Love ‘em or hate ‘em, cute, wifeable anime girls are an unstoppable driving force that push the anime industry forward like nothing else. Whether it be through fanart, merch, cosplay, or the like, it’s made quite clear that there’s a universal love for these characters for an endless number of reasons. From Yukino Yukinoshita’s playful insults, to Hestia’s notorious “boob string”, there are certain characters or traits that fans just can’t get enough of!
Now, full disclaimer here, we at Honey’s Anime love all waifus of varying styles and archetypes (perhaps even Nagatoro), but when it comes to the last five years, there are some that have taken the stage as both lovable, and immensely popular. With that said, here are 10 characters that anime fans just can’t get enough of!
10. Senko from Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san (The Helpful Fox Senko-san)
Though a little more niche than many of the more popular picks on this list, we felt it was important to give a spot to who is perhaps to some, the waifu of all waifus, Senko-san. As an 800-year-old high fox spirit whose job is to dispel potent spiritual evils, Senko aquaints herself with the gloomy business man Kuroto Nakano, who embodies the average black-company salaryman in Japan. Taking the role of his “mother and wife”, she does exactly what you might think one with such an odd title would do; nursing him back to a healthy, happy state by cleaning, making meals, and of course indulging him in some tail-fluffing from time to time.
This unbelievably comfy slice-of-life series often goes under the radar for those looking to feel loved, but few other anime parallel the sheer amount of simple, good vibes and fuwa fuwa that this show provides for the viewer. There’s even a segment at the end where she pampers the viewer one-on-one! Talk about fanservice!
9. Kyouko Hori from Horimiya
Hori Kyoko fronts as a popular and trendy girl around her classmates, but in reality, she's a down to earth homemaker who takes care of her little brother after school. She puts in a lot of effort in her image and studies to impress and live up to the expectations of those around her so when she meets someone she can be herself around, she can finally cut loose. Hori gets quite easily embarrassed, even known to enact violent retaliation on those who cross her. But to our surprise, later in the story, she actually enjoys having the tables turned on her..!?
Everybody likes a girl that’s popular and easy to talk to, but that barely scratches the surface in Hori’s case. As fans of the series, we know that to those close to her, she’s not only down to earth, but also very caring with natural motherly instincts. She’s not one to skimp out on effort when it comes to any aspect of her life, showing just how hardworking she is for herself and her image. And that’s before we add her chemistry with Miyamura into the mix, which introduces several new lovable facets of her character, kinks included. And who doesn’t love a bit of sexual exploration?
8. U-1196 (White Blood Cell) from Hataraku Saibou Black (Cells at Work! CODE BLACK)
U-1196, more commonly known as simply "White Blood Cell", is an optimistic, yet serious girl, who will carry out her job with pride no matter how difficult or dire the situation is. Living and working in a human body which has faced decades of neglect and poor habits, more often than not, her job of fighting off foreign threats such as viruses and diseases seems to become more and more of an uphill battle by the day. But despite that, with unwavering dedication to her purpose and work, she continues to trudge on while providing encouragement and positivity to not only the show's protagonist, Red Blood Cell, but many of her teammates and other companions as well.
If we had said ten years ago that the general anime community would be fawning over a single white blood cell, well, certainly it’d be a little questionable. But of course, we of the present know that U-1196 is more than just a group of microscopic organelles lumped inside of a cell wall. As a strong character who stands tall and proud in the face of adversity, White Blood Cell will always fight for what she believes in, and be there to cheer on her friends and subordinates as well. So of course as a waifu, she’ll be there to give you her unwavering support through thick and thin as well. Not to mention her cool, confident look and generous physique under a uniform that leaves much to the imagination. We at Honey’s Anime just can’t get enough of her!
7. Ochaco Uraraka from Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
Boku no Hero Academia has a very strong track record of lovable waifu and husbando characters ever since its original run in the spring of 2016. From the cute, crazy Toga; to the smart, sticky Froppy; to the quirky, often (literally) overlooked Toru; there’s an endless cast of lively heroes and villains alike to fit the ideals of each and every fan out there. But as far as waifus, specifically, none stand out quite like Ochaco Uraraka does. Perhaps it’s her main-heroine status, or her down-to-earth sweetness and positivity, or even her adorable gestures and expressions, but there’s just something about her that fans everywhere simply cannot get enough of.
While she won’t give you sloppy frog kisses, or suck the blood out of you, she’s a refreshing smile after a hard day of pummeling villains and saving civilians. Sporting a curvy figure under her charmingly cute hero uniform, there’s plenty to love from the get-go. She’s kind and attentive, noticing those miniscule things which make you special that nobody else sees. But above that, her high standards and constant comparisons between herself and the tops of her class result in one of the hardest working and most persevering members of class 1-A at the Hero Academy, despite her simple, financially-planted motives.
Perhaps, against all of the craziness and the action of the shounen battle series, Ochaco is juxtaposed as Deku’s (the show’s protagonist) getaway from everything hectic in his life. She’s got a smile that shines just that bright, after all.
6. Chise Hatori from Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
Chise Hatori, originally a frail girl sold into slavery, gets picked up for five million pounds by a great Magus known as Elias Ainsworth. She begins with low expectations of those around her, having a strong, albeit justified, distrust of people as a whole. But as she receives much love and care, as well as a heavy dose of goodwill from a large cast of wonderfully unique characters, her ideals and convictions begin to grow and change, alongside her magic ability which she learns to hone from Elias.
Chise is a girl who was born with a kind heart, but didn’t get a chance to use it until taken in by Elias and rehabilitated within a wondrous new world of magic. As you watch her struggle and change and grow, choosing to sympathise with others who have done wrong despite her past misgivings about people and their ill nature, you’ll quickly become eager to keep on watching her grow as if you were with her yourself. It’s a beautiful story, led by a beautiful main heroine, who carries the ability to warm even the most ice-cold of hearts.
5. Tohru from Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
Tohru is the subject of a reverse isekai scenario; she was sent from her fantasy world into our regular one; and is contracted by Kobayashi, our protagonist, to work as a live-in maid. While she begins her new life as an all-powerful dragon with little understanding of human values and ways of life, the peaceful atmosphere of an organized world teach her that there’s no reason to hate, or to fight, and she instead adopts this lifestyle in favor of her own, slowly bringing her friends from the other world along for the ride. Constantly doing her best to please Kobayashi, who she feels eternally indebted to, as well as struggling and learning to live peacefully and without conflict when it was all she knew before, is just one of the many lovable aspects of her character.
When a dragon of pure destructive capability comes knocking on your door offering to be your live-in maid taking the form of a cute (and quite well endowed) anime girl, well, of course she’d be a top ten pick on this list by default. Tohru is, simply put, the extremely exaggerated personification of the perfect foreign girlfriend. As you teach her the ways of your life and culture, she’ll slowly adapt to the surroundings, and you’ll be able to take pride in being the one to show this person a new world. And just as well, you can learn from their culture and their ways, growing alongside them. This is the embodiment of what makes Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, as well as Tohru herself, so wonderfully compelling.
4. Rem from Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-)
Deep in the depths of Akihabara’s greatest and most classified labs, Japan’s top scientists worked tirelessly with Tappei Nagatsuki, a simple fanfiction writer at the time, on a highly classified endeavor. Using a culmination of many different sciences both myth and roid, they would perform a sort of alchemy, attempting to exchange lead for gold in order to create none other than the ultimate, universally loved waifu. And after many long years of sweat, tears, and Zero no Tsukaima fanfics, the character of “Rem” was formed. Cute, kind, unwaveringly positive, and caring with a motherly attitude, Rem is the embodiment of our simple-minded fantasies of a loving waifu. An ideal for all of us hopeless otakus.
But beyond that, she’s also a character that we all want to root for. With a plethora of skills, a cool demon side, and a difficult past that has left her bearing the burdens of family and pride, Rem is an all around solid character that has captivated an endless amount of anime fans for a plethora of reasons. Even those who don’t favor her at least have to acknowledge her sheer popularity and cult following as a character.
3. Megumin from Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!)
Speaking of cult followings, here we have the lovable underdog of the waifu world, Megumin. Hailing from a race of legendary, albeit questionable mages and warlocks, she was poor from a young age, having to scrounge for food and turn to underhanded means of her own composition to survive, often thieving or tricking even her own friends. Besides her cunning habits, the young mage had a dream of mastering what she thought to be the ultimate, end-all magic spell: “Explosion”. But in her unwavering commitment and practice of the spell, she had failed to direct her studies and abilities in places better suited for survival. Thus, landing her a special place in Satou Kazuma’s dysfunctional party.
Of course, it’s exactly this dysfunctionality that makes each and every member so memorable and lovable. And while she has her own unreasonable hang-ups, Megumin is actually often the more reasonable and logical voice of the group, aside from Kazuma. But where she can contribute combat-wise, specifically using the only spell she knows, Explosion, she certainly doesn’t hold back. From the flashy incantation, to the exasperated poses and wildly proud demeanor, there’s something about that childlike glint in her eye that we can all relate with, being so deeply devoted and infatuated to something that others may call “childish.”
We all found a bit of ourselves in this lovable pick, and hope that you’re able to as well.
2. Shouko Komi from Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. (Komi Can’t Communicate)
Shouko Komi. Surely, you must have heard that name before. Even as strictly an anime fan, and even before the long-anticipated adaptation of Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu was announced for fall of this year, the name or face must have entered your mind in one way or another. Just for that reason alone, Komi could have taken a spot on a “Top Waifus of All Time” anytime since the manga’s original serialization. But this is an anime-specific list; and… Well, her portrayal in the currently-airing Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. has been nothing short of equally lovable, and absolutely spectacular.
Often thought of as a silent, cool beauty by her classmates, Shouko Komi is actually discovered by our protagonist, Hitohito Tadano, to have an extreme communication disorder. In reality, she’s quite the colorful character, and no more nor less than a regular high school girl who would like to make friends and enjoy a fulfilling youth. But the way she conveys her feelings is almost always misinterpreted by others due to her inability to express herself properly. In an absolutely unrivaled slice-of-life romantic comedy, Komi does her best with the help of Tadano and others to make at least one hundred friends by the end of her high school career.
It’s a rare case scenario where you’ll want to yell “do your best!” at every scene.
1. Nezuko Kamado from Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
Koyoharu Gotouge’s Kimetsu no Yaiba has been an absolute cultural phenomenon ever since its anime adaptation aired in the spring and summer of 2019, and grew to even greater heights worldwide with its record-breaking film that premiered internationally to unanimous praise. The tragic, yet warm storytelling, and colorful cast of characters has drawn in many fans not just from the anime community, but outside of it as well, even going so far as to become a new “gateway” for many into the medium of anime. So it’s no surprise that the universally loved mascot and major character of the series, Nezuko Kamado, took first place on this list.
While we don’t get to see much of her before she’s turned into a fully fledged demon, it’s through her later interactions with Tanjiro, her brother and protector, in her demon phase that we see her reject the primal urges within her in favor of the only family that she has left. This heavy burden she bears forges her into the ultimate “protecc” waifu, with nearly the whole world up in arms over loving her character. Through endless memes, fanart, cosplay, and much more, Nezuko truly has earned this spot as Honey’s Anime’s #1 waifu of the last five years.
Waifus are ideals. In a bid to escape the dull reality of hardship and loneliness, especially with the isolating effects of a world in quarantine, we turn to waifus to offer security and comfort in a way that no three-dimensional person can. Whether you’re just looking for a cute girl to fawn over for a few hours, or a tapestry to sit across from while the two of you enjoy a heartily made meal together, we all can find our own reasons to enjoy these iconic characters in these hard times, and comfort ourselves in knowing that there’s one for each and every one of us who is waiting to be found and loved. And in doing so, they become more than just a character in a television show, when we as a community breathe new life into them beyond who they were in their original source material, whether that be the smash hit anime of the year, or a niche OVA that few have actually seen.
We hope that you continue to love and cherish these characters just as much as we do and give them lots of love! Speaking of, who’s your own favorite waifu of the last 5 years? Did she make the list? As always, let us know down in the comments!