The token beach visit or bikini scene in an anime series is a convention of the media, often used as fan service or to help boost the sales of the accompanying bikini figurine soon to be on sale in Akihabara and Nakano. However often, the moment a heroine or loyal companion gets the opportunity to don their cutest swimwear offering can be a moment of pure fun and release. Wearing a bikini shouldn’t be an example of sexual exploitation but a must needed respite for its characters who are confident enough and proud of their womanly physique to enjoy themselves with the kind of activity that everyone has the right to enjoy regardless of gender or their physical appeal.
Taking these things into account, here is a collection of the girls in anime who manage to rock a bikini the best, be it due to their personality, the style of the bikini or the situation in which the bikini wearing occurs. How relevant is the bikini to the overarching story and to that characters personal journey. To simply list 10 hot anime girls in a bikini would do a disservice as let’s be quite honest, anime characters are rarely barred a few exceptions, drawn to be unattractive. Therefore we must analyse the use of the bikini scene as well as the overall aesthetic appeal.
10. Suzutsuki from Mayo Chiki
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2011 – Sep 2011
Mayo Chiki makes a lot of fun about one of the staples of the anime medium and especially comedies as a whole. That is the sudden occurrence of a male character getting a nosebleed when in contact with an attractive female. Mayo Chiki’s protagonist, Jiro, has the unfortunate condition of torrential nosebleeds and blackouts whenever he makes contact with a female, a condition that entices the most beautiful richest girl in the school, Suzutsuki, to attempt to cure him. While the central story involves gender misidentity with Suzutsuki’s cute butler Kanoe, Suzutsuki takes on the role of mischievous deviant, complete with Lolita style attire.
One group excursion in an attempt to ‘treat’ poor Jiro’s condition sees them hang out at a local out door swimming pool. Cute Suzutsuki shocking the blood straight from the nose of Jiro by suddenly appearing in a very low cute and revealing black bikini, in stark contrast to her usual ruffles and high neck lines. This is both attention grabbing and surprising but also makes logical sense in terms of the narrative. By exposing Jiro to attractive girls in a natural and non threatening environment, they hope to cure him of his affliction and allow him to move onto a meaningful relationship with the reserved Kanoe.
9. Lorelei Meroune from Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2015 – Sep 2015
Monster Musume is a raunchy comedy anime that makes no attempt to hold itself back with its wild Ecchi humour and minimal clothing for all characters involved, protagonist included. In the bizarrely unique situation of having to house a number of stunningly attractive female/monster hybrids as part of a cross species cultural exchange, ‘Darling’ kun, as he is often referred, eventually rescues a mermaid of royal heritage in her home world. It’s not long after this that a giant pool is installed in his home by the government secret agent in charge of the home-stay, as otherwise she is often confided to a wheelchair while on land.
The mermaid’s attire is what you would typically expect from a sea dwelling half human, a bikini. While most of the female monster characters and even the male protagonist himself are often physically exposed to provide comedy and light titillation, her revealing outfit is the only one that makes logical sense from a storyline point of you. If she was to wear normal clothing, it would be a ludicrous situation, only providing comedy for the repeated wet t-shirt moments. This bikini makes the list because not only does she looks fantastic and fulfils many a fantasy, but it also actually makes logical sense in the confines of the over the top story.
8. Takeya Yuki from Gakkou Gurashi! (School Live!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2015 – Sep 2015
The world of School Live! is one of stark contrasts, on first impressions a cutesy moe teen comedy complete with ditsy female character tropes, it is instead one of the best psychological zombie stories told in anime. This is typified by the character of Yuki, who due to psychological trauma caused by the zombie apocalypse and witnessing the deaths of many close friends, acts as if every day is a normal day at school. She attends classes and speaks to classmates as if they are still alive while maintaining an almost sickening level of positive and ‘genki’ attitude. There are many shocking and upsetting twists and turns in the story of School Live!, however sandwiched between them is episode 9, where the four girls decide they need a break form surviving and hit the custom made roof top pool and bare their bikini’s for all the non existent world to see.
While this could feel very forced in to meet the anime bikini girl quota, this is actually a much needed break from the upsetting emotional trauma, both for the audience and the characters. At this point Yuki is becoming aware of her delusions and just how dire her situation is, however she encourages the other girls to enjoy themselves and just act like teenage girls for one of the last times. This carefree attitude to wanting to enjoy your adolescence encapsulates Yuki’s character and how her positive attitude is essential to the mental health of her comrades. Yuki splashing and having fun in her obviously cute bikini is a welcome reminder that these girls are only teenagers and how cruel it is that they don’t live in a world that lets them act that way anymore.
7. Kosaki Onodera from Nisekoi
- Episodes: 20
- Aired: Jan 2014 – May 2014
Nisekoi is a fantastic modern love story, complete with Yakuza families and great comedy. Nisekoi focuses on male protagonist Raku Ichijou the son of a Yakuza kingpin, his childhood best friend/sweetheart, Koaski Onodera, and Chitoge Kirisaki whom Raku is forced into having a pretend relationship with due to a gang dispute. What follows is a charming romantic comedy, as Raku and Chitoge can’t stand each other but have to keep up appearances, while all 3 of the characters battle with the mixed emotions of a love triangle.
Onodera is a rather shy and demure character who has a genuine love for Raku, and also for her close friend Chitoge, something that makes watching their pretend relationship an obvious burden. Throughout the series she is conflicted as to whether or not their fake relationship is developing into something real. The bikini scenes are poignant in Nisekoi, as it certainly helps to serve as a reminder that while she may not be as immediately glamorous as Chitoge but damn does she look great in a bikini. It is important for Onodera to have these moments of confidence and to notice the effect that this has on Raku to remind her of his true feelings for her.
6. Chie Satonaka from Persona 4 The Animation
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2011 – Mar 2012
Amongst the likes of idol sensation, Rise, and refined Japanese beauty, Yukiko, Chie fills the role of at crude but loyal tomboy. Fiercely protective of her friends in particular the demure Yukiko, Chie is the first to join Yosuku and Yu’s investigation team and enter the TV world to rescue their friend. Chie hasn’t had many friends previously, instead taking on the roll of guardian to Yukiko and accepting this as her primary identity. Throughout the investigations teams growth and the social bonds they form, Chie changes, from an angry adolescent into a budding young women.
This is epitomized when the investigation team complete with mascot teddy venture outside of the confines of Inaba and travel to the nearest beach. While the focus may likely be on the beautiful Yukiko and the sexy Rise, Chie’s character development and the surprise shown by the males that, ‘hey, Chie looks kinda awesome in a bikini too’ makes Chie one of the best anime bikini girls. Always having to be tough and having others really on you can be a burden, and to see Chie acting as any teenage girl should and looking perfectly cute while doing so makes her the most honest and appealing female character in the show. While choosing which girl to date in the exceptional video game port Persona 4 Golden was always tough between Yukiko and Chie, I always ended up falling for the kung fu princess!
5. Celty Sturluson from Durarara!!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jan 2010 – Jun 2010
Long have the rumours and sightings of the fabled headless rider circulated the corrupt streets of Ikebukuro. Little do the average populace now that it’s real and is in fact a female spirit of Irish descent whose head was stolen by a mysterious organisation. Celty is ghoulish female black rider, whose wispy spirit scythe brings justice to any gang members that dare get in the way of her daytime job as a private delivery agent. Celty’s struggle is in fact very grounded and human, she cannot communicate through speech, only through text messages on her smart phone and she lives in constant fear of someone experimenting on her head, essentially ending her life. She finds solace and comfort in her long time friend and later lover Shinra.
One of the most surprising bikini scenes in anime, for a short period Celty is seen in an alluring little black number, complete with missing head and wispy smoke escaping from the empty neck. This is almost too much for Shinra, who can barely keep his hands to himself until she punishes him for being too much of a perv. This scene is very crucial in the development of Celty as a character, as it is the first time the viewer realises that she is in fact a women rather than a sheer monster. Despite the fact she is missing her head, she is incredibly sexy. While she obviously chides Shinra for his lustful behaviour, it is also apparent how much she enjoys being desired by the only man that she trusts and loves in the search for her missing head.
4. Umaru from Himouto Umaru Chan
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2015 – Sep 2015
Umaru from the perspective of other high school students or local residents is the perfect adolescent girl, flowing golden locks, striking beauty, intelligent and courteous to everyone she meets. However this façade is dropped the instant she returns home to her humble apartment shared with her older brother. Umaru morphs into a chibi version of herself complete with childlike tantrums, slovenly behaviour, and a love for all things otaku. While a constant strain on her brother, Umaru’s feeling that she must hide her true geek self from the rest of the world is one that can probably resonate with many viewers in particular female’s who are often judged more harshly for displaying such tastes.
Towards the end of the season, Umaru has unwittingly formed a number of lasting friendships with other slightly odd ball classmates and has even let her mirage drop on occasion before quickly reverting back to her pristine well mannered persona. The trip to Enoshima Island close to Yokohama and Tokyo is a heart warming one, being the first time she has been on a trip to the beach with friends. Umaru of course looks impeccable in a bikini but to see her having natural fun with her friends without having to put up any barriers is perhaps even more appealing and attractive. The episode feels like a natural evolution of her character and a necessary plot point contributing to one of the summers best comedy/slice of life anime.
3. Asuna Yuuki from Sword Art Online II
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul 2014 – Dec 2014
Asuna Yuuki is the famous captain of the Knights of the Blood Oath and one of the players responsible for defeating Akihiko Kayaba and releasing the other trapped players out into the real world and away from this death game. Asuna is also the primary love interest and person of support to series protagonist Kirito. If this sounds like a lot of responsibility then your right it certainly is, without taking into account her overbearing family life in Kyoto where she has little freedom to make her own life choices. Arranged marriage, schools, how she is to dress and style herself. All these things are decided for by her mother in a misguided attempt to give her a better life.
This makes Asuna donning her exceptionally cute bikini in the virtual world of ALfheim Online all the more poignant. This is the only place in which she is free to be herself and relax with her friends she trusts and with the man that she loves, Kirito. Her mother would surely forbid her to reveal this much of herself in front of others in the real world, instead insisting she dress demurely and sophisticated so as not to embarrass the family. While SAO is certainly guilty of fan service to a degree, how happy and carefree Asuna appears during these scenes make her entirely more humans and also infinitely more attractive.
2. Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Episodes: 14
- Aired: Apr 2006 – Jul 2006
Haruhi Suzumiya is far from your average high school girl, something that becomes very apparent when Kyon discovers that the other members of the paranormal investigation club are all other worldly entities trying to monitor the girl who can alter the course of man kind. This in essence gives Haruhi the powers of a god, but she is entirely unaware of this, instead feeling constantly bored by a life that she feels is simply too normal. Perhaps it’s her obsession with the paranormal and wanting to meet aliens that has drawn them all near to her. In any case, Haruhi is incredibly passionate, bossy and downright crazy at times, with none of the care for her contemporaries’ opinions on her. The combination of attributes makes Haruhi one of the most intriguing and appealing anime girls in existence.
During their summer vacation, Haruhi is so determined that the group will have fun and make the most of their time that an infinite time loop is created from her sheer will power alone. This means they live the same summer break, all be it from different camera angles and with differing conversations, repeatedly over a 9 episode ark. This is an unthinkable idea for any anime to attempt, but Haruhi pulls it off and looks splendid in her bikini throughout the pool side summer break. The fact that through her own intense desire they relive this pool scene up to 9 times throughout the series plus the fact that Haruhi is one of the most oddly attractive and unique girls in anime places her on this list.
1. Nami from One Piece
- Episodes: 700+
- Aired: Oct 1999 – ongoing
Nami is the third member to officially join Luffy’s straw hat pirate’s crew after he aids Nami in her long term struggle with the leader of the fish men Arlong. Nami is an expert map reader and navigation specialist with a dream to map all of the seas beyond the grand line. Nami is a borderline kleptomaniac with a habit for stealing and betraying her friends. However, once she understands how far Luffy will go for his friends, Nami becomes a loyal and trustworthy ally. While rarely involved in combat early on in the series, Usopp eventually creates her famous weather rod so she can help her friends in battle without the need for any devil fruit powers.
Nami’s design has undergone a number of changes throughout both the manga and anime series more than 10 year run. While she may have developed substantially in the chest measurement department since the first story arc, one thing remains constant and that is in wearing a bikini top as her primary costume. This is important for two reasons, firstly as it displays Nami’s unabashed confidence in herself, despite being embroiled in conflicts between a largely male pirate cast. So is it a little exploitative to have one of the primary female protagonists wear a bikini for the best part of 700+ episodes? Of course not, she spends her whole life on the high seas and visiting tropical paradises, wouldn’t you spend a lot of time in a swimsuit too?
What’s important for anime to continue to develop as a storytelling medium is that it takes its characters seriously enough to keep fan service and bikini scenes within some relevance to their persona and to the story.
Hot anime girls in bikinis are obviously awesome, but do you know what’s better? Well developed characters with interesting personalities looking hot in bikinis. What’s your opinion on bikini scenes in anime? Is cuteness and sex appeal enough for you? Am I looking for too much depth where there perhaps is none? Let us know in the comments below.