Female characters don't always dominate when it comes to badass moments in anime, but when a female character does prove their badassery, it's always a moment that blows us away.
Most viewers erroneously believe that female anime characters are just vehicles for fan service, but every great anime series knows that its female characters are vital to the story—not just for romance or comedy, but in ways that twist and advance the narrative.
Here are the most badass anime girls who serve as proof that female characters can be more than just fan service. In some cases, they're even stronger than their male counterparts.
20. Daki (Demon Slayer)
Daki is an Upper Moon of Muzan and one of the main antagonists during the Entertainment District Arc of Demon Slayer. She disguises herself as a courtesan and appears to be just a simple entertainer.
She later releases her inner demon (literally) in one scene when her brother Gyutaro appears, increasing the tension—not just for the Corps, but also for viewers. This revelation showed how terrifying the enemies in the current arc could be.
19. Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
This femme fatale hails from the series Attack on Titan. Mikasa Ackerman, who's pretty badass throughout the entire show, proves that she's one of the strongest characters across numerous scenes.
But there's one moment in particular that stands out for us: when she chased down the Armored Titan who was holding Eren captive.
Her fervor came through and she showed how serious she was about saving him, to the point that it even scared Bertholdt (who was inside Reiner's armor at the time).
18. Yamato (One Piece)
Yamato, the daughter of Kaido, is a badass fighter as seen when she knocked Ulti down with her Thunder Bagua. Of course, she inherited the strength of her father and was fueled by the ideology of Kozuki Oden.
She claims herself as Kozuki Oden and wants to open up the Wano Kingdom to free the citizens, just as the real Oden wants.
17. Muzan Kibutsuji (Demon Slayer)
Muzan Kibutsuji is definitely a "he" so we're cheating a little here, but in the iconic scene where he gathers all the Lower Moons, he appears as a gorgeous yet dangerous woman in front of her (his) subordinates.
She then decapitates a Lower Moon demon and ruthlessly kills the others, all to prove that she has no interest in the weak and only cares to keep the strong ones under her wing.
16. Mereoleona Vermillion (Black Clover)
There are no words to describe how terrifying this raging lioness of the Clover Kingdom's Crimson Lion Squad can be. Black Clover is full of badass characters, and Mereoleona Vermillion sits among the top.
As proof, she single-handedly faced five elves and dealt considerable damage to them before passing out. A few moments later after some rest, she's back on the battlefield again like nothing happened.
15. Pitou (Hunter X Hunter)
Pitou (short for Neferpitou) is the feline Royal Guard of the Ant King in Hunter X Hunter. Throughout the course of the Chimera Ant Arc, up to her very death, she always showed how badass she was.
The scene where she used Pokkle—specifically, his brain—to gather information about Nen was so horrifying yet badass. Another example is when she propelled herself towards Kite, Gon, and Killua, then influenced the young Hunters with Malice.
14. Shuka Karino (Darwin's Game)
Shuka Karino is one of the more powerful players in the death game featured in Darwin's Game. She held the title of Undefeated Queen until she was defeated by Kaname Sudou.
Like Kurapika from Hunter X Hunter, Shuka's weapon of choice is a set of chains. That already sets her apart as pretty badass.
However, it gets better: her Telekinetic-type Sigil, the Queen of Thorns, allows her to manipulate not just her chains but any rope-like material with extreme precision and lethality. That even includes super-thin threads that can sever her opponents' limbs.
13. Princess Rangiku (Puppet Princess)
Rangiku is a princess in Puppet Princess whose family was murdered. On top of the badass mercenary ninja who stays by her side, she also controls cool warrior puppets, which is fitting for her as a fighter-princess who's fueled by a desire for revenge.
12. Shion (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
Shion is the secretary of Rimuru Tempest (who's now a Demon Lord), and she's shown how capable she is in battle many times throughout the series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.
But her fight against Clayman is when she proved not only how strong she was, but Jura Forest as a whole. Clayman's best abilities—which he claimed could defeat even a Demon Lord—couldn't scratch Shion.
11. Maki Oze (Fire Force)
Maki Oze is one of the many pyrokinetic characters (i.e. fire users and manipulators) in the Fire Force anime series, but she's not the type who relies on fireballs and other clichéd fire powers.
She has a pretty ripped body as well as incredible physical prowess. Coupled with her undying willpower, she's able to stand toe-to-toe against huge adversaries.
She's a highly skilled close-combat fighter, but also uses her 2nd Generation pyrokinetic ability to deal with opponents at a distance.
However, behind her outwardly tough persona is a kind and caring person. She always has a soft side for her comrades—just don't let her hear you say she's an ogre!
10. Saya Kisaragi (Blood-C)
In Blood-C, Saya Kisaragi is a jolly student, a well-mannered daughter, and a kind friend to her peers. But when night falls and duty calls, she becomes a master swordswoman who hunts and kills Elder Bairns.
However, everything about her is fabricated and staged. Not much is known about her true origins except that she was subjected to experiments that eventually led to the deaths of those participating actors on a secluded island.
9. Nel (Bleach)
In Bleach, Nel saved Ichigo from Nnoitra Gilga, the 5th Espada of Aizen. Among the characters in that very scene, she was the last one we thought could do that since she was introduced as a kid.
What really surprised us was her badass return to form—meaning a return to her adult form—and flexing her Espada number "3," which indicated that she was one of the highest-tier fighters.
8. Nobara Kugisaki (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Nobara Kugisaki is one of the first-year trio—alongside Yuji Itadori and Megumi Fushiguro—that leads the Jujutsu Kaisen series.
During their battle against the Curse Brothers (Death Paintings), she doesn't hesitate to stab herself with her own technique in order to counter the curse technique used on her.
The moment she used "Hairpin" against one of the brothers was so badass, and it showed that Nobara isn't a girl to mess with.
7. Nezuko Kamado (Demon Slayer)
Nezuko Kamado, a demon on the Demon Slayers's side, eventually showed a new demon form—one that, according to her opponent Daki, has regenerative power equal to the Upper Moon Demons.
Her form has a mature physique with vine patterns running through her skin, but that's not what made her badass. It's how she nearly decapitated Daki with a single kick, and then even burned her with the Blood Demon Art: Exploding Blood ability.
6. Saber (Fate/Stay Night)
Saber is the most powerful servant in the Fate/Stay Night series. She won a previous Holy Grail War with her master and then participated in another tournament with Shirou Emiya as her new master.
Throughout her stories, she regularly showcased how badass she was, complete with groundbreaking bouts and adrenaline-pumping fight scenes. There's also the corrupted version of her called Saber Alter, who demonstrated the bad side to her hero.
5. Mirai Kuriyama (Beyond the Boundary)
At first glance, no one would think that Mirai Kuriyama is a capable fighter given her nerdy appearance, rounded eyeglasses, bob hairstyle, oversized sweater, and clumsy personality.
But she's got one of the most unique abilities in the anime world: the power to materialize blood into a weapon. She also possesses the skills and moves of a trained sword wielder.
As soon as she managed to face her fears, she became a badass fighter on par with any Spirit World Warrior.
4. Yor Forger (Spy X Family)
Yor Forger (née Briar), known as the Thorn Princess, is a world-class assassin whose prowess comes in handy for protecting her family.
She can eliminate her targets in an instant without breaking a sweat. From her incredible agility to her immense physical strength, she's certainly earned her status as a badass femme fatale.
She may not be great at motherly things (like cooking), but she never fails to show her affection for her adoptive daughter Anya. Indeed, she loves her and will send anyone flying if they try to harm her.
3. Maki Zenin (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Maki Zenin is a senior to the main trio of characters in Jujutsu Kaisen, but she isn't gifted like the rest of the gang. What's worse, she can't even see curses without her special eyeglasses.
Even so, she isn't a low-class female character who just hides behind the powerhouses while offering nothing but moral support. She's a talented student, a skilled fighter, and an expert in different kinds of cursed weapons ranging from short swords to spears.
Jujutsu Kaisen gives us several scenes that highlight her weapon masteries, which feature moments that are well-choreographed and badass.
2. Revy (Black Lagoon)
Revy (real name Rebecca Lee) is a badass gunfighter in Black Lagoon. When she starts pulling on triggers, no one can really stop her.
Yup, that's right: triggers! She's often seen dual-wielding her two modified Beretta handguns. With her precision shooting skills and weapon expertise, she's an unstoppable force on the battlefield.
No matter how much she's sexualized—and boy is she—Revy will always be one of the coolest female anime characters to ever grace the screen.
1. Makima (Chainsaw Man)
Makima is an example of a female anime character who doesn't need to be extremely skilled in combat to be considered dangerous. All she needs is her incredible yet sinister ability that allows her to crush her enemies even from afar.
Her composed and collected personality masks the cold, manipulative, and brutal devil within. She kills without mercy or remorse, and this makes her terrifyingly strong and badass.