Anime List

6 Examples of Women’s Armor That Might Actually, You Know, Protect Them!

I think we all know the cliche: The woman warrior strides onto the field of battle, dressed in her most powerful armor -- consisting of two strands of dental floss and a couple cushioned bottle caps. Of course, the latter are available only if the battlefield is post apocalyptic; otherwise, she might has to use flat rocks or maybe some moss. 

Look, I enjoy feminine beauty as much as anyone. But do we have to make these women fight in their underwear -- or less? Can't we get them some real armor? You know the situation's bad when it gets its own comic!

After a brief bit of scientific research, I'm happy to report that the answer is yes! There are in fact examples of women who were fortunate enough to find themselves in worlds that allowed them to dress for combat! In no particular order, here're my favorite six.

It might be hard to believe, but that's Emi under all that heavy armor! Capture from the Netflix stream.

Emilia Justina (a.k.a. Emi Yusa)

The Devil is a Part-Timer

In honor of beginning my review of her series this week, I'd like to start with Emilia Justina. We first see the character at the beginning of episode 1, but we really have no idea it's her -- or even a "her." Her armor covers her head to toe. All we can see are her blazing eyes (well, more like blazing eye -- singular)! When we meet Emi Yusa later, she seems like a typical young professional woman. She's doing something mundane like shivering in the rain because she forgot her umbrella. It's only after she recognizes and confronts Sadao Maou that we in the audience find out she was the hero we saw earlier! Yes, that's how good her armor was!

Nothing less than full armor for Katalina! Good thing, too -- her speed and power need nothing less! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Katalina Alize

Granblue Fantasy The Animation

I remember watching Granblue Fantasy for the first time. You know that hopeful feeling you get when you start watching the first episode of a series you know nothing about? That's how I felt. Then I saw Katalina on screen for the first time -- and she was in full medieval armor! Sure, it was a little more form-fitting than might have been strictly accurate, but it was metal armor, and it gave her real protection! She's the character that actually gave me the idea for this post. It's just taken some time to make room in my schedule! Quick side note: Revisiting the first episode to get this screen cap reminded me of how much I adored the OP, Bump of Chicken's "Go."

Mikoto is a practical young woman. She proves that while armor comes in different shapes and sizes, it still provides adequate protection. Capture from the Funimation stream

Mikoto Misaka

A Certain Scientific Railgun

I can hear your objections now. Mikoto Misaka never wore any armor! What am I thinking including her in this list? Technically, I have to agree with you, but hear me out. You know how Mikoto is always jumping around and fighting and taking down evil, right? Well, she's often wearing her school uniform, which is a typical anime middle school uniform with a too-short skirt. Mikoto's a sensible young woman, so what does she do? She wears shorts underneath her skirt. I think shorts count as modesty-protecting armor! With apologies to Kuroko Shirai, whose motives I don't trust when she tries to lecture Mikoto on how shorts are not lady-like, I think we should applaud Mikoto's creative take on armor.

In terms of raw power, I'm not sure Alicetelia has an equal in this list. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream

Alicetelia February


You didn't think you'd get through this list without at least one entry from Re:Creators, did you? I hope you're not sick of me saying how much I like the show, because it's likely I won't shut up about it. Anyway. If we judge armor by how effective it is, then I think Alicetelia's armor might be the best in this list. Her armor's like a main battle tank! Sure, it looks like she's wearing a skirt, but look more carefully: That's not hose under there, it's steel! The skirt's just decoration. She's so impressive that I suspect Rui Kanoya's Gigas Machina (his giant mech) was actually scared of Alicetelia! 

Alicetelia might have the most powerful armor. But given a choice, I'd prefer to fight her -- even unarmed -- than face a furious Mikasa Ackerman. Mikasa is fury personified. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Mikasa Ackerman

Attack on Titan

About this time, I imagine you're looking askance at me. First Mikoto, now Mikasa? I have a good reason to include her, and I appreciate your patience as I explain why! The second most dangerous member of the Scouts (I think Levi could take her in a fight, but I'm not positive) dresses exactly and precisely like every other Scout, male or female. Their leather "armor" needs to be light so they can use their three dimensional maneuvering gear. So instead of a some gauzy blouse and skimpy shorts, Mikasa is wearing the military garb just like the rest of her unit. I think that counts as adequate armor! And no, I'm not including her just because I like her character so much. I think she earned her entry in this list! Besides, just between the two of us, I don't want to get her mad at me...

Centorea Shianus

Monster Musume

If I were to randomly mention Monster Musume, I would be willing to bet that modest or functional attire would likely not be the first thing that occurs to you. In fact, it's not likely to occur at all! But I'd like to draw your attention to how Centorea dressed when she went on a "date" with Kimihito "Darling-kun" Kurusu. Remember when they tried to flush out the author of the threatening letters in episode 10? Centorea dressed in full battle armor! She was covered head to hoof, neck to tail with metal. And you know what? She looked intimidating! I think her centaur ancestors would have been proud of her, too. I think Darling-kun was safer in those moments than he was at any other time in the series.

Do You Have Any Examples

Are there any armored women that I missed? Do you have a favorite you'd like to mention? Let me know in the comments!

12 thoughts on “6 Examples of Women’s Armor That Might Actually, You Know, Protect Them!

  1. That was an interesting list. It’s so true with so many female characters having impractical armor in battle in anime, comics, and movies. It’s amazing that you found that many characters who would qualify for this list.

    1. Thanks! It took me awhile — months, actually! I even had to cheat with at least Mikasa… Still, it was fun to write. Glad you thought it was interesting!

  2. I am amazed you found six examples for this list. When I saw the title I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head. Great list and we definitely need more women in armour that actually works as armour.

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked it! Candidly, it took me about 3 months to come up with the first 5 — and then Centorea just occurred to me as I was writing about Mikasa. railgunfan75 suggested Darkness from Konosuba and Saber/Arcturia; Curiously Dead Cat suggested Bort (not so much having armor as being armor!).

      But I agree — I’d like to have more examples!

  3. Don’t know about Centorea: that breasts-plate seems like a nightmare that would hurt her even just running. You want to fix big breasts while moving around a lot, not squeeze them into metal, where they automatically hit something if they bounce. You don’t want to take a full frontal blow with that armour. (Not an expert; I may be wrong.)

    1. Interesting point. Maybe there’s leather cushioning under her armor? And Zeke Changuris (@zekechanguris) shared an interesting Youtube video:

      Centorea’s armor might be more realistic than we give it credit for!

      Well, excepting that’s she’s a centaur and all…

      1. That’s an interesting video, but it doesn’t really address my point. Note that both Katalina’s and Alicetelia’s armours have emphasised, aesthetically, the breast area, but the armour desing makes sense. They’re different approaches: Katalina’s armour simulates bound breasts, or a sports bra, if you will, while Alicetelia’s armour has the top-down approach. Centorea’s armour is only one of those designed to have the breasts hang inside the armour. With this design, you can’t tie your breasts to stop them from moving around, you have to “lift them in”. Basically, the armour enhances breast mobility by design (this is not a sentence I ever saw myself typing).

        1. I was a little out of my depth in this conversation, so I consulted with the women folk in my life. The consensus is that a) you’re right, she absolutely needs support and b) the screen cap I used for Centorea “could work.”

          The only other thing I’d add is that I don’t think Centorea would have a lot of movement in the armor as is, because I think she’s likely fill it. But without more analysis than I think it healthy, it’s hard to say for sure!

  4. The whole unpractical armor has been a thing which certainly has perplexed me since I started watching anime. This is a list of amazing characters. I had honestylr forgot of Emi’s battle gear until you mentioned it. I have no qualms about Mikoto beings on the list for obvious reasons. I mean it is practical and smart what she is wearing. I think Darkness from Konosuba would qualify for the list. Yeah you would think she wouldn’t wear armor because she likes to take a beating but there she is with a full set.

    1. Good point about Darkness! I didn’t include her because I think I focused on how much she likes pain. So maybe she self-selected poor choice in armor! I had stuck in my mind the idea that a skirt meant the armor was less practical, and that’s why I excluded Arturia/Saber, too. I might have to rethink that, and if I do, Darkness will likely make the next post.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      1. Yeah Saber has occurred to me as a possibility as well. I think in both cases the armor is far more practical than many you see. It’s certainly an interesting topic where you can debate whether a bunch of characters would qualify.

Leave a Reply to tcrow Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.