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Old 2013-08-18, 17:36   Link #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Realistic strong female

I’ve just finished the 2 seasons of Saiunkoku Monogatari and I’m completely hooked on how wonderful the main character was. What I really liked was how the anime portrayed her as strong. It wasn’t like she was beating up guys double her weight, but rather with a good personality, hard work, and intelligence.

Now I’m trying to find another anime where a strong woman realistically deals with problems.

Things I would like to avoid if possible

Only females animes – I mean there’s bound to be a strong female character in an anime that only features females, but what I really want is a strong female in a world of males.

Fighting – As much as I like a physically strong girl, it’s really hard to get into a 5’4 girl with a model-like body beating up a 6’4 body builder with 1 kick.

Bench mark girls – 90% of the ‘strong’ female characters out there always start off stronger than the male characters, but somewhere in the middle of the story the male characters always surpass them and the once strong female characters now become damsels in distress. As if they were a benchmark for the male character’s progress.

1000 year old witches with chibi bodies - Like Eva from Negima or Kurohime.

Examples of what I’m looking for

Saiunkoku Monogatari – Kou Shuurei – She was able to get a lot of people on her side with personality and results. She was able to do a lot by herself and was only helped because she deserved it.

Seirei no Moribito – Balsa – Though Balsa was involved in a lot of fighting, it was still pretty realistic with how she was portrayed.


Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang - Bai Ping Ting

Shion no Ou

Spice and Wolf - Horo

Spoiler for List of animes that I’ve watched that is quite close to what I’m looking for. (not exactly though):
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Old 2013-08-18, 18:03   Link #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 32
You've probably seen it, but Kino no Tabi is an obvious recommendation...

Kurau Phantom Memory has a lot of action, but maybe you can suspend your disbelief in her ability because she's actually a pure energy being from another dimension possessing a human body (lol).
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Old 2013-08-18, 18:34   Link #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Allison to Lillia
Ryouko case file
Senjou no valkyria
Mitchiko no Hatchin
Ghot in the shell

There is fighting in these (more or more often less), but with exception of last third of SnoV and GitS it's not overtop.
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Old 2013-08-18, 18:48   Link #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Baccano! while it is action, every character is good in it's own way, no one is used either.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - action once again but you can't go wrong with Oliver and Izumi.

Psycho-Pass - action again but! Akane is not throwing around 2m tall guys nor is she the best action wise. Kougami does all the fighting. However, she is strong mentally.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo - while show is filled with talented characters, each one has to go through some struggles. They work hard and don't give up.

Zetsuen no Tempest - I think Aika could be to you liking. It actually fits the most. However, there is one but. She was murdered at the start of the series and most of her character we learn through flashbacks. Her brother Mahiro is set on revenge and the closer he gets to truth the more we learn about her. Not to spoil but I don't think many people would have guts to do what she did.
There is also Hakaze.
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Old 2013-08-18, 23:08   Link #5
Cross Game - I need more
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: I've moved around the American West. I've lived in Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Oklahoma
Age: 39
Crest of the Stars is an obvious pick.

You'd probably also like:

Cross Game
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
Chrono Crusade
Maison Ikkoku
Chrome Shelled Regios
Kimagure Orange Road
Last Exile
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Kamisama Hajimemashita

Cross Game - A Story of Love, Life, Death - and Baseball. What more could you want?
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Old 2013-08-18, 23:22   Link #6
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hokkaido
Age: 68
Shurrei is one of my favorite heroines and a fairly uncommon one as well.

You might like Chizuko, the "Daughter of Twenty Faces." She starts off as an orphan being kept by her greedy aunt and uncle when she is kidnapped by the famous master thief Nijuu Mensou, or "Twenty Faces." She joins his band of thieves and later engages in some adventures of her own along with her friend and her maid. Hirano Aya gets to show some dramatic range as the voice of Chizuko.

Even though they are just ten, two of the girls in Dennou Coil are highly competent computer hackers and very strong-willed. Coil is one of the best shows of the past decade and should be on everyone's must-watch list. Another possibility among younger girls might be Haruka in Noein. Despite her unique role in the interdimensional conflict roiling around her, she often seems like a fairly ordinary twelve-year-old girl who happens to possess an unusual power.

Re'l from Ergo Proxy should also be on your list. While her popular image shows her wielding a large gun, Re'l actually relies much more on her intelligence and less on her fighting skills.

The women in Claymore have been invested with weird powers, but they might still fit your request. Both Clare and Teresa are strong characters and seem realistic within the universe of the story. In particular, Clare does not always win the battles she enters, and she has qualms about the life she has chosen. You'll recognize Clare's voice actress -- she's Kuwashima Houko, the voice of Shurrei. Kuwashima also voices Isako in Coil.

Nodame might be a controversial choice for a "realistic strong female" because she appears quite ditzy, though talented, at the outset of Nodame Cantabile. As the first season unfolds you come to see her inner strength.

Another off-the-wall suggestion might be Sora in Oh! Edo Rocket. Sora has some highly unrealistic features (that I won't reveal), but often she is just an intelligent and compassionate young woman who happens to want to ride a rocket to the moon.

Speaking of rockets to the moon, the supporting character Serika in Space Brothers is another excellent choice. She's a doctor who wants to become an astronaut so she can research advanced medications aboard the International Space Station.
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Old 2013-08-19, 21:29   Link #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
I have two favorite anime that I tend to recommend a lot that have strong female characters.

Mai-HiME is a bit borderline when it comes to not having an "only female cast." There are some significant male characters, and a couple of the major ones even get character development, but the focus is still very much on the HiME (girls who have been granted magical powers). On the other hand, there's also a lot of focus on character development and relationships, and Mai Tokiha is an exceptional female lead. She might be the lead character in a series that involves fighting with magical powers, but a lot of her problems (like taking care of her sickly younger brother) are very down to earth and she is more of a "people person" than a fighter (I think part of what makes her such an interesting character is that she's allowed to interact with so many other characters over the course of the series). She's also very resilient -the later parts of the series put her through hell but she comes out stronger for it.

I'm also a big admirer of Sheryl Nome, the superstar singer in the science fiction/space opera series Macross Frontier. She's the type of character people can end up either loving or hating though, particularly since she's part of the series' central love triangle. Like Mai, she's a character that gets put through hell in the later parts of her series but comes out stronger for it (HiME and Frontier actually share the same writer). She's also a character whose strengths and weaknesses can be tied to the same personality traits. She's got incredible drive and determination, but that drive can also make her difficult to work with. Overall I consider her a very complex and multifaceted character who is a lot more than the simple pop princess she might appear to be.

Moving down the list I'm also a fan of Full Metal Panic's Kaname Chidori, but then I'm familiar with the novels, not just the anime, and I tend to ignore the more caricatured portrayal of her character that show's up in some of the more comedy oriented material like Fumoffu. Some other fans find her to be too anger prone (she's a tsundere. So are Mai and Sheryl, but they're very mild in comparison).

There's also Sinon Kouzuki from Starship Operators. She's a space cadet whose fellow cadets drag her into joining a reality TV funded rebellion after their practicum aboard a brand new, state of the art battleship is interrupted by their home planet's surrender to an invading power (please note that the series is not a comedy). Sinon is a series defining character. She's not an action girl but she is a tactical genius, which is important in a show that places a great deal of emphasis on planning and tactics. On the other hand her short lived relationship with another of the show's characters seemed a bit forced.
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Old 2013-08-19, 23:43   Link #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I thought I had watched at least the majority of animes, but now it seems I have a mountain to watch.
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