Saturday, June 25, 2011

Let's hear it for strong female leads

There are plenty of people out there that believe anime does nothing but objectify women.  Scantily-clad ladies running around acting stupid, throwing their 'assets' in the face of any male that's around.  Now, we all know that there are anime features that are like this...just like there are live-action American TV shows that do the same.  Personally, I think there are more anime features that portray women in smart, strong female leads.  Traditional TV shows should take notice!

Major Kusanagi is just one example of a very strong female lead.  While she does have some sex appeal, that mostly comes from her strong will, ability to handle herself and her great mind.  She's not out to flaunt what she has, nor is she going to take any crap from anyone.  This is one lady that really knows how to lead, and she carries the weight of the entire Ghost in the Shell series on her shoulders.  Without a doubt, this is one female lead that women can look up to.

Another strong female personality is Holo the Wise Wolf from Spice and Wolf.  I think the creators of this anime did a wonderful job with building a truly deep, layered female personality.  She's definitely the lead character in this series, and there's a lot more than meets the eye.  Holo has her moments where she uses her looks to get what she wants, but she does this all in a calculated manner.  The more you watch the show, the more you see just how calculated she is.  Above all, Holo is one powerful and smart woman...goddess...wolf...thing!

What other anime features have you seen that feature strong female leads?  I've just barely touched upon what's out there, and I'd love to hear what you guys have to say.


  1. Personally i love Sister Rosette in Chrono Crusade and Nausicaa. I love the fact that in most modern movies females are given the more underwritten roles but in anime it has, at least to me, been an even spread. Take Noir for example, the four main characters are all female.

  2. Female leads are usually in my favorite stories. Mostly because they aren't done often or very well so when someone does it well it can be a fantastic story.

    Some that come to mind are:

    Ryugu Rena from Higurashi: While not the lead of the whole show, she has her own arcs and stories. She acts cute with her head in the clouds but she has shown herself to be the smartest of the group with very good reasoning and detective skills. She understands more and seems more mature than the others even though she acts the most childish.

    Misaka Mikoto from Railgun: Similar to Rena, Mikoto is very good at delving into a problem and coming out with an answer. She's not as good with people's minds and shows it several times. She also acts a little carefree and unrelated but when something happens she is one of the first to try and figure out how to stop it.

    Tokiha Mai from Mai-HiME: Mai is your typical bishoujo with large assets and the story is a fairly generic one for a little while but after you hit a certain part Mai really begins to shine. Mai's strength lies in her will to overcome obstacles. She is really fleshed out as a flawed character when they take away something important from her and she goes a little crazy.

    I would continue but the length is more than I thought is would be. I love well made charas and well made, female leads are not a dime in a dozen. We are drowned in testosterone enhanced guys all the time so it's refreshing to take a more clever route to the same situation in a story.

  3. The whole Sora No Woto cast is pretty strong, if a litle archetyped. One of my favorites, definitely. It has a very cutesy exterior with a misleading depth in the world and characters that is revealed as it goes on, with a very satisfying ending.

    The Darker Than Black series also have many important female characters that drive the series forward even more so than the lead main male character. Specially in the second season where the focus is on a young teenage girl.

    And to end, definitely look into Cencoroll. It's a 30 mins OVA only, but it's a great run from beginning to end. Personally, I think it's the perfect anime experience in one single slice. It's not perfect, but it was perfect for what it tried to accomplish. See the female character taking the lead action on the second part of the narrative for a couple of unexpected turns.

  4. Saya in Blood + was a pretty cool strong female.

    Speaking of which. They are making another anime in the Blood series called Blood-C. I'm going to wait until I watch it, because I wanna see if it's the same or different from Blood +

  5. I think Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club is a great female lead.

    I like a lot of series with female leads (Lain for example), but they aren't always strong characters. Lain is pretty timid and makes you want to scream for most of the series. And Chise from Saikano is kinda like her.

    While Rakka is not a particularly strong lead at first in Haibane Renmei, I feel like the whole cast is well done and balances out, as the entire cast (with very few exceptions) is female.

    There's another one my friend showed me years ago, but I can't, for the life of me, remember the name.

  6. Sorry but there is absolutely no way that American Tv objectifies wOmen more than anime does. I love anime too but that is just bs.