Empowering Female Characters in Anime

Empowering Female Characters in Anime

Priandi Constadi

Arguably, there are many anime out there with overly-sexualized female characters and gratuitous fan service. Anime is important to a lot of different people around the world; but despite this diversity in the community, the industry still seem to solely cater to certain male viewers. That’s not to say that all anime is guilty of this, and there are popular shows that avoid doing this almost entirely. Still, it’s important for us to recognize this lack of good quality in the anime industry. Thankfully, we’re starting to see more intelligent, empowering, and story-driven anime that uphold women.

Anime’s female characters might not always be inspiring, especially the ones that are poorly-written. However, there are some female characters that are great and loved by the entire fandom. They may be far and few in between, but that said, we’ve listed 8 anime female characters, in no particular order, that we think would do a great job of empowering women.

Clare (Claymore)

Clare is the protagonist of the action anime Claymore – where a group of half-human and half-demon female warriors fight demons and rid villages from evil. Clare is a lone wolf and part of the 78th generation of Claymore. She’s a low ranker who doesn’t let her lack of power come in the way of her goals.

Clare is mentally and physically strong, determined, and extremely stubborn, although, in rare cases, she does showcase her softer side. As a bonus, Clare ended up saving an almost useless and constantly worrying boy named Raki from a demon. Quite the gender-based role reversal!

Megumin (KonoSuba)

Megumin is one of the main characters of the anime series KonoSuba. A great example on showing how it’s fine to beat to your own drum. She is a powerful arch wizard who despite her strength and strong lineage, knows only one skill – explosion magic. She’s obstinate, as consistently shown by her refusal to learn new tricks.

She is eccentric and in your face. She loves being dramatic and can be seen regularly boasting about her skills. However, when she’s backed into a corner, she immediately drops her act.

Saber (The Fate Series)

Saber has always been one of the main characters of almost all of the Fate anime series out there. As a servant who serves her master, her strength has often been acknowledged to be at par with some of the strongest servants out there.

Her statistics are near perfect in almost every fight category. Not only is she shown to be devoted and loyal to her master, but she’s also someone who keeps her word

Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titans)

This one needs no introduction. As one of the strongest (physically and mentally) female characters in anime, it’s no surprise that she is a favorite of many fans.

Cold on the outside but warm towards the ones she loves; she keeps strong feelings for Eren. However, that has never come in the way of her duty as a soldier, defending her people from the might of the titans. She is strong, kind, and incredibly skilled at various fighting styles. Mikasa is understandably an inspiring figure looked up to by many young female viewers. She is also yet another reason for us to believe that muscles on women can be a cool thing too.

Tsunemori Akane (Psycho-Pass)

Akane is a perfect example of how it’s always possible to develop one’s personality and confidence regardless of how timid one may be starting out in a career. Recalling how docile and naïve she was when she first began her career as an Inspector, it’s remarkable to observe her journey and see how far she has come along the way.

Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden)

She was abandoned as a child and grew up as a soldier, never understanding human emotions. When her superior officer dies in a battle due to Violet’s failing to save him, she loses both her arms in the process, and tries to learn the meaning of his last words to her, “I love you”. To do this she becomes a ghostwriter for people who can’t write but want to convey their emotions in letters. Over the course of thirteen episodes, we see Violet grow and learn through her interactions with her clients.

Makise Kurisu (Steins;Gate)

Kurisu is a genius who has made major contributions to brain memory research in the United States. Her active involvement in scientific academia pushes the notion that women are highly capable of succeeding in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related fields.

She is strong, confident, and extremely intelligent teenager, not conforming to the typical Jane Doe stereotype as her curiosity often lands her in trouble and is shown to be a classic tsundere.

Olivier Mira Armstrong (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Another muscular female character, General Armstrong is the Iron Lady of contemporary anime. Having earned her title of the “Ice Queen”, Olivier is an influential leader with a very strong presence. She avoids unnecessary compromise whenever possible, and can be very condescending to anyone who does not live up to her expectations. Her overall appearance and personality boldly go against the stereotype that women have to be dainty and soft-spoken in order to be “feminine”.

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