It’s nice to see some representation of us on TV.
Anime is one genre of cartoon many probably don’t expect representation from, but if you look closely, there are actually a few black characters in there.
From the females to the males, here are some of our favorite black anime characters.
Black Female Anime Characters
April from Darker Than Black
Let’s just say this is a striking appearance from the first anime character on our list.
Our first black anime girl is April from the anime series Darker Than Black.
With dark brown skin, she also has blue hair and golden eyes.
Very clearly a diva, she’s also a secret intelligence agent who loves wearing a pink fur coat and pink lipstick.
She often finishes her look with a white collar and white knee-high boots.
Can you say fashion?
London-born, she can control atmospheric pressure, and while a great agent; her one vice in the series is her love of a strong drink.
Atsuko Jackson from Michiko to Hatchin
Bad boys, bad boys – whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
If there’s anyone coming for you, it’ll be the Brazilian baddie, Atsuko Jackson.
A character in Michiko to Hatchin, this brown skin beauty plays a police officer.
After growing up in an orphanage with Michiko, the title character, Atsuko ends up spending most of her career trying to catch her.
While some might call her an outlaw vigilante, Michiko would often call her “Jambo.”
This Portuguese term is a slang that is often used to refer to a dark-skinned person.
With deep brown skin, striking blonde hair, and piercing grey eyes, she’s one black anime girl you’re unlikely to forget.
Canary from Hunter x Hunter
Don’t let the young face fool you!
Canary isn’t someone you want to mess with.
Although she’s only a teenager, Canary serves as a butler for the Zoldyck family in the show Hunter x Hunter.
With brown hair, grey eyes, and dark purple hair, she is another representation of black characters in anime.
While she has the title of butler, she also works as the guardian of the family.
Tasked with watching over the gate, she is responsible for handling any trespassers with force.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
At the small age of 10, she took down a trespasser and a hundred of his men.
Canary is definitely someone we’d want shooting for our team!
Claudia Grant from Robotech
Now, we love a woman in power.
Next on the list, we have Claudia Grant.
From the anime series Robotech, she works as the Chief Communications Officer of a warship.
Her character has a cinnamon-colored complexion and dark brown hair to match.
Even so, her character has blue eyes and bubblegum pink lips.
While she had tons of responsibilities on board the ship, she was known for being relaxed and confident.
Now, that’s what we call a leader!
Edward from Cowboy Bebop
Edward is another character that might not appear black based on the appearance, but trust me – I checked.
You might be thinking that with a name like Edward, he’s a boy, right?
Edward is a girl.
This young girl is only around 13 in the anime series Cowboy Bebop.
With golden skin, the character also has red hair and amber eyes.
Even at her young age, she’s considered a prodigy because of her hacking skills.
Heles – Goddess of Destruction from Dragon Ball Z
Growing up, we all wanted to think that Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z was black.
Unfortunately, we never got any confirmation.
While we’re still left to ponder this, we can’t forget Heles.
Known as the “God of Destruction,” let’s just say she doesn’t look like she’s destroying anything.
Meant to look like a mix of Nefertiti and Cleopatra, this brown beauty has light brown skin and green eyes.
With a nice figure, ancient Egyptian apparel, and stunning makeup, she’s one black character in anime that you don’t want to mess with.
Her name might have people weary, but she is actually an advocate for living things.
Karui from Naruto Shippuden
An Aquarius born on Valentine’s Day, we have Karui Akimichi.
An older teen in the Naruto series, she is kunoichi, or a ninja.
She is seen having dark brown skin and spiky red hair.
While she grows up through the Naruto series, she is known for quite a few of her traits.
Not only is she a great ninja, she’s also great at communicating and teamwork.
Michiko from Michiko to Hatchin
“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”
Let’s just say Michiko tries and succeeds when it comes to breaking out of prison.
I’m sure you didn’t know, but this character is said to be based on Aaliyah.
Yes, that Aaliyah!
While she doesn’t completely look like the late-artist, she does have light brown skin and you could argue that their hair looks similar.
Also an Afro-Brazilian like Atsuko, Michiko has grey eyes.
It’s great to see a black anime lead their own show because Michiko is one half of the titled pair in her anime series Michiko to Hatchin.
Miyuki Ayukawa from Basquash!
Miyuki is another black anime girl from the series Basquash!
She serves as the romantic interest of Dan JD, another character in the show.
She has dark brown skin and hair that looks as if it’s either in braids or twists.
In the show, Miyuki works as a mechanic.
While she might not be considered a primary character, she was essential to the team of basquashers.
Always fixing their Big Foots, they always turned to her for her expertise.
And what are Big Foots, you ask?
Just think of something like a transformer.
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach
Last on our list of black female anime characters, we have Yoruichi from the popular series Bleach.
She has dark skin, long purple hair, and golden eyes.
Throughout the series, she has had ton of responsibilities.
While she is a soul reaper, she’s also worked as a captain.
With her skills as a master martial artist, her mission is to protect the Soul Society.
Another interesting thing about this character is her ability to transform into a cat.
Black Male Anime Characters
So now it’s the men’s turn!
A (Fourth Raikage) from Naruto Shippuden
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
You might be looking at the image of A and wonder… how exactly is he black?
According to all Naturo fandom, A, the Fourth Raikage, is a black male.
While he looks like he’s spent white a few hours browning in the sun, his appearance is also matched with white hair.
His character is outspoken and a bit strict; however, he later calms down later in the series.
Afro Samurai from Afro Samurai
Yes, bring on the natural afro on men.
Afro Samurai is the protagonist from the show named after his character.
With dark skin, he is normally seen wearing traditional Japanese clothes seen on ninjas alike.
After watching his father killed in front of his eyes, he grew up to be a skilled swordsman with intentions of avenging his father’s death.
While the character rarely looks happy, through flashbacks it is clear to see that he grew into a serious person after the death of his father.
Andrew Gilbert Mills from Sword Art Online
Andrew Gilbert Mills is a supporting character in the anime series Sword Art Online.
With his light brown skin and bald head, this character is in shape and fit.
In the series, he was one of the characters that were trapped in the “Sword Art Online.”
He was an axe-wielder while he was stuck in the archive, but in reality, he managed a café with his wife.
Bob Makihara from Tenjou Tenge
Look out for “the foreigner.”
While most characters from most anime shows could be considered foreigners, this was often used to describe Bob Makihara.
This black anime character appeared in the series Tenjou Tenge.
With brown skin and dark dreadlocks, he is from South Africa.
Even so, his character is given blue eyes.
Much about his life is said to be a mystery; however, we do know that his father served in the U.S. Navy.
Even though he is a skilled fighter in the series, he is only 15 years old.
Darui from Naruto Shippuden
Up next on our list of males is Darui.
While he’s only a minor character, we still have to shout him out because representation always matters.
His character has dark brown skin and stark white hair.
While he is known for being lazy, he actually has quite a few powers – more than most.
With some of his powers, he can even temporarily blind his opponents.
Later in life, he takes over as the Fifth Raikage after A (seen above) retires after losing his hand.
Dutch from Black Lagoon
We now have our next bald, muscular black character.
Dutch is a character from the anime Black Lagoon.
With dark brown skin, the character is almost always seen wearing military fatigues and a flak-jacket.
As an African-American, his storyline begins with his service in the Vietnam War.
After going AWOL, he fled to Thailand where he began working as a mercenary.
While he is said to be a great leader of the Lagoon Company he founded, his stats of 6’4” have me wishing some fictional characters were real!
James Ironside from Blood
James Ironside is a black anime character from the series Blood+.
After losing his mother at a young age, he went on to join the U.S. Army before he had to leave from a severe injury during World War II.
Later, he becomes a chevalier and continues to advance in the armed forces even though he’s no longer on the ground.
Based on the timeline, his character has to be well into his 70s; however, he is designed to look like he’s still in his 20s or 30s.
His character has dark brown skin and hair.
Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop
Just like A and Edward on this list, Jet Black is another character on this list who doesn’t “look black.”
One of the three protagonists on Cowboy Bebop, he has light skin and dark, black hair.
Formerly a police officer, he now works as a bounty hunter.
Tall and muscular, he has a robotic arm that he lost in an ambush.
Known to be wise, he also has an affinity for jazz music.
Kaname Tosen from Bleach
The popular series Bleach is bringing us another black character in anime.
Kaname Tosen is characterized with dark brown skin and braids.
The character has also been blind since bird as can be seen when his eyes are revealed to show that he has no pupils.
As the captain of an army, he has an oath to “take the path with the least bloodshed.”
Kaz Kaan from Neo Yokio
Now, we know that Netflix does everything, and they even created their own original anime series.
Kaz Khan is a character in the series Neo Yokio.
Voiced by Jaden Smith, the character has dark skin and pink dreadlocks.
As a guiding force in the city of Neo Yokio, Kaz Khan is also a demon slayer.
So far, there have been two seasons of this series.
Kilik Rung from Soul Eater
Kilik Rung starts out in the anime series Soul Eater as a thirteen year old.
With dark skin that is accompanies with dark eyes and hair, his hairstyle is a mix of dreadlocks and cornrows.
The character attends the Death Weapon Meister Academy in the series where he is a student.
While he is a great leader to his group, he’s also still just a teenager.
He is funny and easy-going, but his immaturity sometimes pops up at the most random times.
Muhammed Avdol from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures
Muhammed Avdol is a black anime character that appears in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures.
The character is Egyptian and can be seen with short, thick dreadlocks.
With light skin and brown eyes, he was originally seen wearing traditional Egyptian clothing but later, his wardrobe is changed to a shirt and pants.
His character is very loyal, and while some random things about him include that he likes sushi and his favorite color is orange, Muhammed works as a fortune teller.
Shigusa Takachiho from Medaka Box
Now who was doing his hair?
Shigusa Takachiho is a black anime character that appears in the TV series Medaka Box.
Although he looks older, the character is only a mere 17 years old.
He has dark skin and his hair is braided back in cornrows!
While his character is definitely physically fit, you might think his career would match his body.
He grew up playing sports, but that’s not where his life took him.
Takachiho actually works as a researcher, and puts his findings importance above everything else – including himself.
Simon Brezhnev from Durarara
Last, but not least, on the list, we have Simon Brezhnev.
He was born in Russia to American parents.
Tall and wide, the character has dark skin and brown eyes.
While his size is normally seen as intimidating, he is actually an extremely gentle character.
Even with his gentle nature, he is known as one of the strongest men in his neighborhood.
Best Black Anime Characters Conclusion
Even though there is still only a handful compared to the rest, there are a few black characters in anime.
This list shows that they all range in their looks and appearances, in the same way that black people do in real life.
This list features Afro-Brazilians and Afro-Latinas.
It even features black characters with green or hazel eyes, because yes, they do exist.
To be honest, I was (pleasantly) shocked to find black anime characters with true representations of black hair.
The females and males on this list show afros, braids, and dreadlocks.
Lastly, I’m even glad that anime doesn’t depict black people as the perpetual antagonist.
I never grew up watching anime with the exception of Dragon Ball Z, but after becoming aware of these black characters in anime, I’ll be sure to check out a few of the series on this list.
If you enjoyed that, you’ll likely want to check out our list of black female superheros too.