Here we’re listing the top 5 best waifu options of all time! Afterwards, we’ll answer some brief questions about the qualifications of these seemingly perfect characters. Get ready for our tier list! Remember this is a highly subjective subject and feel free to leave your opinion on the comments!
Credits for featured image: @Artist_Nagseo
1. Raphtalia (The Rising Of The Shield Hero)
Raphtalia! She’s not even the main character (let’s be honest, few of the girls on this list technically are) and she managed to take the world by storm almost overnight!
In the anime, she is the “sword” to Naofumi’s “shield”, making her crucial to his survival. But their relationship develops from a working partnership to best friends to the possibility of something more through numerous outside dangers.
Throughout their travels, she proves time and time again that she is an amazing person. She defends Naofumi from her worst fear – a two-headed dog, from hordes of zombies, and from the kingdom’s guards. She never gives up or abandons him, even when given every opportunity.
People love not only her tenacity after recovering from such a harsh upbringing, but her willingness to smile. She chooses to be loyal to a friend who treats her well, and to continue fighting for him time and time again.
Once she became known to the world, she became popular quickly. Some of the most famous cosplays of her are featured by @reakami1 , who has portrayed her even recently!
2. Rin Tohsaka (Fate/Stay Night)
She crept up slowly on the waifu scene, developing from Fate, which is a video-game-series-turned-anime that has multiple platforms and storylines.
In the referenced anime, which has 24 episodes, she is a model member of society. Rin is cool and indifferent until she’s around friends, where she’s able to be loud and emphatic.
This contrast excites viewers, who know her true affections towards other cast members (no spoilers!) but can’t help but be impressed at her refusal to break her own character. This trend continues throughout the series as she grows and learns more about her world.
She struggles to form relationships but cares deeply about those she gets to know. This difficulty even makes her more likeable, because interactions don’t come as naturally to her as they do for others.
She knows people look up to her and strives to meet expectations. So as much as it’s impressive that Raphtalia could endure such strife and keep smiling, it’s humbling to watch Rin grapple with her emotions when you know that ultimately, she’s doing this for the greater good.
Viewers who are under a lot of pressure identify well with Rin, seeing bits of their own lives in her everyday existence. They can readily empathize with the types of situations, at least socially, that she finds herself in.
Over time her true character is revealed further, allowing for more character development and closer bonds to be created, giving viewers hope. Some beautiful art created of her is by Rachta Lin.2
3. Asuna Yuuki (Sword Art Online)
Asuna, oh Asuna. Beloved by so many for the better part of the past few years.
Within the story, she’s incredibly ambitious, taking upon herself the burden of saving hundreds of peoples’ lives. This of course is attractive in and of itself, but her real “waifu” attributes lie in her blend of soft and hard personality traits.
She’s incredibly hotheaded, attempting to fight players over her cooking. She’s reckless and stubborn, refusing to back out of fights once she’s enraged. Does this make her the best waifu though?
Well, she’s also nurturing, taking care of an AI. Additionally, she’s protective of Kirito, and incredibly loving when they are safe.
While their story oftentimes seems doomed, she, like Raphtalia, continues to smile. And like Rin, her brash outwardly nature seems to be enjoyed by all.
This mix of impassioned properties allows her continued popularity. Viewers can identify with her frustrations as well as enjoy her overwhelmingly sweet scenes. At the end of the day, she’s a girl people want to come home to.
While there are loads of cosplays and art of her, one of the best is by @mk_ays3
4. Zero Two (Darling in the Franxx)
Unlike Rem and Rin, Zero Two (and yes that IS her name) is a protagonist. She’s known as a “Partner Killer”, which is a title that displays her reputation and the stigma around her quite well.
Due to not being completely human, she’s ostracized, leading to some heavily emotional scenes. Similar to Asuna, Zero Two tends towards being aggressive with other people. But the reasoning is her continued isolation. She growls, refuses to speak, and has no issue with confrontation.
Anyone who’s been bullied can identify with the difficulties she’s faced since growing up. It makes sense for her to be outspoken and aggressive, if she wasn’t able to gain a friend group or support system early on.
But like Raphtalia, she’s kind and happy, especially considering how long she was alone. She has an internal drive to protect Hiro and the others, even going so far as to wanting to protect the world that neglected her.
Her flaws are bare to the world, her lack of tact, like Rin’s, brutally pushing others away. But her social ineptude has such an engaging reason behind it that it’s understandable. And throughout the arc she continues to try to grow, without having much of a chance to reach her full potential or be accepted by others. Much like Rem, she’s trying desperately to better herself.
And those who adore her don’t see those flaws quite as harshly as those in her world.
Seeming a bit like a martyr to those who view her, she’s adored for her tenacity and determination to still love those she has trouble being accepted by. This made her an instant top-tier waifu. One of her best cosplayers is @aru.rinh. 4
Rem is a character who at first seems simple, but develops over the course of the story into one of the most important members. She also took the focus of the story straight out of the hands of Emilia, who would have been the easy waifu pick.
But Rem is simply more interesting:
Her entire backstory, tragic as it is, defines her characteristics as a shy, remorseful girl. From there, her overprotective, possessive nature touches the hearts of those who see her. While she may also be feared for this truth, she’s loved for her loyalty and fierce disposition.
It’s in direct contrast, similar to Rin, to the personality she often fronts with. This dichotomy is enjoyed by thrill-seekers and those who identify with her feelings of inadequacy in the face of those around her.
In addition, she has some serious survivor’s guilt to contend with, adding another layer of understanding to her character. This allows for viewers to emphasize further with her circumstances.
For most, they simply want Rem to gain confidence in herself, to be able to enjoy the life that she hasn’t been able to have. She’s a waifu in part because of her amazing potential should her circumstances be upgraded.
One of the best pieces of realistic art of Rem is done by @Yanick on Twitter. 5
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Frequently asked questions:
If everything’s a bit confusing, check out our page with definitions to help you out!
What is a waifu?
A waifu is an ideal character that people adore! It’s a play on the word “wife”.
Who is the best waifu?
The best waifu is subjective and a large debate across fandoms! This depends on the personality people prefer, such as different “deres”, and the character design, as well as key plot points.
Is there only one waifu per show?
Nope! A waifu is the character you are most attracted to from a show! A lot of people tend to like the same characters. And some are so well-known and oft adored, that they’ve made it onto this list.
How long does a waifu stay “popular”?
A lot of this depends on whether their anime is enjoyed only the season it airs, or for seasons afterwards. The ones in this list are continually cosplayed, written about, and drawn, although their respective shows are no longer “new”.
How do I find a waifu?
Watch any anime, and pick your favorite girls from them! Then you pick your all-time favorite, and that’s your “waifu”! She could also be your “best girl”, since she’s the best of them all!