As with many of my posts, the idea for this one game from a currently trending thread on the forums over at Crunchyroll. Furthermore, I sort of felt that it was only fair that I made a post featuring the ladies of anime, considering my most recent post was pretty much all about guys.
In deciding what makes a character a “top character,” there are a number of different criteria that could be used to judge a character: how much they develop, how good of a person they are, how rounded they are, etc, etc. To make a true top character list, you would have to take a conglomerate of all those factors and add in two other factors.
These factors, to my mind the most important, are how enjoyable they are to watch and how much I personally like them. That being said, you have been warned of the extremely personal nature of this list. If you are looking for an objective list, sorry to disappoint, but it is what it is. And here it is.
For further explanation, read on:
- Maka Albarn, Soul Eater: A likable, nuanced character, Maka is a deeply human: brave, insecure, funny and honest. The fact that she is a scythemiester is just the icing on the cake.
- Medaka Kurokami, Medaka Box: Simply the most dominant presence I have ever seen on screen, Medaka is a Mary Sue in every sense of the term. But, much like every other obstacle she encounters, Medaka beats the label and is fun to watch while doing it.
- Yoko Littner, Gurren Lagann: Criminally underutilized in the show, Yoko makes the most of her screen time and makes the whole show better when she’s on screen. Despite the fact that she is dressed to be a fanservice character, she is much more than that.
- Kazusa Touma, White Album 2: Kazusa is a painfully accurate portrait of a good person who tried to put her friends before herself, but hurt herself doing so. The two episode montage of her hidden love for Haruki was a beautiful picture of how to love someone without seeking anything in return.
- Hitagi Senjougahara, Bakemonogatari: While I certainly wouldn’t want to date her, Hitagi is a fascinating person to watch on screen. Her unfailing and harsh honesty is a refreshing departure from the typical mumbling shyness of anime girls in love.
- Aika Fuwa, Blast of Tempest: SPOILER-So she’s dead the entire show. So what? Aika is a critical, fascinating character, the one who truly holds my favorite anime of all time together. She is lynchpin, catalyst and anchor in turns, and she makes mistakes.
- Yuri Nakamura, Angel Beats!: The leader of the SSS, Yuri is complex character dealing with her own guilt and pain, while still trying to be a leader. Her struggle to forgive herself and the world is one of the most potent in the entire show.
- Misaka Mikoto, A Certain Scientific Railgun: A wonderfully rounded, fallible character, Misaka has incredible emotional depth. In the face of incredible pressure, she stands firm, trying to do what she thinks is right.
- Hime Yarizakura, Yozakura Quartet: Whether it be in the original series or in 2013’s Hana no Uta, Hime is an absolutely lovable character because she tries so hard to meet her own expectations for herself, while refusing to be anything other than herself.
- Minori Kushieda, Toradora!: To be clear: Taiga x Ryuuji is my OTP. But Minori was a joy to watch, with her inexhaustible energy and open love for Taiga. And when we get to explore the true depths of her character, it is a beautiful and touching experience.
- Hajime Ichinose, Gatchaman Crowds: Like Medaka, Hajime is a dominant force on screen. As both a human and symbolic character, she is a joy to watch. To those who find her annoying: maybe you just need a little more wide-eyed wonder in your life.
- Chihiro Kosaka, The World God Only Knows: She gets her heart broken. She’s normal. And how can you not love that? Chihiro has seen her own limitations, come to terms with them, and decided to carry on despite them.
- Hakaze Kusaribe, Blast of Tempest: The other main Tempest girl, Hakaze is alternately scheming, in love, dangerous, hilarious and determined. She also sees a great deal of character growth, culminating the loss of her magic and her quest to adjust to a world without magic.
- Nyarko, Haiyore! Nyarko-san: I love Nyarko. She’s crazy, but she really loves Mahiro and refuses to give up on him, no matter how mean he is to her. Masochistic? Perhaps. But she’s sheer fun and energy, so she can be forgive for that.
- Shana, Shakugan no Shana: Not only is her love story beautiful, but Shana grows massively as a character from the beginning of the series to the end. She goes from being a simple emotionless tool to a feeling, caring and, ultimately, strong person.