Celebrating Black History Month: 5 favourite black video game and anime characters
Words by Jason Sewald
The title seems a bit misleading because what I will talk about isn’t exactly my favourite black people, but my favourite black people in my favourite medium; video games and anime. In honour of Black History Month, I felt it’s only right to talk about this because black people are truly unrepresented in both and when they are, they still fall victim to ignorant stereotypes, especially anime (looking at you Dragonball and Mr Popo). Anyway, this isn’t a rant but a token of my appreciation for the developers, writers, animators and programmers who did get it right, so here’s a list of my favourite black people in video games and anime.
Piccolo – Dragonball (all of them)
Getting this one out the way first I just want to say that Piccolo was black, I know it, you know it, we ALL know it. Not only was he twice the father to Gohan, Goku will never be but he was also the one who was always the first to throw hands with anyone that wanted it. My only regret is that the writers never truly powered him up like he deserved and only wrote him in as a surrogate dad for Gohan. #JusticeForPiccolo.
Lincoln Clay – Mafia III
Lincoln Clay is the main protagonist of a very average game, however, he is one of the very few black protagonists out there. He is on this list because I loved him as a character in the game and he was incredibly well written if it’s one thing Mafia had going for it, it was its well-written characters.
Afro Samurai – Afro Samurai
Afro Samurai… where to begin. Well for starters, let me say that this anime is a Hall-of-Famer. Samuel L. Jackson not only lends his talents across movies and games but also animations and what an Anime this was. Flawless fights, incredible character design and most important of all a black protagonist who doesn’t take sh*t from no one and it will definitely be one thing I’ll tell my kids about.
Canary – Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter doesn’t have many black characters and when they do they nail them. Canary; who isn’t a major character in the show is a butler in training to the Zoldyck family, however, don’t let her occupation fool you, a complete badass who would wreck anyone on sight makes her a fan favourite and probably the closest thing to black girl magic in anime.
Kratos/Terrence C Carson – God of War 1,2 and 3
Finally, Kratos or to be exact the man behind Kratos which is Terrence C Carson. A fact which isn’t that well-known but should be and its the man who is behind one of PlayStation’s most iconic characters Mr Carson lent his voice to deliver us the angriest god in the Greek pantheon and what a voice he had. Anyone who has played the earlier God Of Wars will know what I am talking about and sadly he did get replaced for the newest release of the game. However, Christopher Judge (also a black man) delivered a stellar performance and the proof is in the pudding by how many copies the game has sold.
And that’s my list so far, sadly it’s not larger, however, I am holding out hope that both industries will continue to add more black protagonists in the future.