The world of Japanese anime is home to thousands of fictional characters of all sorts, and these characters can be hugely popular for various reasons. Classic shonen protagonists are famed for their strength and courage, and shojo heroines are inspiring role models for girls everywhere. Anime waifus are equally as admirable.

An anime waifu is the theoretical ideal life partner for a viewer, typically a female character with desirable traits such as beauty, intelligence, personal loyalty, certain talents/skills, a fascinating worldview, a good sense of humor, and more. It’s ultimately a subjective field, but certain waifus have established themselves as clear favorites and can be approximately ranked according to popularity and merit.

25. Mai Sakurajima (Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai)

mai sakurajima bunny girl anime

Mai Sakurajima from Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai is a lovable tsundere who wants to stay on the down-low despite her status as a model and actress. Her mother forced her into the industry at a very young age, so Mai feels disenchanted since most people only see her for the characters she’s played instead of who she really is.

Mai’s Adolescence Syndrome grants her the anonymity she’s always wanted, but it also gradually erases her from existence. However, Sakuta loved her for who she was and helped stop the syndrome from getting worse. Mai may have a cold exterior, but she’s loyal and protective of the people she cares about.

24. Shoko Komi (Komi Can’t Communicate)

shoko komi is somewhat happy

Komi Can’t Communicate stars one of anime’s best dandere characters, the beautiful but terribly shy Shoko Komi. At first, she had no friends and was widely misunderstood, but then her new friend Hitohito Tadano extended a hand of friendship.

Now Shoko Komi is much happier with friends who understand and support her, which helped Shoko show her best side. Anime fans simply adore her as a precious anime waifu, wanting to protect and cheer her on as she strives to make even more friends in high school.

23. Katarina Claes (My Next Life As A Villainess)

Katarina claes with a grin

My Next Life as a Villainess is a delightful shojo isekai anime starring Katarina Claes, who earned the nickname Bakarina thanks to her incredibly dense and goofy personality. Katarina may be clueless half the time, but she means well and can be surprisingly crafty with her meta-knowledge.

Katarina is a charming anime waifu with her genuine compassion and altruism, along with her innocent, friendly demeanor and her classy but unpretentious looks and aura. She’s so good at what she does, Katarina accidentally created a co-ed harem around her, which might include a few anime fans too.

22. Yor Forger (Spy X Family)

Yor Forger from Spy x Family.

Spy X Family‘s Yor Forger lives in the best of both worlds as an unassuming city hall employee by day and master assassin by night. Despite her reputation as the Thorn Princess, Yor’s real personality isn’t intimidating at all. She gets flustered easily and even seems naive in most situations.

However, Yor’s martial arts skills paired with her weapon expertise make her a truly deadly assassin. She can instantly cut down mobs of people without giving it a second thought and come out relatively unscathed, though Yor would rather not have Loid or Anya see her like that.

21. Robert E.O. Speedwagon (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

Robert E.O. Speedwagon from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

Plenty of memes have come out of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, but one of the most prominent is joking that Robert E.O. Speedwagon is the best waifu. After all, Speedwagon always stuck by Jonathan’s side during the events of Phantom Blood, then remained a loyal ally to Joseph during Battle Tendency.

Speedwagon didn’t stop helping the Joestars after he died, either. The Speedwagon foundation always helps the Joestars out on their various adventures, whether it’s delivering a new canine companion in Egypt or helping break someone out of a prison in Florida.

20. Holo (Spice & Wolf)

Holo getting drunk in Spice and Wolf.

Holo from Spice & Wolf is a wolf spirit who doesn’t take life too seriously. She’s always teasing Lawrence, the series’ protagonist. Holo is a classic hiyakasudere, so she loves bantering and poking fun at the people she cares about.

However, Holo’s generally cheerful and lighthearted personality shouldn’t be mistaken as naivety. She’s a wolf goddess, after all, so she has five centuries’ worth of wisdom in her arsenal. Holo constantly makes fun of Lawrence because she’s been around the block enough times to know that his negotiating skills could use a lot of work.

19. Mirko (My Hero Academia)

Mirko in My Hero Academia

Mirko, or Rumi Usagiyama, from My Hero Academia is the number five pro-hero according to the Japanese Hero Billboard Chart. Her legs are wickedly powerful, and a single kick can knock out entire mobs of villains.

Mirko has a tough personality and prefers to work independently, unlike most of her peers. She’s a fierce fighter and never backs down from a fight, even after enduring brutal injuries. Her personality is amazing enough, but add in her stunning character design and Mirko is the total package.

18. Casca (Berserk)

Casca looks at Guts in Berserk.

Even a famously dark seinen anime like Berserk can have a Best Boy and Best Girl. Knight Casca is Berserk‘s best waifu by a wide margin. She’s tough but fair as a former member of Griffith’s mercenary band, and she and Guts soon became lovers, too.

Casca has been through a lot, but she never gave up hope, and her leadership proved both skillful and inspiring after Griffith’s capture. She is also a charming tsundere with sympathetic vulnerabilities she hides behind her knightly bravado and shining armor in battle.

17. Makima (Chainsaw Man)

Chainsaw Man's Makima.

Chainsaw Man‘s Makima quickly became one of anime and manga’s most popular female characters, despite her status as the series’ ultimate villain. It’s unclear why fans are so drawn to Makima, especially after witnessing all of her terrible, manipulative actions throughout Chainsaw Man. Still, she’s garnered a loyal army of followers in the Chainsaw Man fandom who worship the ground she walks on.

There’s no denying that Makima is a well-written antagonist who succeeded in her role as Chainsaw Man’s despicable puppet master. Makima also has a stunning character design that isn’t tacky or overly sexualized, which helps cement her status as an unconventional but unforgettable anime waifu.

16. Shinobu Kocho (Demon Slayer)

Shinobu Kocho from Demon Slayer.

Demon Slayer‘s Shinobu Kocho is the Insect Hashira, and she stole the show during her debut in the Mt. Natagumo arc. She has a very bubbly, friendly attitude toward everybody. Though this makes Shinobu magnetic to most, watching her defeat bloodthirsty demons with a calm smile is terrifying.

Despite her hatred for demons, Shinobu showed compassion for Tanjiro and Nezuko after hearing about what they’ve been through. She’s endured tons of trauma, but it’s admirable that she never lost her cheerful personality and kept pushing onward.

15. Maki Oze (Fire Force)

Maki Oze from Fire Force.

Maki Oze is a total spitfire in Fire Force. She’s a fierce fighter who never backs down in the face of danger and she’s never afraid of speaking her mind, no matter whose feelings get her.

Though her peers get on her case about her brutish behavior and scrutinize her for not behaving “ladylike” enough for their standards, Maki faces adversity head-on and continues to be herself unapologetically. Despite her tough exterior, Maki is a hopeless romantic who is in touch with her emotions.

14. Saber (Fate Series)

Saber from Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.

Saber, or Artoria Pendragon, is a Saber-class servant. She’s a brave fighter and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in battle. Saber remains determined, is trustworthy, and always gets the job done. She hates being patronized just because she’s a woman.

Saber has proven on multiple occasions that she’s stronger than most of her male peers. She has a strong moral compass from which she would never stray and always tries to resolve conflicts in a way that’s fair to all parties involved. Saber is easily the most popular character in the Fate series and one of the best waifu characters in all of anime.

13. Kurisu Makise (Steins;Gate)

Kurisu from Steins;Gate.

Kurisu from Steins;Gate is a sarcastic genius who isn’t afraid of speaking her mind. She’s a total tsundere who stole fans’ hearts with her dry sense of humor, creative mindset, and realistic outlook on life. Kurisu development wasn’t quite as stark as other characters in the series, but the subtle nuances of her arc made fans fall in love with her.

Kurisu’s actually quite lonely and values memories more than the average person, something many fans can relate to. Kurisu rarely loses her composure and is the voice of reason in every situation. Her sensible personality greatly contrasts with her perpetually zany partner, Rintarou.

12. Esdeath (Akame Ga Kill!)

Esdeath from Akame Ga Kill!

General Esdeath is a military commander who is famed for her devastating ice-based powers and her “survival of the fittest” worldview. Esdeath grew up in a harsh environment where her tribe’s survival was always on the line, so she learned to be practical and pragmatic in all things.

Esdeath maintained that attitude as a general, and she says that the weak deserve to die and the strong deserve to conquer all. However, she also has her soft side. Esdeath quickly grew attached to Tatsumi, becoming a doting lover and a great anime waifu before finally realizing that Tatsumi is actually her enemy.

11. Miku Nakano (The Quintessential Quintuplets)

Miku Nanako from The Quintessential Quintuplets.

There’s something to like about all five Nakano sisters, from the goofy Yotsuba to the tsundere Nino, but the middle sister, Miku, has become the Quintuplets fandom’s favorite waifu by a comfortable margin. Miku is a classic dandere, a kind and loving girl who is also terribly shy and meek.

Miku is soft-spoken and unassertive, contrasting sharply with Itsuki and Nino. However, she’ll try her best to impress her tutor Futaro and express her true desires. Miku will even try baking sweets for him, but she’s not exactly a master chef.

10. Nico Robin (One Piece)

Nico Robin post time skip in One Piece.

One Piece‘s vast ensemble cast of characters includes a few solid waifu candidates, including Nami the navigator, the elegant Boa Hancock, and the heroic princess Vivi Nefeltari. All things considered, though, the kuudere Nico Robin is the series’ best waifu.

Nico Robin is a villain turned hero, who shocked and delighted One Piece fans with her sudden but honest request to join the Straw Hat crew. She has been a loyal and reliable crewmate since then, winning fans over with her cool beauty, her remarkable Devil Fruit, her extraordinary skills, and her stylish outfits.

9. Marin Kitagawa (My Dress-Up Darling)

Marin Kitagawa smiling in My Dress-Up Darling

Marin Kitagawa’s appeal can be rather PG-13 at times, but anime fans love her for more than sheer fan service. My Dress-Up Darling is all about the “opposites attract” friendship between Marin and her dandere male friend Wakana Gojo, and they have excellent on-screen chemistry.

Marin is one of the best anime waifus with her energetic genki girl personality, her whimsical imagination, her semi-innocent personality, and her inspiring passion for all things cosplay. Marin doesn’t play games with friendships, cosplay or love, and is refreshingly straightforward about them all.

8. Kaguya Shinomiya (Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War)

Kaguya Shinomiya Happily Looking At Her Phone (Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War)

Kaguya Shinomiya hails from a fabulously wealthy and powerful family, but she doesn’t want her family’s status to define her. Instead, Kaguya wants to pursue her own interests and get what she wants with her own power. Her maids and butlers can only do so much for her.

Kaguya Shinomiya used to have an ice queen persona, but now she is a warm-hearted and caring girl who is quick to support all her friends, from Chika and Yu to Nagisa. She also has a sharp and witty mind that allows her to outfox Miyuki Shirogane time and again. Kaguya’s a bit naive but earnest, making for a charming combination.

7. Yoruichi Shihoin (Bleach)

Yoruichi Shihoin in Bleach.

The hit shonen anime Bleach has a handful of outstanding anime waifus to its name, from Rukia Kuchiki to Orihime Inoue and Rangiku Matsumoto. Among them, the ninja-like Yoruichi Shihoin has risen to the top. She is one of Bleach‘s strongest and most memorable characters, making her solid waifu material.

Yoruichi is popular as an anime waifu not just for her good looks but also for her cheerful personality and a strong sense of loyalty and duty, which are admirable traits in any partner. She is also tough and reliable, an expert fighter who will swiftly kick anyone who threatens her dear friends.

6. Mikasa Ackerman (Attack On Titan)

Mikasa smiling in Attack On Titan.

Mikasa Ackerman is Eren Yeager’s childhood friend, though recent events have driven them apart. Eren’s harsh words toward Mikasa are downright cruel, and no doubt every Attack on Titan fan is on Mikasa’s side rather than Eren’s.

On her own merits, meanwhile, Mikasa is a wonderful waifu. She is a loyal, caring, and protective person who is also quite attractive and a fantastically skilled fighter on top of that. Mikasa is also rather sentimental in a world where sentimentality seems to be dead and will never stop fighting for what is right.

5. Zero Two (DARLING in the FRANXX)

Zero Two from Darling in the FRANXX.

Zero Two is often considered the best part of the DARLING in the FRANXX anime by a wide margin. This particular mecha anime has some serious issues, but the character of Zero Two isn’t one of them. She was introduced early in the series, and fans loved her right away.

Zero Two is famed for her peculiar but charming behavior, her ferocious attitude in battle, her utter loyalty to Hiro, and her intriguing backstory as a humanoid monster with horns on her head. She also pilots the series’ most powerful mecha, Stelizia, something no other anime waifu character could do.

4. Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)

Erza From Fairy Tail Glowing With Happiness

The Fairy Tail anime features quite a few potential waifus, from Lucy Heartfilia herself to Juvia Lockser the megadere and the bookish Levy McGarden. Arguably, the sword-slinging Erza Scarlet is Fairy Tail‘s top waifu and one of the best anime waifus in all of anime.

Fans of Yoruichi Shihoin or Zero Two will find a lot to like about Erza as well, from her tough but fair attitude to her hidden loving side to her impressive combat skills and amusing hobbies. She loves armor, theater, cake, and Jellal Fernandez, and she’s quick to act like a responsible big sister to Natsu and Gray if necessary.

3. Hinata Hyuga (Naruto)

Hinata Hyuga Smiling In Naruto

Hinata Hyuga is a standout character in Naruto, a dandere who was inspired when Naruto Uzumaki shared some heartfelt words with her during the Chunin Exam story arc. Ever since then, the meek Hinata has been working hard to live up to Naruto’s expectations of her, and it changed her life.

Hinata is now a confident shinobi who will gladly risk her life for duty’s sake or the village’s, and it’s no wonder Naruto fell in love with her later on. She and Naruto are now happily married in Boruto, and Hinata is an exemplary partner and mother as an outstanding anime waifu.

2. Tohru (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)

Tohru Smiling Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

Tohru is a unique take on the “magical girl” concept, a mighty dragon that can take the form of a fair-haired young woman in a maid outfit. This series is also an example of the reverse-isekai genre, with Tohru learning the ways of modern Japanese society while still staying true to her fantasy roots.

Tohru is easy to like because she can do it all. Whether dressing in lovely outfits, fighting off punks and monsters, running errands, having fun exploring the world as a newcomer, or looking after Kanna, Tohru remains a wonderful friend to Kobayashi herself and one of anime’s best waifu characters.

1. Rem (Re:Zero)

Re:Zero Rem Looking Shocked

Rem is a loyal and hardworking maid like Tohru, expect she’s not a dragon but an ogre. In this case, it’s her ally Subaru Natsuki who ended up in another world. When she first appeared, Rem and her pink-haired sister Ram were maids working in the Mathers estate.

Rem was suspicious of Subaru at first, but she soon became one of his key allies and fought ferociously on his behalf for a time. Fans love Rem for her combination of her charming personality, her strong sense of loyalty and duty, her combat skills. Her charming appearance and easygoing nature cement her as a stellar anime waifu.