Over the years we have seen some great anime women. Some of them strong, some funny, some with compelling stories. Here are some of my personal favorite anime women. No matter the reason they made the list, it’s safe to say they have left an impression and I greatly enjoyed watching their stories.
Umaru, Himouto! Umaru-chan
On the one hand Umaru is amazing because she is pretty much the nerd ideal. She has gaming, reading, snacking, anime watching, etc down to an art. Multiple times throughout the show she explains exactly how to fill your life with more of the things nerds love. She can be rather lazy and selfish though, which takes away points. What gives those points back is the development through the series. She starts to see others around her as more human, and less pawns as the series goes on. She learns to treat her brother better, she is actually an amazing friend to a number of people that need it, and she grows little by little. You are left with a hilarious but rather heart warming character all at once.
Sango manages to out shine the female lead of this anime in so many ways. She’s stronger, her backstory is more compelling, and while her romance comes with it’s own share of drama it progresses at a better pace. That’s not to say that I hate Kagome, it’s just when you have such a brilliant “secondary” character it doesn’t give any of the others a chance. Sango manages to capture the spotlight, and be pretty awesome doing it.
Nausicaa, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaa represents a lot of positive characteristics. She’s kind, smart, and incredibly brave. She is also willing to stand up to the popular beliefs of the people in the world that she lives in. Nausicaa stands against almost everyone to stop not just a war between people, but a war between all mankind and the environment. It’s easy to cheer for the heroine of this movie.
Major Motoko, Ghost in the Shell
Motoko earns her place as one of my favorite anime ladies because she is just so badass. There is really no other way to describe her. She is quick, strong, smart, dangerous, and a thrill to watch. Over the course of the movies and the series she displays different levels of humanity, but when you think she’s empty she always manages to turn it around and show there is still something human in her.
Edward, Cowboy Bebop
Ed is completely zany, hilarious, and rather talented for such a young girl. She joins the crew, whether they want her to or not, and becomes a major part of their lives. She manages to completely break away from all the annoying child stereotypes, and be helpful, instead of just danger fodder. Yet at the same time she retains an innocence that gives the viewer the best of both worlds. Ed manages to be comic relief, as well as give us many emotional moments throughout the show.
San, Princess Mononoke
San is a human girl that is raised by wolf demons in the movie Princess Mononoke. She exhibits some of the best characteristics of the creatures that raised her, including strength, loyalty, and smarts. San also struggles with her own humanity, raised to hate the humans that are destroying the animals and the forest, yet she can’t deny what she is inside. San manages to put aside her own conflict though to do what is right for the most beings, human and animal alike. She never really makes her way back to the human world, but she doesn’t completely disconnect from it either. Her story is compelling, and her passion is respectable.
Roka is just a massive contradiction. She is obsessed with all things cute, is tiny, and completely caring. However she is also strong, mean, and apparently the most tough of the people in her school. She goes back and forth between adorable and down right scary. Most people are obsessed with her, but she meanwhile is just obsessed with doing the things she wants. She is rather amusing to watch, and her rapid changes are hilarious.
Osaka, Azumanga Daioh
Ayumu Kasuga, or as she is more commonly known, Osaka is a complete space case. She joins the cast of Azumanga Daioh, and serves mostly as comic relief. She is slow, often spaces out, is not very bright, and seems to fail at most things. She is also kind hearted, silly, and seemingly enthusiastic about certain things. She’s not an anime lady that you’d want to be like, but you wouldn’t mind having someone like her as a friend.
Haruhi, Ouran Host Club
Like many girls in a reverse harem anime, Haruhi is the center of a group of men that seem to have a lot to teach her. Unlike a lot of characters in that role, she is not nearly as passive. Haruhi faces challenges head on, is extremely smart, and gives back to those influencing as much as they give to her. She grows with the boys in her story, though is not completely swept away in it. She manages to retain the strength that a lot of people want from girls in anime, but the more girlie aspects that are forced on a lot of them. She brings the best of both worlds, and is easy to cheer on.
Mayura, Mythical Detective Loki
In fairness Mayura can be rather annoying, even for the standards of being one of my favorites I have moments where I want her to just be quiet. But much like the characters in her story I can’t help but love the girl. She is enthusiastic to a fault, one of the more caring characters on the list, and there is just something about her. Even the mighty Loki can’t stop himself from falling, in some form, for the girl. You just can’t help but love Mayura.