Anime is a rich media full of all kinds of stories that tell about the most diverse characters. However, while they are fun to watch, many of the characters aren’t particularly well-written and get boring after a while. This is most often the case with female characters, especially in shounen, where they serve exclusively for fan service and have one personality trait.
Finding a good female character has become a challenge and the anime industry has a long way to go. However, although bad characters dominate, it is not impossible to find good ones.
It is difficult to single out the best among them, but it is definitely worth trying. So here is a list of the 35 best female anime characters of all time.
35. Shirayuki (Snom White with the Red Hair)
When it comes to female characters, Shirayuki is truly one in a million. She’s not an overly complex character with a depressing backstory, but that’s what makes her special. In fact, her simplicity is the very core of the anime.
Shirayuki is a perfect example of how a character can be strong and independent even though she is feminine. She has her own clearly defined goals, but she does not neglect her love life or discard her femininity in order to succeed. The entire anime is a real refresher for viewers both because of her and the story itself.
34. Makima (Chainsaw Man)
Chainsaw Man is currently a hot topic in the anime community, partially because of Makima. This character instantly won people’s hearts with her appearance and personality, only to later turn everything around.
Considering everything she’s shown so far, Makima has the potential to be one of the most interesting anime villains. But with Chainsaw Man still coming out, she still has a lot to show.
33. Power (Chainsaw Man)
Makima may be incredibly strong and badass, but we know who is Chainsaw Man’s no.1 girl. Power is just completely unpredictable, which is why she is so likable. Her strange relationship with Denji and unique personality is enough to put her on the list of best female anime characters. As the anime progresses, she becomes more and more interesting and it’s hard not to like her.
32. Casca (Berserk)
When talking about Berserk, the subject of discussion is mainly Griffith or Guts. It’s rarely Casca, which is really unfair considering how good of a character she actually is. Her development from a naive girl to a strong and independent woman may be overshadowed by some other aspects of the anime, but it’s certainly brilliantly done.
Someone might say that she is just a “love interest”, but that is apparently not true, and her arc in Golden Age proves it.
31. Nana Komatsu (NANA)
When talking about the best female characters from NANA, the first association would be Nana Osaki as one of the most intriguing shoujo protagonists. However, Nana Komatsu also has some qualities that make her one of the best female anime characters.
She may not be as ambitious as her friend or as smart and cunning as some of the other characters, but her naivety and stupidity give balance to the anime. As simple as she looks, Hachi is an essential character in this anime without whom the story could not function.
30. Rin Tohsaka (Fate/Stay Night)
Rin Tohsaka is the heroine of the anime Fate/Stay Night who has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. Quite mysterious and clever in the beginning, Rin managed to grab the audience’s attention, and later keep it with her other qualities.
Even though she is a tsundere, Rin is not overly aggressive and violent, what’s more, she is very nice. Her story is pretty simple and straightforward, as are her goals, and you kind of feel like you have to respect her.
29. Yoruichi Shihouin (Bleach)
Yoruichi is definitely one of the best things to happen to Bleach. Her role in Ichigo’s progress is irreplaceable and it is certain that the protagonist would never be who he is without her.
Also important are her abilities, which few have equaled; Yoruichi is a master of martial arts that only a few can match in hand-to-hand combat. In addition, she is the fastest person ever, earning her the nickname Goddess Of Flash.
Her cheerful and teasing personality also makes her one of the best female anime characters.
28. Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Fullmetal Alchemist is full of great female characters, and Riza Hawkeye stands out among them. This character is synonymous with loyalty, which makes it hard not to love her. Although she often seems to scold Roy Mustang, Riza has shown multiple times that she would give her life to protect him.
Of course, her relationship with Roy, while brilliant, isn’t the only thing that makes her special. Riza is strong, fearless, and very intelligent, which makes her interesting to watch in battle. Also, her story was surprisingly good, and she deserves a place on the list of best female anime characters.
27. Nakiri Erina (Food Wars)
Nakiri Erina is a character you either love right away or learn to love. From the beginning, she is one of the most badass characters in anime whose skills you appreciate regardless of what you think of her. Her encounters with Soma are a lot of fun and you can see how much she influenced him to improve.
However, thanks to her character development, Erina became who we know today. From a spoiled negative character with a big ego, she becomes one of the most beloved characters of Food Wars. Her skills, relationships with other characters, and sad backstory are blended perfectly. Therefore, she deserves a place on the list of best female anime characters.
26. Izumi Curtis (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Anime teachers have always been a special category of characters that you just have to love and Izumi Curtis is no exception. This woman has been through a lot herself and still managed to help Edward and Alphonse when no one else would. Even a long time later, she was once again there for her students, to help and empathize with them.
Izumi possesses many qualities crucial for a good teacher: she is a great alchemist, empathetic, and strict but fair. As such, she represents an ideal teacher, but also a mother figure.
25. San (Princess Mononoke)
No list is complete without Studio Ghibli, especially when every movie has a great female character. Among them, the most impressive is definitely San, also known as Princess Mononoke.
Her attitude towards the race to which she belongs is very interesting considering that she was raised by wolves. She rejects people and sees herself as a wolf, but somehow manages to form a bond with Ashitaka.
24. Noelle Silva (Black Clover)
When it comes to the new generation of anime, Black Clover is one of the frontrunners when it comes to female characters. Noelle Silva is one of them, which could not be expected at the beginning of the anime. Back then, she seemed like the most ordinary female shounen character whose sole purpose was to be a love interest.
However, thanks to her interesting backstory, her relationships with her family and the Black Bools, and her determination to prove herself, Noelle has become one of the best shounen heroines of today.
23. Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill la kill)
From start to finish, Kill la kill remained one of the strangest animes out there, and Satsuki contributed to that. At the beginning of the story, she is the main suspect in the murder of Ryuko’s father, but by the very end, things turn completely upside down.
Her duality and hidden motives are anime’s best plot twists and make Satsuki one of the best female anime characters of all time. Her authoritarian personality, which makes her seem like a negative character, and her empathy and desire to help everyone are perfectly balanced. This will put you in a situation where you really don’t know what to think of her.
She also proves to be an amazing sister, making her and Ryuko one of the most amazing duos in the anime world.
22. Ryuko Matoi (Kill la kill)
The protagonist of Kill la kill had to be on the list of the best female anime characters for several reasons. In addition to the ingenious design, Ryuko also goes through a development that is not so striking, but, in the end, the results are visible. Following her, as she solves the mystery of her father’s murder while making strange allies and even stranger adversaries along the way, will leave you breathless.
As the mystery unravels, she becomes an increasingly interesting character. Ultimately, her relationship with characters like Senketsu, Satsuki, and Mako is what makes Kill la kill a great anime.
21. Mereoleona Vermillion (Black Clover)
Ever since her first appearance, Mereoleona has been considered one of the best female anime characters in modern shounen. In addition to her terrifying appearance, with which she scared some of the strongest characters, she also possesses incredible power. Her dynamic personality completely changed the flow of the anime and set a new standard when it comes to strength.
20. Kagura (Gintama)
Gintama would be expected to have comedic characters without many layers, but many of them, including Kagura, prove the complete opposite.
Kagura is similar to Gintoki in many ways: she is rude and lazy, so she seems more like a comic relief. However, as the story progresses it becomes clear that she also has a hidden side that makes her one of the best characters in anime. Her backstory is one of the most interesting parts of Gintama and gives a whole new perspective to this character.
The completely horrible environment in which she grew up and the expectations that no one could bear, forced Kagura to leave home and go in search of happiness. Thanks to this, as well as her personality and relationship with characters like Gintoki, she is one of the best female anime characters.
19. Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden)
Violet never had the chance to feel love from anyone, and before anyone could give it to her, she ended up as a weapon in a war. After losing everything in that event, she sets out on a journey to understand the meaning of the words her loved one said to her.
The entire anime deals with her journey from being an empty doll to becoming a real human being, and it does so in a very interesting way. By delivering letters and meeting all kinds of people, Violet exposes herself to various feelings, which she begins to understand and apply over time.
18. Roberta (Black Lagoon)
From the main cast to the villains, Black Lagoon is ruled by women. Among them is Roberta, whose role in the story was a surprise.
Roberta’s backstory, looks, and skills certainly don’t match, which is why she is one of the most interesting characters in the anime. Starting out as the most vicious killer nicknamed “The Bloodhound”, Roberta went through all kinds of trauma, for life to eventually brought her to the position of the maid for one of the most respected families in South America. As a sign of gratitude for accepting her, Roberta dedicated her life to this family.
In the end, no matter how tragic the epilogue of her story is, it is also beautiful in a way. Although she ends up disabled, Roberta finally returns to the family she belongs to and finds her peace.
17. Ymir (Attack on Titan)
Ymir is certainly not the first Attack on Titan female character that comes to mind. But that doesn’t change the fact that she’s at the very top when it comes to the quality of writing.
At first, she seemed like an ordinary supporting character whose death fans expected. However, what no one expected was her importance to the story as well as her past which completely disrupted the flow of the plot.
Besides being one of the most mysterious and intelligent characters, Ymir is also a character you have to sympathize with. Although she tried to portray herself as a mean and selfish person, she ended up being one of the best and most selfless characters.
Throwing away everything she had built up until then, and even her relationship with Historia, in order to help those she accidentally put in danger, Ymir completely changed the course of the story and thus earned a place on the list of the best female anime characters.
16. Jolyne Kujo (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean)
The first and only female JoJo also had to be on this list. Jolyne Kujo, like the other members of the Joestar dynasty, is a unique character who differs from her ancestors, as well as those who came after her. Her sharp personality, unique style, and cool way of fighting are what won the hearts of the audience.
Given the way she grew up, it’s no wonder she became a rebel. But what she had to learn the hard way was that she could only trust herself. It is very interesting to watch her learn as she tries to extricate herself from the situation she has been unfairly placed in.
15. Kugisaki Nobara (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Jujutsu Kaisen‘s female cast has completely won over shounen fans as they represent a major shift when it comes to writing female anime characters. At the head of this “revolution” is logically the heroine of the story, Kugisaki Nobara.
The thing about Nobara is that she is basically no different from other heroines: she is the only girl on the team with two guys, she likes feminine things, and often physically attacks the protagonist. But that’s just the surface of her character, which is perfectly combined with all the things that make her an interesting person.
Her personality is not limited to whining and the men in her life. Moreover, her relationship with Itadori and Megumi is one of the best friendships where there are no romantic feelings at all.
Nobara knows her qualities and loves herself, which is why you simply must love her too.
14. Nami (One Piece)
One of the most underrated aspects of One Piece is its female characters, which is a no-brainer considering that both main female characters are awesome.
Nami is a character who kept us in suspense at the beginning. The whole dilemma of her loyalty and past divided fans quite a bit, but in the end, we grew to love this thief. Although Nami possesses one of the worst human traits, ie. greed, in her case it is one of the most interesting aspects precisely because of the motive behind it.
Despite her intriguing past and comical greed for money, Nami’s loyalty is what makes her one of the best female anime characters. She may often punch Luffy and argue with him, but she trusts him enough to always support his reckless ideas and trust him with her life no matter how scared she is.
13. Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell)
Motoko Kusanagi is the protagonist of the popular Ghost in the Shell franchise. As a cyborg, she possesses great strength and intelligence. Her skills and personality are what make her one of the most beloved anime protagonists, but she is much more than that.
Motoko is a character who puts humanity to the test. Although she lives as a cyborg in an artificial body, she is an emotional, collected, and strong woman who does everything to help those in need. Watching her, you wonder what makes us human.
12. Youko Nakajima (The Twelve Kingdoms)
Youko Nakajima is a character that few people know about today because the anime The Twelve Kingdom itself is very old. That’s a real shame because she is by far one of the best-written protagonists in the anime and manga world.
In the beginning, she seemed like a very simple character without many friends and no specific purpose. However, when she gets the chance as the queen of one of the twelve kingdoms, Youko becomes an amazing person. Throughout the 45 episodes of the anime, she goes through various challenges and hardships that make her one of the best female anime characters ever.
11. Saber (Fate Series)
The Fate series is a long franchise through which we meet different characters, but the most memorable one is definitely Saber a.k.a. Queen Artoria. Aside from being one of the strongest servants in the entire series, Saber consistently displays the qualities of a true knight. She is brave, determined, intelligent, and most importantly: the lives and safety of others are her priority.
Her trait that is especially appreciated is the loyalty she showed to her masters, as well as to other comrades-in-arms. The stoic personality that doesn’t stop her from also being nice and gentle is why she’s one of the best female anime characters.
10. Yona (Yona of the Down)
Princess Yona is another heroine who had to go through a lot to become the character we love today. At the beginning of the story, she is another naive girl unaware of the world around her. In the blink of an eye, she lost everything, which nearly broke her.
However, even though she fell under the pressure of reality, Yona did not give up. Aware that she can’t trust everyone, she decides to return what belongs to her by birth and protect the people who mean the most to her.
9. Asuka Langley Soryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Asuka Langley Soryu is a character that differs in many ways from others. Traits such as arrogance, ambition, and self-confidence are naturally associated with her. While some may see these as flaws, which they sometimes are, these qualities are what makes her amazing.
Asuka has always been a prodigy and at the age of only 14, she had a college degree. She has always been obsessed with being the best and over time has developed a personality that is a little harder to like. However, that arrogance and temper are a product of self-respect and knowing one’s own values. Asuka is aware of how good she is at what she does and is proud of it, so other people’s opinions don’t matter.
8. Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
Fairy Tail is an anime about which opinions are quite divided, but what everyone can agree on is that Erza Scarlet is one of its best characters. The first thing one notices about her is the incredible power that makes her feared by both comrades and enemies. When it comes to the fight of dry willpower, it is impossible to win against Erza, and in those situations, her best virtues come to the surface.
Her courage, sacrifice, and love for her friends are what make her such a beloved character. Erza’s story is filled with difficulties that she goes through with her head held high. It’s her desire to help everyone that is another reason why many fans look up to her.
7. Nico Robin (One Piece)
One Piece is full of amazing and painful stories, and Nico Robins’ is probably the one that shocked everyone the most. When she first appeared, Robin was an enemy of the Straw Hats and was difficult to interpret. While officially working for Crocodile, she helped the crew on several occasions, eventually becoming a member.
However, her motives only surface during the Enies Lobby arc. Robin’s past was finally revealed and the great loss and hardship she endured perfectly explained how she became who she is.
The greatest quality of this character, like most Straw Hats, is loyalty, which in Robin’s case can rival Zoro. For the sake of a crew that still didn’t accept her, Robin threw away everything she had left, namely the legacy of Ohara she had as her last survivor, as well as her own life. Her story is surely one of the most amazing in the world of One Piece.
6. Maki Zenin (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Maki Zenin is a character that set a whole new standard when it comes to female anime characters. Although she has yet to show why she is one of the best female anime characters in today’s anime, what she has done so far has been enough to put her on the list.
In the world of Jujutsu Kaisen, where the amount of cursed energy one possesses greatly determines one’s strength, Maki has managed to go from being an underdog who can’t even see curses without glasses, to being a respected sorcerer worthy of the first-class.
The thing about Maki is that she didn’t let her flaw dictate her life. In a situation where many would have given up, she remained strong and determined to show her worth to others. Of course, sometimes what others think bothers her too, but she pulls herself together very quickly and shows everyone why they are wrong.
5. Kyoko Mogami (Skip Beat!)
If there is a formula for creating protagonists in shoujo anime, Kyoko Mogami definitely deviates from it. Although at the beginning of the story she was a classic girl in love without any ambitions except to be there for her crush, Kyoko quickly realized her situation and took action.
Instead of a lovelorn and naive teenager, we got an independent and strong girl who finally realizes her worth and wants revenge for the injustice she suffered. However, as the story progresses, Kyoko’s journey becomes less about revenge and her true nature comes to the surface.
Trying to get revenge on Sho, she discovers her talent for acting and develops a love for her job. At the same time, she begins to realize that she doesn’t always have to put others before herself and that she is also a valuable person.
4. Makise Kurisu (Stains; Gate)
Makise Kurisu has been regarded as one of the best female anime characters for years, primarily because of her intelligence and sweet personality.
She is the perfect combination of cute and badass. On the one hand, she is a top scientist ready to do a lot to succeed in her job. However, this does not stop her from being a caring friend and shy when it comes to love.
She is also the character who popularized the tsundere phenomenon in anime, but even to this day, no one can match her in that category. Her tsundere side is more related to her introversion and lack of understanding when it comes to feeling, rather than violent behavior, which makes her even more beloved by fans.
3. Revy (Black Lagoon)
If Black Lagoon is an anime ruled by women, it’s only natural that the female protagonist is the best among them. Revy is probably the most straightforward character on this list. She is quick-tempered and aggressive. She rarely chooses words, which is why she often ends up in life-and-death battles from which she always emerges victorious.
Of all the characters, she is probably the biggest contrast to Rock, but she is also his closest friend since he joined their group. Their dynamic is crucial to their development as characters and often dictates the course of the plot.
All the characters in the anime have had very complicated pasts, and Revys’ is perhaps the most tragic of them all. Life was never kind to her and she had to surrender to crime even as a child. After all the traumas that she survived, she had to develop a personality that would help her survive in such a world.
2. Nana Osaki (NANA)
Nana Osaki is a multi-layered character that we slowly get to know throughout the anime. At first glance, she seems like a calm person who is focused on her goal and will do anything to make her dreams come true. It is only after she meets someone so different from herself that she begins to show what lies beneath the surface.
Her relationship with Hachi is what largely defines her as a character. Without her, Nana wouldn’t be able to face Ren or rebuild relationships with old friends. But also, if she hadn’t met Hachi, some of her flaws wouldn’t have been so noticeable.
Although at first glance Nana seems like the perfect girl, she can also be immature and selfish. However, both her virtues and flaws are what make her a realistic character.
1. Clare (Claymore)
Clare is another character that you can’t immediately interpret, but you have to watch the whole show to understand. However, what is certain from the beginning is that she is the ideal protagonist for a story like Claymore’s.
Cold and withdrawn like the rest of the Claymores, Clare fights against youma. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty and puts her task before everything else.
However, after meeting Raki, she deviates from the standard Claymore life. As time goes on, we realize how unique Claire really is among these half-monsters. Although she acts like them, her motives, relationship with Raki and Teresa, and the very way she became half-Youma make her very different from the other Claymores.
These differences greatly affect everyone who comes into contact with Clare. Her personality is so strong and unique that it can change life standards and ways of thinking that have been established for years. Thanks to that, even those who despised her at the beginning, learned to respect Clara and believe in her.
Frequently Asked Questions
Picking just one female anime character is not possible because there are so many great girls in anime. Apart from the characters on the list, there are Mikasa Ackerman, Annie Leonhart, Senjougahara Hitagi, Miyazono Kaori, Kaguya Shinomiya, etc.
Nowadays, there are many streaming services where you can watch anime. Among them, the most popular are Crunchyroll and Funimation.