio Camisole
Anime: Dead Man’s Wonderland
There’s no shortage of interesting characters in Dead Man’s Wonderland. And Caraco is just one of the coolest.
I love her short white hair and her slim but alluring silhouette.
But don’t be fooled by his sweet smile and his former nursing career:
Karako fears for his ability to fight. She is exceptionally gifted in the martial arts and makes full use of her branch of sin, the Fists of Blood.
More than their looks and skills, you should praise their leadership qualities and moral stance.
Anime: Gundam Construction Fighter
Gundam Build Fighters has given fans Niels Nielsen, a 13-year-old boy who does science and research.
So Niels was not interested in the action and excitement of fighting for Ganpla. Despite the fact that he was an American representative.
Niels focused more on the unknown elements and the technology behind them. But his disinterest eventually fades as he really enjoys Gunpla’s fight with Sei and Reiji.
And don’t forget to come back in seven years – try to guess who he will marry and what career he will have.
19. Philly Kid
Netflix has no intention of slowing down anime development – and one of the latest series is Cannon Busters for 2019.
Philly the Kid is an MC, an immortal guy who is naturally very full of himself.
I mean, how can you not be arrogant when you can die and… Well, don’t stay dead?
Of course, I didn’t really like the series, although I prefer the original anime.
But Philadelphia is far from forgotten, even if it is partly because of its less desirable qualities.
It also reminds me of all the people who are so sure of their driving ability, but the results say otherwise.
18. Claudia Lasalle
Anime: Superdimensional Macross Fortress
Here’s someone from the 80s with this vintage style of art with character. Claudia Lasalle was a minor in Macross.
She is a 26-year-old American who serves as a second lieutenant and knows what it is like to love and be loved.
In fact, Claudia is always willing to help Misa Hayase understand her growing feelings for Hikaru Ichijou.
I’m sure many Macross fans want nothing more than the love Claudia deserves, especially after what happened to her lover.
It’s interesting to note that his vocal actor also did the narration for the series – and this is true for both the Japanese and English versions.
17. Atsuko Jackson
Anime: Michiko to Hutchin.
Few animated characters can compete with Atsuko in terms of the size of her afro hair and the quality of her movements, thanks to Manglobe Studios.
Atsuko Jackson exudes freshness, from her fashion sense to her looks.
She also has a rather interesting relationship with Michiko, dating back to when they were children in an orphanage. They help each other, but Atsuko also wants to arrest Michiko.
Michiko in Hatchin is packed with excitement and fun character dynamics, and fans have Atsuko to thank for making it happen.
16. Simon Brezhnev
Simon is by far one of Durarara’s most popular characters – and he’s not even the main character.
I’m not the only one who found it intriguing when he appeared in the opening animation.
So, what is it about him that you can love?
Simon works at Russia Sushi, a restaurant that does not serve traditional sushi. Her job is to attract as many customers as possible by distributing leaflets.
On the other hand, the worker Simon exudes this soft and peaceful aura, despite his large size and crazy physical strength.
And finally, I love her big smile.
He knows that people will immediately judge him by his appearance and won’t dare approach him, but he still tries his best.
15. Villetta Nu
Anime: Code of Gees
Willett Nu has eyes similar to those of Yoruichi and Karako Koshio, though it can be said that she has more yellow than gold or amber.
On a deeper level, Willetta plays a crucial role in bringing attention to the problem of discrimination. that life could be so much better if people were not taught to hate others just because they are different.
I was shocked by the events surrounding his temporary memory loss. And he’s one of the anime traitors I remember.
Things are looking up in season two. But I don’t think I can forgive him if Code Giss only has one season.
14. Antiochial chemistry
Anime: Utena, a young revolutionary girl
One of Kunihiko Ikuhara’s most famous works, Revolutionary Girl Utena, was created with meaning behind every aspect.
It is perhaps one of the most important works highlighting gender issues in society – and Antius Chimera was there to work his magic.
She is one of two female MCs who have distorted gender roles and expectations, creating the image of the princess and the innocent witch (to her detriment).
But Antti is not a sweet young woman like the others.
She has had a traumatic experience of abuse, and Utena must push her boundaries to save Anti – not just from her abusers, but from herself.
13. Andrew Gilbert Mills
Anime: The art of the sword online
The series was a huge success in early 2010 and paved the way for Isekai’s long domination of anime, Sword Art Online continues to attract new fans, with even more material to come.
One of the best known supporting roles is Andrew Gilbert Mills, a suave African-American merchant and Hatchet Man.
But despite his profession, he was not concerned about high profits.
Money is not as important as helping other players, especially those at lower levels.
Besides, Andrew is just as big in the real world: He and his wife have a café and bar called Café Dicey.
12. Afro Samurai
Yes, his name is Afro-Samurai.
The anime had acting voices ranging from Samuel L. Jackson to Phil Lamarr, and the design was amazing. But welcome too.
You don’t have to know much about Afro Samurai to become an addict.
The series (and the movie Resurrection) give more information about him, but his main attraction is his crazy swordsmanship. It’s great to see him wield the knife in the show and not be afraid to show all that blood and gore.
He is a man whose happy childhood was snatched away when he saw his father beheaded by the law, a man hungry for a number one edge.
11. Alex Benedetto
It is always unfortunate that Mangloba had financial problems when they adapted Gangsta. The first episodes and teasers impressed and intrigued many anime fans with mature characters and refreshing music.
The quality of the series has declined, but that doesn’t detract from the excellent design of the three MCs, including Alex Benedetto.
Alex is an incredibly attractive woman, although she is not attracted to anything in particular – no flashy accessories. She’s just an attractive woman with long black hair, blue eyes and a curvy silhouette.
She can also keep her mouth shut, but she will plead your case if that is the right thing to do.
10. Bob Makihara
Anime: Tengzhou Tenge
Tenjou Tenge is a series infamous for its ecchi scenes and outrageous school fights.
It’s been 16 years, but I’m sure those in their thirties and twenties still remember it well, if only because Madhouse adapted it.
South African Bob Makihara, 15, is one of the five MCs.
Judging by his appearance, you know that he is one of the strongest students at Tudu Academy, which is teeming with powerful personalities.
But he’s not just brave – his strength is complemented by his passion for fighting and his ability to assess the strength of others. He also genuinely loves his girlfriend Chiaki Konoike.
9. Canary Islands
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter has two great anime adaptations.
The Nippon Animation version was already good, but the 2011 adaptation for Madhouse took it to the next level – and both versions featured Canary.
Canary is one of the first black characters I saw in an anime.
She may only be the Killua family’s butler (and she is fiercely loyal to him), but her appointment to this position says a lot about her deadly abilities.
I like their design too. She looks so formal, but she’s a teenager who can handle a hundred men on her own.
8. Zapp Renfro
Anime: The forehead of the clogged blood
Kekkai Sensen is one of the most unique anime series of 2010. There were eccentric characters, detailed city settings and a pretty good soundtrack.
Sepp Renfro is one of the MCs.
He’s a 24-year-old man, thin, white hair, white suit and a look that drives women crazy.
In addition to his character design, Zapp caught my attention because of his blood processing ability, making him a good choice for Dead Man’s Wonderland.
He may be a volatile troublemaker, but I’d rather have him by my side than face him and his slippery blood.
Anime: Darker than black
April was one of the first black women I saw in an anime – and I still think she’s one of the coolest female characters out there.
Just look at her:
Short blonde hair, pink lips, bright pink coat with fur collar, necklace, boots and gold eyes (like several entries on my list).
Next, consider their ability to produce rain, heavy clouds and strong winds. If that’s not cool enough, their reward is drinking.
She fought with Hay, but no one wanted her dead. Their team from July to November was great, as was the Team Rocket Pokémon.
6. Sister’s crown
Anime: The promised Neverland
Do you remember the first time you saw (or read) The Promised Neverland?
I thought it was cute when I saw the first few pages – then the series showed its true colors.
I know people were scared of Isabella at first, but Sister Crone had her own way of being nervous about her, especially given her agility.
She is a 26-year-old woman with afro hair, chic lips and a hugely muscular body. Sister Crown’s smile looked more like a death threat than a true expression of happiness.
But in the end, Crone was someone who knew what was wrong and was just trying to escape the awful system.
Anime: A detail.
Many of you were expecting Kuzan (or my next pick) to take first place – but it’s a commendable position.
What makes him my second favorite black character in the anime Shounen?
Well, Kuzan was the first Navy admiral to be shown to the public. This title meant that Kuzan was one of the strongest personalities in One Piece.
He also had a chance to change.
Of course, he has long been loyal to the world government. But he eventually realized that he could not stay in the cruel corrupt organization, so he resigned after his defeat to devote himself to Sakazuki.
Finally, I appreciate his laziness, but at the same time his sense of duty.
4. Killer Bee
Anime: Naruto! Shippuden
Naruto is a very different ninja, especially in terms of character design (yes, the orange tracksuit) and the digital technology used.
Then Eight Tails, Killer B.
Is he a ninja? Yes.
Does he explain? Yes.
Is he a good rapper? No, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing a career as a rapper.
In a world where some overpowering characters are driven primarily by the desire to save or destroy humanity, here is Killer Bee, a loud but caring rapper.
3. Carol Stanley
Anime: Carole and Tuesday
After Zankyou no Terror, did I expect Shinichiro Watanabe’s next animated series to pit two girls against an AI on Mars?
No. But I’m glad he took the risk of creating characters like Carol Stanley.
A 17-year-old girl from Alba City wants to succeed in the music industry, but she’s an orphan and has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet – and who can’t understand her difficulties?
Although she is slightly off, Carol is still a positive person. She is smart, kind, and although she needs money to survive, she does not tolerate bad behavior.
I mean, I love their simple, yet heady style: Ponytail, jumpsuit, earrings and brown boots.
Anime: Black Lagoon
Black Lagoon is one of the Madhouse treasures of the 2000s – and it’s time for Revie to take the time to give the Dutchman his well-deserved attention.
The Dutchman is six feet tall and weighs more than 220 pounds.
He likes to wear sunglasses and military clothing such as jungle boots, fencing and body armor.
He said he served in the U.S. Navy before founding Laguna.
But the best thing about the Netherlands is that it is a great negotiator who wants to do the job with as few civilian casualties as possible.
He can fight, but it’s best if he picks and plans mercenary missions for Revy and the others.
1. Michiko Malandro
Anime: Michiko to Hutchin.
An old friend (and enemy) of Atsuko Jackson wins the crown for my favorite black character in an anime.
Michiko Malandro is a free-spirited and attractive woman who has spent more than a few times in prison.
She is aware that she is sexy and loves to show off her good looks by choosing clothes that show off her size and more.
Despite her recklessness and loud actions, she is not selfish.
Her plan to give gifts to the children at the orphanage turned out to be dangerous for Atsuko, and she even started stealing to help a friend. But the fact is that underneath their bad (and criminal) deeds are good intentions.
Very entertaining to see their wild journey with Hutchin, Atsuko, Pepe, Hiroshi and others.
I also love the way Michiko ends up with Hutchin.
If you’re looking for an animated series with well-developed black characters, you should check this one out.
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