As the Winter 2021 anime season comes to its conclusion, we must take a look back at the best female characters it bestowed upon us. This time, we have a diverse array of schoolgirls, magical girls, and supernatural fox girls whose smiles we must vow to protect. Please join us in fawning over them for as long as we think we can get away with!
5. Miku Nakano from 5-toubun no Hanayome ∬(The Quintessential Quintuplets 2)
Miku is the third member of the Nakano Quintuplets who Fuutarou tutors on a regular basis. She’s relatively quiet and can be pessimistic about her own abilities, but she’s actually the smartest of the sisters and has a ridiculously comprehensive knowledge of Sengoku-era warlords for some reason. We like how, even though she’s convinced that Fuutarou just sees her as a student, she makes a promise to herself to confess to him once she proves that she can ace all of his tests. We just can’t help but root for this headphone-clad cutie to get her man in the end!
4. Ai Ooto from Wonder Egg Priority
We’ve loved watching this shy, awkward teen slowly come out of her shell over the course of Wonder Egg Priority. Ai is introduced as a shut-in who refuses to go to school because of bullying and the lingering mystery of her best friend’s suicide, but once she starts on her magical quest to bring that friend back to life, she gains confidence through the friends she makes and people she saves along the way. It’s all done very realistically since she changes in bits and pieces rather than all at once and still can’t quite process her innermost issues. This is visually represented with her outfit: she starts out wearing her sunflower sweatshirt with the hood pulled taut over her face and bangs covering one eye to clipping back her bangs and letting the hood fall by her shoulders. We’re so proud of her!
3. Kyouko Hori from Horimiya
Her classmates at school know her as a flawless and untouchable popular girl, but the second she walks through her front door, Hori transforms into a tomboyish homebody who dotes on her younger brother and rules the house while her parents are gone (which is most of the time). We love her relationship with the adorable punk Miyamura—they understand each other so deeply and do their best to make each other happy. It is a little concerning that Hori “claims ownership” over Miyamura and pushes him into pretending to be a “bad boy” in public just to satisfy her own fantasy, but we suppose that she’s allowed an obnoxious girlfriend trope or two since she’s otherwise such a sweet character. At least she’s honest about her feelings!
2. Ram from Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season Part 2 (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2)
Although she was present in previous seasons, Ram didn’t have much of a chance to shine until now. She and her twin sister Rem were taken in by Margrave Roswaal after their village was attacked, and even though she respects the man, they have a complicated relationship. She’s a surprisingly ferocious martial arts fighter but can augment her abilities using a magic wand fashioned from her own severed horn to control wind magic, see through other people’s eyes, and borrow her sister’s power to greatly enhance her strength. For everyone who thought Ram was just a boring copycat of Rem, you should give her a chance! She might just kill you otherwise...
1. Kon from Kemono Jihen
Please protect Kon—she is too precious and pure for this sinful world. This young kitsune originally worked under a manipulative kemono named Inari who preyed on her desperate need for affection to force Kon into doing her dirty work, but once she failed a mission and was tossed aside, she went to live in a public park to avoid bothering anyone. Her only joy in life comes from her occasional visits with Kabane—even though she won’t come to live with him at the Inugami Detective Agency since it’s against tradition for kitsune to cooperate with tanuki, Kon finds happiness in spending time with Kabane and wishes he would stay with her forever. Aww... we just want to scritch her little ears and tell her that everything is going to be okay.
We also absolutely adore Pieck Finger from Attack on Titan Final Season, White Blood Cell from Cells at Work: Code Black, Kumoko from So I’m a Spider, So What?, and Laura the mermaid from Tropical-Rouge! Precure. But who are your best girls of Winter 2021? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!