Good evening and Happy International Women’s day! In honor of today, I would like to share some of my favorite female anime characters who are strong and inspirational to me.
While initially a crybaby who is also a glutton and doesn’t get good grades in school; Usagi Tsukino steps up to the challenge when she fights as Sailor Moon. She grows not only as a superhero, but as a person. She is always there for her friends and is willing to fight hard with and for them. By the end of the series, she has grown into a strong person ready to become Queen of Neo Tokyo.
Another Sailor Scout on my list, Sailor Uranus has all the qualities of of a strong woman. While at first posing as a young man because of her career as a race car driver, she proves she needs no man to help her out. As Sailor Neptune said of her to the other scouts, “Sailor Uranus is both man and woman, a soldier of both genders with strengths of both.” She is very protective of not only her partner Neptune, but of Sailor Moon as well, since she is Princess Serenity and soon to be queen of Tokyo. She is like the scouts counterpart to Tuxedo Mask in a sense.
Utena goes to school sporting a boys uniform and attracts the attention of all the girls, much to the boys dismay. Utena makes my list for various reasons. She defies the Student Council by way of duels and helps Anthy open up to the world. She lets Anthy know it’s okay to have her own personality and to break away from her role as the Rose Bride. She even grows to love Anthy more than a friend. She strives to become a Prince like the one who inspired her as a child shortly after her parent’s death.
Mikasa is the adoptive sister of Eren from Attack on Titan. They join the training crops together after Eren’s parents are killed by Titans. Eventually after training, they both end up in the Survey Corps. She survived the killing of her birth parents, after they were killed by bandits. Instead of running away, she managed to kill one of their attackers. She may come off cold and distant, but she deeply cares for her friends Eren and Armin. She is not afraid to stand up for Eren when it is found out that he can transform into a Titan. She becomes his protector just as he became hers years ago.
Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu:
Imagine being pulled from the world you know and then plummet into a new world with no initial knowledge on how survive. That’s how it was in the beginning for the three heroines of CLAMP’s fantasy manga Magic Knight Rayearth. Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi are all strangers to each other when they first meet, each plucked from their classes as they were all on field trips at the same time in Tokyo Tower. While having very different personalities and backgrounds, the girls become fast friends as they tried to survive the strange world of Cephiro. Where the heart and will determines what the outcome will be in this new world, the three girls learn to fight and become heroes not once but twice for Cephiro.
Also from a famous CLAMP manga, Arashi is one of the Dragons of Heaven from X/1999. A priestess from the Ise Shrine, Arashi can summon a sword from her hand that channels her energy; allowing her to destroy things fast. She is calm and collected, but also can be deadly. Her powers marked her as a Dragon of Heaven and later becomes a protector of Princess Hinoto. She is not afraid when she first confronts Kamui shortly after he arrives in Tokyo. She seems very cold at first, but once all the Dragons of Heaven come together, she opens up to them, especially with Sorata, the one who claims that she is the one he will die for.
Probably the most important woman on my list is Hana, the mother from the movie Wolf Children. Hana was just a college student when she meets a man who can transform into a werewolf. They fall in love and eventually have two children, a boy and girl. Both kids inherit his ability to shift into wolves. What makes Hana strong is she tragically loses her lover and father of her children, and she ends up having to raise the hybrid children on her own. Which is bad enough when they’re both humans and wolves. She does the best that she can, eventually moving to the country to raise them. In dreams, the werewolf assures her that they will be fine, and that the children will forge their own paths.