What makes a Best Girl? Anime nowadays has so many different subcultures that have stemmed out from it, and one of the biggest is most definitely waifu culture. I’ll be talking about waifu culture in another piece, but today I want to talk about what exactly makes up a “Best Girl” and how they are different from a “waifu”.
I have to mention that all of this is entirely subjective and should by no means be considered a set of rules and laws governing anime Best Girls. This is simply an opinion piece about the factors I consider important when it comes to loving anime characters.
Waifu VS Best Girl
Let’s start by making sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to distinguishing exactly what a “Best Girl” is and what a “waifu” is, as I know there are some that have a different definition to mine.
A “Best Girl” is essentially your favorite female character from a specific series. Harem manga/anime is a great example for displaying what exactly a Best Girl is, as there are usually many different female characters, each differing massively from the other. So for example, in a harem series such as Highschool DXD, I would consider Akeno as being the Best Girl.
My personal preference is the more mature, sexy, or “ara ara~” type of character than say the cuter ones. However, just because I believe that Akeno is the best girl in High School DXD, that doesn’t mean that she is my waifu. That’s because a waifu is a single character that you consider to be the best of the best; your top one.
The reason I want to clarify this point is that there are many times when anime fans will say “Oh that character? Yeah, she’s definitely a waifu” — which can cause a little bit of confusion. And I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else.
Honestly, I would be here for hours if I was to try and think of who my waifu is (Mine is Nepgear, do not steal – Ed.), so I’m not going to specify my own, but I think you understand the differences now. There can be numerous Best Girls, but only one from each series/show. There can only be one waifu. Full stop.
I never considered how absurd all of this sounds, but now that I’m writing it out… we anime fans are crazy.
Character design and personality
This is an obvious one, but definitely one of the most important when it comes to initial attractions to a character. A character’s design is the first step in becoming invested in them — if you love how they look, you’re going to become increasingly interested and invested in how they develop as the story progresses.
A good example for me personally would be Miruko the bunny hero. In real life, I’m a big fan of any and all women (Conor’s number is available on request, ladies – Ed.), but when it comes to anime, dark-skinned girls are my Kryptonite — add that to her costume and badass, confident personality, and you have me instantly sold and heavily invested in a character that has been on screen for less than 10 seconds.
With that said, there are without a doubt some cases in which a character’s personality can carry them to being the Best Girl even if their appearance is relatively unremarkable. For those of you who have watched Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, you’ll know that Mai Sakurajima — when not in her bunny girl outfit — is a fairly normal-looking character, but her personality is so enjoyable that she is most definitely Best Girl.
Speaking of personality, this is the next point in which a character can transition from being interesting to a Best Girl. Personally, I’m a massive fan of confident characters that are strong and even sometimes reckless — for example, Yoruichi Shihoin from Bleach. I said earlier that I wouldn’t be able to name my ultimate waifu, but Yoruichi is a strong contender.
When a character has a design that completely speaks to you and then follows through with a personality that’s also appealing — that’s when you know you’ve got a Best Girl on your hands. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a “good” personality either — lord knows how many people love Himiko Toga from Hero Academia despite that character being completely psychotic. I adore Tsubasa Hanekawa from the Monogatari series, whose personality is secretly darker and more selfish than the facade she maintains. or Juri Han from Street Fighter; she’s as unhinged as they come.
Honestly, this part of waifu culture seems so bizarre after I’ve thought about it this much — but at the same time I still really love it. I think anime girls are something that every anime fan loves. If there was a Venn diagram for anime fans and anime girls, the circles would completely overlap — they’re like boobs; everyone loves them.
I want to reiterate that everything regarding Best Girls and waifu is entirely subjective and varies massively from person to person. I just wanted to talk about this interesting subculture we have in the anime community, and what characters appeal to me personally.
Lastly, I know we all love our anime girls, but all these rules apply to the Best Boys and Husbandos too. The ladies definitely take the top spot when it comes to anime fans in general, but we all love our anime boys as well.
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