By: Kat Wyatt
Hello, it’s me the intern again. K said “I’m extremely busy, and kind of suffering from writers block at the worst time. Please, work you’re magic and stir up some click-bait gimmick to draw people in. You know what, I heard tier lists are a good way to drum up engagement because no matter how much you express this is your opinion and that you respect theirs…some asshole will always correct you on it. For some reason, when a corporate think-tank web site or million subscribe YouTuber makes this simple and manipulative content it’s fun but when some cynical jerk does it with a semblance of self-awareness then it’s just as bad maybe even worse. Best not to mention anything about this conversation….have fun, bye.”
I might have paraphrased a little, but I think the important thing about that was to not care about the comments and have fun! Well I’ve read enough posts around here to know that every anime review highlights the best girl character. It’s not as shallow as you think, as K factors in traits of Character design, function in the narrative, humor and emotional appeal, but most importantly just the overall enjoyment brought by their presence or interactions in their respective shows.
KyoAni makes some great series with plenty of characters to admire. This was no easy task, I assembled the 45 potential best girls from all the KyoAni series I’ve seen which includes:
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Clannad & Clannad After Story
- Beyond the Boundary
- Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions
- Sound Euphonium (Season 1)
- A Silent Voice
Without further ado, let’s get to it:
F Tier: Nobody Belongs in F-Tier
I’m too nice, I don’t know I feel like F-Tier is for characters that you absolutely despise or roll your eyes every time they’re on screen and I didn’t really have that with any of the KyoAni girls. Most of their series are well written so even if I don’t vibe or get the appeal that much I don’t think they’re absolutely horrid. I also deliberately chose pictures that really capture the personality and expressiveness of these characters… I couldn’t look into any of those faces and go yeah, you’re garbage in the trash you go.
E Tier: Missing in Action
Ryou Fujibayashi/Clannad: The greatest tragedy in Clannad is that Ryou is so underutilized and forgotten. Ryou was my day 1 favorite but she hardly does anything. I’m glad she just eventually moves on but she kind of comes across as a plot device to amplify the drama of Kyou’s story then be her own thing…why did they have to do this sweet, innocent girl so dirty.
Ryouko Asakura/Haruhi Suzumiya: I don’t want to spoil much about Asakura but I liked her role in both The Disappearance movie, and in Haruhi-Chan comedy shorts. I would be interested to see what she’s like in Yuki Nagato but the fact that she’s not reoccurring in the series and only serves a purpose in a couple episodes makes her not too high on the list.
Misae Sagara/Clannad: I liked her I want to date my cat backstory, it was cute and charming but she kind of came across as a selfish jerk at times and her role as the dorm attendant is more serviceable then memorable.
Sanae Furukawa/Clannad: Sanae is the ultimate anime mom. If this was an anime mom’s list S+ Tier no questions asked. Sanae is mostly 2 running gags and some emotional poignant dialogue but that doesn’t make her that exceptional of a character in this bunch.
Sakura Inami/Beyond the Boundary: Sakura is a bad-ass, her story-line is a little muddy but her redemption in the movie was charming. Still I completely forgot she existed until I looked up the characters so can’t put you higher, nope. sorry.
Nodoka Manabe/K-On!: I don’t dislike Nodoka she seems like a kind and chill person but compared to the rest of the cast, is she really anyone’s favorite? Plus it was kind of weird to see this girl with the demeanor of a 40 year old librarian being friends with the class 5 year old. Plus if you want a good foil to Yui… there’s a better one.
Izumi Nase/Beyond the Boundary: Bad-ass but not memorable enough. I want to have her higher because of her wicked fight scenes but her involvement in the more convoluted aspects of the plot doesn’t make me think of fun or great writing like these other characters.
Natsuki Nakagawa/Sound Euphonium: Chill energy, and good vibes. I kind of respect her philosophy with the whole audition thing and it was nice to have a character serve as demonstrating consequences while establishing somewhat of a connection before and after. Maybe will like more in season 2 but as of now…meh she’s alright.
Jun Suzuki/K-On: Jun’s cool, not all that interesting on her own but not awful or obnoxious. If K-On! did a spin-off with the younger bunch it wouldn’t be the same but I think it’s still watchable so Jun could became a more actualized character but the role’s too small for this list.
Yukine Miyazawa/Clannad: I gave her a gold border because she’s got a heart of gold, but her gang warfare arc was the most ridiculous part of Clannad: After Story and as we already been over a lady who hooks up with her cat.
Miyoko Sahara/A Silent Voice: I REALLY LIKE THE ROLLER COASTER SCENE, I REALLY LIKE THE ROLLER COASTER SCENE, I REALLY LIKE THE ROLLER COASTER SCENE but, I think Miyoko could have been entirely written out of A Silent Voice and she is the least important person in that masterclass of characters so…
D Tier I Like You But…
Mikuru Asahina/Haruhi Suzumiya: Ah shit, I’m going to make Mikuru cry. Kind of drowned out by the cult of personality surrounding her. Cute and wholesome but her time travel seems the least impactful compared to what the rest of the bunch brings to the table and she seems to be around to be the moe stereotype and to be bullied which makes me uncomfortable…almost as uncomfortable as explaining my A-tier is going to be…
Kotomi Ichinose/ Clannad: I find her arc very touching in a vacuum but it is kind of a jarring jump the shark moment and a lot of yard work. I like how anti-humorous she is but at the same time if you told me she eats glue I would believe it no questions asked.
Nagisa Furukawa/Clannad: Vanilla Ice cream
Kumiko Oumae/Sound Euphonium: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Satone Schichimiya/Chunibyou: This one hurts because I do like Schichimiya but definitely not as much as the rest of the Chunibyou cast. She adds an interesting perspective to the cast but watching her is painful because 1) Yuuta becomes so painfully ignorant of the situation that he kind of comes across as uncaring and 2) that laugh would be fine if it wasn’t after every two sentences. She fluctuates between being a solid C tier, to being an F-Tier so I’ll feel comfortable splitting the difference. Not bad for Chunibyou’s Poochie.
Miki Kawai/ A Silent Voice: She’s very pretty, and I like her role as sort of the shameful bystander. She’s hard to read at times and kind comes across as self-serving which is the point but I don’t know if she deserves to be lumped in with the class of bullies. Not as memorable or significant but I do like her.
Tsuruya/Haruhi Suzumiya: Have you not seen Haruhi-chan she’s honestly really funny. her weird tooth and extrovertedness did make her kind of fun and memorable. I can’t go any higher but for a comic relief side character she stayed her welcome.
Asuka Tananka/Sound Euphonium: I kind of liked her, didn’t do much for me. She was just kind of the mentor character who laid low during a lot of the drama. Cool.
C Tier Pretty Good
Rikka Takanashi/Chunibyou: Cute and the eye-patch does make her stand out. Romance Protagonists often fall under the same story beats and often get overshadowed by their supporting cast, that’s kind of the case here. I felt I never cared about here as much as I should, but still has enough development to be a noteworthy character.
Naoka Ueno/ A Silent Voice: I like Naoka, she stops A Silent Voice from becoming an after school special and does add some conflicting ideals into the film. However, she takes it WAY TOO FAR on more than several occasions. Naoka is the unwanted but needed part of A Silent Voice, C-Tier seems appropriate considering I think of a certain C-word when I want to describe her.
Reina Kousaka/ Sound Euphonium: I definitely see what Kumiko and all those lesbian shippers see, confidence and purple eyes is a deadly combo. Sometimes Reina is a little…much. She’s kind of Seto Kaiba of the marching band…some of us just need a hobby can you chill a bit. Still the mystery of what’s going on in her head is alluring and I respect her talents.
Yuzuru Nishimiya/ A Silent Voice: Someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves and is a very caring individual, everyone should be more like Yuzuru.
Yuuko Yoshikawa/ Sound Euphonim: Hey it’s the bow girl, honestly I thought Euphonim was kind of dull so I’m glad someone stirred the pot a bit. She’s a great friend, omg she believes in her friend and is willing to go the distance for them and if she was like one of the main characters more people would agree that she’s more awesome then her placement on this tier. Kind of takes things a little too far, but her heart is in the right place and she emphasized how important seeing you and your friends succeed in band is important without having to shout it crying in the streets…
Ui Hirasawa/K-On!: Yes she do the cleaning, yes she do the cooking! Ui is too pure for this world and is mostly sidelined but she’s a great comedic foil to Yui. Plus she’s responsible for U & I and it was nice to see the band write a meaningful song for once.
Toka Takanashi/Chunibyou: Toka’s just really cool. I think she’s a real solid choice for an adult figure for the Chunibyou gang. I think she comes across as too harsh on Rikka but she has some good moments of besting our gang of misfits.
Sapphire Kawashima/Sound Euphonium: Stop messing up your fingers! I think everyone in Euphonium tested me at least once with some kind of being melodramatic act or flaunting their personality to an extreme… except for Sapphire she’s just chill.
Hazuki Katou/Sound Euphonium: I really liked her, she has a funny personality and is great to show some of the music concepts organically. The I’m gonna try to date the guy who clearly has a thing for my best friend felt really stupid and I felt really bad that they’d write her doing something that stupid.
B Tier Very Cool
Yuki Nagato/Haruhi Suzumiya: Everything that’s cool happens in that show is all thanks to Yuki. I think one of the best comedically straight characters in anime. Who doesn’t sit through the endless 8 and The Disappearance film and garner some empathy for this alien robot.
Yui Hirasawa K-On!: Yui is kind of like Ed from Ed, Edd, and Eddy there’s something just perfectly dumb and light-hearted about this character. Yui is a little simple and one note but I think her unwavering good nature is enjoyable to watch. I think the appeal of K-On! is watching people enjoying the little joys of life and nobody represents that more than Yui.
Azusa Nakano/ K-On!: There’s something about late arrivals that makes it hard not to feel a degree of separation but Azusa has that as an important aspect of her character. I enjoy the themes of K-On!! and mostly from the perspective of Azusa. Growing up, drifting apart, learning to balance trying to mature and take time to smell the roses. Plus her dynamics with the rest of the group members also shows them at their best: Yui the goofball, Mio the level-headed one, Mugi the kind one, and Ritsu the nonchalant. Azusa might not be my favorite but her inclusion is arguably the most impactful.
Mio Akiyama/K-On!: I can’t separate the K-On! girls. Mio is the bashful bassist who will overcome her fears to support her friends. I think she’s the most normal of the Ho-Kago Tea Time band but it’s a degree of normalcy that prevents K-On! from going Lucky Star. I can’t seperate them, her vocals sound really good, and see serves a ton of fun looks (her Romeo, iconic). Her friendship with Ritsu makes them a formidable duo.
Mitsuki Nase/Beyond the Boundary: She’s so snarky and sassy…. I love it. Mitsuki is a more complex character that really doesn’t get a lot of focus on her arc but it is kind of interesting. She unfortunately kind of gets stuck in-between minor roles in 2 different conflicts instead of having her own thing to do but she’s cool and is a great comedic straight character without having to be an extreme like Yuki.
Ai Shindou/Beyond the Boundary: I just think she’s adorable.
Shinka Nibutani/ Chunibyou: Have to take off a couple points for impersonating Mori Summer. I was worried at first that they where going to ruin Nibutani by making her a basic bitch…instead she is without a doubt the most dimensional character in Chunibyou. Yeah, she can be irate but she’s also the most reasonable, very responsible, and genuinely caring. I like seeing her wrestle with her cringy past and accepting it as part of her friendships, being a voice of reason for Rikka and Yuuta, and being Dekomori’s rival. I thought that it was an interesting premise to add a reluctant normal person to the group but the way they navigate it was surprisingly well done.
Fuko Ibuki/Clannad: Maybe controversial but I think Fuko is a more than welcomed comedic relief character. She’s so great the have to keep bringing her back even if she really has no reason to be back. Her arc is a great introduction to the tone and elements of the series, it’s maybe the best paced and it was nice seeing a platonic friendship in a dating sim adaptation. Besides for the dad, Fuko is one of the most humorous elements in Clannad. Then I loved how they used her in After Story… that scene hurt. Overall, it’s was too innocent and I like it… get off my back about it.
Tomoyo Sakagami/Clannad: Tomoyo is a refreshing inclusion to the Clannad class but one that kind of suffers being a cool character with little to do. Her arc was the most forgettable, she’s abandoned in After Story, and her OVA was just confusing fan-service. Still I can’t deny that she’s a balanced character that provides both humorous and serious moments. Her arc was lame but she comes across as the most “real” of all the Clannad girls. I’m pretty sure most of them are aliens….have you seen Nagisa’s antennas.
A Tier The Rad Ones
Haruhi Suzumiya/Take a Guess: Haruhi is Haruhi. Be honest with yourself: you can’t stand Haruhi. She’s a huge pain in the ass. Everything she wants to do sucks. There’s no way you had any fun at all, is there? You can’t deny it, so don’t even try. So explain this: why’d I put her in A Tier? You could watch a normal show about a less obnoxious girl, why didn’t you? Don’t you think Haruhi, and all the weird things she made happen, were just a little bit fun? Spit it out!
Yeah! Of Course I do! Of course it was fun! And I loved every minute of it! Don’t go asking me stupid questions…that are so…OBVIOUS!!!! You’d have to be crazy to think it wasn’t fun! Only the biggest idiot in the world would say it wasn’t fun if they were asked! They’d be thirty times more dense than Haruhi! Aliens, time travelers, and ESPers man? One’s enough, but no, this shows got all three! And then there’s Haruhi, who’s got the craziest power of them all! She’s the catalyst of all this fun with an infectious personality that seizes the day. How could I not think she’s great!
Kyou Fujibayashi/Clannad: Who are you… I’m Ryou but cooler! And I actually get to participate in the plot. My arc happens concurrently and isn’t allotted just a couple episodes to happen, and I still got an OVA episode. And My 3 point game is on point!
Ritsu Tainaka/K-On!: The cute tomboy slacker of the band is one of my favorites. She’s got maybe the funniest dynamics between other members of the group. A lot of the plots revolve around Ritsu and I enjoy her tomfoolery. Ritsu tightropes the could be obnoxious line and never goes too overboard in dodging responsibility. Mio keeps her in check and she just comes across as a really cool person you’d want to hang out and follow in their day to day adventures.
Kumin Tsuyuri/Chunibyou: My thing is I don’t judge you just for having screen time, when you get it you gotta deliver. Sorry Sleepy Clannad girl, there’s a new sleepy sheriff in town. Kumin just constantly puts a smile on my face. Whether she’s defending the passions of her friends, trying her best to engage with them, or sleeping in the most random of places it’s funny. I feel it’s very natural humor, it doesn’t feel like we writing jokes for Kumin it’s just in here nature to go along with the group and take a nice nap as she pleases.
S Tier Protect at All Costs
Tsumugi Kotobuki/K-On!: The power evoked in that image speaks for itself. Mugi is the ultimate optimist, Mugi would be excited to self-quarantine during the Corona Virus because that’s a new life experience to enjoy. Too wholesome and pure and carefree that when K-On had Mugi-centric episodes I knew it would be a good time. Eyebrows on Fleek, everyday of the week.
Mirai Kuriyama/ Beyond the Boundary: Delicate but strong. The blood sword was honestly a very unique and memorable power/weapon. I think one of the characters that demonstrated the most growth and it was refreshing for KyoAni to demonstrate a hold on a more linear storytelling than slice of life. I think Mirai is a great character that represents overcoming trauma and finding what you believe in so you can fight for it with all your passion. Be who you are and surround yourself with those that don’t just make you glad to be yourself but a stronger version of you as well.
Shouko Nishimiya/A Silent Voice: No character has inspired me to want to be better and to see the best in people, and overcome all self-doubt and self-pity than Shouko. There’s so many layers to her story and just how subtle it comes through in the details. We’ll never exactly have a full communication with Shouko but everything you need to know is right their in front of you. Shouko represents the good in people, no matter what their circumstances are. With that I have a certain amount of moon in my heart for Shouko.
Sanae Dekamori/ Chunibyou: Just a one note idiot who doesn’t have a touch on reality…but she’s my idiot! Episode 11 of the first season is surprisingly the most emotional poignant scene. Dekamori has a lot more to her than what’s on the surface and here unabashed energy, confidence, and loyalty is admirable. She’s the lightning rod of the series that needs to support Rikka’s delusions, Nibutani’s embarrassment, and Yuuta’s moral center.
Please leave a comment on your thoughts and we’ll be sure to do absolutely nothing about it but if it helps allow you to think you’ve contributed to our content then by all means go for it!
Also for fun, I watch anime with my sister and I had her do the tier list and this is what she came up with… you can let me know who has better taste.
Now With Hyoka DLC
Eru Chitanda: I love Chitanda, she’s so curious and exhibits such enthusiasm. Sometimes her name is hard to remember and I just want to call her Hyoka but she’s great. Some of the episodes/mysteries of the show can be a little dry but Chitanda always brings a level of enthusiasm and joy to each and every one of them. A Tier, dare I even say top of A Tier.
Short Queen: I mean guys and gals it is short queen. She’s sassy and actually has so much inner character monologue she is very refreshing for a side character to get so much development and time to grow. Not my favorite of KyoAni personalities but it was pretty awesome. Probably a Mid B Tier.
Fuyumi Irisu: Get out of here with that one. What if we take Chitanda but make her a bitchy mean girl. Honestly she is kind of cool and she adds a nice element to the show but is really condensed to one section of the show. E Tier.