Anime is watched and celebrated internationally, and the art form has now spread to include ethnicities, cultures, and minority groups around the world. Over the years, anime became a global phenomenon and started to be more inclusive and diverse. Characters from all over the world with different backgrounds, romantic interests, and abilities are found in many anime.
There is an abundance of anime that brings all kinds of people together. The diverse and inclusive new titles that come out are to be celebrated, as anime connects people around the world. Some series are much older while others are fairly new, but there’s something for every anime fan of any background or experience to enjoy.
10/10 Samurai Champloo includes a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds
Samurai Champloo follows Fuu, Jin and Mugen. The characters come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Their stories are about fans who understand what it’s like to be disadvantaged, but who always find a way to rise above their circumstances.
The anime was intentionally created with diversity in mind. Shinichiro Watanabe, the director, made sure to include foreign characters and mix traditional Japanese culture with hip-hop. The name “Chamloo” means mixed race, and throughout their journey, the protagonists come together around various characters, cultures and religions.
9/10 Durarara!! Includes folklore from around the world
Durarara!! features folklore from around the world. Although set in Ikebukuro, the series features a diverse set of criminal organizations from Japan to Russia. Cultural diversity is evident throughout history. Whether it’s crime or history, the writer, Ryogo Narita, makes sure to include characters from a variety of backgrounds.
Celty, for example, is an Irish Dullahan, a creature known as the Headless Horseman. This part of the anime comes from the Celtic tradition, where the Dullahan guides souls to the afterlife. The points of view of each character are explored and highlight the diversity of the origins of each of the characters. Anime is a celebration of cultural diversity.
8/10 Michiko & Hatchin tell an immersive South American story
Located in South America, Michiko and Hatchin has a wide variety of diverse characters. The anime takes place in Diamandra, a fictional location deeply rooted in Brazilian culture. The combination of samba music, traditional drinks and food alongside the clothes the characters wear highlights aspects of Latin culture.
Michiko is an escaped convict who believes Hatchin is the ticket to the answers she seeks. The two go on a journey together and along the way they bond with people from different backgrounds and experiences. The anime also shows how far people are willing to go to achieve their dreams.
7/10 Yuri!!! On Ice takes viewers ice skating around the world
Yuri!!! on the ice is more than just a story of skaters. Professional skating creates space for a variety of characters from around the world to include. Each character has traits that represent their ethnic and cultural background. King JJ, for example, represents Canada and has sponsors that look like real Canadian companies.
There are even hints of culture in the routines of the skaters. Phichit Chulanont, representing Thailand, imagines himself skating in traditional Thai attire during his last performance. The LGBTQ+ representation is also important to note as the story follows Victor and Yuri on their skating and romantic journey.
6/10 Cowboy Bebop Emphasizes Diversity While Traveling Through Space
In cowboy bebop Earth is no longer habitable and humanity has migrated across the galaxy. The story follows bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, who are later joined by Faye Valentine and Radical Edward. There are many multicultural environments that highlight racial diversity throughout the galaxy, especially on different planets.
The anime also uses a wide variety of languages such as English, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin. An example of this is Ed’s full name: Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, a name that mixes the nationalities found in cowboy bebop. The mixing of languages is also manifested through the use of music. Different genres are mixed to tell different stories.
5/10 Afro Samurai connects cultures
Afro Samurai was inspired by Western culture. The music used throughout the series is a great example of multiculturalism in anime. The creator of Afro SamuraiTakashi Okazaki said he was inspired by hip-hop and soul music. Afro Samuraiit is foundation is built on the connection of cultures.
The combination of African American and Japanese cultures shows how influential one is on the other. The premise of the story, the goal of fighting and becoming God by obtaining the number one headband, is the basis of Japanese culture. The connections between cultures allow viewers around the world to enjoy anime.
4/10 Black Lagoon brings together mercenaries from around the world
black lagoon follows a team of mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company. They smuggle goods across the seas of Southeast Asia with their home base in Thailand. Lagoon Company members come from all over the world. The diversity of characters underlines that there are no cultural boundaries at sea.
The main cast of characters show a connection from one part of the world to another. Rock comes from Japan, Revy is of Chinese descent and grew up in New York, Dutch is an African-American veteran, and Benny is of Jewish descent and graduated from a school in central Florida. The team has diverse struggles, ethnicities, and backgrounds that any fan can discover or identify with.
3/10 Great Pretender brings together scammers from all over the world
good suitor tells the story of con man Makoto Edamura who travels the world to participate in various scams and conspiracies. The characters in the anime are diverse and the series takes place in various locations around the world. The first three cases are named after different locations, Los Angeles Connection, Singapore Sky and Snow of London.
The anime features a balance of nationality and gender roles and an in-depth exploration of the characters’ backgrounds and cultures. For example, Abigail Jones is from Iraq and Laurent Theirry is from Belgium. Fans will be able to learn about various cultures and customs while being drawn into the mysteries that surround good suitor.
2/10 Josée, the tiger and the fish sheds a positive light on those with different abilities
Josée, the tiger and the fish is a moving story about romance and trust. Josee, one of the main characters, uses a wheelchair while Tsuneo, the other main character, is a diver with a deep love for the ocean. Tsuneo takes a job as a babysitter from Josée, but as their relationship begins to grow, he decides to help her achieve her dreams instead.
Josée begins to discover her own confidence, but when tragedy strikes, Tsuneo realizes he cannot understand what it is for. Josée must have different abilities. The anime brings inclusivity to the romantic genre and shows that happiness does not discriminate based on one’s ability.
1/10 Given creates a beautiful love story through the passion of two boys for music
Given is an anime about connecting to each other through music. Themes of loss, grief, healing and the power of music itself are central to the series. Given follows Ritsuka Uneoyama and Mafuyu Sato, two boys who not only grow closer throughout the anime, but also fall in love. Their love is the source of a new beginning that starts both of their healing processes.
Mafuyu deals with the death of her former boyfriend, Yuki. The guitar he is carrying belonged to Yuki. Eventually, that same guitar reunites Mafuyu and Ritsuka. The anime shines a light on the positive portrayal of LGBTQ+ men and the power of music to connect people through song. Given is the perfect anime for any viewer who loves music and romance.