Because I approve of memes this awesome. Stolen from karayan here and existence here, in response to this lovely little bit of idiocy and fail.
- Rena Ryugu from Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
I could actually probably do an entire section on the female characters of Higurashi, but I'm going with Rena because she's the least spoilery of my favorites. Rena is fucking awesome. She's sweet, shy, and adorable, and cares deeply about her friends and being a good person. She's by far the least aggressive of the major characters, rarely trying as hard as possible to win. She adores cute things, and nightmarish things that she thinks are cute, and would love to take them all home to be with her.
She's also probably the most insightful of the main cast. She's the type of person who is very good at assembling the whole picture from a handful of clues, and does so both for practical things, like figuring out who the murderer is and more philosophical things. The fact that she's the most superstitious person should be a powerful clue that there's a lot of truth behind the superstitions, and the fact that she makes them into a valid and true philosophy as well as a "god will strike you down if you don't" is awesome.
Plus she's willing to chop people up with a machete if they hurt her family.
Edit: Oh wait never mind, she's an approved strong female character. Not because of any of the above mentioned things, but because she's the protagonist of one of Higurashi's episodes. Clearly this inherently raises her awesome levels by five billion to meet the approved standards.
- Lucca from Chrono Trigger
Because this made me splutter forever when I saw her on the list. LUCCA IS NOT FUCKING SHY, DAMNIT. Lucca is an awesome inventor with damn powerful magic who travels through time to save the world. She is entirely aware of her own awesomeness, and enjoys showing off her new inventions. She's driven by a powerful need to make things better, which can manifest in anything from repairing a broken robot from a thousand years in the future because she can't stand to leave it unfixed to saving the world. And she's almost impossible to daunt, considering she's perfectly willing to break into the castle to save her best friend who was unjustly imprisoned.
- Angel from Digital Devil Saga
Angel is one of the most fucking badass villains of all time. She's a brilliant scientist who turned bad when her true love was murdered by terrorists, who decided to get her revenge on the world by turning people into cannibal demons before destroying the world. She ruthlessly uses everything she can to get there - creating a child entirely of her own body and using her as a test subject in her obsessive quest to get god's power, turning an entire world into cannibal demons and ordering them devour their enemies to test out the demon virus, turning herself into a cannibal demon, creating an uprising and killing the leader of the only prospering enclave of humanity left - she does it all. And the scene where she dies is just an incredibly powerful scene, because she never once loses any of what makes her such an awesome and compelling character while also making what drives her so obvious.
- Princess Kareen from Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
Because being a damsel in distress before being killed doesn't always make you a lousy character. Kareen was, before anything else, a survivor. She'd survived bearing a child to an insane crown prince with a thing for torturing pregnant women, and after his death had started to make plans for her surviving the emperor's death and her son's very long regency by attaching herself to the first person she found who might have had the power to protect her and who Imperial Security's reports said had normal enough tastes in sex. She was quiet and reserved, and very good at understanding people and knowing when to let them go, and inspired fierce loyalty in those who knew her best. When civil war broke out and she thought her son was dead, she was determined to survive this, too, even if it meant sleeping with her son's murderer who thought he loved her and marrying him to give him a legitimate claim on her son's throne.
It was only knowing that her son was still alive, and that as long as her lover was alive her son would be in danger that caused her to lose her finely honed survival instincts in favor of killing the bastard. Kareen's interesting to me in large part because she's so quiet and reserved that it's hard to see her, especially with everyone else projecting their desires onto her, but you can still see a really interesting person underneath all that.