Japanese idols are certainly superior to the Western idols. Japanese idols are cute, charming, very good role models to the young generation and sometimes the music is great. While Western idols are just stone carvings of deities worshiped by forgotten ancient civilizations and they’re not actually cute.
In all seriousness, idols, in Japan at least, are the best role models to the young people and perform various talents in the entertainment industry like singing, dancing, and acting. Idol anime has a similar purpose albeit in a more flashy with fantasy and science fiction themes. And with that said, there are many notable idols in other genres like shounen and mecha, so our list of the Top 10 Anime Idol Girls isn’t restricted to one genre.
Curious? Let’s get started!
10. Motomiya Nagisa from AKB0048
What will you do when the universe becomes anti-fun and imposed a universe-wide Entertainment Ban? Create an idol group, spread love, cheer and fun throughout the galaxy and fight spoilsports with guns and robots!
AKB0048 is a long running idol group whose sole purpose is to spread fun across the universe and they’ve been fighting for years. Since they’re not immortals, they hold auditions for new recruits that will eventually succeed the current generation of performers. One of these new recruits is Motomiya Nagisa. She lacks self-confidence, but she is pure-hearted, deeply cares for her friends and is hard-working with the desire to reinvent herself.
9. Shinohara Miho (Lala) from Magical Stage Fancy Lala (Mahou no Stage Fancy Lala)
Third-grader Miho dreams of becoming a mangaka, but a part of her wants to be a celebrity and be showered by the adoration of everyone. She gets to live that dream thanks to two magical creatures, Mogu and Pigu, who gave her a magical pen and sketchbook. With the sketchbook, she can draw whatever clothes she wants and additionally, the pen gives her the ability to transform into a teenager. At school, she is Miho, a carefree young girl, but in front of the camera, she is Lala, Japan’s most popular idol.
At first, Lala enjoys her life as a teenager and the life as an idol. But as the series progresses, Lala realizes that not everything is about looks, glamour, and fame, and values herself more as a responsible adult.
8. Kenzaki Makoto (Cure Sword) from Dokidoki! Precure
Makoto, also known as Cure Sword, is an idol and a royal guard to the princess of the Trump Kingdom (insert US elections joke here), Princess Marie Ange. When the kingdom fell, Sword and Princess Marie fled to the human world only to be separated. In order to find the princess and go back to the Trump Kingdom, Sword, now known as Kenzaki Makoto, became a popular idol and uses her singing to find the missing princess.
Makoto is extremely talented at singing that her debut single sold over a million copies in its first week. Aside from her talent of singing, she is a proficient fighter as Cure Sword. Makoto has a strong sense of duty and often sacrifices herself during battles. Regardless, she is a valuable ally and a formidable opponent.
7. Kousaka Honoka from Love Live! School Idol Project
Otonokizaka High School was unable to cope up with the changing times and the school will be shutting down. Honoka, one of the students of this school, and her friends created a school idol group in an attempt to prevent their alma mater from closing.
Honoka is sometimes clumsy and may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she is very determined and hard-working that once she has her mind set on something, no one can really stop her. This trait makes her a natural leader and is also perhaps, the driving force that made the μ's popular and eventually one of the most successful idol groups in Japan.
6. Lacus Clyne from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
Lacus is a Coordinator and an extremely popular idol singer in PLANT. She is also a pacifist who wishes to end the conflicts between the Naturals and the Coordinators through cooperation and understanding without shedding any blood. But after her father is replaced by the anti-Naturals, Patrick Zala, to lead PLANT, the new chairman branded the Clynes as traitors for aiding the Naturals and Lacus’s father was killed. This action and the new chairman’s plans to eradicate the Naturals from existence has lead to the founding of the Three Ship Alliance, a resistance force dedicated to stopping the war.
Throughout the series, Lacus Clyne used her influence as a pop icon to spread peace and end the pointless bloodshed that could put the entire human race at risk. Lacus isn’t all about the looks either, she is a very philosophical person, very intelligent, with a powerful voice calling out for peace.
5. Kazanari Tsubasa from Senki Zesshou Symphogear (Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Meteoroid-Falling, Burning, and Disappear, Then...)
Tsubasa is a pop idol and together with her partner, Kanade, they formed the popular vocal unit, Zwei Wing. In the eyes of the public, Zwei Wing is one of the most popular music groups around, but behind the eyes of their fans, Zwei Wing is a combat unit that uses music to fight the mysterious beings called Noise. During one fateful concert, they were overwhelmed by a sudden Noise invasion and Kanade lost her life, leaving Tsubasa hurt and alone.
Ever since then, Tsubasa became a lone wolf, distant to everyone and fighting alone. All that changed when she met Tachibana Hibiki, who somehow inherited Kanade’s power. Tsubasa slowly opened up and we finally get to see how she is, in fact, one of the most caring characters in the series. Soon after, she realizes she truly loves to sing and isn’t doing it to keep up appearances.
4. Kirigoe Mima from Perfect Blue
If you want to start your road to stardom and eventually to show business, one of the first few steps is to become an idol. In fact, most of the celebrities from Japan started out as idols and out of these people, Kirigoe Mima is one who started out as an idol. As one of the three members of idol unit CHAMS!, Mima is your charming young idol admired by all. On her 21st birthday, Mima decided to move on and graduated from being an idol to become an actress. However, the transition wasn’t as smooth as she had expected. Haunted by her past, regret, depression, and getting stalked by an obsessed fan, Mima is at the brink of falling apart.
Unlike most idols on this list, Mima is the most realistic and Perfect Blue is a reflection of the harsh and controversial reality of being a celebrity in Japan. Throughout the movie, Mima began falling apart when she started questioning her decisions, fans began to detest her, she could no longer tell the difference between real or fiction, and the people around her ended up dying. Despite all of this, she pulled through and moved on with her life, miraculously.
3. Sheryl Nome from Macross Frontier
Also known as the Galactic Fairy, Sheryl Nome constantly topped the music charts throughout the galaxy and if you've never heard any of her songs, chances are you were probably living inside a supermassive black hole. Sheryl has a rocky past, but that didn’t stop her to rise up to become one of the galaxy’s most popular songstress.
It’s easy to dismiss Sheryl as a beautiful yet, spoiled rich girl who is so full of herself and can have anything she wants with a flick of her credit card, but if you look closer, Sherly is far more than the typical idol girl. Sheryl is a workaholic who loves to sing her heart out and she's a risk taker who, despite her deteriorating health, is willing to put her life on the line so that her fans can continue listening to her songs. She has the ability to produce fold waves and attracts the Vajra, albeit weak compared to Ranka, but that didn’t stop her from protecting everyone she cares for when sentient alien insects destroy the space colony Frontier.
“If I die, it should be on stage!”
2. Hoshimiya Ichigo from Aikatsu!
Ichigo has never really considered becoming an idol, but all that changed when she saw the Top Idol Kanzaki Mizuki, sing and dance on stage. Mizuki’s beauty and appeal on stage entranced Ichigo and from that day onward, Ichigo enrolled at Starlight Academy and her life changed as she became an idol. But despite her many successes as an idol, she still couldn’t reach her senior. Was it something she lacked? Should she train harder? Run faster? Work harder?
In the first Aikatsu! movie, the headmistress of Starlight Academy has given Ichigo a very big project and named it the Great StarMiya Festival, and it’s touted as Ichigo’s biggest performance yet. However, Ichigo’s plans changed after Mizuki told her that she’s ending her career as an idol. Instead of dedicating the concert to just her fans, Ichigo dedicated a special song as her ultimate expression of gratitude and love towards her senior, Mizuki. By this simple act of sincere gratitude and love, the fans felt Ichigo’s emotions as she ascended and surpassed Mizuki as the new Top Idol, a title held by Mizuki for many years.
Aikatsu! isn’t really known for having complex stories, or drama, and the show is made mainly for kids, but the story of Ichigo reaching out to her beloved senior is so engrossing. It’s a testament to Ichigo who started out as a normal girl to becoming one of the most talented, loved and memorable idols in anime.
1. Kouyama Mitsuki from Full Moon wo Sagashite (Searching for the Full Moon)
At 13 years of age, Mitsuki has been diagnosed with cancer in her throat. This makes it hard for her to sing and forcing herself to sing will only shorten her life. The solution is to remove the cancer through surgery but in doing so, it will remove her ability to sing. Although she needs to sing because she promised a boy that they will follow their dreams and one day meet again. Thankfully, two spirits, Takuto and Meroko, who are supposed to prepare Mitsuki for the afterlife, decided to help her continue a singing using their powers. Takuto gave Mitsuki a temporary, healthy, body to stop the tumor from hurting her when she sings, but in the end, they cannot alter fate and Mitsuki will die within a year unless she goes through surgery.
Mitsuki may not be as athletic as Ichigo nor has a developed education because she’s still young, but her dedication and desire to sing and reach out to her loved one, despite her life-threatening condition, is unmatched.
Idols these days are just good at singing and dancing, but it’s rare to find an idol who can compose their own songs. This is a big deal because a song is a manifestation of the songwriter’s emotions. Mitsuki did just that with songs that are meant to express her feelings towards that boy she met when she was very young. She even refused to sing a selected song provided by her agency’s top producer, renowned for making any idol super popular. That happened even before her debut - A risky move for any newcomer.
The rules of their respective universes aren't, well, universal, so an accomplishment of one idol is child’s play for another. We’re looking at their accomplishments in their own universe with its own set of rules.
Mitsuki is number one because her reasons for becoming an idol are pure, innocent and she is severely handicapped, thanks to cancer. Mitsuki has limited education and yet, she composed one of the most beautiful songs ever. She is dying because of a tumor in her throat, but it didn’t stop her from reaching her dreams and eventually, reach out to that one special someone.
In the end, this is what we think, but what are your thoughts? Is there an idol who is worthy to be in the Top 10? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!