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Measuring the popularity of different anime girls can be challenging, as the ways fans and viewers express their adoration vary widely between communities and over time. For example, some anime girls play leading roles in immensely popular, long-running shows, suggesting that they are known and at least well-liked by many viewers across an extended period. Yet recent decades have also borne witness to the rise of online anime communities and forums, as well as major in-person anime conventions. In these spaces, the most popular anime girls to discuss, cosplay, and create fanart for are often from less popular and shorter-running shows. This suggests that, depending on how you measure it, there are different popular anime girls among different fan communities.

Most popular anime girls by viewer rating:

The top best-rated anime shows of all time feature the most popular anime girls according to a massive number of viewers. Specifically, the top 3 most popular anime girls of all time are:

  1. Riza Hawkeye (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
  2. Kurisu Makise (Steins;Gate)
  3. Nagisa Furukawa (Clannad)

Each of these anime girls is considered the best girl among the female characters in their respective anime series. Riza is beloved by a very vocal online fanbase. Kurusu is by-and-large the most popular anime girl in Steins;Gate. Nagisa vastly outranks her fellow Clannad characters as one of the most popular anime girls.

Most popular anime girls by fanart creation:

Online-posted fanart is a new metric for gauging popular anime girls’ status among fans. Based on this comprehensive long-term examination, the most popular anime girls among fanart-creating viewers change rapidly, with the “top 8” changing completely on a near-monthly basis. Most interestingly, these top anime girls come from shorter-running or more recent anime series that generally have more niche viewership. For example, anime girls from the Fate series consistently captured multiple positions in the study’s top 8 during 2019, despite the show ranking 40th in popularity by viewership.

  1. Formidable (Azur Lane) – Current most popular anime girl among fanart creating viewers despite the show premiering in October 2019 (due to the immense popularity of the Azure Lane mobile game)
  2. Hestia (Danmachi) – Historically the most popular in terms of how much fanart was created about her when she was the reigning most popular anime girl
  3. Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid) – Though not a traditional anime girl in the sense that she appears in a specific anime series, Hatsume Miku was the most popular anime girl, statistically speaking, for the most prolonged time in the last twelve years.

Most Popular Anime Girls By Cosplay Frequency:

The most cosplayed anime girls are limited mainly to the anime girls who are most able to be cosplayed. That is, some long-running popular anime girls, like Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost In The Shell, are hailed as being nearly impossible to cosplay well. Consequently, fears of doing their favorite anime girls a disservice by cosplaying them poorly may keep some fans from displaying their most honest preferences through their cosplay plans.

According to a survey by Otakumode, the most popular anime girls fans want to cosplay are:

  1. Rem (Re: Zero)
  2. Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
  3. Jirou Kyouka (My Hero Academia)

Though the survey ultimately generated a list of the twelve most popular anime girls according to viewers’ responses, only Rem, Kiki, and Jirou placed without tying with another character for their position. As the clear winners of the survey, we can appreciate that these popular anime girls are not only fan-favorites but also easy (and inexpensive) cosplay characters.

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