Anime is a trillion-dollar industry in Japan, where more than 400 production companies and studios create some of our all-time favorite anime shows.
Despite its long and rich history, most fans would agree that the world of anime lacks well-written black characters or characters of color (POC). In the past, there have been some black anime characters, but they are usually problematic. However, some shows are more inclusive and feature interesting POC characters.
Below are some of the best black characters in anime that you should see.
16. Muhammad Avdol
Series: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Muhammad Avdol is an important character in Stardust Crusaders, as he played a critical role in defeating DIO. Avdol considers himself a righteous individual who is constantly worried about his ‘image’ and considers himself a responsible individual.
Avdol is loyal to the extent that he can put himself in danger to protect allies. It did exactly that for Iggy and Jean Pierre Polnareff.
Though Avdol is usually a serious person, he can be friendly on occasion, especially when he is in a good mood.
Avdol is a fairly powerful character in the anime. He was born with Magician’s Red, which allowed him to develop a potent fire ability. He is also a fortune-teller.
15. Ogun Montgomery
Series: Fire Force
Ogun Montgomery is a third-generation pyrokinetic who serves as a second-class Fire Soldier at Company 4 of the Fire Defense Agency.
He became friends with Shinra Kusakabe and Arthur Boyle while attending the Special Fire Force Training Academy.
Like his ancestors, Ogun is committed to protecting the citizens of Tokyo from danger. He is a team player who acts as a peacemaker between Karin and Shinra. Ogun is also compassionate and respects even his enemies who are fighting for someone they love.
Ogun is one of the strongest characters in the Anime series. As with other third-generation pyrokinetic, he can create his own flames and utilize them in various ways to his advantage in fights.
He has the ability to make spear-like weapons from his flames and launch them at his foes. He can also use these flames as a propeller to fly over short distances.
Apart from pyrokinesis, he is also a skilled hand-to-hand fighter. Although Ogun is not as powerful as Shinra, he was able to withstand fierce attacks from Shinra with help.
Series: Naruto Shippūden
Darui’s character in Naruto is quite interesting. Darui is a former student of Third Raikage, who taught him the unique black lightning technique. Later on, he became one of the bodyguards and right-hand man of Fourth Raikage.
He is extremely loyal to the Fourth Raikage and calls him the ‘boss.’ Darui is an easygoing individual. Unlike the Fourth, who is hot-headed, Darui does things like a normal person in a relaxed manner. He appears to be more mature than Fourth Raikage.
Although it may seem like it, he is not lazy, especially when it comes to fighting.
Darui’s power can be gauged from the fact that he single-handedly defeated the Gold and Silver Brothers, who were using Six Paths Sacred Treasures, the most powerful ninja tools.
13. Carole Stanley
Series: Carole And Tuesday
Carol’s character in the anime Carol & Tuesday is an inspiration for all of us. She became an orphan at a young age and suffered a harsh childhood after being repeatedly bullied by her peers and even teachers.
To survive in a big city, she started working multiple part-time jobs, but none of them lasted for long due to her straightforward and sometimes brazen personality. However, she never let that bring her down. She is hardworking, patient, and determined to do well in life.
She also doesn’t have many friends, as she is suspicious of every person she meets. Her only friend is Tuesday, who also has a bright personality.
Despite her current situation, Carol has not given up her desire to become a musician, which she is really good at.
Carol usually wears overalls and timberland boots. But it can also be seen in a fancy leather jacket or an off-shoulder turtleneck with shorts or a miniskirt. She has brown hair that she put into a ponytail.
12. A, Fourth Raikage
Raikage, during his fight with Sasuke
Series: Naruto Shippūden
Occupation: Supreme Leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces
A was groomed to be the Fourth Raikage of Kumogakure from an early age by his father, the Third Raikage. He is decisive and stubborn and rarely changes his mind when he is decided on something.
He has a close relationship with his adoptive brother Killer B. Bee was the only child who was able to perform the Double Lariat technique with A during practice. The bond between A and Killer B is so strong that they have been able to synchronize their attack for maximum effect. They are recognized as the strongest tag team.
As the Fourth Raikage, A serves as the Supreme Leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces. He is extremely powerful even after losing one of his arms.
A would do anything to protect the village, even if it means sacrificing one of his allies. He is short-tempered and reckless that sometimes draws disdain from the villagers.
11. Miyuki Ayukawa
Miyuki Ayukawa is a black female teenager in the popular anime series Basquash. A skilled mechanic, Miyuki is an unofficial member of Team Basquash tasked with regularly fixing and upgrading the team’s BigFoots (giant working robots).
Although Miyuki is not a Basquasher, she is an important part of the team. She follows the team to the Legend Tournament to help them with upgrades and repair works.
Miyuki has a well-built body, magenta eyes, and two dark curly dreadlocks tied with pink ribbons. She usually wears a cropped tank top, a jacket, beige pants, and boots.
The series shows that Miyuki has feelings for Dan, but she quietly steps away as Rouge comes into the scene. However, you can say that Rouge was more like a friendly rival to Dan than a love interest.
10. Claudia LaSalle
Series: Super Dimension Fortress Macross
Claudia LaSalle is a black female character from a popular 80s anime series, Macross. She is perhaps one of the most well-written POC characters in anime of that era.
In the anime, Claudia plays a supporting role of a second lieutenant onboard the SDF-1 Macross. She is a steadfast and confident officer who usually helps out her fellow officer and best friend, Misa Hayase, in tough situations. Her story mostly revolved around her boyfriend, Roy Focker, and Misa.
Her relationship with Roy is one to see in the series because of their chemistry until Roy’s death and the fact they are one of the very few interracial relationships in anime.
Even after his death, Claudia remained strong and carried on with her duties.
Apart from the original t.v series Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Claudia appeared in the movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1987), and Macross: Flash Back OVA 2012 (1987).
9. Kaname Tosen
Kaname Tosen is an antagonist in the anime series Bleach. He is one of those characters who were initially good but turned villains after some unfortunate events.
Tosen was once loyal to Soul Society, serving as the captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13 until he decided to betray his former subordinates and former friend Sajin Komamura for Aizen’s Arrancar Army.
He joined Aizen’s army, knowing that his plan will lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent people due to his deep resentment for the Soul Society that allowed the killer of his closest friend to go free.
Despite his betrayal, it is somehow hard not to feel sorry for Tosen because he was let down due to the flaws in the justice system.
What makes Tosen’s character more interesting is that he hates violence and his impressive swordsmanship despite his blindness.
Series: Darker Than Black
April was an iconic character in more than one way. For one, she had a unique appearance that made her stand out from the others.
April had dark brown skin, gold-yellow eyes, and light blue hair. She usually wore a long pink coat with a thick white fur collar and fur lining at the bottom and the cuffs of its sleeves. She complemented them with pink lipstick and pink earrings.
April is also seen wearing a black turtleneck shirt with a wig and glasses as a disguise.
While her looks alone made her a memorable character in the anime, what makes her more interesting is that she is not an average woman.
April was one of the five known operatives of the MI-6, an intelligence agency responsible for investigating the syndicate. She also has the ability to manipulate her surrounding atmosphere to create strong winds and hurricanes.
7. Afro Samurai
Anime Series: Afro Samurai
Afro Samurai, or simply Afro, is the main protagonist in the anime of the same name (Afro Samurai). He had a traumatic childhood after his father was killed in front of his eyes. This experience led him to become a vengeful and fierce swordsman.
Afro has a lean figure and average height. He wears a white kimono with blue flared pants and a pair of Japanese geta (wooden sandals). Among his attire is the Number Two Headband (Number One Headband after defeating Justice at the end of season 1).
The only weapon that he carries is a long-bladed sword, which was previously owned by his father. Though Afro usually fights with the sword in one hand, he uses both hands against more powerful enemies.
Afro is usually quiet, grim-faced, and rarely ever smiles. Although, he was shown as laughing and smiling with friends in his childhood.
His personality may seem unkind or cruel to others, but he has shown some level of affection, especially toward his friends.
6. Yoruichi Shihoin
Anime Series: Bleach
Yoruichi Shihoin is perhaps one of the most powerful characters in the anime series Bleach. Born to one of the four noble families of the Soul Society, the Shihōin Clan, Yoruichi received the best education and training as a child.
She became the first female head of her clan and subsequently became the Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō, the secret military of the Soul Society.
Yoruichi was later appointed captain of the 2nd Division of the Gotei 13, keeping the family tradition of leading both the elite military units.
Yoruichi was, without a doubt, one of the strongest captains of Gotei 13. She has mastered several advanced combat techniques, including Shunpo, Hakuda, and Shunko.
Also known as the “Flash Goddess,” Yoruichi was the ability to cover vast distances in seconds without being detected. She has mastered all Onmitsukidō speed-oriented techniques. Not many can challenge her as she can best her opponents with speed and fist.
What makes her character even more interesting is that she can transform into a feline. She has the unique ability to transform into a black cat at will. It allows her to travel in complete disguise. She is the only member of her family who possesses this ability.
5. Kilik Rung
Series: Soul Eater
Kilik Rung is a two-star meister and one of the best student fighters in the Death Weapon Meister Academy. He was specifically created to add more African characters to the world of anime and manga.
His character is based on the protagonist of a 1998 French film ‘Kirikou and the Sorceress.’ The last name, “Rung,” is inspired by “Mulungu,” a name for the creator deity in Africa.
Kilik can be described as a fierce, hot-blooded teenager who is compassionate enough to put his own life on the line for his friends.
Despite his young age, Kilik is a very powerful Meister. He is considered much stronger than most of his peers, including Kim Diehl and Maka Albarn. Kilik uses the twin gauntlets, fire, and thunder to enhance its already formidable combat ability.
4. Killer B
Bee writing in his rap book
Series: Naruto Shippuden
Killer Bee was a talented fighter since childhood. He was the only fellow who was able to perform advanced training with A, the Fourth Raikage. From that point on, A decided to be a blood brother with Bee.
He mastered unique powers at a young age and became a strong Shinobi. Moreover, he was able to complete tough missions on his own.
Killer B is a jinchūriki of Gyūki, special humans who have tailed beasts within them. What’s more impressive is that he is one of the very few jinchūriki who has befriended their inner-tailed beasts and has full control over them.
Bee’s control over his powers allows him to hold his ground against the most powerful characters in the series. Killer B can usually defeat the Fourth Raikage due to its great stamina and enhanced physical prowess.
Almost everything about Killer B is unique, from his looks, fighting style, raw physical strength, and connection with his tailed beast. Plus, he is talented in music.
3. Atsuko Jackson
Anime Series: Michiko & Hatchin
Atsuko Jackson is another strong women character from the anime Michiko & Hatchin. She is a policewoman who grew up in the same orphanage as our protagonist Michiko Malandro. In the anime, Atsuko’s story mostly revolves around Michiko and Ricardo Solo.
Her relationship with Michiko can be best described as frenemies. The two became great friends and looked out for each other during their time in the orphanage.
After Michiko escaped the prison, Atsuko set out to pursue and arrest her. Though Atsuko appears as a cold-hearted person, she has a good conscience. Despite being the police officer responsible for apprehending Michiko, she helped her escape police arrest on multiple occasions.
Atsuko is a tall woman with dark brown skin and a light blonde afro hairstyle. She usually dresses modestly throughout the series.
2. Nathan Seymour
Fire Emblem fighting mecha
Anime Series: Tiger and Bunny
Nathan Seymour, aka Fire Emblem, is our flamboyant hero from the anime series Tiger and Bunny. Fire Emblem is one of the very few non-binary black characters in the anime world.
Nathan was identified as male at birth but spent most of their teenage and adult years showing feminine mannerisms. Their parents disowned Nathan at a young age for showing feminine traits and showing interest in jewelry and makeup.
Nathan wears distinctive pink lipstick and eye shadow, whether in a hero costume or not. As Fire Emblem, they flirt and banter with male heroes and also spend time with heroines. Other heroes are friendly with Nathan and don’t avoid them.
While Fire Emblem is undoubtedly one of the most powerful heroes in the group, they are also the most mature one. They offer advice and help maintain peace among the members.
Canary driving a limo
Anime Series: Hunter X Hunter
Canary is a loyal butler for Killua and the Zoldyacks, a family of the most feared assassins. When Canary was initially introduced into the series, she was shown as a ruthless warden.
However, as it turned out that she only pretends to be cold-hearted, but deep down, she is also compassionate and caring. Canary developed a special bond with Killua Zoldyck after being moved by his kindness. Her loyalty toward the young master outweighs her loyalty toward the rest of the family.
Canary’s unreserved loyalty towards Killua has caused her to disobey direct orders on several occasions.
Canary’s appearance in the 2011 edition of the Hunter Hunter anime series is different from the original series (1999). In the 2011 series, she has grey eyes and purple hair in contrast to brown hair and green eyes. In both versions, her hair is put into several bunches, each tied by a string near the tip.
Despite being an apprentice butler, Canary is a skilled assassin. She is able to learn advanced combat techniques quickly. She is also strong enough to defeat a hunter with his henchmen.
More (Less Popular) Black Anime Characters
Anime Series: Cowboy Bebop
Though she appeared in just one episode of the legendary anime series Cowboy Bebop, Coffee left a lasting impression on all of us.
As a bounty hunter, Coffee was after the same person on the moon, Io, that Ein and Edward were after. The pursuit led the three to get entangled in some strange situations.
Coffee became a memorable character due to her appearance and pure elegance in whatever she does, from getting out of a car to wielding a grenade launcher.
Anime Series: Black Lagoon
Dutch is an ex-U.S Marine Corps patrol boat crewman who went AWOL just before the end of the Vietnam war and became a mercenary.
Even though Dutch is a highly capable fighter and has an intimidating appearance with a huge body, jacked muscles, and a fully shaved head, he prefers to stay away from fights. Rather, he likes to take care of the managerial aspects of his mercenary company.
Dutch is calm and level-headed even during tense situations. It allowed him to earn the respect of every single member of his company.
3. Michiko Malandro
Anime Series: Michiko and Hatchin
Michiko is one of the main characters in the Michiko and Hatchin anime series. She is free-spirited, loud, and likes to be the center of attention. Michiko is also very stubborn, a characteristic she has shown several times throughout the series.
Despite her tough appearance, Michiko is a compassionate and caring person, albeit in a strange way. Soon after escaping from prison, Michiko rescued Hana from her abusive foster parents.
Michiko is the complete opposite of Atsuko, her childhood friend who later became her rival. Unlike Atsuko, Michiko usually wears a flashy dress and is proud of her curvy body.
4. Bob Makihara
Anime Series: Tenjou Tenge
Bob Makihara is one of the strongest characters in the anime series Tenjou Tenge. He is a childhood friend of Souichiro Nagi, whom he met in elementary school.
He and Souichiro arrived at Toudou Academy believing they will have no problem beating anyone who stand in their way, just like in their previous schools. However, they soon find out that Toudou Academy is not an ordinary school, as they get humiliated by their opponents early on.
Later on, he became a very skilled fighter and earned others’ respect.
5. Nils Yajima
Anime Series: Gundam Build Fighters/Fighters Fry
Nils Yajima (earlier known as Nils Nielsen) is a teenage prodigy in the Gundam Build Fighters who only cares about the advancement in science. It was not until his match with Reiji, and Sei Nils discovered that he loved playing Gunpla.
While both his parents are famous in their respective fields, Nils was able to surpass them by getting three PhDs at a young age. He is obsessed with Plavsky Particles, an unknown element that is critical for Gunpla Battle.
With his advanced knowledge of Plavsky Particles, Nils tries to win the Gunpla World Tournament.
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