9 Strong Black Anime Women To Celebrate Black History Month

Miyuki Ayukawa - 'Basquash!'

Is it really February already? As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s the perfect time to shine a spotlight on influential black female characters who have left a mark on this medium. From futuristic cyberpunk cities to the mystical lands of epic fantasies, black women in anime lead rebellions, protect their loved ones, and assert their place in worlds where they have historically been underrepresented. As time passes we’ll have even more awesome characters to add to this list, but in the meantime lets celebrate black anime women we love today.

9. Dorothy – Great Pretender

Dorothy - 'Great Pretender'

Although she isn’t one of the main characters in Great Pretender, Dorothy’s presence and backstory play a significant role in the development and motivations of one of the primary characters, Laurent Thierry. Dorothy is depicted as a confident, intelligent, and skilled con artist who used to work closely with Laurent as part of a group of swindlers. Her influence is a driving force behind many of the events that unfold in the series, showcasing how past relationships and experiences shape the intricate lives of the characters.

8. Karui – Naruto

Karui - 'Naruto'

A fantastic supporting character in Naruto Shippuden and later in Boruto as well, Karui is a ninja from the Hidden Cloud Village and a member of Team Samui, alongside her teammates Samui and Omoi. She’s known for her fiery temper, outspoken nature, and fierce loyalty to her friends and village.

Karui is particularly focused on finding Sasuke Uchiha to avenge her master Killer Bee, whom they believe was captured by Sasuke. During her quest, she has a memorable interaction with Naruto Uzumaki. In the sequel series, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, it’s revealed that Karui and Choji have married and have a daughter named Chocho Akimichi, who inherits traits from both of her parents and becomes a prominent character in her own right.

7. Carole – Carole & Tuesday

Carole - 'Carole & Tuesday'

Cheers to an actual black woman anime protagonist! Hailing from Earth and having relocated to the bustling life on Mars, Carole faces the daily grind with resilience and independence. With her encounter with Tuesday, she discovers a kindred spirit that ignites her fervor for creating heartfelt, human music in stark contrast to the prevalent AI-produced tunes.

Carole’s dedication to her musical aspirations is unwavering; however, her life isn’t solely defined by her passion for melodies and beats. She harbors deeper quests, such as the longing to reconnect with her estranged father and the desire to aid an old friend from Earth who might be facing difficulties. Her story intertwines the pursuit of her dreams with the complexity of personal ties, underscoring her multifaceted journey and the relationships that shape it.

6. Mira Naigus – Soul Eater

Mira Naigus - 'Soul Eater'

Mira Naigus, a disciplined enforcer at the Death Weapon Meister Academy, is distinctively known for her ability to morph into a knife, serving as the demon weapon partner to Sid Barrett. Off the battlefield, her adherence to regulations underscores her role as a stern guardian of the academy’s order. Mira’s rigid adherence to protocol may occasionally clash with more spontaneous spirits, yet her dedication to the well-being of others cannot be questioned.

Beyond her combat and disciplinary duties, Mira’s proficiency in medical care comes to the forefront, stepping in as the academy’s nurse after Medusa’s true intentions come to light. This additional layer of skill underscores Mira’s vital contribution to both the safety and the health of her fellow students and faculty.

5. Iris – Pokémon Journeys

Iris - 'Pokémon Journeys'

As a character returning from her earlier adventures in the Pokémon series, Iris in Pokémon Journeys is marked by her growth and development. Initially introduced as companion of Ash Ketchum in Pokémon: Black & White, she continues her quest to explore her capabilities, striving toward her goal to become a Pokémon Dragon Master.

Having matured since her initial appearances, Iris now showcases a blend of confidence and mastery in her encounters, demonstrating her deepening bond and understanding of Dragon-type Pokémon. While her headstrong and ambitious personality persists, her experiences and accomplishments reveal a more seasoned and reflective trainer.

4. Canary – Hunter x Hunter

Canary - 'Hunter x Hunter'

Is there anyone who doesn’t think Canary is a total show stealer? This fan favorite is a young but highly capable fighter, entrusted with the crucial task of guarding the gates of the Zoldyck family estate in Hunter x Hunter. She exhibits an exceptional level of combat prowess, easily fending off intruders who attempt to penetrate the secure boundaries of the Zoldyck family’s home.

Balancing her stern and resolute demeanor while on duty, Canary reveals a gentler side when interacting with Killua, showing that her loyalty goes beyond professional obligations.

3. Miyuki Ayukawa – Basquash!

Miyuki Ayukawa - 'Basquash!'

Miyuki is an innovative and skilled mechanic known for her expertise in working on Big Foots – the giant robots used for the sport of BFB (Big Foot Basketball) within Basquash!. As a childhood friend of protagonist Dan JD, Miyuki supports him and his team by maintaining and upgrading their Big Foots, playing a crucial role behind the scenes in their athletic endeavors. Her intelligence and competence in robotics highlight her as a valuable ally.

2. Michiko Malandro – Michiko & Hatchin

Michiko Malandro - 'Michiko & Hatchin'

Michiko is the bold and vibrant protagonist of the anime series Michiko & Hatchin. She’s a free-spirited woman with a rebellious streak, unafraid to break the rules or engage in criminal activities to get what she wants. Her character is marked by a distinct sense of style and a confident, if not brash, attitude.

Escaping from a supposedly inescapable prison, Michiko is on a relentless quest to find a man from her past, Hiroshi Morenos. During her journey, she unexpectedly becomes a guardian to a young girl named Hatchin, forming a chaotic but ultimately strong bond. The two embark on an adventurous and often perilous journey through the fictional South American setting, pursued by law enforcement and criminals alike. Michiko’s complex personality combines toughness with moments of genuine care, especially when it comes to protecting Hatchin, revealing layers beyond her initial tough exterior.

If you haven’t seen this series yet, please do yourself a favor and watch it! You won’t regret it.

1. Yoruichi Shihouin – Bleach

Yoruichi Shihouin - 'Bleach'

Renowned for her exceptional speed, agility, and prowess in hand-to-hand combat, Yoruichi is a former captain of the 2nd Division of the Gotei 13, as well as the former commander of the Onmitsukidō, Soul Society’s covert ops and assassination squad. Is it safe to say she’s the most iconic black woman in a shonen anime?

Throughout Bleach, Yoruichi serves as a mentor and ally to Ichigo and his friends, often guiding them through the complex world of Soul Reapers. As a noble-born renegade who rebels against the restrictive customs of Soul Society’s aristocracy, her independence and strength make her a beloved and standout character in the series.