In a predominantly male-dominated culture and genre, anime tends to over-represent and favor action-packed adventures of male protagonists discovering their true strengths. As a result, excellent anime featuring female characters can be challenging to locate. Maybe it’s because the anime stereotype is still majority male, or perhaps it’s because women are underrepresented in almost all forms of media.
Fortunately, despite this, there are still several fantastic anime series that highlight the individuality and resilience of female protagonists. Sure, some anime shows and films still have a significant way to go in terms of female empowerment through strong female characters. However, that doesn’t hinder us from praising those anime women that have grown tremendously and demonstrated success.
We would like to include a dozen more characters on this list. But for the time being, we will concentrate on these seven exceptional anime female leads that anyone with a Netflix account can watch.
Starting With #1, Violet Evergarden Explores A Woman’s Need For Purpose & Identity
The first one on the list is “Violet Evergarden,” and a bit of friendly advice, the show will undoubtedly make you cry, but those tears will be well worth it! Violet Evergarden, the main protagonist and ex-soldier in the series, has been trained as a tactical weapon and only recognizes how to obey commands.
Violet understands nothing about humanity or her own sentiments, but due to the compassion of Major Gilbert, she knows what it feels like to be cherished, tended to, and belonged. The show takes place in a post-World War I civilization in which she has suffered everything possible, including losing her two arms, her reason for existing, and her beloved Major Gilbert.
She takes a position as an auto-memory doll, which involves utilizing typewriters to compose letters for those who are unable to do so themselves. She then discovers how to analyze sentiments, put those thoughts into words, empathize with those around her, and reconnect with families through her work.
#2, Fruit Basket Demonstrates Tohru Honda’s Distinctive Characteristics to the Soma Family
Fruits Basket is one of the most captivating shojo anime series with a reverse harem structure. The anime features the tragic-to-magical tale of Toru Honda, a high school student who has lost her mother and is currently living alone in a tent in the woods, all while trying to be optimistic and keeping her life together.
Suddenly, she comes across the property of one of her schoolmates: a house in the woods inhabited by actual Chinese Zodiac animals portrayed as human men and boys. Toru then stays with them, establishes friendships, and learns everything new from eccentric and unique people.
Toru, in particular, might be nothing more than a set of eyes through which we observe this peculiar universe. However, knowing her painful backstory and optimistic disposition, she is quite a charming and compelling figure in the anime series.
#3, In this Corner of the World Breaks Down The Grim Reality of War
In This Corner of the World is a masterwork that has won plenty of awards, such as the prestigious Japan Academy Film Prize. Suano Katabuchi directed the film, which has become a nationwide phenomenon, resonating with not only anime lovers but the entire Japanese population. This extraordinarily comprehensive war movie pays tribute to the individuals who lost their lives through the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by following the journey of Suzu, an 18-year-old girl from Hiroshima who fancies herself a daydreaming artist.
The movie shows her life throughout WWII and the tragic events during that period. Even though she appears spacy and awkward at the beginning of the film, the grim reality of war destroys her spirit, yet she overcomes it and comes out intact at the end of the film. In This Corner Of The World is an eye-opening movie that examines all aspects of war, from resource shortages, frequent airstrikes, and the fear of the unknown, while at the same time highlighting the courage and perseverance of ordinary people.
#4, Kill La Kill Features Powerful & Fearless Female Fighters
Kill la Kill is unquestionably not everyone’s cup of tea. It is strange, perhaps oddly peculiar. IGN defined it as “magical girl anime on speed,” which wonderfully encapsulates the essence of Kill la Kill. The bizarre plot, extravagant character customization, vibrant explosions and backgrounds, and the unique approach to significant issues are all dead giveaways that the viewer is witnessing a Trigger anime.
Kill la Kill is the narrative of Ryuko Matoi, who embarks on a journey to identify the person accountable for the death of her father and execute her retribution. She finds herself at Honnouji Academy, an institution where clothing is a fundamental portion of the competitive hierarchy.
The intriguing aspect of Kill la Kill is that it relies entirely on clothing to portray concepts such as freedom, fate, and sexuality. Hence, the eccentric costumes. However, the series has a massive amount of fun and humorous actions.
#5, Great Pretender
In Great Pretender, Abigail is recognized for her athletic ability, remarkable acting talents, and attractiveness. However, we remember her as the woman who persevered despite experiencing a difficult childhood. Abigail may have encountered multiple emotional scars due to losing both her parents and sacrificing her ballet aspirations to become a child soldier. Yet she still carries her chin up to prevent any other innocent person from suffering the same pain and grief she experienced.
Furthermore, even when her path intersects with an opponent, she continues to be extraordinarily compassionate throughout the series. This quality distinguishes her being one of the most dynamic female characters in modern anime. Our stone-faced yet frenzied con artist is an unbelievable force to deal with, and we can never be delighted to have her on our side.
#6, Komi Can’t Communicate
We surely can not continue with this list without adding Komi Shouko from the currently popular Netflix animated series Komi Can’t Communicate. Komi appears to be quite reserved, which prevents her from effectively interacting with her classmates. Rather than just wallowing in terror for the rest of her school career, she resolves to take control of her anxiety.
Komi set an objective for herself to develop 100 friends by the end of high school, and despite the numerous setbacks she has encountered up to this point, she remains committed to achieving what she once believed was unattainable. Komi is appreciated among anime lovers because they see themselves in her. While Komi pursues her dreams, her fans are also inspired to achieve the seemingly unimaginable.
Haruhi Fujioka is a character who can handle adversity. Her outstanding academic achievements gained her a spot at the renowned Ouran Academy, but she stands out among her enormously wealthy peers due to her lower-income family background. She gets haggled into attending the academy after inadvertently damaging a vase costing over eight million yen. She began as an errand boy, but her charming and calm demeanor quickly revealed her aptitude as a full-fledged hostess.
It is also worth noting that nobody ever notices Haruhi is not a Haru-he. Her short hair and disheveled style were merely functional, and the thought of being feminine or macho never occurred to her. She isn’t uncaring, but she understands whenever it’s time to go along with the flow. Haruhi can deal with anything the world throws at her, whether it’s a form of expression, coping with the host club’s shenanigans, or supporting people in need.
And there you have it! These are all of Netflix’s anime films and series featuring exceptional female leads. In light of the constant scrutiny of women’s determination and tenacity, these films and shows not only entertain but also convey deeper, more profound values that may assist anyone in getting through these difficult times.