Anime may have started in Japan, but it has become popular all over the world. One of the coolest things about anime is that it features a wide variety of stories and characters. From action to drama, anime has a little something to offer everyone. While some cartoons have historically lacked diversity, anime often includes has included characters of all backgrounds. Over the years, Black characters have played prominent roles in several anime series and their representation is continuing to grow. Whether you’re a diehard anime fan or just getting into it, these characters are definitely worth learning a little something about. Keep reading to see our list of the 10 best Black anime characters of all time.
10. Andrew Mills
Andrew Mills is a character from Sword Art Online. Although his parents are American, he was born in Japan. With a sword on him at all times, Andrew isn’t the type of person you want to mess with. However, despite his tough demeanor, Andrew is the kind of person who is always willing to help others.
9. Atsuko Jackson
Atsuko Jackson is a strong and brave police officer who doesn’t take any mess from anyone. She grew up in an orphanage alongside Michiko Malandro and the two have a very interesting relationship. While it’s clear there is some tension between them, Atsuko can sometimes be seen helping Michiko out of tough situations.
8. Claudia Lasalle
Claudia Lasalle has made several appearances in the Super Dimension Fortress Macross franchise. She worked onboard the SDF-1 Macross. Claudia’s character was loyal to those she cares about and even though she doesn’t have the biggest role, she has left a lasting impression on many anime fans all over the world.
7. Kilik Rung
Kilik Rung’s character is only a teenager, but he’s already experienced more than many adults and he has his toughness to show for it. According to the Soul Eater fandom page, “Atsushi Ohkubo created Kilik due to recognizing that few manga have African characters within it; He based Kilik off the character from the central character in Kirikou and the Sorceress, a movie drawing elements from Western African folktale and a film he had enjoyed”.
6. Kaz Kaan
With his wide eyes and distinctive pink hair, Kaz Kaan is the kind of character it’s hard to take your eyes off of. Known for wearing a suit, Kaz is a formal person who appreciates formalities. He is also someone who is concerned with appearances. Interestingly enough, Kaz’s race is never officially mentioned, but he is widely assumed to be Black due to his complexion.
Coffee is a character from Cowboy Bebop and she is a bold bounty hunter who never backs down from a challenge. More than likely, she was inspired by the 1970s blaxploitation character Coffy who was portrayed by Pam Grier. The two have similar appearances and also were in similar lines of work.
Over the years, Pokemon has introduced quite a few new characters and Nessa is one of them. She is a gym leader who especially loves water Pokemon. Even though she has a calm demeanor, she is a very fierce competitor underneath it all. On top of being a Pokemon trainer, Nessa is also a model.
3. Afro Samurai
Sometimes simply referred to as Afro, Afro Samurai is the title character in his own series and he certainly knows how to steal the show. After witnessing the murder of his father, Afro Samurai spends his adult live seeking revenge and he will stop at nothing to get it. One of the things that makes this character so cool is the fact that he’s been voiced by the legendary Samuel L. Jackson.
Canary may not look like she’s capable of doing much damage, but she is a prime example of why you should never judge a person based on how they look. She is known for being fearless and she isn’t afraid to jump into action to protect the Zoldyck family who she works for as a butler. Details about her backstory are never discussed and this is attributed to the fact that she was born in Meteor City where no records of her birth exist.
1. Yoruichi Shihōin
No matter how hard her back is being pressed against the wall, Yoruichi Shihōin is the kind of character who never backs down. She can be calm, but she also knows when to turn up. In addition to her human form, Yoruichi Shihōin can also transform into a small black cat. It appears that she prefers to spend her time as a cat.