10 of the Badass Black Anime Characters and Why

We often see or heard Japanese names in both comics and anime shows. But one noticeable part we observe is how the Japanese use their last names. They follow a naming convention where Japanese last names are mentioned first before their given name. However, this is not unique to Japan since this method is shared with its neighbors China and Korea.

Many Japanese last names are existing in present-day Japan. According to Motoji Niwa, a researcher who dedicated his study to Japanese family names, there are approximately 300,000 existing last names in Japan. In his research, he found out that, despite this huge number, only 7000 of those are often used and are shared by around 96% of the entire Japanese population.

Article Summary: 

  1. Anime is becoming more diverse and inclusive, including characters of color such as black anime characters in their stories.
  2. Killer Bee from Naruto Shippuden is one of the strongest black anime characters who can control the Eight Tail beast, has a unique self-made taijutsu technique, and uses seven supervibrato swords to channel lightning-style jutsus.
  3. Hau from Pokemon Sun and Moon is a determined character who is always seen to be enjoying life and his Pokemon’s company rather than battles, despite always losing to the player in battles.
  4. Yoruichi Shihoin from Bleach is a master of martial art Hakuda, proficient with Kido, and the exclusive master of the super high-speed technique Shunpo. She also has the unique ability to transform into a cat.
  5. Muhammad Avdol from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures is an anime character with black skin and is a Stand user who can control fire. He is a wise and experienced fighter who acts as a mentor to the protagonist Jotaro.

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Table of Contents

Anime has always been known for its diverse and fascinating characters, and black anime characters are no exception. In this article, we will explore 10 of the most badass black anime characters and delve into why they are so compelling.

We’ve known anime for quite a long time now and we’ve been hooked on many of the best anime series available today. From Voltes V and Astro Boy in the 90s, to the 2000s Naruto and One Piece, anime remains a form of entertainment that keeps getting better over time.

With the modernization of the world, entertainment shows are now following the trend of cultural and racial diversity. Early anime series do not include or consider characters from a variety of racial backgrounds. But today Japanese authors and directors are becoming more inclusive, creating characters of color, such as black anime characters in their stories.

In the following section, readers will discover our list of the 10 most badass Black Anime Characters ever. Get to know some familiar and unfamiliar anime characters and know why they are awesome in many ways. If you haven’t watched any of these, maybe it is time to start your anime marathon and get to know them more! Take note that the characters introduced here are pre-selected based on our ideas and biases. If you’re ready, read on!

The cultural significance of black anime characters

The popularity of anime has expanded worldwide due to its unique storytelling and distinctive animation style. However, the representation of black characters in anime has been limited and problematic for an extended period. Nevertheless, recent years have seen a change toward more complex and diverse portrayals of black characters in popular anime series.

The cultural significance of these black anime characters cannot be overstated as they provide representation and visibility for black people in a medium that has been historically dominated by white and Asian characters. Moreover, these characters challenge stereotypes and present new narratives for black audiences to identify with.

This article examines the importance of black anime characters and their influence on popular culture. Through this exploration, the article underscores the increasing need for more authentic and diverse depictions of black characters

10. Killer Bee – Naruto Shippuden

Bee is probably one of the strongest black anime characters introduced in Naruto Shippuden. He was born and raised in one of the great shinobi villages of that time, the Hidden Cloud Village. The Hidden Cloud village is known for producing shinobis versed with lightning-style jutsus. Bee is not an exception, as he is also proficient with the lightning release. At an early age, he was trained personally by his older brother, Ay, and their duo carried out numerous successful missions for the village, even meeting up and fighting personally with the Yellow Flash of the Hidden Leaf Village.

Killer Bee is also one of the many jinchuriki who successfully control one of the tailed beasts.

killer bee - Badass Anime Characters

Three notable things about Killer Bee make him badass. First, he not only control the Eight Tail beast, but he tamed and befriended it. He can work and team up with the Eight Tail during missions and they consider themselves partners. He can transform into tailed-beast mode and control the Eight Taill’s chakra easily. Second, Bee is known for his unique “Disturbance Taijutsu”. It is a self-made technique that makes him unpredictable in battle. Most of his moves are derived from wrestling moves and are lethal against unwary opponents. Lastly, Bee also has the habit of using his seven Supervibrato swords. These swords help him channel lightning-style jutsus.

But let’s not talk about his dull aspiration to be the world’s greatest rapper. Rapping is not his strong suit.

09. Hau – Pokemon Sun and Moon

The Alola Region in the Pokemon universe is based on Hawaiian influences. Most people introduced in the series and the game are black anime characters since Alola is supposed to be in a tropical region. One of the characters introduced is Hau, a happy and carefree kid from Melemele Island.

Hau is the main rival in the game series Pokemon Sun and Moon. He tries to learn Pokemon and compete with you from time to time throughout the game. Although he often acts as an ally to you as you fight with team Skull and a few trainers from Aether Foundation. He is well-known for his love for malasada, a delicacy in the Alola region.

Hau - Pokemon and Sun Moon

Hau belongs to this list for one thing: his determination.  Similar to your in-game character, Hau is also a new trainer and is inexperienced with Pokemon battles. Despite always losing to you in battle, he seems to never show a sign of dismay and moves on easily to train harder. He is always seen in-game to be enjoying life and his Pokemon’s company rather than battles, but he is still one of the formidable opponents in the game, especially at your end run on Pokemon League.

08. Yoruichi Shihoin – Bleach

Yoruichi, also known as the Flash Goddess, is known for her unique ability to shift into a feline form. She first appeared in the series as a black cat anime character. She belongs to one of the noble clans of Soul Society, the Shihoin family. Despite her noble lineage, she served as a military corps commander of the Onmitsukido Executive Militia (the elite units or special force of the Soul Society.) while leading her clan as the clan’s 22nd head.

Yoruichi_Shihoin_bleach

Yoruichi is considered on the list of badass black anime characters for some good reasons; First, she is a master of Hakuda. Hakuda is only mastered by a few shinigami before being accepted on the Onmitsukido. Her being a former corps commander of the group indicates that she has mastered this martial art.  Second, she is proficient with Kido, which is a form of demonic magic that shinigami use in combat. Lastly, Yoruichi is called the Flash Goddess for her superior mastery of the Shunpo, or Flash Steps. The Shunpo is a super high-speed technique used by shinigami and Yoruichi is exclusively known to be the master of this.

We mentioned earlier that she can transform into a cat. This ability is unique to her out of all the Shinigami captains. 

07. Muhammad Avdol – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures

There are a lot of black anime characters in the series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, but we’re taking the spotlight to Muhammad Avdol. Muhammad is described as an anime character with black hair, black eyes, average height, and a heavy build. His Egyptian theme is seen in his clothing choice of the robe and long scarf around his neck.

Muhammad Avdol - Badass Anime Characters

What makes Muhammad Avdol iconic is his badass Stand (life energy), the Magician’s Red. With this Stand, Muhammad becomes a deadly close-combat fighter. However, his well-compensated close-range combat kit limits his versatility in combat. Despite that, Muhammad can increase his strength immeasurably and deal attacks with precision despite the short range. Muhammad also has other abilities from his Stand such as Pyrokinesis which greatly compliments his physical prowess, giving him the ability to sense and imprison enemies with flames controlled by his mind (thus, pyro and kinesis).

06. Canary – Hunter x Hunter

Canary is a unique black anime side character in Hunter x Hunter. She works exclusively for the Zoldyck family as a servant and personal guard of the family’s lands. While she is only featured in two arcs of the anime, she has proven to be an important and exceptional character in the series. 

Canary - Hunter X Hunter

Despite her small build and child-like appearance, Canary is known to be a ruthless fighter. At the young age of ten years old, she was able to kill an extremist blacklist hunter together with hundreds of his thugs who attempted to get past her post. This makes her one of the most badass black female anime characters in the series.

05. Mr. Popo – Dragon Ball Z

Who doesn’t know the well-known Mr. Popo from the Dragon Ball Z series? Mr. Popo is known for his weird and funny looks in the series. He has a solid black complexion, a chubby build, red lips, round eyes, and pointy ears. He is always shown wearing a white turban, a hooped earring, and a sleeveless vest similar to an Arabic or Persian getup.

Although Mr. Popo was once a center of controversy, being described as an example of racial stereotypes against black people, he remains to be one of the beloved characters in the anime universe.

Mr. Popo - Badass Anime Character

Mr. Popo belongs to this list because of his hidden talents that were unusually not shown in the anime series. He is a very old deity with seemingly no symptoms of physical aging. He served the mighty guardian of Earth, Master Kami, and is expected to be his successor. He tends the Lookout every day and serves as its protector. Not to mention, he is also a skilled martial artist. He trained Earthlings who reached the Lookout, including Son Goku himself.

04. Ogun Montgomery – Fire Force

Ogun Montgomery is best described as an anime character with black hair with shaved sides, dark skin, and orange eyes. Ogun has a deep sense of responsibility for protecting people and is a great team player. He was initially picked by Special Fire Force Company 8 but ended up joining Company 4 for his leadership skill.

Ogun Montgomery - Anime Characters

Ogun is recognized as the “Star Rookie” of Company 4 because of his natural strength and talents in wielding fire. Perhaps what makes him a badass black character is his ability to reshape flames into spears and swords that he can propel at long ranges against his enemies.

But don’t mistake Ogun as a cowardly long-ranged fighter, he is also a deadly close fighter with the ability to beat enemies with his physical attacks. His greatest ability, the Flamy Ink, allows him to tattoo himself with flame patterns, temporarily increasing his strength. However, this ability overheats his body, so he only reserves this ability as a last resort. The Flamy Ink enhances Ogun’s strength, speed, and durability.

03. Afro – Afro Samurai

The Afro Samurai started as a seinen dojinshi manga series back in 1998. The storyline features a futuristic feudal Japan where the greatest warriors compete for the Number 1 headband to earn the title of the strongest in the world.

Afro - Samurai - Badass Anime Character

The main storyline centers on Afro, a dark-skinned man who earned the Number 2 title headband. His adventures focus on earning the Number 1 headband by defeating countless enemy warriors. Afro is a prominent swordsman who grew up becoming a deadly killer in his attempt to achieve the Number one rank of greatest fighters. He can deflect bolts and bullets and perform unique and new sword techniques in the middle of a battle. This makes him one of the OP (overpowered) black anime characters in the anime. 

02. Superalloy Darkshine – One Punch Man

When talking about black anime characters, one of the perfect examples is Superalloy Darkshine from the manga and series One Punch Man. Darkshine, also called the Blackluster, is the 11th-ranked S-Class hero of the Hero Association. He is seen as an overly tall man, with a strong masculine body. Having a weak body when he was young, he forced himself to train his body and muscle until they became super hard as an alloy. His physical durability is said to be the 2nd in the world of heroes, with muscles that are invulnerable to almost any physical attack.

Superalloy Darkshine - Badass Anime Characters

Despite his battle-ready physique and super strength, Darkshine is not a fan of fights. He would prefer to address issues with reasons than fist fights. He has a caring personality and is sensitive to other people’s feelings. He has high respect for other heroes regardless of their current ranking in the association.  Needless to say, Darkshine is still one of the iconic and amazing black characters in anime.

01. Onyankopon – Attack on Titan

Earning our top spot is one of the black anime side characters from the series Attack on Titan– Onyankopon. For those who were able to read the manga or finish the ongoing series, Onyankopon has performed heroic deeds for the remnants of the scouting legion to stop Eren from his genocide.

Onyankopon is also an Eldian but was born on the lands of Marley. He and together with his fellow Eldians were used by Marley as tools for their military conquests. Since Eldians can transform into titans, Marley freely uses them to conquer other countries’ strongholds. But dissatisfactions kept growing within the lands of Marley among the Eldians. The separatist group Anti-Marleyan Volunteers was formed to free most of the Eldians from Marleyan control. Onyankopon joined this movement and had his involvement in Zeke Yeager’s plan to obtain the Founding Titan’s power.

Onyankopon - Attack on Titan

Since he was a skilled Marleyan pilot, he alone can operate the flying boat technology of Marley to quickly reach Eren Yeager. Together with a few remaining Marleyan engineers, they repaired the damaged flying boat so they can fly ahead and reach Eren. He piloted the repaired flying boat and hurriedly dive into Eren’s spine, successfully transporting the Survey Corps and Marley’s titan shifters. 

Onyankopon’s resourcefulness and determination paved the way to the ultimate defeat of Eren. Even if he cannot wield 3D gear or transform into a special titan, he was able to contribute to the effort by delivering safely the Survey Corps and Marleyans to the heart of the rumbling. Onyankopon crashed his plane afterward but lived to tell the tale. 

Onyankopon is the only known black character to be introduced in the entire Attack on Titan Series.

Most Popular Black Anime Character to Exist

The most popular black anime character to exist is Mr. Popo. Unlike other anime series, the popularity and fanbase of Dragon Ball Z are remarkable. Even millennials at a young age were able to watch the Dragon Ball series at home. Mr. Popo has been around in the series and is probably the most widely known black character in every anime series aired.