Who are the best black anime characters and what is anime? Here we provide our black anime characters list and further explore.

Anime has been seen winning over almost the whole world in recent years. With the world going into lockdown, it is not surprising that a lot of people were glued to various screens and found out or reconnected with the genre and world of anime altogether.

black anime characters
Afro Samurai

What is anime?

Anime, which is derived from the English word ‘animation’ is defined as any work that is animated irrespective of its origin or style in Japan. Outside of Japan however and to the rest of the world basically, anime is said to be animation that is produced strictly in Japan.

Any other animation that is produced from other areas that embody a similar style to that of Japan is given the name anime-influenced animation. Anime as a film category is comprised of various genres within as well as subgenres.

How did anime get started?

Animation in Japan started in the 20th century by filmmakers who were experimenting with various techniques that had also been done in other parts of the world such as Russia, Germany, the United States, and France.

The first display of works that were professionally done for the public began in 1907, with animators such as Jun’ichi Kouchi who has gained the title of being the father of anime.

The 1960s is when Osamu Tezuka and manga began adapting a technique that simplified the techniques that were being used by Disney animations to reduce the frame counts as well as reduce the production costs.

What was to simply be a temporary measure as he had a tight schedule and was short on experienced staff is what has come to shape the medium’s style. The first anime film on television was Three Tales.

In the 1970s, the work of Tezuka, as well as other pioneers, inspired genres as well as characteristics that have remained key elements in anime to date.

For example, mecha which is also known as the giant robot genre originated from Tezuka and was then passed on to Go Nagai as well as other animators who developed it and was finally revolutionized by Ayaoshiyuki Tomino who is responsible for the development of the real robot genre.

Top ten Black Anime Characters

Anime is all-inclusive when it comes to race and this makes the film category even more appealing as the world is finally evolving in the sense that there is now more representation on the media of the true diversity of the world. Some of the top black characters in anime include:

Yoruichi Shihoin

Yoruichi is found in the series Bleach which was created by Tite Kubo and is voiced by Satsuki Yukino. She is acted out as Kisuke Urahara’s lifelong friend as well as one of the very first allies of Ichigo as well as the companions. She helps them when it comes to not only the discovery of their powers but also their development.

They are developing their powers because they are anticipating freeing Rukia by clashing with the Shinigami. Yoruichi is first introduced into the film presenting herself as a black cat, but this is just a guise.

She is one of the popular black anime characters who has the power to transform whenever she wants. As a human, she is a woman who has very defined curves, purple distinguishable hair, and dark skin.

Her character is easy-going and playful, she specifically enjoys transforming when other people do not expect it as well as using a masculine tone when she is a cat such that people do not know that she is actually a woman.

Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai

What anime has a black main character?

Afro Samurai is one of a few black male anime characters from the series Afro Samurai that was created by Takashi Okazaki and voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. From his name being the series name, you can already tell that the whole show centers around him. Afro is indeed the main protagonist and is an extremely talented swordsman who has a lot of trauma.

He watched his father get beheaded when he was just an innocent boy and that memory haunts him.

He vowed from then to get revenge on those who had committed the assassination. Afro grows up to be a cold-blooded murderer who hardly has any conscience. He slays many people in defense as well as in vengeance for his father’s murder.


Canary is found in the series Hunter x Hunter that was created by Yoshihiro Togashi and has been voiced by Reiko Kiuchi and Motoko Kumai. Canary is an apprentice butler to the Zoldyck family and takes her job very seriously and is extremely loyal to the Zoldycks. Anyone who attempts to take her position is seen to be removed forcefully.

Initially, Canary was introduced as a strict guardian who has no problem attacking intruders but it is unveiled that she is indeed not as heartless as she tries to make herself be perceived. Canary develops feelings for Killua who is her young master and although Killua offers her friendship, Canary denies the offer due to her position.

Her feelings for Killua make her go against his orders on various occasions. Canary is in her early teens and dark brown skin, grey eyes, and hair that is a dark purple that she usually ties in the back in thick tufts.


April is in the series Darker than Black that was created by Bones and Tensai Okamura and voiced by Takako Honda. April is seen to be an MI-6 agent, with not much being revealed about her past life or history.

She has been working with July as well as November 11 for what can be assumed to be a good amount of time as their relationship is close and they also work very well as a team. The bond April has with her team can be attributed to how much they depend on each other while doing missions.

November 11 is the leader of her team. April is a heavy drinker as it is seen that she turns to alcohol for solace, and she is even able to outdrink owners of bars. She is also able to act on her own whenever the situation calls for her to.

Killer B

Killer B stars in the series Naruto that was created by Masashi Kishimoto and is voiced by Hisao Egawa. Killer B acts as a shinobi who is from Kumogakure. Killer B is tasked with the responsibility of protecting the village. His heart however lies elsewhere as he has dreams of becoming the best rapper worldwide.

Killer B is very powerful and is even able to overpower the whole of Taka’s team that is comprised of dangerous fighters all on his own. He was able to accomplish missions that were considered team missions on his own as a child with his partner A, which enabled him to appreciate how much more talented his brother was.

Jet Black

Jet Black is in the series Cowboy Bebop which was created by Hajime Yatate and voiced by Unsho Ishizuka. Jet Black is a 36-year-old from Jupiter. He is a former officer in the police force and is also known as Black Dog as he is very tenacious. Jet is tall and muscular and has a beard with a bald head.

Jet is brave and is interested in a variety of subjects. He is seen to have been an inspector for several years with the Inter Solar System Police up until when he lost his arm. The left-arm he lost during an investigation that went south was replaced.

This was done by a cybernetic limb. It is this injury as well as the corruption in his former place of work that drove Black into becoming a freelance bounty hunter.


Katara is found in Avatar: The Last Airbender which was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and voiced by Mae Whitman and Eva Marie Saint. Katara is one of the main characters of the show and is a water bender.

She is from the South Pole tribe and has a brother, Sokka who is the last Airbender as well. Sokka and Katara accompany Aang in his mission to restore peace among the globe’s four nations by defeating the Fire Nation. Katara is seen to get more mastery of her gift over the episodes until Hama even teaches her how to Bloodbend in the final season.


Kuzan is seen in the series One Piece which was created by Eiichiro Oda and voiced by Takehito Koyasu. Kuzan is also known as Aokjii and is a former Admiral in the Navy. Sengoku appointed him for the post but he later loses the post to Sakazuki which makes him resign altogether. He then joins the Blackbeard Pirates, with no reason behind this. He is an antagonist together with other marines of the Marineford Arc.


Darui is from the series Naruto that was created by Masashi Kishimoto and voiced by Ryota Takeuchi. Darui is the Fourth Raikage’s right-hand man who is a shinobi. He becomes the Fifth Raikage.

When Darui was still an apprentice under the Third Raikage, he got knowledge on a lot of things, including the unique technique used by the Raikage known as black rai. His accumulated skills make him in the end able to defeat the Gold and Silver Brothers.

Kaz Kaan

Kaaz Kaan is in the popular Netflix series Neo Yokio which was created by Ezra Koenig and voiced by Jaden Smith. Kaz is an occasional demon slayer, a bachelor who is quite decent, a Caprese’s official boy, and a magistrate. Kaz is seen to be quite outspoken and will say what is on his mind, irrespective of whether someone’s feelings get hurt or not. He is also seen to be selfish at times. 


There are many other black anime characters out there, especially as almost all anime films are now inclusive. It is in watching various anime that we can appreciate this fact.