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[[quoteright:231:[[Manga/YuGiOh http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/older-than-they-look_yugioh_1166.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:231:[[AnimeHair The hair must suck out all of the hormones.]]]]

* ''Franchise/DragonBall''
** The Saiyans: By the time they're in their twenties, they still look like teens or preteens, and it isn't until well later on in the series that they're looking like adults (though Vegeta goes through this relatively quickly). Even to the degree that in ''Anime/DragonBallGT''/Late ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' it gets highlighted by Vegeta, saying that he might be in his 50s, but he ages slower than the rest of the cast. Bulma does not enjoy this.
*** Vegeta's brother Tarble is probably the best example of this as far as Saiyans go- he looks like he could be in his teens despite being older than Goku, who was around 40-years-old when they met.
** In the original ''Manga/DragonBall'' Goku looks around seven when he's twelve, and at age fifteen he looks more-or-less the same. It's not until age eighteen that he ''finally'' starts to look like a teenager.
** Mrs. Briefs, Bulma's mother, doesn't seem to get any older over the entire course of the series. By the Buu Saga, her daughter is over 40, and she looks the same as she did when she'd first appeared roughly 25 years earlier.
** Bulma also qualifies in the Buu Saga. At that point she's in her early 40s, but could still easily pass for late 20s/early 30s.
*** And for those starting out with Dragon Ball Z back in the mid-90's, Bulma looks like she is in her high school years, while Krillin looks like he's in his middle school years.
** And then there's Chiaotzu, who looks like a 10-year old child through his entire life. By his last appearance in Z, he's 46-years-old, just one year younger than Goku, and he still looks like a little kid. This is kind of explained in that his original design was based on a traditional Chinese ghost.
** A non-human/Saiyan example might be Frieza. Between flashbacks to the Bardock Special, which occurred at least twenty+ years ago, to the present, he hasn't visibly aged a bit. He could easily be Really700YearsOld, but his age is never given.
** Krillin, who has incredibly low height, does not look his age throughout Dragon Ball Z.
* Jotaro Kujo of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' should be over 40 by the time the ''Stone Ocean'' arc (whose 19-year old protagonist also happens to be his daughter) rolls around -- but he barely looks like he's aged a day since his teen years [[YoungerThanHeLooks (though he looked like a guy in his twenties back then).]] In fact, some say he actually looks ''younger'' in the later arcs. Compare his appearance at [[http://cdn.myanimelist.net/images/characters/11/69155.jpg age 17]] to his appearance [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080110031932/jjba/images/2/29/Jotaro_Kujo_Part_VI.jpg in his 40s.]]
** In Part II, Joseph's brain nearly breaks trying to comprehend how [[spoiler:Lisa Lisa]] could be fifty years old. The answer, incidentally, is the Ripple. Supernatural powers in this series slow aging.
** In part IV, Koichi Hirose starts out at 16 years old, but one could easily mistake him for an elementary schooler due to his short height and his CrossDressingVoices
* Faye Valentine from ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' is much older than she appears, [[spoiler:having been cryogenically frozen for 54 years while recovering from injuries she sustained on a space shuttle accident (possibly one of the first public space shuttles).]]
* Saito Hiraga from ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima''. He looks no more than 13, but is in fact a 17-year old.
** Even worse is his {{Tsundere}} mistress, Louise, who only looks ten at the most and is the same age as Saito.
* Libra Dhoko from ''SaintSeiya'' fills both this and the YoungerThanTheyLook trope (oddly enough). He's over 200 years old, with a body of a 21-year old (after shedding his old skin) OR a 21-year old in a very old body.
* Mika-sensei in ''DokiDokiSchoolHours'' is a 27-year old woman, though she appears to be ten years old. This doesn't prevent one of her students, [[SchoolgirlLesbians Kitagawa]], from being attracted to her. In fact, it encourages it.
* [[WorldsStrongestMan Levi]] from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' is this according to ShrugOfGod. His exact age is unknown, other than being this trope almost word for word.
** [[spoiler: Ymir]] is an unusual example. [[spoiler: She was trapped in Titan form for 60 years, and did not age a single day during that time. As such, she is technically in her late 70s but looks to be in her late teens]].
* In ''Anime/PleaseTeacher'', Kei is a 18-year old male lead who is functionally fifteen years old due to a coma that resembled suspended animation. Among other things, this also served as LampshadeHanging to explain the contrivance of him and Mizuho shacking up together, since eighteen is minimum age to marry... [[spoiler:And in a plot twist late in the story, he finds out that the LittleMissSnarker in his circle of friends has the exact same condition, and is actually in her ''twenties''.]]
* Minnie-May Hopkins from ''GunsmithCats'' took "growth retarding" drugs in order to appeal to a certain type of clientele in a brothel. However, this is ''supposed'' to be {{squick}}y to the viewers. It squicked out the American editors so much they reversed it in their translation so she's taking drugs to ''counter'' an unnamed medical condition.
** In the English version, May had tried to make herself look older than she was in childhood in order to not {{squick}} her adult boyfriend so much (he was {{Lolicon}}, but understandably had serious issues about the morality of their relationship) but it backfired, leaving her first looking older than she was, but not growing an inch since.
* Somewhat related cross-cultural example: when ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' was translated for Western network television, they raised the kids' official ages by a few years (from ten to thirteen), possibly due to what happens to them and the relations they get into {{squick}}ing the translators a bit. ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' and ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' also had all the kids ages raised a year.
** The same thing happened with [[FourKidsEntertainment 4Kids]]' [[{{Macekre}} version]] of ''TokyoMewMew'', presumably for similar reasons; an especially jarring example is [[TokenMiniMoe Bu-Ling]], who begins the series at eight years old, yet the dubbed version managed to make her ''fourteen''. Oddly, TokyoPop's manga translation moved the characters ''down'' a year to appeal more to a young audience.
* The main character of ''Manga/{{Shibatora}}'' is a 22 year old police detective, but is frequently mistaken for a middle school student.
* The title character of ''KamichamaKarin'', as well as her TrueCompanions, are all in the seventh grade, but look to be no older than seven, while other characters such as Kirio Karasuma and Kirika Karasuma look to be around sixteen, even though they are only [[YoungerThanTheyLook one year older than the main cast]].
** This is more Koge-Donbo's style than anything else. In one panel in the first chapter, Karin is shown drawn as her true age; for almost all of the rest of the series, she and her classmates are drawn as chibis. The same goes for the author's other series Pita-Ten.
* Hagu from ''HoneyAndClover'' is apparently 18 at the begining of the series, despite looking ''and acting'' like an 8-year old -- which doesn't keep some guys from falling in love with her.
** Which is made worse by the fact that it is openly stated she stopped growing at six and she barely changes by the time she's twenty.
* ''Anime/GalaxyAngel'' has Mint, a 15-year old who looks like she's ten.
* Subverted in ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'' (which does in fact include a character fitting this trope, just not ''that'' one):
-->'''Natsuki:''' How old do you think I am?\\
'''Mai:''' ''(confused)'' Aren't you a high school girl?\\
'''Natsuki:''' ''(annoyed)'' That's not what I meant. I'm seventeen. I was away from school for a year.
* Presumably the first Club President of ''{{Genshiken}}'', who later turns out to have been the ''only'' Club President the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture had ever had until he handed it off to Madarame. The members briefly speculated how old the Prez actually was after finding manga books in the clubroom that date back to 1987.
* Done in ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' with Mikuru Asahina, who is described in the series as "Lolita-looking". She's seventeen, while the rest of the cast is sixteen. She also happens to be MsFanservice and have GagBoobs, yet ''still'' manages this title. Then there's the whole [[spoiler:TimeTravel thing]] (and her playful refusal to answer any of the GenreSavvy Kyon's inquiries about the matter), which makes her real age pretty much impossible to determine. Given the possibilities of future medicine, she could be in her thirties for all we know.
* In ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'', one of Satou's "study materials" (i.e. {{eroge}}) has a cover with a big-eyed, small-chested girl... and the title of the game is actually "I Am Not Loli!"
* There's a rather odd version of this in ''ZettaiKarenChildren'' where the EvilMentor who looks like a middle school student is really in his 80s. This changes his stated intent to "groom" the titular 10-year olds from weird to squicky.
** Let's not forget also the said evil mentor's childhood friend and GoodCounterpart, ''three years older'' Fujiko, who looks and behaves like a horny teenage {{Kawaiiko}}, but notwithstanding her looks the titular "children" characters often call her "granny".
* In the ''EurekaSeven'' manga, Matthieu tells Renton that "the thing about Eureka is... she may not ''look'' it, but she's actually 30!" much to Renton's shock. This is revealed to be a lie simply to get Renton's goat the very next panel.
** In EurekaSevenAo, Eureka is a good deal older than she was in the original series (it's more complicated than that due to time travel hijinks), but still looks roughly the same as she did in the past (mostly because she isn't human). She does pull off an older look, though, by way of clothing choices and hair styles.
* Asuna Kagurazaka of ''MahouSenseiNegima'', who looks and is assumed by the people around her to be 14. It isn't clear just ''how'' old she is, but flashback chapters later in the manga have confirmed her to have traveled as a little girl with Nagi's company -- twenty years ago [[spoiler:(it turns out she's over 100 years old)]]. It should be noted that Takamichi, Asuna's adult teacher who also traveled with Nagi, was ''also'' a little kid at the same time.
** It's hinted that Takamichi spent a ''lot'' of time training in Evangeline's time condenser, and therefore his actual age may not match his chronological age.
** Also, Fate Averruncus and Zect Filius, the two white-haired pretty boys: While Fate apparently bathed in some FountainOfYouth, Zect is [[http://www.onemanga.com/Mahou_Sensei_Negima!/230/01/ referenced]] as a "man" despite looking way younger than "Just a little brat" Nagi. And nobody finds this weird, so it may be a racial trait or something.
** Then we've got the normal (we think) girls like the Narutaki twins, who look ten years old despite being around fifteen like the rest of the class. They're actually the ''oldest'', other than [[Really700YearsOld the vampire]] and ghost. Likewise, the oldest-looking girl (Chizuru) is [[YoungerThanTheyLook actually the youngest]].
* Major Kusanagi in ''GhostInTheShell'' is age 44 at the time she meets the Puppet Master/the Pupetter and a few years younger in ''Stand Alone Complex'', but her almost completely artificial body looks noticeably younger.
** And in one episode there's a female Russian assassin with a similar cybernetic body, who is said to be over 80.
* All the demons in ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' fall under this, but Chrono in particular. Thanks to a need to conserve his spiritual energy, his [[SleepModeSize typical form]] makes him look like twelve years old, and even in his true form he looks like he's in his early twenties. However, there's at least about 60 years that he's confirmed to have lived, and it's likely he's much, much older. His former comrades, the sinners, all appear to be in their late teens or early twenties, but they're all near the same age.
** There's also [[spoiler:Father Remington]] (who appears to be in his early thirties at the latest but is seen dueling Chrono half a century prior in a flashback).
** In the manga finale [[spoiler:Fiore/Floretta and Satella]] (due to becoming {{Human Popsicle}}s for 75 years).
* Every single female character (and males, discounting [[{{Lolicon}} Konata's dad]]) in ''Manga/LuckyStar''. PuniPlush can do that for you.
** The extreme cases fell on Konata, Kanata and Yutaka -- their heights are 1.42 m, 1.43 m and 1.38 m respectively[[note]] For those of you less familiar with metric, that's 4'8", 4'8¼", and 4'6" respectively[[/note]]. The relation between this trope and {{Lolicon}} has been thoroughly explored: Kanata is the (deceased) wife of Soujiro, and Konata wore SchoolSwimsuit to attract "[[{{Lolicon}} people with special interests]]" in the BeachEpisode, and when Yutaka lamented her lack of boyfriend due to being an [[IllGirl ill]] [[OlderThanTheyLook fauxli]], Konata told her that a lot of people are looking for her, ''should she not choose''...
*** Yutaka's [[CheerfulChild demeanor]], and the fact that she and [[MoeCouplet her interactions]] with [[HugeSchoolgirl Minami]] seem ''[[ShoutOut very]]'' [[ShoutOut similar]] to [[Manga/AzumangaDaioh another yonkoma-based anime with an]] ''[[Manga/AzumangaDaioh actual]]'' [[Manga/AzumangaDaioh child]] don't help her case--even the mangaka shouted that out when Yutaka introduced herself in front of the class, and gave her [[GirlishPigtails pigtails]].
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
** Cinque looks like she's around ten, but she's one of the oldest members of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Numbers Cyborgs]], and is officially the same age as Teana.
** Fate's familiar, Arf, in the third season when a ten year TimeSkip means she actually ''is'' old enough to appear as a grown woman... and she looks like a child in order to conserve energy. Before that, she was YoungerThanTheyLook.
** And in a less extreme example (also from the first two seasons), Chrono Harlaown looks to be roughly nine or ten years old, just like Nanoha, Yuuno, Fate, etc. In reality, he's fourteen.
** Poor Caro. The years have not been kind to her as she still has the same child-like appearance that she had in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' despite being of adoloscent age, a fact that Lutecia mocks her for in ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid''.
--> '''Lutecia''': Even though we've got one shrimp, the three of us are of the same age.\\
'''Caro''': What did you say!? But I've grown taller by 1.5cm!
** Precia Testarossa, the BigBad of the original series, looks like she's in her 20s. She's ''54''.
*** Likewise, by the time of ''[=StrikerS=]'', the now 41-year-old Lindy Harlaown doesn't appear to have aged a day in the 10 years since her first appearance. And for that matter, in the original series she was 31 and looked like she was in her early 20s.
** In the alternate continuity of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaINNOCENT'', Alicia Testarossa is several years older than her 10-year-old sister Fate. They look like identical twins.
* Near from ''Manga/DeathNote'' looked younger than [[WordOfGod twenty-one]] post-TimeSkip.
** Also L, who can blend in with a group of teenagers in his mid 20's.
** Many don't realize that Misa is older than Light. The folks at Viz Media even make this mistake in one of the DVD commentaries. Justified in that her young looks are accompanied by extremely childish behavior.
* Tsubasa Shibahime from ''KareKano'' is a high schooler like the rest of the cast, but looks like she's twelve.
* Mitsukuni Haninozuka from ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' looks and acts like a 10-year old to appeal to the {{Shotacon}} crowd, but is really 17/18 years old, and therefore, the oldest member of the club.
** The joke is that his birthday is February 29th, which comes around only once every 4 years. Since this is manga/anime, he only ages 1 year for every 4. Also, going by that logic, wouldn't the same go for his chronological age and he be 5?
* Thorkell from ''VinlandSaga'' is a more realistic example than most but he still in no way looks like he's in his fifties.
** Even more notable because he is an enormous man whose facial features suggest that he suffers from gigantism, which should mean that at that age he should be at death's door, already.
* Azuma and Seira Umeda from the manga series ''HanaKimi''. They both look pretty young despite the fact that Seira is fifty-one and Azuma is fifty-four.
* The [[PuniPlush art style]] of ''Manga/HidamariSketch'' made everyone like this, but Yuno needs some specific mention. Her ''extreme'' proneness to childlike mood swings/general childish behavior and her 1.44m height made her seem more like seven than fifteen. Actually part of this series' premise was on [[ComingOfAgeStory her trying to grow out of this]].
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'': Komoe-sensei looks very young (no older than ten) and wears bunny pajamas to bed. Yet she is an adult, and her apartment is littered with beer cans and cigarettes. Quite a contrast there. For the longest time, there was no explanation for this, but in later volumes rumors eventually surface that she was the subject of some kind of age-regression experiment.
* Yun-Ook Jang, the main character in ''Forest of Gray City'' is a 25-year old who keeps getting mistaken for a teenager.
* The manga ''DoubleArts'' pulled this on one of the main characters. She goes to meet a [[LoveInterest new found friend's]] family, and is introduced to a little girl she assumes to be his little sister. But wait! That's ''his mom''!
* A very similar situation to the one above happens in the manga ''CodeBreaker'', although this time with the ''female'' protagonist's mom, and the mom being a bit more endowed.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'': Kaoru refuses to believe that the youthful-looking Kenshin is a whopping 28 years old, although that doesn't stop them from getting together in the end--even though Kaoru is only 17. Likewise, when Yahiko and Misao discover that Hiko is a remarkably well-preserved 43, they wonder if it's a side-effect of the Hiten Mitsurugi style.
** And speaking of Misao, she's 16, but looks quite a bit younger, something that she doesn't react well to. One particular filler episode had all the female characters poke fun at this, even innocent little Tsubame, who is shocked that Misao is that much older than her.
* Hinako Ninomiya, from the series ''RanmaOneHalf''. She has the appearance of an innocent child though she is actually much older. When she [[EnergyAbsorption drains the battle auras]] of "delinquents", she reverts to her true age and becomes a buxom woman in her late twenties.
** Also Lukkosai, from the ''RanmaOneHalf'' manga, who is the same age as Happosai but is cursed to turn into a little boy when splashed with cold water.
* The manga ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'''s [[spoiler:Eriol Hiiragizawa]] is actually the same age as Sakura's father, despite looking to be around the same age as her because he magically halted his aging process.
* ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle'': Syaoran is subjectively around 21 when the series begins ([[spoiler:TimeTravel is involved]]). He looks like a young teenager. [[spoiler:The clones don't look any older than he is at the end, but both of them are in their early-to-mid 30's... yes, the clones are older than their originals. [[TimeyWimeyBall It's complicated]].]]
** Fai looks to be in his twenties, but isn't. His real age is never said, but Yuko commented that despite his apparent youth he had already lived several lifespans.
* ''[[Manga/XxxHOLiC xxxHOLiC]]'': [[spoiler:Watanuki takes over Yuuko's shop after her death, he goes into a similar un-aging and anomaly-to-the-universe state. By the end of the series he's over 100 years old but physically looks barely older than the teenager he was when the series started.]]
* ''AngelicLayer'''s Misaki Suzuhara is of ''1st year middle school'' age. Yet she gets mistaken for much younger, at one point ''elementary 3rd year'', much to her shock.
* A similar thing happened in ''MagicKnightRayearth'', another Creator/{{CLAMP}} series: after Hikaru stated that she was fourteen years old, Umi and Fuu were shocked (Hikaru was shorter than the other two by at least a foot), and one of them said that she thought Hikaru was still in elementary school.
** An element of Cephiro is people being able to change how old they look. Character bios for the childlike Clef and Emeraude state that they are Really700YearsOld. This is averted in ''Anime/RayearthOVA''.
* In [[Manga/MidoriNoHibi Inoue]] [[Manga/AiKora Kazurou's]] short story ''Aoi Destruction'', the titular father of the main character is 38 years old, [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/aoi_destruction/v01/c001/9.html yet]] looks like a little girl. His late wife, in contrast, was apparently quite masculine in appearance. [[{{Lolicon}} The problem with that should be obvious]].
* Main premise of ''Manga/DetectiveConan'': MillionToOneChance FountainOfYouth turning {{Teen Genius}}es into Preteen Geniuses.
** Vermouth in ''Manga/DetectiveConan''.
* Firo from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' is, [[AllThereInTheManual according to the novels]], regularly assumed to be about three or four years younger than he actually is (eighteen and a half). Of course, now that he's taken the [[ImmortalityInducer Elixir of Life]], that disparity [[Really700YearsOld is only going to get bigger over time.]]
* Pinoko from ''Manga/BlackJack'' looks no older than six, but insists that she's at least eighteen due to the very bizarre circumstances up until her "birth". [[spoiler:Specifically, [[AndIMustScream she spent the first 18 years of her "life" encased in a cyst within her Twin Sister's body]]]]. Black Jack, her legal guardian, argues [[YoungerThanTheyLook the exact opposite]].
* [[AGodAmI God]] from ''MariaHolic'' came upon a long rotted love letter given to her years before, which looked to be pre-War Japan. She looks no different than she does in the present, and since she looks to have been the dorm leader even then, she would have to be at least 70 or 80. Also, Yonakuni.
* In {{Mahoromatic}} Suguru's teacher is shown to look exactly the same at the series end as at its start; [[spoiler:the series ended after a twenty year TimeSkip where she considered Suguru too old at the ripe age of thirty four]]. This kinda begs the question; how old was she at the series start?
* Two of the Sannin in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' have this; Tsunade uses a transformation jutsu to keep herself looking like she's in her late twenties or early thirties (however, the use of her ''[[HealingFactor other]]'' jutsu makes her appearance without it appear ''even older'' than she really is). Orochimaru's [[GrandTheftMe body-switching jutsu]] causes him too look like he's still in his early-to-mid-thirties. Both are between 50 and 53 years old. Jiraiya presumably doesn't use any jutsu to keep himself looking young, as he is the only one who looks his age.
** Ahem- [[http://media.photobucket.com/image/shirtless%20jiraiya/hihi_hikari/Naruto-177-PleaseMrPostmanC_P028-10.jpg?o= have you seen him shirtless?]] I wouldn't exactly say he looks his age; guess he just got lucky.
*** There's no reason a 50-something man can't have a toned body.
** In the third movie, Sakura fights a female assassin named Karenbana who appears to be about 12. When Sakura says to her, "You wear too much perfume for a kid", she replies with, "Kid? I'm twenty-two!" to which Sakura replies, "Oops!"
** Jugo [[SleepModeSize temporarily]] looks like he is several years younger after [[spoiler:transferring part of his flesh to Sasuke to save him from a mortal injury. He later recovered when he [[HumanResources takes the body parts of an already dead opponent]] to survive a mortal injury]].
** Sasori is 35 years old. But because he modified his body to become an unaging puppet, his physical appearance is that of a 15-year old.
** The First Hokage lived long enough to have grandchildren. Nevertheless, neither him nor his brother the Second Hokage look like they've aged beyond their early 40s; for all we know, they could have been relatively young when the grandkids were born.
** When they meet, Naruto instantly assumes that [[spoiler:Yagura]] is a child who never had the chance to properly experience life. He's actually both an adult (though his age isn't given) and [[spoiler:the Fourth Mizukage to boot]].
* Alicia from ''Manga/{{ARIA}}'' is 19 years old and pretty much looks that way, which doesn't match well with her supposed long experience as an undine. She lives on Mars though, where the years last almost twice as long as earth's. Do the math.
** President Aria from ''ARIA''. 20 years have passed and he doesn't look any different, unlike Grandma, who has considerably shortened.
** Played even straighter by Albert Pitt, who, while one of the eldest members of the main cast, looks like a cute little boy due to his working conditions.
* Loco from ''{{MAR}}'' is thirty-two years old, despite looking like she's somewhere around ten. This is because the Darkness Arms she specializes in de-age her every time she uses them. At one point she ends up de-aging herself into infancy.
* In ''Manga/BlackCat'', because of being shot with a nanomachine Lucifer bullet, Train transformed into a kid (that looks around 7-8 years old), even though he's actually 23.
* Ranewater Calder from ''ZombiePowder'', leader of the Ash Daughter Gang. Although he looks like a young boy, is actually an old man who manages to retain his youthful looks with Phoenix-Samin. His nickname is actually "Old Man Calder".
* Mikako Koda from ''ParadiseKiss'' is around fifteen years older than her sister Miwako, and they both look like [[{{Expy}} twins]].
* In the anime of ''VenusVersusVirus'', [[spoiler:twins Lola and Layla don't look much older than ten, but they're actually much older than Lucia and Sumire, the main characters, as they're ageless dolls.]]
** In the original manga, they're just normal [[spoiler:(human)]] girls.
* Break and Sharon from ''PandoraHearts'' don't age and are at least ten years older than they appear. [[spoiler:Break is around 120 years old, though he looks like he's in his twenties. Sharon looks 13, but is really 23]]. There's also Zwei. Another example is Rufus Barma, who appears to be in his twenties or thirties despite actually being over seventy years old.
** Given the bizarre way that time works in the Abyss [[spoiler:and that most of the characters are contractors]], most of the cast actually falls into this. Apart from the above examples, there's [[spoiler:Oz, who is 25 though he still looks 15, and Vincent and Gil, who look in their early twenties, were eight and nine years old at the Tragedy of Sablier... a hundred years ago. The Baskervilles also apply as they have been seen in flashbacks over one hundred years ago.And Alice, for that matter. Interestingly, when the lack of aging from first brought up, Break had said that it was a 'possible' side-affect from entering in a contract. So far every contracter has been proven to be older than they look, it makes you wonder why they bothered adding in the 'possibly'.]]
** [[spoiler:Now in all likelyhood this applies to Riem also due to his contract witht the March Hare]].
* In ''SchoolRumble'', Yakumo is calm, mature, and the object of Hanai's affection. Tenma is short, acts childish, and has ExpressiveHair. Try and guess which one is older.
* Seguchi Tohma owns this trope. He's 32 but looks 16. In the flashbacks where he's supposed to be 16, he looks twelve. Same problem appears with a bunch of other characters in ''{{Gravitation}}'' as well.
* In ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'', Kouichi's mom looks more like his sister.
* Yugi's childlike appearance is a source of comic relief in both the ''Manga/YuGiOh'' manga and the [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries first series]]. He's supposed to be sixteen years old. He looks about ten. It's played with even more when you consider his child-like innocence, and how physically vulnerable he is compared to everyone else in the cast. It also bugs him a lot when people mistake him for a grade-schooler.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', where he says that he looks like he's 10 and that [[YoungerThanTheyLook Serenity, who is about 12 to 14 years old, looks like she's 16]].
* Yuuki of ''Manga/{{Saki}}''. First year high school student who plays the role of TokenMiniMoe since she still looks like a kid. Koromo is even worse, she's manages to look even younger than Yuuki despite being one year older, to the point at which a security guard mistakes her for a little kid, rather than a high school mahjong player. In fact, Koromo's the oldest member of the Ryuumonbuchi team, albeit by a small margin, since they're all second-years.
** Similar to Koromo, Kurumi of Miyamori is quite short and is occasionally childish, but she is, like her teammates (which includes [[HugeSchoolgirl the incredibly tall]] [[GentleGiant Toyone]]), a third-year in high school.
** Hayari Mizuhara, a pro player, is 28, something that is repeatedly pointed out every time her name is shown, despite (or because) of how she has a youthful-looking face that hasn't changed much since she was 11.
* In ''Manga/{{Needless}}'', Disc is [[spoiler:a half-cyborg from the time before the big war. This makes her over 100 years old, despite her appearance as the TokenMiniMoe]]. When this is pointed out in episode 7, Adam is less than pleased.
* The age of [[spoiler:Road]] from ''DGrayMan'' is revealed in chapter 187 to be [[spoiler:over 35. What isn't known is whether the young form we see is her real body, or an illusion; for example, although we know she is human, we've also seen her in the form of a doll.]]
** Shown in chapter 215 to be true of [[spoiler:Allen]] as well. [[spoiler:The Fourteenth is shown wondering why Allen's body hadn't aged in the last 35 years.]]
* Yellow from ''PokemonSpecial''. All the Johto Dex Holders have a hard time believing that someone a foot shorter than them is in fact a year older.
* ''Manga/MagicalPokemonJourney'' has Ginger, who introduces herself as Coconut's sister. She appears to be around 16, which makes her overtones with Grandpa really really creepy...until [[spoiler:Coconut reveals that Ginger is her GRANDMOTHER, and Grandpa's wife. Apparently she'd discovered a youth formula]].
* Momiji from ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' looks and acts like an elementary school kid. When Tohru finds out that he's going to go to her high school, she is shocked.
** He eventually goes through a growth spurt, and becomes as ''{{Bishonen}}'' as the rest of the boys (if not more).
* Souichi Tomoe, Hotaru's dad in ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', is in his late thirties, but looks at least a decade younger, not appearing to age since the incident where Hotaru almost died. Whether it's due to Germatoid's possession's effect is unknown.
* We aren't privy to her real age, but Athena of ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' appears to be the same age as the main character, but the time where she's been staying for the years before her appearance has a different standard of time. When she shows up in the current time, she looks to have aged appropriately since she's been locked out of the castle.
** She also acted rather like an adult back when she was supposed to be six.
** And her mindset is from even further back. The mindset she instilled in Hayate.
** And now she's back at her 6-year old appearance, while even only given the years we've seen she's at least 16.
* Miyu from ''TheyAreMyNobleMasters'' looks extremely young for someone in her early twenties -- which actually [[BrotherSisterIncest causes her sister Shinra to be attracted to her]].
* The Blade Children of ''{{Spiral}}'' are all the same age, that is, 17... yes, even [[TokenMiniMoe Rio]]. She actually uses her youthful, cute appearance to make unwitting enemies [[LittleMissBadass underestimate her]]. (And by the way, although he looks more his age, Eyes is the ''youngest'' of them all, despite being the second tallest of the main five and possibly the most [[TheStoic intimidating]].)
* Amber in ''DarkerThanBlack'' looks like a teenager. This is because her [[PowerAtAPrice remuneration]] is MerlinSickness; a flashback to five years earlier shows her looking twenty-something. We have no idea how old she actually is.
* ''[[LightNovel/BludgeoningAngelDokuroChan Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-Chan]]'' primarily parodies the trope. Dokuro-chan was sent by God to kill Sakura (or make his [[FateWorseThanDeath life worse than Hell itself]]) for the crime of giving humanity immortality. Why? The catch is that all women stop aging at 12, making it a pedophile paradise.
* The main characters in ''OtogiJuushiAkazukin'' (a.k.a. ''Fairy Musketeers'') look more like 7- or 8-year olds than 14-year olds.
** ''Juushi'' could be a pun. In the title, it means "musketeer", but ''juushi'' -- using different kanji -- means "fourteen".
* Kazan, from [[{{Kazan}} the manga of the same name]], hasn't aged a day since he encountered a water demon. When the story begins he's been 6 for 10 years.
* Nono from ''{{Yotsunoha}}'' falls under this when the [[TimeSkip gang gets back together]]. Unlike her friends she barely grew over time.
* Katsuo of ''YakitateJapan''. When he first appears in the Newcomer Exam, everyone assumes he's a child because of his small stature and boyish appearance. When he makes it to the semifinals, his ''wife'' appears to cheer him on, and he reveals that he's actually 31.
* Hope Stelar, Geo's mother, in ''MegaManStarForce'' looks more like an older sister. Then again, Geo's only ten or eleven, so she can't be too old. She looks older in the game.
* Palmtop Tiger from ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}''.
* [[UndeadChild Mina Tepes]] from ''DanceInTheVampireBund'' is, like most vampires, a definite example. The only question among fandom is how ''much'' older she is than the tween she appears to be (lowball estimates place her at her early to mid twenties, while other hints indicate she is at least on the far side of ninety).
* [[ShrinkingViolet Meiko Rokudou]] from ''Anime/GhostSweeperMikami'' comes to mind. For most of the manga's run, her insecurity, cutesy look, and the nature of her [[LesYay crush on Mikami]] could easily make a reader think that she's anywhere from 17-19 years old (Mikami's 20-21). Then, in one of the last story arcs, we are shown Meiko's mother while she's pregnant with her. The thing is that this is the beginning of the story arc describing how Mikami's parents ''met''. So Meiko's probably 22-24...
* V.V. from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' looks like a child, due to immortality, but is actually in his sixties.
* All the girls from ''SkyGirls'' [[http://www.jcstaff.co.jp/sho-sai/skytv-shokai/skytv-index.htm appear to be about 12]], though in reality they're aged 15 to 17.
** Also, the twin mechanics Haruko and [[http://media.photobucket.com/image/sky%20girls%20ranko/crisuskeer/MyAnimeList/skyGirls25-04.jpg Ranko]] Mikagami are supposed to be older than [[http://animewriter.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/ryohei-otoha.jpg Ryohei]].
* Luffy from ''OnePiece'', the 17-year old hero. He looks older when he is serious (and in some of the earlier arcs he was drawn with a mature look) but with his short stature, big round head and eyes, big mouth and small nose it's hard to believe he is much older than 10 years unless you know better. Doesn't really help on the age estimation that he is also a ManChild. After the TimeSkip he is now 19, but looks like a 10-year old as much as ever.
** [[NonePiece "You try getting wrinkles being made of rubber!"]]
** Chopper looks like a baby reindeer, while he is in fact 15 (17 post TimeSkip). In his semi-human form, he looks closer to his age, but no matter what form he takes, he keeps his child voice in the anime.
** In SBS questions, a fan did some maths, and was amazed to discover Franky was 34.
** [[AloofAlly Aokiji]] may look like he's in his mid-to-late twenties or early thirties, but he's actually 47/[[TimeSkip 49]].
** Shakuyaku looks like a rather young woman, but she's actually a RetiredBadass who quit piracy ''forty'' years prior to the start of the story.
** Kureha looks to be in her sixties, but she's actually ''139''. Due to her body looking far more youthful than her ButterFace, a RunningGag with her involves people assuming her to be a young woman until they notice said ButterFace.
* Martel in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' looks like she's in her 20s but is actually old enough to be Ed and Al's mom. She has a lot of snake venom to clear her wrinkles.
** Al is one year younger than his brother, but during TheMovie he looks thirteen while his brother is an adult. Justified by the fact that [[spoiler:when he got his body back he came back as the same age he was when he tried to revive his mother]]
* The AffablyEvil priest Rezo from ''{{Slayers}}'' is the [[Really700YearsOld century-old]] great-grandfather of one of the protagonists, Zelgadis; aside from the two barely-noticable boney lines under his eyes, he looks to be more in his late forties or early fifties. [[RedHeadedHeroine Lina]] lampshades this when he appears in the first LightNovel, describing him as looking "both young and old at the same time."
** A non-human example would be Hellmaster Fibrizo, who is both the oldest and strongest of the world's five Demonic Lords. He disguises himself in the form of an [[ViewerGenderConfusion androgynous]] young boy in order to decieve people.
** And from the fourth and fifth seasons of the anime, [[BrattyHalfPint Pokota]] the prince has the voice and the demeanor of a 10-year old. In reality, when his kingdom was struck by a plague about a decade before the series proper, his then 10-year old body was sealed away (along with the rest of the country's citizens), and his soul was [[SoulJar placed in a stuffed animal.]] Realistically, he should be a bit older than Lina.
* In ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'', Natsumi Kato looks like a high school student or young college student, but she's actually around 30.
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' invokes this trope with all of the Arcobaleno.
* 14-year old Shinji Ikari from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' looks 12 or younger.
** His [[SexyMentor guardian]] Misato is stated as being 29 years old, but she could pass for an in-universe 18-year old (or even younger, if not for her height and figure).
** Come the third movie of Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion, [[spoiler:Asuka and Mari]] are this after a fifteen year TimeSkip because of the side effects from the LCD.
* Simon of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. He's actually 14, but his [[OneHeadTaller stature]] and [[ShrinkingViolet attitude]] makes him look at most 12.
** Then there's Viral who [[spoiler:will become this because of his immortality.]]
* Ryouhei Sumi from ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'' looked like he's a little kid, but he is in fact 15 (at the beginning of the series) making him a year older than Hayato, the main character.
* White from ''TekkonKinkreet''; by the way he looks and acts you'd think he was about 5 years old, but he's 11.
* Nene from ''BubblegumCrisis Tokyo 2040'' is rather short and undeveloped, and tends to act like a young teenager rather than the 20-year old woman she is. It seems to be her BerserkButton, if her reaction when she flirts with her boss (His reply? “I don’t like little kids”) or when 15-year old Makkie comes onto her is any indication.
* Reiji Miyabi (aka Head) from ''StarDriver'' appears to be about 15 to 17 years old. Flashbacks to the time when he [[spoiler:fathered his now 15-year old son, Takuto Tsunashi,]] suggest he's at least twice that age, if not much older.
* Yuka in ''{{Kemonozume}}'' is about 30, but looks like she's in her early-to-mid twenties. She seems pleased when someone correctly guesses her age.
* In the original ''CuteyHoney'', the shape-shifting android Honey was [[YoungerThanTheyLook Younger Than She Looked]] (supposedly 16 but was probably built more recently than that). By the time ''New CuteyHoney'' came around, she looked a little older (early- to mid-twenties, probably voluntary aging from her powers), but being over a hundred years old, she had moved to the opposite trope.
* Natsu from ''Manga/FairyTail'' is hinted to be this, although nothing's been confirmed yet. During the Fighting Festival Arc, [[spoiler:he gets trapped with Master Makarov by a spell that only affects people over the age of 80]]... but the confusing part is that he's shown to have grown up normally in the past few years.
** [[TokenMiniMoe Wendy]], whose age is confirmed, is usually a more straight example. Does [[http://www.mangareader.net/135-7247-20/fairy-tail/chapter-132.html this]] look like a 12-year old girl to you? On the other hand, she ironically [[InvertedTrope inverts the trope]] in some of her LetsGetDangerous moments where she actually more [[http://images.wikia.com/fairytail/images/7/78/Volume23cover.jpg looks like]] a teen UsefulNotes/{{Pettanko}}.
** Master Hades is an old man, but he's definitely a lot older that he appears to be. In flashbacks to when Master Makarov was a young man, Hades looks exactly the same as he does now.
* Sun Otonashi in ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' looked like a middle schooler more than a year after graduating from high school.
* Tooru from ''AChannel'' is 16 and in highschool, but due to her short stature she looks considerably younger.
* Hanabusa Seki, Thobari's girlfriend, of ''NabariNoOu''. She's 40...
* Atsumi from ''Manga/RecorderAndRandsell'' is 137 cm/4'5 feet tall and looks exactly like an 11-year old kid.
* [[spoiler:Yuka]] of ''Anime/BloodC''. She's apparently old enough to be a politician (which would put her somewhere in ''early thirties'' at least) but can pass as a high school student.
* The title character of ''{{Acony}}'' has the body of a twelve or thirteen year old girl, but claims to be 23. Her high school aged neighbor laughs at this, saying that if she's going to lie she should go all out and say she's ReallySevenHundredYearsOld, but it's true; she was involved in a [[spoiler:superhero origin-esque botched scientific experiment]] that slowed her aging to a crawl. She'll look 23 by the time she's 80, but she'll die around then because her lifespan is still that of a normal human.
* Okashi Nako of ''Manga/PoorPoorLips'', who looks like a kid despite, well...
--> '''Ren:''' That's odd. I wrote 18 to 25 in the ad. \\
'''Nako:''' I'm 21!!
* The protagonist of ''KuronekoGuardian'' is 13 but could pass for a 9 or 10 year old.
* Even if almost all of them have a case of Really700YearsOld, the anthropomorphic countries in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' rarely even look their "human age". England is supposed to be physically 23, but is often drawn not looking any older than 15. In-universe, this is the case for Japan; Italy thinks Japan is too young to drink, when he's actually ''way'' older than Italy.
* In ''Manga/ArataKangatari'', Princess Kikuri looks surprisingly youthful for a 60+ year-old woman. Justified, as her powers suppress the form of her true age.
* All 12 of Abe no Seimei's Shikigami in ''LightNovel/ShonenOnmyouji'' are very easily hundreds, maybe even thousands of years old, but most of them appear to be in their mid-twenties or early thirties. The exceptions being Taiien and Genbu, who both look like children.
* ''Manga/KotouraSan'':
** Daichi is excessively short; when Haruka first met him he was mistaken to be an elementary schooler.
** Haruka herself is short among the girls, and her mother often teases her for looking child-like.
* ''Manga/SaijouNoMeii'': Saijou should be in his 20's but he looks about 15 and acts even less than that. Probably to make it easier for the readers to identify with, as the author's stated goal in writing the manga was to inspire young people to study medicine.
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' has Shotaro Shiratori, who despite being a grandfather has the appearance of a {{Bishonen}}.
* ''PrincessPrincess'': When two of the "Princesses" first met Sakamoto Akira's mother, they thought she was his sister and couldn't even figure out if she was older or younger than him. When he told them she's his mother, he even had to clarify she's not a ''step''mother.
* ''WaratteSotomuraSan'': Sotomura's mother looks so young people at first think she's Sotomura's elder sister.
* ''MedakaBox'': Zenkichi's mother looks like a twelve-year-old girl but she's actually 42.
* ''Manga/FutariEcchi'': Shoko Shiina is 24, despite looking like a little girl.
* In ''The Face Burglar'' by JunjiIto, Kamei is a shapeshifting schoolgirl who involuntarily takes the appearance of anyone she spends time around. It is stated at the end of the story that she is not really a student and has been attending the school without permission, but no one knows how to get rid of her. They believe she is far older than she really appears.
* ''Manga/DansaiBunriNoCrimeEdge'': Iwai, due to her short stature, looks like a little girl but is actually fourteen years old.
* [[spoiler: Cassian]] from CountCain's growth was stunted such that he looks twelve or so but is an adult. This being a vaguely-[[VictorianBritain Victorian]] world, he wound up working in the circus for a while.
* Kurapika from ''HunterXHunter'' is seventeen at the start but doesn't look much older than the twelve year olds Gon and Killua.
** [[spoiler: Biscuit]] appears to be a 12 year old girl but [[spoiler: is later revealed to be a very masculine 57 year old, who uses her Nen ability to stay looking young]].
* Nanoka in ''KoiKaze'' is fifteen at the start of the manga, turns sixteen a few chapters in, and is eighteen by the end. She can pass for a twelve year old which makes her relationship with someone nearly thirty ever the more {{squick}}y.
* Being [[spoiler: a time traveler stuck in a GroundhogDayLoop]], Homura of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' has an uncertain age. Most fan estimates, based on WordOfGod [[spoiler: (around one hundred loops of forty-five days)]] suggest her to be around twenty-six years old, next to her middle-school peers. However, she looks the same age as the rest of the cast - in fact, she's actually a {{Pettanko}} and the second shortest girl. Explanations, from side-effects of her powers to actual immortality, abound in the fanbase.
* {{AKIRA}}: Kyoko, Takashi and Masaru were often mistaken for children; even a police officer does this when he saw Takashi. However, the trio is actually in their late 30s, with Kyoko being oldest in her early 40s like The Colonel. This is due in part of taking medicine to keep their powers in check.
* Aria from ''Manga/RisingXRydeen'' looks like she's in her mid-twenties and compared to the rest of the mostly teenage cast she's significantly taller, bustier and more composed despite being eighteen, only three to four years older than most of them. Takara is shocked when she reveals her true age.
* Yukiya from ''OkaneGaNai'' is hit seriously with uke stereotypes. He's an eighteen year old college student but looks more like a twelve year old boy, or a [[DudeLooksLikeALady eighteen year old woman]].
* The Demons in ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh!'' age at a slower rate than humans, and live longer as well making them this. A good example is the main hero's accidental fiance Wolfrem, who is physically a 16 year old, but is chronologically 82.
* Manga/{{Toriko}} was surprised to find out when they were at an island known for its alcohol that his partner Komatsu (who looks like a preteen) is the same age he is -- 25.
* Hinata Hakamada from ''Ro-Kyu-Bu!'' is a sixth grader but looks and acts like she's around seven. Subverted as she does have noticeable breasts.
* ''InuYasha'' certainly qualifies given that he should be around the age of 200, despite appearing to be around the same age as Kagome. This also applies to demons, in general.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Soul Reapers have vastly expanded lifespans and therefore their chronological ages do not match their biological ages. For example, Yamamoto looks like an elderly grandfather but has been around for over 2,000 years whereas Hitsugaya looks like he's around 13 years old but has been around for at least 40 years. While Rukia looks like she's in the same age-group as Ichigo, she once told his fifteen-year old self that she had lived ten times his lifespan.
*** Even on the Soul Reapers' Really700YearsOld scale, there are inconsistencies. During a flashback taking place 100 years ago, Gin Ichimaru and Nanao Ise are portrayed as children, the former looking between 10 and 13, the latter around 5 to 8. Hiyori looks to be about 12-15 in the same flashback, but looks almost exactly the same in the present day. This counts for Mashiro, too.
** Hollows don't age at all. As a result, there is no way to guess how old they might be. Lilinette lampshades this when Ukitake refuses to fight her on the grounds that he cannot - will not - fight children. He knows her chronological age has nothing to do with her biological appearance, but he will not change his stance.
** In filler, there's Ran'Tao from the Bount arc, who looks to be the Soul Reaper equivalent of a 30-year-old. In fact, she's quite old even by Soul Reaper standards, but through [[ProfessorGuineaPig self-experimentation]] stopped (or at least greatly slowed) her aging at the price of greatly reduced stamina and a need to sleep roughly 2/3 of each day.
* Suzu from ''Manga/SeitokaiYakuindomo'' looks like an elementary schooler, but is actually in high school. She's a little touchy about the subject.
* Nanami in ''Manga/YandereKanojo'' is another high schooler who looks like she's still in elementary. This causes problems when she falls for main character Manabu, who thinks she ''is'' the age she looks, and treats her as having a PrecociousCrush on him.
** Also of note is the Principal's wife, who looks as if she's still at school, but was actually classmates with her husband. The other characters even lampshade just how weird it is.
* ''LightNovel/KanojoGaFlagOOraretara'': School elder Tsumugi Ryuukishibara looks like a young child, complete with bonnet; in truth, she was once a fully-grown woman, but shrank to her current height as she got older. No-one knows how, and Tsumugi herself seems to think it's perfectly natural. Rumor has it she's been around since the school's founding.
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