Hibike! Euphonium Girls
Why do a majority of the anime in Japan revolve around a middle school or high school student in a school setting? Or rather why are a majority of the main protagonists teenagers? I can’t really answer that, but if I were to make an educated guess, it’d be because anime’s main audience consists of teenagers. Due to this, uh, pandering(?), anime is known for its varied school settings — we get students fighting off demons from the otherworld, saving the Earth from aliens, or they are sent back through time and rewrite history.
It’s great, really and there are lots of great characters you can relate to — if you’re a teenager, you can relate to their problems and for the adults watching these kinds of anime — we too, at a certain point in time, were students once.
For this article, I will list off popular school girls that made their show pure fun to watch. There is no specific sub category or anything. If they’re female, a student, an important character that helped make the show fun, they’re in.
10. Misaka Mikoto — Toaru Majutsu no Index
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2009-March 2010
Also known as the Railgun for her powerful, often one-hit-kill move and also known as Tokiwadai’s Ace, Mikoto is a child prodigy who went from a level 1 esper to a level 5 through hard work, and she is a student with consistently high grades. She’s so proficient with her abilities as an esper, she donated her DNA to help people recover from a fatal disease. And since stories rarely go smoothly, her DNA was used for something else by the military. Surprise, surprise.
Mikoto has a laundry list of traits, like that she’s ill-tempered, prideful, often shows improper attitude, is tomboyish, tsundere, and has a ton of insecurities. Despite all of that, she is easygoing and friendly. Which is normally rare because level 5 espers are usually d**ks and look down on low level espers.
09. Ootori Miou — Sabagebu!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014-September 2014
Miou is a third year high school student, president of the Survival Game Club, extremely popular among the girls, is blessed with extreme fortune, and loves to shoot things with her dual desert eagles. I mean, she’s so lucky she can find a whole briefcase worth of money without even trying. If she’s unlucky, she’ll only find a wad of money around a few million yen. Yeah, that sucks for her.
Miou is usually responsible for all of the club activities and since she’s from a very rich family, she sends her club to one of the most silliest and expensive activities she could think of. She tends to be the first to resort to violence when she finds no peaceful alternative. But seriously, even if there’s one, she’d prefer to fix the problem using sheer firepower. She is reckless and sometimes over-the-top, but there’s one thing is for sure: You’ll never have a boring time with Miou around. That’s assuming you survive the ordeal.
08. Suzumiya Haruhi — The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Episodes: 14
- Aired: April 2006-July 2006
Haruhi is the founding member of the SOS Brigade with the purpose of finding strange phenomena and paranormal activities… really it’s just for finding aliens, time travelers and espers. And conveniently they’re right next to her. There’s a reason for that, because Haruhi has the power to change, destroy, and reshape reality, so if she gets into a mood swing, the universe is at risk. Basically, it’s god during her puberty.
Haruhi is smart, athletic and energetic, but since she has fascinations of the unknown, she has no interests in interacting with normal people. She gets easily angered, she’s anti-social, stubborn and unpredictable. Thankfully with the help of Kyon, Nagato Yuki, Asahina Mikuru, and Koizumi Itsuki, she became more ‘stable’ and gradually interacts with everyone. And of course they keep her happy so she won’t destroy the universe. Imagine if Haruhi is your girlfriend and you cheat on her… Oh boy.
07. Miyazawa Yukino — His and Her Circumstances
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1998-March 1999
Miyazawa Yukino is the perfect model student. Smart, attractive, athletic, admired by fellow students, and admired by the teachers at school. However, her perfect exterior is just a mask to hide the fact she’s an attention w—*ahem* to hide the fact she only did it to receive praise and wants to be the center of attention. At home, she’s nothing but perfect—she’s a slobbish person and has no real friends. All things change when she meets Arima Sochiro.
Yukino soon abandoned her fake ways, and slowly opened up throughout the series and eventually ended up making real friends outside Sochiro. Despite her deceitfulness, her skills are the real deal and people still admire her, with or without her mask.
06. Homura Akemi — Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Aired: January 2011-April 2011
Probably the most unfortunate girl on the list, but it won’t stop Homura from being one of the best school girls around. Cool, smart, and deadly, Homura Akemi was a typical school girl until she saw the unspeakable… multiple times.
Akemi is a magical girl with the power to manipulate time and uses non-conventional magical girl weapons like guns, rocket launchers, explosives. After discovering the darker side of her powers and consequence of every magical girl who received the contract, she travels to multiple time lines to stop this end of the world event called the Walpurgis Night.
05. Asuka Langley Sohryu — Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1995-March 1996
Where do I start? Well, she’s a mix of races, has a temper, she’s smart – as in so incredibly smart that she earned a university degree (quite honestly they really didn’t emphasize that enough) at a young age, she can speak fluent German, she’s extremely proud and is a formidable Eva pilot.
Quite frankly, Asuka isn’t the best role model around. She’s impulsive, b**chy, tsundere, and has, well, let’s face it, like the rest of the crew, she has daddy problems. However she is energetic, confident, not afraid to speak her mind, very aggressive, and she’s a 14 year old who pilots a giant robot! Her fiery personality and attractive character design made her one of the most familiar faces in anime. Oh and if you love tsundere characters, then she’ll keep you happy… you masochist, you!
04. Mankanshoku Mako — Kill la Kill
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2013-March 2014
Mako may be energetic as if she had too many cups of black coffee every day and is a bit of an oddball, and sometimes lazy, but looks can be deceiving. Basically she’s smarter than she looks. On episode 7, Mako and Ryuuko started their own fight club for—SPOILERS—and since Ryuuko is bad at almost everything, save for fighting, Mako stepped in to be the club’s president.
A lot of people underestimated her abilities, but after a few days, she managed to keep up with the meetings and paperwork and lifted her and her family out of the slums and into better living. Given at how demanding Honnouji Academy is, Mako pulled it off through sheer determination.
03. Sugiura Ayano — Yuru Yuri
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2011-September 2011
Ayano is the student council vice-president of Nanamori Middle School, a girl who is often not too honest with her feelings towards the energetic, often oddball-like, and rival Toshinou Kyouko. Aside from her extreme tsundere attitude towards Kyouko, she has a signature quirk of unintentionally making puns based on locations like Angkor Wat and Notre Dame.
She is studious, responsible and seemingly looks like she’s doing most of the work, and while she oftentimes ends up with the short end of the stick (Sakurako ended up eating her favorite pudding), everyone respects and cares for her. And no, the school uniform is not a maternity dress!
02. Sawachika Eri — School Rumble
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2004-March 2005
Proud, stubborn, and passionate, Eri is one of the main characters of School Rumble and is arguably one of the most loved and memorable characters in the show. And she’s rich too.
Unlike any other stubborn rich girls in anime, Eri doesn’t use her social status as leeway to get the things she wants. On the outside she looks like your typical role model — graceful, calm, beautiful, but deep down, she’s just like any normal girl — insecure, stubborn and oh so proud. They may sound like negatives, but they’re not. She’s a caring friend, a responsible student and a fast learner.
What makes her stand out is her relationship with the school delinquent Harima Kenji. Eri’s interactions with Harima break her out of her shell to reveal what Eri is truly like. Quite frankly, Eri and Harima’s antics are the best part of the show.
01. Kiriya Aoi — Aikatsu!
- Episodes: 50-ongoing
- Aired: October 2012-ongoing
Along with her best friend Hoshimiya Ichigo, Aoi passed the entrance exam to Starlight School and since that day, the two had become one of the most successful idols in Aikatsu! history. Unlike Ichigo being the cute type idol, Aoi is the cool type with Futuring Girl being her brand of choice.
Aoi started out as a big fan of idols and then became an idol herself. After becoming something she admired since a child, she retained her fangirl habits and gets excited when there’s something unexpected. Armed with a camera that she carries all the time, Aoi never misses any rare moments.
Aoi is one of the most talented idols around and earned a lot of accomplishments like passing the entrance exam with a perfect score, winning the Pon Pon Crepe Girl audition on her first try, she’s one of the idols who passed the acting audition of Bad Girl Detectives, became the main character of the spin off “Bad Girl Commissioner”, and is a member of the unstoppable three-idol group Soleil.
Aoi is very smart, energetic and witty. She’s so good at gathering info and has the ability to remember every idol she sees, so she is given the nickname of “Idol Professor”. She is a natural teacher and given her success and passion as an idol, Aoi is a prime candidate to one day guide the new idols as Starlight Academy’s headmistress.
Gakkou Gurashi Girls
And there you have it! These girls are some of the best school girls around. Not all girls need to have special magical powers or wear skimpy, impractical uniforms to be the best. It all comes to the attitude, smarts, charm, and the fun factor.
And no, I’m not being biased here. Aoi deserves the top spot not because she’s my wai—favorite girl in anime or anything like that. Aoi is number one because she’s passionate at what she does and rises to the top because of it. Admittedly, she’s not perfect and fumbles a few times, but she easily gets back on her feet because she has best friends Ichigo and Ran to carry her through hard times.
Nope, not blatantly biased at all. What’s with that look? I told you I’m not favoring—Aoi’s the best, OH MY GOD! <3 <3 <3
You should totally check out Aikatsu!, everyone!