Harley Quinn was one of the most renowned villains in the Batman universe and would later become something akin to an anti-hero. Over the years, her character has been distinguished through many unique qualities that anime has borrowed inspiration from (whether intentionally or not).
As a result, there have been dozens of characters throughout a number of series who share much in common with the Clown Princess. By identifying them and the ways they are similar to her, we can best appreciate how iconic Harley has become and the brilliance behind her writing.
Perona Shares Much Of Harley’s Aesthetic & Minions (One Piece)
Perona was a member of the Mysterious Four who shares many physical similarities with Harley. Both women utilize gaudy aesthetics and have fashioned their hair into pigtails, complemented by vermillion lips.
They also rely on furry minions to defeat their adversaries. Perona is surrounded by her entourage of abominations created by Doctor Hogback (particularly Kumacy), whereas Harley is accompanied by her hyenas. Further, they both expressed interest in abandoning their employers (Moria and the Joker) in their respective stories.
Nui Harime Balances Sadistic With Sweet (Kill La Kill)
Nui Harime’s similarities to Harley also include their strikingly similar aesthetics. However, their personalities are equally congruent, specifically through the ways they balance a faux, almost childlike sweetness with genuine malevolence.
Further, each of them serve a master who they would gladly give their life to protect. Harime sacrificed herself on Ragyo’s behalf to fulfill their mission, while Harley has taken the fall for the Joker in more than one instance so that he could escape. However, the Clown Prince of Crime would live to see the consequences of his selfishness.
Yukako Is Obsessed With Unreciprocated Love (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Yukako was a Stand user in Morioh who could command her hair at will. She was obsessed with Koichi and would do anything to earn his heart in spite of the many refutations she received.
He was even willing to burn her hand to staunch her advance and prevent her from seizing him. This tragically lopsided relationship well reflects Harley’s own broken union with the Joker. Its only difference is that the Clown Prince was willing to weaponize Quinn’s love, whereas Hirose (initially) just sought to ignore it.
The Puppeteer Giddily Confronted Her Adversaries & Served Haijima (Fire Force)
The Puppeteer was a member of Haijima who confronted its enemies with bubbly cheerfulness. This immediately resembles Harley’s own disposition in battle, especially since they each use unconventional weapons (such as oversized mallets and murderous dolls).
Further, both women are deceptively skilled in managing children. The Puppeteer was able to keep Nataku entertained (when Kurono wasn’t abusing him), while Harley demonstrated proficiency both with a warped Tim Drake and the D.D Twins of Batman Beyond. Moreover, neither of them are explicitly heroic or villainous, instead fixated on enacting the will of their benefactors.
Palm Would Do Anything For Love (Hunter X Hunter)
Palm had an ability that allowed her to track others through an orb, rendering her a valuable potential ally. To win her allegiance, Gon volunteered to go on a date with her, manipulating her affection much like how the Joker might (albeit with a far less sinister intent).
To complete the parallels between Palm and Harley, they both underwent a complete physical transformation at one point in their story (namely, after the former became a chimera ant and the latter abandoned her previous life).
Himiko Toga Shares Harley’s Romantic Bloodlust (My Hero Academia)
Himiko Toga and Harley share a staggering number of things in common. They both approach combat as a game, are physically outmatched by their enemies (but perform well regardless), and even have a romantic investment in their villainy.
This was seen through Harley’s bond with the Joker and Toga’s union with Twice. However, the dynamics of their relationship are inverted since the former is being negatively influenced whereas the latter is negatively influencing her partner.
Lust Uses Her Wiles To Win Battles (Fullmetal Alchemist)
The similarities between Harley and Lust might not seem immediately evident on account of their contrasting dispositions. Quinn is frenetic and garrulous, whereas Lust is laconic and reserved.
However, both women use their wiles in order to defeat their opponents, luring them in with a false sense of security before striking them down. This was a technique Harley employed to capture both Batman and Robin on separate (and numerous) occasions, especially when she posed as an innocent bystander.
Kurome Was Free-Spirited But Sadistic (Akame Ga Kill!)
Kurome was a member of the Jaegers who was free-spirited despite her service to the Empire. She was casual in formal meetings and pursued her own interests during group skirmishes. This resembles Harley’s own disposition, especially when she tenuous works for the heroes under the Suicide Squad.
Additionally, both women have illustrated a low value of human life. The Joker’s behaviors have desensitized Quinn, while Kurome uses her Imperial Arms to collect and puppeteer corpses in order to win her battles against her sister and the Night Raid organization.
Melascula Was Playful, But Sinister (Seven Deadly Sins)
Melascula was a member of the Ten Commandments whose playful nature belied insidious intent. After uncovering Escanor alongside Galand, she promptly got drunk and encouraged her partner to toy with him (which would later prove his undoing after the Lion Sin’s powers were revealed).
This reflects Harley’s own behavior perfectly considering the many instances where she has placed personal novelty over achieving palpable results. Additionally, both women make use of minions to protect them, as illustrated through Harley’s henchmen and the hordes of zombies that Melascula can summon to her aid at a moment’s notice.
Nemu Faithfully Endured Her Sociopathic Partner (Bleach)
Nemu was the loyal lab assistant of Mayuri Kurotsuchi and his willing partner in crime. He proved that she was disposable on a number of instances, culminating through their battle against Szayel Aporro Granz. Nonetheless, she remains loyal and unquestioning to Mayuri’s edicts and provides a muse for his addled mind.
This reflects Harley Quinn’s connection with the Joker, especially in its later stages where she had failed to demarcate boundaries. It is particularly true given Mayuri’s own striking resemblance to the Clown Prince of Crime.