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A Black Anime Shonen Protagonist Would Be A Breath Of Fresh Air

Anime is a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children. We all enjoy watching the many different types of anime that comes from Japan. Some of have even reached international status and to the point of everybody knowing or hearing about that anime. So I have wondered, could an shonen anime that’s centered around a dark-skinned protagonist (without the stereotypical BS) make it to that kind of level? That’s what I’d like to talked about today.

Anime over the years have taken inspiration from everything around it. It’s true that most anime are centered around Japaneses schoolkids fighting powerful beings but it doesn’t just stop there. One of the other most common depictions we see in anime is of Eurocentric themes. For some reason, the Japanese admire the European world and all of its feature. From royalties, medieval times to blonde hairs and blue eyes. These are tropes that are almost guarantee to make an appearance in the anime. Most of the time the protagonist embodies all of those things together.

It’s true that Black anime characters are starting to “slowly” make more and more appearances, but these are far too between. What I’m focused on is how the community (particularly Japan) would react if there was a brand new shonen anime, made by a well established studio and is promoted on a worldwide scale.

Young Heroes by @marcusthevisual

Young Heroes by @marcusthevisual

Because as far as I can tell, I can’t recall an anime that had a black shonen protagonist with episodes spanning of 700. If you know any, please let me know. Anyways, don’t get wrong idea here. I’m not saying that Japaneses anime studio need to follow the trend and just make a series for the sake of it, but I would like them to consider the possibility and dwell on those ideas.

What could this anime with a Black protagonist be based on? There’s thousands of lores mystics, futurism and landscapes in Africa alone that could be made into a series based around a Black/Dark skinned protagonist. It’s true that Japan is the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world, but traveling and talking to the people who you want to represent can make a huge difference. Even hiring a couple of talented people of that ethnicity is a viable option. They did it for Europe, so they can do it if they wanted to. And that’s before the internet was widespread.

Tuskegee Heirs by @marcusthevisual

Tuskegee Heirs by @marcusthevisual

I’d like for them to tell a story WITHOUT it been centered around been black if you get what I’m saying. Just do what they’ve always been doing. Tell a story about a young boy/girl going on an adventure who just so happened to be black or dark-skinned.

We’ve seen Eurocentric anime, we’ve seen thousands of Asian-centric anime (its the homeland of course). An Afrocentric anime, that’s a shonen with a Black protagonist who has a ongoing series like the likes of Naruto or Dragon Ball would be dope to see and be possible if the right person got behind it. I’m aware that talented people like LeSean Thomas are already out there making moves to see this idea become reality but it would be dope if the studios in Japan took some initiative too. Maybe one day!

Let me know what you guys think?

 

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