Manga and Anime have gained a great deal of exposure in the last decade. Just like Comic books, one of the most appealing aspects of Japanese Manga is its intriguing storyline and diverse set of characters.
Although the majority of Manga is seen with Male Main characters, in recent years, we have seen a surge of great manga with strong female leads. These female characters are not just physically strong but also intelligent, independent, and mentally capable.
Besides, this portrayal of strong female characters in Manga is a refreshing change from the same traditional and repeated damsel-in-distress tropes seen in manga such as Naruto.
Female characters who are not afraid to make decisions of their own, often challenging social norms and gender stereotypes are normally considered to be strong female leads.
From strong warriors and cunning assassins to intelligent detectives and students, there are inspiring female characters in different genres of Manga and Anime.
This article will try to explore the top 20 Best Manga with a Strong Female Main Character. The manga suggested below have been picked based on their popularity, critical acclaim, and overall storyline.
Whether you are an avid fan of Action, Romance, Mystery, or Adventure, there is a Manga on this list that should grab your attention.
Claymore follows the story of Clare, a half-demon, and half-human warrior who wants down demons to protect humans. With her incredible sword ability and strength, Clare battles her way through a world full of demons and powerful foes.
She is required to beat those evil creatures and unlock all the deadly secrets of the world if she is to save humanity from the brink of extinction. Although this manga has a female-dominant cast, the male characters have equally important roles.
This is one of the best Animanga which presents the dynamic between both genders in a fabulous fashion.
Akame Ga Kill!
Akame Ga Kill! is a popular Manga series that follows the story of Tatsumi who happens to join a group of assassins known as Night Raid. While Tatsumi is the main male lead of this manga, Akame is the Main female and arguably the main protagonist of Akame Ga Kill!
The main objective of Night Raid is to overthrow the corrupt government that rules the Empire. This Manga features a diverse set of characters. It is also one of the very few manga series where both the main protagonist and main antagonist are female, respectively, Akame and Esdeath.
Akame is one of the most powerful characters of Night Raid. She is very skilled with swords and can cut anything through them. She is best known for her serious demeanor & her loyalty to her allies.
Esdeath on the other hand is the main antagonist of the series. She is the general of the Empire’s army and possesses very powerful abilities that can even freeze time. Despite her villainous nature, she is shown to be a complex character capable of loving someone.
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell is one of the classics in the Anime Manga community. This Manga is based on a cyberpunk world that features Motoko Kusanagi, the main female lead of this story. She is a highly skilled cyborg who works for government agencies specializing in cybercrimes.
This Manga is set in a Post-Apocalyptic dystopian future where technology is of huge essence. The development in tech has blurred the lines between humans and robots. In such a cyborg-human society, Kusanagi is a force to be reckoned with her sharp intellect and advanced technology.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
This Manga based in a post-apocalyptic world follows the story of Princess Nausicaä. As a result of the conflict that led to the Apocalypse, much of the world’s ecosystem has been devasted. The few remaining survivors live in a semi-hospitable environment.
However, because of the destruction of the ecosystem, even the semi-hospitable environments have become a toxic jungle. Princess Nausicaä fights to protect her people as well as the environment from the ravages of this toxic jungle.
With her compassion, intelligence, and bravery, Nausicaä works tirelessly to bring peace back to her ravaged planet. During her journey of healing the planet, she is guided by the pensive veteran warrior, Lord Yupa.
Sailor Moon is an iconic Anime and Manga series that follows the story of Usagi Tsukino, a clumsy but very kind-hearted girl who transforms into the titular Sailor Moon to fight against evil forces.
Along with Sailor Moon, this series has a diverse and empowering cast of other female characters who are celebrated and adored for their incredible feats of courage, strength, and bravery.
Sailor Moon Manga has been praised for its positive portrayal of female characters. It has become an inspiration for the production of countless Manga and spin-offs and inspired many fans.
This is a charming Magical Girl Manga that follows the story of Sakura Kinomota, a young girl who comes across magical cards scattered all over her town.
Sakura with her magical powers and determination sets on a journey to collect the powerful cards throughout her city and battles against powerful foes to protect her loved ones.
This romcom manga follows the story of Yukino Miyazawa, a popular high school student who hides her true personality from others. However, her encounter with Soichiro Arima, a good-looking and intelligent boy in her school, makes her rethink her way of life.
Arima unlike Yukino’s other friends in the school sees through her facade and finds out that she has been faking her true self all along. This becomes a turning point in Yukino’s life as she learns to embrace her true self more and find love.
Fruit Basket follows the story of Tohry Honda, a kind-hearted girl who stumbles upon a family cursed to turn into Chinese zodiac animals.
The 13 members of the Sohma family who bear this curse can turn into zodiac animals whenever they are stressed or when they come in touch with a member of the opposite gender.
Tohry Honda, with her compassion and love, helps the family to break the curse and find happiness.
Akatsuki no Yona
Akatsuki no Yona is a fantasy Anime Manga that follows the story of a princess who is forced to flee her kingdom and home after her father is killed.
Princess Yona with her determination and the help of her loyal friends and companions, sets out on a journey to reclaim her kingdom, avenge her father, and protect her people.
Black Lagoon is a popular manga series that follows the story of a group of mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company. This is one of the few fighting Manga where female characters dominate the battlefields.
The main objective of the Lagoon Company is to smuggle various kinds of goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia. This manga is based during the mid to late 1990s.
Black Lagoon features themes of adult cast & organized crimes and is produced by Madhouse. The Manga of this amazing story is adapted into two Anime seasons.
Elfen Lied is another Manga in our Top List featuring a powerful female lead. This Manga follows the story of Lucy (also known as Nyu in the story). Lucy is a special breed of human known as diclinous in the series, born with a pair of horns as well as invisible telekinetic hands.
This series mainly focused on the interactions, views, emotions, and differences between humans and the Diclonii. These Diclonii are mutant species and have the powers and abilities to cut objects within their reach. Overall, Elfen Lied explores the mature themes of violence, discrimination, and trauma.
Kakegurui is a recent Japanese Manga and Anime series that follows the story of Yumeko Jabami, a transfer student with a mysterious past who happens to have a passion for high-stakes gambling.
The story of this series revolves around the students of Hyakkaou Private Academy which is an elite school for only the children of rich families. For the students attending this school, gambling is a way of life.
Yumeko, the main protagonist and female lead of Kakegurui challenges the Student Council who rile the school with an iron fist & use gambling as a way to maintain their power. This Manga explores the themes of greed, power, manipulation, and the psychological aspects of gambling.
Psycho-Pass is a manga based on the sci-fi genre that takes place in a dystopian future. In this series, a powerful computer called the Sibyl System is used to maintain law and order and to determine a person’s likelihood of committing a crime.
The Manga follows the story of the strong female lead, Akane Tsunemori, who with her strong intellect and determination tries to fight against injustice and corruption in a world where freedom is a luxury.
A group of detectives along with Akane who work for the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division are tasked with tracking down & apprehending criminals. This manga explores the themes of justice, freedom, morality, and the effects of technology on society.
Darling In The Franxx
Darling in the Franxx is a Japanese Anime series that was later published as a Manga after its huge success. The Anime is set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity is on the brink of destruction due to attacks from giant creatures called Klaxosaurs.
The story follows a group of children who are trained from a very small age to pilot giant mecha robots called Franxx. These Franxx are used to fight against the evil Klaxsours who are a threat to humanity.
The Story mainly revolves around Zero Two, the Main Protagonist and female lead of this series. Her partner is a boy named Hiro, who becomes the pilot of a unique Franxx named Strelizia.
Zero Two unlike other children is different and has a Klaxosaur blood. As a result, she is often rumored and labeled as a monster by some. However she is a strong girl who tries her best with her partner Hiro to destroy all Klaxours and save humanity.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
This Manga follows the story of Balsa, a skilled fighter, and warrior entrusted to protect the young prince Chagum from anyone wishing to harm him. Balsa, who is the main lead of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a strong and capable character who isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in.
The story is filled with action, exciting adventures, and a touch of fantasy that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Some other Anime and Manga With Strong Female leads are:
- Skip Beat!
- Kamisama Kiss
Impact of Manga With Strong Female Leads
Anime and Manga with Strong Female Lead have been gaining immense popularity and demand over the past few years. These mangas have inspired and empowered readers and have been able to bring about a refreshing change from the typical story where Male characters end up saving females every time.
Manga with Female Main Characters has especially inspired young girls to be more confident and assertive. Representation, empowerment, breaking stereotypes, and providing inspiration to female readers are some of the most amazing accomplishments of a Manga With a Strong Female Lead.