Top 10 Badass Anime Women (Warning Spoilers)

Recently on Channel Awesome I came across two top 10 lists for Badass Anime Characters: a video by Distressed Watcher and a blog by Rosen Hacker. I respect both works but each were at a loss to find more than one woman badass. Please allow me to enlighten:

10: Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genisis Evangelion

Asuka aka ‘The Second Child’ is a mecha pilot who battles the angels of the Apocalypse. While this sounds pretty badass she only just made this list.  Asuka is an ill-mannered teenage girl with the emotional stamina of a chimp and thus swings into a tantrum at the slightest provocation. This does not a badass make.

On the other hand she is the tough girl of her series, especially when you compare her to the other ‘two children’. Child One, Rei  Ayanami, has the personality of a dial tone, she is a dial tone (long story). Child Three,  Shinji Ikari, the hero of the series, is to put it politely a complete wuss. Asuka can’t help but shine when standing next to No-care and Whiner Boy.

There is a scene at the End of Evangelion where Asuka battles 9 Cthulian mechs. Her Ava’s battery has only three minutes of charge left so she has to kill 1 biblical engine of destruction every 20 seconds or it’s all over. In the meantime the ‘hero’ Shinji decides that having an emo moment is more productive than helping. Asuka paints her three minutes with pure awesome slaughter, a vision of terror that would make King Leonidas of Sparta burst into tears. Against all odds she wins.

Then the Cthulhu mechs regenerate and kill her. The Universe hates Asuka and for spitting in its face in one last epic battle she makes this list.

9: Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing from Hellsing

As the immortal Ben Kenobi once said: ‘Who’s more the badass? The badass or the badass he follows?’

This man is the deadliest creature in existence. He’s a vampire who once wiped out the entirety of Brazil’s special forces by himself. He’s faced down the avatar of Set with a grin. He laugh at Edward from Twilight before stringing his sparkling entrails throughout the forest.

This woman commanded him when she was 13.

While we were deciding on whether or not to give up our toys she was in charge of the most vicious and powerful monster in the world, not only that but said monster respected her for it.

She’s been in charge of the Hellsing organization for years. She’s plays with THE old boys club that secretly rules the world and makes them look like a pack of sniveling cowards. All while cross-dressing and no one bats an eye because if they did her god-damn butler would kill them.

Her butler!

‘You rang madame? What would you like tea or assassination?’

8: Priss from Bubblegum Crisis

Priss is part of a secret organization of robot hunters known as the Knight Sabers. She indulges in this hobby dressed in power armor. Her main weapon is miniature shape charged bombs embedded in her gauntlet that explode when she punches her target. Her real job is being a rockstar.

The math of Priss just seems to add up.: Priss = (Knight Saber + Power Armor) x Knuckle Bombs x Rockstar = Badass.

She’s also got the ‘like I care’ ‘tude down pat.

Imagine if Biff Naked had access to Tony Stark’s armory, that’s Priss.

7: Deunan from Appleseed

Deunan’s like Jason Bourne except more soldier and less spy.  She grew up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and now serves in special forces for the last bastion of civilization on Earth.

You think she’d be safer there.

Nope.

While Jason Bourne has only to deal with pissant little humans Deunan has to take out super intelligent bioriods and combat class cyborgs. She rarely wears a mech to do so, most of the time she’s in tac armor like everyone else. No superpowers, no special gadgets (at least compared to the rest of the force), taking out meta opponents on a daily basis, pure badass.

Kinda like someone else we know minus the bat fetish.

Also her boyfriend’s full conversion borg, how hard-core is that?

Yes, he comes fully equipped.

6: Genie from Rune Solider

No, she’s not the one with the Rubix cube, she’s the one in front, the one killing you.

Genie’s a D&D fighter who lives up to her class. We’re not talking about the stereotypical dumb ass (sorry Gourry), we’re talking about a seasoned warrior who wields a Zweihander with deadly proficiency.

Genie is an amazon in a sea of swimsuit models. Most of the women in this list could pose for Anime Cosmo (or Anime Teen Cosmo in the case of Asuka), not Genie. She she’s not the delicate type. She’s taller than anyone in her group, she’s muscular and could take you out. No, I don’t mean taking you out for soda, I mean ripping you in two with her bare hands.

Only Genie wouldn’t do that unless it was part of the job and she was unarmed. Rune Solider is a comedy and as such it would have been typical to make her a stupid cliché: she’s a three day a month berserker, she speaks with a Swedish accent and crushes all men, she’s really a man. Rune Solider doesn’t go there. What we get instead is a cool-headed professional with a complex and believable past. The humor comes from the protagonist Louie who’s an idiot. Genie’s just playing the straight woman.

I couldn’t find any good pictures of Genie online and that’s probably because she doesn’t fit our common conception of beauty. Still, I think she looks awesome.

For looking so badass when the Invisible Hand of the Free Market demands that she be just another Barbie clone Genie makes this list in spades.

5: Lina Inverse from Slayers

Lina Inverse is THE sorceress in this western style fantasy/comedy (those Japanese sure think our dark ages of suffering and misery were funny). She has a number of potent black magic spells. Take for example Dragon Slave, its chant is this sweet little number::

Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows
Buried in the steam of time is where your power grows
I pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand
Against the gift bestowed in my unworthy hands
Let the fools who stand before us be destroyed by the power that you and I possess
DRAGON SLAVE!

Again Leonidas cries like a little girl before he’s annihilated by what can only be described as a mini-tac nuke.

Bibbity bobbity BOOM!

This my friends is only her second most powerful spell. Her most powerful spell, the Giga Slave, ends everything if she miscasts it.

Who does someone with this level of power answer to? No one. If Lina sets her mind to something not even a demon lord can stand in her way. In a comedic light, where one can blow up a village and the peasants only get at a little sooty, she’s not evil. Just a little clumsy with her power. Still she’s been dubbed by the populous as ‘’The Enemy of All who Live’ and if that isn’t badass I don’t know what is.

4: Lady Eboshi from Princess Mononoke

‘I’m here for the planning comity. . . well their lives at least.’

Lady Eboshi is a kind and caring ruler when it comes to her people but God help you if you’re in her way. If she was mayor of your town the roads would be damn well fixed even if she had to go to the capital to literally bring back some heads.

She takes on samurai, warlords and uber vicious animal-totems with an army composed of steel workers and lepers. With but this she beheads the freaking god of life and death. Does she have magic? No. Does she have superpowers? No. Does she have badassery. The word is inadequate. Didn’t know Bruce Wayne has a Japanese ancestor? Well you do now.

Also she’s one of the few fantasy women warriors who wears actual armor rather than Plate Mail by Calvin Klien.

3) Queen Esmeraldas of Captian Harlock
Queen Esmeraldas is a product of what the Nostalgia Chick dubbed the Smurfette Syndrome. She’s a female version of the protagonist of the series Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Given this the why is she here?Well Harlock is the quintessential badass. To quote JesuOtaku: “I think Chuck Norris checks his closet every night to make sure Captain Harlock is not in it.”  Somehow Esmeraldas is equally intimidating.

It doesn’t make sense. She’s dressed like Harlock minus the eye patch, she even has the same scar.  She’s armed with the same weapon. Her ship, a humongous zeppelin with a teeny age of sail boat at the bottom, is ridiculous compared to Harlock’s Arcadia. Logically she should be a pale copy of the original.

Admiral Piett: ‘Is that? Is that a balloon? Fire turbolasers!’

Admiral Piett: ‘Oh snap run!’

Yet she pulls it off like a kick ass cover song. Perhaps its the way she carries herself, or maybe it’s her strong unwavering voice. Personally I think it’s her eyes, if Roland of Gilead saw those he’d nod at a fellow Gunslinger.

Darth Vader: ‘Oh snap run!’

She even got her own movie without Harlock.

So for breaking our expectations to the Nth degree she’s number 3 on this list.

2: Dakki from Soulhunter

She’s going to serve the Man in the Moon a heaping dish of Hell.

Dakki is a demon who had the Yang Emperor tied around her little finger and used her influence on the royal court to  cause havock.  Does this mean she slept her way to the top? No. . . the Emperor was nowhere near her class, she reduced him to a drooling idiot.

As I got to know Dakki  I began to suspect the heroes were screwed. I hate tragedies but this I was okay with. Losing to Dakki is like getting beat up by Mohamed Ali, you will fail but you can still hold your bloody and bruised head high afterwards.

It’s not that Dakki’s overly powerful, it’s that she’s staggeringly cunning. Before the series even began she had the world three steps removed from checkmate. Near the end she had the heroes killing each other. The only reason was defeated was because she faced an equally cunning immortal who took pains to look like an idiot so as to be underestimated.

If she was given another chance I don’t think anyone could win. The Justice League? Toast. Superman would end up on a throne of bone giggling maniacally while holding the femur of Lois in one hand the skull of Jimmy Olisn in the other. The Avengers? Gone. By the end of the arc Captain America would be kneeling in a pool of Bucky, in a devastated New York, cradling a torn American flag, screaming to the heavens “Why? Why?”

Dakki, she looks and acts like a valley girl but it’s a ruse. By the time you figure out she’s no airhead you’ll be done Monte Cristo style.

1: Karla the Gray Witch from Record of Lodoss War

“You can’t dooo that! It’s not in the rules. *snivel*” 30th Level Archmage before he was reduced to ash. Karla hit him so hard his player died.

Karla’s an immortal witch living in a magic circlet. Someone wears it and bam she’s in control. Once she’s in control it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Karla’s powerful, so much so she can throw several fireballs with one spell. Given that Record of Lodoss War is based off D&D and given that such a feat is impossible this tells you how incredibly tough she is.

However, being a living force of arcane might is not what brings her to the top of this list. It’s her attitude and motivation. Like all D&D fantasy worlds Lodoss went through a ‘golden age of magic’ that inevitably went to Hell. Karla, not being a fan of apocalypse, decided she would never let that shit happen again. Therefore, whenever a nation becomes a superpower she uses her considerable cunning and mystic skill to drive said nation to ruin. It doesn’t matter if the kingdom’s benevolent, cruel, a monarchy, a democracy or a Little Orphans and Puppiesacy, she’ll mess it up good. It’s nothing personal. Karla’s not filled with hate, or greed, she’s just driven to a horrifying pragmatism. Karla  just simply does, she just simply is, a walking disaster with a dread purpose and there’s nothing more badass than that.

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7 Responses to “Top 10 Badass Anime Women (Warning Spoilers)”

  1. Great list, very entertaining read.

    Don’t know if I agree with Dakki from Soulhunter taking out the Justice League, but I am a fan of Superman and in my world hes unstoppable, so I am biased. I should likely watch Soulhunter so I can see for myself.

  2. Karla at #1: Hell yes. Great article, and great choice for the top.

  3. Nice and interesting list, though I’d probably only pick Integra, Asuka and Deunan for my list and both Deunan and Asuka would rank higher.

    What I’m wondering is why neither Motoko Kusanagi from GITS or Faye from Cowboy Bebob are included, aren’t they badass enough for your list?

    Of course opinions differ, but I was just wondering because these two would probably be First and second rank on my list.

    • Thanks for reading Die-yng,

      I thought of putting Motoko on the list but I don’t know enough about her. I saw the first Ghost in the Shell, she’s pretty bad ass and would have made it had I not included Asuka.

      Faye, I know Faye. I love Cowboy Bebop, I see it as high art. Please don’t get me wrong but I don’t think Faye has the ability or the ruthlessness to be a proper bad ass. She looks the part but lacks the will or the strength to ‘walk the walk’.

      That’s not to say she’s a bad character. Heck, one of my favorite characters is Belldandy from Ah My Goddess buuut she’s too sweet to be bad ass.

  4. What about Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail?

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