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You Watch it for the Plot: 10 Bodacious Anime Babes

Japanese Animation's Most Desired Women

By Christopher WagonerPublished 7 years ago 6 min read

Japanese love it for the action-packed, crisp animation of Attack on Titan, for the deep, earnest emotion of Your Name, and for the heady science fiction themes of Ghost in the Shell.

But mostly, you love it for the scantily clad ladies who seem to pop up in even the most innocent of shows. It's called sābisu katto, the English translation for which is "fan service." The idea is the animators want to give the fans a little something extra to show their appreciation, and often this appreciation takes the form of an upskirt shot of a girl of questionable age.

Here are the top ten anime girls who helped put the genre on the western cultural map.

10. Lum, 'Urusei Yatsura'

We begin with one of the most iconic anime babes of all time, the tiger striped bikini clad Lum from Rumiko Takahashi's long running Urusei Yatsura series.

The princess of a warlike alien race who once invaded Earth and inspired the Japanese Oni legends, Lum has the ability to fly and produce electric shocks, but seems to have room for only one bikini on her starship.

Lum loses her top... a lot.

Of course, the animators couldn't resist adding a whole bevy of scantily clad ladies for more hijinks.

Lum and Friends

Though you might think an anime over thirty years old would be old hat, Lum remains a cosplay favorite and mainstay at comic cons and conventions around the world.

Sara Jean Underwood as Lum

9. Priss, 'Bubblegum Crisis'

She's a mech suit pilot! She's a rock star! And best of all, she doesn't seem to mind wearing skimpy clothing! It's Priss, the lead from early 90s cyberpunk melodrama Bubblegum Crisis. Her teammate owns a lingerie store, so let your imagination go to work on that one.

Paper Thin Battle Armor. Poor Engineering, or Brilliant?

As a member of the Iron Man-esque Knight Sabers, Priss is charged with protecting AD Tokyo from the threats of Boomers, the artificially intelligent robotic servants who seem to have a penchant for malfunctioning and killing lots of innocent people. And you thought your Cuisinart was dangerous!

Priss Removes Her Armor

One things's for certain; the sex appeal of Priss cannot be contained by even advanced titanium alloys!

7. Sailor Moon

If you're not familiar with Sailor Moon, it involves scantily clad schoolgirls with magic powers protecting the Earth from the evil Queen Beryl. When the time comes for action, the girls transform into their fighting gear during a fully nude mosaic sequence. And it's intended for young girls.

With themes mainly about love and believing in yourself, it's hard to fault the series itself for all of the fan art and cosplay shenanigans which have ensued.

Sailor Mars and Mercury

Sailor Moon Fan Art

Artist's page

So even though Sailor Moon was created to appeal to children, the main demographic these days seems to be... aimed somewhat older. Still, if you look at the series, it seems there were an awful lot of instances where the Sailor Scouts were put in positions Christian Grey would wholeheartedly approve of.

What's wrong with a little BDSM in a kid's cartoon?

Actual shot from the series

Or a Little More Bondage...

Actual shot from the series

Or Some Girl on Tentacle Action...

Another actual shot from the series

And Not Just Usagi...

Yup, from the series. Notice the shibari style elbows.

And some more... WTF?

Actual shot—no, this isn't from the kid's show. This is fan art. Notice the similarity in themes. All I'm saying.

Whether Sailor Moon conjures up pleasant childhood memories in front of the TV, or sweaty nights in your mother's basement, no one can deny its butt kicking heroines a place on this list.

6. Mai Shiranui, 'Fatal Fury'

Actual win pose in the game

Mai Shiranui, the girl ninja of SNK's Fatal Fury/King of the Fighters franchise, has never been one to shy away from showing skin, as her fighting gear will attest:

My, My, Mai...

Mai's special move involve throwing her fan at her opponent and producing flame from that little globe thingie on her costume. It's hard to imagine a ninja wearing such an impractical outfit, but maybe her male opponents are so distracted they don't fight to their fullest ability? Or maybe Japanese game designers just love drawing scantily clad women. Who can say?

We leave Mai with her famous win pose.

5. Fujiko, 'Lupin the Third'

Fujiko's latest incarnation.

While anime and manga have been popular in the US since the late nineties, the character of Fujiko and her sometimes boyfriend Lupin the Third have been around for decades longer.

Mixing in western influences like Mad Magazine into his manga, artist Monkey Punch created a unique vision for his band of international jewel thieves.

Fujiko is the femme fatale, often known for double crossing her supposed lover Lupin at the last moment. It's hard to imagine anyone falling for her obvious charms again and again.

Then again, if you watch this video, maybe it isn't:

4. Rei and Asuka, 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'

Face it, the plot of Neon Genesis Evangelion is next to incomprehensible. While the idea of giant robots fighting against alien invaders seems like a promising one, the actual execution leads to... well, if you're into spoilers (not to mention unsatisfying endings) you can check out this link.

Whatever, you didn't watch the show for its ludicrous plot or all-to-brief robot vs. alien slugfests. You watched it because of this:


And this.

And possibly this....

Rei Body Pillow Someone You Know Owns

Are there Shinji body pillows? As it turns out, yes, but you have to share him with another dude. The point is, you know who you were thinking of once the VHS tape or DVD player stopped, and it wasn't that whiny man child with daddy issues, was it?

3. Girls of Bleach

The female cast of long running, beloved anime series Bleach are by far some of the most comely lasses to have come down the anime pipe line in some time.

The paranormal/teen angst/action/drama has drawn comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter, with that added anime twist that could only come from Japan.

This vid perfectly sums up the Bleach Girls:

Of course there has to be an alpha among them, and that Alpha is the busty Orihime Inoue.

It's easy to see why so many viewers are... possessed... of a tendency to drop whatever they're doing when Bleach is on.

2. Ryuko Matoi, 'Kil La Kill'

Artists penciling in scads of scantily clad beauties in manga and anime is such a trope in Japan that Studio Trigger made this series as a self-aware satire of fan service. While on the surface, it might seem that a show about a school girl in an outfit which shrinks to give her super powers might seem like pure exploitation, and you'd be right. However, Kil La Kill manages to transcend its raunchy tendencies and becomes a great satire of society, fashion, and the pressure to conform.

That being said, the animators didn't shy away from showing Ryuko in all her glory.

And of course, she's fully nude during her transformation sequence:

1. Kekko Kamen

And now for the ultimate bodacious anime babe, a character entirely dedicated to fan service in its most pure form, Kekko Kamen. Schoolgirl by day, masked but naked avenger by night, she fights to protect students at the sadistic Sparta academy from oppression.

Created by long time manga artist Go Nagai, Kekko is the ultimate otaku fantasy, a heroine who literally fights in the buff. Best of all, her special move is to jump crotch first onto her opponent, knocking them out.

Early Manga Series

The Japanese simply don't have the same taboos about nudity as the western world. It raised nary an eyebrow in Japan when it was included in popular teen boy's magazine Shonen Jump.

From there, the manga has expanded into anime and live action adaptations. If you're curious (and nobody else is around) you can watch one here.

So there you have it; 10 bodacious anime babes. Let the hate mail begin!



About the Creator

Christopher Wagoner

Author at Ravenswood Publishing

Author at Omnific Publishing

Studied English literature at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Lives in Salado, Texas

Engaged to Sarah Graham Shellard

From St. Louis, now resides in Austin Texas

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    Christopher WagonerWritten by Christopher Wagoner

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