In many of our favorite anime and cartoons there are a plethora of creative universes, and even more characters that inhabit them. The ambiguity of many of these characters leaves viewers with the opportunity to interpret their race and ethnicity. Whether it’s because of mild stereotypes, or obvious hints, this list of characters could definitely be black!
Piccolo (and the Namekians)
In the Dragon Ball-Z series many fans believe that the green skin-toned Namekian Piccolo does indeed have characteristics of someone black. Unlike Goku and the Saiyans, he can’t pass as a human and he is also much more logical than his counterparts. Maybe, it is because of him being an ‘other’, among the fair-skinned characters, or his stoic demeanor. Whatever the case, Gohan’s fill-in father has been adopted by the black community as one of our own. It should be safe to assume the entire Namekian race could also be black, so that includes Dende, Kami and the likes.
Also, in the Dragon Ball-Z series there is Uub. Kid Buu’s badass human reincarnate. While there is some debate that he may be of another descent, a large consensus is among the impression that he is black based on his appearance.
Samurai Champloo is a show that intricately laces hip-hop and jazz with anime. It is such a beautifully well-done show that shows appreciation for the culture. It seems only right that one of the main characters would be black. So with that, we have the thick-bushy haired anti-hero/protagonist Mugen. His baggy style of dress was fitting for the time period of the show, and his fighting style incorporates elements of break-dancing.
Knuckles the Echidna
“They call me Knuckles, unlike Sonic, I don’t chuckle!”- a cheesy yet effective line from Knuckle’s theme in Sonic Adventure.
Knuckles from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise of video games and shows is another character that seems to have black characteristics despite not being human. His appearance in the game is accompanied by hip-hop music and he appears to have dreads – pretty fly for an echidna!
For years, there has been debate about whether or not the intimidatingly strong Yoruichi from Bleach is black. People have found many excuses for why the character is not black, however in comparison to other characters on the show she is obviously much darker. Let’s just have this one.
Listen, Brock Harrison was always down to chase the pokemon and the ladies! Based on his appearance it could definitely be assumed that Brock was black or mixed.
Darwin from The Amazing World of Gumball is the cutest little goldfish! He is super-positive, incredibly supportive and his comebacks can be intensely savage and honest. There’s just something about him that we want to claim.
At this point, it’s pretty much common knowledge that Mosquito Valentine was black. With the character being blue, it gave him the “other” look that helped define him as something other than white. In Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age by Mathew Klickstein, even the creator of Doug, Jim Jinkins agreed that Skeeter was black.
Questionable Mention: Sailor Pluto
In the Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Pluto appeared much fairer than she did in the manga. Which posed the question whether she may have been meant to be a darker person of color. This is a question likely to be left unanswered, but you can gather your own idea based off of the image below.