Top 10 Most Iconic Female Anime Characters of All Time

Tags: #Anime ,   #Animegirl ,   #AnimeLover ,   #SailorMoon ,   #NeonGenesisEvangelion

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-05-14 06:00:08

With so many anime characters available, picking just a few favorites is challenging. Still, it's a little easier if they're divided into smaller groups. Female anime characters have a wide range of traits, from shy and quiet to passionate and demanding. That's why our top ten list showcases some of the most beloved among them.

10. Hinata Hyuga

From useless to the main character's wife

"Naruto" has received a lot of flak for how it handles female characters. While Hinata has shortcomings, there's no disputing that her development was among the most fascinating and sympathetic in the series.

Hinata began as a shy, melancholy girl regarded as useless by the Hyuga clan. Still, she grew in confidence during the series. Hinata formed a crush on Naruto, considering him a strong role model, which inspired her to prove everyone wrong. Thus, she became one of the anime's strongest ninjas, and disliking her is impossible.

9. Maki Zenin

She overcame all obstacles to become a powerful sorcerer

Maki is at the vanguard of appreciation for "Jujutsu Kaisen's" well-written female characters. Even the Uchiha clan's legend pales compared to the Zenin clan's. Despite her incapability to see cursed energy, Maki defied all obstacles to become a powerful jujutsu sorcerer.

She was subjected to horrific abuse and mistreatment in the clan, so she rebelled and began training at Jujutsu High to polish her sorcerer powers properly. Later arcs of the manga have her exacting vengeance on her kin. Maki is unstoppable - anyone who dares to misjudge her has made the worst life decision.

8. Saber/ Arturia Pendragon

An epitome of Arthurian heroic spirit

Saber, one of "Fate/stay Night's" most popular characters, has been reimagined multiple times throughout the Fate franchise to create a Saber that practically anyone can identify with. Whether the original Saber, Saber Alter, or even Arthur Pendragon, various versions of Saber appear in series products and continue to entice fans.

The original Saber is beloved for her bold, chivalrous, and disciplined demeanor, which is somewhat clichéd but matches the notion of an Arthurian Heroic Spirit. She is much more than genderswapped King Arthur, and her character is one of the keys to the popularity of the Fate franchise.

7. Mikasa Ackerman

The badass protective big sister figure

Mikasa Ackerman is one of the most formidable female characters in anime. She was subjected to unimaginable quantities of trauma but never gave in or let it overtake her. With impressive mental fortitude and perseverance, she is yet another character many admirers idolize.

While the "damsel in distress" theme is overused in fiction, Mikasa flips the script. She is constantly looking for Eren, and their relationship has reinvented the cycle. Now she is the strong, reliable member of the group who everyone counts on when it comes to performing the impossible. Overall, Mikasa is a model for strong female characters in anime.

6. Jolyne Kujo

The most foul-mouthed female character outside "Panty and Stocking."

Jolyne made her name on the series as the first female Jojo's Bizarre Adventure protagonist, with a sharp personality, trendy fashion, and ferocious fighting prowess. Because of her upbringing, Jolyne appeared to be the stereotypical rebellious adolescent. However, she learned the value of standing on her own two feet. Consequently, she recognized that the only person she could rely on was herself. 

Jolyne realizes that, especially after being accused of a murder she did not commit. Jolyne shares various characteristics with her forefathers that distinguish the Joestar bloodline. She is unshakable in her determination and isn't afraid to put individuals in their place. Therefore, she does not forgive or forget anyone's wrongdoings.

5. Nana Osaki

Every woman will understand Nana's life

Nana Osaki is one of the most well-known anime girls of all time. Not only does she have a remarkable appearance, but her rebellious attitude has won her fans around. Nana had many bad things happen during her life as she grew up with her grandmother after her mother abandoned her.

However, Nana's grandmother was overbearing and abusive, not letting her express herself. Nana was expelled from school and started a complex relationship after being falsely accused of prostitution. But she never let these hardships get in the way of her dream of becoming a musician. The friendship with Nana Komatsu will put her reckless attitude to the test, as the two of them are forced to do some very unpleasant things in life. "Nana" is one of the most popular anime shows among young women for a reason. 

4. Fujiko Mine

The inspiration for all tricky women that came after her

Fujiko Mine, who first appeared in Monkey Punch's "Lupin the Third" series in the 1960s, became a legendary anime femme fatale. Therefore, she influenced many female anime heroines, such as Faye Valentine, who came after her. Her elegant and tricky demeanor starkly contrasted with anime girls of that time.

Fujiko is the "original" anime femme fatale, and her popularity earned her a spinoff series called "Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine" in 2012. Fujiko routinely employs her feminine wiles to dupe Lupin III into lowering his guard, allowing her to double-cross him.

3. Asuka Langley - Sohryu

The bold and brash girl mecha pilot

Although she is a divisive character, it is no secret that Eva Unit 02's pilot has become a fan favorite. Asuka Langley-Sohryu is a fiery, arrogant, and egotistical character whose flaws are as lovable as her strengths. The idea behind Asuka's behavior is a simple gender swap over the usual hot-blooded mecha pilot protagonist. 

Beyond Asuka's abrasive exterior lies a sensitive and lonely girl finding her only sense of self-worth in being an Eva pilot - the finest Eva pilot. Her sympathetic past and mental state drew the viewers' attention in "Neon Genesis Evangelion." The recent "Rebuild of Evangelion" movies put Asuka in a bit different light, giving her character additional layers and dimensions. 

2. Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon

Usagi and her friends redefined the magical girl genre

Although magical girl series such as "Sally, the Witch" existed long before "Sailor Moon," Usagi Tsukino's presence forever changed the magical girl genre. The gorgeous soldier fighting for love and justice ushered in a new era of magical girl shows: sentai-style battle shows attempting to demonstrate female empowerment. 

The reason for the popularity of "Sailor Moon" was a whole array of relatable girls in protagonist roles. Also, by telling stories about magical girls fighting demons, "Sailor Moon" touched on many real-life issues. Usagi and the other Sailor Scouts spawned a whole generation of magical girl shows attempting to rival "Sailor Moon's" popularity. The next to reimagine magical females was "Futari wa Pretty Cure."

1. Motoko Kusanagi

The capable and dangerous iconic cyborg woman

Motoko Kusanagi is the Section 9 field leader in "Ghost in the Shell." This is a police squad in charge of dealing with cybernetics-related crimes. Motoko swiftly rose to prominence as one of the most beloved anime protagonists of all time.

Motoko is a cyborg that is both physically and mentally strong. However, her character raises many issues in the audience, particularly about the significance of emotions and the human experience. Motoko knows and experiences emotions and is a formidable fighter.

One of the most frequent complaints about anime is that there aren't enough well-written female characters. While some simply serve as love interests for the protagonists, others are only story devices to emphasize the male characters' improving abilities. However, many well-written female characters in anime deserve equal, if not greater, acclaim than their male counterparts.

Who's your favorite iconic anime girl in our top ten? Who would you add to the list?

Cover photo: Screenshot/YouTube



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