Often unsung characters in the world of anime, we share three of our top picks of girlfriends found in anime, with one honourable mention.
Anime has since become one of the most popular comic and animation genres in the world since finding its initial global acclaim back in the late 1990s with shows like Pokémon.
An anime series believed to have given rise to others including Naruto, One Piece and Bleach, which affirmed the genre as a standalone.
In light of the growth of the popularity of the genre, we have been able to appreciate its subgenres and compelling characters the ever-expanding anime world has provided.
But a character archetype that is often neglected are the characters that played girlfriend, which made an impact on the various shows. Therefore, we rectify this with sharing our three top picks of cute girlfriends in anime.
The rise of husbandos and waifus wars in anime
With the rise in the popularity of anime, fans have in the years compiled lists comparing and rating who are the best husbandos and waifus to have been featured in the most touted anime series.
Husbandos wars, as the term alludes to, is the ranking or comparison of the best husbands in anime. Therefore, waifus wars, relates to the ranking and comparison of the best wives featured in various anime series.
Besides this occurrence, there is an emphasis on comparing the best female or male characters. But there are rarely comparisons of girlfriends which stand out for various reasons in anime.
Anime: Top three cute girlfriends
One of the biggest reasons attributed to the lack of comparisons or ranking of the girlfriends considered cute and memorable in anime is based on the inception of the genre.
In anime, despite the subgenre of romantic and romcom anime series, the format usually did not display physical intimacy between characters.
Therefore, most romantic relationships were implied during the initial stages and subsequently skipped over the romanticism and just showed couples when they were engaged or married.
This practice is one which is also considered to have been used in terms of representing the LGBTQI+ community in the world of anime. However, before the global popularity of the genre, it was regarded to be homophobic and misogynstic in some respects.
With the growth and inclusivity of the genre, it also allowed for newer anime series to introduce suggestive LGBTQI+ characters.
As such, before sharing our list of cute heterosexual couples. First, our honourable mention is a cute girlfriend and girlfriend couple.
Adachi and Shimamura first premiered in 2020. The premise of the show is, “Adachi and Shimamura become friends, but soon new feelings blossom. They travel the sea of emotions as they learn each other’s feelings.”
Therefore, the first season of the series showcased the love story between the two develop. But it is not the innovation of the story which is the reason Adachi is considered one of our cutest girlfriends.
But it is the cuteness of Adachi meeting Shimamura and her initial bashfulness before coming to acknowledge her feelings, which is what makes Adachi one of the cutest anime girlfriends developed.
1. In/Spectre: Kotoko Iwanaga
Another anime series to have premiered in 2020, In/Spectre, is our top pick of an anime which features the cutest girlfriend.
Touted as a romantic anime series, the premise reads, “Meet the cute, smug, cane-wielding 17-year old Iwanaga Kotoko as she (very) aggressively tries to woo the older Sakuragawa Kurou and act as a mediator/problem-solver for the supernatural world.”
As the premise alludes, it is Iwanaga’s ability to see the “humanity” in Kurou and not label him a monster as his previous girlfriends have done, which is what makes her stand out.
2. Horimiya: Kyouko Hori
Premiering in 2021, Horimiya is premised on, “Two very different people – an academically successful schoolgirl and a quiet loser schoolboy – meet and develop a friendship.”
Kyouko Hori is the title protagonist with her love interest being the school’s “loser” Izumi Miyamura, who she falls in love with for his personality rather than the judgemental words which have defined his schooling career.
A fact which is emphasised when Kyouko eventually asks forgiveness for initially attempting to change him to strive for “better” instead of acknowledging Miyamura for who he was and his limitations or shortcomings.
3. Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy
The oldest anime on our list, Ah! My Goddess premiered in 2005.
The premise of the series is shared as, “When Keiichi Morisato accidentally calls heaven, the goddess Belldandy descends to grant him one wish. But when Keiichi wishes for a goddess like her to stay with him always, he gets more than he bargained for! Now Keiichi must survive Belldandy’s crazy sisters, jealous women, lecherous men, evil demons, and college life!”
Belldandy is touted for loving Keiichi for his honesty and authenticity, despite being a magical being. Moreover, it is how she has prioritised his safety and happiness above all else which makes Belldandy so compelling as a cute girlfriend.