Since I first selected Chun-Li at that laundromat Street Fighter II arcade so many years ago, I quickly learned a lesson that has stuck with me throughout all my years of gaming; that girls are just better characters. Sorry guys, but it’s true. As a matter of fact, unbeknownst to some people, (like Derek) many a gamer have associated their favorite female game characters as their “waifu”. Whether or not you associate this term as a girl you would marry, a character you admire, or just an all-around bad ass chick, 2014 surely wasn’t short of some incredible female heroines to draw inspiration from. Thankfully, we’ve compiled 12 characters from 2014 who are certified waifu material, using their power, brains, beauty, or sometimes all three, to leave their own mark on their games and our heats. So without further ado…
Honorable Mentions: Chihiro Fujisaki (Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc) and Princess Kenny (South Park: Stick Of Truth)
Chihiro was an early standout in the first Danganronpa. As the Ultimate Programmer, the genius level intellect required for such a title was held back by a timid personality and severe self esteem issues. Early into the story, she decides that enough is enough, and takes steps to become stronger in an attempt to help her friends survive the horrors of the Hope’s Peak Academy killing game. Although things take a turn for the tragic early in the story, Chihiro’s legacy lives on through Alter Ego, an A.I. that would not only create a window for the survivors to escape, but played an important role in the second game as well! Her strength finally showed through. It’s just too bad she wasn’t around to see it.
Princess Kenny on the other hand, is a powerful archer with the power to control animals. As the most kawaii princess in all of South Park, she proves to be a valuable asset in the fight for the Stick of Truth. But behind that gorgeous smile, those flowing locks, and that orange hood hides something much more sinister.
Obviously, these are strong qualities that anyone would want from their perfect waifu. So why aren’t they on the list? Well… Neither of them are actually girls. Chihiro took on the identity of a woman since he felt like he was too weak to be a man, (with Japanese gender roles firmly in play), while Princess Kenny is obviously just Kenny roleplaying as a woman. Still, these “ladies” managed to leave a huge mark on 2014, being prominently featured in two of the best games of the year. They’re everything you would want in a strong female character. You know… except for the “female” part.
Miigan (Tomodachi Life)
Tomodachi Life puts Mii’s on an island and allows them to live out their life in a multitude of crazy ways. Whether or not they want to make friends, fight their neighbors, or have a nightly rap battle, one thing that even Mii’s can’t escape is the call of marriage.
Enter Miigan, the Mii based on my real wife. Even more shocking than the fact that a woman actually decided to marry me, was the fact that my Mii was dumb enough to plant her firmly in the friendzone, despite hanging out constantly and being labeled as each other’s favorite person. Well, it’s okay in the end. Miigan ran off and got married to the local transient by the name of Hungry Hungry Hobo, while InuJoshua floats around the island with Fils-A-Mech in a sad, lonely stupor. All’s well that ends well, right?
Toadette (Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker)
As Captain Toad’s loyal assistant, Toadette is just as capable as her boss, solving puzzles, uncovering treasure, and chasing adventure with the best of them. While she may start off kidnapped, she gets a real chance to shine when the tables are turned and she has to rescue the Captain. Eventually, she gets tired of the whole damsel in distress role, and rescues herself late in the game. So what if Toad’s are technically asexual? That doesn’t change the fact that in a game full of treasure, Toadette is the most precious of all.
Bayonetta (Bayonetta 2)
The witch is back! Bayonetta completely understands what it means to use her immense power to her advantage. Whether its destroying enemy angels with her powerful summons, toppling giant bosses with over the top attacks, or trolling opponents with her sexuality, she definitely isn’t a woman to mess with. The only thing keeping her from being higher on the list is that the thought of being someone’s waifu would probably result with a bullet in someone’s head.
Espella Cantabella (Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)
The mysterious woman who is the catalyst for bringing the Top Hat Professor and the Ace Attorney together. While her potential status as a witch is a major plot point that the two continuously try to refute, the one thing that’s apparent is her unwavering strength when it comes to protecting the people she cares about. Any doubt is erased at the point where she volunteers to be executed as the Great Witch Bezella, all in the hopes that the witch trials will cease with her death. While things don’t go exactly as planned, (on top of her background causing additional trouble for our heroes after the fact,) there’s no doubt that this newcomer holds her own in the presence of such legendary characters.
Palutena (Super Smash Bros for 3DS/Wii U)
The Goddess of Light makes her playable debut in the latest Smash Bros., and she’s just as endearing as she was in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Not only does she have the distinction of being the character with the largest range of unique custom moves, but she even takes the time to give Pit advice between fights if certain conditions are met. Compassionate, wise and nurturing, yet powerful, funny, and a sarcastic jerk. She reminds me why she was one of the best parts of that incredible 3DS game from two years ago. Now, can we PLEASE get an Amiibo for her?
Princess Zelda (Hyrule Warriors)
It’s never been a secret that Princess Zelda is one of the most powerful beings in all of the Zelda universe. Often seen as too huge of a threat to Ganon’s power to allow to run free, she’s typically forced to support Link from the background while either in hiding, or flat out kidnapped. That all changes in Hyrule Warriors, where she finally gets to put that power to use. Fighting as both a powerful fencer and a magic wielding ninja in her Sheik form, using her was a definite highlight from one of the biggest surprise hits of the year for me. Just try to kidnap her now. We’ll wait…
Yukiko Amagi/Yukari Takeba (Persona 4 Arena Ultimax/Persona Q)
It’s true that Persona 3 was far from the first “Waifu Simulator”, a game that allows you to build relationships with your party members, (with a bit of romance thrown in when approaching the ladies,) but it’s definitely credited with making them popular in the West. For my money, Yukari and Yukiko were the top Waifu’s from 3 and 4 respectively. Seeing them return with their powerful spells, the Personas they control, and the revelation that Yukari is a freaking Power Ranger in Arena, combined with the attachment built from their core games, make them easy inclusions. But most importantly? They starred in two games this year! That’s a lot of Waifu to go around.
Kohaku (Tales Of Hearts R)
In the world of Tales of Hearts R, a person’s power and personality is shaped by their Spira, a crystallized manifestation a person’s spirit. As the girl with the perfect Spira, Kohaku has the perfect balance of emotions, partially due to a goddess that resides within it. Obviously, this becomes problematic when protagonist/bumbling idiot, Kor Meteor, shatters it in an attempt to save her. When the shards of her Spira scatter across the world, this sparks an adventure that pits Kor, Kohaku and their party against various enemies who would want to her power for their own means. But damn it, if you weren’t endeared by the girl’s personality, especially with her reactions as each emotion is put back into her, then we can’t be friends.
Yuelia (Fantasy Life)
As the daughter of the Goddess who saved the land of Reveria from certain doom decades prior, Yuelia comes down from the heavens to follow in her mother’s footsteps. After taking the form of a butterfly for the majority of the game, her magical prowess and hysterical wit are almost matched by how adorable she is. Plus, the bond she builds with your character makes them total ship material, and just might be the strongest bond between two protagonists this year. When you consider that your character rarely talks, Yuelia deserves all of the credit for anchoring one of the most charming games of the year.
Ibuki Mioda (Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair)
What can I say about Ibuki that can properly describe her in text? She’s unique. Her hair style is impossible to figure out. She’s laugh out loud hysterical, and completely owns the title of Ultimate Musician with her ridiculous music. As my personal favorite character in a cast of numerous strong candidates, Ms. Mioda has this quality about her that brings out the joy in a situation as dire as being locked on an island with the only means of escape being to kill the rest of your friends. Sure, she might have the strange habit of pointing at nothing mid conversation, writing songs of questionable quality, and uncontrollably foaming at the mouth at the slightest sign of distress, but that’s why we love her. Here’s to hoping Ibuki sneaks her way into future games, because I surely haven’t had enough of this girl’s wild style.
Ibuiki might not have lasted very long on the Island of Mutual Killing, but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t make every minute count.
Neptune (Hyperdimension Neptunia: Re;Birth 1)
If there was a perfect girl for your average gamer, than it would be hard to come much closer than Neptune. As a literal video game goddess, she helps defend Gamindustry while taking the form of Purple Heart, complete with an outfit that would make Bayonetta blush. But outside of battle, she’s lazy, irresponsible, and doesn’t do anything but play games all day.
But beneath the slacker facade lies a cute, funny, charming, and powerful girl who puts herself at risk to protect her land of Planeptune, her friends, and even her enemies. Neptune leads her game with a level of quirkiness that made Re;Birth 1 a game that I won’t soon forget, which ALMOST makes her the top candidate for waifu of 2014.
Chiaki Nanami (Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair)
Yet, topping the list is Chiaki Nanami, the Ultimate Gamer from Danganronpa 2. Like Ibuki, she’s trapped on an island with the rest of her class, with the only sure means of escape lies in getting away with murder. Like Neptune, she’s obsessed with gaming, claiming to be an expert at every genre available aside from dating sims. Well… That’s conveniently where our role as husbando comes in, and anyone who played the game would tell you that getting to know her is one of the definite highlights of an already fantastic game. While she has her fair share of airhead qualities, (including falling asleep standing up,) she’s all business when it comes to solving Monokuma’s twisted mysteries. Often leading the protagonist and the rest of the class through threads of logic they wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise, Chiaki is a literal lifesaver.
Which makes the moment of her death all the more disheartening.
Because despite technically being a mole who was working for those who put everyone on the island to begin with, she always sees the best in her classmates, giving up her life so that they could live on. Much like those who she was working for, she has an undying faith in the group’s ability to serve as the ultimate hope in the fight against despair. Whether she’s standing up for her little sister, Usami, bravely facing an inevitable demise, or helping the lead turn Super Saiyan, Chiaki is all that you could ask for in a partner, a friend, and especially a waifu. Oh, did I mention she’s an AI? She’s sure to fall right in line with the virtual girlfriends the rest of us have.
So how right is this waifu list? Did we leave out your favorite Japanese gaming heroine? Let us know who we’re missing, and here’s to another great year of virtual crushes!