In honor of Latin History month, let’s check out some Latin inspired anime characters. These are some anime characters that I saw growing up as a young Mexican girl seeing a Latin anime character and characters I have seen now as an adult.
5. Leo de la Iglesia from Yuri!!! On ICE
Leo de la Iglesia is a professional figure skater from America, and who is Mexican-American.
Seeing an anime character representing America that wasn’t white was great to see. Although Leo is plays a small role within the animated series it was great to see some acknowledgement as fellow Mexican-American.
4. Pepe Iglesias from Megalo Box
Pepe Iglesias is a Mexican boxer who goes up against Yuri (protagonist) in Megalo Box series.He is one of the only characters who only speaks Spanish in the original Japanese version.
This was such a fun character to watch within the series. Boxing is a major sport in Mexico and with Pepe representing Latin American communities as he wears a mask similar to the Day of the Dead alongside speaking only Spanish as his native tongue was great to see. Watching him box within the series reminded me of watch Oscar de la Hoya box growing up with my dad and uncles.
3. Isabela from Seis Manos
Isabela was an orphan girl who was adopted by a Chiu a Kung-Fu master, who adopted two more orphaned children. Being raised in the temple by her adopted father learns to fight in the Chinese martial arts Hung Ga. Isabela is the more level head sibling compared her brothers. She has strong sense of justice but is loving and caring to those around her.
This is a Netflix Original that was released in 2019. I accidently stumbled upon this series scrolling through Netflix. I was interested in watching an animated series that took place in Mexico with Mexican protagonist. This was a fun series to watch, however, it did play into some stereotypical associations of the Mexican culture which was a bummer. Although, I did enjoy the overall series.
2. Izel from Onyx Equinox
Izel is a young Aztec boy who finds himself caught in the middle of a dangerous game from the Gods. Izel is forced to become a champion for the Gods to rescue humanity.
This is a Crunchyroll Original that was released in 2020. I was super excited for the release of this anime since the entire series is based on Latin American mythology. We follow our protagonist through Mesoamerica as he tries to full the Gods requests. See the portrayal and representation of Latin America within anime was really surprising and wonderful. A great anime to check out!
1. Sado Yasutora from Bleach
Sado Yasutora also known as Chad in the Bleach series is a young high school student who befriends Ichigio Kurosaki. From the series, it is determined that Sado is part Mexican. Within the series, we see Sado go to Mexico to be with his grandfather. We get a better understanding of Sado’s background and how much his grandfather impacted his life. After the passing of his grandfather Sado returns to Japan, meeting Ichigio and his friends.
Sado was the very first Latino character I saw in anime. He was a small representation of the Latin community in a widely known anime that took the anime world by storm. Especially within the series of Bleach which plays uses many Latin terminology. Sado will always hold a special place in my heart for Latin representation. And with Bleach returing got the Thousand Year Blood War, I once again get to see Sado on mainstream once again.
Nadie From El Cazador de la Bruja
Juan Diaz From Captain Tsubasa