It’s February, and of course, it’s Black History Month. There are so many real heroes that we talk about. When it comes to fictional characters, there are even more, such as Miles Morales, Black Manta, and Sam Wilson. But what about anime characters? Most casual fans may be able to name Afro Samurai or Jinx (which is a very bad example by the way), but there are a few more out there. Let’s be honest, there may not be a lot of Black characters in anime, but there are a few who truly stand out. Let’s look at a few.
You can’t really do this without starting off with one of the OGs of anime. Not only was Claudia a lieutenant on the SDF-1, she also was involved in a relationship with Roy Fokker. Real Talk: That was probably one of the few interracial relationships that was on a cartoon in the 80’s. She was a Chief Communications Officer who eventually gave her life in service of the Robotech Defense Forces and one the the most memorable early Black anime characters.
30 some odd years later after the original, Voltron was reimagined and along with it, a reimagined Allura. Voiced by Kimberly Brooks, this version of Allura was less damsel in distress and more kick-ass and take charge. She still had her naive moments, but there were many times that she proved herself to be the rock that the Voltron Forces needed.
Andrew Gilbert Mills
Yeah, I am naming him because he is one of those really unsung characters that you may miss. Agil, as he is known in the Sword Art Online series, is an axe wielder and a merchant who owns a shop online and a cafe in real life. If he was a real person, he would be one of those guys who would help you as a newbie in an online game. If you ever needed someone to help you level up, he would be the guy you needed.
You know, I honestly think Attack on Titan would be better if we had more of him…yes, I said it. He has seen a lot and it shows. Haunted by some of his past actions, his appearance and intensity means that failure is not an option.
Your love of Casca as a character depends largely on how much of her character development you like. In Berserk, she is one of the most fierce members of the Band of the Falcon. The other mercenaries respect her because she holds her own. Her love for Guts, however, proves too much for Griffin who after watching Guts and Casca shape the group to their….wait…why am I telling you what happened?? GO WATCH THE SERIES.
There are so many more characters we could discuss such as Dutch, A (Fourth Raikage) and so many others. But really, we know that anime may not have many characters of color but at least we know that many may have more that just supporting roles…which by the way, does this count…?