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The 20 Best Shojo Anime Heroines Of All Time, Ranked

List Rules
Vote up your favorite heroines in shojo anime.

Shojo anime doesn't usually rely on flashy fights or impressive powers to tell the story. Instead, shojo anime tends to focus on character growth and relationships. Since that's the main attraction, the best shojo anime has interesting, well-developed heroines as the protagonist or deuteroganist. Let's count down some of the greatest shojo heroines out there. 

Tohru Honda of Fruits Basket seems simple on the outside, but she's a complex, well-rendered character whose history explains her personality. Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu of NANA are similarly well-written and layered characters. But not every shojo heroine needs to be complicated to be interesting. Catarina Claes from My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is lovable because she's so simple. Whether they're serious or hilarious, these shojo protagonists carry their respective shows.

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  • 1
    262 VOTES

    Tohru Honda - 'Fruits Basket'

    Tohru Honda - 'Fruits Basket'
    Photo: Fruits Basket (2019) / TMS Entertainment

    After losing her mother, Tohru Honda ends up staying with the troubled and mysterious Sohma family. As she learns more about the family's secrets, she gets invested in trying to help them.

    Tohru is a deeply empathetic person who cares so much about others that she often forgets to care for herself. It's interesting to see extreme empathy portrayed as both a positive and negative trait, especially when it's so often seen as completely positive in female characters.

  • 2
    169 VOTES

    Misaki Ayuzawa - 'Maid Sama!'

    Misaki Ayuzawa - 'Maid Sama!'
    Photo: Maid Sama! / J.C. Staff

    After her father abandons the family, Misaki Ayuzawa develops a negative opinion of boys and men. The rowdy behavior of the boys at her school doesn't exactly help matters. Neither does Takumi Usui, her obnoxious but oddly attractive classmate who finds out that she's working at a maid cafe - something that's totally against school rules.

    Can she actually open her heart to a boy without compromising who she is and what she believes in? 

  • 3
    161 VOTES

    Nanami Momozono - 'Kamisama Kiss'

    Nanami Momozono - 'Kamisama Kiss'
    Photo: Kamisama Kiss / TMS Entertainment

    After becoming homeless due to her father's poor financial decisions, Nanami Momozono has nowhere to go. After much convincing, she ends up living at a local shrine and becoming its god - but not everyone at the shrine is happy about her new gig.

    Life has never been easy for Nanami, but she's a scrappy, resourceful person who works hard and sticks up for herself.

  • 4
    187 VOTES

    Haruhi Fujioka - 'Ouran High School Host Club'

    When Haruhi Fujioka accidentally breaks a vase at her super wealthy school, she ends up having to join the "Host Club" to pay off her debts. This means pretending to be a boy, something that's easy enough given her ambiguous gender presentation.

    Haruhi is one of the few shojo heroines who don't subscribe to traditional gender roles. 

  • 5
    148 VOTES

    Shirayuki - 'Snow White with the Red Hair'

    When the crown prince Raji tries to force Shirayuki to become his concubine, she runs away and is ultimately rescued by Zen Wistaria. She soon moves to the Kingdom of Clarines with him and becomes an herbalist.

    Shirayuki is a strong-willed, independent person who refuses to let anyone mess with her. But she's also deeply empathetic and kind, and tends to make sacrifices for others that she probably shouldn't make. 

  • 6
    122 VOTES

    Sawako Kuronuma - 'Kimi ni Todoke' 

    Sawako Kuronuma - 'Kimi ni Todoke' 
    Photo: Kimi ni Todoke / Production I.G

    All Sawako Kuronuma wants is to make friends and connect with people, but unfortunately for her, that goal isn't easy to accomplish. Because she physically resembles Sadako from The Ring, she spent a long time being ostracized by her classmates.

    Not having the chance to make friends means not having great social skills, but underneath all that she's an incredibly sweet, loving person.