Shounen animes tend to leave their female characters behind after a while, or at least it certainly feels that way. The usual story goes that boys/men usually get to become gods or otherwise tremendous and powerful characters, but the girls/women don't get that courtesy sometimes.
So, it's rather refreshing when the female characters get to cut loose and be either just as strong as the males or stronger in certain respects. This article will chronicle the female characters who are the strongest in their respective shounen series and why.
Note: This list is in no way exhaustive, as there are plenty of strong females in shounen anime and beyond. The article will contain spoilers and is likewise just the author's opinion. It's also unranked and only includes one example per series.
Ten most potent female characters in Shounen anime
1) Kaguya Otsutsuki (Naruto)
Naruto's version of God would make this list. Controversy about her last-minute appearance at the tail end of Naruto Shippuden aside, Kaguya Otsutsuki is one of the strongest female characters that Shounen anime has ever seen.
She was able to become the Ten Tails, destroy mountains and entire villages, and was more than able to keep up with Naruto and Sasuke at their peak. Throw in Infinite Tsukuyomi and having the entire ninja world under her spell.
This godlike shounen villain cannot be killed, only sealed away, and possesses rapid regeneration. She was able to kill Obito, nearly killed Team 7, and would've wiped out humanity if not for the Sage of the Six Paths' interference.
Even compared to others in the Otsutsuki clan, Kahuya's only rivaled by her husband Isshiki in power. Her dimensions, which still exist long after her sealing in Boruto, also add an element of otherworldly power to her.
2) Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
If Kaguya is the equivalent of a god, then Haruhi is a god. In the shounen anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi is responsible for creating the universe within three years.
Her powers are heavily tied to her emotional state, so she can imagine anything interesting into reality if she's ever bored!
From people with ESP, time travelers, and aliens, nothing is impossible for Haruhi to create. The only thing preventing her from being omniscient is that she's not aware she has all this great power.
Her entire character arc is about learning to appreciate the normalcy that life has to offer and making more friends outside the SOS Brigade. Haruhi has created alternate realities and time loops, changed her class seating arrangements to benefit her, and even made movie events into reality.
3) Rumi Usagiyama, aka Rabbit Hero: Mirko (My Hero Academia)
Mirko is the number 5 Pro Hero in the Shounen superhero anime My Hero Academia, and she proves why more than once. She took on several high-end Nomu single-handed, managed to kill and incapacitate many, and was still able to keep going even after losing an arm and a leg during the Paranormal Liberation War arc!
That has not been seen in female heroes aside from the Dragon hero.
Mirko's abilities include super speed, super strength, and excellent hearing. Even after many others retire owing to public outrage, she continues her hero work, not stopping until the League of Villains is stopped, even if she has a prosthetic arm and leg.
As of the final arc, Miko is still holding her own against Tomura Shigaraki even after losing her prosthetics.
4) Kale (Dragon Ball Super)
It was a tough call between mainstay side character Android 18, Angel Attendant Vados, or Kale. The decision was made to put the latter on the list as Android 18 may have unlimited stamina but is less potent than Kale, and the audience really hasn't seen Vados go all out with her power.
Kale's accomplishments may be limited to the Tournament of Power, but she still made an impact.
Though fans didn't think much of Kale when she first premiered as a shy, unwilling-to-fight girl on the battlefield, this changed when she went Legendary Super Saiyan. Yes, Kale is Universe 6's version of the legendary Shounen powerhouse Broly.
She was able to toss around Super Saiyan Blue Goku like a ragdoll and tank a point-blank Kamehameha, and it took Jiren getting involved in stopping her the first time. She was powerful enough to shatter through a separate dimension and break the supposedly unbreakable ground with her screams and pressure Super Saiyan God Goku.
When Jiren admits he's needed to defeat her, you know she's powerful.
5) Yoruichi Shihōin (Bleach)
Sometimes, having pure power isn't enough. You need speed to back it up. Yoruichi Shihōin from the Shounen anime Bleach might as well be speed incarnate.
Her mastery over Shunpo, the Shinigami technique that allows Soul Reapers to move faster than the eye can see, earned her the title Goddess of Flash. Even 100 years out of practice, she's still able to outspeed Byakuya.
She also managed to blitz Quincy Elite Guard Askin Nakk Le Vaar, nearly defeating him before he unleashed his final form.
It should be noted that Askin, in the Thousand Year Blood War arc of Bleach, was able to incapacitate Ichigo, Sado, and Orihime, who had all come far in their respective fields since they started. It should also be noted that Yoruichi was able to defeat her pupil Suì-Fēng, despite the latter having comparable speed.
6) Medaka Kurokami (Medaka Box)
Comparable to Saitama, Medaka Kurokami is her own powerhouse from the Shounen parody manga Medaka Box. She's also similar to Haruhi in that she seems like a regular girl who possesses massive amounts of power that she frequently denies.
To start, she did something to the moon to cause it to vanish and is still working on getting it back ten years later in the epilogue.
Medaka is a caring person who wants to help everyone she meets and anyone who puts a suggestion in her suggestion box. This can get very overwhelming and be an actual ability she has as her personality can be weaponized.
Aside from that, her powerset includes an abnormality called The End which allows her to copy any ability she witnesses or hears about, and she has her own god mode states. Also, with her copy of All Fiction, she can warp and twist reality and the universe to her whims.
7) Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)
Coming just ahead of Ezra Scarlet in the Shounen anime Fairy Tail is Lucy Heartfilia, one of the Fairy Tail Guild's mages. Why ahead of Ezra when she is noted as an S-Ranked mage and has a bunch of skills up her sleeve, including physical attacks, sword rain, and armor she can equip on the fly? Lucy's summoning skills trump Ezra's raw power.
There are alternatives rather than sheer, raw physical strength, and Lucy proves this in spades. Though the Celestial spirits tend to function independently of Lucy, she does have the ability to dismiss them and summon multiples.
In addition to summoning the mighty Spirit King, though not without immense effort and sacrifice, Lucy has her abilities like Urano Metria, which calls planetary-like objects to go supernova.
She can also change forms by fusing the Celestial spirit summoning key with her own magic, granting her that spirit's ability, including super strength, all the elements, and copying abilities.
8) Clare/Teresa (Claymore)
Clare and Teresa from the Shounen anime Claymore are intertwined spirits. What does this mean? Well, Teresa was the Number 1 Claymore from the Shounen anime of the same name, able to kill Yoma faster than blinking.
She was considered a problem child for her multiple escape attempts from the Claymore Organization but bounced back by becoming its Number 1. This led to some jealousy on many members' parts.
Teresa saved Clare first from Yoma, then from bandits. In the slaying of these bandits, who had slain Clare's foster family, Teresa incidentally broke the Claymore law against slaying humans.
Teresa herself was powerful enough to overcome the Claymores sent after her with barely 10% of her power, though a moment of pity for one of them led to her death. Protagonist Clare retrieved Teresa's head and had her flesh and blood fused into her body.
Clare herself was one of the weakest Claymores, but over time, she proved herself to be the swiftest sword of them all and could even hold her own against Teresa's killer. At the end of it all, it was the bonds of companionship that Clare and Teresa had alongside Clare's companions that aided them in vanquishing Teresa's killer.
9) Maka Albarn (Soul Eater)
So, why Maka and not Crona? The former has more screentime than Crona, who was possessed by a demonic force to turn them into a kinshin, and Maka gets stronger than Crona in the Shounen anime Soul Eater, while it's reversed in the manga.
As for who Maka is, she's a mature, hotblooded girl with a bit of a short fuse, as Black Star can attest.
This is represented in her fighting style and abilities. Nothing stops her except being rendered unconscious or near death. Her anti-demon wavelength is incredibly potent, and her techniques include purging evil with scythe slashes. She is so powerful with techniques like Witch Hunt that she's conquered several powerful villains.
Maka also managed to aid Crona in the anime via her Black Blood, absorbing Crona's attacks and hugging them tightly, and made a valiant effort to save them by cutting into the all-powerful dark god Asura in the Shounen manga.
10) Big Mom/Charlotte Linlin (One Piece)
Big Mom is the only female of the Four Emperors in the ongoing Shounen pirate anime One Piece. Her rather rotund appearance is not a reason to underestimate her, as she's one of the Big Bads of One Piece for a reason.
Not only does she have an insatiable sweet tooth, but she's willing to conquer and destroy entire islands to get what she wants, which is everyone being her toys in her "utopia."
This greedy Shounen villainess fought current Wano Arc villain Kaidou for at least a day straight without tiring and only sustained minor injuries. She was able to break through a Haki guard with only two sword swings and tanked Luffy's Kong gun without any harm.
Her Soul-Soul Devil Fruit can take a person's lifespan and eventually their soul. She also controls the weather and various other elements, thanks to her "Homies" that she spends a bit of her energy forming, including the sun and a hat transforming into a blade.
Poll : Is a female character required to be strong to be well written or likable?