Follow TV Tropes


World of Action Girls

Go To
Welcome to Roanapur, the sunny seaside town where there's a rose on every corner. Make light of them and you may get pricked.
"Are all girls like this, or just the ones I know?"
Ron Stoppable's newest female acquaintance springs into action (like all the others), Kim Possible

Gender equality is a bit of a funny thing.

Not too long ago, having a woman kicking ass was an earth-shocking novelty. Now, however, there are loads of tropes and archetypes that effortlessly manage to combine a double-dose of femininity and a double-dose of asskickery. We have powerful video game heroines, we have powerful film heroines, we have powerful comic book heroines, people could go on and on about examples left and right and all over the place.

In some fiction, however, it seems that being a woman instantly gives you masterful ability in gun-slinging, martial arts, swordplay, or sometimes more. In these settings, almost every major female character is an incredibly dangerous badass who could take on the police and military with their hands tied behind their back, and are far more numerous than the men. While that's not to say that the ass-kicking men are non-existent, they are either secondary characters or just vastly outnumbered. It's far more likely that the men will be a Non-Action Guy, tagging along and acting as either Mission Control or moral support.

When you have only a small squadron of badass women, that's an Amazon Brigade. When nearly every man and woman and maybe even some kids are badass and the numbers are fairly equal, that's a World of Badass. This trope is not about the women of a World of Badass; rather, it is when the numbers are decisively tilted in the women's favor. Military Moe is a subtrope of this, a setting with cute girls in military-like situations.

This does not mean that there are lots of Designated Girl Fights. Rather, it means that most of the people doing the fighting are girls. However, if one of the rare male fighters only finds another, equally rare, male fighter to tussle with, then the trope is in effect.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is about Tokusatsu stage shows, most of which feature female heroes. It's mentioned that male heroes exist, but so far none have been shown.
  • Akame ga Kill! has plenty of badass men, but membership in Night Raid always leaned female (at one point the protagonist was one of only two men left). Their Evil Counterparts, the Jaegers, are technically mostly male at the beginning, but the girls were generally stronger and lasted a bit longer.
  • Akuma no Riddle is about an all girl class with one Ordinary High-School Student and the rest are high school assassins going after her.
  • The ladies of Black Lagoon provide the page image. While Mr. Chang and Dutch certainly are no slouches, compared to Revy, Balalaika, Roberta, Eda, Fabiola, Sawyer, not to mention Yolanda and others, they might as well just toss their guns up and kick back.
  • In Blade & Soul, virtually all of the main female characters are one. Lesser capable ones, along with many men are killed regularly throughout the show.
  • In Case Closed, if you are born a woman seems to be a requirement that you are a badass. Ran, Sera, Assistant Inspector Sato,Kir/Mizunashi Rena/Hondou Hidemi, Eri Kisaki, Mary, Shizuka Hattori are only a few examples of this.
  • In Change 123, the focus is mostly on female-on-male (with female usually being more skillful) or female-on-female fights, with the latter ones being more prevalent from the chapter 20 onwards. (And, on top of that, there is also an all-female ninja clan!) This creates an interesting situation during the sport festival, when the teachers insist that girls should be the "riders" on the "battle on horses", believing that they would be less aggressive than boys, not knowing that there is a badass girl in each of the three teams, one of them being also a Blood Knight.
  • Claymore tries to justify this trope. Women inherently make better Claymores than men, because men are more likely to become Awakened Beings.
  • Cross Ange is a deconstruction of this trope. The Amazon Brigade are little more than Cannon Fodder who live in a Penal Colony and there often are casualties everyday. Moreover, a few of these girls used to be normal until their capture and exile as Norma warped them into different people. This trope later becomes reconstructed following the game-changing mid-series escape from Arzenal to restart Libertus.
  • Dog Days plays with this: while The Hero is a male, there are more named female warriors.
  • Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure has the male main character transported to an alternate dimension caught up in a war with mecha which can only be piloted by women. His ability to not only be able to pilot said mechs, but also able to make them do stuff they couldn't before is a tip off that there's something special about him.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World features nearly an entire cast of magically empowered females:
    • There's the three great priestesses of Mt. Moldune for starters: Shayla Shayla, Afura Mann, and Miz Mishtal. Each of whom wields immense elemental power.
    • Then there are the "Demon Dolls," Ifurita (who's a biological super weapon) and Kalia, who's easily the most powerful being in all El Hazard.
    • In addition, both of the key positions of power are held by women: with Rune Venus as Roshtaria's benevolent ruler, and Diva as the enigmatic queen of the Buggrom Empire. Even the Eye of God, which floats above El Hazard, can only be activated by the two princesses of the royal house of Roshtaria.
  • In Freezing, the only combatants are females, with the paired males limited to wielding support powers.
  • Girls und Panzer. The title's translation, "Girls and Tanks", says all that you need to know to get the premise. Every single Tankery team shown in the series consists entirely of girls, the first episode features a recruitment video that advertises tankery as the ultimate feminine competitive sport, and it's remarked in-universe that the idea of a boy being interested in tanks would be weird.
  • Gunslinger Girl is like this. Not only are all the characters young girls, but all of them have been trained to take advantage of how they're young girls.
  • Highschool of the Dead: While not all of its female cast are fighters, the majority of the named ones are with Rei and Saeko, being the two foremost examples among them.
    • Rei was a member of her school's Sojutsu Club ("spear fighting") and had years of additional training at home, from her father. She can also hold her own when unarmed, due to years of study in martial arts.
    • Saeko is her dark counterpart, who was the former captain of their school's Kendo Club, who also happens to be an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight. So she's perfectly content to find herself in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse, since it allows her to indulge her violent impulses without restraint.
    • Saya begins the series as the group planner, but eventually becomes their second gunner. While her mom took self-defense, while working on Wallstreet, and is said to be a better shot than her father.
    • Simply put: aside from Takashi, Hirano, and Saya's dad (Souichiro), all of the ass kickers are female.
  • Katana Maidens has the Toji, girls who wield mystical katanas and fight against otherworldly creatures known as aradama (who themselves are led by Princess Tagitsu).
  • In Kill la Kill, you've got the female protagonist Ryuko Matoi, her female best friend Mako Mankanshoku, her female rival and Big Bad Satsuki Kiryuin, the female member of the Elite Four Nonon Jakuzure, the female Greater-Scope Villain/true Big Bad Ragyo Kiryuin, and her female Co-Dragons Nui Harime and Rei Hououmaru. The former two and latter two are the most powerful characters in the series, and the others are just as strong as their male counterparts. The only notable male fighters are the two main members of Nudist Beach and three of the Elite Four.
  • Mid-Childa from the Lyrical Nanoha series. To the point where the local Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits seem to begin with "become a Special Forces Captain" and go up the badass ladder from there. By the time of ViVid, it's become a joke among the fans that any girl who cannot beat up a grown man by the age of ten is disowned by her parents.
  • Maken-ki! is named for Tenbi Academy's student council, whose job is to enforce discipline at the school and protect it from external threats, such as Kamigari. Takeru seems to think they need his help. They don't.
    • Haruko is both the heroine of the series and vice-president of the student council, so she's the series' most action oriented character by default. She also wields the legendary Murakumo and has been acknowledged by Himegami as, "Tenbi's strongest maiden". A fact made evident when she soundly defeated near the end of the Venus arc.
    • Himegami's Orochi blood imbues her with the power to cast high-level spells and summons, along with the ability to use Yasakani: a Maken with the power of the Original 8 combined! Akaya was stunned when he saw she was evenly matched with Minerva when they fought. Meaning, Himegami's ability exceeds SS-class.
    • Minori co-founded the original Maken-ki, along with Gen, back when they were in highschool. Since then, she's retired and now serves as the academy's principal/PE teacher. But don't think she's lost her edge, because her element is freakishly strong and she has the physical strength to match it - as Ouken Yamato found out the hard way.
    • As student council president, Takaki Furan is the de facto head of administration and the Big Good of the series, since Minori has left her in charge of the school and trusts her judgement. Takaki also has the distinction of being chosen to wield Habaya, an enchanted bow which is one of the 8 Original Maken.
    • And, finally, there's the Venus Unit: an elite all-girl military team of foreign exchange students, all of whom are high-ranking ability users, ranging from S to SS-classnote . Their abilities are so story breaking, that they're effectively kept out of the plot by having them investigate Kamigari behind-the-scenes.
  • Master of Martial Hearts, though it manages to be really, really terrible about it (so terrible that series whose female cast are mostly Damsels in Distress and/or Faux Action Girls usually look less sexist by comparison).
  • The My-HiME series is a Magical Girl Genre Deconstruction, and as such the main heroes are all action girls. In the original series, with the exception of the Big Bad and his assistant, the major male characters barely do anything until the finale.
  • In Noir, not is only almost every member of the cast some kind of badass assassin, but most of the cast is also female. To put things to perspective, the entire series has only one male character who meets the protagonists and lives for more than two episodes afterwards.
  • Pretty Cure: The main protagonists and their allies are usually superpowered ass-kicking girls who primarily fight barehanded. Heroic men are mentors or supporting, non-combat roles. Male villains are a force to be reckoned with though.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Kyubey has only ever contracted teenage girls to hunt Witches, going as far back as the stone age. Cleopatra, Queen Himiko, and Joan of Arc were revealed to have been Magical Girls.
  • Queen's Blade is a series narrating how a bunch of hot women fight each other in order to become ruler of the kingdom. There are some males, but they are, at most, secondary characters and not geared towards kicking ass like the females.
  • The titular Sekirei are nearly a One Gender Proud Warrior Race, with only four known males out of the 108 alien beings. The human women in the series are likewise quite intimidating, with Yukari becoming known as the "Devil Ashikabi" for her tendency to kick the crap out of her rivals.
  • Strike Witches is essentially about teenage action girls with magical power who tends to use guns as big as themselves to fight invading aliens.
  • Tenchi Muyo!, with a full cast of super powered heroines... and only two males, Tenchi and his grandfather the legendary Juraian prince, Yosho, worth mentioning. He and the others often have to rely on Washuu's reality warping scientific genius, Ryoko's raw power and tenacity, and Ayeka's Juraian powers to save them. Then there's the spiritual embodiment of Jurai's greatest battleship Tsunami, empress of Jurai, Funaho, and captain of the royal guard Misaki. With women like these running the show, who needs Tenchi, indeed.
    • An odd example, since Tenchi is the main character and eventually becomes the most powerful of them all, but aside from him, his Grandfather, and a handful of villains, everyone with power lacks a Y chromosome.
  • Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar has a literal and justified case in Geminar: the power to use the planet's Humongous Mecha is hereditary and apparently recessive (i.e. usually both parents must possess it for their children to inherit it), but there's only one male with the power for every ten females, making the men a rare commodity seldom allowed to risk their lives on the battlefield. Or at least, that's the Watsonian explanation; the Doylist explanation would be that it's a series starring a male relative of Harem Genre Trope Codifier Tenchi who just happens to have the power.
  • Variable Geo centers around a women's-only MMA competition for waitresses. As such, the cast is predominantly female and all of them are trained in a broad range of fighting skills. The only noteworthy males are Damian and the mysterious dirty-minded Old Master, who offers Yuka advice.

    Comic Books 
  • While the Birds of Prey (themselves an Amazon Brigade) have gone up against male villains, they're usually dangerous primarily due to their super powers or their resources and intellect. If someone is shown to be able to go toe-to-toe with the heroines - especially Black Canary - in hand-to-hand combat, ten-to-one says it's a woman. In fact, there are a surprising number of women out there who live only to prove themselves against worthy foes in personal combat.
  • The DCU has a number of female-focussed alternate universes. Several of the most recent are Earth-11 of the main DC multiverse, which is basically "Earth-Gender Flip"; the Ame-Comi Girls universe, based on a statue line featuring DC female characters and Gender Flipped versions of male characters in an anime-influenced style; the DC Comics Bombshells universe, a Weird Historical War alternate version of World War II featuring versions of various female DC heroes and villains, which was derived from a series of variant covers and statues reimagining them in a 1940s-pin-up art style; and the Gotham City Garage universe, a post-apocalyptic alternate dimension where Supergirl, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and other female heroes fight back against Lex Luthor's tyrannical rule. An older and never fully realized one due to cancellation after a single comic was Wonder Woman and the Star Riders, where every single character is a magical action girl.
  • Future Foundation: Given this is a superhero comic, all the women are skilled fighters, whether or not they have superpowers.
  • In Jaime Hernandez's graphic novel "God And Science", which is set in a superhero universe featuring many alternate versions of characters from his main Love and Rockets series, almost all of the superheroes are female, and it's explicitly stated in the novel that women naturally have superpowers whereas men have to use technology.
  • The 2006 version of Heroes for Hire was filled of girls: Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Black Cat and Tarantula. And none of them plays it soft, they all kick ass.
  • Y: The Last Man: This is a natural result of all but one of the men in the world dying, and that man not being particularly badass to begin with.

     Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, 90% of the action in the Assassins' Guild takes place around women, both schoolpupils and graduate Lady Assassins. Word of God is that the author did not intend this — where male Assassins appear they are every bit as lethal and well-honed as the girls. It's just that he finds women are more fun to write. this extends to his Thieves, Fools' Guild alumni (largely circus performers who were very reluctantly allowed Fools' Guild training and membership, despite the handicap of being born female) and of course Witches. What emerges is a very definite sisterhood of World of Action girls, of all nationalities.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls is a crossover between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and a shonen battle manga, Bleach; there is an endless tide of powerful female warriors.
  • Dragon Ball Z Elsewhere: A literal one in the afterlife. Heroines train on a separated planet, because, when they trained together with males, neither males nor females were training at their best and both were easily distracted.
  • The Superwomen of Eva series, which takes the female cast of Neon Genesis Evangelion and gives them superpowers, allowing them to mould the destinies of themselves and the people they love by taking the fight to the Angels and the Ancient Conspiracy factions. Even the stories where there is only one super-heroine does a pretty good job giving the other girls an additional level in Badassery and the ones where there is more than one usually have anybody that is not part of the aforementioned Eldritch Abomination race or Ancient Conspiracy factions running for the hills.
  • Winx Club is canonically this trope, so it's only natural most of the fan works it spawns follow suit. In works featuring Fan-Created Offspring, the Winx are almost always promoted to magical Action Moms whereas their daughters take into the mantle of Magical Girl Warriors.
    • By virtue of being a crossover, the War Fic Paradoxus adds a couple of canon action girls from World of Warcraft (Sylvanas Windrunner and Tyrande Whisperwind) besides some Original Characters (the Winx plus Daphne and Roxy and their daughters, Sylvanas' adopted daughter, the Big Bad herself, and dimensional-traveler Galadwen). Exaggerated since there are only three, kind-of-plot-relevant male characters who can actually live up to their female counterparts' badassery. The only one we don't see in action is Faragonda whereas the rest is either enrolled or somehow associated with the military spec-ops branch known as the Tyrannus Division. It was born from the crop of the cream of Magix's Armed Forces and it's pretty much the reason why the dimension still stands a chance against the invading Burning Legion.
    • Almost Magical (found here) has at least six of the Winx's daughters as fairies in training at Alfea who stumble upon the reincarnations of evils their mothers once defeated. Added danger as it's the Dark Phoenix's new keeper and the victory cost them Bloom's life. Downplayed since the Winx's sons also play a role as the next generation of Red Fountain Specialists.
    • In Venado de Plata (found here), set in an alternative ending of the first season's finale (the Trix sisters won), the witches of Cloud Tower plus the minor fairies of Alfea are veritable Magical Girl Warriors, every bit of useful and powerful as the Winx girls. While the specialists of Red Fountain make an apparition, they are wildly outweighed in both "screen time" and numbers by the girls.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 14 Amazons, being set in the aftermath of a war where an entire family of noble heroes were killed, had their spouses, sisters, and daughters - all of them capable warriors - taking up arms and continuing the fight to avenge their loved ones.
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny: All named female characters are fighters and ass-kickers, including Michelle Yeoh's Yu Shu-lien, the new heroine Snow Vase, one of the wandering warriors Silver Dart Shi, the Blind Enchantress who is a competent fighter in her own right, Dark Action Girl Mantis and the restaurant's cook who happens to know kung fu, which she use to expertly beat up mooks during both minutes of her screentime.
  • In Kill Bill, most of the female characters do some major ass kicking. Notably, Bill's old assassination squad was majority women; the only other man aside from Bill on the team was his brother Budd.
  • In Sucker Punch, the fantasy worlds Baby Doll dreams up are certainly this. Given that they're made to reflect the desire of her and the other female inmates to fight back, it makes sense they'd be badass soldiers.

  • Due to Gender Rarity Value making men far too few and considered too delicate of temperament to ever be involved in conflict or even left out in public, this is the world of A Brother's Price. Jerin does reasonably well as a Distressed Dude, much better than Cira expected from anyone, let alone a man, but he'd still have been in a lot of trouble without her.
  • Chicks in Chainmail: Both the theme of the series (every hero is an Action Girl) and in many stories, where the societies are dominated by women warriors.
  • In the Ciaphas Cain women without some form of combat training are few and far between. We've got the Sisters of Battle making multiple appearances, Cain's Love Interest and editor Amberley Vail is an Inquisitor, the Valhallan 597th is a coed regiment with multiple female officers including the commander Regina Kasteen, and even Mira, a planetary governor's daughter, trained for the royal guard. And many of the other female characters are Slaaneshi cultists.
  • Clockwork Century. Not only the female protagonists, but any minor female character who finds themselves in a dangerous situation seems to be able to handle a firearm with remarkable proficiency. That's what you get when you create a Steampunk American Civil War Alternate History with Zombies.
  • The Courtship of Princess Leia: Star Wars has lots of action girls already-this book features not one but two different matriarchal cultures here which feature warrior women en masse, the Hapans and Dathomiri. The entire Hapan military is made up of female soldiers, while Crown Prince Isolder's bodyguards are also entirely women. Dathomiri clans meanwhile have Force-using "witches" catch men and also fight each other with their "magic". Only the evil Nightsisters use male soldiers too-Imperial stormtroopers who have been trapped on the planet and obey them out of fear. Leia naturally remains an action girl, but is largely overshadowed with all the rest. Tenenial Djo, a Dathomiri woman, has the most focus of them. Out of them all, just one or two female characters aren't action girls here. Conversely, even male characters like Luke who are action heroes are outnumbered (plus beaten at several points) by many degrees.
  • Date A Live fits this; the main hero and the series Big Bad are both male, but all the Spirits and AST troops are female. It's implied there may be a reason for this. The talent to the use the Realizer tech is very, very rare, which is why they have kids like Origami and Mana. Seems like only girls have this talent. This may apply to the spirits also, as only females may be able to host the spirits' energy. Shido's ability to seal them may figure in somehow also.
  • The challenge in The First Dwarf King is finding females who aren't action girls.
  • The world of Frostflower and Thorn is unusual in that all warriors are female, not just the main characters. Also unusual: the author is adamant, both in the story itself and in the author's notes, that this is not at all a female-dominated society and that it is in fact very patriarchal.
  • Downplayed in InCryptid. The men are just as good at fighting as the women, but the majority of the books are from a female point of view.
  • In Heralds of Valdemar, there are about as many female Heralds as male, and all of them are trained to fight, with or without their Bond Creature Companions. This holds true even though society outside the Herald ranks is in some form of Medieval Stasis which doesn't always recognize the rights of women.
  • My Dark and Fearsome Queen: In the first book there are three Amazon Brigades fighting each other.
  • The Power: Most of the female characters, due to getting electrical powers, start using them against men (whether for self-defense, torture, murder or rape), and this extends over the entire world, with society being turned upside down because of it. It's a dark example, at the very center of the book, being the titular power (plus the social control it gives them).
  • Quarters: The universe features many female guards, soldiers and assassins, with this being a common feature of the countries where the books are set, including many main characters in them. It's portrayed as common and unremarkable, with women no less competent than men.
  • In Reborn to Master the Blade, though male Knights and competent male fighters do exist, the series most prominent and most powerful fighters are all female. The most prominent is the protagonist, Inglis, who by virtue of the memories of her past life as the Warrior King of the same name and being the Goddess' Chosen One has more power and knowledge than anyone else in the world has. But, several other characters who match her in her strength or in fighting prowess are also female, such as the Equippable Ally Eris, Inglis's cousin and best friend Rafinha, or their mutual friend Leone. The principal of the Academy of Adventure they attend is also female, albeit a powerful mage who can warp reality and gravity to her will than a physical fighter.
  • In the Rihannsu series, Romulan society is quasi-matriarchal, and the first book makes a point of mentioning that there are more women than men in the Romulan military. And while Arrhae in The Romulan Way doesn't get many action scenes she still must've qualified, considering she's actually a Starfleet officer on a deep cover assignment. In general if a female character isn't a soldier, she's a high-ranking politician.
  • The Tortall Universe and the Circle of Magic Universe, both created by the same author, drift into it. While there are quite a few very strong male mages and fighters, nearly all of the protagonists and the majority of their allies (and sometimes enemies) are female, and they can all kick ass. For example, the main cast of Circle of Magic is composed of five girls and three guys, all of whom are some of the greatest mages in the world. It also gets deconstructed in The Will Of The Empress, when Empress Berenene refuses to abolish an ancient custom that allows the men in Namorn to kidnap women and hold them until they sign a marriage contract, because in her opinion strong women should be able to escape as she did, and her empire needs strong women. Sandry points out to her that, as the soon-to-be empress, it's not likely that she was held as strongly as a normal bridenapper would ( Sandry herself was locked in a box).
  • Almost every single girl in Unlimited Fafnir is one, as they all have a "D marking" on them, allowing them to summon antimatter to create weapons with. This comes in very handy against the dragons that attack humanity every now and then.
  • Justified in The World of Ice & Fire, a companion book to the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. The city-states of the Bone Mountains only allow women to be warriors due to a cultural belief that only those who can give life should be permitted to take it.

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Aside from the many Slayers including Buffy, there's witches Willow, Tara and Amy, the former demon Anya, and Buffy's little sister Dawn who she trains in Season 7. Buffy's two strongest foes are the Physical God Glorificus/Glory, and the First Evil who is an Eldritch Abomination that usually appears in Buffy's form. The only recurring female who doesn't regularly kick ass is Joyce, but even she gets her chance in School Hard. By contrast with the males, only Spike, Angel and Riley are competent fighters, and the latter two are Put on a Bus. Otherwise Giles is The Mentor and Xander is just a normal person, they certainly get their moments of badassery but are definitely not as powerful as the women save for Dawn.
  • Intergalactic: Ash is a police officer with the requisite combat skills, and the female convicts she's thrown in among also show varying degrees of prowess. They also make up most of the cast.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Kahlan, Nicci, Cara, the Confessors, Sisters of the Dark/Light and Mord Sith are all very skilled women warriors, frequently displaying their skills. These are most of the female characters, and they outnumber the guys in the main cast.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Most of the cast are female, and being soldiers or cadets they frequently engage in combat or at least training for it.
  • Once Upon a Time veers into this territory. Although there are competent male fighters in the series (Charming, Rumplestiltskin, Captain Hook), they are frequently outnumbered by the numerous badass women surrounding them. Snow White and Emma are the most prominent, Snow being an excellent archer and a capable swordswoman, while Emma's good with a gun (despite that being useless against dragons and ogres) and her fists, and gets in on the sword action as well. Regina is one of the most powerful characters in the series with her magic, and her mother Cora is even more ridiculously powerful, not to mention Mulan and Little Red Riding Hood. Even the non-combat trained Belle steps up and kicks some ass when needed, and uses her love of books to great advantage. Plus, Red's Grandmother has a crossbow and will take you out to protect her granddaughter. Men in this series are in no way portrayed as comparatively weak, but the female fighters tend to be in the front line more often.
  • The Power (2023): As women develop the skein around the world, it causes this increasingly since they learn how to use their electrico-generating ability as a weapon. Those in Saudi Arabia revolt first, then also the Carpathian women, as the skein becomes a potent equalizer (and soon a superior attribute).
  • Pretty Little Liars is this. Almost all important characters are female and at some point each of the main 6 are either an Action Girl or Damsel in Distress. Examples of action girls include: Aria karate fighting in 4A finale, Emily killing Lyndon James, Spencer in all of 3B and the season 2 finale, Hanna putting a tire iron to good use on Holbrook. Mona any time she dons a hoodie. Besides this all the other main chess pieces to the overall mystery and plot are female such as Shana, Ali's mom, Detective Tanner, Cece, and Jenna.

  • The music video for Taylor Swift's Bad Blood opens with her fighting people in an office, and swiftly shows off as many action/sci-fi Shout Outs and Celebrity Cameos from that point onward. No prizes for guessing what kind of people said cameos tend to play.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, SHIMMER, and any other women's pro wrestling promotion that emphasizes athleticism over T&A.
  • WWE finally became this in 2016, after years and years of catfights and Bra and Panties matches. The current women's division is now being represented from countries such as the United States, Japan, Australia and others.


    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Advanced Variable Geo is possibly the Trope Codifier in gaming, as it's one of the earliest all girl fighting game series. The premise is largely the same as the OVA, which centers on a MMA competition for combat waitresses.
  • Arcana Heart certainly qualifies, as every playable character (and one or two bosses) in its roster is female and capable of holding her own in battle.
  • Dead or Alive: While there are a lot of badasses in the franchise, the women are definitely the ones who make the biggest impacts. However, this is often overshadowed by the fact that the game is Best Known for the Fanservice.
  • In Final Fantasy XI, whether it was intentional or not, the main NPC protagonist of every major expansion has been female. Lion in launch and Rise of the Zilart, Prishe in Chains of Promathia, Aphmau in Treasures of Aht Urhgan, Lilisette in Wings of the Goddess, Arciela in Seekers of Adoulin, and Iroha in Rhapsodies of Vana'diel. Let alone other fan favorite characters like Shantotto, Curilla, and Ayame.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening playthroughs will very often result in this due to Story and Gameplay Segregation. While not every woman in the game starts off as a certified badass, a good number of them can reclass into female-only Pegasus Knight class and, from there, Dark Fliers. Dark Fliers have access to the "Galeforce" skill: which allows them to move again after killing an enemy unit. In short, this makes your female units infinitely more valuable as units than the male ones - since the ability to take two turns in a turn-based game is a complete Game-Breaker.
    • ...With three to four exceptions: Owain, Inigo, Brady, and (if you're playing as a female Avatar) your son Morgan (If you play as a male Avatar, Morgan will be your daughter instead), who are boys who can inherit galeforce from their mothers. In fact, they're often considered superior to girls with galeforce since they also have access to Aggressor, another extremely powerful skill, this one exclusive to men and which, unlike Galeforce, is DLC exclusive and cannot be passed down.
  • Gekido is full of these, from the playable heroines Michelle and Angela, a kunoichi boss Kioki, and legions upon legions of henchwomen enemies who can put up a better fight compared to the male mooks.
  • The Gladiator, befitting it's wuxia setting, has a whole plethora of action-girls in it's cast, from the three playable heroines, Huang-he, Qian-Qian and Shangguan-Jin, as well as Shangguan-Jin's sister Shangguan-Xue as one of the bosses (using a Palette Swap from Jin's sprite) and legions of women enforcers among the enemy mooks.
  • The Major Action Girls of Gravity Rush are all female, while males in the game have largely a supporting role and rarely get in on the action.
  • Justified in Honkai Impact 3rd. To fight Honkai, Valkyries need Stigmata which are far more common among females. Men with Stigmata are a very rare occurrence.
  • The Nora tribe in Horizon Zero Dawn is fully egalitarian when it comes to gender, including in combat, and while we do meet male Braves (most notably Varl, who accompanies Aloy to the west in the sequel), their war chief Sona is female, as are the three High Matriarchs who lead the tribe. And of course, there's the protagonist Aloy, who, while technically raised as an outcast from the tribe, still grew up around them. The Carja Sundom, an empire that hews to more patriarchal gender roles, is known to look down on the Nora for this and other reasons. The Banuk are also egalitarian, though the game shows us more of their men alongside their women, so they're not an example.
  • Hyrule Warriors focuses on an almost all female ass-kicking team of heroines, who are strong, powerful, and can beat the tar out of everyone. There are only two male heroes, with eight female heroines.note 
  • The cast of Moonrise is a Cast Full of Gay and mostly supernatural women who have the power to kill the Player Character. Thankfully, they choose not to, until they don't.
  • Neptunia has every single playable character as a female and would kick anyone's ass in their fight against piracy. By the way, Piracy's female too, and tries to indulge in being an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Later games in the series add a handful of male villains. Of them, one's a rat, one's an old mad (albeit a shrewd one), and several are robots. The last one is implied to be attractive, but it never seen outside his Powered Armor. The Big Bad and enemy power players are still female.
  • Otomedius, being a spinoff of Gradius, is ironically this. Complete with Fanservice and flying motorbikes with lasers and missiles, the entire cast are girls who are Badass Flying Bikers. (Though there are a few males too.) Well, many villains are females too.
  • RosenkreuzStilette is a Mega Man clone where most of the cast is female, and they happen to be a bunch of cutesy magic-user girls who are all more than capable of holding their own in battle. The members of the titular RKS military organization and the members of the rival Schwarzkreuz are mostly women. One such prime example happens to be found in Grolla Seyfarth, who owns her late grandfather and mentor's legendary sword and is more than willing to protect her colleagues and cut down those who stand against them at any cost. The fact that she's one of two characters who share similarities with Mega Man X's Zero alongside the likes of Pamela Arwig also helps. There are important male characters- the respective Big Bad of both games is a man (Count Michael Zeppelin and the Pope, respectively), as is The Dragon to the former (Raimund Seyfarth), and Kahl Palesch is a fairly important character who serves as a boss in the sequel, while the founder of RKS was the unseen man Rosenkreuz; but the protagonists, Fairy Companions, normal stage bosses, and true villain of both games are all female.
  • Rumble Roses: every female characters are strong, tough, and are not afraid to get down and dirty. And it only has one playable guy.
  • The whole premises of Scarlet Blade the game only features female classes, who all wear Stripperific outfits, and pilot Powered Armor mechs.
  • Senran Kagura has a cast composed entirely of bouncy female ninjas, every one of them a badass. In-story, it's not like men can't become Shinobi (in fact two retired men are important support characters, Ikaruga's adoptive brother is a (rather incompetent) Shinobi, and the recurring Big Bad is male), it's just that the handful of focus students for each school happen to be female.
  • Shantae: The hero, villain and supporting cast are almost exclusively female and all kick ass.
  • Skullgirls qualifies; not only is its playable cast almost exclusively female (with the two male characters being DLC), but even non-playable women have a tendency to be tough, and only women can become the titular Skullgirl.
  • Super Heroine Chronicle is a Super Robot Wars style game featuring characters from various female-led anime series.
  • Gensokyo, the primary setting of the Touhou Project series, is filled to the brim with girls who will unleash Bullet Hell on you. It seems there's exactly one humanoid male character to be found in Gensokyo, and he's a Non-Action Guy who appears only in side-stories, not the games themselves.

    Visual Novels 
  • ChuSinGura 46+1 involves the retelling of The 47 Ronin but with almost every major character of the epic as a woman, with very few male warriors left.
  • Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! also counts as a World of Badass, but on average the best fighters are female, much more emphasis is put onto the fights between the female characters than the male ones and the player character himself is mostly a non-combatant who does very little fighting.

    Web Animation 

  • The Dreadful: Kit, Liz, and Erin are all skilled gunslingers, and Jeanne has no problem bringing her fists to a gunfight. The only males to demonstrate badassery thus far are Burke (who's killed early on) and much later El Sabueso (who first appeared as a total goofball in a side comic).
  • Driftbreak has a almost all-female cast and all of them are fully capable action girls decked with Iconic Item weapons and magic.
  • Drowtales has several badass male characters and several non-badass females, but mainly features the loads and loads of amazons. Justified in that elven sexual dimorphism is the reverse of human: females are taller and stronger. The dominant culture values fertility, strength in combat, and honor. Thus, princesses are expected to grow up to be military commanders.
  • Erika and the Princes in Distress : To put it mildly, Erika, who has been shown able to knock a bear unconscious with a mere two punches, is considered a weakling by the standards of the Kingdom of Brutes.
  • The world of Furry Fight Chronicles revolves around furry fighting. However, most of the story focuses on Combagals, female pro-wrestlers. Later in the story, some male fighters start to appear.
  • Jet Dream stars a team of male badasses who become Action Girls after exposure to Gender Bender Applied Phlebotinum. Not only are many of their adversaries female, but the various processes used to turn men into women in the series also provide Bio-Augmentation, enhancing the new woman's strength, agility, and endurance. It's implied that after a generation or two, many of the world's men will voluntarily become women (and most of the remainder will become Wholesome Crossdressers).
  • Magick Chicks is set at Artemis Academy: an all girls military school for monster hunters in training, where the student body consists of badass normals, espers, Ninja, witches, and a Magical Girl.
  • Marilith is less extreme, as Marshall does get his share of the spotlight, but Valentino, Marilith, and even the barely-trained Kimiko overshine him.
  • Sleepless Domain takes place in a city where monsters roam the streets by night, and the city's superpowered Magical Girl Warriors are the only ones capable of fighting them off. Even girls whose powers are non-combat still have above-average physical strength and a baseline Healing Factor, and some like Mindful Eye have on occasion managed to substitute what they lack in combat strength with sheer bravery and determination. The single known male character to even come close to their level is Mark, a Mysterious Stranger from the outside who's somehow acquired a set of magical grenades; how he got them (and what his deal is more generally) remains to be seen.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation