The best thing about writing these lists is I can come up with whatever justification I want for why the numbers are what they are. In this case, I figure that the number 8 vaguely looks like a pair of boobs, so I’m making this a post on my favorite female characters of the past year… very few of whom actually have much boobage to write about, in retrospect. But fuck it, that’s my reasoning. Most of these are from shows previously mentioned, so don’t get your hopes up for much new meat for me to dig into. With that minor disclaimer out of the way, here they are, my favorite female characters!
8. Yozora Mikazuki, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Yozora’s a prickly individual that has an inordinate amount of trouble making friends. She’s extremely self-defeating in this regard, treating others horribly while lamenting the fact that she doesn’t have any friends, Kodoka aside. I’d hesitate to even call her a well developed character in any regard, since this is pretty much her only shtick, aside from donning some pretty bizarre outfits at times. However, I just like something about her. Maybe it’s the purple eyes or the haughty yet obviously earnest way she goes about running her club. Maybe it’s the fact that she has a surprisingly sharp wit. Something about her won me over, and that’s why she makes the very bottom of this list. Uh… top, in this case.
7. Kyouko Shirafuji, Working’!!
Kyouko is my second favorite character in Working’!! for a number of reasons. She’s lazy, she’s unnecessarily vindictive, she was a gang leader, and she willingly lets her subordinates pamper her and actually feels insulted when they don’t. As a person she’s horrible, but as a character she’s more entertaining than almost the rest of the cast combined. If she were just like Satsuki from Hanasaku Iroha, she wouldn’t make the list, but she does show the occasional moment of humanity underneath the thick shell of sloth and gluttony. I love Kyouko for how she is, but barely enough to have her make the list. Unlike, of course…
6. Satsuki Matsumae, Hanasaku Iroha
The prodigiously lazy mother of Ohana Matsumae, Satsuki sends her daughter to live with her estranged grandmother while she elopes with a recent flame. Satsuki’s a free spirit who knows that she’s more of a ward to Ohana than a mother, somebody to be unwillingly taken care of. She’s everything that Kyouko from Working’!! is, but very aware of it. It also helps that she’s easily the most attractive anime character of the year in a show that’s easily one of the best looking.
Satsuki is the antithesis of everything a good mother should be, but she does try to accommodate Ohana in her life despite her self-centered attitude. She’s not an ideal parent, but she does try, and that’s what counts.
5. Aoi Yamada, Working’!!
Yep, Working’!! makes the list twice, and for good reason. Yamada rounds off the trifecta of laziness by easily being the most endearing of the group. She tries her hardest to work, but honestly doesn’t have much of an aptitude for it. So instead, she sinks her claws into whoever could possibly support her, and doesn’t let go even after a ton of light physical punishment. What’s so odd about Yamada is she’s everything I should hate in a character: She feels entitled to being spoiled, attempts to manipulate those around her on a regular basis, and has little regard for the feelings of others. However, her personality is so innocent and her desperate grabs for attention so adorably pathetic that you can’t help but root for her.
Unlike Satsuki and Kyouko, she means nothing by what she does or says. She simply has poor impulse control and a desire to live an easy life, two things that don’t ordinarily go well together. Yamada’s truly one of a kind.
4. Yuuko Aioi, Nichijou
Actually, make that a Laziness Tetrafecta. Yuuko is the overly energetic friend of Mio and Mai in Nichijou, and possibly the show’s best single source of jokes. The Professor and Nano had the most laughs between them, but Yuuko’s antics garnered more individual laughs than each of them separately, so she gets my spot for favorite Nichijou character.
What seal the deal for me though are her expressions. Glee, dejection, sorrow, and of course her look of perfect bemusement easily make me giggle in retrospect. Yuuko isn’t a deep character or an especially flawed one worth looking into. She’s nothing but a living, breathing punchline with hardly a challenging thought or deed planted in her head. But sometimes that’s enough to win us over, and Yuuko has certainly done that.
3. Naruko Anjou, Ano Hana
Anaru isn’t a likable character by any stretch of the imagination. There wasn’t a single time while watching this show that I thought “Wow, this is somebody that I’d like to be friends with!” No, Anaru is a teenager, with all the meaning that label implies. She’s brash and hardheaded, ignoring her former friends in favor of the “popular” crowd. It’s something that gets her into deep trouble later on as she falls further and further into the wrong mindset. And she still brushes off those who want to help her, thinking that they’ll do nothing but hurt her socially.
Anaru isn’t likable; she’s realistic. There comes a point where we all think we’re too cool to hang out in the old gang’s clubhouse, to stop playing the Nokemon and enter the adult world with adult concerns. We often do this so abruptly and for such a length of time that we often lose sight of what’s important. Anaru personifies all this, even the accompanying regret and reformation. She’s relatable for almost everybody out there who’s had to go through high school; even those of us who didn’t care about popularity like she did still yearned to fit in somewhere. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have a little Anaru in us.
2. Chihaya Ayase, Chihayafuru
Chihaya is so infectiously optimistic that it borders on grating. She’s almost like the shoujo/josei version of Excel, bouncing everywhere with as much boundless energy as a neutron star. It’s ironic that her efforts to try to get people interested in karuta are entirely self-centered, yet not selfish at all. She wants to bring out the potential in people so they can help her on her way, and she can help them. By the end of the first episode, she completely endeared herself to me with her strange mannerisms, something that only increased the more I watched her karuta-related exploits. Again, it doesn’t hurt that she’s damn attractive for an anime character.
1. Yuno Gasai, Mirai Nikki
This may seem especially odd for a top choice, considering the kind of character that she is. However, even more than she is a psychopath with an unhealthy fixation on our ineffectual male lead, she’s an enigma. Why is she a part of this survival game, only having her diary tell her the actions of the object of her affection? It seems that she’s brought into the equation solely to have Yuuki figure himself out; whether he’d take the destructive relationship with somebody infatuated with him to a scary degree, or a quick death at the hand of somebody with a burgeoning god complex?
Yuno is a scary person through and through. She has no concern for herself or those around her that aren’t Yuuki, and she has but one constant goal in life. If any of us knew a Yuno, she’d be the subject of terror rather than that of our fascination. But put a computer or television screen between us and the pink-haired killer on the other end, and we’re endlessly entertained by her unmitigated cruelty and her deadly obsession. It’s for her highly self-harmful nature and her single-minded brutality that she makes the top of this list. She’s fascinating and terrible to behold, as close to a force of nature as there’s been this year that hasn’t been a wasp tornado.
There were many, many characters that I wanted to add that didn’t make the list. Rin from Usagi Drop, Ika Musume, Ringo Oginome from Penguindrum, Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate, hell, even Chihaya from Idolmaster… still, I’m the one who placed this arbitrary limitation on myself, so this is what I’m going with. Feel free to fill the comments section with your own favorites, whether you agree with my choices or not. It was pretty difficult, so I’m hoping a few of these found places on your personal lists. ‘Til next time!