Sailor Moon and Yuyu Hakusho were some of my favorite anime episodes as a child, but I always dreamed of seeing a Black woman in some of these shows who looked like myself. To see oneself reflected in something you enjoy is only natural.
However, when it comes to portraying other minorities, anime often falls short. Especially when it comes to characters of African descent. ” Even if they aren’t a racist stereotype, I’m thrilled when there is a Black character in an anime. That’s all you can ask for.
Since I was a kid, there has been a significant increase in the number of black characters in anime. I’m a huge fan of the increase in the number of black female characters in anime. Though there aren’t many of them, I still feel pleased everytime I see a Black lady character in an anime that I appreciate.
In comparison to when I was a kid, I no longer have to make do with glimpses. There are a number of successful anime series featuring Black female protagonists like Carole & Tuesday and Michiko to Hatchin. Cannon Busters, for example, features a majority of Black characters, and the animation studio behind it is run by a Black person. My goal is that the portrayal of Black characters in anime will continue to improve.
As a way to recognize Black History Month, I’ve put up a list of some of my favorite black female anime characters.
10. Coffee – Cowboy Bebop
Because fetishization is real and unpleasant, on the other hand, I have some reservations with her being named after coffee. However, I still claim her. Coffee’s appearance in Cowboy Bebop is brief, but she leaves a lasting impression. Her 70s Blaxsploitation style and mannerisms are what I find most appealing about her.
9. Sister Krone – The Promised Neverland
As a result of the stereotyping of Sister Krone’s Black features in various instances, I have mixed views towards her character. In spite of this, I’m still a big fan of hers and I’m able to relate to her. She’s done anything and everything to ensure her own survival. Her story arc in the series is one of my favorites, despite the fact that she’s initially introduced as an enemy.
8. Atsuko Jackson – Michiko to Hatchin
Other than a badass, that’s the only way I can describe Atsuko. In my opinion, her convoluted relationship with the protagonist, Michiko, is one of the most intriguing aspects of the story. As an Afro-Brazilian, I appreciate that she represents Afro-Latinx in a positive light.
7. Michiko Malandro – Michiko to Hatchin
Michiko is another Afro-Latina character and the protagonist of Michiko to Hatchin.
With her looks and moves, she’s a force to be reckoned with, and she’s not afraid to show it. She has a heart of gold beneath her harsh demeanor, which is what I admire most about her.
6. Miyuki Ayukawa – Basquash!
Miyuki has both intelligence and beauty in plenty. She’s an important character on the program, and she provides significant contributions to the mechs’ advancements (giant robots). She has locs and is a black female engineer, so perhaps her character can inspire other young women to pursue a career in the field of engineering.
5. S.A.M. – Cannon Busters
One of the main characters in the Netflix anime series Cannon Busters is S.A.M. short for Special Associate Model.
In spite of the fact that she appears to be a sweetheart, she possesses a secret power that packs more than a punch.
4. Casca – Berserk
When I first started watching anime, one of the first characters I encountered was Casca, a Black female protagonist. She is one of the strongest and most capable leaders of the Band of the Falcon at the beginning of Berserk. She still has a particular place in my heart, despite my displeasure with her character’s evolution over the years. That she is a terrific leader to her teammates and that they rarely dispute her solid judgment and plan is something I particularly appreciate.
3. Yoruichi Shihouin – Bleach
Yoruichi from Bleach has to be included on any list of black ladies in anime. She was born into a wealthy noble family, but she doesn’t act like one. When it comes to fighting, she’s powerful, sharp, humorous, and has a history of success. I admire her calm demeanor, but I also admire her ability to change into a ferocious warrior when necessary.
2. Carole – Carole & Tuesday
Carole’s life hasn’t always been easy, but she hasn’t let that get her down. Besides her role as Carole & Tuesday’s lead singer, she is also the show’s protagonist. What I like most about Carole is her desire to make her aspirations come true, despite her stylish appearance, hard work ethic, and musical talent.
1. Canary – HunterXHunter
Canary from Hunter x Hunter is the final and most important character. For the Zoldyck family, a fearsome and powerful assassins, Canary is their deadly bodyguard/servant. Despite her formidable fighting skills, she still possesses a soft and caring nature. I like her devotion to the people she cares about and her willingness to defy orders in order to aid them.
They are all dear to my heart as a Black girl who is an anime fan. As a result, there are currently more black women in anime than ever before. Even if it’s not always the case, it gives me hope that representation will continue to improve.