In the world of anime, Tomboy Anime characters hold a special place in many fans’ hearts. They break gender stereotypes and exhibit confidence, strength, and layered personalities that subvert traditional femininity. Let’s count down our top 10 favorite tomboys in anime that we just can’t get enough of!
What is a Tomboy Anime Character?
First, what exactly defines an anime tomboy? Typically, they have these qualities:
- Prefers comfortable, practical clothing over frilly dresses
- Engages in sports or physical activity
- Has a bold, upfront attitude and speaking style
- Disinterested in “girly” things like shopping, makeup, romance
- Has hobbies or skills stereotyped as masculine
- Identifies as female but has a gender fluid/non-conforming presentation
Now onto the list of beloved tomboy anime characters!
10. Sawa Takigawa – Sweet Blue Flowers
Sawa perfectly embodies the energetic tomboy spirit. She’s an outgoing basketball star who becomes close friends with introverted Fumi. Despite her popularity at school, Sawa deals with personal insecurities and struggles with her love life. Her dynamic character subverts assumptions.
9. Anko Kitashirakawa – Tamayura
Anko has a huge passion for photography. She’s adventurous and remarkably self-sufficient for her age. Despite seeming immature at times, Anko shows amazing emotional strength when dealing with her father’s death. She perseveres through hardship with an inspirationally plucky attitude.
8. Revy – Black Lagoon
With her rude, abrasive manner and talent for violence, Revy may not seem like the typical tomboy. But she totally eschews anything feminine, instead opting for hyper-masculine habits of drinking, smoking, and mercenary work. Revy’s brute force and take-no-prisoners mentality make her an unforgettable anti-heroine.
7. Haruhi Fujioka – Ouran High School Host Club
As a working-class “commoner” at an elite academy, Haruhi rejects the school’s culture of extravagance. She presents herself practically and androgynously, eventually getting mistaken for a male student. Haruhi joins the eccentric Host Club and embraces her natural tomboy charm and wit.
6. Nanoha Takamachi – Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Don’t let her magical girl roots fool you – Nanoha has an inner tomboy strength. Though initially shy and demure, she evolves into a courageous fighter. She forms a deep bond with fellow girl Fate as they team up. Nanoha subverts the girly magical girl trope by being serious, driven and not afraid to get rough.
5. Yui Hirasawa – K-On!
Ditzy Yui may seem like an airhead, but she’s got some tomboy spunk too. She teaches herself to play guitar and co-founds an afterschool rock band. Her carefree attitude and occasional cluelessness subvert expectations for discipline and perfection often placed on girls.
4. Ryuko Matoi – Kill la Kill
With her hot-blooded attitude and penchant for violence, Ryuko is an iconic tomboy. She faces every battle head-on with her giant scissor blade in hand. Though initially closed off, she opens up after befriending Mako. Ryuko’s reveal as a human/Life Fibers hybrid gives her character intriguing depth.
3. Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Moon
Better known as Sailor Uranus, Haruka slays on and off the battlefield. She’s an ace race car driver by day and planet guardian by night. Haruka bucked gender norms in the 1990s by dressing and presenting as masculine while in civilian form. She rocks suits and short hair, subverting the ultra-feminine Sailor Soldier style.
2. Mikasa Ackerman – Attack on Titan
The fierce Mikasa is undoubtedly one of anime’s most badass tomboys. She’s the best fighter of the 104th Cadet Corps thanks to her insane strength, skill, and bravery. Mikasa conceals her compassionate side behind a tough, stoic veneer. She’s epitome of capability in the face of any danger.
1. Utena Tenjou – Revolutionary Girl Utena
Our top tomboy, Utena perfectly blends strength, nobility, and vulnerability. After losing her parents, Utena is determined to become a prince herself by exemplifying heroic ideals. She’s an expert duelist who protects the mysterious Anthy at all costs. Utena’s sense of justice and loyalty inspire everyone around her.
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