[Top 15] Mangas With Strong Female Lead

[Top 15] Mangas With Strong Female Lead
Top 15 Mangas With Strong Female Lead

The word “strong” itself can vary across situations. Strong doesn’t necessarily mean in terms of physical capabilities, but also knowing how to handle the difficulties along the way despite things having the possibility of getting out of hand. Strong is not only associated with powerful men but also with women who have equal potential as them. Here are the Top 15 (in no particular order) Mangas with strong female leads that showcased their strength in different ways.


1. Akatsuki no Yona

Yona’s lavish life as the only heir and princess of Kouka Kingdom had ended when her cousin and first love, Su-won, had arranged a bloody coup that resulted in her father’s immediate death. Together with her bodyguard and childhood friend, Hak, Yona escaped the palace and lived a life of hiding. Even if the political turmoil had led to her eventual banishment in her own kingdom, Yona still yearns to help the people she left behind the walls of Kouka Kingdom. She proceeds to go on a journey to find four formidable warriors imbued with dragon blood. Together, they traveled mountains and seas, meeting new allies along the way as they fulfilled Yona’s goal: to restore her kingdom and take back the throne. 

The story is so refreshing because it started out with a Spoiled Brat Yona, to an enlightened version of herself that began to see the cruelty of the world toward anyone at any time! But yes, we can’t turn a blind eye to how Yona’s journey in experiencing life outside the palace has widened and shaped her perspective of their world. From a person who seemed out of touch to the problems experienced outside the grandeur of her palace’s walls, Yona has depicted strength not because she learned how to fight but because she willingly experienced the world’s cruelty no matter what was thrown her way. And as a bonus, how can we ever forget that she’s strong enough to admit who she truly loves? Coughs in Hak! 


2. The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Chise Hatori grew up abused and neglected in her own home. As a fifteen-year-old girl who was raised in a family devoid of love and warmth, she begins to think all hope is lost when she was auctioned as a rare item called a “Sleigh Beggy,” but fate said otherwise as her buyer, a man whose head resembles a beast, takes her back to his home. The man introduced himself as a “magus,” a powerful sorcerer that lived in the rural areas of the forest, who called himself Elias Ainsworth. Elias declared she would be his apprentice—and most bizarrely—also his bride. 

Going through the trauma of abuse and neglect is a tough wall to get by. But our dear Chise has discovered her magic, and it has carved her a path to aid those who require helping. There is nothing more admirable than helping yourself as you want others to be enabled, as true strength is emphasized when you persevere through the wounds of the past. Chise has blessed us to know the meaning of being strong, come what may.


3. Claymore

Set in the medieval era, in order for humans to protect themselves from the infestation of shape-shifting demons called Yomas, they are left with no choice but to seek help from an organization called Claymore. Ironically, the Claymore organization provides and guarantees their safety by dispatching hybrid warriors that are half-yoma and half-human. 

Claymore women are the clear winner of being masters of the sword. These hybrids are lawful guardians of their world that possess immeasurable strength and genius swordsmanship. This elite force of protectors had a distinct feature that consisted of blonde hair and silver eyes and is considered attractive by humans around them. Yet, deep inside, they know they’re beasts within. 

Besides being solid as a rock and cold as ice, Clare’s journey of bringing back her purpose and humanity is a ride for all the readers to see. Not only does she have a tough personality, but it’s definitely worth mentioning how Clare has shown us what it means to be human despite being painted as a monster her entire life. Strength is shown through how you wield a sword. Yet, it is also portrayed when you accept what it is for you to be humane toward everyone.


4. Koroshi Ai

Bounty Hunter Chateau Dankworth’s mission is to find the notorious hitman who single-handedly killed the Hongkong Triads in one night. Little did she know that said killer, Son Ryang-ha, is also after… her affection, that is. 

If you think you can make Chateau interested in a snap of your fingers, you’re absolutely wrong about that. Though, when it comes to her job, she’d definitely jump in if it involves crime scenes and murder! No questions asked. But if Ryang-ha makes his futile jokes and crazy, borderline attempts at asking her out, get ready to witness the century’s battle because it would be one heck of a fight!

Koroshi Ai is one of the new mangas that depicts a female lead that barely budges toward the male lead’s romantic advances (let me just scream, “as it should!”) Chateau’s no tsundere, to say the least. Her stoic personality yet formidable skills as an assassin that does her job in rationality is what probably had Ryang-ha’s attention trapped in her hands. Even so, there is more to the story of these two, and you better grab your hands on one of the copies of Koroshi Ai’s volume while it’s still hot for talks in its upcoming animation. Chateau is no doubt strong. But what made her unbreakable was the fact that she braved the traumas inflicted by her past. 


5. The Promised Neverland

As an orphan, Emma knew there was no better place to be other than Grace Field House orphanage. The children get to eat three meals a day, drape themselves in warm clothing as they get the education they need while making friends. Most of all, they have a “Mama” who cared for them the same way their biological parents should have done. If you’d think about it, they’re being raised well in an appropriate environment. But these are all just fronts of a terrifying secret Emma and Norman have discovered the night they have followed a child who was supposed to be fostered by her new “family.”

This manga is a gem… of course, with the absence of the anime being cut into pieces—yes, we don’t want to even talk about that part. Let’s just think that the anime was a whole different entity, and we should never, ever associate it with the manga. 

Back to the story, Emma had always prioritized other people over her happiness. She had proved true to her values until the end of the story when she sacrificed what was most important to her to end the conflict between humans and monsters. 

Pain come and goe, but happy memories last forever. It can even drive you to do better in everyday life. Guess what? Spoilers ahead—Emma cherishes her memories with the children in Grace Field House along with her two bestfriend, Norman and Ray. To prevent further conflict, she sacrifices her own happiness—her memory of them—to resolve this. Emma has other abilities deemed admirable, but the sacrifice she made was worthy of everyone’s attention. After all, majority of us can’t put everyone’s happiness above theirs. Not all are willing to dispatch self-serving wants. Even so, Emma managed to do it without a pinch of hesitation. If strong meant forgetting for everyone’s peace, then she’d rather bury everything at the back of her mind.


6. Attack on Titan

Giant creatures with human features and an incessant craving for human flesh called Titans had been plaguing Paradis Island for hundreds of years. These humanoid monsters have driven humanity to extinction, forcing mankind to live behind three solid walls to achieve their peace. Childhood friends Eren, Mikasa, and Armin’s lives were never the same when a Colossal Titan breached a hole on one of the walls, which led to the death of Eren’s mother. The boy vows to become a soldier to avenge his mother’s death and wipe out every single titan outside their walls. 

Attack on Titan is a foretelling of how Armin, Eren, Mikasa, and the other people of Paradis Island, hoped for a life outside the walls but was deprived of it not because of titans, but of humanity’s greed and hunger for power (more elaboration when you read the manga yourselves!) Mikasa Ackerman, the main female lead of the story, demonstrated physical strength and superb fighting abilities (using her badass ODM gear, of course!) that not even the male leads could be on par with her skills. Despite Mikasa’s portrayed impeccable strength throughout the manga, the highlight of this was intensified during the last chapters of the final arc. 

Big spoilers ahead! Mikasa and Eren’s affection toward each other was clearly depicted by the end of the series. As the rumbling—a movement led by Eren Yeager to wipe out humanity outside the walls—commenced, Mikasa had to take the more devastating route, putting aside her personal feelings of wanting to be with Eren for a little longer. She chooses to kill her most beloved to stop the rumbling and end the bloodshed. Through this, Mikasa’s strength was emphasized. 

Being selfless and choosing everyone’s peace was what Mikasa had to offer to the world, even if she loses the one thing that keeps her sane. And though she had reiterated how cruel the world is, Mikasa would’ve probably seen by now the beauty she, Armin, and Eren had always believed the world possessed: Paradis Island free from titans and walls, Eren’s memory engraved in her heart even in her last breath.


7. Akagami no Shirayukihime

Shirayuki has a hair color that stood out from the rest: it was red and bright as an apple. Not only did her hair placed her in the good side of the limelight, but it had also put her into trouble when Prince Raji forces her to be his concubine. Not wanting to give up her freedom, Shirayuki escapes to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines. She had a faithful encounter with a man named Zen Wistalia, who accidentally drank the poison meant to drug Shirayuki and bring her back to Prince Raji. Little did they know that Zen was the second prince of the country of Wistalia that would put an end to Prince Raji’s persistence. Following this, Shirayuki’s fate intertwines with the second prince of Clarines as she becomes a Court Herbalist in the palace. Shirayuki and Zen continue their relationship despite pursuing different paths in their career and having differences in social statuses. 

Who wouldn’t love a strong woman that didn’t let her relationship with a prince get in the way of pursuing a profession of her own? Their relationship did come down with challengers as Shirayuki’s profession consistently has her sent in different places, causing her to always be away from Zen for months and perhaps even years because of the load of their respective works. Still, Shirayuki manages to fulfill her role as the country of Wistalia’s representative Royal Pharmacist and Botanist. With immense support and respect toward each other’s line of work, everyone’s looking forward to where Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship would proceed once they reach the peak of their careers. Strength is pursuing a career you know you’d commit yourself to against all odds thrown your way. 


8. The Saga of Tanya the Evil

Looks can be deceiving, especially if your previous life is a salaryman murdered in cold blood. At first glance, Tanya von Degurechaff is an adorable, 9-year-old little girl who is yet to be aware of the world’s harshness. Or so they thought. Deep inside, she is hot-tempered, amoral, power-hungry, and worse, even labeled as evil by the enemy soldier because of her ruthlessness in the battlefield that left most of them either just dead or dead and decapitated. On the other hand, these were valuable assets that the empire held importance for Tanya wasn’t all brutal and blood, but was also tactful and strategy efficient when it came to winning the war. 

Tanya was loyal to her job and wanted things done once started. All of these are a far cry on how a 9-year-old should act, but Tanya continued to live the life she was given when she bargained her death with Being-X, a god-like entity whom she enraged in a previous life, but used her as an experiment in the current world she’s living in. 

Feared by many, Tanya wasn’t anything but a child. She was a soldier who always gets her hands bloody, and if we’d talk about her physical strength, she’d damn well be in the first spot of the strongest female leads out there. She’s uncanny and didn’t easily let emotions get in decision-making. The downside is, Tanya would often rely on other people’s opinions regarding empathy. With that, Tanya made it possible to be crowned as a badass antagonist, and as the evilest protagonist out there with her lack of hesitation and dedication to her job. But—spoilers ahead!—if you’d read on the manga and light novel, Tanya wasn’t really “evil” as the show’s title had depicted her out to be. You’d get the gist when you get your hands on one of the books in this series! 


9. Oresama Teacher

Ex-delinquent Mafuyu Kurosaki is close to being an airhead with formidable skills in fighting and a strong sense of justice. With her family threatening to disown her, Mafuyu begins a new life as a proper citizen and student at Midorigaoka Academy while dreaming of becoming an ordinary feminine girl and experiencing all the things girls of her age should encounter in their teens. Despite this, trouble never seemed to leave her as there are still numerous situations that force her to fight and become the old self she wanted to get through. Oresama Teacher is a comedic series filled with great action and a sequence of misunderstandings that would get you down on your knees from endless laughter.

Mafuyu is probably the funniest among the group because the more she tries to hide her strength and skills in fighting, the more fate insists her on using it. But despite all the bloody and brutal fights in her previous city, Mafuyu only ever dreams of one thing: to become the most feminine of all that is feminine! She has shown that being feminine wasn’t all pink and frills, but they’re also about her strength and the sense of awareness of what women want and knowing what’s best for them. 


10. My Fair Honey Boy

Captain of the Kendo Club, Mei Sengoku, is admired by her peers because of her altruistic personality. One day, Shirou Fuji, a guy well-known for his girly attributes, asks her out. She quickly rejected him, but Fuji wouldn’t just back down easily. 

You know how the old saying goes: polar opposites attract one another because you fill-in each other’s gaps when needed. It’s an odd pair to behold, but Mei seemed to be the perfect prince charming among the two, while Fuji is the damsel in distress that wants to be saved. Therefore, we conclude these two are a perfect match! Well, that is, if Mei agrees on going out with Fuji. You’d find out if you get a copy of the manga now!


11. Chihayafuru

Chihaya Arase didn’t know what she wanted for herself except the fact of looking forward to a day when her sister succeeds as a model. Little did Chihaya know that reconciling her two childhood friends, Wataya and Taichi, would lead her to karuta, a sport she’d be passionate about as she traversed into the world of self-discovery.

Entering the world of sports, you might just end-up like Chihaya at first: someone who didn’t know a single thing of what to do with her life. Stuck in supporting other people’s dreams, of course, Chihaya hadn’t expected she had all the skills needed to be a champion in karuta: agility, endurance, and an excellent memory. She wouldn’t have known this path when she didn’t try the sport herself. You might want to start standing and trying out new things! Maybe one of your hobbies won’t remain as a mere pastime in the near future.


12. Kono Oto Tomare!

Satowa Hozuki is a koto prodigy who had joined Tokise High School Koto Club alongside four other students, including the rumored delinquent student at school, Chika Kudo. In the beginning, she thought Chika wasn’t serious about koto and deemed him unfit to be a member of the club. With her quiet and rigid personality, Satowa had barely made any friends of her own. Furthermore, her and Chika were cat and mouse that kept fighting the second they saw each other. But after knowing more of Chika’s background story, they eventually got closer, which led to Satowa developing feelings for him. Chika, in turn, returns her feelings and sees her as someone he admired and respected in the field of koto. Along with the rest of their friends and club members, the two of them make their way to the nationals. 

Don’t we love a story that goes from hate to love all in the name of koto? Besides the sounds of music that encompass each other’s feelings, Satowa’s continuous words of encouragement for Chika had pulled at the strings of strength from within him. This encouraged him to be a better person than he was yesterday. Strength isn’t only about the courage to confess what you don’t want to be heard. Strength is also a word that needs to be said to uplift other people.


13. Dengeki Daisy

After her brother’s death, Teru was left all by herself, except for a person named “Daisy,” whom she can only contact via a phone her brother left behind. 

Besides the shrouded mystery about Daisy’s identity, the characters depicted in Dengeki Daisy are not melodramatic and damsels in distress who needed all the saving. In other words, they are relatable in everyday life. 

Teru was praise-worthy of her independency and sound decisions that most of us would’ve nodded our heads in agreement. Though we’re all sure that Daisy’s brother was worried for her well-being that he’d left Teru a guardian upon his passing, Teru proved she could take care of herself either way. Through this, we are reminded that strength is also portrayed in independence.


14. Arte

Born as an aristocrat in the renaissance era, Arte decides to fulfill her dream of becoming an artist, a profession that was only exclusive to the male gender at that time. Dismissing her mother’s wishes for her to get married, Arte begins to look for a master she can train to hone her skills in painting. Life in outside the comfort of her home was hard as she begins to experience intense discrimination as a woman and with noble blood, but her dreams materialized when a cold and strict man called Leo accepts her as his apprentice.

Gender discrimination, until now, is a relevant topic among the crowd. But Arte rose from it all as she became a standout in fulfilling her dreams of becoming an artist despite the repercussions in the era she was in. By standing up for what you believe and not letting your gender be the basis of your capabilities and skills as a person, Arte has gone beyond and above to raise her flag. Strong is not limited to one gender. Strong is also a woman who didn’t let the stereotype define who they wanted to be and what purpose they aimed to fulfill in a world run by inequality and power-hungry men. 


15. Fruit’s Basket

Since her mother’s death, Tohru had been living in a tent in the middle of the mountain, with no place to go back to. But then she encounters classmate Yuki Sohma that had led her to meet other members of the Sohma family and learn of the curse that befalls them: once touched by the opposite sex, they turn into animals of the zodiac sign. But one animal wasn’t kicked out of the zodiac, but also happens to be Tohru’s favorite; Kyo Sohma, who is the cursed cat among the group. 

Fruits Basket, at first glance, is your average reverse harem manga. Reading it, in the beginning, seemed like your ordinary shoujo that had a lot of hot guys to choose from (seriously, the Sohma Family is packed with sad boys and red-flagged men). As you get immersed further into the series, it only proves wrong of your prior conception as you unravel the gut-clenching, tear-jerking past of each cursed Sohma Family member. But among the number of men featured in the series, Tohru, the main heroine, is most exceptionally strong among them. 

Becoming an orphan at a very young age, Tohru has strived to have a positive outlook in life no matter what storm ruins the place she considers her home. This was seen throughout the series, and even toward the end when the head of the Sohma Family—spoilers—assaulted her in Yuki Sohma’s residence. Here, we witnessed that strength is also about forgiving the people who did you wrong, whether they had asked of it or not. Being assertive also means you can live the downfalls of life, a smile still prominent on your face just like what Tohru upholds. Tohru had done all of this till the end of the series. She remained a positive character that didn’t let life’s challenges get to the best of her.


You may also be interested in:


More on this topic:

Indeed, pen is mightier than a sword for I can use it to unravel truths.
Gamer Since: 2010
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Genshin Impact
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Sims 4, The Sims 3: Dragon Valley, The Sims 4: Get Together

More Top Stories