Caught in between—that’s what some anime characters are. Try as we could, telling whether some anime characters are male or female is a little difficult. In their defense, they do equally look feminine and masculine at the same time. I know I’m not the only one who argued with anyone who’d listen to whether a certain character was female or male. You also did that, right? Anyway, such characters are called androgynous and are quite common in anime. Whether they’re there for comical purposes or to represent the minorities, you can’t deny that they’re awesome. In this list, let’s get to know who are the in-betweens that tipped the balance scales.
His blue hair and azure eyes together with his petite frame had many confused if Nagisa Shiota was a girl. Wearing his locks in a ponytail, and later into pigtails, Nagisa Shiota’s androgynous appearance was often ridiculed and poked fun with. Despite this, he remains calm and collected, keeping himself focused on observing Kurosensei. He may have been insecure with his talents but later on, gained self-esteem, became more objective, and has established clear goals.
This hyperactive pursuer of knowledge is one of the most memorable characters in the Attack on Titan series. However, many are still confused about whether Hange Zoë is male or female as she appears to be both. To clear the confusion, she’s actually female according to the anime. She only looks masculine because as a researcher, Hange Zoë values knowledge and experiments over her physical appearance. What makes her one of the best androgynous anime characters is that she proved to everyone that you don’t need to conform with what the society thinks things should be. Instead, she followed her heart and is very passionate about her research work regarding the Titans.
Fans of the Sailor Moon series had their brows scrunched together as Haruka Tenou transformed into Sailor Uranus. In her civilian form, Haruka Tenou can easily pass as a teenage boy. It doesn’t help reveal her gender as she’s often seen wearing unisex clothes and sports a short, blond hair. The confusion only dissipates once she transforms into her Sailor form. Her golden tiara and white and navy blue Sailor leotard bring out her feminine features proving that she is indeed a girl.
Similar to Haruhi Fujioka, Hotaru Tachibana is an androgynous main character who stays true to herself. She doesn’t need to wear dresses to prove that she’s a girl. Her girlishly shy reactions on several occasions can already prove that. Hotaru Tachibana also doesn’t let gender norms dictate her decisions. She wears gender-neutral clothes like it’s nobody’s business. Aside from her fashion, her masculinity is also shown in the way she protects the people she loves. For these reasons, one can not argue that Hotaru Tachibana is definitely one of the best androgynous anime characters.
The whole story of Ouran High School Host Club centers around Haruhi Fujioka’s androgynous character. She doesn’t rank high in this list because she’s the main character but because of her confidence and the way she carries herself. Haruhi Fujioka lives her life free from the social constructs of her gender. She doesn’t care if others think that she’s a boy and she doesn’t adhere to gender norms as seen in her behavior. She embraces herself for who she really is and it makes her confidence in her own skin so attractive.
Next on the list is Haku, one of the few male androgynous characters who used their femininity to their advantage. Don’t worry if you got confused about his gender, even Naruto was fooled. Naruto even calls him beautiful even though he’s aware that Haku is a male. Anyway, his androgynous looks have been helpful to him as a ninja since he can easily pass as a girl. More than that, Haku is one of the best because he’s never cared what gender people think he has but instead, he’s focused on his goals and missions.
Another villain makes it on the list and it’s no other than Envy from Full Metal Alchemist. This genderless shapeshifter can change their appearance to mimic anyone. That includes being able to alter their voice’s pitch, making it feminine or masculine. However, on their human form, Envy doesn’t need to change much of his appearance in order to look like a teenage boy or girl because he can easily qualify as both. They’re included in the list of the best androgynous anime characters but ranks low because their androgynous appearance doesn’t dictate much of their character.
Despite looking feminine and thus qualifying as an androgynous character, Griffith ranks low in this list. I’m pretty sure he’s one of the best villains but his androgynous nature doesn’t really contribute to his character. Griffith is Griffith because of his past experiences. His feminine appearance had nothing to do with how others treated him nor did it help contribute to his views as a person.
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