When anime badassery comes into mind, we usually think of epic and imposing characters like Black Swordsman Guts (Berserk), younger Toguro (Yuyu Hakusho), and Yonko Whitebeard (One Piece), to name a few.
But there are a handful of animated heroes beyond these icons of machismo who also fit the bill, and are cute to boot.
FHM compiled a list of these femme fatales who aren’t only drop-dead gorgeous but are also equally dangerous like their male counterparts, even cooler at times. (Heavy spoilers ahead.)
1) Asuna Yuuki (Sword Art Online)
At first glance, she seems to be your usual klutz of a pretty girl who’s into online games. However, Asuna has shown time and again that she has a kind heart and a mother's maturity when the situation calls for it.
"The Flash," who earned her nickname for her rapid sword skills, was among the 10,000 players who were trapped inside the Sword Art Online virtual reality game, where she became the sub-leader of the Knights of the Blood guild.
Asuna likes to play a support role, but don’t be fooled by her sweet demeanor; she can be quite deadly when wielding her rapier.
2) Boa Hancock (One Piece)
The Pirate Empress is one of the seven royal Shichibukai, who are considered to be the most influential warlords of the sea
Said to be the most powerful womn in the anime, the princess of Amazon Lily is also a skilled devil fruit user (Mero Mero no Mi or Love-Love) whose powers allow her to turn enemies into stone.
3) Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
The alluring and adept S-Class mage from the Fairy Tail guild has a rigid and reserved attitude towards her comrades. Erza has girly side, which only her closest peers have seen.
This anime redhead always dons armor that gives her the appearance of a female knight. This isn't just for show, though, since Erza is both an extremely skilled swordswoman and proficient spellcaster.
Her specialty, Requip magic, lets her adjust to any circumstance with different suits, especially in the heat of the battle.
4) Android 18 (Dragon Ball)
The former villain has proven herself as a cold and calculated cyborg who toyed with the likes of Trunks and even Vegeta in their Super Saiyan forms.
Good thing she became one of the good guys after marrying Krillin and having a daughter with him. Now part of the Z fighters, Android 18 assists in protecting the Earth from universal threats.
5) Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
The best soldier of her generation is one of the elite recruits of the Survey Corps, brandishing a rare skill set that combines overall mastery of strength, weapon mastery, and decision-making.
Amusingly enough, she seems to have the hots for her stepbrother Eren, whom she’s had a special bond with ever since they were young due to a tragic incident involving her biological parents. This is probably why nothing triggers Mikasa more than when Eren is in danger.
6) Teresa (Claymore)
The silver-eyed badass, who is the top-ranked Claymore of the organization, can swing a great sword with ease and win battles without breaking a sweat.
Teresa has exceptional combat prowess due to her ability to perceive energy, and thus, her enemy's next move. The half-human, half-yoma earned the moniker 'Teresa of the Faint Smile' for her merciless habit before disposing her foes.
7) Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell)
Known as 'The Major,' she serves as the cyborg squad leader of Public Security Section 9.
Motoko is both skilled in hand-to-hand combat and using any kind of weaponry. What makes her formidable is her access to highly advanced technology, which renders the user completely invisible and extremely deadly in stealth missions.
Thing is, Motoko is an experiment where the brains (ghost) of her former human self was placed inside the most advanced cyborg body (shell) to create the ultimate soldier.
8) Rebecca Lee (Black Lagoon)
Think Lara Croft, only a more X-rated, adult version who smokes a lot, swears like a sailor, and has unmatched expertise in dual-wielding guns.
Revy has a psychotic tendency that sees her running wild and causing a riot whenever she's on a mission for their mercenary group. She is much scarier than the previous entries due to her cold-blooded penchant for murder, which she seems to find delight in.