2021 was a great year for female representation in anime. We've had tsunderes, kuuderes, onee-sans, and imoutos alike. Here, we'll be taking a look at some of the female characters from anime released in 2021! So, without further ado, let's take a look!
10. Miko Yotsuya from Mieruko-chan
Miko Yotsuya possesses the unique ability to see spirits. However, unlike most who would run screaming from such a terrifying sight, Mieruko chooses to ignore these spirits and go about her daily life. Hoping that paying these creatures no mind would eventually result in them leaving her alone, Miko attempts to live her life by going to school and hanging out with friends, while the entire time she is being surrounded by devilish ghouls.
Miko has an incredibly calm mind and this is what allows her to maintain her composure even when she is on the verge of tears out of fear. She puts on a stoic exterior but we know that she is deathly afraid of these spirits. Nevertheless, even when confronted by a ghost, Miko is always one to help out her friends should they be in a pinch. Miko makes the list due to her perseverance in the face of adversity. No matter how afraid she may be, she always pushes forward making sure that both she and her friends are kept out of danger. She is selfless and much braver than she lets on all things considered. For surmounting such courage where many other girls would run screaming, Miko earns her spot as a contender for the best girl of 2021.
9. Artoria Pendragon (Lion King) from Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 1 - Wandering; Agateram (Fate/Grand Order THE MOVIE Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot Wandering; Agateram)
As fans of the Fate/Grand Order mobile game will tell you, the story is one of the key selling points to picking up the title. However, this will usually come along with an affirmation that the story does not get good until the sixth world. Camelot is that sixth world and is where we meet the older, more regal version of everyone's favorite ahoge-having food disposal unit. Several characters return in this movie that we met previously in the Babylonia adaptation. However, the Lion King herself is here this time and she does not hold any punches.
The Lion King is not the same adorable Saber we all know from Fate/Stay Night. This incarnation of the character is domineering, ruthless, and willing to injure anyone who stands in her own way. We even see her lash out at her own underlings should they fail to meet her incredibly high expectations. While several fan-favorite characters made their animated debut in this movie (such as Nitocris), we had to give it to the poster-girl of the entire Fate franchise.
8. Rebecca Bluegarden from Edens Zero
Rebecca won the hearts of many thanks to her incredible ability to wind up in risqué situations wherever she may go. Lucy from Fairy Tail is one of the most popular anime characters of all time thanks to her looks and funny personality. Edens Zero takes a lot from Fairy Tail including the personalities of the original characters and, if you liked Lucy, Rebecca is more of the same with a fresh coat of 2021 HD paint applied!
Rebecca is a lighthearted vlogger who enjoys traveling the cosmos in search of new content. Along with her robotic cat that transforms into a set of dual pistols (just… just watch the anime, all right?) they embark on new adventures each and every day. Rebecca is both a very kind and caring person but also one who can act silly and enjoy the little things in life. It was nice to see that the flame of Fairy Tail has not died out just because the anime has since ended and we have Rebecca to thank for keeping that blaze alight. Her silly yet thoughtful personality embodies the themes of Edens Zero and she is by far the best girl, nay, the best character in Edens Zero!
7. Echidna from Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2)
Ooh, this one was tough! Re:Zero Season 2 had many standout performances from new and returning characters alike. Beatrice had a phenomenal arc, Emilia's backstory was heart-wrenching, and even Ram received a little more development. However, we decided to focus on a new introduction to the series, that being Echidna. Echidna makes her debut as a witch but one who comes off as less threatening than her title would have you assume. She spends most of the season lackadaisically drinking tea with Subaru!
Many fans love Echidna because of her pompous confidence which oftentimes falls flat thanks to Subaru's obliviousness. However, we also see a darker side to Echidna as she joins Emilia during her flashback and attempts to provoke her into a mental breakdown. Maaya Sakamoto is a beloved voice actress known for other characters such as Bakemonogatari's Shinobu and Black Butler's Ciel Phantomhive. Any character she lends her voice to is sure to cause a stir in the anime community! Re:Zero fans have always been split between Rem and Echidna. However, with Rem taking a back seat in the story this time around, Echidna managed to steal the spotlight and become one of the most interesting characters introduced into Re:Zero in some time. Echidna is not only an interesting character to watch but singlehandedly gave us insight into the pasts of other characters like Roswaal. She can be cute, serious, and uses the screentime she has to make an impression, unlike a certain comatose maid! Echidna was definitely the most interesting character this season and earns her spot as the best girl.
6. Fuyumi Todoroki from Boku no Hero Academia 5th Season (My Hero Academia Season 5)
There wasn't a lot of love for the female cast of My Hero Academia during this fifth season (at least when compared to the previous season). However, that does not mean the anime completely forgot about its female cast. Both Toga and Momo underwent some pretty grueling battles this time around but, today, we'll be focusing on Todoroki's older sister, Fuyumi.
As we know by now, the Todoroki household is constantly on (pardon the pun) thin ice. However, Fuyumi always tries her best to settle her family's differences and move forward. Fuyumi is the first to suggest that Bakugo and Deku join her family for dinner and goes above and beyond to quell the awkwardness of a sudden argument. Fuyumi has always been on the sidelines trying as best she can. Not every superhero needs to wear a cape and Fuyumi is a prime example of this.
5. Jahy from Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai! (The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!)
The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated will not be winning any awards for originality. The story is a fairly by-the-books slice-of-life comedy with some fantasy elements sprinkled throughout. However, the anime does make a name for itself with its titular protagonist. Jahy is a mix of suave confidence and pure chaotic energy. As we know, Jahy was at the top of the food chain in the demon world and we see this confidence exuded whenever she is in her adult form.
Most of the comedy is found in Jahy trying to navigate through life in the body of a child as almost everyone she comes into contact with abuses her smaller stature. It is this detriment, however, that forces Jahy to rely on those around her and she quickly realizes that surrounding oneself with a group of caring friends may not be such a bad thing after all. Jahy arguably goes through the most personal development out of anyone on this list! Jahy morphs from a boastful tyrant into a flustered mess capable of empathy and respect for those she once enslaves. Furthermore, Jahy's diverse personality is expertly mirrored in her transformations from her chibi form into her more mature form. The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!, although being a comedy anime, is more of a character study. At the heart of the show is Jahy who can be your adorable chibi and your ara-ara dominatrix. As a character, Jahy ticks so many boxes for so many different people and is definitely in contention for the best girl of the year.
4. Hayase Nagatoro from Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san (DON'T TOY WITH ME, MISS NAGATORO)
Nagatoro was another slice of life manga slice of life comedy romance manga, similar to Teasing Master Takagi and Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out, that was seemingly adapted into an anime thanks to the outcry from fans. Nagatoro as a character is devious, sadistic, and an all-around joy to watch as she makes the life of her senpai utterly miserable. Well, this is how it would look to an unsuspecting bystander but, as the show progresses, Nagatoro comes to realize that you always hurt the one you love.
Nagatoro develops feelings for her senpai over the course of the anime but she has yet to accept them. At most, we will see her flip out on her friends whenever they try to teasingly flirt with her senpai but it's always nice to see the tables turned on the teasing master herself. Nagatoro is certainly the funniest character on this list. Her methods of enacting torture on her senpai go above and beyond levels of normal comprehension. However, Nagatoro is not so one-dimensional that she only thinks about how she can make another's life miserable. As we see when she is forced to don a cat-suit, she is incredibly embarrassed that her extrovert demeanor will be diminished. However, she eventually taps into her confidence and does a great job of attracting customers. At the heart of Nagatoro lies this overwhelming sense of self-belief. No matter what situation she is placed in, she will always find a way to flip the script and turn the tables in her favor.
3. Itsuki Nakano from 5-toubun no Hanayome ∬ (The Quintessential Quintuplets 2)
While Itsuki did not make her debut as a character in 2021, she certainly grew a lot over the course of the second season of The Quintessential Quintuplets. Itsuki spent the better half of the first season brooding quietly over her being forced to study under Uesugi. Only in the latter half of the season did we see Itsuki warm to Uesugi and most of this was down to Raiha's cuteness and not because of any character development.
However, as we progress through the second season which DID air in 2021, Itsuki shows time and again her diligence when it comes to studying and her gradual acceptance of Uesugi is what allows her to improve her grade. Those who have watched the entire show will know that Itsuki is by and large in the lead for Uesugi's heart at the moment as, while Nino may have confessed, Itsuki is the first to plant a kiss! While the other sisters such as Ichika, Nino, and Miku, find themselves embroiled in a love triangle for Uesugi's favor, Itsuki stands firmly on the sidelines; confident in the knowledge that she will ultimately come out on top. Itsuki also acts as the voice of reason amidst a plethora of flaring emotions and arguments. As we know, she lays a slap onto Nino's cheek for disrespecting Uesugi and this is what kickstarts Nino's acceptance for her teacher. Itsuki, despite being the youngest sister, has her head screwed on the most. She is the frontrunner for Uesugi's heart and, while her sisters may have more defining and obvious character traits, it is this subtle silence that will eventually lead to Itsuki's victory. She may not be book smart but she is certainly the most intelligent of all her sisters!
2. Kyoko Hori from Horimiya
This is going to upset some people for sure but, regardless of your opinions, we can all agree that Horimiya was one of the best romance anime to be released in a long time and Hori was 50% of the reason! Hori makes up half of the titular couple Horimiya focuses on. She is caring and studious but struggles to find time for a social life due to her many responsibilities at home. However, after meeting Miyamura, she realizes that she is not the only one with a secret life behind closed doors.
Hori, as a character, comes off a lot like a tsundere in the opening few episodes of the anime. However, we see her grow as a person thanks to the time spent with her friends (especially Miyamura). As her feelings for him steadily grow, we also get to witness the cuter embarrassed side of Hori which is always a joy to see. Hori has a lot of unique character traits embedded in her from the writers. These traits, while not incredibly important to the overall plot of the anime, help to ground Hori as a relatable character. For example, we see time and again that Hori fantasizes over being treated roughly or rudely by Miyamura. This isn't something we'd expect from such a perfect person but it lets us know that she is a real person capable of experiencing many emotions (the exact message Horimiya is trying to express). Hori is the most realistic character on this list and it is all thanks to her excellent character development and layered personality. The writers truly knew what they were doing when they created her and she cements her spot as the second-best girl of the year.
1. Shouko Komi from Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. (Komi Can't Communicate)
Never has a character said so little but still managed to gain the hearts of fans from across the globe. Komi's adorable awkwardness coupled with her truly heart-wrenching backstory really make for a great combination. Komi, thanks to Tadano and her friends, grows from a shy and passive girl into a… less shy and passive girl. We have a lot more story to tell but Komi is currently making considerable progress on her journey to making one-hundred friends.
What makes Komi such a joy to watch is her ability to never give up. We see Komi experience several hardships throughout the anime. Some are minor such as ordering a coffee for Najimi. However, others are very intense such as a tight relay race or being forced to sit out from the fun after injuring herself at the pool. Komi goes through life with such a handicap but she always offers to help those around her. She leaps to help Tadano with his after-school work or rushes to help Najimi with her maid café. Yes, Komi can be shy and adorable. Her cat ears popping up whenever she gets excited will always be a joy to watch. Yes, Komi is beautiful. She has legions of fans falling at her feet. However, it is Komi's unwavering perseverance in the face of adversity that lands her in the number one spot.
There were so many amazing anime that were released in 2021 and even more characters to go along with it. It pained us to leave some of the best characters off this list but be sure to let us know your favorite anime girl from 2021 anime and why down below!