And so we come to a close on these character lists for 2016 with my favourite female characters of that year. Much like with the male characters, this was a hard list to compile with so many interesting and fun characters. Some that had exceptionally emotional moments and others that stand tall in front of adversity. Comedic leads that bring us to tears with laughter and even some of the best antagonists we have had in a while. There is this great diversity in the female characters of last year in so many surprising series that some are bound to be left out. So let’s put 2016 to bed finally on this blog with my final list!
Spoilers for the following series: Danganronpa, Flip Flappers. You have been warned!
10. Alisha Diphda from Tales of Zestiria the X
One more thing. If I die…I forgive all. Hatred must not be passed on to the children of the people. I, Alisha Diphda, absolutely forbid vengeance.
– Alisha Dephda
Alisha was the main reason why I enjoyed parts of Zestiria as an anime in its first season. While Velvet Crowe could also easily fit in this spot, I feel like Alisha and her ideals are far more fleshed out. It was pretty close which is surprising since Velvet only had two episodes, but I digress. Alisha is an interesting take on the pacifist princess, one that can openly take action and has more than just spouting rhetoric, unlike other characters in the same series. She takes charge on the battlefield, even though her ideals don’t allow her to take a life. She will fight to protect others, but risks her life by not allowing any death. You see a lot of people refuse to take arms in these types of scenarios, primarily because they lack the skill to do so, yet Alisha surprises with a reinvigorated take on the pacifistic princess. This is where actions speak louder than words, where a character showcases their values to others and they can just take or leave it.
9. Kaguya Hayashi from Fune wo Amu
Ferris wheels are similar to cooking. No matter how delicious the meal you make is, it’s not the end, but actually the beginning. There’s no such thing as the perfect meal, nor an idea of actually being finished.
– Kaguya Hayashi
Kaguya was in the background for the most part in Fune wo Amu. She was the person who stole Majime’s heart and it is very easy to see why. There is this soft comforting side to Kaguya that makes her instantly connectable within the show. Despite the first meeting with Kaguya we see her in an ethereal light from Majime’s point of view amid the moonlit night, Kaguya didn’t remain a one note love interest. She is strong, chasing her own dreams and supporting others as well. I only wish I could’ve seen more of her, but from what I did see I enjoyed her subtle depth and soft disposition. I love how they never highlighted her as this progressive role model or strong character with neon lights like other shows do. She is just another dedicated person hunting for her dreams in life, nothing more special than anyone else and she never planned to be. She wants to enjoy cooking, and that is what I really loved about her character. She took pride in the mundane, strove to become a chef to the best of her own abilities rather than the best there ever was.
8. Miyano from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless
I-I’ll do my best to not do my best!
The complete opposite of Kaguya, Miyano is this hyper ball of energy whose hyperactivity is contagious. The one part of Tanaka-kun I always enjoyed was the supporting cast and Miyano was certainly the highlight. Every time she was on screen she just brought a smile to your face with her endless energy. There is this exuberance to the way Miyano lights up the screen no matter the joke she is delivering. There is just this endless ball of sunshine that is a necessity for a cast like Tanaka-kun’s. There needs to be an antithesis to Tanaka in the supporting cast and the way Miyano is executed makes her dwarf even the main characters with her charm. Kind and gentle and she is adorable, Miyano easily is one of the reasons to watch Tanaka-kun is Always Listless.
7. Tsumugi Inuzuka from Amaama to Inazuma
Mommy’s not coming…Daddy makes it instead…
– Tsumugi Inuzuka
One of the best executed child characters I have seen, Tsumugi is downright adorable. Though she can be a brat sometimes, there is this endless desire to always want to see her smile. Those times where she breaks down and cries are heart-wrenching to watch especially if you have a love for children. They brought this realism to the character that even when she tantrums, its because of a reason. It’s not because she is a kid and does that because that is what kid’s do, they build up a plotline that effectively gives Tsumugi the right emotions at the right time. The voice actress always manages to deliver powerful cries and those soft smiles melt any ice off of your heart. Sometimes a good character needs to be a relatable one.
6. Yatorishino Igsem from Alderamin in the Sky
First, I will do everything I can to kill Yatorishino. I’ll rip apart her soul, grind it to powder, and throw that powder on the flame so that she’ll never come back to life. After everything is done, the one remaining, Igsem, will kill you.
– Yatorishino Igsem
Yatori is an Igsem, a family that has been known for being proud warriors and the strongest within the army. What comes along with the Igsem name is destroying oneself, making Yatori held down by fate and tradition, most of her character is angled in such a way that she can justify exactly why that is. It is those moments where you can see the ferocity in battle at watching an ally fall or her little snarky quips towards Ikta that shows who she really is. The girl behind the name is sweet and understanding, yet harsh and assertive when things aren’t being done properly. She has a name to uphold and when she needs to break off all her worldly ties she will try, but the pain for the audience is seeing how those broken ties shatter the Yatori on the inside. I seem to have an affinity for tragic characters.
5. Yayaka from Flip Flappers
I believed in the mission. If it brought about a world where nobody had to get hurt or hurt others…If choosing my rightful place meant losing it, I thought I’d be much happier letting someone make the choice for me.
There seems to be a pattern as Yayaka is yet another tragic character on this list. She was born into a world that was cold and scientific, one without morality and love. She was alright with that though, so long as she can make the world a better place no matter the cost she would do it. So that someday she can be happy with everyone else, yet that dream is quickly shattered when her best friend becomes her rival over the very things she was tasked to collect. We watch as Yayaka struggles between her duty and her love for her friend, struggling to understand what she truly desires. She needs to shatter her past with Cocona…yet that same past is what makes Yayaka herself. It is a cruel fate to decide what matters more: your life’s purpose or the life of your friend.
4. Chiaki Nanami from Danganronpa 3
It doesn’t make a difference whether you have a talent or not. I mean, that isn’t the end goal. You have greater freedom than we do. All I have are games. But you can go anywhere and become anything.
– Chiaki Nanami
Danganronpa fans rejoice as yet another character makes it onto my list creating a trifecta! Chiaki is deserving of making it onto this list for the sole purpose of she is the key to what makes the Danganronpa world go round. She is the starting point of despair for the cast, the one shard of hope in a world being torn asunder by Junko’s hysterical rhetoric. Chiaki feels pure, she feels like the one character who can do no wrong. She grows to be a leader, to get past her own introverted tendencies and make friends striving to be a better person. Chiaki is the true symbol of hope in Danganronpa, the one who by definition needs to be snuffed out in order for the games to truly take place. When that time comes…pray that you are ready for it.
3. Sachiko Fujinuma from Erased
“Believing in someone.” That’s a weird phrase, isn’t it? After all, if you truly believed in a person you wouldn’t need to say, “I believe you.” It’s like saying, “I believe in air.” I don’t mean to say that “believing in something” is like a lie. “Believing” is really a term of hope of wanting to believe.
– Sachiko Fujinuma
Part of what makes Erased great is not the “epic” battle between the protagonist and the antagonist, its seeing this flawed but kind mother truly shine. She doesn’t always have the best answer for everything, but that never stops her from giving her opinion anyway. She is more laid-back and dearly loves her own son to the point of helping him with all his problems. Sachiko is a harder character to pin down, not because there is a lack of character its just that she fits into one of the best molds in anime so well. The lovingly strong parent is a great archetype to see executed well and Sachiko does so in spades, without her a lot of the best scenes in Erased would not have happened. While the ball is rolling down through the story, one of the only elements to keep me tethered to this show was this character. It’s a person to strive to be, flawed but still protective and loving.
2. Futaba Ooki from Amanchu
The countless pillars of bubbles are all breaths of divers…Signs of life that the blue world shows us. I had no idea a world like this existed!
– Futaba Ooki
Futaba Ooki, at first, didn’t seem like a special character. Being moved by those around her she became able to adapt to their personalities and grow to be great friends with them. What I loved about Futaba’s character though was the relatability of her and how they used scuba diving to emphasize her loneliness. Futaba is afraid of getting close to people. She doesn’t know how to act, to try to get to know people and often depends on others to interact with her. She doesn’t feel comfortable and often needs a catalyst to make her do anything, yet as we watch her enjoy and engage in the world of scuba diving we see her change. That shy exterior slightly erodes away as the dark depths become more clear, as she finally sees the beauty beyond the darkness. Futaba actively makes an effort to change her antisocial ways, even if at first it is merely because of Akari’s instigation. Amanchu takes its time to give great life lessons through its characters and Futaba is mostly the reason as to why this method works. It takes its time to get her over the hiccups of her insecurities into finding a more beautiful world waiting for her in the briny deep. In a way its imagery is poetic and nicely handled, but Futaba and her friends are certainly characters worth remembering from this year.
1. Darkness from KonoSuba
Suffering an erotic fate at the hands of the Devil King has always been the duty and expectation of a female knight.
This pick may feel completely out of left field to some, yet to me it is just natural. Darkness is one of the funniest takes on the RPG class system I have seen, taking the whole masochistic tendency to take hits to new heights. I have never seen a more conflicting individual, one who enjoys taking a thrashing and being put into awkward scenarios yet is an upstanding knight with a powerful loyalty. Darkness herself is this oddity within KonoSuba who enjoys being degraded…but sometimes its just not okay? Believe me when I say that I have little idea as to why Darkness grew on me so much, but as a comedic counterpart to Kazuma she really shines in some moments. They bring the best, and by best meaning worst, out of each other truly creating a strong comedic duo in moments. Darkness though manages to impress me more purely because this could have just been a terrible parody of an archtype, yet every time she talks and makes those depraved comments or actions I just can’t help but laugh. I can’t tell you how hard it is to do such a thing. While the entire cast of KonoSuba work in tandem with one another to create great comedic situations, Darkness really does shine in some moments of bravado, masochism and her inability to actually hit her target. My favourite female character of the year is one that consistently makes me have a fun time, and in some ways that is hard to come by.
And to round up all the lists into one, here is my Top 10 characters of 2016:
1. Yakumo Yuurakutei from Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
2. Kira Yoshikage from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
3. Miyokichi from Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
4. Darkness from KonoSuba
5. Futaba Ooki from Amanchu
6. Masashi Nishioka from Fune wo Amu
7. Nero Vanetti from 91 Days
8. Kei Tsukishima from Haikyuu 3rd Season
9. Reigen Arataka from Mob Psycho 100
10. Juzo Sakakura from Danganronpa 3
Well those three lists were just a blast to make. While not everyone was enamoured with the anime of 2016, I have to say its one of my favourite years in anime in a long time. There was just a constant stream of above average content being let through the floodgates, and a lot of studios took chances. It even managed to prove that Studio Deen still has it in them to make good shows! How does that happen? To me it will remain purely a mystery. So, what female characters from 2016 did you enjoy? Feel free to leave a comment down below and have yourself a great day!