Shonen heroines generally don’t seize the spotlight, often defined more by their relationships with the male leads rather than being fully fleshed-out characters of their own. Their screentime tends to be limited to make room for flashy fights, and can be so underdeveloped they become unsympathetic to the audience at large.
Whether they’ve fallen victim to this treatment or managed to break the mold, let’s take a closer look at some of our favorite shonen heroines and see who deserves a series of their own.
A shonen anti-heroine, Anna deconstructs the stereotypical starry-eyed heroine with her chilly demeanor and proclivity for violence. Though she's a love interest for Yoh Asakura, no time is wasted with pointlessly drawn out will-they-won’t-they scenarios. Anna is introduced early in Shaman King as Yoh’s fiancé, adding to the believability of their characters as people who existed and formed relationships long before the show’s pilot episode.
She’s unafraid to throw down with any character with the guts to challenge her and is more powerful than Yoh for a considerable portion of the series. A spin-off focused on her punch-happy personality would still be able to offer awesome shaman fights while exploring her Itako magic a little further.
Fairy Tail’s redheaded S-Class mage is just as knightly as her appearance, displaying a strict personality with little patience for nonsense and an undying desire to protect her comrades. Her abilities allow her to take the initiative in battle, utilizing Requip magic to arm her with a variety of arms and armor. Erza’s proficiency in Requip magic makes her a well-rounded warrior adaptable to virtually any situation thrown at her, which opens the doors to impressive and entertaining fights.
A series focused on her could perhaps embrace more of the magical girl anime tropes her transformations seem to be inspired by while allowing viewers to continue exploring the world of Fairy Tail beyond the initial series' ending.
Though most of the attention in class 1-A gets focused upon Midoriya, Bakugo and Todoroki, Uraraka still manages to leave an impression in the audience’s mind. She’s shown from the beginning of My Hero Academia to be selfless with a strong sense of morality, volunteering to transfer some of her own points to Midoriya in thanks for his assistance and choosing a career path in the hopes of earning enough money to help her parents live comfortably.
This makes her desire to play support and rescue in line with her character, though her internship with Gunhead helped to improve her attack skills. A series following Uraraka could allow more focus upon the strain society puts upon heroes who often need just as much saving as the people they defend, as well as the choice heroes often need to make between fighting villains and protecting civilians.
The characters of Attack on Titan would never have made it as far as they did without the help of Mikasa, the stoic military prodigy. Adopted into the Yeager family after the tragic demise of her parents, Mikasa swiftly came to realize that only the strong can survive in the ruthless world she’s been born into and resolves to devote herself to the defense of her last remaining family. This prompts her to join the military despite wanting to live a peaceful life, determined to keep an eye on Eren.
Because her character motivations are rooted in the protection of her family, Mikasa spends much of the story following after her friends and helping them out of their many tight spots. While this works in a story whose main character can be recklessly single-minded of his goals, a spin-off more focused upon Mikasa could explore her as a character independent of Eren.
Sakura is a frustrating character for many reasons; she can be whiny and is often relegated to support while the rest of her comrades engage in impressive, high stakes battles. One of the most aggravating parts of her character is all the lost potential she’d initially possessed. Sakura is established from the beginning of the show as highly intelligent, frequently providing exposition for the mechanics of Naruto's world. She’s the first to be able to accurately control her chakra when the concept is introduced to her team and had no need to cheat during the written portion of the Chunin exam. She’s trained for over two years by Lady Tsunade, increasing her knowledge of medical ninjutsu as well as boosting her physical strength.
Naruto however devotes much attention to the clashes of her two teammates, meaning that Sakura’s character is easily overshadowed and underdeveloped in a show that all too often doesn’t have the time for her. A show devoted to her character could remedy that lack of attention and loss of potential. She could very well be a more relatable audience surrogate considering all of her strengths and achievements have been earned through her own efforts, without the help of any inherited skills and abilities.