There are plenty of anime shows out there that have strong female leads. With titles like Sailor Moon, the Ghost in the Shell series, and Revolutionary Girl Utena being some of the most well-known. These titles paved the way for other quality titles with diverse leads.
Some leading ladies have made their name in the anime world with their strength while others have brains. If there’s one thing they all have in common it's determination. These ladies won’t let anything stop them from doing their job or accomplishing their goals.
A mashup of action, sci-fi, and paranormal that somehow works, Silent Mobius has two films that came out in the early 90s. But the series that came out in 1998 expands the story and characters. This anime is about a group of female officers known as the Attacked Mystification Police (AMP) that protect their city from alien-like creatures known as Lucifer Hawks. The group is an all-female force with various abilities to help them fight.
This series might be dark, but it has its light-hearted and touching moments when the ladies have time to relax. They're all strong in their own way and go through a lot throughout the series' run. From having to learn to trust each other to heartbreak, they have a lot on their plates.
Witch Hunter Robin
She might look and act mature, but Robin Sena is actually only 15 years old. Witch Hunter Robin follows her as she works for a secret organization that hunts down witches. Even though she’s a witch herself, Robin does her job while also on another mission to find an artifact.
Robin never had the typical teenager’s upbringing nor did she lead a typical life. With everything going on around her, most might forget she’s a teen while she deals with various tough situations. With her powers grow, she has to worry about her own witch-hunter comrades turning on her. She already seems pretty grown-up at the start of the series, and grows up even more as it goes on.
A post-apocalyptic anime with cyberpunk and psychological thriller elements mixed in, Ergo Proxy is about 19-year old Re-l Meyer. She’s an investigator that’s in charge of investigating a string of brutal murders by AutoReivs (cyborgs) that are infected with a virus. The virus makes the AutoReivs self-aware. During her investigation, she learns about Proxies, humanoids with god-like powers which then turns her investigation into more than a just basic murder case. After meeting Vincent Law, a man connected to the Proxies, the two of them team up to learn the truth about them.
Re-l Meyer is a tough, no-nonsense woman that is a little haughty and impassive due to being raised as a soldier and having a privileged life. She loosens up emotionally while on her journey with Vincent.
Moribito: Guardian Of The Spirit/Seirei No Moribito
A role reversal of the “save the princess” trope, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is about a 30-year-old woman named Balsa, a wandering warrior who is looking to atone for eight deaths in her past. She has vowed to save eight lives to do this. In doing so, Balsa saves a young prince named Chagum, whose father has ordered his assassination, and becomes his bodyguard. Balsa and Chagum go on the run from his father while finding out why he wants him killed.
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Balsa is definitely one of the strongest heroines out there whether it comes to fighting or teaching Chagum. She is determined to not kill anyone even though she could with her strength and weapon.
Claymore is an anime about one woman’s journey for revenge. Clare is a young woman who was found by a Claymore warrior (half-human and half-demon hybrid) named Teresa. After saving her from some Yoma (demonic creatures), Teresa takes Clare in and grows a mother-daughter relationship in their travels. Unfortunately, this happiness is short-lived after Teresa is killed by a former comrade and Claymore who gave into her Yoma side. Clare becomes determined to be a Claymore and get revenge on Teresa’s killer.
Clare goes through a lot on her journey. She is the only known girl to volunteer to become a Claymore, as the rest are chosen and created more or less against their will. She's also a little different than most. She starts at the very bottom and is considered a failure, but gets stronger throughout her journey.
This is a girls-with-guns anime that follows two female assassins, Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yuumura. The ladies meet after Kirika emails Mireille on “pilgrimage to the past”. Mireille doesn’t think anything of it until it plays a tune she recognizes. After meeting, Kirika reveals she has no memory of her past and no clues except for a fake ID, a gun, knowing the word “Noir” means something, and a pocket watch that plays a certain tune. The two team up under the codename “Noir” to find out more about their past.
Throughout their journey, they find out more about their past and learn how they’re connected to each other. They also encounter a group known as the Les Soldats that are out to kill and test them to see if they’re worthy of the “Noir” name.
Pretear is a magical girl anime that combines some aspects of Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Himeno Awayuki is learning to deal with her new life when her father marries a rich woman with two daughters. She questions what her place is since her father is neglectful and her stepmother and stepsisters want little to do with her, and make her life miserable. Destiny intervenes when seven knights appear before her and tell her she’s the Pretear. The Pretear is the only one capable of destroying monstrous beings known as Demon Larva and must stop the Princess of Disaster from spreading them.
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Himeno doesn’t get too much time to process everything and agrees to help. She uses her free time to train herself as quickly as possible to become stronger. Her confidence and strength are constantly being tested by everyone around her. Luckily, she’s able to pull herself together with some help from the Knights.
Canaan is a mystery-thriller anime about photographer Maria Osawa looking for the next newsworthy story along with her partner Mino. After hearing about some strange events happening at a local carnival, Maria’s life is flipped upside down.
She gets caught up in a large plot over a deadly virus that could threaten humanity. Luckily, she is protected by her old friend Canaan, a mercenary seeking revenge on her former teammate, Alphard. All three women are connected and the series follows this as Canaan and Maria work together. Alphard might seem like a typical villain leading a terrorist group, but there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Shirobako is slice-of-life anime about five women, Aoi, Ema, Midori, Shizuka, and Misa, who have been friends since high school and bonded over their love for anime while in their school's animation club. They promise each other to pursue careers in the anime industry with the goal to create their own show one day. All of them find out that making their dream come true is going to be a lot harder than they thought.
Aoi and Ema find success working at a big-name production company, while Midori, Shizuka, and Misa struggle to get their dream jobs. This is a series that shows fans what it’s like in the anime industry. Viewers can relate to some of the characters as the show handles some realistic issues. All of the characters have their own struggles they have to overcome when they realize hard work alone isn’t enough to succeed.
Michiko And Hatchin
Michiko and Hatchin are a very unlikely duo on a crazy adventure with cops after them. Hatchin is a young girl who is living with her foster family in South America. She is abused by the family and wishes for someone to take her away from them. Enter Michiko Malandro, a woman who just escaped prison and rescues Hatchin, telling the young girl she knows her father. The two of them then set out to find him.
They’re complete opposites of each other with Michiko being a little on the hotheaded side while Hatchin serves as the voice of reason. Despite these differences and usually bickering with each other, the two of them come to deeply care for each other.