Top 8 Black Anime Boys That Revolutionized Anime!

    Anime is the one avenue where the lines of representation and its importance get a little muddled. I mean, it’s a medium that comes from a place known for not having a lot of racial diversity. Anime is a representation of the majority of Japan, so that means little to no variation in character ethnicities either way. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t mix things up every now and then.

    Anime has played host to some amazing male characters that are Afro-mixed or black in their ethnicity without making them background props or simple comedic relief. Where once they were novelty, black characters and others are now becoming a part of the serious plotlines and genuine care is being put into their conception.

    I mean, a lot of anime and its subcultures are slowly being inspired by black culture staples such as hip-hop and afro-punk, so it only makes sense. Anime incorporated these elements long before the age of the internet, and doing justice to them was a long time coming. With the advent of stories such as Afro-Samurai and Cowboy Bebop, we have seen the representation rise both in quality and quantity ever since.

    But hey, some of these characters are definitely better written than others. So, here are my top favorite representations of Afro-Black men in anime that don’t feel like they are just there for added flavor. Let’s dive right in to Get Ranked!

    8. Kaname Tōsen – Bleach

    Kaname Tōsen

    I know there are a lot of naysayers that don’t think Bleach is at the same level as the others in the Big 3, but it was also one of the first mainstream anime to do black characters justice.

    And Kaname Tōsen was such a good addition. A blind warrior that followed Sosuke Aizen, his role was that of the antagonist that had a strict moral code. The way his nature conflicts with his actions is complex and interesting.

    7. Darui – Naruto Shippuden


    Similar to Bleach, Naruto Shippuden was a show that had more than one token black character. And unlike Killer B, Darui showcases a much calmer demeanor.

    Darui happens to be the right-hand man to the Fourth Raikage, balancing his hot-headed nature with his maturity. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t loyal to his leader. He’s one of the only people that can use Black Lightning and goes on to become the Fifth Raikage.

    6. Dutch – Black Lagoon

    Dutch – Black Lagoon

    Despite his appearance, Dutch might be one of the few characters in Black Lagoon that genuinely try taking the high road. The man does not like violence.

    It’s why he is the leader of the Lagoon Company, using diplomatic nature and levelheaded thinking to broker contracts and deals. But that doesn’t mean he won’t get his hands dirty if necessary. The man was in the Marine Corps, after all.

    5. Killer Bee – Naruto Shippuden

    Killer Bee – Naruto Shippuden

    It’s my boy, Killer B! The rapping, radical Jinchūriki from Kumogakure quickly became the fandom’s favorite.

    Killer B knows how strong of a shinobi he is and isn’t shy about his abilities. I mean, the man is a master of Kenjutsu, being able to wield multiple swords at any given time. Hell, Sasuke Uchiha struggled to keep up with him, even with his Sharingan!

    4. Fire Emblem – Tiger And Bunny

    Fire Emblem – Tiger And Bunny

     A black, non-binary individual? Sign me up! Tiger And Bunny have always thought outside of the box, but Fire Emblem was such a good addition to their colorful cast.

    Their story of how they were bullied for their effeminate traits and later on made it their greatest strength is a beautiful thing to see unfold. Rarely do we explore gender identity in anime, so seeing Fire Emblem be this amazing superhero has been a treat.

    3. Muhammad Avdol – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: Stardust Crusaders

    Muhammad Avdol – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures: Stardust Crusaders

    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has always boasted characters from various different backgrounds, and Muhammad Avdol is no different.

    A mentor figure to Jotaro Kujo, he’s the character everyone turns to for advice. And for a good reason, he’s the one who figured out how to take down Dio. He is very just and loyal, being an indisputable ally to the Joestar family from the very start.

    2. Jet Black – Cowboy Bebop

    Jet Black – Cowboy Bebop

    Jet Black is always on the top of the list of some of the most stick-to-their-gun characters in anime.

    Cowboy Bebop came out at a time when racial diversity was still not a thing in anime, without the characters being caricatures. However, Jet Black was anything but. Tenacious and brave, he was the de-facto father figure of the Bebop Crew.  

    1. Afro Samurai – Afro Samurai

    Afro Samurai – Afro Samurai

    Afro Samurai is simply the most iconic black character in anime, and you can quote me on that.

    Not only was he the first black protagonist in an anime, but the anime itself was one of the first that explored a distinctly historical feel with its premise. Afro Samurai was a swordsman, skilled in his craft to be the second best in the world.

    But his cold and aloof nature did not mean he didn’t care about a certain few.

    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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