Female characters in anime are often overshadowed by the Shonen-style male protagonists and regulated to sidekick or girlfriend status. But the stories wouldn’t be the same without them, and fans love these characters for being beautiful, smart, funny, bad-ass, or any combination of these.
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We’ve got girls with swords, girls with string-based super powers, girls with snark, girls with hope, and girls with trauma. We’ve got superheroes and assassins and school girls who hate mornings just as much as you do.
These are some of our favorite female anime characters and what we love about them, did your waifu make the list?
Assassin Women With Swords: Akame in Akame Ga Kill
Akame, aka Akame of the Demon Sword Murasame, is the main title character in Akame Ga Kill. Akame Ga Kill is an anime from 2014 based on a manga authored by Takahiro and Tashiro Tetsuya. The story follows a young villager who travels to the Capital to raise money for his home, joins the assassin group known as Night Raid, and fights against the corrupt Empire.
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Akame has long black hair and red eyes and wears a dark sleeveless top with a white collar and red tie. Her character was sold to the Empire along with her sister to be trained in swordsmanship as an assassin. Akame becomes a master swordsman, defects to the rebels, and becomes one of the strongest members of Night Raid, wielding her Teigu Murasame sword with ease. She appears to be a serious and coldhearted person except when it comes to food, but she’s actually just socially awkward.
The Baddest Female in Anime: Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan
Mikasa consistently makes the lists of most popular and most bad-ass female anime characters. Attack on Titan is an intense show set in a world where humanity is forced to live in cities surrounded by enormous walls to protect them against giant man-eating Titans. The story follows the main character Eren Yeager and his friends, including Mikasa.
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Mikasa’s calm and stoic demeanor never breaks, and she’s regarded as the best soldier among the 104 Training Corps. She has shoulder-length dark hair and rarely speaks, but is absolutely ferocious and precise with her swordsmanship. Her primary characteristics are kicking ass and swooning over Eren. You have to love a powerful and passionate lady!
The Best Researcher and Military Leader: Hanji Zoë in Attack on Titan
Hanji/Hange Zoë is an inquisitive, empathic, and energetic genius type. The bespectacled leader served as squad leader and resident Titan expert. As a Titan researcher, she was also in charge of the Fourth Squad.
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She worked closely with Eren and Mikasa and, unlike her peers, she showed great compassion for the Titan test subjects. As the story goes on she becomes more serious and eventually advances to become the 14th Commander of the Survey Corps.
The Fighter With Grace: Clare in Claymore
Claymore is an anime series following half-human half-Yoma warriors of The Organization. Humans call them “Claymore” or “silver-eyed witches/slayers”. All current Claymores are female, so lots of female representation in this show. They wield heavy claymore swords with grace.
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Clare is unusual because she took the flesh and blood of a fellow Claymore rather than that of a Yoma, so she is more human than her counterparts. She has silver eyes and light blonde hair and carries a big sword. She was considered weak for a Claymore but trained intensely to attain a significant level of power and became one of the first partially Awakened Beings. She looks composed on the surface but her emotions break out very easily. She’s extremely determined and passionate and may not always follow orders!
The Quick-witted Anime Girl: Faye Valentine in Cowboy Bebop
Faye Valentine is a member of the bounty hunting crew of space cowboys on the Bebop. Faye appears 23 years old but was cryogenically frozen for 54 years. Despite looking younger, she is actually 77 years old. She has chin-length purple hair, green eyes, and she’s tall and slender.
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Faye has one of those personalities where you either love her or hate her. She’s snarky and abrasive, vain, arrogant, and lazy. She uses flirting and seduction to further her goals, but she avoids romance and doesn’t seem to trust anyone. But she also shows concern for her friends (eventually) and cares for them when they’re injured. If you like your mavericks with a sarcastic sense of humor, Faye’s your
girl space cowboy.
The Gritty Anime Girl With a Big Heart: Nikaido in Dorohedoro
Dorohedoro follows Caiman, a guy with an alligator head for some reason, and Nikaido is Caiman’s companion. They both hunt Magic Users, and she’s the owner of a restaurant called the Hungry Bug which specializes in Caiman’s favorite food: gyozas with shiso. She has shaggy blonde hair and blue eyes, wears coveralls and combat boots, and when she’s hunting, she wears the Devil-Made mask.
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Nikaido is delightfully easy-going and friendly, and down-to-earth. She tends to keep her worries and anxieties to herself. She’s confident in her physical abilities and not easily frightened.
The Magical Girly Girl: Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is the name of a wizard guild where runaway Lucy finds herself and her friends, including Erza. Erza is a wizard with “requip” magic, which allows her to switch armor and weapons at any moment. Erza is a member of Team Natsu within the Fairy Tail Guild.
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Erza has long scarlet hair and brown eyes. She uses her magic to change her attire at any given time. She’s impatient, reliable, and has a great sense of justice, but she can also be really girly. She likes cute clothes and sweet things as much as she likes armor. She’s very confident about her body and has a secret fondness for smut and erotic novels.
Winry is a teenage mechanic who specializes in the repair of prostheses called automail. She’s a childhood friend of the main characters, Edward and Alphonse Elric. She’s kind, optimistic, and sincere, and grew up with her grandmother, who was also a famous automail engineer.
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She’s sweet and awkward and prone to caring for people when they’re wounded regardless of how she feels about them.
The Wrongfully Accused Prison Babe: Jolyne Cujoh in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Fans of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure will already be familiar with Araki’s wild universe of superpowers, vampires, and fashion design. The manga started back in 1989 and was recently animated and released in 2012. It follows members of the Joestar family and their friends as they fight against vampires and develop powerful and unique superpowers named after bands and songs called “Stands”.
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In Part 6: Stone Ocean, we meet Jolyne Cujoh, daughter of Jotaro Kujo from Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. Jolyne is framed for murder in 2011 and sent to Green Dolphin State Prison in Florida. She obtains her Stand, Stone Free, which gives her super hearing and allows her to extend a string from out of her body across long distances.
Much like her father, Jolyne is very serious, loyal, and quick on her feet. She seems to anticipate all her enemies’ moves and it’s fascinating to see how she gets her and her friends out of truly sticky situations. Also, it rains poison frogs for some reason.
The Physically Powerful Antagonist: Satsuki Kiryūin in Kill la Kill
Kill la Kill follows vagrant schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi in her search for her father’s killer. Ryuko enrolls in Honnouji Academy and meets the iron-willed Satsuki Kiryuin, president of the student council at Honnouji Academy. Ryuko has a scissor-shaped longsword that can cut Goku Uniforms.
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Characters obtain martial arts superpowers from their clothes, and higher-ranked students are allowed to obtain more powerful Goku Uniforms. The director has stated that much of the plot is based on wordplay between the Japanese words for fascism/fashion, school uniform/conquest, and kill/cut/wear.
Satsuki is the main antagonist in the first half of the series and becomes a deuteragonist in the second half of the series. She is extremely intelligent and scheming, physically powerful, and a pragmatic and natural leader. She is tall, and thin, usually frowning with thick eyebrows and an angular face. She has long dark-blue hair with bangs, blue eyes, and thick eyebrows. She is prideful and accompanied by a dazzling glowing light. She opens up in later episodes of the series.
The Painfully Shy: Hinata Uzumaki in Naruto
Naruto follows a ninja training school, and Hinata is the title character’s love interest and fellow ninja student. Hinata is raised as the heiress to Hyuga clan’s main household but disowned after her father doubted her ability to lead. She is painfully shy and has unusual eyes. She falls for Naruto after he defends her from bullies, and nearly dies fighting her cousin. She is determined to become stronger and goes on to aid collaborative missions.
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Hinata faces failure over and over again, but she’s a determined character that overcomes her shyness and anxiety and gets to be happy in the end.
The Most Beautiful Anime Girl: Boa Hancock in One Piece
One Piece is about pirates competing to obtain the “One Piece.” Boa Hancock is a Gorgon, the most beautiful woman in the world, and the captain of the Kuja Pirates. She’s known as the “Pirate Empress” and the “Snake Princess,” and is the main antagonist of the Amazon Lily arc. Her weapon is a Snake Weapon (yes, a snake that is somehow also a weapon) called Salome.
The Most Popular Anime Girl: Sailor Moon in Usagi Tsukino
Sailor Moon is a classic magical girl/secret identity anime complete with shiny transformation scenes. It’s also one of the few anime with a female-dominated cast. Usagi and her friends turn into Sailor Scouts (or Sailor Senshi) and fight enemies and save the world! And then go back to school, because they’re still high schoolers. Their tech support is provided by Luna and Minerva, who are talking cats. The show has themes of astrology, friendship, and reincarnation, and the creator, Naoko Takeuchi, created the series and based many characters on her family. The Scouts are based on friends she wished she had in high school, and the characters are all delightful – it’s hard to pick a favorite Scout.
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Usagi’s secret identity is the titular protagonist, Sailor Moon. She is a sweetheart who loves deeply and quickly, and she has two modes: ADHD crybaby, and powerful leader and defender of Earth. Usagi’s full name translates to “Rabbit of the Moon”, relating to the Asian folk tale. She is reluctant to fight and frequently surprised by her own power. She relies on her friends for motivation. As Sailor Moon, her powers have moonlight, love, healing, and purification attributes.
The Proud Anime Girl: Yuuki Asuna in Sword Art Online
Yuuki Asuna is one of the main characters in Sword Art Online. In this anime, 10,000 players get trapped in an online fantasy role-playing game on November 6, 2022. Asuna is one of those players. She has long auburn hair and hazel eyes, and she’s a kind, proud, and helpful young woman who can’t abandon someone who’s in trouble.
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When she first arrives in the game, she believes that death is inevitable, and risks her life to level up quickly. She is the sub-leader of the Knights of the Blood (KoB) guild, and she’s skilled with the rapier. As the story progresses she makes bets and challenges people to duels, and eventually, she resolves to keep moving forward, no matter what happens. Asuna is no stranger to change, and her avatar changes appearance and stats depending on the story arc.
The Sad and Tragic Anime Character: Violet Evergarden in Violet Evergarden
Based on a novel series written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase, Violet Evergarden follows the tragic title character through a post-war steampunk-aesthetic world, beautifully rendered in animation. The title character, Violet, is a former child soldier reintegrating into society after losing her hero, Major Gilbert. She learns to type on a typewriter and finds work as an Auto Memory Doll, or ghostwriter, for people who cannot write or are looking for help expressing their emotions in letters.
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Violet is tall, beautiful, and mysterious. She looks very delicate, but she may possess superhuman strength. In wartime, she was an absolute tank, and as a child, she killed several soldiers for an attempted rape before her training as a “weapon”. Her most prized possession is an emerald brooch the same color as Gilbert’s eyes. Post-war, she’s dealing with grief, and trauma, and trying to understand what love is. Her story is told through flashbacks and through experiencing other people’s stories as a ghostwriter. Folks dealing with depression and/or PTSD will want to tune into this one, but keeping tissues nearby is strongly recommended.