31+ Feminist Anime Shows Without Politics Or Virtue Signalling

cute anime girl smiling wallpaper art
Written by Theo J Ellis

Feminist anime shows in Japan are cut from a different cloth compared to the feminism we know in the west.

Especially those seen in TV shows or films.

Anime doesn’t focus on feminism from a political point of view, and doesn’t virtue signal at the expense of ruining the quality of a show.

Instead, you have anime shows that include:

  • Positive
  • Uplifting
  • Encouraging
  • Inspiring

And even educational aspects and messages for women, female fans, and all things related to it.

This is why the argument of anime being misogynist is a load of drivel, given anime‘s constant praise of women, despite it being fictional.

Here’s some feminist anime shows worth mentioning.

 

1. Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill satsuki ryuko moments

Anime fans who know anime and can spot the ins and outs know Kill La Kill is a “feminist” anime at heart.

Just without the foolishness.

The anime is about Ryuko Matoi, a somewhat masculine girl who’s angry as F and for good reason. Her father was murdered.

She’s on the hunt to find her fathers killer while armed with a pair of scissor blades.

After arriving at Hannouji Academy, the anime‘s plot and the plot twists start to take place.

The big thing about this anime (despite being a play on tropes and clichés) is the subtle messages of empowerment for its female characters.

Clothing” plays a big role in this, but I won’t say anymore.

 

2. Psycho Pass

Psycho Pass akane suit

Psycho Pass is what you’d call a “brilliant” anime series. It’s a staple in the psychological genre, and a unique police-sci-fi series you won’t find elsewhere.

Akane Tsunemori is a new police officer, and on her first day she witnesses a savage crime. Or at least the context of what goes down on the job.

In this society police have a weapon called a Dominator. It judges a person’s mental health, and decides whether they should be killed, arrested, or left alone.

There’s more to the story than meets the eye and it’s a deep, thoughtful series with a lot of violence and brutality.

 

3. Fairy Tail

wendy marvel scary funny moments

That’s right – fan service in of itself is not degrading unless it strips the character of a soul or a personality.

Fairy Tail is a controversial, perplexing anime because of this fact.

Lucy Heartfilia is the main female character, aside from others like Erza Scarlet or to an extent – Mirajane Strauss.

All 3 characters through this 300+ episode franchise have:

  • Character development.
  • Depth.
  • Progression.

And we see them evolve and become more than they already are. They have strong backstories and involvement in the Fairy Tail story.

Being an anime about adventure, magic, friendship and fantasy, it does a stellar job of leaving a lasting impression with its characters.

 

4. Shadows House

Shadows House emilico kate

Shadows House is a mystery series by CLOVERWORKS. A studio that’s been dishing out some great anime in recent years.

The anime is about shadows, or as they’re called “shadow masters”. In the shadow house there are living dolls created to serve these shadows.

They’re shadows because they literally don’t have a face and resemble a shadow. The living dolls like Emilico are used to represent the faces of each shadow.

It’s an underrated anime from 2021 that’s done well and has some solid writing (regardless of gender).

It’s like a better version of The Promised Neverland.

 

5. Sket Dance

Sket Dance trio hime yusuke switch

Sket Dance is an underrated comedy series from the early 2010’s. It even had crossover episodes with Gintama!

Yusuke Fujisaki, Hime Onizuka, and Switch are the 3 main characters who represent Sket Dance. A group that aims to help others, no matter the problem.

It’s full of 4th wall breaks, hilarious episodes, and for a comedy series: surprisingly dark episodes relating to relevant characters backstories.

With over 70+ episodes, it’s a comedy series unlike anything you’ll see today. Anime these days have 12 episodes at best.

Related: Why Anime Has 12+ Episodes Per Season (Compared To 10-20+ Years Ago)

 

6. Banished From The Hero’s Party

rit and red banished from the heros party

Airing right now during fall 2021, Banished From The Hero’s Party is an anime about 2 main characters who are in a relationship with each other.

They both “retire” from their past lives and live out in the countryside.

Red and RIT are their names.

Rit is from royalty, but she’s not the blonde damsel in distress you’d expect her to be based on her background.

She’s a powerful swordsman who many fear messing with, not because she’s a bully, but because of her skills.

She’s like a more gentle version of Erza Scarlet, but with an active relationship and a man she lives with and runs a business with.

 

7. Eighty-Six

Eighty Six season 1 moments

Eighty-Six (86) is another anime series from 2021. It’s a Mecha that’s doing extremely well and is a good look for the genre.

The anime is about discrimination and racism.

An area called “86” is where certain people are forced to live and die against their will by the powerful elite.

People considered 86 aren’t seen as human. And the racism and discrimination runs deep.

Vladilena Milize is the main female character who wants to change that, but struggles in the system she finds herself apart of.

 

8. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen trio nobara yuji megumin

Jujutsu Kaisen has become well known for its well written female characters, and characters in general.

It’s an anime that follows Yuji Itadori, a guy interested in the supernatural and is part of an occultic club in school.

When things go wrong one day, a sacred finger is revived and almost kills his friends and himself. And after eating 1 finger, Yuji finds himself in a predicament.

Nobara Kugisaki is one of the 3 main protagonists of JJK, a woman from the countryside with confidence, style, and sex appeal.

She’s classy and has some major moments in this violent, action packed series.

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9. Slayers

Slayers lina inverse moments 1990s

Slayers is an old school 1990’s classic which you can call a female version of Dragon Ball Z.

Lina Inverse, a powerful, beautiful sorceress (in her own words) is a magnet for trouble. She’s always on the hunt for treasure and trying to cash out.

She lives her life independently after all, and likes to go on adventures and see the world.

She’s joined by Gourry Gabriev, a seemingly dumb swordsman, and 2 other relevant characters as they set out on a journey.

This anime is one of the originals when it comes to breaking the 4th wall and being meta.

 

10. Yona Of The Dawn

Yona Of The Dawn shoujo

Yona Of The Dawn is a Shoujo series. It’s about princess Yona and how she’s on the run after her father is killed, and her so called best friend turns against Yona.

Being a coddled princess has its disadvantages. Yona is useless out in the wild, and has to learn how to be strong and how to survive on the go.

Through trials and tribulations, she finds her stride and becomes stronger through personal development and necessity.

The male characters like HAK make this anime‘s comedy unbelievably good. With some nice romance occasionally.

 

11. Shakugan No Shana

shana flaming haired blazing eyed hunter

Shana, the flaming haired blazing eyed hunter.

She’s a proud flame haze, a type of warrior who’s immortal and hunts down demons (denizens) to protect the world’s balance.

Eventually she’s joined by Yuji Sakai, a guy who’s half dead but still living thanks to a mysterious tool that keeps him alive.

Shana’s glittering flames makes her overall design completely unique to anything seen in anime, even in 2021 and beyond.

There are many powerful female characters in this universe, and like Shana, those who are relevant are written well and play a solid role in the story.

 

12. NANA

NANA anime nana osaki and nana komatsu train

NANA is an anime that’s slightly forgotten today. A slice of life masterpiece from the 2000’s by Madhouse studios.

First you have Nana Komatsu, the heroine of this series who’s a klutz, clumsy, airheaded, but optimistic and jolly enough to bring everyone’s spirit’s up.

Then you have Nana Osaki, the Rockstar musician who’s more edgy, straightforward, rough around the edges but softer in the middle.

A person who appears stronger than they truly are.

Both of these girls end up on the same train to Tokyo, and living in opposite flats in the same building.

Romance, living life in your 20’s, chasing your dreams and trying to figure things out…

It’s a mature, realistic series in every sense of the word.

 

13. Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden blue eyes gif

Violet Evergarden is an anime that has longer episodes than normal. What I really mean is each episode feels longer than normal.

Each episode is emotional, stacked full of depth, and is so well written it could do well on its own.

Violet helps people through writing. She helps them express their emotions through the written word and as a result, helps them detox and overcome their struggles.

It only helps that the animation quality and art is stunningly realistic, making the emotional moments that much more heartfelt.

Relevant: 23+ Of The Most Feminine Anime Characters Ever Known

 

14. Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon revy face

This anime is about drug dealers, criminals, the underworld and smugglers. The main characters are part of the lagoon company, run by the boss – Dutch!

They help smuggle anything for profit, be it people, weapons, or anything worth their time.

Revy Rebecca along with Eda, Balalaika, and Roberta are some of the most curious female characters you’ll ever come across.

Black Lagoon is an anime that feels like a film with anime features blended into it. It’s just different.

The style, the animation, the characters and how it’s written, it’s the reason Black Lagoon is loved in the anime community.

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15. Akame Ga Kill

Akame Ga Kill apron kitchen akame

Imagine a world where disagreeing with the government means death, and being beheaded in the middle of the street for everyone to see.

Or a world where you pay 90% taxes and your life isn’t even your own. Let alone a life that’s happy or has a chance of being fulfilling.

This is the world of Akame Ga Kill. And some people have had enough of the bullsh*t.

The revolutionary army is a subtle group of people who’ve been gaining power and numbers over the years. They create a group called Night Raid.

This group specializes in killing high profile figures, and their overall goal is to create a revolution and destroy the government to start things over.

So called “bad ass” female characters exist in abundance here, and the plot is meaningful + realistic to a fault.

It’s a Shonen that does Shonen differently.

Relevant: 19+ Action Dubbed Anime That Will Leave A Good Impression

 

16. Bubblegum Crisis

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Bubblegum Crisis is an anime from the 1980’s! A very old school classic and one of the originals as far as girls with different hair colors.

The anime is a sci-fi futuristic type series about female mercenaries. They all wear special mecha suits, each with a type of power.

Corruption is rife with a certain organization, and this is the point. The main characters are trying to take them down.

It’s such a whacky anime I’d call it the Gurren Lagann of that era.

 

17. Nadia: The Secret Of The Blue Water

Nadia The Secret Of The Blue Water art

Nadia is one of the most genuine anime to tackle racism from a realistic point of view (meaning actual races in real life, not fictional).

It’s from the early 1990’s.

The main girl Nadia is from Africa. She’s trying to find her home and is a journey to rediscover it.

In the first few episodes you get a glimpse of the racism Nadia experiences and how she’s seen as a dark skinned black girl.

She finds it hard to trust people because of this and how its written and portrayed is true to life.

Eventually she meets someone who accepts her for who she is.

Originally her design was different but the creators decided to make Nadia’s design ambiguous despite her being a black character of African origin.

 

18. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica sayaka madoka mami

Madoka Magica is personally one of my favorite anime of all time. No questions asked.

All the female characters play their role, and removing one would have a drastic impact on the overall story.

The plot is about magical girls turned dark. The usual cliche of happy magical girls is flipped on its head as it highlights the dark side of this fantasy trope.

To this day, Madoka Magica is the only magical girl series to take this angle and succeed to a massive degree. Many have failed in its footsteps.

If you still haven’t tried it, now’s the time.

 

19. K-On

K On art 5 girls

K-On is responsible for making the MOE genre so famous. But it’s not the first anime to have a moe aesthetic (Azumanga did that).

Made by Kyoto Animation, you get the classic slice of life style the studio is known for. With a non-plot that focuses on cute girls doing cute things.

The girls work together, make their own light music club, practice their skills with musical instruments, and eat cake with tea.

Silliness aside, the main characters are entertaining, have progression to their characters, and bring a wholesome vibe most can enjoy.

 

20. The Ancient Magus Bride

The Ancient Magus Bride hatori alias moments

The Ancient Magus Bride is still a top notch gorgeous series that most anime can’t compare to, visually.

Made by Production I.G, Hatori Chise is an orphan girl who’s sold at an auction, but ends up being bought by a mage called Alias.

Luckily for Hatori she ends up being welcomed to a warm and loving home, and can finally live a life where peace and happiness are real possibilities. Far away from her painful childhood.

The use of comedy is different, and even though the visuals are stunning, it doesn’t carry the series to an extreme.

 

21. Magic Knight Rayearth

Magic Knight Rayearth magic knight girls

Magic Knight Rayearth is about 3 girls:

  • Hikaru Shidou.
  • Umi Ryuuzaki.
  • Fuu Hououji.

All from Tokyo, they coincidentally are transported to another world from Tokyo tower at the same time.

From there they’re persuaded to protect the world of Cephiro, and fight off monsters as Magic Knights.

This is an original Isekai series from the 1990’s and is one of the influences of the genre. Not to mention anime with a strong focus on female characters.

Each character has a personality most will warm to.

 

22. You’re Under Arrest

Youre Under Arrest miyuki natsumi police officers

Another 1980’s classic, You’re Under Arrest is a rare police series with some action, romance and comedy.

Natsumi Tsujimoto knows martial arts and she uses this as a Tokyo police officer to do her job.

Miyuki Kobayakawa is a smart woman and this plays into her strengths when tackling crime. Both characters are friends and work together.

Even today the designs are nice and it has that nostalgic design that doesn’t feel airbrushed.

Read: 18+ Old School Waifu’s From The 80’s, 90’s, And Early 2000’s!

 

23. Best Student Council

Best Student Council rino and president

Best Student Council is a J.C Staff original (not adapted). The theme is all in the title.

At Miyagami academy there’s a board of student council members, around 9 or 10 female characters. Some of who are main characters like Nino Rando.

They all focus on ways to make the school better for everyone, and get together to make decisions.

Of course there’s comedy that sits in between all that, some drama, and definitely some appreciated character development.

The anime‘s so obscure it didn’t catch on.

 

24. Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri sugo

Hinamatsuri is about 3 anime girls in particular:

  • Hina.
  • Hitomi.
  • Anzu.

Hina and Anzu have supernatural powers. Telekinesis to be exact. But the anime doesn’t focus much on this aspect.

With Hina it’s more about her laziness, the comedy surrounding her stoic personality, and her odd relationship with a Yakuza man (nothing weird).

Anzu’s role is her being homeless, living with homeless people, stealing to survive, and the life lessons that come from that.

Hitomi is the more cynical, arrogant, but one of the funniest and most human characters in the anime.

Action, wholesome episodes, depth, the anime has it all.

 

25. Snow White With The Red Hair

Snow White With The Red Hair zen and shirayuki

Snow White With The Red Hair is about Shirayuki, the red haired girl who’s either admired or looked at funny because of her differences.

She’s hard working and doesn’t come from a privileged background, but she’s smart, intuitive, and is more useful than her appearance would have others believe.

Her romance with ZEN, a prince who’s different to the usual cliche is what makes this anime wholesome in season 1 and 2.

 

26. Carole & Tuesday

Carole Tuesday scared funny moments

Carole & Tuesday is about a black girl called Carole Stanley, and Tuesday, a western girl. Both of who love music.

Carole is a street performer in particular with no money, and Tuesday is from a rich family but has no connection to them anymore.

Stylistically the anime sets itself apart with an art style and scenery that’s stunning.

If you want something different and dynamic, this is definitely the one.

 

27. A Certain Scientific Railgun

A Certain Scientific Railgun T mikoto misaka coin

Academy city. A place full of over 1 million Espers. It’s the main attraction to the city.

Espers are ranked level 1 – 5. And out of 7 level 5’s, Mikoto Misaka is ranked 3rd (the main character).

The world of Railgun is diverse, large, and expansive. Throughout all 3 seasons things are constantly changing, adapting, with new discoveries along the way.

The female cast has strong leads, even with characters who aren’t as supernaturally strong.

Few anime can be directly compared to Railgun because it’s in its own lane.

 

28. Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon champion of justice e1637792803810

Sailor Moon goes without saying. The 1990’s anime is an absolute classic and is a staple in the female anime fanbase.

The opening song is also a classic that’s memorable well over 20+ years later.

As an early anime in the magical girl genre, many more shows like Pretty Cure and others followed its lead and set themselves apart.

Sailor Moon is for everyone, but it’s specifically catered to women and has good representation.

 

29. Magi: Kingdom Of Magic

Magi Kingdom Of Magic morgiana and alibaba fight

Magi: Kingdom Of Magic has 2 boys and 1 girl as the 3 main characters. Morgiana in particular is a girl who’s an ex-slave.

Her tribe (Fanalis) who are from the dark continent is inspired by African culture.

Morgiana’s goal is to fight for people being oppressed, and to put a stop to racism, discrimination, and the mistreatment of others for profit or otherwise.

She has a healthy view in spite of her traumatic upbringing.

 

30. Love Live School Idol Project

Love Live School Idol Project anime cover characters

Love Live School Idol Project is exactly what it sounds like. It has school girls who are idols, make music together, and sing for people.

The group U’s has 9 members, each with their own personality, style, and persona that adds to the drama and comedy.

So far there are 3 separate seasons (Love Live Sunshine, Love Live Superstar),

 

31. Skip Beat

Skip Beat kyoko orange hair

Skip Beat is a Shoujo anime adapted from a manga with more material than the anime.

Kyoko Mogami goes from a pandering, too kind to a fault type of girl, to someone who’s done being taken advantage of and has more confidence than she’s ever had.

Life lessons are rife in this anime, and women in particular can learn a lot from Kyoko as a female role model.

Personally she’s one of my favorite all time characters.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Fate Stay Night.
  • A Place Further Than The Universe.
  • Horimiya.
  • Ascendance Of A Bookworm.
  • Tamako Market.
  • Hyouka.
  • A Silent Voice.
  • Peach Boy Riverside.
  • Takt OP Destiny.
  • Quintessential Quintuplets.
  • Aria The Animation.
  • Michiko To Hatchin.
  • Orange.

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