For us fans of anime, we are of the view that this iconic Japanese originating genre is one of the greatest exports to the west. Anime predated the rise of the internet and the streaming ease that this rise brought. The mid to late 90’s for example saw iconic packages like Toonami bringing us treasured classics like Dragon Ball Z, Bleach and One Piece. Let us not forget the positive reception when the iconic Pokemon franchise also released its anime here in the west.
This article serves to highlight the diversity in anime. We will look at twenty of the most iconic black anime characters.
1. Afro Samurai
This Samuel L. Jackson produced fan favourite follows all of the typical Japanese anime tropes. Afro Samurai is a revenge story. It is a story that is told in bloody animated detail. The title character is well suited for the plot, wielding his sword with precision and efficiency as he cuts his way through each plot point.
Remember earlier when we mentioned the appeal of Pokemon when it finally came west? Well, even before the iconic anime debuted on American televisions, Brock was known to most of the 90’s kids who owned Game Boys and a copy of either Pokemon Red, Blue or Yellow as the first Gym leader faced in these games. The anime however cemented his popularity even further as his personality was fleshed out. We were all immediately enamored with the womanising, rock type Pokemon trainer.
3. A (The Fourth Raikage)
Shonen Jump’s iconic Naruto series grabbed fans worldwide with its fleshed out and relatable characters as well as its lore and deep plots. This black character A was introduced in the Naruto Shippuden era of the series. As the Fourth Raikage, A is a master of lightning style ninjutsu. He uses his broan, skill and resolve to lead his village as its Raikage.
Also introduced in the Naruto Shippuden series, Killer B is the holder of the eight tailed beast. This character is clearly an attempt to give the beloved franchise a more western appeal, as he is often depicted as having aspirations of becoming the world’s greatest rapper. This does not diminish his fighting prowess however, as he is the only person who can perform the tag team move Lightning Release: Double Lariat with his unofficial older brother A.
In keeping with the tradition established in the 1990’s, Lenora is a character that was released in both the Pokemon video games and the anime. She is the leader of the Nacrene City Pokemon Gym and specializes in normal type Pokemon. Lenora is also the director of the Nacrene City Museum. The character was first introduced in the Black and White generation of the anime and the video games.