Best (Worst) Girls of Summer 2018

Best (Worst) Girls of Summer 2018

Introduction

For both the Winter and Spring 2018 anime seasons I had originally planned to write “top 5 best girls” lists consisting of the best, new female characters introduced each season, but I simply never got around to doing them. This is in part because I would schedule them to be at the end of the season when there was already a lot of other, more pressing content to write.

To remedy this and make sure I release a “best girls” post for the Summer 2018 season, I’ve decided to do it now, just over the halfway point of the season when new content to write about is lowest. However, because of this, I’m aware that a new “best” girl could be introduced later on in the season, but that’s simply a risk we’ll  have to take!

But if this is a “best girls” list, then why does the title say “worst?” Good question! You see, over the previous two seasons there were female characters who I actually considered to be “best girls,” but unfortunately this season has been extremely lacking.

This means that while these girls on this list are pretty decent, they’re nowhere near the true “best girl” category if you compared them to characters from other seasons. I mean, really, can any girl from this season compete with the likes of Shimarin from Laid-Back Camp?

One final note before I begin is that each anime of the season can only have one girl on this list. This may seem odd since then the choices may be skewed, but I think it’s a lot more exciting than having me pick the entire cast of just one anime.

5. Karen Kurutsu

Karen Kurutsu from the anime Island
Karen Kurutsu

In fifth place we have Karen Kurutsu from the anime Island. I’m not going to pretend like Island is a great anime, or that Karen is even a great character, but she does have one important trait which is the sole reason she made it onto this list, she’s a tsundere.

But not only is she a tsundere, she’s the most stereotypical trope tsundere there is. I mean, look at her, she even has blonde twin tails, the sign of a true tsundere. Now, I get it, a stereotypical tsundere isn’t all that special, but like I said, this season doesn’t really have much to offer.

Some fun facts about Karen are that she’s the daughter of the island’s mayor, and her dream is to leave the island. I know, those facts aren’t very fun, but I’m trying my best to make her seem like a character who isn’t just a cardboard cutout with “tsundere” written on the front.

Honestly, if you want a blonde, twin tailed tsundere character done right, just go watch one of my favorite anime, Saekano. Eriri Spencer is basically everything Karen should have been, but isn’t, and she’s not even the best character in that series either.

4. Riko Izumi

Riko Izumi from the anime Hanebado!
Riko Izumi

Fourth place belongs to Riko Izumi from the anime Hanebado! So, Riko doesn’t really have too much going on for her other than the fact that I enjoy her ponytail, but let’s look at a few of her other traits and pretend like they make her a good character anyway.

She’s kind of like the mom-friend who has to take care of all the other girls on her badminton team. While this is a bit of a trope, what I did like about her was that she doesn’t solely deal with the problems of her teammates. That’s right, she has problems of her own which she needs to work through which makes her a more realistic character.

Also, the fact that she’s not a main character means that she’s able to actually fail at things, which adds to her realism. Sure, protagonists can fail, but typically their failures are just used to further their character development so they can overcome some obstacle in the end.

The protagonists almost always win in the end, but that’s just not how real life works. Riko is a great example of a character who shows that failure is something everyone has to deal with at some point in their life, and that it’s possible to move on afterwards.

3. Haruka Oozora

Haruka Oozora from the anime Harukana Receive
Haruka Oozora

Speaking of protagonists, Haruka Oozora of Harukana Receive is the third girl on my list. Design-wise, she doesn’t really have anything too special going on other than that she was clearly designed as a moe character.

So if her design isn’t all that unique, what makes her so good? Her personality. However, despite her personality being her main selling point, even that isn’t all that unique.

She has an extremely outgoing personality, much like other female protagonists like Akko from Little Witch Academia or Honoka from Love Live! It’s simply the fact that she’s the only character I could think of who has this sort of personality that got her onto this list at all.

Finally, as a bonus, she does wear a swimsuit for most of the anime so I suppose you could argue that she should get extra points solely based on that.

2. Minori Nanahashi

Minori Nanahashi from the anime One Room Second Season
Minori Nanahashi

Minori Nanahashi is the second main character of this list, but is only the main character of her specific arc, not the entire One Room series. However, despite being a main character for only four episodes, she’s still better than Haruka.

Not only is she only the main character for four episodes, but she’s only a character at all for four episodes, and the episodes are only six minutes long. So if she has so little screen time, how can she be considered such a good character?

You see, what makes Minori so good is that she knows exactly what she wants, and she’s not afraid to go after it. She knows she wants to run her family’s bathhouse when she’s older, and she knows that she can’t do it alone, but that’s not going to stop her.

She also apparently likes us, the viewer and protagonist, and is seamlessly able to tie that into her dream of running the bathhouse in the future. She is, in a word, smooth.

Minori also has the second best character design of all the characters this season. Her design isn’t overly complex, but it’s still very aesthetically pleasing.

One last thing I need to mention before moving on to the #1 girl of the season is that the third and final girl of One Room Second Season has yet to be introduced to us, but I’ve seen her character design and she may be able to give Minori a run for her money.

1. Linnea

Linnea from the anime The Master of Ragnarok and Blesser of Einherjar
Linnea

Linnea, from The Master of Ragnarok and Blesser of Einherjar, comes in first place on the list. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this anime is bad, but it did bless us with one good thing, Linnea.

Now, there are definitely bad things about her character, but I’m going to pretend I don’t notice those and solely focus on the good things for the sake of this list. So what exactly does she have going for her that makes her a better girl than the previous girls?

For starters, she has pink hair. That’s right, there’s so little going on with the girls on this list that I’ve resorted to hair color in order to rank them. But seriously, if you’ve read a decent amount of my blog posts you may have realized that I have an affinity for pink-haired characters, the most notable being Sakura Haruno from Naruto.

Besides just the color of her hair, Linnea probably has my favorite character design of the season. Her overall color scheme of pink, green and gold, her pigtails, her giant bow on the front of her dress, everything about her design just appeals to me.

But Linnea isn’t just a well-designed character, she’s actually useful as well, being one of the few characters who appears to be highly educated. If Linnea were in a better anime, she could have some real potential as a true “best girl.”

Conclusion

I know what some of you are probably thinking, “how did none of the girls from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord make the list?” Well you see, as much as I’ve been enjoying that anime, none of the girls in it really feel all that special to me.

I get that some of them are good, but I really think that the issue is that they’re all about the same level of “pretty good,” with none of them being clearly above the rest. Because of this, even someone like Karen from Island can make the list above them simply because she clearly stands above the rest of the girls in her respective anime.

At this point I’d also like to mention that there was another girl who I thought was going to be on this list from the first moment I saw her, but unfortunately that didn’t come to pass. Nifa from Attack on Titan season 3 had the potential to be a real “best girl.”

Sadly, she only had about 30 seconds of screen time before she was killed off in the first episode. And no, that’s not a spoiler since she ended up being little more than a background character who was, surprisingly, named.

So who are your favorite female characters from the Summer 2018 season so far? Did any of your picks make my list? Let me know in the comments below this post, and if you found this content enjoyable, click the like button if you want to see more of it in the future.

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