The biggest example would be Hungary, who was a Cute Bruiser even as a small child. Even after her Girliness Upgrade she still manages to single handedly punch and kick the crap out of Prussia's army. She also is shown to have skill with a sword, a spear, and, most iconically, a frying pan. Although she also is shown with a rifle in some official art.
Belarus gets shades of this, threatening Latvia with knives in her first appearance and gaining a generally Boisterous Bruiser attitude in more recent strips, outright attacking Finland and Denmark in the 2010 Christmas and 2011 Halloween events respectively.
In Baccano! we have Chane, a mute Knife Nut that holds her own against a guy with a shotgun, Ennis, a Battle Butler for the Big Bad of the 1930 storyline, and Rachel, Badass NormalAction Survivor who climbs around on moving trains and saves hostages from heavily armed aggressors without carrying any weapons of her own. The novels include several more that never made it into the anime.
Casca from Berserk was a very credible one until... stuffhappened. It's not and never was chickification because, considering what exactly happened, she has all the right in the world to break down.
Though not to the extent of Casca, Farnese has started heading in this direction as of late.
Schierke also kicks ass, but she tends towards being the Black Magician Girl rather than fighting physically.
Virtually all of the main female characters in Blade And Soul such as Alka, Hazuki, and Dan Roana are these. Which is a good thing, because most parts of the world they inhabit is pretty harsh towards those unprepared for it.
Makie from Blade of the Immortal. Granted, she does not fight much, but when she begins she easily proves herself to be the best fighter in the entire series.
Doa is also seriously dangerous and even Rin can make a reasonable showing on a good day. Since Rin's goal aside of getting her revenge is to become one of these. . .
Yoruichi Shihouin is quite possibly the most Badass female character in the whole series, being able to lay a smack down on Soifon, Yammy, Aizen's chrysalis form (and living to tell about it, something that Gin didn't manage to do), and several Mooks. In fact, she spends a good majority of her screentime kicking ass. And being a Soul Reaper, she even manages to do all this without a Zanpaktou. Just some good punches and kicks are enough for her. Now, if she did have a Zanpaktou, just imagine how powerful she would be...
Soifon, Yoroichi's successor as Second Division Captain, does pretty well for herself, taking on arguably the most dangerous of the Espada, the Segunda Espada, shooting him in the face with a rocket launcher. Twice.
Neliel Tu Odershvank made her introduction by nearly taking down Nnoitra Jiruga. Unfortunately, we haven't seen her since then, but if / when she shows up again, expect her to come back with a vengeance.
Rangiku Matsumoto is a lazy slacker in everyday life, but when she gets into battle mode (which, given the nature of this series, is often)? Don't Fuck. With. Her. Ever.
Rukia Kuchiki, the little pint-sized-ice person...(not Toshiro) fought and won against Aaroniero Arruruerie. To put it into perspective, that battle made into the top 10 most popular Bleach fights of all time.
Hiyori Sarugaki is extremely aggressive both in and out of battle, using plenty of punches, kicks, and some impressive swordfighting. She just might be one of the most action-oriented ladies in the series.
Retsu Unohana is also heavily implied to be an extremely powerful fighter, even when she tends to be more of The Medic alongside her whole medical squadron. So far she made Aizen back down with good reason; she's the original Kenpachi and a Blood Knight.
Lisa Yadomaru, with her badass Zanpaktou and Shikai, is the series' resident Badass Bookworm.
Mashiro Kuna does indeed kick quite a bit of ass, considering she was a lieutenant back in the day. Which is hard to believe since she's such a Genki Girl.
Ururu Tsumugiya, with her giant-ass bazooka-thing, is one of the standout examples of Small Girl, Big Gun.
Kuukaku Shiba hasn't seen much action, but she did do a little bit of fighting at the end of the Soul Society arc, knocking a giant flat on his butt with a single spell. Not quite as much of an Action Girl compared to, say, Yoruichi or Soifon, but still.
Momo Hinamori, after spending her time in the Soul Society arc as the Broken Bird, got to show off her Action Girl chops in the Fake Karakura Town arc when she pulled a Big Damn Heroes to save Matsumoto from getting obliterated. She then proceeded to fight alongside Matsumoto against Dark Action Girl Harribel's Amazon Brigade. She's also pretty badass in the fillers.
Jackie Tristan from the Fullbringer arc is pretty good at fighting as well.
Ichigo's mother, Masaki, gets point for using her Quincy powers to take on a Hollow that was giving a Captain class Shinigami trouble. Granted she didn't do much damage, but A for effort.
Blue Seed's Koume Sawaguchi fits this trope exactly, even to the point where she is considered to be the TAC's muscle against the Aragami. It's even acknowledged in the post-series Time SkipOVA when the other characters directly state that they can't fight the Aragami without Koume's help.
There's also second-in-command Ryoko Takeuchi, an ex-cop who doesn't take crap and is an excellent shot. She even carries a 10mm even when she's off duty. She and Koume team up on missions from time to time throughout the series, and when they do it results in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
Sakura Kinomoto and Mei Ling from Cardcaptor Sakura. Since Sakura is one of the iconic Magical Girl heroines, this is to be expected. Mei Ling, meanwhile, is just a straight-up Badass.
A Certain Magical Index has many (as to be expected when all of the students in the city most of the story taskes place in go through superpower development programs) to lista few theres: Misaka, Index (in a couple scenes), Itsuwa, Mugino, Kazaki...the list goes on.
Rizelle also counts, (although she prefers manipulating others to fight for her unless she's pushed in a corner).
Satella and her sister Florette, AKA "Fiore", who are powerful jewel summoners.
Claymore: Clare, Teresa, Galatea, Miria, Irene, Undine, Ophelia, Helen, Jean, Priscilla, Deneve, Flora, Elena, Noel, Sophia, Miata, Audrey... it's pretty much all about this trope. It'd be easier to name those who wouldn't qualify, but it's much more fun to name some specifics.
Spike: Are all the employees around here like you? You got some classy moves for a corporate girl. Electra: The more you know, the shorter your life will be. Spike: I love the kind of woman who could kick my ass.
Faye most certainly counts as well. Remember when she started kicking the ever-loving shit out of a bunch of thugs on Callisto? The same ones that Spike held his own against?
Honey Kisaragi from Cutey Honey may be one of the earliest examples in anime (along with Sapphire from Princess Knight, mentioned further down) where the female lead was the main character AND a downright competent Action Girl.
Detective Conan: Karate expert Ran Mouri can kick down doors, break knives, dodge bullets, help kick the ass of 50-60 armed men, kick the ass of any person who hostages her or harms her loved ones, and even dent a cement telephone post if she's in the mood for it. And she's not the only one: Satou (standard police training, which include judo), Kazuha (aikido), Sara (jeet kune do), Ran's mom Eri (judo) and Heiji's mom Shizuka (former kendo champion who has not let her skills go rusty) can handle themselves pretty well too.
Miyako/Yolei of Digimon Adventure 02 predates both of the above in terms of sheer ballsiness. She almost never fights hand to hand as her Digimon is the one doing it, but she never backed out of fights and once even had the pluck to try attacking Lady Devimon to protect her friends.
Fairy Tail: Pretty much every female character is one. Some notable ones, however;
Erza Scarlet, also known as Titania, is one of the strongest members of Fairy Tail and a prominent fighter in every arc.
Mirajane is usually placid and cts as the Guild's bartender, but when she finds her loved ones in danger, she unleashes her own transformation powers which are said to be comparable to Erza.
Cana Alberona, the heavy-drinking, card-carrying bad-ass mage who never backs down from a fight, even against stronger opponents. After the Time Skip, she can use Fairy Glitter effectively, making her exceptionally powerful.
Juvia Lockser's entire body is made of water, and she's capable of creating and manipulating water however she pleases. When it's time to get dangerous, the results can be rather epic.
Ultear Milkovich of Grimoire Heart starts out as an evil Dark Action Girl, but eventually she turns over a new leaf and loses the "dark" part. However, she certainly doesn't lose a tiny bit of her badassery.
Wendy Marvell is a cute, sweet little 12 year old girl who can mercilessly tear you apart with Wind magic. Did we also happen to mention she's the Sky Dragon Slayer?
Lisanna can transform parts of her body into those of animals in a form of magic called "Animal Soul." Also, she's not dead like everyone thought, which qualifies her even more now.
Lucy Heartfilia gradually makes the transition from The Chick to full-on action girl with each arc, as she begins to fight alongside her Celestial Spirits. She also begins to rely less on said spirits and more on her agility and whip as the story progresses.
Merudy comes from the same guild as Ultear, and has an Absurdly Sharp Blade that can cut through just about anything. She also gets significantly more badass over the Time Skip, and also turns over a new leaf like Ultear.
Evergreen of the Raijin Tribe can turn you into stone by looking at you. Holy shit.
Bisca Moulin may be a more minor character, but she can awesomely kick your ass with freaking magic guns.
Levy is on one of the most valued teams in Fairy Tail, and was even considered for a S-Class exam.
Sherry Blendy of the Lamia Scale guild is a Marionette Master who's fully capable of taking charge and leaping into battle with the best of them. This is particularly shown during the Oración Seis arc.
Laki Olietta, also a minor character, has some awesome Back-to-Back Badasses moments with other members. Said partners she's teamed up with include Max and Gildarts.
Mavis is the founder of the whole Fairy Tail guild. This alone makes her worthy of special mention.
Hell, even Carla has her moments, and she's a cat!
Saber and Rin Tohsaka in Fate/stay night are the two leading ladies, and are both awesomely kickass.
Satellizer, Ganessa, Chiffon, Kaho, Miyabi, Rana, Ingrid, Annette, Clio, Elizabeth, and Cassie from Freezing.
Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist pretty much defines this status. She is easily the most consistently competent and the least goofy of the Military Men, and let's not forget the "You're useless in the rain" scene. This is even more obvious in the manga and Brotherhood where she's portrayed as an expert sniper having saved both Hughes and Mustang's life during the Ishval Rebellion/massacre.
The manga and the Brotherhood anime series also gives us Lan Fan (bodyguard ninja to Ling Yao), Mei Chan (the cutest warrior princess ever), and Olivier Milla Armstrong (who defeats her younger brother Alex in a fight, and takes on a homunculi in a tank).
The most badass female and the most badass person is Izumi Curtis, the local Action Mom; she cements it during the Tales of a Master flashback to her training in Mount Briggs, where she is forced to fight for her life in Winter and does this by taking out patrols from the heavily trained Fort Briggs, then she throws a bear to the ground, knocks the damn thing out, and drags the bear back to the person who told her to fight for her life for a month. She then beats the shit out of him for being a famous martial artist instead of a famous alchemist.
Hell, Izumi even manages to intimidate/impress Olivier and Alex! See for yourself (spoiler-ish)
Tessa has had some particularly Badass moments of her own, being the captain of a military submarine.
Kaname Chidori, believe it or not, also has some elements of this. She's just a regular, Ordinary High-School Student with absolutely no military/combat training whatsoever, yet she still manages to outwit and beat up assassins and is always somehow involved in the counter-attack that takes place following her capture, whether or not it's in a combat role.
It would seem that in GaoGaiGar, if you're a female humanoid, you're almost guaranteed for supporting roleson the backstage. However, starting in the OVA, we're introduced with Rune Cardiff Shishioh, who is actually a total Action Girl on her own and is probably the only female who takes combat directly head on. Hell, in Super Robot Wars, she DOES actually take on robots bigger than her size armed with just her bazookas and fists (but with the help of her companion femmebots as well).
Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell is likely the best there is in Section 9 at just about everything. The only character who was shown to be better than her at something was also thought to be too cool to exist.
Gintama has quite a few: Kyuubei, Kagura, Otae, Sacchan, and Tae.
Remy Shimada in Go Shogun and Go Shogun: The Time Étranger, first a mecha pilot, then a revolver-wielding explorer/adventurer.
Deconstructed in Great Teacher Onizuka with Tokiwa. A traumatized girl who has some skill in karate, she lures boys to a make-out spot and then beats the hell out of them... until one of them comes back for revenge with his buddies, who know martial arts and are actually prepared for her, and they defeat her with ease.
Rushuna in Grenadier. Her goal is to get the enemy to lose their will to fight by the power of her smile. She regularly fails on this part. So she has to use her Improbable Aiming Skills and Unorthodox Reload to shoot anything that moves. In a world of riflemen and samurai and superweapons, the most dangerous thing is a girl with large breasts and a six-shot revolver.
Alita from GunnmZigZags between this trope and Dark Action Girl. With a sound mind, she's a regular Action Girl. But make her mad and she'll start getting really violent.
Yuki Nagato of Haruhi Suzumiya. There's a reason why she's called a Badass Bookworm. She's badass enough that she doesn't need to move a limb to fight. She can open her mouth, and (at least in the anime), chant SQL queries backwards, sped up. At one point, she blocks a gigantic cave cricket's attack without flinching by using a gigantic forcefield. Most of the time, she uses her data manipulation for good, like helping the team win a baseball match in order to prevent the world from ending, and playing a kickass electric guitar solo. And that's not even mentioning the battle with Ryoko Asakura, who is no slouch in that department herself.
Athena could also qualify. She's the one who opened Hayate's potential and trained him, but since all of her battles so far have been against the main character, it's questionable whether she goes here or Dark Action Girl.
Seras Victoria and Integra from Hellsing; Integra is just, well, Integra, and Seras... Oh my gosh, after Seras drinks Berandotte's blood, she takes so many levels in badass it's not even funny!
All of the main girls in Hidan no Aria qualifiy, but in particular, Aria.
Kimagure Orange Road, being a junior high school romance story, doesn't often call for action sequences. But when it does, Madoka "the Pick" Ayukawa is ready and able to take out a whole gang of delinquents. Or, you know, skateboard down the girders of a building under construction. Whatever the situation, she can handle it . . . as long as it doesn't involve ghosts.
Sumire Iwaya of Kimi Wa Petto (Tramps Like Us), is a classy career woman who's punched out a boss's fake tooth, beaten up muggers on at least three different occasions, taken out Yakuza goons, given her boyfriend a split lip, and busted out some wrestling techniques to use on the men who kidnapped her pet, Momo.
Momo: No wonder they call her the Department of Technique!
Lupin III has Fujiko Mine, often an Action Girl. However, her status as a Badass has varied. Early on, she was often a Damsel in Distress, but later works have made her the Action Girl to contrast with the Girl of the Week that Lupin is chasing.
Limelda Jorg also fits in this catagory Even though she did kill Vanessa, she did managed to take out a good number of the Elite Guard she used to be in plus a group of mercinaries out to kill Madlax. And in later episodes it's hinted that she's taken out a few more squads but it got credited to Madlax by Friday Monday.
Finally there's Elenore Baker; a prime example of Ninja Maid. In certain circles it's joked er...hinted that she's the teacher of Roberta from Black Lagoon.
Hikaru Shidou from Magic Knight Rayearth is this in spades - threaten any living being, or heaven forbid her dearest friends, and you might as well curb-stomp your own ass.
Umi and Fuu also qualify lots and lots. (The three did have training previous to the Cefiro Read Trip after all: Hikaru as a kendoka, Umi as a classic fencer, and Fuu as archer). Also Caldina. And of course...we can't forget Nova (which gives action-girl Hikaru a whole new dimension since Nova is Hikaru...or more specifically her shadow). Now just take a moment to consider how badass Nova herself is and you'll get my meaning...
Don't forget the princesses Tatra and Tarta. Aska is a pretty decent Summoner, too.
You don't have to look far in Magi - Labyrinth of Magic to find an Action Girl, because almost all of them are notable for being real Action Girls. From main character Morgiana, to Sinbad's Generals Yamuraiha and Pisti, to even the Kou Empire's Princesses Hakuei and Kougyoku. And they're all awesome for it.
Despite being a victim ofa lot of pranks, Hot Teacher Machiko Mai from Maicchingu Machiko Sensei often gives back as much as she takes. She's more athletic than the rest of the staff (including the phys ed teachers), able to pick up skills like skateboarding in one or two tries, and knows martial arts of some kind — several episodes involve her beating the crap out of someone who goes too far. (One memorable instance of this involved her breasts popping free from her shirt from a thief who had taken her as a hostage, which she used as a the start of a breast-and-karate-chop combo.)
Rune Balot of the novels/manga/movies, Mardock Scramble. She's an ex-hooker cyborg capable of shooting bullets out of the air with her eyes closed, has a transforming weapon, super-senses, and highly advanced technopathic abilities. She's practically a force of nature.
Jun Hono from Great Mazinger who also was a martial artist besides mecha pilot. One of her most remembered feats was killing one general of the Mykene empire army with one single Eye Beam from her mecha in the final episode.
Mikura from Mezzo Forte is the weapons and hand-to-hand combat specialist of the Danger Service Agency, and easily outclasses any of the male characters in a one-on-one fight. Her foil, Mafia Princess Momomi Minoi, qualifies as a Dark Action Girl being that she's the only character in the OVA that can stand toe-to-toe with Mikura.
Allenby Beardsley from G Gundam is an example in the Gundam franchise. Don't let the girly-looking Gundam and the girlish speech patterns fool you: she can kick you ass six ways to Sunday, and she will. If you have to doubt her skill, in her first scene she actually fought Domon in an arcade simulation when they first met; neither of them won, but the machine was the real loser as their combined fighting skills caused it to break down.
In Monster, Nina is not only capable of kicking ass (and running without pain while in heels) but also scaring people completely shitless (and in at least one case, pissless) when they get in her way. It's possible she inherited some of this from her mother who escaped from a high security military base while in labor.
However, Nina could be seen a possible subversion and a Deconstruction of this. She starts out as a martial-arts expert who quickly becomes adept with fire-arms. However, in the second half of the series, she becomes less and less "action-y" as we learn the massive MESS of a past that she's been through. Although present at the climax, all she does is tell Johan that she forgives him. Even more so: the fandom conveniently "forgets" that while Nina is a martial-arts expert... we don't meet her as such: we met her as a mix of Creepy Child and Ophelia, and it's later when we know what she can physically do.
Naruto's Temari holds the shining distinction of not only being the only female to participate in the Chunin exams to actually win a fight, but to add insult to injury she did it twice in a row. She later rescued Shikamaru and defeated Tayuya in the Sasuke Retrieval arc. Sadly Impressive for a female character in Naruto.
Tsunade is this in her introduction in Part 1. The whole thing was just one giant Crowning Moment Of Awesome as she fought then-Big Bad Orochimaru alongside Jiraiya, but after that, she became the Hokage and became more or less moving scenery, with her only significant contributions being as a healer rather than a fighter. In chapter 562, she proved that she had more than some few seconds of Action Girl set aside for a special occasion by activating a secret forbidden technique and punching a hole through Madara's Susanoo. And then she ran out of seconds and Madara (who was not even mildly inconvenienced by the attack) turned his Susanoo into a mountain-busting giant.
Sakura ZigZags like all hell between this trope and Faux Action Girl. She started off as an above average ninja, then quickly fell behind and became The Load, then she had an Action Girl moment in the Forest of Death during the Chunin Exams and did what she could in the Exams themselves... before becoming a Distressed Damsel for Naruto and Gaara's fight. Then Took a Level in Badass in Shippuden and became a full-on Action Girl... then fell behind again after the first two arcs. She had more Action Girl moments such like killing with a single punch one of the Pain's summons, taking charge when Naruto was going eight-tailed fox in that arc, and trying to kill Sasuke, but some of them didn't go very well. Sakura has had one or two Action Girl moments since her Day in the Limelight, however, like when she unmasked and captured a Zetsu clone that had infiltrated the camp and handed him to the interrogation groups and when she revealed she knows how to use the Strength of a Hundred Seal like Tsunade. Double Subverted when it's finally acknowledged that she's utterly outclassed by any and all characters that actually matter; her only recourse is to either A: stand on the sidelines and be useless or B: throw herself at an enemy she knows can kill her faster than you can say "moving scenery" in order to at the very least provide a distraction for Naruto and Sasuke to exploit. To her credit she actually chooses the latter (what little good it does, but A for effort).
The introduction of Mei aka the Mizukage has added another Action Girl to the list. When Sasuke attacked the Kage summit, she almost killed him by having won the local Superpower Lottery by having a double kekkei genkai.
Hinata Hyuga is one of these, especially in the anime. It gave her one of the only blows that Deva Path would take and several arcs add more moves to her arsenal that don't otherwise exist in the manga. And now in the War, she's saved Neji from White Zetsus, helped Ino take over Obito with Shintenshin, saved Naruto and finally gave him a Get Ahold Of Yourself Man by snapping Naruto out of the Heroic BSOD after Neji's death facing the Ten-Tails. Naruto then gives her a chakra cloak-and she can deflect Ten-Tails' tail-hands with a SINGLE air palm and send them flying across the battlefield.
And of course, Kushina Uzumaki, the former Kyuubi jinchuriki and Naruto's Action Mom. The first and only time she appeared outside a flashback featured her completely restraining the Kyuubi with her chakra alone. Then when the flashback does come, we discover that Kushina was possibly the only person ever to actually survive having a Bijuu extracted from her; less than an hour after she had given birth. After a ten month pregnancy. And less than an hour after that, the Kyuubi tries to kill Naruto with its claw. Kushina does the Human Shield bit and catches the claw in her stomach. Despite all the crap previously listed, she (with some help from her husband)stops a giant eldritch abomination's claw with pure physical strength.
Ino Yamanaka grows into her own during the war. Let's see, she helped bring down Kinkaku with her teammates when he was all Kyubified, enabling him to be sealed in the Amber Sealing Pot. Then she saves Choji twice in the battle with Asuma, the second time actually fighting Asuma in Choji's body while lecturing him. She then combines with Shikamaru to make a pretty awesome duo, taking out numerous Zetsu clones with him, while setting up Asuma to be beaten. She has also gotten the nickname the 'Reaper of Souls' given how she can take over opponents far stronger than herself. Notably Obito while he's controlling the Ten-Tails...TWICE.
During the War Arc, Karin goes from being a Combat Medic to full-blown Action Girl when she learns how to use Chakra Chains like Kushina. Oh, and that attack that killed Neji? Karin just bites herself and shrugs it off.
But the best example in this series is a villain, namely Kaguya, the mother of the Sage of Six Paths, inventor of the Sharingan and Rinnegan and the first person ever to use chakra. She once stole a sacred fruit and used its power to win all wars, and in her day, the entire world either worshiped her as a goddess or feared her as a demon.
In Neon Genesis Evangelion the two female leads, Asuka and Rei, perform incredible acts of badassery from within their Evas at multiple points in the series. Additionally, Major Misato Katsuragi is the operations director for the Evangelion project, and although she mostly functions as Mission Control, she is very deadly with a pistol, as three JSSDF Commandos found out the hard way when they attempted to harm Shinji in End of Evangelion.
Mirielle, Kirika, and Chloe in Noir. I mean, they are assassins! Definitely warrior material.
The 108 Sekirei in the series of the same name are an overwhelmingly female species of battle aliens. About half of them have been shown, and only three girls don't qualify as Action Girls. Of those three, two make up for their lack of physical prowess by being More Deadly Than The Male.
One Piece: Several actually. The most prominent currently probably being Boa Hancock who is said to be the strongest woman in the whole world and can 'perfectly back up said claim thanks to her Kick Chick skills and Takenfor Granite powers. Tashigi is of the the more traditional variety being a swordsman. The female strawhats are frequently in the fore of the fighting as well. Word of God states this is intentional because Oda wants to make female characters both male and female fans can like.
Amir from Otoyomegatari is a skilled equestrian, archer and hunter. Apparently, this was part of a normal upbringing where she's from.
Yellow is the kind of person who would rather befriend Pokémon than battle with them, but even Sird realizes (and Lance learns through experience) that cutting off any possibility of diplomacy with her is a cosmically bad idea.
Anyone who looks under the Wild Child and Badass Normal entries should be aware of what Sapphire is capable of; capable in combat both with and without her Pokémon, and hardly a slouch in the cranial department despite her complications in Roxanne's written challenge. She also developed a soft spot for Ruby, and though he hasn't gotten in a hot spot she needed to wholly bail him out of, it's safe to assume that threatening his safety with her in proximity is akin to a death wish.
Despite her isolated and spoiled upbringing, Platinum Berlitz comes from a family of scholars and can easily classify as the most knowledgeable out of the entire lot. Even though her bodyguards aren't what you'd expect fromtheir profession, it's not a bright idea to tick her off or endanger them, either.
White started out as mainly a Neutral Female, but when her Tepig Gigi left to be with N, she Took a Level in Badass and quickly gained 6 Pokémon, defeated a Battle Subway Master, and defended a Legendary, ALL IN THE SPAN OF ABOUT 2 CHAPTERS.
Although, her arc has literally just started, Fitsu is implied to have been a former Team Plasma member. We can assume she was definitely a Badass in this regard.
Speaking of Action Girls from the Pokémon anime, all of Ash Ketchum's female companions are this, with Misty and Iris arguably being the most blatant ones. Although May and Dawn are no slouches themselves. May very much came off as one, evident in her theme song. And Dawn may well be the biggest Action Girl of them all, with her battle style being the closest to Ash's and often having Piplup deliver the finishing blow along with Pikachu.
Princess Sapphire is one of the earliest examples in this medium, what with Princess Knight being created way back in the fifties and considered as the mother of allshoujo manga. Friebe also counts.
Sakurako and Matsuri from Psyren are "Universal-type" PSI users, which as the name implies means they are good at everything. Fredrica and Marie, despite being kids, are equally capable.
Due to battling against Witches, all of the Magical Girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica fall under this trope. Of particular notability is Homura, whose powers didn't give her a magical weapon, forcing her to improvise with explosives and guns that were stolen from the Yakuza.
Queen's Blade: Pretty much everyone without a Y Chromosome is capable of kicking ass to some degree or other.
To some extent, Akane Tendō and most of Ranma's harem from Ranma ˝. While they may not be as strong as Ranma and most of the main male martial artists, they can still beat the shit out of 90% of the boys their age.
For comedic purposes, Akane tends to become temporarily physically stronger than all the characters.
In a normal world, Akane would be the most badass person around. This is the girl who has to fight every single guy in the school just to get to class each morning, because Kuno had unilaterally declared that any guy who can defeat her gets to date her, and she's never lost to any of them. And she views this routine as merely irritating. It's her bad luck that she lives in a world with martial artists on the level of Ranma and Ryoga, and she appears weak only in comparison.
Julia from Rave Master, in her human form. And Elie around halfway through the manga.
Utena Tenjou from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Juri Arisugawa also gets special mention for being able to come awfully close to beating her.
From the Robot Romance Trilogy: Chizuru Nanbara of Combattler V is a mecha pilot capable to sortie even when she is deadly ill; Megumi Oka of Voltes V is mecha pilot, highly-trained soldier and ninja; and Nana from Daimos is The Gunslinger and a jet fighter pilot (the female lead, Erika became this in the manga Victory Five).
Juliet Fiamatta Asto Capulet, Romeo X Juliet. An excellent Swordsman, she was a vigilante known as the Red Whirlwind and was more than a match for the guards of the city. As she realizes what her heritage as the last Capulet truly means, she has to balance both mental stability and fighting skills...
Sailor Moon is about Usagi Tsukino and her friends who transform into Magical Girl Warriors to battle demons, Usagi herself becoming the titular Sailor Moon. Her friends, meanwhile, become Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Pluto. The series is iconic for not only running on this trope, but doing it in a way that portrays their "girly girl" aspects as strengths instead of weaknesses. Not only that, there are several occasions where the male lead (Usagi's boyfriend) is put in the Damsel in Distress position and the eponymous heroines must rescue him.
Saint Seiya is usually less fair to the females in this sense due to the Values Dissonance (it's a shonen franchise that comes from The Eighties), but two Action Girls from the much newer spinoff series stand out: Crane Yuzuriha and Aquila Yuna. While Yuzuriha certainly can hold her own, Yuna has the advantage of being one of the core cast of the series and receives a lot of developments.
Yotsuha from episode 15 of Samurai Champloo, who is a ninja detective in imperial Japan.
Pururuun aka Polly Esther in Samurai Pizza Cats. So tough, she has even been known to beat up her own co-workers if they annoy her in any way!
Francoise Arnoul aka 003 from Cyborg 009 is this when at her boldest. While she relays more in her Super Senses and Wrench Wench skills, when she needs to defend herself and she can't relay on 009 or others, she'll do it without hesitation.
Mutsumi Mitsuba from Seitokai Yakuindomo is a 2-dan black belt in Judo and is generally competent in that. In fact, she founded the judo team when she just entered high school and immediately have respectable results, despite recruiting a team of complete newbies.
Tiara from Shamanic Princess uses Full-Contact Magic during a fight, summons shadow creatures to do her bidding, whips out shadow-swords, and becomes a sexy demon warrior with deadly fighting skill.
Anna Kyoyama and Tao Jun from Shaman King are two of the biggest Badasses in the series, every bit on-par with the male badasses.
Chizuru from Shinryaku! Ika Musume is normally peaceful but if you A) mess with her family or B) mess with her store she will kick your ass and like Tomoyo she kinda stands out since it's not a action manga.
Himeko Onizuka from Sket Dance was an insanely powerful''yankee'' who unintentionally built a fearsome reputation for herself by taking on all comers wherever she went. Then she met Bossun. She got a lot better, choosing to use her strength for the sake of helping others through the Sket Dan.
Lina Inverse from The Slayers: She left a path of devastation wherever she went, kicking the collective arses of everyone between her and whatever goal she was pursuing at the time.
Amelia has plenty of action girl moments, including this one at 18:05 where she exorcises an entire town of its ghost infection.
Filia qualifies even if she can have a Chick-like demeanor, having angrily destroyed a town under baiting by Xellos in this episode at 17:04
Maka Albern of Soul Eater. There is no shortage of instances where she's kicking ass by swinging and twirling that Sinister Scythe of hers. Tsubaki and the Thompson sisters Patti and Liz are shown as very capable too, on the rare occasion that they fight without their meister partners.
And later on there's Team Mom Marie Mjolnir, fighting Justin.
Trixie from Speed Racer actually was quite more action-geared than the then-norm in the original 60's series. When she did get whacked with a Distress Ball, she did her best to fight back and often was more trouble than worth to their captors.