Today, female characters like Nezuko Kamado, Raphtalia, and Mikasa Ackerman win anime fans' hearts. These characters owe their success to the long history of awesome female characters who came before them. Let's take a look at some of the most beloved female anime characters from the years 1982 - 2007. Why those years? Most anime fans are millennials or Gen Z, and it's fun to see which anime girls were the most popular around the time you came into the world. Sorry Gen X and Boomer anime fans, we'll get you some other time.
Who was the most popular anime girl the year you were born? If you were born in 1984, that would be notorious thief Fujiko Mine, from that year's edition of Lupin III. Born in 2001? Tohru Honda from the first iteration of Fruits Basket is your girl.
Because of how the list is structured, some mega-popular anime ladies will be missed: it's not that they don't matter, it's just that there was another character that year who beat them out. Not all of these characters withstand the test of time, but many are still popular today.
- Photo: Tatsunoko Production
Known as "the girl who ended the war by singing" Lynn Minmay was an idol whose songs stirred the hearts of people on both sides of the conflict that defined Macross. For a while, she's a love interest of Hikaru's, but he ends up with Misa instead.
1983 - Sanae Nakazawa from 'Captain Tsubasa'Photo: David Production
Sanae Nakazawa is Tsubasa's childhood friend. Whether she's leading the elementary school cheerleading club, managing his middle school football team, or starting a family with him at the end of the series, she's always right there by his side.
- Photo: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Fujiko Mine isn't just the most popular character from 1984, she's a character who still fascinates viewers today. She's a femme fatale who easily rivals Lupin's burglary skills, and is capable of pulling off just about any heist she sets her mind to.
1985 - Kei & Yuri from 'Dirty Pair'Photo: Sunrise
Known as the Dirty Pair, Kei and Yuri can't be easily separated, so 1985 babies get both! They work for the World Welfare Work Association as Trouble Consultants, but they often end up causing problems instead of solving them.