HomeAnime26 Most Compelling Black Anime Characters: Male & Female

26 Most Compelling Black Anime Characters: Male & Female

Most Iconic Black Anime Characters Here’s a look at some of the best black anime characters ever created. From strong female protagonists to complex villains to unusual heroes, this list covers every meaningful representation of diversity we’ve come across in anime.

1 – Agil (Sword Art Online)

agil sword art online sao Sword Art Online is a show filled with fantasy, color and a myriad of different themes. It is so full with diversity that tracking side characters can become tedious. Yet the cool and calm bartender Agil (Andrew Gilbert Mills) is among the most memorable.

Appearing in the first season of the show and as a recurring character thereon, Agil represents the heydays of SAO and the essence of the series that anime lovers have come to admire. Agil is portrayed as a very compassionate and helpful person, spending most of his earnings to aid other low-level players.

2 – Yoruichi Shihouin (Bleach)

yoruichi shihouin bleach Bleach is filled to the brim with themes from different cultures. There are many memorable black characters like Tier Harribel and Love Aikawa, yet the mantle of the most memorable goes to Yoruichi.

When talking about black anime characters, female sidekicks such as Yoruichi don’t come often. Ex-captain of the second division of the Gotei 13, Yoruichi is one of most knowledgeable and strongest member of the Soul Society.

After being betrayed and vilified by Aizen, Yoruichi escapes to Earth with Urahara and lives her life disguised as a black cat now and again. Among the most influential femmes fatales of the generation, purple haired Yoruichi surely deserves a spot on the list.

3 – Michiko (Michiko and Hatchin)

Michiko And Hatchin Staying on the topic of black female anime characters, Michiko from Michiko to Hatchin definitely deserves a spot on the list. The anime’s plot revolves around the journey of an escaped convict and her kidnapping victim.

A bond is formed between these two polar opposites. Michiko to Hatchin not only has a person of color as the main character, but is also set in a fictional South American country.

4 – Jet (Cowboy Bebop)

jet cowboy bebop Jet is the co-star in the hit series Cowboy Bebop and the owner of the ship Bebop in which the cast travels the solar system. He is an ex-police officer who, after a heartbreak, leaves to become a bounty hunter.

Even though he is not the main protagonist of the story, Jet definitely holds his own in the series and is not overshadowed by his co-star. He acts as the glue that holds the crew together and is the ultimate bro to Spike’s craziness.

5 – Killer B (Naruto)

killer bee naruto While stereotyping generally leads to a negative reaction from audiences, Killer Bee might be among the few exceptions. Rapping his way into the hearts of anime lovers, Killer B overcomes his stereotypical portrayal with unapologetic strength and charisma.

He proves to be one of the most influential persons in the development of Naruto’s story. Killer B and his tailed beast Hachibi top the list of our favorites in the Naruto anime universe.

6 – Uub (Dragon Ball GT)

uub dragon ball gt

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z have some memorable and lovable black characters. Yet, the mantle of most memorable black character from the series goes to Uub. First appearing at the end of Dragon Ball Z, Uub is the reincarnation of the evil villain Majin Buu.

After a wish by Goku made to Yama, the death god, Buu is reborn as a human with a good heart. Uub fights and loses against Goku who then promptly takes him on as his student.

7 – Kilik (Soul Eater)

kilik soul eater

Soul Eater is another anime which handles diversity very well. Kilik is a Meister working under Death to reap souls in the latter’s stead. He is a contemporary of the main characters of the show and makes regular appearances along with the main cast.

Kilik is in no way lacking as compared to Maka, Soul, Black Star and Death the Kid. Armed with fire and thunder, he can hold his own against the agents of insanity.

8 – Muhammed Avdol (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

muhammed avdol jojos bizarre adventure Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a gold mine of weird and memorable characters. Coming to one of the best black anime characters, male sidekick Avdol is an easy pick. You can get lost in the multitude of personalities from among the various seasons of the show, but still Avdol stands out sharply.

Any Jojo fan will remember the stoic character from Egypt. We may not be able to see Avdol in action again, but we surely remember him as an interesting ally of Joseph Joestar.

9 – Bob Makihara (Tenjou Tenge)

bob makihara tenjou tenge Bob Makihara is a student of African descent with dread locks and a piercing running through his lower lip. It is implied that Bob’s dad was in the US Navy, but nothing more is known about Bob’s past.

He practices Capoeira, a form of Brazilian martial arts. Although he has a Japanese-sounding last name, he’s still recognized as the foreigner. The perceptive and inquisitive Bob added a nice touch of flavor to a show about high school combat.

10 – Dutch (Black Lagoon)

dutch black lagoon Counted among the best animes of all times, the darkly violent Black Lagoon smashes any risk of monotony with a number of characters from almost all ethnic backgrounds. And who better to represent the diversity than Dutch, the owner of The Lagoon Company?

Though not being the main character of the show, Dutch plays an important and intrinsic role in the story and its development.

11 – Kaz Kaan (Neo Yokio)

kaz kaan neo yokio Kaz Kaan is a pink-haired youth who has descended from magicians who saved the city from demons. The magicians were given the title of Magistrocrats and enjoy a position of wealth and status in the city.

Contrary to expectations, this is not a story centered on a boy fighting demons to save the city. This is about a fashionista in Neo Yokio who would like to mend his broken heart while trying to balance demon-hunting duties.

It’s admittedly an odd addition to this roster, but one that cannot be ignored.

12 – Canary (Hunter x Hunter)

canary hunter x hunter Hunter x Hunter is another anime with a varied cast and a culturally rich world. Many of the fan favorite characters are not even humans. From humanoid foxes to chimera ants, there’s clearly no limit to creator Yoshihiro Togashi’s vision.

Canary is among the first black characters to be shown in the series. She is a butler at Killua’s home, a notoriously dangerous place for any unsuspecting burglar to be. A butler to a clan of world class assassins has to be capable of getting into a fight and coming out of it alive. And Canary fulfills that role perfectly.

13 – Villetta Nu (Code Geass)

villetta nu code geass Villetta started off as a villain in the Code Geass series. A Brittanian with dark skin and silver-grey hair, she was part of the purist faction who believed that Brittanians were better than other people.

A subordinate of Jeremiah Gottwald, Villetta would pitch herself against Zero on occasions and was determined to find the real identity of Zero. While the story of Lelouch follows his eventual fall from grace, Villetta’s story is one of redemption.

Though starting off as a villain, she finds herself in circumstances that cause her to ally with Elevens, even going as far as falling in love with an Eleven called Ohta.

14 – Simon Brezhnev (Durarara)

simon brezhnev durarara Simon Brezhnev is a black Russian sushi chef and the co-owner of the Russia Sushi shop. It is implied that Simon was born in the USSR to American parents. Simon is a pacifist and dislikes violence (probably because of him witnessing too much of it while growing up in Russia).

He approaches distraught people on the streets trying to help them by offering sushi. He is portrayed as a strong but gentle giant who often ends up scaring off his customers due to his appearance.

15 – Usopp (One Piece)

usopp one piece Usopp is the sniper in the gang of pirates lead by Monkey D Luffy. Though he is often mistaken as cowardly or meek, he is anything but that. On multiple occasions he rises to the challenge and meets his enemies face to face, saving the gang from difficult situations.

This second-generation pirate joined Luffy after he was recruited from his home island. He may lack in brute strength as compared to the other members of Thousand Sunny, but make no mistake, Usopp could defeat most enemies in One Piece without them even knowing that they are within his range.

16 – Rumi Usagiyama (My Hero Academia)

rumi usagiyama my hero academia Rumi Usagiyama is a Professional Hero in the anime My Hero Academia. She is a muscular, dark-skinned hero with long hair that’s silver in color. She has rabbit-like ears and would fit more into the category of black anime girl characters.

The first part of her surname translates to rabbit in Japanese. Rumi has incredible leg strength and all of her attacks are designed to make optimum use of it. She is among the few heroes within the series who are not affiliated to U.A. high school.

17 – Darkshine (One Punch Man)

darkshine one punch man Darkshine is among the few dark-skinned characters in One Punch Man. Though not a match for the overpowered main character Saitama, he is able to hold his own in the hero association.

Darkshine is an S-ranked hero. They are among the strongest in the Hero Association. He is levelheaded and relatively non-violent in spite of being one of the strongest characters in the anime. His peaceful nature contrasts against the deviance of his colleagues, which sets him apart as a hero.

18 – Ogun (Fire Force)

ogun fire force Many fans will recognize Fire Force as a spiritual successor to the hit anime show Soul Eater. Keeping in this in mind, we can infer that the dreads-sporting Ogun is the spiritual successor to Kilik.

Ogun is a fire force cadet alongside Arthur and Shinra. Just like the latter duo, he is very powerful. Though not as eccentric as his aformentioned best friends, Ogun can hold his own among the heavy hitters of the Fire Force universe.

19 – Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)

scar fullmetal alchemist brotherhood Scar is an anti-hero from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood with white hair and dark eyes. He is an Ishvalian, a race of dark-skinned people with distinct red pupils. The Ishvlians were embroiled in a bloody conflict with Ametris, known as the Ishvalian Civil War.

The violent unrest was stopped with extreme brutality which resulted in the near annihilation of the Ishvalian culture. Scar is among the survivors of the Ishvalian genocide and has sworn revenge against Ametris. He, along with the Elric brothers, face the ever-increasing threat of the Humonculous while trying to uncover the secrets of alchemy.

20 – Casca (Berserk)

casca berserk Drawn with short hair and a rich brown skin tone, Casca was a fellow comrade of Guts within the Band of the Falcon. She was depicted as strong, impulsive and extremely loyal to Griffith. Though she initially distrusted Guts, their relationship grew and they eventually fell in love.

Casca led the Band of the Falcon when Guts and Griffith were not around. The current portrayal of her character feels unnecessary. But until the events of the Eclipse, she was one of our favorite representations of female POC in anime, which is why she’s on this list.

21 – Brock (Pokémon)

brock pokemon Brock is a recurring character in the hit series Pokémon. One of the initial travel companions of Ash, he has been part of the Pokémon family for a long time.

Having spent the longest time as Ash’s sidekick, Brock is known to every Pokémon lover. He is an exceptional Pokémon trainer and an even better Pokémon breeder.

22 – Sol Marron (Black Clover)

sol marron black clover Sol Marron is a Magic Knight in Clover Kingdom’s Blue Rose. Sporting short hair and a somewhat androgynous face, she is a strong mage proficient in Earth Magic. She can control gigantic golems and uses them to primarily fight against her opponents.

Sol Marron absolutely adores her squad captain, Charlotte Roselei. She is a misandrist and dislikes taking orders from men.

23 – Yasuke (Yasuke)

yasuke Yasuke is a Netflix series about a samurai of African descent. The anime is a pseudo historical anime based on a real-life person of the same name who arrived in Japan in the 1500s.

The show deals with the protagonist’s fight against his tumultuous past while being tasked with protecting a girl with magical powers.

24 – Carol (Carol and Tuesday)

carol and tuesday Carol and Tuesday follow the story of two aspiring musicians from very different backgrounds. While Tuesday is a guitarist from an affluent family, Carol is a refugee who performs odd jobs to make end meet.

Carol is far from your typical African American black haired anime characters since this musical show is not set on Earth. The events are instead taking place on a futuristic Martian colony.

25 – Sylvia (Konosuba)

Sylvia Konosuba Konosuba is notorious for not taking itself seriously. The agony of waiting for the next season is mitigated by revisiting the recent movie addition of the hit comedy franchise.

And who better to raise a toast to than the iconic Sylvia, the dark-skinned androgynous female villain with blue eyes? Sylvia may have lost to Kazuma’s charms but she lives on in every Konosuba fans’ funny bones.

 26 – Afro (Afro-Samurai)

afro samurai Afro-Samurai is an action-adventure show set in futuristic Japan. The plot involves Afro who is out to take revenge on his father’s killer, who happens to be the greatest warrior in the world. The show was co-produced by Samuel L Jackson who is also Afro’s voice actor.

Why are there very few black anime characters?

In 2023, black anime characters are slowly but surely being represented more thoughtfully in the anime industry. This has not always been the case. It’s not entirely surprising, of course, given that most anime characters rarely sport typically Japanese features in the first place.

You may think the low visibility of black people in anime is solely a product of bigotry. But Julian Abagond (via The Atlantic) disputed that Japanese audiences view regular anime characters as Japanese by default, and that it’s Americans who think of them as Caucasian simply because they do not appear to have typically Asian features.

This Japanese viewpoint is comparable to how the Western world sees Marge Simpson, with her blue Afro hairstyle and mustard yellow skin, as white or the “Default Human Being”. Still, we’re not gonna gloss over the fact that the majority of Asians revere light skin and this also plays a part in poor POC representation in anime.

What’s more, Japan’s population is extremely homogeneous. In 2020, only a little over 2.2% of its residents consisted of foreigners. So you could infer that there are very few people of color working in the country’s anime industry, and thus diversity does not come up as a top priority.

Including people of different races can sometimes be tricky in a story. Improper or stereotypical portrayal of ethnically different people can put the creators of the show in a very sticky situation. Many titles fail to offer variety and have racially ambiguous characters.

Yet, some shows tackle different personas so well, they manage to capture the hearts of the audiences and leave a permanent mark as memorable characters within the show. In this list, we revisited some of the most iconic black characters in anime.

Wrapping Up

Anime is a platform filled to the brim with diverse and colorful portrayals. Among these you can find memorable protagonists and supporting cast belonging to various backgrounds. Were you able to find you favorite dark-skinned character on our list?