Anime Series With Black Characters That You Need to Watch, NowJun 01, 2021 02:00PM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
If you're a true anime fan, then you know that their storylines are typically full of romance, action, magic, and horror. However, more often than not, there are few Black characters and even fewer Black main characters in anime. Anime and Black characters have had a sketchy history in the past. But in the last four decades, anime introduced strong and iconic Black characters. Here are some of the best anime shows which highlight Black characters that you need to start binge-watching now.
Michiko & Hatchin
Michiko serves as one-half of the main characters in the series Michiko & Hatchin, serving as the fiery adult to her reserved child partner. She’s an Afro-Latina with a design based on famous R&B singer Aaliyah. So far, Michiko is credited for being pretty much the only Black female protagonist. Atsuko Jackson, with her badass blonde afro, is a wonderful antagonist to Michiko and is always serving us looks.
Kofi in Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is about the futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners. Although Kofi makes a small appearance in Cowboy Bebop, she certainly made her mark. She’s a tall dark-skinned Black woman with an amazing afro. She makes her debut in episode 17 of the series. Kofi is a bounty hunter and was inspired by the protagonist of the Pam Grier film Coffy.
Canary in Hunter X Hunter
Canary is a teenager with natural hair who serves as a witty, apprentice butler to one of the most lethal families of assassins: the Zoldyck family. This little cutie pie is as tough as she is cute, and although she may not be as ruthless as she appears, she can certainly throw down with the best of them. Despite being an apprentice, she has no problem putting down Gon. But she’s also got a kind heart, and her loyalty to Killua trumps her loyalty to the Zoldyck family.
First introduced in a manga by Takashi Okazaki, Afro Samurai is one cold dude. After witnessing his father’s murder, he embarks on a journey for revenge. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Afro Samurai gives us a series that’s as much in love with hip-hop culture as it is with slick fight scenes, and brings us one of the best swordsmen in all anime.
Fire Force is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo, but was also an anime television series adaptation by studio David Production in 2018. Ogun Montgomery is pyrokinetic, with the ability to create flames and utilize them. Flamy Ink is probably Ogun’s coolest power, which allows him to tattoo flames onto his body and increase his power. With this show, you can either keep it simple by wearing the Special Fire Force’s bunker gear, or you can go all out with the Flamy Ink tattoos; the choice is yours.
April in Darker Than Black
With a striking appearance, it’s no surprise that April from Darker Than Black makes our list. Darker than Black, also known as Darker than Black: The Black Contractor, is a Japanese anime television series. Not much is known about April's background, but she has the ability to create localized hurricane weather conditions. This includes high-velocity winds and large amounts of precipitation. She is usually pictured in a fuchsia pink coat with a big white fur collar and fur lining at the bottom of her coat and the cuffs of her sleeves. She also mainly wears white knee-length high heel boots.
Rock Lock in My Hero Academia
Bleach is a Japanese anime television series based on Tite Kubo's manga of the same name. The story follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. Yourichi Shihouin is the master of the flash step and displays her speed in battle several times throughout the series. She is known for her incredible wit and fighting prowess. Yourichi was born a princess in one of the four noble clans and earned her spot as former Captain of one of the 12 powerful squads in Soul Society. There is a debate on whether she’s Black. Kubo, as far as we know, never stated that she was not.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachlor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies. She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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