I was raised on classic anime series like Sailor Moon, Yuyu Hakusho, and Dragon Ball Z as a little Black girl who loved anime, but I always hoped there were Black anime girls in some of those episodes that looked like me. It’s only natural to want to see oneself mirrored in something you enjoy
Since I was a kid, there has been a significant improvement in the representation of Black characters in anime. I’m extremely pleased that there are now more Black female anime characters. Even though there aren’t many of them, I get excited whenever I see a Black woman character in an anime that I enjoy.So I’ve put together a list of Black women in anime who I’ve been proud to be called my own over the years.
1. Coffee – Cowboy Bebop
When Coffee appears in Cowboy Bebop, we don’t get much time with her, but she leaves an impression. Her 70s Exploitation aesthetic and mannerisms are what I like best about her. Coffee is a bounty hunter girl. The protagonist of Pam Grier’s film Coffy was the inspiration for coffee. She makes an appearance in “Mushroom Samba,” in which she meets Edward. Coffee later discovers that Ed is also a bounty hunter.
She joins Ed on his search for a mushroom farmer who grows uncommon drug-like mushrooms. Coffee jumps into her convertible and follows the train. Ed and the dealer enter, and she tries to prevent a bounty hunter from capturing them first. She manages to stop him, but he crashes into her, resulting in both of them losing the bounty.
2. Sister Krone – The Promised Never-land
When it comes to Sister Krone, I have mixed thoughts, mostly because I don’t like how her Black traits are emphasized in stereotyped ways during some instances. Apart from that, I still like her and I like her. She’s done everything she’s done to stay alive. Krone, commonly known as Sister Krone, is a character from the manga The Promised Never-land. She worked as a caretaker at the Grace Field House orphanage alongside Isabella. She would later try to steal Isabella’s role as “Mama,” which would result in her death at the hands of Isabella, Grandmother, and the Demons.
3. Atsuko Jackson – Michiko to Hatchin
The best way to describe Atsuko, like a badass. She’s tough and motivated to achieve her goal, and her complicated connection with Michiko, the chief character, is fascinating. I also admire that she is Afro-Brazilian because it provides Afro-Latinx people a voice. Atsuko Jackson is a police officer who grew up in the same orphanage as Michiko Malandro and appears to have a grudge against her.
She is now a vigilante outlaw and was the one who arrested Michiko twelve years before the main narrative. Michiko likes to insult her by calling her “Jambo” (a Portuguese Brazilian slang term for a dark-skinned or brown-skinned person). She appears to have mixed feelings for Michiko, as she is occasionally shown assisting her in getting out of a terrible situation while also attempting to bring her in.
4. Michiko Malandro – Michiko to Hatchin
Michiko is another Afro-Latina who appears in Michiko to Hatchin as one of the main characters. She’s got the looks, the moves, and she’s not going to take any crap. What I admire most about her is that she has a golden heart beneath her harsher persona. Michiko Malandro is the protagonist in Michiko to Hatchin.
She saves Hana “Hatchin” Morenos from her violent foster parents and claims to know Hiroshi Morenos (Hatchin’s father), who “made her fall in love with him right away,” according to her. While on the run from the cops, she and Hana begin on a trip to find him. They become a squabbling couple, but they quickly learn how much they need one other. On their tummies, Michiko and Hana both have the same strange tattoo.
5. Miyuki Ayukawa – Basquash
Miyuki is the perfect combination of intelligence and beauty. She’s an important figure in the program who contributes significantly to mech upgrades (giant robots). I like how the artists gave her locs and that she is a Black engineer, so maybe her character may inspire some young women to pursue careers in engineering. Miyuki Ayukawa is one of the supporting characters of the Basquash! Series.
6. S.A.M. – Cannon Busters
S.A.M. stands for Special Associate Model and is one of the main characters in Cannon Busters, a hit new Netflix anime series. While she appears to be as sweet as honey and strives to befriend everyone and everything, she possesses a secret strength that is more than just a punch. She is a high-end robot that has been separated from Prince Kelby, her best friend, and the heir to the throne of Botica, with whom she wishes to reunite.
7. Casca – Berserk
Casca was perhaps one of my first anime encounters with a Black woman. She is one of the strongest and most capable leaders in the mercenary band, the Band of the Falcon, at the start of Berserk. Despite the fact that I haven’t always agreed with the way her character has taken over the years, she has a special place in my heart.
I really admire how she leads her comrades brilliantly and that they rarely challenge her solid judgment and tactics. She begins as a callow peasant girl living in a distant mountain town, but after joining the Band of the Falcon, she matures into a skilled fighter who contributes immensely to the group’s historic victories throughout the Hundred-Year War.
8. Yoruichi Shihouin – Bleach
I couldn’t possibly include Yoruichi from Bleach in a list of Black women in anime without mentioning her. She was born into a wealthy noble family and has the title of princess, but she does not act like one. She’s tough, sharp, and humorous, and she kicks butt in a lot of battles. I particularly admire her personality and the way she can appear laid-back but instantly transform into a ruthless combatant when necessary.
Yoruichi Shihin is a former captain of the Gotei 13’s 2nd Division and the previous commander of the Onmitsukid. Marenoshin Maeda was her lieutenant. She now works with Kisuke Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi in the Urahara Shop in the Human World, having given up command of both posts.
9. Carole – Carole & Tuesday
Carole’s life has never been easy, but it has never stopped her. She is the title character in the Carole & Tuesday series and is part of the musical team. Carole’s commitment to making her desires come true is what I admire most about her, aside from her trendy looks, work ethic, and musical abilities. Carole Stanley is an outgoing orphaned girl attempting to make ends meet in Alba City by doing a number of part-time jobs while following her dream of becoming a musician. “Carole Stanley official” is her Instagram profile.
10. Canary – HunterXHunter
Last but not least, there’s Canary from Hunter x Hunter. Canary is a young adolescent who also works as a merciless bodyguard/servant for the Zoldyck family, a strong and fearsome assassin family. She possesses tremendous combat moves, but she also has a gentle and caring heart. I admire how dedicated she is to the individuals she cares about, even going against orders if it means assisting them.