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A dark truth: Not enough black characters in anime?

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Anime is not about race.

It is not about culture or religion.

It is not even about looks.

But is it possible we are all wrong? Some anime take place in distant galaxies where there is a new type of race, belief and definitely a weird or different look. But one topic which crawls YouTube a lot- is race. And anime is not immune. For instance, are there any black characters in popular anime today?

Race: Soul

In Bleach, the Shinigami, Yoruichi’s race is classified as Shinigami according to the Bleach wikia, Yoruichi’s race is soul. But it does not take much speculation to see the cocoa complexion of her skin and realize, she may not be Japanese or Caucasian- that’s pretty clear.

Yet people will argue there are absolutely no blacks in anime.

The dark truth.

The truth is actually more grim. There are indeed colorful characters in anime, but many are not black. Those that are brown or dark brown could be argued as tan, Indian, Asian, or any other race except black.

The same could be said for many popular science fiction movies in the teen category: the main character with power and great leads are typically Caucasian, if there are brown characters in these films, they are typically bi-racial or multi-racial and not black.

Given these facts, what does it mean for animation? Should those of us who adore anime-flee from it?

Absolutely not. While these are grim truths, there are plenty of animations featuring black leads and funny animations such as Boondocks which combine hip hop, martial arts and comedy in their episodes.

Here’s the thing. You think what you wish. If Yoruichi or any other brown character does not seem “black” to you, then that is perfectly fine- this is a country where anyone has an opinion. But this small factor should never hinder the adventure, the joys and addiction that comes with watching these exciting Japanese animations.

Have an opinion on this? Sound off here and/or share with friends!


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