Without Japan’s devotion and passion for video games, the industry would not be the same as it is today. And with so many great games coming from the Land of the Rising Sun, we have seen various strong Japanese female characters appearing in games over the years. Here is our pick of the four greatest.
Athena Asamiya from Psycho Soldier
Athena Asamiya, whose name in Japanese is 麻宮 アテナ, first appeared way back in 1986 in the game Psycho Soldier. She is a descendant of Princess Athena, who starred in the game Athena, to which Psycho Solider is a sequel. Athena Asamiya also later appeared in the popular King of Fighters series of games. The character has been so popular over the years that she was even given her own video game for PlayStation in 1999, although Athena: Awakening from the Ordinary Life was only released in Japan. Seeing as Athena Asamiya has endured this long, she is sure to feature in plenty more games over the coming years. Maybe she will even star in her own slot game, like the fabulous ones that can be found at カスモ (Casumo) online casino.
Nakoruru from the Samurai Shodown Series
The Samurai Shodown series of games are set in a fictionalized version of 18th century Japan. One of the most notable elements of the games is the way the characters generally only speak in Japanese, including specific dialects from archaic formalities to modern-day slang. The star of the game series is Nakoruru, an Ainu shrine maiden who is the defender of Mother Nature. She spends her time communicating with nature in forests, which enables her to channel ki energy into her sword. She also has the ability to heal. A pacifist at heart, Nakoruru always tries to resolve issues with non-violent solutions. But when that is not possible, she is ready to fight for justice, making her a worthy female protagonist for the present day.
H’aanit from Octopath Traveler
Harking back to old Japanese RPGs of the 1980s and 1990s, but with a modern twist and a unique gameplay experience, the turn-based RPG Octopath Traveler has sold more than two million copies and is one of the best-selling games on Nintendo Switch. H’aanit is one of eight playable characters. She is a hunter with Shakespearean dialect and one of the last descendants of her forest-dwelling people. H’aanit is arguably the stand-out character from Octopath Traveler. She is brave, strong, and intelligent, and all of those attributes are needed when she sets out to search for her missing master Z’aanta who left home to hunt a notorious dread beast.
Samus Aran from the Metroid Series
Samus Aran made her debut appearance back in the 1986 video game Metroid. The original game spawned various sequels, spin-offs, and even comic books. And at the heart of all of them is Aran, who is determined to protect the galaxy from space pirates. She began her career as a soldier for the Galactic Federation. Samus Aran then became a galactic bounty hunter. Fitted with a powered exoskeleton equipped with a wide variety of directed-energy weapons, she is always ready for a new mission. Samus Aran has appeared in every game of the Metroid series, and she has made appearances in other games, like the Super Smash Bros. series. Aran is one of the earliest female protagonists in gaming history, and her popularity has never faded, making her not just the greatest Japanese female character but also simply the greatest female video game character of all time.