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Gia's List: The 8 Greatest Weapons Wielded by Women

by Gia Manry,

Traditionally, male anime characters have gotten all the good weapons, from giant swords to giant guns to giant mechs. On the other hand, a select set of female anime characters appear with awesome tools of destruction, usually to create a contrast between their appearance or personality and a psycho weapon. Here are eight of the coolest female-fighting power combinations in anime— and we know this list is far from complete, so be extra-sure to share your additions in the comments this week!

8. Oversized Sniper Rifle - Yoko Littner (Gurren Lagann)
There are plenty of female snipers in anime, but how many of them have a gun that is literally taller than they are? Yoko's scoped rifle has a few inches on her when fully assembled, but is slender enough that she doesn't have any problems lugging it across miles and miles of desert...although eventually the mechs become the weapons caddies (and eventually housing, too). Later in the show, as the enemies get exponentially bigger, Yoko is forced to turn in her rifle for a Gunman (mech), but the big gun and its pink carrying strap remain her most iconic accessory. (Unless you count cleavage-diving Boota.)
7. Nata - Rena Ryuugu (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)
Rena wielding her "cleaver" serves as something of a mascot for Higurashi. As it happens, though, the knife isn't technically a cleaver but a unique version of the Japanese nata, a tool used for clearing brush...although hers is a lot bigger, and it has that nasty spike on the end (which may have been influenced by the billhook, a crafting tool). Like Yoko, Rena uses several other weapons throughout the series, including a bat and, in one game adaptation, an ax— but the nata is her most infamous tool of death and destruction. You know, when she's not in cute-and-sweet mode.
6. Multi-Barrel Riot Gun - Milly Thompson (Trigun)
Milly's gun is not taller than she is...but the woman is impressively tall. Unlike most of the ladies on this list, Milly is also disinclined to kill people, despite her possession of a pretty hefty piece: a multi-barrel riot gun loaded entirely with rubber bullets. Nicknamed "Stungun Milly," she can knock down opponents rapid-fire without sending anyone to meet their maker. This is appropriate to Milly's character, as she's always ready for but rarely seeking a fight...plus, she works for an insurance firm that surely should be seeking bailout money considering how much it seems to have to pay out in property damage claims.
5. Chainsaw - Sawyer the Cleaner (Black Lagoon)
Ahh, the chainsaw: an offensively loud weapon for a woman with little voice. Frederica Sawyer is a body disposal professional living in the (fictional) criminal city of Roanapur who moonlights as a bounty hunter/mercenary on the side. Due to unspecified past events that resulted in her throat being slit, Sawyer must use an Ultravoice (basically a mechanical larynx) to produce speech. Now, a chainsaw may seem like a pretty cumbersome combat tool for a slender woman, but Sawyer makes it pull triple duty: it can kill enemies, slice through obstacles, and even block bullets. Remember: it's always the quiet ones.
4. Piercing Nail - Due (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS)
Genetically-altered cyborg Due was not one of the primary characters in Nanoha StrikerS— she appeared in only five episodes, as a member of lead antagonist Jail Scaglietti's Numbers combat group — but her weapon, named the Piercing Nail, certainly leaves an impression...maybe a Freddy Krueger impression? Due wears a glove on one hand that ends in claws; only three to Freddy's five, but they're also a lot bigger. And instead of flitting around people's nightmares, Due has the ability to shape-shift into other humanoid forms, making her a potentially devestating enemy.
3. Jacqueline O'Lantern - Kim Diehl (Soul Eater)
Having your weapon also be your pal— and not in a creepy imaginary-friend kind of way —is a definite advantage held by all of the students at Death Weapon Meister Academy, but less-celebrated student Kim Diehl and her weapon, Jackie ("the demon lantern") stand out a bit. Sure, at first glance Jackie might serve better as a flashlight than as a fighting tool...but then it turns out that Kim can use her as a flame-thrower. And who doesn't love flame-throwers? Jackie is also entirely devoted to Kim, making for a strong partnership that benefits the series' protagonists when they join the school's elite Spartoi unit.
2. School Supplies - Hitagi Senjougahara (Bakemonogatari)
It takes a special kind of talent to wield a pen, pencil, ruler, or stapler as a weapon...and a certain insanity to use several of each, all at the same time. Such is the promise of Hitagi Senjougahara, a tsundere/kuudere (outwardly cold and indifferent, inwardly a softy) with a strange and incurable disease that renders her nearly-weightless (and, as the result of her strange secret, somewhat antisocial). Fortunately, romantic interest and series protagonist Koyomi Araragi heals from staple wounds quickly, and Senjougahara never feels the need to bust out a compass and stab anyone.
1. Nuclear Reactor - Nina Einstein (Code Geass)
(Spoiler alert for the first season of Code Geass!) Leave it to Geass to present one of the most over-the-top weapons outside of comedy: a nuclear reactor implemented into a mech, with the intension of destroying all of Tokyo. To be fair, the weapon's creator and would-be user, Nina, was suffering from a nervous breakdown at the time of her plan's inception after the Princess Euphemia li Britannia went on the air shooting Japanese citizens and eventually being shot herself. Besides, in the end the reactor fails to explode, and (spoiler alert!) it turns out to be the best job interview ever, since Nina is recruited by Prince Schneizel of the Britannian Empire. All's well that ends well!

Each list is accompanied by a new reader poll, as well as the results from last week's poll.

The new poll: Last week's poll had a LOT of options, so this week we're keeping it a bit simple. We'd like to know whether you have a preference between enjoying the manga or anime version of a series. Give us your answer here and check back next week for the results!

The previous poll: When a show has an immense roster of characters, it's hard to predict who might be the favorite— especially when that show is Hetalia and we pull America out of the mix! Instead, America's brother Canada (also voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi). Germany, who serves as the orderly caretaker of the series' protagonist Italy, took second place, with Italy himself placing in a close third (and tying with England).

But there are so many other countries! Here's the full list, including every character who earned at least 1% of the vote:

  1. Canada - 11.7%
  2. Germany - 9.3%
  3. Italy - 9.1%
  4. England - 9.1%
  5. Japan - 6.8%
  6. Russia - 6.6%
  7. Prussia - 5.1%
  8. Sealand - 3.4%
  9. Austria - 2.8%
  10. France - 2.5%
  11. Hungary - 2.5%
  12. South Italy - 2.5%
  13. Liechtenstein - 2.3%
  14. Poland - 2.3%
  15. Sweden - 2.3%
  16. Spain - 2.3%
  17. Ancient Rome - 1.7%
  18. China - 1.7%
  19. Greece - 1.5%
  20. The Netherlands - 1.5%
  21. Belarus - 1.3%
  22. Switzerland - 1.3%
  23. The Holy Roman Empire - 1.1%
  24. Lithuania - 1.1%

You can see the rest of the results here!

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