Black Characters in Today’s (and Yesterday’s) Anime

Continuing on with Nerdy But Flirty‘s Black History Month special articles, today, I bring you an interesting, yet almost taboo, topic amongst anime and manga fans alike:

The portrayal of black characters in anime.

Contrary to popular belief, the rising of more black (read: not “dark skinned”) anime characters grows higher with every new anime that is released and every new manga that is penned. All though finding reputable black characters in anime seems a little difficult.

“What does she mean by ‘reputable’?” 

Well, that should be obvious enough: I’m talking about characters that do not, in any way, portray that idiot-ass stereotype of a character with jet-black skin and huge red lips that take up half their face. And, of course, if you’re a Dragonball fan, or, yes, even a Pokémon fan, then these two characters pop straight into your mind:

None other than Mr. Popo and the Pokémon Jynx. Needless to say, these two characters came under fire for being portrayed as horribly racist, due to the fact that they both look like portrayals of blackfaceAnd, if you’ve never heard of it, long story short, blackface is when a non-black/brown/dark-skinned person paints his or her face tar black and makes his lips look wide to “imitate” black people. While this was practiced merely for the sake of show business during the Jim Crow era, it sickens me to see people doing it now.

Case in point: Anyone hear of that absolute fucking moron hockey player and how he painted his entire body brown to go as rapper Jay-Z for Halloween? Yeah. That’s not funny. In fact, I can even give you a classic example of the ignorance that attests to blackface:

Picture it: Anime Central, 2010. A rather husky (obviously) white man decided to cosplay as Mr. Popo. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much… (actually, why lie? I was rather pissed the fuck off) until he started using urban slang, such as “Yo, yo, homie,” and when I actually heard him say, “What’s up, my n*****?” to a black friend of his, I about hit the ceiling. I yelled at him right there in the lobby of the Hyatt and told him he ought to be ashamed of himself. I told him if he wanted to dress as Mr. Popo, fine, but when you are blatantly acting “ghetto” and using racist terms, and a word I absolutely fucking hate and never say, that’s when you aren’t being funny – you’re being an ignorant, racist asshole.

But.

That’s ultimately what I mean when I say that I am happy to have found, and made a list of, reputable, respectable, and non-insulting black and African-American characters found in anime. It means that somewhere in the middle of character creation, the mangaka and artists thought, “I want to put a black character in here. I need a reference,” and didn’t use the negative, stereotypical “blackface” characters, but actually looked at it and said, “Wow. That’s dumb. That’s not what a black person looks like.” And then I assume from there, they went to Google and actually looked up black men and women to draw their references from. I applaud you, various mangaka, who went beyond the stereotypes and gave us amazing, badass characters such as:

Bob Makihara from the manga/anime Tenjou Tenge

I’m not even going to try and hide it; with a name like “Bob”, I was like, “I CALL LAZY WRITING!” But after seeing him in action, he is, undeniably, a badass. Not only does he add some culture to the story, but the writer/creator actually goes into depth about how Bob’s fighting style is based strictly around ritualistic capoeria – and Bob himself explains that capoeria itself is a Brazililian martial art that slaves once upon a time disguised as dancing, to his girlfriend-turned-wife, Chiaki (One of the more comical moments in the story, as Chiaki constantly calls his fighting style break dancing).

Oh. And did I mention dem dreads? And they aren’t the ones that are just growing, either. These dreads are a full-blown mane (spoiler alert: he shaves them off, but grows ’em back out towards the end), and Bob explains (yet again, to his girlfriend Chiaki) the actual symbolism of his dreadlocks and the Rastafarian culture as a whole.

At first, I thought, “Oh, whoo. Action manga with a lotta ginormous boobs, panty-shots, and of course, the token black guy who can break dance.”

But my entire attitude towards Bob’s portrayal changed when it became apparent that everything he does, from the style of his hair to his fighting style, is based so deep in his culture. The creators did an amazing job bringing that to the surface, making him a trailblazer for more realistically-portrayed black people in anime and manga.

Bugnug (pronounced “Boognug”)/Dark Eyes from Crying Freeman

bugnug

If anyone is wondering why she is stark naked, well, to be honest, I couldn’t find hardly any pictures of this woman fully clothed, but that’s fine because her nudity serves a purpose. In this crime-based manga, turned anime, turned live action (which was awful, in my own opinion), we are introduced to a variety of characters, many of them members of one crime syndicate or another, including ones based in Russia, China, and, yes, even Africa. Now, given the years during which Crying Freeman was developed (still at the height of the stereotypical black character portrayals), I found myself especially surprised with how tasteful the members of the Askari syndicate were portrayed (even if they did look like skinny/large brown-skinned characters who retained a lot of white features, such as the straight hair, blue eyes, etc, etc, but God bless them, they tried).

And then here comes Bugnug. Literally, I was so appalled when I saw her character, I wanted to punch creator and illustrators Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami in their faces. Hard. This amazon of a woman leaps naked from a car to attack Freeman. Now, I don’t mean she was in the middle of having sex and Freeman interrupted her – no. Just when Freeman kills who he thinks is the real leader of the Askari, this naked African woman with the build of two Amazons leaps out of the car and ambushes him.

Her design was so absurd to me in more ways than one; mainly, that she seemed to be based upon the horrific stereotype of African women as nothing more than violent killers who ran around naked, swung from trees, and were well over six-feet tall. I was literally so aghast when I saw Bugnug (BTW: Her name means anteater) I literally almost stopped watching Crying Freeman at that very moment. It was such a severe WTF moment, and such an insult, that I could hardly believe what I was watching.

All I could think was, “These morons have never seen an African woman in their entire lives.”

Now. Is it customary, in some tribes, for women to walk around bare-breasted? Yes. Mainly because it follows the principal of a woman’s breasts being sacred, and giving of life and nutrients to children. Breasts aren’t something that they cover in some of the tribes of Africa because there is no shame in having them, very much unlike how people will balk at the idea of a woman walking around topless in America and other parts of the world. It’s a cultural difference.

But Miss Bugnug didn’t depict any of of the pride African women have; and instead, was portrayed as no more than a violent beast.

…Until Freeman wins her over. Literally, mid-fight, he bites her nipple (Don’t look at me like that, I cannot make this up) and that’s all it takes for her to suddenly say, “I’m in love with you, Freeman! You have my total loyalty!” I was so out and out fed up with this episode that I almost wanted to punch my computer.

BUT. What redeemed this character for me was how her personality (and yes, her design) evolved so beautifully. Make no mistake about it: as the leader of one of Africa’s most feared crime syndicates, she has to be hardened and she has to show little compassion, especially being a woman. She’s a top assassin, and deadlier even than Freeman or any of his top asassins in his own syndicate, the 108 DragonsBut when Bugnug sheds her hardened exterior to save Freeman’s life through a blood transfusion (because every woman Freeman meets falls in love with him, and again, this is no exaggeration), I had a bit more respect for her.

Freeman then gives her the code name (something absolutely forbidden by the rules of his own gang, but for her, he makes an exception) Dark Eyes (How unique).

I was honestly believing that would have been the last I would see of Bugnug for a long time, but lo and behold, a few episodes later, Bugnug returned with a completely different design, at least physically. She is shown as a more slender woman, but with subtle muscle tone, wearing a skin-tight motorcycle racing uniform, and is, by the behest of Freeman, tracking down a dangerous assassin. She is nothing short of amazing as she performs evasive maneuvers with her motorcycle, fires a gun skillfully, and, with her beauty amplified, she is almost something of a representation of a blaxploitation vixen.

(Unfortunately (oh surprise, surprise), she gets the short end of the stick when she is raped and left to die by said dangerous assassin, but is quickly found by Freeman, the man she loves, but he has a wife along with three other women who are batshit crazy in love with him. And yes, they kiss, literally making anime and manga history as the very first scene of intimacy between an Asian male and a black woman.

(*Cue “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from the Lion King OR “Jungle Fever” by Stevie Wonder. Whichever you prefer.)

But, as a character, and a black one at that, given the time period she was created, I have to say, she is definitely one of the better attempts at portraying a black woman in anime that I have seen in a very long time (despite the attempt rubbing me the wrong way more than once). And she’s a badass assassin who is also a crime lord. Bonus points on that one.

Afro from Afro Samurai

afrosamurai_hero

Now this is one of my favorite black characters. Why? Because this guy is voiced by motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson. I actually would have never have found out about Afro Samurai had I not been channel surfing late one night. And suddenly, there is this black samurai with a ginormous afro, a badass sword, and a huge blunt chopping up baddies left and right. I fell in love with it, mainly because it was like a mixture of Samurai Champloo and The Boondocks. Noticably enough, he was followed by yet another black character: Ninja Ninja (also voiced by Samuel L. Jackson).

Because I had jumped in the middle of the series, I had no idea what was going on, who these characters were, or any smidgen of insight into either character’s connections with one another, so, I went out and bought the first season of Afro Samurai, and I have got to give it up to Gonzo for creating one of the most epic animes I have ever seen. There is so much character depth that you literally drown in it if you can’t keep up (or even read subtext and in between the lines).

This series (and its character) was fully inspired by creator Takashi Okazaki’s love of hip-hop and soul music, and he eventually began incorporating these elements, along with old samurai lore, to create the character Afro and the rest of the series. There is no shortage of racial tensions, as the story focuses solely on Afro being the lone black person in futuristic Japan, with a desire to get revenge and become Number 1. (Not gonna spoil this one for you.)

Case in point: The characters (as well as the creator) never miss a moment to remind Afro (or the viewers) that he is, quite possibly, the very last black man on earth. Being so, Afro refuses to act as a negative stereotype of black people (and, in fact, quite hates it), and remains cold, stoic, and indifferent many times, except towards his goal, and he is even shown trying to have compartmentalized his racial identity (as well as other emotions such as love, hatred, etc), not wanting to deal with it at all.

But, Ninja Ninja…? The walking embodiment of a negative, stereotypical black man. He’s Afro’s complete and total opposite in the sense that he’s loud, absurd, he panics a lot, and often speaks the thoughts and expresses the emotions and feelings that the emotionless and stoic Afro does not/can not. There’s a bit of a secret about Ninja Ninja, buuuuuuut…you’re gonna have to see Afro Samurai for yourself (heh heh).

Afro Samurai is, hands down, a badass. There are no two ways about it. His swordmanship is unparalleled to anyone else’s, he kills without mercy, and you often wonder what goes on inside of his head when Ninja Ninja isn’t around to express and convey that to the audience. (Again, you’re gonna really need to learn how to read subtext if you ever expect to understand this show.)

Shinobu (Real name: Scarlet Jacobs) from No More Heroes

Shinobu

And while we’re on the subject of samurai with afros and grudges, let me direct your attention to this babe. Shinobu, from the video game-turned-anime, No More Heroes and it’s sequel, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle is so similar to Afro Samurai that some believe her appearance, as well as her background, was heavily inspired by Afro Samurai (including, a damn near identical character that appears in Afro Samurai as well).

Shinobu is an eighteen-year-old assassin with a grudge and a score to settle with the man who killed her father. Fierce, dangerous, sexy, and quite fashionable (her outfits are kogal and gothic lolita inspired), Shinobu has left her mark as being a girl who is not to be tangled with. Her character goes through some of the most remarkable personality changes, but she doesn’t become some lovesick little heroine, especially when the object of her affections (before she realized it was a case of mistaken identity  is actually her target, Travis Touchdown (and no, I DIDN’T make that name up either). After clearing everything up, and some time later, she develops quite a crush on Mr. Touchdown (there, hurr hurr pervy joke), who becomes her teacher, with Shinobu even going so far as to call him “Sensei” or “Master”, but is often rebuffed because of the huge age difference between them (he is twenty-seven in the first game, and thirty in the next), and because he refuses to be, quote: “like the pervy teacher in a porn,” end quote.

Beautiful, intelligent, deadly, and intelligent, Shinobu is definitely one of the best portrayals of a black woman I have ever seen in any anime, or video game (but comes in second to the legendary Sheva Alomar, who hopefully makes SarahTheRebel’s list since she’s covering video games haha) [EDITOR’S NOTE: She totes does].

Kaname Tousen from Bleach

Big, black, brainy, and yes, blind as a bat, Tousen caused many Bleach readers around the world to gasp in shock (dunno why) when Tousen was revealed at last. (Again, I really don’t know why, given that Kubo isn’t afraid to have some diversity in his series, but apparently, the general reception of learning Tousen’s race was a bit of a surprise. This alone tells me how few black characters appear in manga and anime, though I’m fairly satisfied with this list so far.)

As a character, Tousen’s development is nothing short of impressive, and a show of damn good writing within the Bleach storyline. Like many characters, he has a tragic past, and a reason for his personal motto being, “I want to follow the path with the least bloodshed.” This would be a great and wonderful sentiment if his actions didn’t speak otherwise, while he followed that such-and-so, Aizen.

Tousen, obviously, has a handicap: he’s blind. But you wouldn’t even know it, given how well he functions in daily life, and the amount of strength, finesse, and skill he possesses in battle. Tousen is known for his loyalty, and will occasionally offer insight into what the others are thinking. Because of his blindness, Tousen’s other senses are heightened one-thousand percent, and he can always sense danger miles before it even arrives. He’s a skilled tactician, and definitely one of the most intelligent characters in the Bleach universe. All of that, alone, makes him a positive black anime character in my book.

Yoruichi Shihoin from Bleach

I was almost iffy about adding her to the list, because the subject of whether or not she’s black, or just a dark-skinned character, is one of the most controversial subjects regarding Bleach that has been heatedly debated. Some suggest she’s a dark-skinned Asian, while others believe that she is neither Asian nor black, but of Hispanic origin.

As for where I stand on Yoruichi’s race debate, I’m not sure. To be honest, I would go so far as to say she’s simply a dark-skinned Asian. Not because I’m hating on her, but because she was designed by Kubo, who also designed Tousen, and he made it a point to give Tousen fuller lips, and more “ethinic” hair texture. If he’d wanted to assure readers that Yoruichi was black, he could have done the same. But again, I’m not Kubo, so I honestly have no clue what race she actually could be. She could even be Brazillian, for all I know, but one thing is for sure: this brown-skinned babe’s racial origins are a heated debate amongst Bleach fans worldwide, and I feel she was worth a mention, regardless. (Because she’s freakin’ awesome.)

Miyuki Ayukawa from Basquash

Closing out our list is none other than the techie-badass Miyuki, from the anime/manga Basquash. Although people were originally ready to put her in the same “racially ambiguous” category as Yoruichi, Basquash creator Tetsuya Hayashi had this to say in an interview:

“When creating Miyuki, I thought it would be obvious that she was African-American. The dreads should have been a dead giveaway.”

And he’s right. The main reason I knew that Miyuki was, in fact, black was because of her hair. Mangaka nowadays have been incorporating more ethnic styles and textured hair into their black characters to distinguish them from other characters, and go so far as to establish their race of being black/African-American. While in the anime, she doesn’t have the more or less stereotypical fuller lips like she does in the manga, Hayashi has made it clear, both in design and words, that Miyuki is a black character.

And what a character she is! The running gag with her is her large cleavage bouncing all over the place like she was in a rodeo. While Miyuki has the face of a cute and innocent ten year old (and very much resembles Iris from the Pokémon series), she is in fact a young woman in her late teens with heaps of both sexuality and incomparable intelligence. Her role in the series is that she is a mechanic, and she has been stated to have a high IQ as well as a knowledge of physics. 

She also has a very wild and out personality that masks a very sweet and softer side of her. She is the protagonist Dan’s childhood sweetheart, and has always been in love with him, although, she is in fact willing to step back like a real woman when a character named Rouge comes into the picture (BLECH). Energetic, excitable, intelligent, and of course, possessing a killer body, Miyuki makes the list of positive black anime characters who are making the anime scene more and more diverse, and straying more and more away from the negative stereotype of how black people (as well as black characters) are portrayed.

Of course there is no excuse for ignorance. If you believe that the stereotype of all black men is that they are uneducated thugs, or basketball players, and that black women are loud, bitchy, ghetto, and perpetual, promiscuous baby-makers, judging from what you’ve seen portrayed negatively in anime, manga, video games, and the media, then…

You my good reader, need to really get your head out of your ass, turn off Maury Povich, and grow a brain. Oh, and don’t be surprised to know black girls enjoy playing video games too (just sayin’).

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67 thoughts on “Black Characters in Today’s (and Yesterday’s) Anime

  1. Pingback: Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Token Foreigner, Part 2 – Sports Anime and the Portrayal of Black Characters | Rooster Illusion

  2. im South African, a Zulu guy to be specific. While watching anime, I noticed African (Bantu)words which were the same as Japanese words. Such as
    Yada(No,Refuse) Yala(Refuse)
    Kaze(Wind) Kaza(Cold Wind)
    Shine(Die) Shona(Pass Away)
    Ishe(Stone) Iche(Stone)
    Waga(My) Waka(My)
    Nai(Negative*) Hai(No)
    Tsuhiki(Days) iNtsuku(Days)
    Inka, Inuka, Inu(Dog) Inja(Dog)
    Asoko, Soko(There) Na Soke(There it is)
    Yami(Darkness) Nyama(Dark/Black)
    Kona Kanji(Like This) Khona Kanje(Like This)
    Sawara(Touch) Tswara(Hold, Touch)
    Iza (Come now) Iza (Come)
    Amazing right?! These are just a few of the words Ive found, theres too many to type out. I thought these were just coincidences. I could never believe it when i first watched anime. Anyway I became more ”woke” and i started to do some research and found out that linguists have already established that Japanese, Korean, Tamil, Catonese have there roots in the Bantu group of languages. I also found many similarities between the customs and traditions of our people and Japanese culture. Point is there are Japanese who know that we, Africans, once did settle in that island. But there is delibirate amnesia, and withholding of information.

    • it’s a highly debated topic whether Japanese has African origins bc at the current moment linguists classify it as a unique language with no root (phonetically) yet there are many similarities between it and many different African languages

  3. I was pleasantly surprised while watching kuromukuro on Netflix to see three clearly black characters, two with occasional dialogue and one as a very important supporting character. And the female representation is amazing. Half of the scientists, government and military are women. The black characters are a schoolmate, the head f the UN (and she’s a woman!) and one of the lead scientists.

  4. As to the comments on Yoruichi’s ethnicity, one important thing to remember is that even if she’s Brazilian, she can still be black. I know some people touched on this already, but I think black people in America tend to forget that there are blacks around the entire world. There are blacks in Brazil, England, France, etc. Yuruichi could even be biracial. It’s very unlikely, but she could have the skin tone and still have that type of hair due to being mixed.

  5. Pingback: Charactors Of Games | Vuthi

  6. Pingback: #AnimeSunday: A Bit More Melanin For Your Cosplay - WTFGamersOnlyWTFGamersOnly

  7. Nobody mention Villetta or Rockshita from Code Geass even if they are side characters and I am pretty sure I butchered spelling there’s names.

    • Yeah you buchered the hell outta their names lol. And that’s because neither of them are Black. One is Indian and the other is Britianican. Neither are black. They are “dark skinned” and I specifically said BLACK.

      • Actually, yes Villetta is black. Brittanian is her nationality, just as African Americans nationality are Americans. They are still black even if you take out the African. Just as Villetta is a black Brittanian. Black is a race defined by the color of a person’s skin. Nationality is their place of birth.

  8. Pingback: Anime Characters With Masks | My Blog

    • No one ever ,mentions Kilik from Soul Eater”.

      [img]https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d2/bd/ea/d2bdeaf3eea6251765eae817197c9c37.jpg[/img]

  9. Pingback: Non-Japanese Anime Characters | AikaFlip

  10. On Yoruichi I always thought she was black, she always reminded me of Flo Jo for some reason. She could be dark-skinned Asian but with a nickname like Shunshin and what Florence was able to do when she was a sprinter it just seems to make sense :). Anyway nice list!

  11. Seychelles from Hetalia, and a new black female that’s recently been introduced (we don’t know which nation she actually is, though)

  12. Thanks for posting this! I recently became an anime fan it all started with full metal, AOT and death note and i really want to go to anime north in a legitimate and accurate costume and my Caucasian friends have lots of options and I don’t or at least thought i didn’t. Thanks for this! 🙂

  13. Awesome post and comments!! I love to see my people in a positive manner, I believe it helps up see our self’s in a positive manner!! I all ways loved anime and even use to draw in its iconic styles I also had dreamed of producing my own anime and manga, sadly I never planned on making black characters due to the fact anime is Japanese I believed my characters should be to but I’m glad I saw this and picked up on some anime’s I didn’t know exist! P.S. I’m a firm believer that race doesn’t determine who is good or bad and stereotyping breeds racial tension when we should see the fact that we are all human

  14. Pingback: Why Otakon Gave Me Some Frowny Emotes: Unacknowledged Social Issues In Anime | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

  15. Nice! Looking for passionate anime/manga artists, to help in a series aimed at melanated people to reveal our true history on this planet (which was once ONLY inhabited by melanated/black people) ALL shades and cultures originated from us, but a lighter race that lacks melanin (sun-charging energy) has taken over and want to completely annihilate the melanated beings from the planet, hence all black cultures are poor and at the bottom of society in every culture. Please contact me via facebook, or at my website http://designinnovatively.com I have a few of the characters already, but most definitely open for more, and even ideas! There’s more to it than this, but can’t give all details publicly.

  16. Great Post. I wound up here because I’m currently reading Attack On Titan and I find it baffling that only a small fraction of humanity remains and I have yet to see any black titans, characters, or even citizens. I wanted to see what others had to say on the subject and I appreciate that you took to high road by acknowledging these great characters and their creators. I would like to mention some more characters that came to mind from Bleach, which is the most diverse manga/anime in my opinion.
    Oetsu Nimaiya (Royal Guard)
    Love Aikawa (vizard – former 7th Division Captain)
    Tier Harribel (#3 Espada)
    Zommari Rureax (#7 Espada)

    • You say that like those two things are mutually exclusive. You know Brazil boasts the largest black population outside of Africa, right? It’s understandable not to, media doesn’t portray that well but Brazil is very black.

      • I’m pretty sure Michiko and plenty of characters in Michiko and Hatchin are of a mixed Japanese and Latino decent as they have a Japanese first name and Spanish last name as Michiko’s name is Michiko Malandro implying she’s Latino and Japanese along with Hatchin or Hana Morenos who is a white Latino, I learned in Multicultural Studies that Latino’s can be anywhere from Black to White when it comes to skin color, which explains why Hatchin is white, Michiko is dark skinned, and other characters are black.

  17. Bear Walken from Gungrave is one of the coolest black characters ever. I highly recommended that show; also Cowboy Bebop has some good black characters too.

    • I agree with you on the Cowboy Bebop series, my family and I already like the show to begin with but when we seen the episode with the mushrooms with the black cast in most of the show we REALLY liked the show then. Finally a Japanese anime showing black people who actually looked like normal people and not a racist caricature of someone’s idea of what a black person looks like.

  18. The reason why many are so quick to put a Miyuki or Yoruichi in the racially ambiguous category is because for the most part Black Women are almost always portrayed in two ways, Ghetto or Mammy and those exaggerations are put there to make certain that they will come off as ugly. So of course when you see a cute black woman, people question if she’s actually Black. You know they want to ask what she’s mixed with. Pure ignorance! But lets not forget that many of these characters have Japanese names. The Japanese don’t see Race the way Americans or people that come from diverse societies do so they wouldn’t get the fuss.

  19. Yourichi is black and spanish. There are different kinds of black people some black people have thin lips and wavy and curly soft textured hair, and other black people have thick corse hair black people come in all shades, hair textures, shapes and colors. There are white people who have nappy hair, some white people have thick and wide noses, and some asians have black mixtures, look at nelson mandelia give him straight hair and he’s 100% Asian. That just proves everyone came from Black People (Africans Moors)

  20. I was watching hunter x hunter, which has a black girl in it for a few episodes, as well as Hajime no ippo, and Eyeshield 21. I have to say its true there is not many black people in Japan so i can understand why there isnt many in manga’s. i also feel its good that black characters are not given negative stereotypes from the ones i have seen in Mangas.

  21. My first encounter with a true African-American character in Manga was Panther from the american football themed Manga Eye-Shield 21. If you can read the original Manga (they may have done some re-hashing of it by now) his backstory or rather the backstory of his racist white coach is quite hilarious even though its riddled with some stereotypical images. It does offer however an honest assumption of how cultures outside the US view white-black American race relations.

    Also I would give Ed from Cowboy Bebop an honorable mention she’s right on that dark skin Asian or Black character
    borderline.

    Anyway, enjoyed the post keep the good stuff coming!

  22. I agree with the author – I believe Yoruichi is most definitely a dark-skinned Asian. Most likely Indian. Especially when compared to characters like Tousen and Don Kanonji.

    That said, you forgot about Dutch from Black Lagoon. One of the main characters, and badass, too.

  23. I have two problems with a lot of Japanese Anime (let’s toss in video games as well). First, unlike what one of the posters on here stated, a great deal of their (Japanese) anime and manga characters are blond and blue eyes (something Japanese and other Asian races are NOT). It’s like they worship Caucasians more than themselves. And we could go on and on with that topic. Second, the few black characters (other than a few you have pointed out) have blue (or some other color abnormal for black people) eyes and blond (or, again, some other color abnormal for black people) hair. It annoys me highly.

  24. good job! i think your list was great. and just my personal opinion i think Yoruichi Shihoin is black unless said otherwise. black women have all sorts of products to use to make their hair straight, (flat iron, perm, etc) and then the last resort, TRACKS! lol no offense but what about Michiko e Hatchin? i think Michiko is black and the child is mixed. Alot of people were saying she “Brazilian” as if that is a race itself, NO brazil is a country. you have African french, african british, african american ( sound familiar?)…. check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZHHXgb0QDA

  25. Great list!
    Also, just a heads up: I heard that jinx’s character design was based off of a very popular makeup trend in Japan at the time. They then changed jinx’s face purple instead of black.
    Just FYI 😉

  26. I agree with you I’m tired of racial stereotypes as well. The thing about manga is that it arises out of Japanese culture and japan is one of the most homogenous places in the world (being 98% Japanese – the white, black, Korean, Chinese, and every other ethnicity of people only make up 2% of the Japanese population.) so manga has almost exclusively Japanese characters & it’s not often that a Japanese writer will write a proper un stereotypical character of another nationality, even Europeans or white people. White people in anime are often blond and either airheaded, slutty, and unsophisticated or loud and dumb. There’s a general distrust of foreigners there, watch any videos on YouTube of people visiting or even living there who aren’t Japanese – white or black. That being said it is great when there is diversity in manga but there are lots of other artists out there from places not in japan who are writing wonderful stories that are even more diverse than what is typical. For example I’m reading wet moon, there are a lot of women of color in this story – and not just that but women of different body types, sexual orientation, and there are even a couple characters with physical deformities (I feel like it’s rare for there to be a character without an arm, or in a wheelchair who is just a normal character in a story and not a device to encourage diversity and acceptance). There’s lots of great stuff out there, and hopefully there will be more.

    • I’m white and I don’t care, unless stereotypes don’t become hate. But Japaneses don’t seem filled by hate toward blacks and whites.
      Also in Ojamajo Doremy there is a japanese girl that defend her black friend from a racist comment by another japanese classmate.

    • Good way of putting. I don’t act how people think I would be because of my race. I play video games and watch anine just like everyone who does too or what people call white people. I think you don’t have to ve white to like anime. You could ve any race. I also like rock music but people still leave those racist words to me saying that I should be hearing rap and pop. XC let me be myself ! That’s all I tell them.

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