my childhood heroines

Say hi to Yoko Tsuno!

Yoko Tsuno, three quarters Japanese and one quarter Chinese, is the heroine of her very own series of comics. Apart from being an electric engineer, Yoko also holds a black belt in Aikido and is a licensed pilot. She’s intelligent, compassionate, and driven, but she isn’t perfect: she’s also very headstrong and occasionally impulsive, characteristics which often lead her and/or the people she loves into trouble. Later in the series she adopts a little girl and adds ‘amazing mother’ to her list of accomplishments. Her relationship with her eventual boyfriend is very equality-based and one of the most grown-up and genuine I’ve ever seen. Apart from the main cast the comics feature several female guest stars, ranging from damsels-in-distress (which is occasionally subverted) to evil geniuses and badass Russian spies, and everything in between. The comics often focused on Yoko’s relationship with these women, and featured some beautiful and realistic female friendships.

She was a bit of a hero to me when I was a kid. Looking back, it’s not hard to see why…