Analyzing Strength in Women in Fiction: Physical Strength in TV and Anime

Honorable mention: Melinda May, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

1. Sameen Shaw, Person of Interest:

Subcategory: mental

Like John Reese, the main character of POI, Shaw worked for the government program that tackled the Machine’s “relevant” numbers. She can easily take out a room of guards and soldiers, including a bunch of strong men nearly twice her size. She also has an Axel ll personality disorder, which is what makes her such a lethal operative; she does have emotions, but they’re extremely underdeveloped. Working with Reese, Finch, Root, Carter, and Fusco helps her considerably, and she begins to see the value of human life. Shaw is a popular character in POI (of course, the majority of the main cast is highly liked), as she’s clearly independent and capable. However, the thing that keeps her likable and not feeling overpowered is her highly underdeveloped emotions; she may be a great fighter and strategist, but she’s an emotional disaster. Pair that with a strong personality, and you have a winner of a character.

2. Mikasa Ackerman, Attack on Titan:

Subcategory: mental

Mikasa is one of the most powerful Titan killers in AOT, the other being Levi. She’s a natural prodigy; fast, smart, and she makes killing Titans look easy. It’s no wonder she was considered the best of her class. And while she usually looks rather bored or disinterested, she can turn scary in a heartbeat, especially when it comes to the main character, Eren. Mikasa is one of the most loved characters in AOT, but also one of the most hated. Her fans like that she is so capable, and that she has a lot of depth. Her haters feels as though she’s overpowered, and that she’s much too protective of Eren. I have to say both sides have their points, but my conclusion is that she’s a good character with poor writing. I feel as though she’s interesting and has a lot of potential, and I can understand the overprotective part of her character, but I don’t like the fact that she was good at everything right away, and it bothers me that the majority of her character development is based on Eren. So I hope that in season 2 (and the manga!) she can develop and change on her own without him.

3. Eleven, Stranger Things:

Subcategory: emotional

Eleven is a telekinetic girl who has been experimented on her entire life. She was used for horrible things, such as entering the Upside Down, a strange dimension, with her powers. When she finally escapes and begins to make friends for the first time, she often uses her powers to protect and save them, especially from the organization that is trying to hunt her down. Eleven is probably the most popular character in Stranger Things, and for good reason; this is a kid who was basically a science experiment her whole life, and yet hasn’t broken down completely. She still has a heart and a mischievous side to her, and she is very selfless, as she is willing to sacrifice her possible chance at a normal life for those she loves.

4. Ruby Rose, RWBY

Subcategory: emotional

Although I’ve only seen a few episodes of RWBY, the main character definitely stands out. She’s already shown to be powerful and capable, but she’s also a rookie and learning to become a better huntress. I think that’s what I like about her; she’s shown to be gifted right off the bat, able to use a scythe weapon quite well, but also portrayed as impulsive and inexperienced. I like her; she’s enthusiastic and a weapon nerd, cheerful and can communicate well. I really liked the moment when she was able to figure out how to talk to Blake, who is rather quiet and a bookworm. (I need a friend like Ruby in my life, haha.)

5. Touka Kirishima, Tokyo Ghoul:

Subcategory: emotional

Touka comes off as rather cold and easily angered in the beginning, but after seeing what a Ghoul’s life is like, I can’t really blame her. She’s clearly strong; she was able to beat Tsukiyama with her kagune, but I like that it wasn’t portrayed as an easy fight; it was difficult. In fact, it’s her emotional attachments that make her strong; when Kaneki is abducted by Aogiri Tree (can’t spell…), she is determined to help rescue him. What I find interesting is that in each of her battles, it isn’t purely physical strength that helps her win. It’s her relationships with characters like Kaneki, Hinami, and Ryouko that fuel her ability. I’m not sure how popular she is, but I have to say I like her; she’s shown to have more depth than what meets the eye. She breaks down when she’s called pretty, she’s willing to consume human food for her human friend (despite getting sick), and she even feels guilty when Mado, a CCG detective, dies, because he had a family.

7 thoughts on “Analyzing Strength in Women in Fiction: Physical Strength in TV and Anime

  1. Great post! =) I love all the characters you mentioned and agree with the points you brought up, especially about Mikasa. I’ve heard about Person of Interest but never got around to watching it, but after reading what you had to say about Sameen Shaw I feel I really need to check it out now lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I really hope Mikasa gets some character development that doesn’t involve Eren. I feel like she’ll become a better character if that happens.
      And OMG, you must check out Person of Interest! Shaw doesn’t come in until season 2, but it’s such an amazing show. I feel like there was a slight quality drop after season 3, but it was nowhere near the drop that shows like Sherlock and Arrow went through. It still had a good story. All of the characters are developed, and the plot is interesting. It’s definitely one of my favorite shows.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I’m not happy about her borderline obsession lol. It generally isn’t something I like seeing in any character (horror/thrillers being the exception), especially in one with so much potential.

        It’s that far ahead?! Binge watching here I come!! Lol. As you could probably already tell I love binge watching (it’s like my superpower), so 3 seasons, in addition the good character and plot, is a serious plus for me 😁. No worries, I’ve noticed a lot of shows now drop around the 3rd or 4th season so am getting use to it, but thanks a ton for the warning, would have eventually been disappointed if I wasn’t expecting it. I’ll try to let you know when I check it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just don’t find it healthy. Like, I’m fine with her being over protective (if I saw my mom and dad die in front of me, then my foster mom, with my foster dad nowhere to be found, and to top it all off, was nearly sold into prostitution at the age of nine, and my foster brother was the one who saved me and was my only living family left, I’d be pretty over protective too.) I just want her to find other people to be emotionally invested in too.
        POI is actually completed! (Cries…I miss it so much.) and please lemme know when you check it out! The first episodes are a little meh, but trust me, it gets SO much better.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yup, you’re right lol. It makes sense given all she’s been through (she’s pretty much lost her entire family twice now, except Eren). So I totally agree with that, which is why I’d be fine with it if she changes later on. She’ll likely always be protective of him, and given how reckless he usually is I can’t blame her lol, I’d just like it if her tunnel vision when it comes to him gradually lessens. Though regardless of all her flaws she’ll forever be one of my favorite characters =)

        It is!!? Yeah I’m for sure checking it out soon. I hate waiting for new episodes so this really is perfect lol. I’ll be sure to give it a good chance and let you know how it goes!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Exactly. If someone lost their family, twice, I think it’s pretty justifiable for them to be overprotective of the one family member they have left. And I agree that she’ll likely always be protective of him, but yeah, I do hope she begins to reach out to others besides him more. I’d like to see her become friends with other characters.
        Yes! Lemme know once you start watching it! If you like crime shows and science fiction with a human element, I think you’ll like POI!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s