If there’s ever a female anime character I tend to attach to, it’s tomboys. I enjoy them the most for the same reason I enjoy intelligent male characters. They’re unique. Tomboys in anime tends to be the least cliched, the least annoying and the most relatable. They’re entertaining when others are cringe-worthy.
So here’s my personal top 10 for anime tomboys. Keep in mind that this is A, based on personal preference and B, based on the anime I’ve actually watched. So if there’s a girl missing and she’s really popular, it’s because I haven’t watched the show.
Alrighty, let’s hop to it!
Of all the shows to have a tomboy in it, you’d think a show like Chu-Bra! would be a very unlikely one. A show that revolves around a girl teaching other girls about underwear, you’d figure the entire female cast would be super sexy and super girly. But Yako is neither of those things, she’s a small spitfire of a girl who practices kendo in her spare time. Yet she gets roped into the underwear-crazy shenanigans (usually causing her hair to flutter about) and acts as the comic relief and at the same time, the voice of reason at times in the show. What she lacks in bust size, she certainly makes up in her personality.
It’s so hard to talk about tomboy characters in anime without talking about really the first I can remember seeing. Sora from the original Digimon series is a legend to me, considering my childhood is still to this day flooded with memories from that show. Though while I never understood how she of all people was given the Crest of Love (you would’ve thought Mimi had this one in the bag), she thankfully didn’t exhibit the usual tropes of lovey-dovey girls, in fact she was the opposite (which is why that choice has always been weird to me). Sora’s a real tough girl, very protective of anyone she feels needs help. Granted, once into her teens, she dialed the tomboyish look back quite a bit, but I imagine that part of her personality is still there. Besides, I will always remember the young Sora more than the older versions anyway.
Holy hell I love Azumanga Daioh! There are so many fantastic characters in the show, like the tomboy Kagura. A badass athlete with a constant swimsuit tan (something that still drives my eyes nuts to this day), Kagura acts as the rival to Sakaki who’s also very athletic. She almost acts as the comical foil to Sakaki and often gets herself into trouble with her over-enthusiastic nature (though not as badly as Tomo), but that just makes her even more entertaining to watch. Like many other tomboys on this list too, she’s a tomboy with a soft heart, which always works well in the few times it comes out for all of us to see.
This FLCL tomboy however, I don’t think anyone would say has a soft heart. This Vespa-riding, bass guitar-wielding, erratic and violent ball of outer space energy is far-removed from that moniker. Haruko in a show that really challenges your brain (not through intelligence, just trying to make heads or tails of what you’re watching) is pretty much the key reason why the show is as balls-out stone cold fucking nuts as it is, her introduction to us being when she runs over the main character with her Vespa and then whaps him in the head with her bass guitar…for reasons. Probably. Not. She is one of the funniest female characters I’ve ever watched in anime and her tomboyish nature, especially with how she dresses, it’s a large part of why.
I need to watch more of the Monogatari series, my priorities are all out of wack. Suruga, much like Kagura, is the star-athlete character in the series, though the supernatural nature of the show accentuates the craziness with this girl somehow even higher than Kagura (and Azumanga Daioh is fucking crazy!!!). While she still wears the traditional skirt school uniform, the second she has the option, it’s switching to shorts, cycling shorts specifically…which may also be her panties. It’s also quite possible she’s the only tomboy on this list who’s a lesbian, maybe the only one who’s attracted to other girls, something I’m surprised anime doesn’t do more often with tomboy characters (cause control isn’t a forte with anime). She’s a great character to watch, really changes the dynamic of the show whenever she’s on. I really have to watch more than the first season of this show…
Speaking of shows I need to continue watching, here’s Makoto from the Id@lmaster series. I’ve watched I think only 4-5 episodes of the show and she is still one of my favourite girls in anime. She’s super attractive and yet she’s doing this without having massive breasts, wearing skimpy clothes, all that cliche stuff. And on top of that, even though she feels comfortable in her current getup, she actually wants to be a little more feminine. Personally, I think she’s at her best the way she normally is, but it’s actually kind of adorable that she wants to be a little girly as well. The problem with her? I’d be having to fight legions of girls just to get to her. My shins hurt thinking about it.
Yeah yeah, I’m aware she’s from a video game first, I don’t care, it’s still an anime! Chie is fucking awesome, she’s consistently my favourite girl in the Persona series, regardless of her competition with an red-haired idol (Rise), a raven-haired beauty (Yukari), another raven-haired beauty with striped socks (Marie) and a blue-haird detective who’s totally a guy, guys! Even though she has the biggest bust out of all of them (Naoto). It’s always been funny to me how throughout the game/anime Chie thinks she’s not at all pretty and yet with that short, brown hair, athletic frame and especially her summerwear, to me she’s easily the hottest girl out of them all. And on top of that, she’s a massive martial arts movie buff, she wants to be a police officer when she grows up and she kicks all kinds of ass! How can I not like her?!
Speaking of blue-haired girls that are totally guys, yet have massive breasts, hey there Seishirou from Nisekoi! I’m so glad I finally watched this series so I could get introduced to such an amazing character. I mean, she’s a hitman who could kill me so fast I wouldn’t have time to blink, but she’s such an adorable hitman…that could kill me so fast I wouldn’t have time to blink. She exhibits my favourite cliche of female anime characters that try to pretend to be male: the super blushy moments when she’s caught in a situation where she can’t suppress her femininity. Seriously, the scene she’s revealed to be a girl, one of my favourite ecchi-related scenes in anime. Any moment she’s on-screen in the show is either really funny or really cute, I’m mesmerized by her every time she’s on my television screen.
Even though she looks as feminine as any other girl would for the majority of the entire series, Yozora from Haganai is still one of my favourite tomboys in anime. She’s a great case of a girl who really just needs the biggest hug in the world, I mean think about what this girl went through. After hiding her true gender from Kodaka their entire childhood, the day she was going to tell/show him was the same day he was telling her that he was moving away. Because she couldn’t bring herself to walk over to him, they never had a chance to say goodbye, which caused her to develop an anti-social attitude all throughout her time until Kodaka returned. Her depressive nature and her cold attitude towards most of the other girls in the Neighbors Club (especially Sena) should make her such an unlikable character, but for me it’s in fact the opposite. Her intelligence and downright supervillainous nature is so hard to ignore and the show’s light-hearted, over-the-top nature makes her personality flip upside down from being unlikable to the most likable person on the show. And like so many other girls on the list, when her femininity really shows up, holy fucking hell you pay attention to her!
Out of all the girls on this list, there is no tomboy I love more than Cagalli from Gundam Seed. I don’t really talk about this girl enough, mostly because the love that I have for her is (and bear with me as I try to explain this) so strongly normal that it doesn’t sound that exciting to me to talk about. I don’t know how much sense this will make, but Cagalli is the #1 girl on my all-time list, yet I don’t consider her a “Waifu” per se. Charlotte Dunois from Infinite Stratos is my #1 Waifu, but my love for Cagalli is far stronger. I don’t look at her as a girl I daydream about constantly, she’s not the kind of girl I’d put on a sexy girls list, in fact I don’t have a single picture of her that you’d consider “ecchi”. The only pictures I have of her are when she’s in her normal red tanktop and khaki pants, the only figurine I have of her is her in her spacesuit. I could have pictures and the figurine of her in her green underwear we see her in during Episode 24 when she meets Athrun for the first time, but I don’t. It’s so hard to explain, but even though I’m not giving you a ton of information about her background, her personality and whatever else I’ve done with the nine girls above her, here’s all I really need to say about Cagalli to justify her #1 spot with me.
Cagalli to me is the closest thing I’ve seen to a girl in an anime that in my eyes looks like she isn’t from an anime, but real life. Take away the Gundam universe and Cagalli to me is a normal girl. She’s not over-the-top in personality, in looks, in anything. She’s just a girl. And happens to also be a tomboy. And I love her, she’s my favourite.
Thanks for reading this week’s Top 10, hope you enjoyed it! As always don’t forget to post your own lists in the comments below! And if you have any suggestions for a future Top 10, don’t hesitate to post them as well!