We’ve seen badasses in action anime and we’ve seen them doing impossible things, awesome things, explosive things while looking damn great at the same time. You can name a few badasses like GaoGaiGar’s King of Braves Shishio Guy, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’s Simon, Hellsing Ultimate’s Alucard, and many more.
However we’re not gonna talk about them and badass guys will be another topic for another time.
We’re going to talk about the women in anime who are equally badass. Their flavor of badassery is most of the time very different to their male counterparts, but they’re still badasses in their own right. Not sure that made sense, but anyways...
In this list, I’m going to list 10 badass women in anime and to make things a bit more varied and interesting, I’m going to add in a handful of my of personal picks from shows you’ve probably never heard of. Part of the intent is to give you anime goers something new to watch. And I’ll try to make it as spoiler-free as possible.
Here we go!
10. Azuma Hazuki — Yami no Boushi to Hon no Tabibito
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2003-December 2003
Hazuki is naturally intimidating with that brooding look, tall stature, and is quite athletic. Girls fall for her left and right every time she perfectly spikes that volley ball and she gets love letters and even gifts from other girls. And she is no pushover. When she travels between worlds, Hazuki is equipped with a sword and is very skilled despite having no prior experience. She is quick at the draw, can take on a group of samurai warriors, ninjas, or giant beasts, and at the same time (unintentionally) impresses the girls.
Where does her power come from? Part of it is an energy source called “souma” that she accidentally acquired, but the biggest source of her power is her undying love for Hatsumi. Yamibou is a story of a girl travelling to hostile worlds in search of her beloved. She will do whatever it takes to find her love and will not hesitate to draw her sword against everyone who gets in her way. And the loose bandages on her leg adds to her badass look, but it never seems to fall off or make her trip.
09. Mikasa Ackerman — Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2013-September 2013
If we’re talking about badass women, Mikasa deserves a spot on this list.
After a traumatic experience in childhood and experiencing first-hand the horrors of the giants, Mikasa went from a cheerful child to one of the most skilled soldiers in Attack on Titan. Despite her change of attitude, Mikasa still has some humanity left in her for she cares for everyone, especially Eren Yeager and Armin Arlert, whom she considers her family.
She is very over protective of Eren, to the point that it’s sometimes bothersome, as if she’s a mother keeping her child from tripping. Watch Eren getting beaten and seeing Mikasa having this murderous look on her face. She is somewhat like a creepy, stalking girlfriend looking out for her boyfriend. Or maybe it’s just me...
However, this determination to protect Eren as much as possible might have contributed to her success as a skilled officer and might have contributed to her rising through the ranks in such a short time. She’s an expert in using the 3D Maneuver Gear, calm and mostly rational at all times, highly skilled in using weapons, and has numerous confirmed titan kills under her belt. Killing titans is not an easy thing to do.
08. Hidaka Aoi — Juusoukikou Dancouga Nova
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: February 2007-May 2007
Hidaka Aoi was chosen to be the leader and pilot of super robot Dancouga Nova and side with the weak nations of the world.
Before Aoi was the leader of the 4-man team, she was a supermodel and a skilled F1 racer with a hidden burning passion to test her limits. The people who (forcibly) recruited her may have noticed her potential and have her pilot a robot with almost limitless capabilities.
She’s not brimming with anger and yells a lot like the typical hot-blooded type of most super robot shows, but she does look cool when controlling Dancouga Nova, calling out Dancouga’s super moves and generally looking cool while kicking everyone’s ass. Especially in that final encounter… Man, she was so badass, it’ll probably make Simon from Gurren Lagann blush with envy. That one dynamite punch saved the entire human race from extinction and it was glorious!
And she’s a redhead. That alone is instant badassery.
07. Hime — Kaibutsu Oujo OVA (Princess Resurrection OVA)
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: December 2010-October 2011
Actually her real name is Li—spoiler. Sorry. Hime is the 2nd daughter of the king who reigns over all monsters. Try calling her Hime with the princess honorific hime. Hime-hime… She was never addressed this way. I think. Anyway! Her most notable power is the ability to resurrect the dead using her blood and turning them into powerful loyal blood warriors.
Unlike most pampered princesses, Hime can kick monster ass and is also pampered by her servants. Her life is a constant struggle because monsters or even Death himself wants either her powerful blood or her noble soul. Thankfully she’s got a lot of friends to protect her and even without them, she can fend for herself, is fearless, very skilled in combat, a master at strategic planning and negotiation, and can kill with almost no hesitation. Heck, she doesn’t care if her mansion explodes when fighting her opponents.
What makes her more badass is her weapon of choice. She’s skilled in many types of weapons but her signature weapon stands out among the rest. What is the weapon? A giant sword? A whip? A gun? A rocket launcher? Or something elegant like a rapier or scimitar? None of those. Hime’s signature weapon is a freaking chainsaw and she wields it like she’s wielding a sword. Now that’s literally something you don’t see every day. Maybe she plays Doom a lot. Or is a big fan of Ash Williams.
06. Azuma Tokaku — Akuma no Riddle (Riddle Story of Devil)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2014-June 2014
Originally tasked to assassinate classmate Ichinose Haru in exchange for having anything she wants granted, Tokaku had a change of heart and decided to protect the girl against 11 other assassins. Haru must have some strong pheromones or something that made Tokaku protect her. Or maybe it was simply just because Tokaku found Haru cute and attractive.
Raised in a clan of assassins, Tokaku is a cold, solitary girl with an almost expressionless face, but is very skilled with knives and she uses them as projectiles or for close quarters combat. She is quick, has good spatial awareness, can smell her opponents and can find hidden rooms.
Throughout the course of the anime, she is always alert and cautious every time because she is dealing with 11 deadly assassins and they’ll do whatever it takes to kill Haru and have their wishes granted. What makes her a bit special is that she has never killed before and this disadvantage didn’t hinder her and she can still put up a fight against people with an insatiable thirst for blood. Is she… the Batman?!
05. Akemi Homura — Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011-April 2011
Without spoiling the story, Akemi Homura is a magical girl with a mysterious background and is somehow connected to (and kind of obsessed with) the main protagonist Kaname Madoka. She’s expressionless, completely disregards the rest of the characters, and uses guns, explosives and heavy ordnance… things a magical girl doesn’t usually posses.
I can’t really say much about why she is on the list because you gotta personally watch the show and see what she went through to fully appreciate why she is like this. All I can say is Homura, at 13-14 years of age, is a schoolgirl that’s armed to the teeth. Magical girls usually have some magical staff that shoots love and magic, but Homura, oh man… Homura is a one-man army in every sense of the term.
04. Nadie — El Cazador de la Bruja (The Witch Hunter)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2007-December 2007
Probably the most laid back on the list, Nadie (Spanish for ‘nobody’) is a bounty hunter with no past tasked to protect Ellis, a mysterious girl with supernatural powers.
Nadie is not gloomy or angsty because she has something to hide or anything, she’s cheerful, optimistic and it’s fun to see her do crazy things. She has a bad temper though. What makes her badass? Nadie is a bounty hunter, a chick who knows how to use a gun, has a sharp tongue, is confident in what she does and can kick anyone’s ass. When she says “Got any last words, say ‘em!”, you will know you’re gonna get your ass whooped.
03. Andou Mahoro — Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2001-December 2001
Mahoro is a very dedicated house maid of a boy named Misato Suguru and is very good at what she does. Sure she’s conscious about some stuff and can be an earful if she finds another stash of Suguru’s collection of adult reading material, but she is caring, kind, and polite.
But in actuality, she is a retired combat android made to fight the Saints, an unknown alien lifeform that invaded Earth. She is an excellent combatant able to bring down enemies bigger than her. She is also armed to the teeth with an assortment of weapons she call pull out of nowhere. And she’s still equipped with an armed BMW sports convertible and MV Agusta motorcycle. She’s a killer android, well-equipped and at the same time, a capable and loving maid. She is a badass in a maid uniform.
Unfortunately, she has a limited lifespan because she’s a cyborg. But thankfully VESPER has given her freedom to do whatever she wants until her batteries ran out. She chose to become a maid and eventually protector of the boy Misato Suguru and friends.
02. Matoi Ryuuko — Kill la Kill
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2013-March 2014
Think of any shounen anime male lead character. What are they? They’re usually the ill-tempered, hot-blooded, the stubborn, who yells a lot, belittles everyone, is a sore loser, has a great sense of justice, and is the one who eventually saves the day. Matoi Ryuuko is the female embodiment of that kind of character.
She is a natural-born badass from head to toe. Her character reeks of badassery from her tomboy look with that red streak in her hair, the choice of voice actress, and the personality of a classic hot-blooded shounen hero.
Due to how she was born, she has superhuman strength, speed and agility and can take on multiple opponents. Her destructive potential is near limitless when she wears Senketsu, a special sentient sailor uniform and wields the Scissor Blade. Ryuuko does show a lot of skin when Senketsu transforms, but make no mistake, this girl will kick your ass while looking good and sexy at the same time.
01. Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing — Hellsing Ultimate
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: February 2006-December 2012
Integra is a member of the Protestant Knights, the leader of the Hellsing Organization tasked to defend Great Britain against any forms of supernatural threats (mostly vampires and ghouls). She is also the master of one of the most dangerous being on the planet — the vampire Alucard.
Unlike the rest of the girls on the list, Integra is usually behind enemy lines giving out orders and dealing with politics. But when the need arises and she has to face her enemies up close, she is a capable human with exceptional marksmanship and fighting skills.
Not only is she good at combat, she is an excellent tactician, and very intelligent. She is very intimidating when she walks towards you smoking a cigar and all you see is the glint of her glasses. You really don’t want to mess with this woman.
Oh what’s that? Seras Victoria is more badass than Integra because Seras is a vampire and a walking death machine? Let me ask you: Who runs the organization dedicated to eradicating monsters, who at any time will give an order to kill everyone that gets in her way with no mercy and has the vampire Alucard who can do anything she wishes? Thought so.
The reason why Integra is my number one is you really don’t need to be a fighter to be badass. Being intimidating alone is enough. Your enemies will just laugh at if you show any signs of weakness. Integra is a powerful and intimidating person with the smarts, resolve and resources that can tip the scale in her favor. And she smokes a lot.
Admittedly this was a very difficult article to write. If you think my list is underwhelming and think other characters are far more deserving to be on the list, or you think my definition of “badass” is wrong, please leave a comment. I will definitely reply to you!