The best swordswoman anime characters are Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail), Saber (Fate/stay night), and Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan).
These ladies have sliced and diced their way through their respective series, leaving a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of anime fans everywhere.
From skilled samurai to magical warriors, let’s dive into the world of anime and explore the top female sword masters who can truly captivate your soul.
Character Spotlight: Exploring the Top Swordswomen in Anime
Anime has long embraced swordsmanship, likely stemming from the samurai’s significant role in Japanese history. Consequently, numerous sword-wielding characters with lightning-fast reflexes and lethal weapon skills have appeared across various series.
Many swordswomen among anime’s swiftest fighters use their incredible speed to defeat adversaries. While some champion noble causes, others serve darker purposes. Regardless of their moral compass, these women threaten any opponent unfortunate enough to cross their path.
Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
In anime, few swordswomen are as versatile and powerful as Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail. As a member of the Fairy Tail Guild, Erza is not only a skilled warrior, but she’s also a compassionate leader. She is a master of Requip magic, allowing her to switch between over 100 sets of armor and 200 different weapons. Talk about a wardrobe change!
Erza’s tenacity and unwavering spirit have led her to face numerous formidable foes. Her unique blend of elegance, charm, and pure badassery makes her an unforgettable character. While she can be strict and stern, she also has a softer side, which makes her even more endearing. With a heart as strong as her sword, Erza is the perfect combination of beauty, brains, and brawn.
Saber (Fate/stay night)
The legendary King of Knights, Saber, is one of the most iconic swordswomen in anime history. As the primary character of the Fate/stay night series, Saber is a powerful and enigmatic warrior. She’s an expert in swordsmanship and a master tactician, making her a formidable opponent in the Holy Grail War.
Saber’s character is an intricate blend of chivalry, stoicism, and loyalty. Despite her tough exterior, she has a vulnerable side, which is revealed throughout the series. Her unwavering devotion to her ideals, and her desire to protect the ones she loves, make Saber an unforgettable and endearing character.
Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
Fearless, stoic, and relentless, Mikasa Ackerman is the embodiment of a true anime swordswoman. As a key player in the Attack on Titan series, Mikasa’s skill with a blade is unmatched. Her razor-sharp intuition and unparalleled agility make her a lethal force on the battlefield.
Although Mikasa’s cold and emotionless facade may seem off-putting initially, her unwavering loyalty and love for her friends make her an endearing character. Beneath her tough exterior lies a vulnerable and caring heart, ready to protect those she cares about.
Clare (Claymore) – Swordswoman Anime
In her younger years, Clare, the protagonist of the dark fantasy series Claymore, struggled as one of the weakest members of her race. As a Claymore, she combines part-human, part-Yoma traits (a formidable humanoid race that preys on people). However, Clare’s DNA sets her apart from her peers, comprising three-quarters human instead of half.
Rather than letting her lack of Yoma DNA hold her back, Clare uses this shortcoming as motivation to surpass her limitations and outperform the adversaries she faces in Claymore. By focusing her energy on her limbs, she achieves faster speeds than most fully-realized Yoma, showcasing her resilience and determination.
Asuna Yuuki (Sword Art Online)
A fierce and unstoppable force, Asuna Yuuki from Sword Art Online epitomizes a strong and independent swordswoman. With her lightning-fast sword skills and exceptional agility, Asuna earns the nickname “The Flash” in the virtual world of Aincrad. As one of the strongest players in the game, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Asuna’s character is a blend of strength, intelligence, and compassion. Despite her tough and determined exterior, she has a caring heart and a strong desire to protect her friends and loved ones. Her relationship with Kirito, the series’ protagonist, showcases her unwavering support and devotion, making her an even more endearing character.
Charlotte Smoothie (One Piece)
Boasting a bounty of over 900 million Berries, Charlotte Smoothie holds one of the highest bounties in the entire One Piece universe. As one of the Three Sweet Commanders of the Big Mom Pirates, Smoothie rules over 100% Island and, importantly, serves as the second-strongest combatant for the Yonko.
While one shouldn’t underestimate Charlotte Smoothie’s Devil Fruit powers, her true strength lies in her extraordinary physical prowess and swordsmanship. Hailing from the Longleg Tribe, her ancestors imbued her with remarkable abilities, combined with her mastery of Haki, enabling her to move faster than most New World pirates.
Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill la Kill)
Bold, powerful, and undeniably stylish, Satsuki Kiryuin from Kill la Kill is a swordswoman who commands attention. As the president of Honnouji Academy’s student council, Satsuki wields the powerful Bakuzan, a katana that can cut through Goku Uniforms like butter. Her unwavering determination and ambition make her a formidable adversary in the series.
Satsuki’s character is a blend of pride, intelligence, and a strong sense of justice. Beneath her cold and calculating exterior lies a caring and protective nature, which is revealed as the series progresses.
Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell)
Cybernetic and sophisticated, Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell is an extraordinary swordswoman with unique skills. As the leader of the elite counter-cyberterrorist organization, Section 9, Major Kusanagi is an expert in hand-to-hand combat and can efficiently dispatch her enemies with her blade.
Motoko’s character is a fascinating mix of human emotion and machine-like efficiency. As a cyborg, she constantly questions her humanity and identity, which adds a profound and philosophical dimension to her character. Her unwavering dedication to her team and relentless pursuit of justice make her an unforgettable presence in anime.
Tomoe (Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal)
Elegant, skilled, and enigmatic, Tomoe from Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal is a swordswoman with a tragic past. As the wife of the series’ protagonist, Kenshin Himura, during his days as the feared assassin Battousai, Tomoe plays a significant role in his journey towards redemption. Her sword mastery is evident in her ability to hold her own against skilled opponents, including Kenshin.
Tomoe’s character is a complex mix of love, betrayal, and redemption. Her quiet strength and determination to protect those she loves make her unforgettable in the series.
Tae Shimura (Gintama)
Though she may not be a conventional swordswoman, Tae Shimura from Gintama is a fierce and determined character who knows her way around a sword. As the older sister of Shinpachi Shimura and a close friend to the series’ protagonist, Gintoki Sakata, Tae is not afraid to stand up for herself or her loved ones, often wielding a naginata with surprising proficiency.
Tae’s character is a blend of humor, strength, and resilience. Her fierce loyalty and unwavering determination to protect those she cares for make her an endearing character in the Gintama universe.
Akame (Akame ga Kill!)
Akame, the deadly and enigmatic assassin from Akame ga Kill!, masterfully wields a blade. As a member of the assassination group Night Raid, she brandishes the cursed sword Murasame, capable of killing with just a single cut. Beneath her quiet and stoic demeanor, a tragic past lies hidden, driving her pursuit of justice.
Akame’s character intricately weaves tragedy, determination, and loyalty. Her steadfast devotion to her comrades and unrelenting resolve to eliminate corruption captivate audiences throughout the series.
Retsu Unohana (Bleach)
In Bleach, most Soul Reapers possess considerable power, but a vast gap exists between the Thirteen Court Guard Companies captains and their subordinates. Retsu Unohana, the seasoned captain of the Soul Society’s Fourth Division, exemplifies this notion.
With centuries of combat experience, Unohana commands immense spiritual power, elevating her physical abilities to unimaginable heights. As arguably the fastest swordswoman in Bleach history, it’s no surprise that even the formidable Kenpachi Zaraki repeatedly fails to defeat her.
Ryuko Matoi Anime Girls With Swords
Many of Kill la Kill’s characters showcase hilarious eccentricities, but they are highly capable fighters beneath their humorous exteriors, far surpassing the average anime character. The show’s protagonist, Ryuko Matoi, often behaves like a typical angst-ridden student, but when challenged, she can demolish skyscrapers with a single strike.
Although Ryuko doesn’t technically wield a sword, her weapon of choice is half of a giant pair of scissors. Considering its bladed nature and remarkable speed, it’s fair to classify her as an exceptionally talented swordswoman.
Teresa of the Faint Smile (Claymore)
In the world of Claymore, filled with monstrous creatures known as Yoma, Teresa of the Faint Smile stands as a formidable and enigmatic warrior. As a half-human, half-Yoma hybrid Claymore, she boasts superhuman strength, agility, and endurance. Wielding her massive claymore sword, she effortlessly defeats Yoma, gaining the reputation of the strongest warrior and the nickname “Faint Smile” for her calm expression in battle.
Teresa’s character fuses stoicism, kindness, and a tragic past. Her steadfast dedication to her duty matches her compassion for the weak and innocent, exemplified by her relationship with the young girl, Clare.
Tashigi (One Piece)
The Marines in One Piece boast numerous skilled combatants, but female representation in the World Government’s military branch is somewhat limited. Fortunately, talented fighters like swordswoman Tashigi contribute to the group’s female presence.
Tashigi initially appears on-screen as an Officer for the Marines. However, following the time skip, she receives a promotion to the rank of Captain, reflecting her growth as a fighter and leader. Given her victory over Monet (an officer of the Donquixote Pirates), Tashigi’s speed rivals that of many of the New World’s most formidable pirates.