<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy LaShaun. We play trivia together every Tuesday, and HOLY HELL this dude is good!! For reals, he knows a lot of random things, and is genuinely also a rad human being. I only have one more thing left to say … HIT IT LASHAUN!!! </editorsnote>
An entry from Geek’s Dream Girl, which is a blog that I semi-regularly read, actually inspired me to think about my own favorite top five favorite female warriors. Despite the fact that I love many empowered female characters, this was a tricky question for me because I kind of have my own definition for the word “warrior.” Personally, I consider a warrior to be a person that either bravely fights a lot or is a soldier of some sort. I mention this because some of my choices may seem a bit odd to some. Also, like I said before, I’m pretty familiar with A LOT of butt-kicking characters, so some just may not make the cut for me, or there may be some that I’ve forgotten.
Xena from Xena: Warrior Princess
Growing up as a kid of the 90s, it is simply not fathomable to have a list of great [fictional] female warriors and neglect to mention Xena. For those that remember Xena, I don’t need to explain. For those that don’t, along with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, it was one of the two series that helped to make Sam Raimi a big name in the mainstream world. Here’s how it went:
This is the story of a time long ago – a time of myth and legend. When the ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with destruction. Only one woman dared to challenge their power – Xena. Xena possessed a strength the world had never seen – a strength surpassed only by the power of her heart. She journeyed the earth, battling the minions of her evil archenemy, Ares, the all-powerful god of war. But wherever there was evil, wherever there was suffering, there would be Xena…
Okay, okay, so that’s actually a paraphrased version of the introduction to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, but they were more or less the same series – just with different main characters. Although Xena was but a mortal (though it was hinted that she may have been a demi-god), she could stand toe-to-toe with just about anybody in Ancient Greece, god, demigod, human or whatever. Another thing that made her interesting is that there were many subtle clues that her and her scribe sidekick, Gabrielle, were bisexual or gay, so a lot of young lesbians will often list Xena as a personal hero for themselves. Honestly, I’m personally not into the whole “girl-on-girl” thing. I say it’s interesting because this was the early-to-mid 90s and well before the time that homosexuals were portrayed well on mainstream tv.
Alice from Resident Evil (movie series)
I am a complete Milla Jovovich fanboy. Much like most of her other fans my age, I have been so since The Fifth Element. The interesting thing is now that I know who she is, I realize that I’ve also liked her back when she guest starred in some tv shows, such as Married…with Children and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. Another tough part about being her fanboy is that I honestly had a hard time trying to come up with which role of hers was better for my list. Although Leeloo was my favorite character, it didn’t quite fit my definition of a warrior as she only fights once in the movie. Also, Ultraviolet would have been a great choice, but Alice is the character that I feel she developed the most and has gone through the most changes in terms of her fighting style and prowess.
Mamiya from Hokuto no Ken/Fist of the North Star
Many younger readers who are not familiar with the legendary anime and manga series Hokuto no Ken may not understand my choice here. That’s simply because you haven’t seen Hokuto no Ken. Even though it’s over 25 years old, it is still known by all who have seen it to be the manliest [anime/manga] series ever created. In fact, (excepting maybe Bart,) ALL of the recurring characters of Hokuto no Ken are probably manlier than most current characters – and yes, that would include Lynn, a little girl who never actually fights anyone until Hokuto no Ken 2. So where does Mamiya come in? Hokuto no Ken takes place in a post-apocalyptic future plagued by anarchy where to guarantee survival, you MUST be so proficient in some sort of martial art that you’d appear to have super-powers. Enter Mamiya. Mamiya is the main security force of a village that Kenshiro (the protagonist), Rei, Lynn, and Bart visit about a quarter of the way through the story. Mamiya does NOT practice a martial art – however, she uses her physical (read: not sexual) prowess as well as spiked yo-yos and a crossbow to defend her village. In fact, she is the ONLY fighting [recurring] character in Hokuto no Ken that doesn’t use a martial art or has ungodly strength. Despite this, using all of these tools to her advantage, she manages to fend off just about everyone who stands in her way.
Alita/Gally from Battle Angel Alita/GUNNM
Battle Angel Alita is a classic manga/anime series that many anime fans are familiar with. However, unlike many of them, I only recently became acquainted with the world of GUNNM. For those that haven’t seen/read it – Alita is a cyborg. In fact, she’s an amnesiac butt-kicking cyborg. She practices a [fictional] German martial art called Panzer Kunst. Throughout the course of BAA, she becomes a bounty hunter and a player of the deadly sport, Motorball. Another interesting trait about Alita is that she seems to have the “Leeloo Effect” on people – that even though she deems herself a protector of the helpless, it makes many [in-story characters] want to protect her and they inevitably end up falling in love with her.
Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk from She-Hulk
This may come as a bit of a surprise to some people, but She-Hulk was actually my very first comic crush. To be honest, I’m a complete sucker for very [physically] strong female characters. When I first read The Fantastic Four (at the time, she was subbing in for The Thing), I was wondering who this green chick with the Hulk name was that was replacing Ben Grimm. And then I read the next issue…when she beat The Thing into the ground. LITERALLY. So now whenever I think of her, I’ll remember that quick fight when She-Hulk was able to take on The Thing and I’ll get the fuzzies.
I generally have a hard time keeping a favorites list to a small number such as 5 or 10. Because of that, I usually end up adding an “Honorable Mentions” portion to just about every list I make.
Aeon Flux from Aeon Flux (cartoon)
Aeon Flux was absolutely one of the coolest female characters ever created. She was sexy, cool, open-minded, and could infiltrate anything whether it was someone’s mind or a fortress. And by the way, when I say this about Aeon Flux, I’m referring to the cartoon character. The live action movie kind of dulled her character and made her moralistic. The cartoon version would have NEVER ended the movie that way.
Buffy Summers from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (tv show)
I don’t believe there needs to really be an explanation for Buffy. At the beginning of the series, she is a clueless teen girl who is trying to deal with her newly-discovered destiny as a vampire/demon slayer. She has to take on many responsibilities that are far beyond her comprehension as a high schooler. However, just 7 years later, she has become a fearless battle-hardened general of hundreds strong.
Ellen Ripley from Alien (movie series)
Ellen Ripley was one of the original quintessential female movie badasses. She faced down the alien scourge and destroyed it wherever it was. My only issue is that [IMO anyway,] it took her about 3 movies to get there. In the Alien, she was in panicked survival mode. In Aliens, she was more or less, a victim. However, there is absolutely no question that in Alien 3, she manned the f%$@ up and ate some aliens for breakfast.
Mindy MacCready/Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass
Many comic characters tend to get watered down in the transition from book to screen. Vixen & Wesley from Wanted and X-Men’s Cyclops are perfect examples of this. However, Hit-Girl is NOT one of these characters. Whether it was in comic or movie, Hit-Girl remained an absolutely badass female character. In fact, the only reason she didn’t make my list is because I didn’t remember about her until after I’d already decided who was on it.
Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day
…um…’nuff said. Sorry she didn’t make the list. If you’re wondering why there’s nothing more to say, you need to go watch Terminator 2: Judgment Day right now. No, really – RIGHT NOW. One more thing – like many fans of this movie series, I really wish that she’d lived to see the battlefield. I think she’dve easily been John’s best general or commander. She definitely needed to be in more battles.
Saya from Blood: The Last Vampire
I can’t believe I forgot about this gem! Blood: The Last Vampire was an anime movie that was first premiered around 10 years ago about [what appeared to be] a little girl who is planted in the US Naval Base in Okinawa to kill demons. She is absolutely brutal and doesn’t bat an eyes as she destroys the chiropterans that have infiltrated the base. This movie is also something of a prequel to the series Blood+. However, I was turned off from that series by the complete change in Saya’s character from the movie to the series.
Tsunade from Naruto
I LOVE me some Naruto. I also love me some Tsunade, as many of my friends know. Not only is she voluptuous and beautiful (yes, I know she’s old), but she can destroy stuff. She can break the ground by stomping and pick up gigantic skyscraper-sized swords without breaking a sweat. Sound familiar? (hint: look up on the list)
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