Why Jujutsu Kaisen Has The Best Female Characters in Shounen Anime – Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing Why Jujutsu Kaisen Has The Best Female Characters in Shounen Anime. I remember watching FMA at 10 years old and seeing Olivier and thinking “my pee-pee feels funny”. Then months later watching Naruto and seeing Sakura and thinking “you know what I might not be into women”.
Because even though “shonen” means young boy, and that’s the demographic shonen anime and manga appeal to, a strong female cast is still extremely important. And though exceptions such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Chainsaw Man, and Gintama exist – unfortunately, the majority of shonen have excruciatingly cringey female casts, existing only as either romantic interests or fanservice.
However, after catching up to Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen I can confidently say it has one of the best – and my personal favorite – cast of female characters in anime and manga period. First off, there are just a lot of women in Jujustu Kaisen. I loved HxH but if you asked me to name 5 female characters in the series? I mean, I could probably do it but it’d take me a few seconds.
And I’m not sayin “uhhh there aren’t enough women on the karasuno boys volleyball team”, but in a lot of shonen, the world population seems to be like 70% male. But in Jujustu Kaisen, there’s an extremely diverse and large cast of female characters. Yet what stands out, is how well developed this cast is. Many anime have numerous female characters but their roles are pretty obvious.
That’s another thing that sets jujutsu Kaisen apart, there’s virtually no romance or fan service to be found. Naruto was … okay but I couldn’t really see Sakura or Hinata as anything more than romantic interests for the main protagonists and an excuse to make a next-gen spinoff.
The fact jujutsu Kaisen doesn’t emphasize or pursue romance or fanservice really helps the story focus on what it wants to express, and the female characters feel so much more authentic and purposeful. But again, what further distinguishes Jujustu Kaisen from its peers, is how well developed the female cast is. There are some badass women in this series. However, they are also extraordinarily well written.
And I’d like to discuss about a few of them. First up – Nobara. Nobara is so cool. In her fight with Momo during the Goodwill Event Arc, Momo was talking about how difficult it was to become a female jujustu sorcerer due to the double standards and expectation of perfection for them – by the way, props for a shonen acknowledging gender discrimination in their universe.
But Nobara said I like me when I’m strong and pretty and beat the living shit out of Momo. She has one of the strongest personalities in the series, a well-developed and relevant backstory, doesn’t take shit from anyone, and is just badass to the bone. Next up, Maki. Maki is both the best-written character and has the best backstory in Jujustu Kaisen.
Not only does she face gender discrimination from the Zenin family, Maki has no cursed energy so even though she’s strong, her family’s place in the jujutsu world’s political hierarchy ensures she makes 0 progress as a sorcerer.
Despite all of this, and being the lowest-ranked sorcerer in the series thus far, among all of the Tokyo Jujutsu High students, Maki has the greatest ambition of sitting at the top of the family that has looked down on her since birth. And recent developments in the manga have solidified Maki as my favorite female character in all of Anime and Manga.
If you’ve read the manga you know exactly what I’m talking about. She’s absurdly powerful, cold, calculated, and ambitious to the point there’s really nothing to dislike about her. Some other female characters that deserve a mention are Mei Mei who is so fine and literally has a chokehold on the jujutsu world’s wallet with her strength alone.
Usually, when anime does the incest shit I’m like blech. But Mei Mei’s little brother’s obsession? I get it. Tsukumo is one of the 3 remaining special grade sorcerers and though she hasn’t gotten much screentime, I know when she does, she’ll be topping many readers’ favorite character lists. Utahime and Shoko are also both pretty cool and serve important roles in the story.
And lastly, Rika is… Yeah. Listen, when I was in the theaters watching endgame for the first time, and they did the whole female avengers scene I almost pissed myself from cringing so hard. In the medium of entertainment as a whole, it’s hard to create a strong badass female cast without it feeling like out of place pandering for PR.
But the feeling I get from Akutami’s writing is that they just write really good characters, some of which happen to be girls. And as a reader, I really appreciate how authentic all of the characters feel, without diving into any of the tropes we’ve seen in shonen for decades.
Akutami continues to push the envelope with their writing, and I believe modern series like Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and Attack on Titan are among many new gens that are the beginning of a transition out of the dated and cringy female archetypes that have plagued shonen for so long.
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