Growing up, my little preteen little mind had always viewed characters who donned the Afro as cool. These characters were usually presented as confident, stylish and, quite frankly, badass in nature. I was so enamored by the hair style that I actually grew a rather ginormous one at one point in my life. While an experimental stage of my college years, I find no shame in it to this day, nor do I feel the need to hide the fact that having an Afro was pretty damn awesome.
It’s no surprise then that I’ve favored characters with Afros in mediums that I’ve encountered them in, regardless if they were cool or not. I always picked Jimmy T’s microgames in Wario Ware, rooted for Koko B. Ware religiously despite knowing that he would end up losing his matches, and marked out when Luffy briefly transformed into Afro Luffy (pictured above) for a few episodes in One Piece.
Even so, none of the characters mentioned so far made my list. So who did? Hit the break to view my five favorite characters who have gone with the fro!
Note: Some characters’ hair styles listed below may not fit the exact definition of an Afro, but they were included due to their resemblance of it.
5. Sazh Katzroy (Final Fantasy XIII)
Often the main source of humor and the voice of reason, Sazh proves to be one of the more likable characters in FF13. The double-pistol shooter is also one players can sympathize with the most: his main motivation is to reunite and save his precious 6-year-old son, Dajh.
Afro: Standard and medium-sized, Sazh’s fro also acts as a nesting home for a tiny baby chocobo.
4. Mutta Nanba (Uchuu Kyoudai)
After suddenly finding himself unemployed, the 31-year-old Mutta (with a push from his family) starts to focus on achieving his childhood dream — already accomplished by his younger brother — of becoming an astronaut. He is walking, living proof that it’s never too late to go after your dream, no matter how short you have always felt trying to reach it.
Afro: Mutta’s hair is a bit of a mystery — some don’t consider it an Afro, some do. Whatever the case may be (and in this case I’ll consider it), it’s wildly unkempt like a curly bird’s nest and at times has a life of its own.
3. Sho’nuff (The Last Dragon)
Is he the meanest? Is he the prettiest? Is he the baddest mo-fo, lowdown around this town? Who is he? Sho’nuff!
Afro: Tied like a traditional samurai topknot, Sho’nuff’s fro also flows from both sides, oozing with villainous flavor. Expect nothing less from the Shogun of Harlem.
2. Sideshow Bob (The Simpsons)
Brilliantly voiced by Kelsey Grammar, the former sidekick of Krusty the Clown is one of the more legendary antagonists of The Simpsons. While his criminal plans and plots to kill Bart or Krusty are foiled time and again, he never ceases to entertain, whether it’s through his elaborate schemes or through an elaborate musical number.
Afro: One of the more recognizable dos in television history, Bob’s fro towers and extends in every direction like a palm tree. Still, it’s not even the most famous fro on The Simpsons (Marge Simpson). Such is the life of Sideshow Bob.
1. Brook (One Piece)
Yo ho ho ho! Brook may not be the strongest nakama of the Straw Hat Pirates, but his musical abilities make him just as important for a pirate ship. According to Luffy, every crew needs a musician, and Brook is as talented as they come.
With a cast of eccentric members, Brook stands out the most. He is tall, stylish, punny, has a laugh that echos through the seas, and is often found politely asking women for a glimpse of their underwear. Oh, and he’s a walking skeleton.
Afro: The Soul King possesses the giant fro that only a man who’s been stuck sailing the seas alone for 50 years can possess. It is luscious and extravagant — perfect for a rock star of his caliber.
1. Nabeshin (Excel Saga) - So, what happens when you take director Shinichi Watanabe, dress him up like Lupin and then stick an afro on him? You get Nabeshin; sometimes director, sometimes vigilante and all around cool guy. Whether saving Excel Saga from plot holes or making a cameo appearance in shows like Sket Dance, Nabeshin is and always will be one of the coolest guys to ever sport a ‘fro.
There you have it! It was a tough list to make and I unfortunately left out plenty of Afro-haired characters that I’ve taken a liking to over the years. But thankfully the staff members mentioned a lot of good characters left out by me in their own second opinions.
Who are some of your favorite Afro-haired characters?