Other Reference: Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell: SAC)
It’s always amazing to see the detail that goes into anime character design, from their outfits, to their eyes, to their hairstyles and colors. Apart from your natural blacks, browns and blondes, purple hair is a very common choice for female designs and often tells us a lot about the character at hand, so you might be seeing a lot of similarities between the selections on this list.
Purple has long been a symbol of both quality and of the aristocracy, meaning our purple haired heroines are often likely to be in high positions from the moment we meet them. Additionally, they can often distance themselves from other characters, whether it’s by their own volition, or from a lack of empathy and understanding. It can also be used to show us the femininity of a character, which may not always be easy to spot at first glance.
But besides all that significance, some of us just love purple hair, and who wouldn’t? It can be dark and sexy, or bright and innocent, but almost always feminine and tasteful. So read on below for our spin on the top 10 purple haired girls in anime.
10. Haqua du Lot Herminium from The World God Only Knows II
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 12th 2011 - June 28th 2011
After the loose spirits of New Hell escaped into the human world, demons like Haqua du Lot Herminium were sent to partner up with humans in an effort to return the escapees back to where they belong. Whilst series protagonist Keima Katsuragi and demon partner Elsie are having a pretty wild ride, Haqua has found herself stuck with a slightly…slower partner, though none the less they’re doing a great job!
Haqua’s purple hair is a symbol of her privileged and powerful position gained from her unrivaled academic achievements, which is then gradually broken down throughout the series. Doing a lot more behind the scenes work than the main characters, her high position in New Hell’s Runaway Spirit Squad and impressive intellect help out hugely with the threats that arise throughout the story. Going largely without any thanks, unlike a majority of the female cast Haqua proves time and again that she can easily stand on her own two feet and goes to incredible lengths trying to save New Hell and everyone she cares about.
9. Kagami Hiiragi from Lucky Star
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 8th 2007 - September 17th 2007
Ordinary school girls, going about ordinary school girl things, at least for the most part. One of the best known slice-of-life comedy series about, Lucky Star follows the daily lives of four high school girls and their friends, including karaoke, in depth discussions regarding chocolate cones, and horror stories from Comiket. Kagami Hiiragi is one of the four main characters of the series and twin sister to lazy, air head Tsukasa Hiiragi.
Well known for her tsundere attitude (coupled of course with the classic twin tail look) Kagami plays the serious and studious girl throughout the show, and is always the straight man when it comes to gags. Despite her harshness and often being reminded that she is the boyish one of the group, Kagami’s lavender locks remind us of her underlying femininity that shows through whenever her friends put her in an embarrassing situation.
8. Yuuko Kanoe from Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 9th 2012 - June 25th 2012
Who better for the president of the Paranormal Investigations Club than a real ghost? Shortly after he starts attending Seikyou Private Academy, high school freshman Teiichi Niiya realizes that he can see the normally invisible, ghost student Yuuko Kanoe. Desiring to know more about her past and how she died, Yuuko requests the aid of Teiichi and their fellow club members, as they explore the school’s past, along with its supernatural stories.
A classic beauty, Yuuko’s pale slender figure and long, straight black hair give her a doll like appearance, which is both beautiful and eerily appropriate for the series. Despite the apparent nature of the show, Yuuko is fun and high spirited, seemingly quite used to being dead. With both the element of mystery and a budding romance, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia and Yuuko herself are both exciting and enjoyable to watch.
7. Hotaru Shidare from Dagashi Kashi
- Episodes: ?
- Aired: January 8th 2016 - ?
An entire show about Japanese snacks, sure why not. Dagashi Kashi sees helpless protagonist and mangaka-wannabe Kokonotsu Shikada being harassed into taking over his dad’s traditional countryside sweet shop, much to his dissatisfaction. Along comes Hotaru Shidare, daughter of snack giant Shidare Corporation, to shake things up, demanding that Kokonotsu’s dad comes to work for her company. Conveniently he’s happy to accept, but only under the condition that she can convince his son to take over the family business.
Hotaru is actually insane, seriously, no one is this enthusiastic about snacks. But this is all part of her charm, as she does the eccentric girl thing pretty darn well, with everyone else unable to stop themselves being drawn into her madness. Hotaru’s design has been massively popular online, and it’s easy to see why with her gothic lolita style clothes and the lure of her intense blue eyes. Purple hair aside, if you like intense, wide eyed girls, then Hotaru might be the one for you.
6. Yuri Nakamura from Angel Beats!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 3rd 2010 - June 26th 2010
It would probably come as quite a surprise to find that the afterlife is a Japanese high school. Angel Beats! focuses on the movements of the Afterlife War Front, a group of students bent on fighting God and his supposed agent Tenshi (Angel), their student council president. Head of the AWF, Yuri Nakamura is a strong and decisive leader, though prone to messing about and utilizing plans that aren’t necessarily painless for her immortal subordinates.
The main driving force behind the Afterlife War Front, Yuri considers the life she had before her passing to be unfair, hoping that by fighting, she can at least screw with God’s plans a bit. Yuri’s hair is designed to her show her high, almost royalty-like position among the cast, as the de facto leader around, but also give her a feminine aspect which is often hidden due to her role. A difficult but touching series to watch, Yuri’s character develops beautifully throughout the show, and is someone you are sure to miss when the final credits roll.
5. Shinoa Hiiragi from Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 4th 2015 - June 20th 2015
A post-apocalyptic world where humans have become but livestock for a cruel race of vampires, Seraph of the End follows Yuuichirou Hyakuya, an escapee with a desire for revenge. Now a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, Yuuiichirou works under the supervision of Sergeant Shinoa Hiragi of the Moon Demon Company as part of her squad.
Like several other girls on this list, despite her short and cute appearance Shinoa is a surprisingly strong character, being the leader of her squad and having no trouble teasing our protagonist. Despite her sarcastic attitude and how much she enjoys poking fun at her companions, Shinoa takes things seriously during battle and, considering her squad members to be family, will do whatever she can to keep them safe.
4. Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 3rd 1998 - April 24th 1999
With humans beginning to colonize the solar system, enforcing justice is becoming a little too much to handle for the authorities, and so in an effort to stop rising crime levels, they begin to employ bounty hunters, Cowboys, to give them a hand. Starting off as nothing but a girl running away from her debts, Faye Valentine finds herself on the spaceship Bebop, owned by Cowboys Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, and all too soon becomes a fellow crew member.
Faye can take some getting used to as a character, starting off as a sexy but untrustworthy femme fatale, with a knack for fighting and making a quick exit. But as the series progresses and we see more of her story unfold, Faye is shown in a much more human light, as a woman who in many ways is just looking for a place to belong. If you’ve not already, Faye is but one of the awesome reasons to give Cowboy Bebop a try.
3. Saeko Busujima from Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 5th 2010 - September 20th 2010
The world of Highschool of the Dead is a cruel place, with friendships quick to crumble and death always right around the corner. Saeko Busujima is but one of a small group of students from Fujimi High School trying to make their way through the zombie infested wasteland that they now find themselves in, hoping to find their loved ones safe and sound. With not only the threat of zombies, but of maddened humans about, katana wielding Saeko is just the girl you want to have around.
Well known for her busty figure and looking good in black thigh highs, Saeko is one of the most combat ready members of the cast with years of kendo training behind her. Not only that, but her cool head and maturity are vital to getting the group though some seemingly impossible situations, with her main flaw being that she worries that she enjoys killing zombies too much!
2. Hitagi Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari
- Episodes: 15
- Aired: July 3rd 2009 - June 25th 2010
Koyomi Araragi has pretty poor luck when it comes to the supernatural: he just can’t seem to stop bumping into spirits and ghosts. Although if said beings weren’t attached to cute girls in need of his aid, maybe he would have an easier time avoiding them? Hitagi Senjougahara is one such girl in need of assistance with a certain weightlessness problem, not that she will readily admit it.
Senjougahara has quite a unique personality: a self-proclaimed tsundere, but rather than being angry and rude, she has a cold and flat out abusive attitude. Seriously broken from past trauma, Senjougahara’s interactions with other characters are often bizarre at best, and threatening at worst, but always fascinating and amusing to watch. Despite not being the most powerful or intelligent member of the cast, she manages to maintain a constant hold over the actions of other characters, having no difficulty instilling fear or earning respect when necessary. Though as someone who keeps a skirt full of sharpened school supplies, none of the above comes as too much of a surprise.
1. Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Episodes: 14
- Aired: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Kyon had long given up his belief in the supernatural, until he met Haruhi Suzumiya, inspired her to start her own club and inadvertently got dragged into it. With the SOS Brigade now formed, specializing in all things supernatural and keeping Haruhi entertained, Kyon can look forward to a future filled with aliens, time travelers and espers.
Yuki Nagato is the quiet kuudere of the club, almost always seen book in hand, masterfully ignoring everything going on around her. Not one for words, Nagato’s charm is her straightforward attitude, making her interactions with and towards Kyon surprisingly cute throughout the series. Despite appearances, Nagato’s intelligence, amongst other things, makes her an incredibly powerful character throughout the series and unsurprisingly a fan favorite. Nagato is a hard character to discuss without giving away too much of the story, but try giving The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya a watch and you’ll soon see why she’s sitting at the top of the list.
With some sharing a lot in common, and others standing way out from the pack, hopefully there’s something for everyone on this list. One of the great things with the variety of hair color in anime is that no matter what genre or character type you like, it’s bound to show up on your ideal character’s head at some point.
So what did you think of the choices? With so many lilac, lavender and violet headed beauties out there it can hard to pick just 10, so let us know who your favorites are in the comments below!