10 Iconic Anime Heroines That Will Empower You
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10 Iconic Anime Heroines That Will Empower You

These ladies left the "damsel in distress" cliche far behind.

10 Iconic Anime Heroines That Will Empower You
Mark Cabin on Flickr

Every anime deserves a strong heroine. A heroine who takes charge, is true to their values, and speaks their mind. A character who young and old viewers can look up to. Someone who isn’t a damsel, but does the saving; who is more than a plot device. These ladies are timeless and continue to inspire viewers everywhere. In honor of National Women’s History Month, here are 10 anime heroines who pack a punch.

1. Sailor Scouts - Sailor Moon

The Sailor Scouts are an accurate representation of women. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, making them realistic. They work through each challenge they face in the name of justice, and rather than discarding their femininity when in battle, they embrace it as a strength. When they all collaborate, they’re at their best. The best part of this show is that everyone has a character they can relate to.

2. Bulma - Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z (Super)

In an anime riddled with muscular men, Bulma has held her own since “Dragon Ball,” becoming one of the most influential characters of the series, still prevalent in "Dragon Ball Z Super." Her sense of independence and adventure was made clear when she was first introduced, traveling alone as a teenager in search of dragon balls.

She’s a character that will make you laugh while being so much more than comic relief. She is also a brilliant scientist, creating gadgets that are crucial to the plot, such as the time machine and the dragon ball radar.

3. Major Motoko Kusanagi - Ghost In The Shell

Let’s get straight to the point: Major Motoko Kusanagi is a badass. Her artificial body allows her larger than life abilities that make her such a thrilling character to watch. Paired with her sense justice and emotional plane, she’s a character that makes us think on an existential level. She’s quite possibly one of the best anime characters of all time.

4. Chihiro - Spirited Away

Something we don’t see often enough is young female protagonists taking charge of their lives and leading their own adventures. When Chihiro has spirited away, she’s terrified and panics, like how most people naturally would.

Throughout the film, she experiences tremendous character development, becoming brave while keeping true to her kind heart and values. She is a role model to young girls everywhere that they control their destiny and that they can conquer any challenge that comes their way.

5. Mikasa - Attack on Titan

This Titan-slayer is a well-rounded character who can pack a punch, to say the least. Armed with brains and brawn, she throws the “boy saves girl” cliche to the curb as she fends not only for herself, but for Eren too. No Titan can stop her as the plot and mysteries unfold.

6. Faye Valentine - Cowboy Bebop

Faye is quite an interesting character. After an accident, she loses both of her parents along with all of her memories after nearly dying herself. Upon awakening from being cryogenically frozen, she finds herself in unfathomable dept and soon becomes a member of the Bebop ship, living a life on the run. Despite her tragic backstory, she’s a hilarious character who is more vulnerable than she reveals.

7. Nana Osaki - Nana

There's more than meets the eye when it comes to Nana. Despite her cool rock star appearance, she experienced much hardship, including her mother abandoning her and her grandmother passing. She’s able to move past it and find comfort and healing in punk music. She pursues her music dreams and moves to Tokyo where she meets Nana Komatsu. Upon meeting, Nana (Osaki) opens up and is a warm, funny character.

8. Asuka Langley Soryu - Neon Genesis Evangelion

Asuka is a prodigy and was trained at a young age to be a pilot for Evangelion. It's something that she takes pride in. She’s good at what she does and isn’t afraid to show that she’s confident. This classic heroine isn’t short of her flaws, armed with a temper and plenty of pride. These imperfections only make her more relatable and lovable of a character.

9. Tsunade - Naruto

While “Naruto” has many female characters we’ve watched develop to be true heroines, Tsunade was one of the first women introduced to serve as a role model to the Leaf village as the fifth Hokage. She has years and wisdom under her belt on top of being a humorous character. Plus, she keeps Jiriyah in line.

10. San - Princess Mononoke

This Miyazaki classic could only be so touching with a heroin so strong and revolutionary. San possesses a strong set of beliefs and would do anything to preserve them and the forest; she’d even die to. Raised by Moro, she grew to detest humans, but as the film progresses, she begins to acknowledge her human side. Her admirable fighting spirit along with her growth tie the film together to make its various themes even more powerful.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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