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What is a Nurse? A caregiver, a healthcare worker, someone whose goal is to alleviate suffering. The image many of us have of nurses is one of maternal care with a soft touch and kind words. That is unless you watch anime where the nurse is just as likely to try to kill you as heal you. The nurses we meet in anime can be tall, short, have big chest, be flat as a board, conservative or risqué. The attitudes these caregivers portray are as varied and as vibrant as the color of their hair. They may tend your wounds with care or indifference. We see a variety of competency levels, too. There are nurses who seem to be experts in subjects far beyond nursing and those who truly leave us wondering if they should be trusted to apply a Band-Aid. We, if we’re lucky, even get the nurse who’s a little bit naughty, letting our imaginations run wild with innuendo.
10. Aki Nijou from Maken-ki! Battling Venus
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2011- Dec. 2011
In a lot of ways, Aki Nijou is your typical nurse -- for an anime. She works at Tenbi Academy, a school for students who possess magical and spiritual energies called “elements,” and who wield crafted weapons called Makens. She is kind, a bit on the naïve side, and the classic cute klutz. Did we mention she has honking big hooters and wears clothes so tight they’re like a second skin? We didn’t? Well surprise! She does. Aki is tall with light brown eyes and blue or purple hair depending on which season you are watching. She mainly wears short skirts, tight camisoles that let her cleavage spill out, and a white lab coat to denote that she’s a health care professional.
Aki Nijou, like all of the characters, also has a Maken, which is classified as a debugger type. The bugs she fixes with this magical device are injuries. She uses the device to examine a patient and see exactly what is wrong with them. She definitely has a skill attuned the world she works in, taking care of the rambunctious students in her charge. The unique skill with her Maken and the setting she works in is the key reason she makes number ten on the list.
9. Midori Okamoto from Star Driver (STAR DRIVER: Shining Takuto)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2010- Apr. 2011
Midori Okamoto is the school nurse at the High School on Southern Cross Isle. The island of Southern Cross has many secrets, many involving the use of giant robots called Cybodies. A power struggle over the Cybodies and their power to break the magical seals of the shrine maidens on the island is the central plot of the story. Midori Okamoto is an unknown age but seems to be in her late twenties. Midori wears a lab coat that hides a girlish figure; she has brown hair pulled back into a bun and wears glasses.
She makes this list because of her obsession with young men. Midori also shows many similar traits as the closet-pervert trope, collecting candid photos of many of the male students and filling page after page of albums. She is also has a more serious role as the leader of Glittering Star Crusade’s science division as well as the pilot of the Cybody Yoddock. Her First Phase ability allows her to reverse her age and appear as she was back in High School. She often uses the ability to flirt with male students. She not only flirts with the male students but occasionally uses a potion to seduce them. So if you want to play doctor, this nurse is the perfect choice.
8. Eclipse Ophichus from Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct. 2009- Mar. 2013
Eclipse is known as the “Snake Charmer” and is one of the Zodiac spirits that rebelled against their servitude. Eclipse may look like a slim, young woman with blue eyes, modest breasts, and shoulder-length blonde hair, but in reality she’s a large black snake. She keeps her top half human much like a lamia, for example Miia the lamia from Monster Musume. Eclipse wears a traditional nurse’s uniform, a one-piece dress with buttons, and a nurse’s cap with gold trim.
Eclipse considers herself as a “nasty nurse” who uses her powers to make the healthy become sick. She tends to behave sadistically towards the members of the guild Fairy Tail, taking delight in her torment of its members. In some ways, she’s a comical evil villain right out of a silver age Batman comic book. Her first attack on our heroes was with thermometers and stethoscopes, playing right into the cartoonish villain act. The reason she makes the list is she is a mean and nasty nurse. You’d never want to be in her care, but she sure is interesting to watch.
7. Ayako Hiiragi from Walkure Romanze
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2013- Dec. 2013
Ayako is the school physician at Winford Academy and runs a café and boarding house on the side. She is a supportive, caring adult, which makes her stand out in a genre filled with bad parents. She is the kind of adult who will always give you a nudge in the right direction when you need it. The café she runs, “Tart-Time,” not only employs students and gives a couple of them a roof over their heads, but also serves as a hangout for our core group of characters. She can have an impish personality when it comes to teasing Takahiro, her cousin, about the girls in his life.
She is on the list because she is a nurse and rather attractive in a lady-like way. She has long black hair and light purple eyes that draw you in. She also has a very demanding job; you see the pastime at Winford Academy is jousting. We are not talking about the modern style of jousting where you’re riding at full speed and putting your lance through suspended rings. We are talking armor-wearing, lance-wielding, medieval-style knights trying to knock each other of off their respective horses. The injuries she sees on a daily basis must be pretty severe. At most times she seems calm and relaxed, but has shown a sterner side. Like most nurses, that side comes out it to protect the wellbeing of her patients.
6. Miyo Takano from When They Cry (Hugurashi no Naku Koro ni)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2006- Sep. 2006
Miyo Takano is the nurse of a village clinic in Hinamizawa. She is 30 years old with shoulder-length blonde hair. She is very average in appearance, but we won’t hold that against her. The village she serves seems ideal but has a troubled history. The village has had a series of murders all seeming to revolve around the village festival and the village’s patron god Oyashiro. Miyo is deeply interested in village history and records and recounts her village lore and speculation to others. She also seems to derive pleasure from scaring and unnerving people with the twisted tales she can weave with her macabre local knowledge. She also seems to be a bit of a cultist nut.
Miyo Tanako is a little twisted, and that’s why she makes the list. She could be classified loosely as a mad scientist. She sees the people (patients) around her as potential guinea pigs. She is driven almost beyond reason in her research into a mysterious illness, Hanamizawa Syndrome, which causes psychoses among the town’s population. Her determination and focused ends-justify-the-means mentality is one of the remarkable things about this nurse of ambiguous morality.
5. Michiru Onigawara from MM!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2010- Dec. 2010
Michiru Onigawara is the school nurse and advisor to a rather strange club. The club is made up of students with issues; for example, the club president is hyper-aggressive and carries around a baseball bat. Another student, Yuno, is terrified of men. The club also features a student who’s a cross-dresser, and Sado, a complete masochist. The story revolves around Sado trying to cure himself of his love of being made miserable, a task taken on by the club president who’s pretty sure she’s god. You can imagine how quickly the situation can devolve into the simple story of a sadist and her submissive, making it very entertaining.
Onigarawa gets on this list because she fits in perfectly with the bunch of weirdos in the club she advises. She is really into cosplay, so much so she forces her students to cosplay for her. Onigawara also seems to get some sort of perverse pleasure in taking pictures of her victims -- we mean students -- in elaborately staged scenes. She doesn’t say much and tends to blend into the background when she isn’t the focal point, but is just as involved in the crazy antics as the students. She isn’t one for interfering in the sometimes violent and crazy stunts like a real adult should, which is just another reason she makes the list -- for letting weridos be weirdos.
4. Shizuka Mairkawa from Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2012- Sep. 2010
Shizuka Marikawa is the school nurse at Fujimi High School. She is caught up in the undead plague while at work and rescued by several of her students. She is only 26 and at times seems like she is just another one of the students. She is also not the most emotionally stable of the group. Marikawa seems to be rather fragile and can’t make sense of the world falling apart around her. She needs to be taken care of by the more responsible members of the group whenever they get in a crisis situation, most often being surrounded by hordes of the undead.
Shizuka Marikawa makes the list partially for being completely true to form with her blonde hair, big boobs and ditzy nature. She also makes the list because she manages to remember her medical training and can calmly treat everyone’s wounds -- and you know she’s going to see a lot of them. She is also kind and caring and is constantly worried about how her students are handling their new lot in life as zombie killing refugees at the end of the world. She also makes the list for her many wardrobe malfunctions and her lack of modesty, giving the main character quite an eyeful time after time.
3. Caren Ortrensia from Fate/Kalied liner Prismia Illya
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Jun. 2013- Sep. 2013
Caren Ortensia is the school nurse at our heroine, Illya’s, school. The world of Fate/Kalied liner Prismia Illya is an alternate Fate/Stay universe in which Illyasviel von Einzbern leads a simple life knowing nothing about the Holy Grail war. One day Illya gets the chance to become a magical girl with the help of a wand named Magical Ruby. She is then tasked with finding magical “Class Cards” which contain the souls of heroic spirits. Caren’s true purpose is a mystery, but she observes Illya and her friends Miyu and Kuro very closely. She even seems to have some knowledge about the magical world and the girls’ role in it. She goes as far to referring to Illya as “necessary,” Miyu as “accidental,” and Kuro as a “miraculous existence.”
She is another one of our nurses who makes the list less for being a caregiver and more for her contrary attitude to healthcare. She has taken the role of school nurse simply because she likes to watch children suffer. She also gets points for the way she dresses; she wears the typical lab coat, a ruffled shirt, black stockings and short skirt. Her silver hair, side ponytail and gold eyes are just the perfect finishing pieces for this healthcare cutie.
2. Chisato Hasegawa from The Testament of Sister New Devil (Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2015- Mar. 2015
Chisato Hasegawa is the school nurse of Hijirgasaka Academy. She doesn’t seem like it, but she is a can do pretty powerful magic, too. The 5’5” healthcare practitioner is often seen a personifying a Cake song, wearing a short skirt with a long jacket. In this case, the jacket is a lab coat and the short skirt is black and lets you see the garter hooks on her nylons. The green turtleneck fits pretty well, too, hugging her ample chest. The story revolves around Basara, a young man and powerful warrior who fights to defend his step-sister, the daughter of the last demon king, from other unsavory demons involved in a power struggle for rule of the demon world.
She makes the list because in a world of devils and demons you can still use this line on her, “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” because she is an honest-to-goodness angel. She is also the mentor and aunt of the main character Basara, who is an ass-kicking force of good in his own right. She even cast some protective spells on him that has saved his life in one of Basara’s critical battles. She has the look and makes us wonder: just how do you talk to an angel?
1. Mari Kurokawa from Gate- Thus the JSDF Fought There! (Gate)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2015- Sep. 2015
Sergeant First Class Mari Kurokawa is a member other Japanese Self-Defense Force. She is member of the 3rd Recon Team in the Special Region, a region very different than modern day Japan, filled with elves, wizards, and dragons, accessed through a dimensional portal in Tokyo. She is in good physical condition and, despite wearing green military fatigues, is still a beauty. She has had combat training, and is a marksman, as all soldiers should be. The most important thing, other than her amazing blue eyes, is that she is a combat medic and a nurse.
Sgt. Mari Kurokawa makes the list for her role in the unit -- that of big mama bear. She gives off an aura of grace and ladylike calm and takes the health and wellbeing of her team members personally. You’d better watch out if you get between her and the treatment of her patient. She also sets up a clinic in the Imperial Capital and administers aid to anyone who needs it, without judgment of class or profession.
Bonus: Komugi from Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2016- Mar. 2016
Komugi is a struggling idol. She can sing and dance, but just hasn’t had her big break. She has determination and spirit, though. She doesn’t seem to get too depressed as her other idol friends become more and more popular, entertaining large crowds and getting guest roles on dramas, while she entertains crowds at the ribbon cutting of local stores in the shopping district. She rescues and performs first aid on Usa-p, a strange rabbit-like creature, who in turn offers to make her a “legendary girl,” a.k.a. a classic magical girl. She accepts and her weird triple life of being an idol, middle school girl, and magical girl.
Komugi makes this list not for her medical skill, since she isn’t actually a nurse. She just dresses like one and seems to have a nursing theme in her magical spells. She makes the list for her purity; when you strip away Komugi’s roles as idol and magical, she’s just a little girl with a dream. We can also give her marks for her transformation into the Nurse Witch and the classic revealing costume.
The nurses of the world of anime are as diverse in form and attitude as the real caregivers of the world. We find some of our anime nurses to be just that, medical professionals who feel it is their duty to take care of their charges. The nurses of anime also don’t seem to be on stage solely for their medical know-how. We get to watch beauties dispense band-aids, bed rest, and sage wisdom. We also find, more often than not, they are simply there for eye candy.
We need to celebrate the times we are gifted with a well-developed nurse character and not just overdeveloped boobs. So we celebrate the nurses who make us smile, whether they are being naughty or nice, because that’s the best medicine.