Anime is one of the most popular entertainment mediums in the world. It has become more diverse and inclusive throughout the years, telling the stories of characters from different backgrounds, cultures, and romantic interests. Here are five diverse and inclusive anime to check out.
1. 'Samurai Champloo'
Samurai Champloo tells the story of Fuu, Jin, and Mugen on an adventure to find the “samurai who smells of flowers.” The series is purposely diverse, using different Japanese ethnic backgrounds for its characters and introducing foreigners throughout its 26-episode run.
The series is heavily influenced by hip-hop, as creator Shinichirō Watanabe is a huge fan of the American-made art form. Hip-hop is used to define its diverse cast, blending the powerful self-identity aspects of hip-hop with Samurai culture.
2. 'Michiko & Hatchin'
Michiko and Hatchin is set in a fictional South American country and is deeply influenced by Brazillian culture and the diversity of the region. The anime follows Michiko, who escapes from prison and saves her former lover’s daughter, Hatchin. The pair go on a journey where they escape authorities and develop a bond while dealing with their connection to Hatchin’s father.
The anime features some of the best Black representation in all of anime while also truly being immersed in Latin culture. Depiction of Black characters in Anime hasn’t always been great, but Michiko and Hatchin is a shining example of the correct way to do so.
3. 'The Witch From Mercury'
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury is the newest anime on this list and one of the 2023 anime you need to catch up on. It has all the aspects you would expect from a Gundam Sereis: political intrigue, commentary on war, giant mecha and much more. The Witch From Mercury is unique in the long-running series, and it’s the first Gundum series to feature a female and LGBTQ main protagonist.
Suletta Mercury is a gifted Mobile Suit pilot at the Asticassia School of Technology, where she comes across another girl, Miorine Rembran, escaping the institute. They must navigate the academy and the wider issues of the world, with the series having interesting ideas about identity and revolution.
4. 'Revolutionary Girl Utena'
From the newest on the list to the oldest series, Revolutionary Girl Utena is an influential anime that is still recognized as one of the most progressive and inclusive anime of its time. It is a deconstruction and subversion of the magical girl trope popularized by series like Sailor Moon. It’s a coming-of-age story that tackles themes of gender identity and sexuality.
The story of Revolutionary Girl Utena centers on Utena Tenjou, a young girl enticed to compete in a sword-dueling competition in an attempt to win the hand of Anthy Himemiya, the enigmatic “rose bride” who has the “power to revolutionize the world.” Utena fights against the systematic oppression of the rose brides, taking on the persona of a prince to free them from their fate. It’s a series with a lot to say and a ton of depth that has influenced a lot of creators since its release in the late ’90s.
5. 'Josee, the Tiger and the Fish'
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is a 2020 anime film based on the short story of the same name. The series follows Tsuneo, a university student, and Josee, a young girl who cannot walk and uses a wheelchair. The two meet when Josee’s grandmother takes her on a walk. The film explores the bond the two develop, and they share their dreams with one another, exploring what it means to be differently abled.
The film shows those who are differently abled in a positive light. The relationship between Tsuneo and Josee is heartwarming and showcases the main theme of the film, which is that happiness is there for everyone regardless of what you can and can’t do. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is a romantic comedy with a genuine heart, and it’s a seamlessly inclusive entry into the genre.