My Top 10 Joshikousei
There is a certain allure about Japanese schoolgirls.
It could be the distinctive seifuku that they wear – accessorized according to season, stylized by individual school – that brings to mind the carefree, irresponsible days of youth.
It could be their maturity despite their age, or lack thereof; that inspires a desire to protect, comfort and guide them as they grow from young impressionable girls into confident young women.
It could simply be a matter of hype: no other country’s schoolgirls occupy such a niche in their country’s collective psyche, and thus are foreigners bewildered yet fascinated by them.
But there is no doubt that certain joshikousei have found a place in the hearts of many.
10: Takahashi Nanami, Bokura Ga Ita
Nanami is not particularly bright, not pretty, nor athletic. If it wasn’t for the purposes of plot, she’d fit in all too well as Female Student B or Girl in Shopping Mall. About the only notable trait she possesses is that of stubborn determination.
But she will always have a place in my heart because of the girl who introduced her to me. Not only did Nanami’s story mirror my real life relationship, but it also made me realize how much I wanted a girl who also needed me, but did not fall apart in my absence.
9: Izumi Konata, Lucky Star
Lucky Star had little in the way of a coherent storyline. But the reason why I prefer Konata over Kagami is because Konata was the driving force throughout most of it.
Smart, lazy, possessed with an all too-encyclopedic knowledge of pop-culture and gifted with no sense of shame, Konata’s character is likely to remain unique for a long, long time.
8: Fujibayashi Kyou, CLANNAD
Personally, I felt Kyou should have been the winner in CLANNAD. Another World, Kyou Chapter helped soothe my discontent, but was ultimately a teaser for what I felt could have been drawn out into a 1-cour of its own.
How many tsundere girls do you know who use dictionaries as projectiles and have pet boars?
7: Kajiki Yumi, Saki
Yumi and Kyou are actually very similar in character. They even have the same hair colour. But where Kyou is feisty, Yumi is mature and composed – yet is willing to face embarrassment when it matters.
Then there’s the fact that in-story, she managed to hold her own against two characters who are acknowledged to have probability bending capabilities. And that she becomes impossibly cute and flustered whenever Momoko voices her affection for her.
6: Daidouji Tomoyo, Cardcaptor Sakura
I confess – I’ve probably watched only a third, maybe a seventh, as much anime as my fellow Himyo writers.
But I’ve never come across a girl as pure and self-sacrificing as Tomoyo. All she wants is for her beloved Sakura to be happy. But that doesn’t mean she’s not considerate towards everyone else.
One poignant example: she comforts Meiling when Li picks Sakura over her. Tomoyo is not only sweet and demure, but also mature beyond her years. (She’s technically a Shougakusei, but that just makes her more awesome.)
5: Aisaka Taiga, Toradora!
And on the other end of the spectrum, we have Taiga.
Haughty and immature and irritable to boot. There’s only so much heat her limited stature warrants – but a lot of it is just her personal defense mechanisms at play
When those barriers go down, her harshness melts away, to be replaced with a cute bashfulness that is only enhanced by her childish tendencies.
4: Nagato Yuki, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu
If I had to choose between Yuuutsu!Yuki and Shoushitsu!Yuki, I’d pick Yuuutsu!Yuki.
There’s something about Yuuutsu!Yuki: she’s assertive and nearly always in control, but is practically helpless when it comes to standard social interaction. It’s not that I don’t find quiet megane library girls cute. I do.
I just find awkward near-omnipotent alien girls cuter.
3: Kousaka Kirino, Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Kirino is probably even more caustic than Taiga – less appreciative, more conceited. So why is it I rate her higher than Taiga, and more importantly, why do I prefer her over Kuroneko?
a) Kirino can function perfectly well in a social setting.
b) Kirino never lets anything get in the way of what she wants – she’s selfish, but determined to the point of being unstoppable
c) When everything works, Kirino can be very, very cute.
It’s just a shame her anime version was adapted so poorly.
2: Nakano Azusa, K-On!
I deliberated for an extremely long time for this one. Mio took my heart in the beginning, but it is Azusa who comes to mind now whenever I think of K-On! Obviously, Azusa won out in the end.
Because while Mio’s character seems calculated to achieve cuteness: the shimapan, the bashfulness, the surprisingly strong singing voice, the irrational and unrealistic fear of barnacles…
Azusa is simply cuteness made manifest.
1: Tsukahara Hibiki, Amagami SS
was am still upset that Hibiki didn’t get an OVA of her own. She’s smart, modest, willing to let her hair down, responsibile. She’s prudent, but never comes across as stale/by-the-book as K-On!’s Nodoka.
When it comes down to it, Hibiki is the type of girl I’d want to marry.
And she’s the only schoolgirl (not considering the rest of the Amagami SS cast, especially Morishima Haruka) whom I’d consider sexy.
Potential New Favourite: Kawashima Minami, Moshidora
It’s still unaired, but I have a feeling I’m going to like Minami. Any girl who can somehow adapt a tome on business management to managing a baseball team is one to remember in my book.
I decided to take only one girl from each anime so as to bring this list down to a manageable size. No one wants a list of mostly K-On! and Amagami SS girls, after all. I’m certainly not going to increase the list to 25 or more – I’ve been searching through many imageboards for pictures – these 10 already took far longer than I anticipated.
As it is, my ranking is not only based on the character – but also my overall impression of the girls in each anime i.e. I prefer Haruhi over Rihoko, sure, but Ai, Sae, Kaoru, Ayatsuji and Haruka more than make up for that.