Anime handles female characters in many ways. Some cast them as strong, dependable characters nearly indistinguishable from their male counterparts, whereas others use them as props for the main protagonist to amorously pursue. Predictably, this has resulted in a considerable amount of controversy within the community.
The current discourse is only exacerbated by a handful of female characters that divide fans through their writing and actions. By identifying the most controversial among them, it becomes easier to appreciate the sensitive aspects of their characters and why they have become such relevant topics in discussions about the genre.
This article contains spoilers for the Attack on Titan manga.
10 Tamaki Is The Most Hotly Debated Character Of Company Eight (Fire Force)
Despite being endearing and kind, Tamaki is perhaps her series' most controversial character. Much of her personality is seen as fan service, especially her cat-like Ignition Ability and inconvenient clothing malfunctions.
As a result, she is frequently objectified for the audience's amusement. This trend became even worse when pursued by White Clad agent Assault, a man that could not overcome his raw lust in order to kill her.
9 Satsuki Was Cruel & Domineering (Kill La Kill)
Although Satsuki Kiryuin was later revealed as a hero, it does not justify her actions. Throughout the series, she has oppressed the families of Honnoji Academy by basing their entire lives around their child's success. Further, she tormented her own sister by claiming to have killed their father.
Considering the vigilance of the Elite Four, she was never actually punished for her actions even once the life fiber menace had been neutralized. In the end, Satsuki skirts the line between hero and villain, failing to justify her actions to the world and series' viewers.
8 Sakura Romanticized Obsession (Naruto)
Sakura was easily the most disliked member of Team Seven for a number of reasons. Unlike Sasuke and Naruto, she did not begin the series with defined goals and was considerably weaker in battle. This made it difficult to sympathize with her, especially given how little she contributed in the first act of the series.
Though she began coming into her own in the battle against Sasori, Sakura still had the same obsession with Sasuke many years later. Despite her advancements as a medical ninja, many argue about whether or not she is one dimensional.
7 Big Mom Was The Most Ridiculous Of The Four Emperors (One Piece)
As the only female emperor in the series, there were high expectations for Big Mom. Though she was personally powerful and a deadly threat in Whole Cake Island, there were many issues with her character.
For example, she was much less intelligent than the other leaders and often relied on her children to enact her plans. Moreover, her emotional tantrums threatened friend and foe alike, even resulting in the Straw Hats' narrow escape. The narrative's inability to take Big Mom seriously is indicative of a more ubiquitous and serious issue.
6 Esdeath Epitomizes Toxic Relationships (Akame Ga Kill!)
At first, Esdeath seemed like an amoral monster determined to destroy everything in her way. However, her character was nuanced after meeting Tatsumi, and she treated him with much more kindness than anyone else.
Despite this surprising twist of humanity, Esdeath was still a less than reputable person. She hoped that by killing all of Tatsumi's friends, he'd have no choice but to be with her. Some fans are almost endeared by her devotion, while others are understandably horrified.
5 Midnight's Role As A Teacher Was Inappropriate (My Hero Academia)
In theory, Midnight's decision to be known as an "X-rated" hero isn't too far-fetched. The series has a number of morally gray professionals ranging from Gang Orca to Endeavor. What makes Midnight's role in the story questionable is her proximity to U.A High.
She plays an active role in the students' education despite the fact that they are still children. Worse yet, she does not tone down her lecherous tendencies for the sake of her audience, especially when officiating the Sports Festival and other ceremonies.
4 Yukako Went Too Far For Koichi (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
Yukako was obsessed with Koichi ever since meeting him at the beginning of the act. She became so lost in her own infatuation that she was even willing to kidnap and torture him in order to procure his love.
When that didn't work, Yukako confronted Aya Tsuji in hopes of making herself magically irresistible to Koichi. Given that he immediately became more receptive of her advances afterward, it can be extrapolated that their relationship was founded on coercive means. In the end, Yukako's controversy stems from her approach toward romance.
3 Mikasa Spent Most Of Her Series As Eren's Loyal Lapdog (Attack On Titan)
Mikasa Ackerman had strong foundations for a good character. As a descendant of a foreign nation and an Ackerman, she had the potential to help unite Paradis with the world outside the walls. Unfortunately, this possibility was never acknowledged since she spent the entire series as Eren's bodyguard.
Worse yet, he seldom reciprocated her affection and openly admitted to using her. At the end of the series, Mikasa made the disturbing choice to kiss Eren's decapitated head after she killed him, which remains debated by the audience.
2 Malty Raises Issues About Real World Controversy (Rising Of The Shield Hero)
Manipulative and predatory, Malty is one of the most evil people in her story. She defamed Naofumi in order to turn the population against him and divide the cardinal heroes as a whole.
Though Malty is a compelling villain, there is great controversy about her actions since it ties in with real world issues. Considering how serious subjects like assault and being falsely accused of it are, fans debate about whether the plot is appropriate with how tumultuous society has become.
1 Palm's Relationship With Gon Is Abhorrent (Hunter X Hunter)
There are few qualities about Palm that one could find redeemable. In addition to being obsessive and threatening, she has made repeated attempts to seduce Gon and even leveraged her nen ability to go on a date with him.
Considering that Gon is a child and she is an adult, this has incredibly disturbing implications for the series' fans. Worse yet, their age disparity is not a focal point within the universe itself. Instead, Killua follows them on their outing since he is rightfully concerned about Gon's safety around her.
NEXT: The 10 Coolest Anime Villains, Ranked