Truth be told, a lot of female anime characters are actually quite cool, but for one reason or another, they often end up getting "special treatment" from creators in the way of fan service.
Fan service is when a creator includes scenes, plots, and developments that primarily exist to please the audience, even if those decisions end up being detrimental to the overall quality of the story.
For example, filler episodes at the beach or scenes in a sauna are often used to show characters in scantily-clad outfits. And while fan service is often sexual in nature, it doesn't have to be. Giving a popular character an unearned happy ending is another form of fan service.
A little bit can be fine, but many creators end up including more and more fan service over time, to the point where it can seriously detract from a character's uniqueness. Gratuitous mini skirts, enlarged breasts, and panty shots can ruin otherwise awesome characters.
From deadly warriors to powerful demons, here are some awesome female anime characters who were tarnished by fan service.
8. Tamaki Kotatsu (Fire Force)
If Fairy Tail has Gray Fullbuster, who intentionally (and unintentionally) gets naked in every scene, then Fire Force has Tamaki Kotatsu.
With her bad luck, she always ends up naked somehow. While her unluckiness is an intentional part of the story, it's so much for the character that it ruins her badassery and her scenes.
7. Alisa Amiella (God Eater)
In God Eater, Alisa Amiella is a New-Type God Arc wielder and is one of the best in her field. From the game to the anime series, she sports a daring attire that shows off most of her skin.
As with many female anime characters, fashion and attire are up to the creative freedom of creators—and when it's done poorly, it can shift the attention of viewers from the character's development to the character's appearance, placing a line between them.
It can be hard to focus on dialogue, fight scenes, and story points when the scene obviously wants to draw your attention a certain way.
6. Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
Erza is one of the strongest female wizards in Fairy Tail, with her Requip Magic that allows her to change armor and weapon sets suited to every situation. Despite some of her armors being "magically" functional, they seem a bit too short on materials.
Armor should primarily serve as protection, but most of her outfits look like gowns that leave too much skin vulnerable. Certain tweaks to her design would make her more badass and terrifying, given that she really is a mage to be reckoned with when it comes to battle.
5. Mirajane Strauss (Fairy Tail)
Mirajane is another high-caliber mage of the Fairy Tail guild who has the power to become a demon with her Take Over magic, which allows her to inherit the attributes and powers of the demon she transforms into.
One of her transformations, however, lacks coverage of a few intimate parts and shows most of her skin, making it look more like a swimsuit than a demonic body. The design doesn't fit the power she possesses, unlike other demonic transformations in the anime.
4. Nezuko Kamado (Demon Slayer)
This girl-turned-demon is the apple of our eye in Demon Slayer, flooding every one of her out-of-box scenes with cuteness despite being a threatening demon-killer.
During the Entertainment District Arc, she was given a more mature form—a form she used to toy with Daki in their fight. The cute and cool Nezuko was ruined by her wild and sexualized form.
3. Zero Two (Darling in the Franxx)
In Darling in the Franxx, Franxx units are biomechanical suits that are known for their bizarre cockpits that put their pilots in awkward positions. That alone is fan service, right there!
Zero Two's character gave piloting a whole new dimension, not only in riding the giant robot as a sexy pilot but also by being a badass fighter who perfectly eliminates monsters. Despite that, female Franxx pilots are unnecessarily sexualized in this series even without showing skin.
2. Stella Vermillion (Chivalry of a Failed Knight)
Stella Vermillion is a powerful Blazer who owns a sword that can incinerate anything with its flames. Her character, however, was dropped into a supporting role when paired with Ikki, giving us a few scenes with her only in her undergarments.
And because the show focused mainly on Ikki, Stella was given fewer important developments and eventually only served as eye candy, aside from being the character who accepts Ikki when no one else does.
Sure, we know that the show is a bit harem-style and targeted at mature viewers, but it's still rude to not give her the developments she deserves after having a solid background and backstory.
1. Elizabeth Liones (Seven Deadly Sins)
At first, we all thought the same thing about Elizabeth: she's only in Seven Deadly Sins for fan service. In the early parts of the series, she was always groped and touched by Meliodas without resistance.
But later on, we finally learned that she has a deeper character backstory: she was a goddess who stood against both the Supreme Deity and the Demon King and was cursed to die over and over again.
As such, most fans feel sorry for her being overly sexualized in the early episodes. In hindsight, her mistreatment could've ruined her.