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The 15 Best Shonen Anime With A Female Protagonist, Ranked

Updated September 13, 2021 1.4k votes 354 voters 15.4k views15 items

Because it's aimed at boys, most shonen anime feature male protagonists. But that's not true of every series - some shonen anime let girls and women take center stage. Whether you're a female shonen fan who wants to see herself represented, or anybody looking for a change of pace, these shonen anime with female protagonists have got you covered.

One of the best-known examples of a shonen with a female lead is The Promised Neverland, a story about a plucky young orphan who realizes that she and her friends are at risk of being fed to demons, and decides to do something about it. There's plenty more where that came from, like Claymore, a series about youma-human hybrids who slay youma. Looking for something a little less terrifying? Try Dr. Slump, a comedy about a super-strong robot girl by the creator of Dragon Ball. 

  • Death Weapon Meister Academy is a school with a singular mission: to create "Death Scythes" and train their Shinigami wielders to collect souls. The scythes are actually human hybrids who can transform into weapons at will, which means that creating a working partnership between scythe and meister is a challenge. Maka Albarn is a level-headed, serious meister-in-training who is paired Soul Eater Evans, who is more concerned with being cool than anything else. The two of them have to put aside their differences in order to succeed. 

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  • Okay, so the second season of The Promised Neverland was pretty disappointing, but the first season was incredible so it still deserves a spot on this list. Emma is an orphan who thinks that she's living a wonderful life with her friends and her guardian Isabella. It turns out that her happy orphanage is actually sending kids to be processed as meat for demons. Though she's devastated, Emma isn't going to sit back and let herself be victimized. With help from her friends Norman and Raye, she starts forming a plan to not just escape herself, but to rescue all of the other children too. 

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  • Cells at Work! has two protagonists, and technically, neither of them has biological sex - they're both blood cells! But Red Blood Cell is clearly designed with a feminine aesthetic, and it's a super fun series, so it counts.

    The anime is set inside of a human body, and the characters are the cells that keep things running. Red Blood Cell's job is to carry oxygen all over the body, but she's constantly getting lost and running into terrifying pathogens! Luckily for her, she's not alone in the body - there are also White Blood Cells whose job is to slay dangerous germs. If you want to learn a little science while having a great time, this anime is an excellent choice. 

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  • Photo: Wit Studio

    Chise Hatori's life is so bleak that the only option she can think of is putting herself up for auction. The being who buys her is Elias Ainsworth, a mage with a cow skull for a head who sees her extraordinary magical potential and wants to help her realize it. Oh, and he also wants to marry her if she's into it.

    As Chise gets used to living with people who actually care about her, she's also improving her magical prowess. It's a good thing, too, because with the mysterious and terrifying Joseph out committing atrocities, she might be the only one who can stop him. 

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