Anime or “animation” in Japan refer to Japanese series that features characters who largely bear local physical features. However, with this genre gaining immense popularity across the world, there have been characters introduced over time, including characters in leading roles, which have colored skin tone, especially black anime characters.

Although there have been a considerable number of female black anime characters and male black anime characters that have been created in anime, the numbers are still less when compared to the magnitude and scope of this genre. Here we have picked for you some of the most popular and iconic black anime characters to have ever been presented.

20 All-Time Best Black Anime Characters

1. Afro from Afro Samurai

Character Name

Afro

Anime series name

Afro Samurai

Created by

Takashi Okazaki

Voiced by

American actor Samuel L. Jackson

Description

One of the most popular black male anime characters of all time, Afro is a saga of a young boy out to avenge his father’s death. Afro’s popularity revolves around his dexterity with the sword and his cold-bloodedness while maintaining a calm and unmoved façade all the while.

2. Michiko Malandro and Atsuko Jackson from Michiko To Hatchin

Character Name

Michiko Malandro and Atsuko Jackson

Anime series name

Michiko To Hatchin

Created by

Manglobe

Voiced by

Monica Rial for Michiko Malandro in English and Yoko Maki in Japanese

Description

This 2009 release gained much popularity among fans especially because of the stupendous chemistry between the two central characters. While Michiko gets put behind bars after turning out a criminal, Atsuko becomes a policewoman in hot trail of the former. The chase turns out to be exceptionally entertaining that captivated audiences’ attention.

3. Bob Makihara from Tenjou Tenge

Character Name

Bob Makihara

Anime series name

Tenjou Tenge

Created by

Oh! Great

Voiced by

Shin-ichiro Miki

Description

Bob Makihara has his origins in South Africa and is a fighter accomplished in a famous Brazilian art of fighting. This iconic athletic character, who is one of the central figures in the anime, is seen faced with several challenges and he, along with his friend at school venture out on a quest to be the strongest among all the martial arts experts they are surrounded with.

4. Aokiji Kuzan from One Piece

Character Name

Aokiji Kuzan

Anime series name

One Piece

Created by

Eiichiro Oda

Voiced by

Takehito Koyasu

Description

This famous black anime character is popular among anime enthusiasts for his quiet power carefully concealed under a very calm and composed exterior. A former warlord who goes on to become a part of the Blackbeard Pirates, Aokiji possesses the powers of Hie Hie no Mi.

5. Kaz Kaan from Neo Yoki

Character Name

Kaz Kaan

Anime series name

Neo Yokio

Created by

Ezra Koenig

Voiced by

Jaden Smith

Description

One of the central characters of Neo Yokio, Kaz is portrayed as a dapper young man who is in possession of magical powers. He belongs to the “Magistocrats” and along with his butler Charles, leads a life of decadence. What draws viewers to Kaz most is his elegance, suave and charming personality.

6. Yoruichi Shihōin from Bleach

Character Name

Yoruichi Shihōin

Anime series name

Bleach

Created by

Tite Kubo

Voiced by

Satsuki Yukino

Description

One of the most loved black female anime characters, Yoruichi Shihōin bears attractive features, is intelligent, witty and possesses the power to transform herself from her human form into a black cat for hours on end. Her appeal also lies in her humility as is manifested when she refuses to be addressed by any honorific titles despite being of noble birth.

7. Muhammad Avdol from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures

Character Name

Muhammad Avdol

Anime series name

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures

Created by

Hirohiko Araki

Voiced by

Kenta Miyake

Description

Muhammad is an upright character, a principled, worthy ally of the central character, Joseph Joestar. The Egyptian descent is seen joining a group that is headed on a mission to defeat the DIO. The loyal Avdol imparts crucial knowledge on various matters along their journey.

8. Huey And Riley Freeman from The Boondock

Character Name

Huey And Riley Freeman

Anime series name

The Boondocks

Created by

Aaron McGruder

Voiced by

Regina KIng

Description

Huey and Riley have been exemplary black anime characters in this unique tale that has garnered much popularity among fans for its distinct storyline. The bond portrayed in this series between the two brothers, despite their outwardly differences that often bring them at loggerheads, is one to vouch for.

9. Kilik Rung from Soul Eater

Character Name

Kilik Rung

Anime series name

Soul Eater

Created by

Atsushi Ōkubo

Voiced by

Kenichi Suzumura

Description

Kilik is one of the coldest black anime male characters seen in a long time. While maintaining an elegant, reticent and chic exterior most of the time, his ability to produce fire and thunder has made Kilik a popular action hero.

10. Carole Stanley from Carole and Tuesday

Character Name

Carole Stanley

Anime series name

Carole and Tuesday

Created by

Shinichirō Watanabe

Voiced by

Miyuri Shimabukuro

Description

Carole has been building a niche for herself among fans over the years as one of the most loved black anime characters, girl, primarily due to her exemplary personality. She plays a nice, warm orphan girl who carves out a living for herself taking up any odd job that comes her way. Her lifelong dream however, is to become a musician and it is her journey towards that goal that makes for an absorbing watch.

11. Iris from Pokemon

Character Name

Iris

Anime series name

Pokemon

Created by

Satoshi Tajiri

Voiced by

Aoi Yuki

Description

This multi-season series has picked up much acclaim among lovers of black anime characters. Iris is a young companion of Ash who traverses the Unova region and ultimately becomes the master of this area. It had been Iris’ long-standing dream to become the mightiest Dragon master.

12. The Kumogakure Characters from Naruto

Character Name

The Kumogakure Characters

Anime series name

Naruto

Created by

Masashi Kishimoto

Voiced by

Junko Takeuchi for Naruto Uzumaki

Description

This series is one of the few in manga that features an entire village of black anime characters. Some of them including A, Darui, Killer B and the Raikages have stood out and struck a chord with audiences making these warriors from the hidden clouds, some of the most loved characters in this genre.

13. Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist

Character Name

Scar

Anime series name

Fullmetal Alchemist

Created by

Hiromu Arakawa

Voiced by

Ryotaro Okiayu

Description

This is one of the most powerful male black anime characters albeit with shades of viciousness who has managed to keep State Alchemists in a constant state of terror. His disgust for the unscrupulous government leads him to become a sort of social vigilante and commit crimes that he is easily forgiven for by viewers.

14. Canary from Hunter x Hunter

Character Name

Canary

Anime series name

Hunter x Hunter

Created by

Yoshihiro Togashi

Voiced by

Motoko Kumai

Description

Canary plays a supportive role in this anime series. This young black anime character, female, has become an endearing figure among anime fans largely because of her composure, gentleness and deep-seated fighting spirit.

15. Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop

Character Name

Jet Black

Anime series name

Cowboy Bebop

Created by

Hajime Yatate

Voiced by

Unsho Ishizuka

Description

Cowboy Bebop is a classic black anime character and no list would be complete without a mention of it. Created in 1998, the series portrays Jet Black as a loyal ally to Spike Spiegel, who always has Spiegel’s back and holds the fort by taking control of the star-ship or engaging in a gun fight.

16. Mr Popo from Dragon Ball Z

Character Name

Mr. Popo

Anime series name

Dragon Ball Z

Created by

Akira Toriyama

Voiced by

Toku Nishio

Description

The fun-filled Mr Popo has enticed audiences of all ages. Despite being in a secondary role, the black male anime character is greatly loved by fans for his unflinching support to the central characters and plot throughout the series.

17. Katara from Avatar

Character Name

Katara

Anime series name

Avatar

Created by

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko

Voiced by

Mae Whitman

Description

An icon among black anime characters female, strong-willed Katara has also served as an inspiration to an entire generation who aim to be like her. The series has shown her veritably grow from an ordinary water bender to a blood bender.

18. Joe from Megalo Box

Character Name

Joe

Anime series name

Megalo Box

Created by

Katsuhiko Manabe Kensaku Kojima

Voiced by

Yoshimasa Hosoya

Description

Joe is a pugilist in this famous anime series who is specially loved by fans in the boxing world because of his will power and skills at the sport without the use of the necessary gear. He is an adventure seeker who moves away from his life of complacence in the quest for greater exploits.

19. Aran Ojiro from Haikyuu

Character Name

Aran Ojiro

Anime series name

Haikyuu

Created by

Haruichi Furudate

Voiced by

Jun Kasama

Description

Aran’s charismatic character has drawn anime lovers to this male black anime character, like never before. His immense stamina, extraordinary jumping ability has earned great feats for his school volleyball team. He went on to find a spot for his team at the 2020 Japanese Olympics.

20. Biscuit Oliva from Baki Hanma

Character Name

Biscuit Oliva

Anime series name

Baki Hanma

Created by

Keisuke Itagaki

Voiced by

Hochu Otsuka

Description

This popular black anime character is an antagonist in the Baki Hanma series. He popularity spikes because of his brute strength, out-of-this-world fight sequences rippling muscles that is often reeks of arrogance and swagger.

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FAQs

Why do black characters feature less in anime?

While there are a considerable number of iconic black characters in anime today, these series are originally Japanese and hence the characters have been built in accordance with local features. However, with Japanese anime gaining popularity in the US especially among its black population, several black anime characters have been introduced across the genre, many of whom have garnered tremendous success.

Does any anime series have a black character in the lead role?

Today, with the rising popularity of black male and female anime characters, there are several series that have them in the role of protagonists. Some of them are Michiko and Hatchin- which is one of the first anime series with a female protagonist, Afro- Samurai and Neo Yokio.

Which series pioneered in the black anime series segment?

The Boondocks. This four-seasons long series is considered to be the first ever black anime.

Conclusion

Black or dark skinned anime characters have turned out to be favourites among anime fans. They have taken the anime world by storm and deservedly so with well designed, unforgettable black anime characters beginning to take centre-stage. From Jason Ozuma and Cain Blood to Coffee and Yoruichi, the list of memorable female black anime characters and black male anime characters , simply go on.