I am about 100% sure this list will result in rocks being thrown at my window, but alas, I must do it. After thirteen years of watching lord knows how many shows, I’ve narrowed my list of best girls down to five. It was hard, but I did it. Disclaimer: The following rank order is based on my opinion. Rem is not on it, but I did think of her!
5. Chika Fujiwara – Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Although Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a fairly recent show, Chika was an immediate favorite and one I was shocked to see did not serve a cliche. Usually, characters like this are cheery to the point of seeming like they don’t have other qualities, but Chika works like a perfect combination of fun and finesse. Her bubbly personality and talent for sabotaging high-tension scenes really come in handy for a ton of plot points. She’s cute, silly, and unashamed of the sneaky wits. The entire show is comedy genius, and Chika really puts the cherry on top. Also, who can forget the special ending? That song lives rent-free in my mind, even now.
4. Ritsuko Mukae – Kids on the Slope
Will we ever forget her singing voice? Probably not. Kids on the Slope had to be one of the most heartfelt shows I’d ever encountered. The seamless jazz and undeniable friendship makes this one of my all-time favorites, and for good reason! Ritsuko is the self-described country girl of 1960’s Nagasaki. She doesn’t play an instrument but she puts her all into supporting her childhood friend, Sentarou, and their new companion, Kaoru. Ritsuko feels like she could easily be one of the girls living in a small town, and her personality is genuine. If you love “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, it’s really hard not to love Ritsu.
3. Tsukimi Kurashita – Princess Jellyfish
I knew Princess Jellyfish would be one of my favorite shows the second I met the girl squad, but there’s something especially sweet about Tsukimi. She dreams of making a lovely dress (something that directly contrasts their initial mentality of “no appeal”) so her goals are like a sparkling boost for anyone who listens in the long run. Struggling with insecurity is something anyone can relate to, and her journey gives a caring look at what that’s like.
2. Mikasa Ackerman – Attack on Titan
I mean, c’mon. She’s a trained soldier, moves like an assassin, determined as all hell, and not to be messed with. The Survey Corps regularly sites her as one of the strongest. There are workout routines inspired by her, yet she isn’t just her strength. She’s strong mentally and physically. She cries and supports her loved ones—she’s done so since she was a child, twisting her pain into conviction. If anyone tries hard to be true to themselves, it’s Mikasa.
1. Tohru Honda – Fruits Basket
We would be hard-pressed to find someone as understanding and kind as Tohru. I may be biased because Fruits Basket was my first manga, but the claim rings true to this day. Despite countless reasons for bitterness or a sense of isolation, Tohru does her best with every chance she gets. Each person she encounters is changed in one way or another, and the journey is heartwarming to say the least. Receiving a remake in 2019 was like a dream come true for fans of the series, and it’s nice to think that now more people get a chance to meet her.
Lauren is a 23-year-old cosplayer and writer from Chicago. Her favorite shows include Wolf’s Rain, Terror in Resonance, and Samurai Champloo. If you can’t reach her for whatever reason, she’s probably reading or figuring out how to turn her kendo skills into functional ones. She’ll be back in a minute.