Japanese Style – Dangerous Manga Female Characters

There are dozens of super dangerous Manga characters. And many of them are female. Not exactly the traditional story arc. It’s empowering, when you think about it. The narrative template, if you will,  is to consider women weak and in need of care by default. 

Obviously, the attitude that women can’t be just as dangerous as men (or even more so) is just ridiculous.

In Manga, it’s just as likely that a girl is a ruthless killer or a worthy hero. Characters are complex, have depth, and want to break out of the prison bars of the convention. That’s what makes Manga protagonists so interesting; here are my favorite dangerous leading ladies.

Hibana Daida (Deadman Wonderland) 

If there’s a Manga character that personifies the adage of not judging a book by its cover, Hibana Daida is most definitely in the running. She looks cute, innocent even. Look at the depths of her core, however, and you’ll find a merciless assassin.

The character’s arc is a tragic one and explores the concept of how a difficult upbringing can cause irretrievable changes. By the time most kids are still in the playground, Hibana Daida had a long list of victims: several classmates, prisoners from Deadman Wonderland, and, perhaps the most tragic of all, her mother. 

As with most ‘evil’ characters, Daida considers her acts of violence as righteous. In a Dexter-like justification, she believes she is merely punishing those who have done her harm. Let’s just say I would never want to cross her, considering the standard method of payback is a slice by whip-sword. Ouch. 

Midari Ikishima (Kakegurui Midari)

Midari started off as a supporting character in Kakegurui, but fans were so keen on her that she was given a spinoff series of her own. She’s a masochist, often suicidal, and she loses her eye in a shocking twist, stabbing her own eye with, get this, an ink pen. All to pay back a debt the president…

She has qualities that many readers will recognize. She’s impulsive, very persistent, and overbearing, has little control when it comes to her actions, and is seen as a very weird girl to her fellow students. Despite all of her unpredictability, she is highly intelligent. She is the one to believe that studying a lot does not make someone a “genius”, as noted at kakegurui.fandom.com.

Perhaps one of her most interesting traits is that she likes gambling. A lot. With Yumeko Jabami, she often plays a sadistic dice or roulette version of the game of life or death.

She’s a notorious high roller, seeking the thrill of upping the stakes. She’s the quintessential outcast, so to speak.

The rest of the characters are high on gambling as well, but Midari is a unique one in her passion. Some of the games they play are – The Election,  where they gamble with the seat as a prize; Choice Poker, a basic poker game you can play anywhere that follows the rules of 5 cards as explained at vegasslots.co.uk; or Finger Cutting Guillotine (yikes!) where the player who first removes the finger is deemed as a loser.

Sugar (One Piece)

She’s little, she’s super cute, she’s harmless, right? Sure, go ahead and think that (at your own peril). Sugar is actually an incredibly powerful character, with her devil fruit being able to turn the unfortunate person touched by her into a harmless toy.

Perhaps even more chilling, anyone that is a victim of Sugar’s devil fruit will also be completely wiped from history. They’ll be completely forgotten, something that for many is scarier than death itself.

This power was crucial for Doflamingo, as it allowed dominance over Dressrosa for many years. Rivals were simply plucked out of the memories of citizens, essentially paving the way for them to take over control. With politics going the way they are in the real world, maybe Sugar is actually a real person?

Suzumiya Haruhi (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi)

Okay, this one may be a personal favorite. She’s a regular high school student (notice the Manga trend?), and interested in the supernatural, time travel, aliens, all sorts of oddities that make her, well, the odd one out at school.

Together with Kyon, she forms the SOS Brigade. The aim? To find all of that odd stuff they’re both interested in. Their eccentricities take them on cool adventures, unexpected twists, and deep friendships.

What I really like about the storyline is that Haruhi has no clue that she’s essentially an all-powerful god. The members of the SOS Brigade have a secret mission statement: prevent her from getting angry, Hulk style, or it may have dire consequences for the entire universe.

Mariko Kurama (Elfen Lied)

Another character where her tragic back story explains some of her sadistic behavior. She’s been through years of captivity, unimaginable trauma, and loss that has driven her to become one of the most dangerous beings on the planet.

What I like about what the creators have done is that they’ve bundled many qualities that people often see as signs of weakness: she’s a little girl, she’s confined to a wheelchair, she has a melancholy air about her. But she’s strong, determined, and can kick some serious you know what.

And That’s Just the Tip…

…of the proverbial iceberg. There are dozens of powerful female characters in the Manga world. And that’s one of the things I love about these stories: girls with extreme powers aren’t unique, they’re not a million to one, and they don’t achieve a ‘token’ goal.

Powerful female characters are just part and parcel of things. Just like in real life. And sometimes people need a little reminding of that.

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