Almost all popular manga out there have male main characters, and if there happens to be a female one, she is oftentimes shown as weak or in need of being rescued. However, some great manga manage to avoid this trope. For example, Kumo desu Ga, Nani ka?, a super entertaining isekai, has a girl main character who is very resourceful and manages to survive in the foreign land she was suddenly teleported to. Let’s take a look at 5 more really good manga that star a strong female lead.
5) Mirai Nikki
By Esuno, Sakae
I decided to start this list with a classic. Yuno, one of the main characters of this manga, is most certainly a strong female lead, although maybe not in the way you’d expect (she’s completely insane).
Yuno is the definition of a Yandere. She will protect her beloved man from any threats, real or imaginary, and she is certainly able to do that well. She’s almost unbeatable in a fight and a strategic genius. If she wants something to happen a certain way, it will probably happen that way. So if you want to read a manga with a strong female character who also happens to be bonkers, Mirai Nikki is the one for you. The anime is also quite good, if you’d like to watch instead.
4) The Ancient Magus’ Bride
By Yamazaki, Kore
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a slice of life manga set in a world that seems to be a weird mix between fantasy and reality. The main character is a Japanese girl, but she was sold into slavery and bought by a famous, powerful non-human wizard, who takes her to live in England.
Throughout the manga, she’s put in some pretty awful situations, but she always faces them with a cool head. She’s also extremely quick to adapt to her new, ever-changing situation, which in my opinion makes her very strong, even if she has a frail body. Strength isn’t only physical, after all.
This manga doesn’t have that much action, so if you’re looking for a fighting manga with a strong female lead, this might not be what you want right now. However, I do think that this is a must-read if you’re a manga fan, so at least put this in your backlog. I promise it’s worth your time.
3) Murasakiiro no Qualia
By Ueo, Hisamitsu & Tsunashima, Shirou
The only word I can use to describe Murasakiiro no Qualia is strange. It’s a very strange manga. I honestly don’t know how to describe it so I recommend you just read it. It’s only 17 chapters long anyways so it can be read in a couple hours.
There’s a girl with purple eyes that sees the world in a slightly different way from normal people. She sees human beings as robots, and is unable to distinguish a robot from a human. Is she just crazy, or is she the only one that sees the truth?
The manga deeply explores this theme of perspective. At the start it seems like a fairly cheap yuri-baiting manga, but it very quickly transforms into much more and explores other topics such as humanity’s purpose in the universe, the implications of immortality, and more.
The strong female lead in this manga isn’t the purple-eyed girl, but her friend, the other main character. I can’t explain what makes her strong without spoiling the manga, but let’s just say that she goes to great lengths to protect her friends.
2) Medaka Box
By Nisio Isin & Akatsuki, Akira
Medaka Box is a no-brainer on this list, since it’s a manga meant to parody Mary Sue type characters. The main character, a high school girl called Medaka, is pretty much a perfect human. She’s simultaneously the smartest, the most beautiful, the most athletic, and basically every other superlative you can think of.
The creator of this manga is Nisio Isin, known for his Monogatari series. If you’ve seen Bakemonogatari, you already know that you’re in for a wild ride. Medaka Box changes genres every arc, going from a simple gag manga, to a battle shounen, to a meta commentary on manga as a medium, and more.
People either hate or love this title. But if you’re looking for a manga with a female main character that easily defeats everyone in her path, then this is the perfect one for you.
1) Hoshi no Samidare
By Mizukami, Satoshi
The whole planet is about to get smashed by a giant hammer floating in the sky. Samidare, the girl protagonist of this manga, is the only hope the human race has left. Her motivations are a bit worrisome, though. The reason why she wants to destroy the hammer is to be the one to blow the Earth away herself, with her own fist.
The plot of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is a mockery of the typical fantasy story. A princess and her 12 knights fight a series of enemies to save the world. The princess isn’t the only one with dubious motives. All the knights are wicked in their own ways, with their own selfish reasons to “save” the planet.
There isn’t necessarily a good and a bad guy in this story, which makes it much more interesting. Mizukami is a great artist and Hoshi no Samidare is one of my go-to recommendations for a relatively short manga to read. And Samidare is amazing as a strong female lead. She’s just a badass, honestly.