Rival Schools/Project Justice
Zaki – This was a close one, I had a really hard time choosing between her and Tiffany. Ultimately though this punky young woman claimed first, as I could not deny her badassery. Her awesome character design combined with the calm “big sister” aura she has about her makes her worthy of the crown! With her all black uniform and mask she looks ready for a no-hold beat down, making her perfect for a fighting game! I know I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of the chains she fights with, they look painful! I’d be cool if Capcom decided to make a new Rival Schools game so I could have a go with her!
Tiffany Lords – This lively, busty blonde almost snagged first place, however the deciding factor came down to who would be more effective in combat. That would be Zaki, as Tiffany’s rather tight outfit would probably hinder her some. However none the less I do like her! She is very much a female character that’s playing on the “fanservice” side of the road with her boots and leotard, but she does it in a way I don’t think is “cheap”, there’s more to her than just her looks. Her being a cheerleader who fights with boxing gloves is entertaining and her star spangled clothes are cool (though slightly comical), making her overall seem quite likable. As such this patriotic young lady gets second!
Akira Kazama – This kid had a pretty good shot, just like the other two above her. I like her design, looking like a mysterious and badass biker ready to show you a world of pain, yet being shy and earnest inside. That contrast is nice! I really like her battle outfit, that helmet of hers is friggin’ intimidating! Sadly however the other two triumphed over her, but that doesn’t mean I think too much less of her. Heck, if I wasn’t rating, the three of them would be tied! On a side note I think its heartwarming how she ends up befriending Zaki in Project Justice, it’s so endearing!
Kyoko Minazuki – She was one of the first characters I saw when I first discovered Rival Schools and I was taken by her refined beauty. This beautiful and mature school nurse definitely stands out among the other ladies in the game, who are mainly schoolgirls. Her overall design is fairly simplistic compared to the likes of Zaki or Tiffany, but I think its effective. She doesn’t need anything to crazy to get her character across, her lab coat, sweater and glasses do the trick.
Filia – Yes, another entry that uses her hair in combat! I have to say, I think Filia takes what Milla does to the next level! I really like the idea of her hair being a entity all of its own and sentience. I can saw without that her design takes inspiration from the Japanese futakuchi-onna! Other than that the heroine of Skullgirls has a fairly standard design, being a schoolgirl. Still of all the schoolgirls I’ve seen I find her uniform to be one of my favorites!
Parasoul – Parasoul is one of those designs akin to Kyoko, simple but effective. Her outfit basically is just a black dress and heels, but she just looks so good in it! Add to that her red hair that hides her one eye, giving her an air of regality and mystery, and you got yourself one attractive young woman! Her using an umbrella as a rapier makes her an interesting addition to the “Ladies with Rapiers Club”, but its not entirely original. Second place none the less!
Valentine – A ninja nurse huh, Skullgirls? Now that is indeed an interesting concept! True, Valentine here is definitely a fanservice character, but she’s one with some creativity mixed in. Her using medical equipment to fight is very entertaining and very fitting! On the other hand being a fanservice character I feel she plays a bit on my natural attractions and her design is fairly standard “sexy nurse” fair. The stylist art of Skullgirls helps at least, making her an interesting design none the less.
Painwheel – Appearance wise Painwheel is horrifying but I like that cause it sells her whole “tormented lab experiment” character! I also feel for her as she is a pretty tragic young lady who was once so sweet and kind. I just want her to be able to be happy again! Sadly this is Skullgirls…happiness isn’t really an option. I’m cheering for you success none the less Painwheel!
Hildegard von Krone – I love the idea of female knight-like characters in functional armor and Hilde personifies this beautifully! In both her Soulcalibur 4 and 5 incarnations, this fiery haired royal wears armor that gives her a regal and combat-ready appearance. I personally like her design in 5 best, I think short hair looks better on her. I also like how she has both a sword and a spear, allowing her to hit opponents at different ranges. For these reasons she is both first place on this list and my main character!
Ashlotte – I really like this doll’s design, the mix of gothic lolita with clockwork mechanics looks amazing! Her wireframe dress has to be one of my favorite parts of her design. Her iron maiden ispired mace is also really cool! The only thing that keeps her from being number one of the list is the fact she is copy-paste gameplay wise. Its a real shame to, they could have done some really interesting things with her! Its also a shame we likely won’t see her again. None the less this elegant mechanical beauty gets second place!
Natsu – This may run contrary to a lot of people’s opinion (and get me some hate), but prefer Natsu over her master, Taki. I personally find Nastu more visually interesting, with her shoulder/waist armor and trendy hairstyle, compared to Taki who just has a basic bodysuit and ponytail. I also find that her blonde hair goes really well with her red outfit…even if red is a terrible color for a ninja. I do have to agree with what was said on The Fighters Generation, Natsu’s in-game model doesn’t look quite as good as her concept art. Still that doesn’t stop her from claiming third place!
Viola – I have long held a fascination with mysterious gothic-inspired character and this woman fits right into that. Her design kind of reminds me of Red Riding Hood combined with a fortune teller, a mix that surprisingly works. Her Freddy Krueger claws and ability to command an orb are pretty interesting, she one of the few Soulcalibur characters to use a ranged weapon. I do find her whole amnesia backstory a bit overplayed, as its something so many characters have. Still that doesn’t take to much away from her, so she can rest comfortably in fourth place.
Cammy – As one of the main poster girls for Street Fighter, I can say I see why the Killer Bee is so popular. Her militaristic leotard designs is undoubtedly cool and attractive, making her looking properly ready to kick some ass. I’d say of the different versions of her well-known design my favorite is the blue Shadaloo one with the garrison cap! If I ever get the chance to play a game in the Street Fighter franchise I definitely plan to try her out!
Ibuki – Out of all the ninja girls in fighting games, Ibuki has to be my favorite! She just looks so cheerful, upbeat and lively, especially compare to her generally stoic peers. Her design is also enjoyable, as I find the simplicity of it combined with the neutral color scheme to be quiet visually relaxing. Her whole story about wanting to be a normal girl is also fairly interesting and helps highlight the struggle of being a teenager. Just like Cammy above her I definitely want to try playing as her whenever I get the chance, but till then she happily hold second place on this list!
Juli & Juni – Having these two on this list might be kind of cheap as there design is so similar to Cammy’s, but I just love this design so much! Master Bison certainly knows how to make a stylish amazon brigade! However if more than their similarity to Cammy I like the bit of personality you pick up off them. Juli looks serious and mature (despite being in her teens), while Juni looks quite, young and somewhat innocent. They look like they make a good team, so I see why they are often paired together (like they are on this list). Third place is theirs to share!
Juri Han – Juri is a bit of an interesting subject for me because when I first saw her I really liked her. When I look at her now though she seems to have lost some of the initial appeal. I do still like her, her psycho personality matched with her cool eye and skills in Taekwondo are awesome, but I find myself questioning some aspects of her actual physical design. Her hair and “spider” shirt make me raise an eyebrow the most, I’m just not sure how I feel about them and this fact drops her down to fourth place. I’m sorry Juri, please don’t kill me!