Despite being a product of Japan, anime has featured characters of all different races, skin types, and ethnicity. Anime even has many out-of-the-world characters thrown into the mix of their stories. Recently, there has been a notable amount of attention on darker-skin-toned characters.
The addition of having black characters or characters of a darker skin tone has added more flavor to anime. While Black characters are still a rare sight in anime shows, they’re starting to have a bigger impact and stronger presence in shows.
Fans have started to keep a lookout for black characters since these characters tend to be packed with a lot of stories and personalities. So, I’ll name 25 black characters who have made their mark in anime history in this list.
1. Killer B – Naruto Shippuden
Naruto has featured characters of different skin tones throughout the series. One of those featured characters is a Shinobi from Kumogakure, Killer B. Currently, he is the jinchuriki of the Eight-Tails beast. But, uncannily enough, he was able to befriend Gyuki, unlike his predecessors.
Killer B is assigned to be the protector of his village, but he seems more concerned about being the world’s best rapper most of the time.
2. Canary – Hunter X Hunter
When I think of people of color in anime, I always think of Canary from Hunter X Hunter. Canary is a teenage apprentice butler of the Zoldyck Family. While she is loyal to the main family, it seems her loyalty lies more with Killua.
As a servant of the Zoldyck family, she is noted to be an expert fighter. She demonstrated her strength when she managed to take down a Hunter along with 100 henchmen trying to intrude the estate without breaking a sweat. She also knows how to use Rhythm Echo after Killua showed the technique to her once during their childhood.
3. Sid Barret – Soul Eater Not
Most of us are used to seeing Sid in his zombie form by now. A fan would sometimes forget his human appearance. When he was alive, Sid was a muscular dark-skinned man with cornrowed hair. Sid was known in the series to be one of the best teachers in the school, even showing up as an instructor in Soul Eater Not.
Even as a zombie, Sid still retained most of his traits as a human. After becoming a zombie, Sid’s skin adopted a bluish tone.
4. Uub- Dragon Ball GT
It’s definitely been a while, but Goku decides to take Uub under his wing and train him to be a strong fighter at the end of Dragon Ball Z. Uub was a young boy who sports dark skin and eyes and black hair. In reality, Uub is actually the reincarnation of Majin Buu.
Goku decides to train him after sensing he is Buu’s reincarnation. We get to see an older version of him in GT.
5. Simon Brezhnev – Durarara!!
In this anime, the residents of Ikebukuro are familiar with this large black man from Russia Sushi. Simon is a notable presence being one of the people of color in the anime. He is Russian but was raised by American parents.
Simon is a member of the Dollars gang. He and his old friend Denis own Russia Sushi. According to Izaya, Simon would be the strongest person in Ikebukuro if the measurement was on a simple fistfight.
Despite his towering and intimidating presence, Simon is shown to be gentle and friendly, often showing signs of being a pacifist.
6. Sister Krone- The Promised Neverland
Well, she may not be the best in terms of being part of the good guys, but her presence in The Promised Neverland was a notable one. Sister Krone was one of the caretakers in Grace Field House orphanage. Later she attempts to steal the position of “Mama” from Isabella. However, her attempt to do so causes her death at the hands of Isabella, Sarah, and the demons.
7. Brock – Pokemon
While Brock has a game counterpart, I’ll only be talking about his anime counterpart for this article. Brock is one of Ash’s travel partners and the longest one to stick with Ash during his journey. He starts out as the Gym Leader of Pewter City but decides to join Ash and fulfill his own dream of becoming a Pokemon Breeder.
Currently, Ash is training to become a Pokemon Doctor.
8. Urd – Oh My Goddess!
Who could forget one of the fan-favorite goddesses from Oh My Goddess! Urd is a goddess who is the older sister of both Belldandy and Skuld. In the beginning part of the series, she tried to stop the developing relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi Morisato. However, she was later punished and forced to move with them later on.
9. Kuro Von Einzbern – Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Also known as Chloe. She is a twin existence formed from Illya’s original self in the anime. She is basically a part of Illya that was separated and created her own body. Unlike Illya, who has a pale complexion, Kuro is shown to have tan skin and wears a female version of EMIYA’s servant attire as an archer.
10. Chocolove McDaniel – Shaman King
Chocolove might be one of the main characters in Shaman King, but he doesn’t make an appearance in the show till the group is looking for Patch Village in the anime. He is an African American boy dressed in tribal garb hailing from South Africa. Apparently, the outfit was given to him by his master Orona.
The shaman enjoys cracking up jokes at any given moment, causing the people around him to be visibly annoyed with his antics.
11. Archer EMIYA – Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
While not black at birth Emiya ended up overusing his magecraft after the events of Fate/Stay Night. His own mana destroyed his hair pigmentation making his locks white and burning his cells, causing his skin to get tanned. Archer Emiya is not a proper Heroic Spirit. He is actually an alternate version of Shirou Emiya if Shirou were to contact Alaya.
In exchange for gaining the powers of a Heroic Spirit, he works as a Counter Guardian for the world as a means of payment for the contract.
12. King Bakura – Yu-Gi-Oh
This is the identity of the spirit that dwells within the Millennium Ring. He is the main antagonist of the first Yu-Gi-Oh series revealed in the Pharaoh’s Memories arc. While a part of his soul was sealed into the ring, Zorcs Necrophade’s soul merged with it as well, creating Yami Bakura.
13. Rock Lock- My Hero Academia
Rock Lock didn’t come off as a character anyone would like at the beginning, but he redeemed himself later in the series. His real name is Ken Takagi. His Quirk is called Lock Down, where he can essentially immobilize anything that is not living. He locks the object into a specific place, making it hard to move the locked object.
He was against the students of U.A. participating in a major hero operation. However, after getting saved by them, he admits that the students may be better than the pros.
14. Villetta Nu – Code Geass
While she is not a noble, she hopes to become one through her loyalty and her prowess in battle. Villetta is an elite pilot and subordinate of Jeremiah Gottwald. By the second season, she earned the title of baroness. However, she is blackmailed into joining the Black Knights.
15. Muhammad Avdol – Jojo Bizarre Adventures
He acts as the Egyptian friend of Joseph Joestar in Stardust Crusaders. Avdol eventually joins Joseph’s group in their quest to defeat Dio. In their journey, he would usually give the group intel and guidance about the Stand Users of the enemy. He seems to be well versed in different cultures as well.
Aside from being the group’s brains, he is also a Stand User. Avdol wields a fire manipulating Stand called Magician’s Red.
16. Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV- Cowboy Bebop
She is also known as Radical Edward or simply Ed in the series. She is a child prodigy when it comes to hacking. She ended up as an orphan due to her father “forgetting” to pick her up. When the group ends up on earth, Ed decides to join the crew and become part of the BeBop group.
17. Yoruichi Shihouin – Bleach
Probably the most popular black woman in anime. Yoruichi is the former captain of the 2nd Division of the Gotei and the former commander of the Onmitsukido. She eventually abandoned both her positions and currently works with Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi.
18. Afro Samurai- Afro Samurai
Like his name, Afro is a samurai who is dark-skinned and has an afro. He is an incredibly talented swordsman whose father was decapitated in front of his own eyes as a child.
He eventually grew into a cold-hearted killer seeking revenge for his deceased father.
19. April – Darker the Black
April makes a couple of appearances in the anime Darker than Black. Unfortunately, not a lot of things were revealed about April in the series. However, fans can assume that she has been working with November 11 and July before the start of the series. Her ability is called Atmospheric Pressure Manipulation.
April can create hurricanes and control weather conditions. Her contract payment for her ability is to drink alcohol. Unlike other contractors, April is shown to fully enjoy her remuneration for her abilities.
20. Paninya – Fullmetal Alchemist
Before Lan Fan started sporting her automail arm, another female character had metal limbs. Paninya was introduced as a petty thief, having stolen Ed’s watch in Rush Valley. She was one of the survivors of a train crash before the story.
Unfortunately, the incident killed her parents, and she lost both her legs in the crash. Dominic took her in and gave her automail limbs.
21. Choi Mochimazzi – Tamako Market
Most of the characters here are shown to be badass, coming from either a fighter’s background or having some sort of magical abilities. On the other hand, Choi is a simple human from the anime Tamako Market. However, just because she’s human doesn’t mean she’s any less lovable.
Choi is the Prince’s escort from the land that Dera Mochimazzi comes from. Despite sharing the same surname, she and Mecha are not related. She is shown to be naïve about the world outside their island.
22. Ymir- Attack on Titan
Not to be confused with Ymir Fritz. Ymir is part of the 104th training Corps. She was hiding the fact that she had the ability to transform into the Jaw Titan, and she was aware of the world outside the walls. Unfortunately, Ymir died before the end of the series.
23. Miyuki Ayukawa – Basquash!
From the anime Basquash, Miyuki is the team’s mechanic and is also the childhood sweetheart of Dan JD. Miyuki moved away during her childhood then returns with her grandfather at the start of the series. She has grown to a talented mechanic and teaches Dan how to pilot a Big Foot from a kid.
She then becomes part of the team as their mechanic. While she is not a Basquasher, she has proven herself as an invaluable member of the team.
24. Nessa – Pokemon: Twilight Wings
Nessa hasn’t shown up in the anime Pokemon: Journeys yet, but she did show up in Twilight Wings. She made two cameos in the episodes Letter and Buddy. In addition, she was the main character for the episode Early-Evening Waves.
Nessa works as the Water Gym Leader and a model in the Galar Region. In the episode, The chairman feels Nessa is becoming distracted with her modeling career to the point it’s affecting her performance as a gym leader.
She has another short speaking role in the episode Sky, and she is also seen in the last episode, The Gathering of Stars.
25. Patrick Alexandre Leonard Arge – Gundam Build Divers Re: RISE
Most commonly called by his in-game name Parviz. Parviz is a novice Diver in the series and is the pilot and builder of the gunpla Valkylander.
Upon the recommendation of one of his older brothers, Parviz joins the Gunpla Battle Nexus Online. Because of his shy and timid personality, he has a hard time finding a party or people to enjoy gunplay with. However, he eventually develops a friendship with his gunpla team, BUILD DiVERS.
In real life, Parviz is from a wealthy middle easter family. He was left paralyzed on his legs after he was part of a glider accident.