The argument of “best girl” or “waifu” is recent lingo within the anime fandom but the concept behind it is nearly as old as the anime medium itself. Tokuma Shoten‘s Animage magazine has held a vote every year since 1979 asking the ubiquitous question, “Who is this year’s ‘Best Girl’?” as part of its Anime Grand Prix feature. Fans recently put together a graphic showing the top five winners for each year since 1983. It’s an interesting look on how tastes change over time and to note which characters had the most staying power. For instance, earlier years saw fewer repeats until about 2002 when Gundam Seed‘s Lacus Clyne held the title of #1 for four years (with one slip to #2 thanks to Fullmetal Alchemist‘s Riza Hawkey).
So what does 40 years of favorite heroine’s look like? Get ready to dive way, way back.
In 1983, the top five feature the main ladies of Macross, Rumiko Takahashi‘s Lum, Minky Momo, and Crusher Joe‘s Alfin. All these titles remain relevant in most fan’s consciousness with perhaps the exception of Crusher Joe. Fans who aren’t familiar with Lum are still likely know Takahashi’s other heroines (who show up later). Still, the