The Distaff Counterpart
to Badass Baritone
: If a female character's voice is noticeably lower than those of other women in the work, it's a sure sign that she either is a lot more dangerous than they or is more masculine. As such, contralto
voices are usually reserved for tough Action Girls
, Ladies of War
, and Femme Fatales
Some female characters, in the meantime, may go from a higher-pitched voice to a menacing contralto when they're about to kick someone's ass
, or during changes of their persona when the character gets serious. A common reason for a change in persona is for the character to tap into some mystical power
. Being taken over by her Super-Powered Evil Side
could be another reason for this since Evil Sounds Deep
. Or maybe she just gets in the zone during Let's Get Dangerous
moments and the deep voice is reflecting that.
Compare and contrast Badass Baritone
, and Women Are Delicate
, at least when it comes to a "feminine" vs. "masculine" voice. May overlap with Alto Villainess
and Evil Sounds Deep
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Anime and Manga
- There are several Japanese voice actresses who make a career out of playing deep-voiced women in who either are in positions of command or have great fighting skills. The biggest example and possible Trope Codifier for anime is Yoshiko Sakakibara (Haman Kahn, Integra Hellsing, Queen Nehelenia, etc); other members of this "club" are Sanae Kobayashi, Romi Park, Ai Orikasa, Mitsuki Saiga, Minami Takayama, Megumi Ogata, Masako Katsuki, Yoko Soumi, Mayo Suzukaze, Marina Inoue etc. Notice how many of these women aren't uncapable of using higher tones, but are often recognized by this kind of roles.
- Nana Mizuki is often known for voicing high-pitched action girls (like Fate and Riful), which seems out of place with this trope. However, because she will almost always sing within the series she plays in, the truth of her powerful voice is revealed, and expect plenty of asskicking to the the tune of her awesome songs. Some of her roles, like Inner Moka (see below) or Tsubasa, play it perfectly straight, though.
- The Lady of War Signum in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's has a very low and powerful voice for such a slender woman and is unarguably the best fighter in that season and in many later Lyrical Nanoha installments. The Abridged Series even calls her "the manliest character on this show" (and that despite her very feminine forms) and exaggerates her voice to an outright male Badass Baritone.
- Presea Testarossa had already a low voice even before she became crazy and evil.
- Uno, Tre, Otto and Nove have also low voices, especially the Tre.
- Setsuna Sakurazaki in Mahou Sensei Negima! has a very low and powerful voice for such a slender and petite woman and is unarguably among the best fighters in the series. This also extends to the fact that she can pass for a male.
- Akira Kogami from Lucky Star pretends to be a cheerful, high-pitched 14-year-old for the camera, but as soon as it's switched off, she reverts to her borderline psychotic, abusive real self with a husky contralto.
- Kyoko Sakura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica has quite a low voice. The third Drama CD, Farewell Story, revealed that her voice used to be much higher, until her father went crazy upon learning the truth about the increased attendance of his church being a result of his daughter's mahou shoujo powers and went Pater Familicide upon everyone in the family, killing everyone except Kyoko (who was the only survivor because of said mahou shoujo powers).
- Elfen Lied: Whenever the protagonist is in her Nyu persona, she is like an innocent young girl. When she switches to her Lucy persona, she has a much lower voice to match her dangerous and threatening nature.
- High School DxD: Xenovia's normal voice, which is deeper than any other female in the series and fitting for her role as the Big Girl of the main cast. Made even more evident when she practiced "how to be a normal teenage girl":
Xenovia: (Voice several pitches higher than her usual coarse-and-masculine voice) Let's get along, 'kay, Issei-kun!
Issei: That cutesey voice does NOT suit you!
Xenovia: (Switches straight back to her normal-unfeminine voice) I know, I tried to copy Irina, and it was SO difficult.
- Higurashi: When They Cry: In the anime adaptation, Rika's voice deepens drastically during scenes where she drops her cute facade, and lets her cynical persona from reliving a Stable Time Loop slip through. It's played for fear and mystery.
- Kill la Kill:
- Ragyo and Satsuki Kiryuin have noticeably prominent deep voices compared to the rest of the women in the cast, especially when it comes to exercising their authority over others, although they have their share of action as well.
- Ryuuko Matoi has a very noticeable growl in her voice and is the only good Action Girl in the series. At least until episode 17.
- Inverted with Nui Harime, who has a high pitched and cute sounding voice, which ends up being played for danger, and fear instead by contrasting Satsuki. She's also highly competent in battle despite not having Clothes Make the Superman applied to her like other characters.
- Accel World: The anime has Yuniko (AKA Scarlet Rain) put up an act with high pitched voice to seem cute so she can get closer to Haruyuki, but when she drops that facade her normal speaking tone is much more deep, gruff, and angry to emphasize her Little Miss Badass and Cute and Psycho character traits.
- Revy, Roberta and Balalaika of Black Lagoon, the three scariest and most Badass women in the entire series, all speak with a contralto.
- While Moka Akashiya of Rosario + Vampire fame is normally a Genki Girl who talks in a higher pitched voice, when her rosary is removed and Inner Moka is let loose, her deeper, more guttural tone is just one indication that the S-class monster is released and someone is about to "learn their place".
- Most members of the eponymous Amazon Brigade in Claymore have low, contralto voices, even though women with higher registers ought not be trifled with either.
- Bleach has the Action Girls Rukia, Sui-Feng, and Matsumoto. For the Dark Action Girls, there are Harribel, Apacci, Mila-Rose, and some more. All of them are able to kick ass and underestimating often results to defeat or death.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds:
- Aki Izayoi has a rather deep voice for a Yu-Gi-Oh! heroine. She is also a Dark Action Girl and a psychotic psychic in the first two seasons, and even as a child, her voice was noticebly low, especially when she discovered her psychic power. However, since the third season, when has become a genuine Action Girl, her voice doesn't drop lower like in the previous seasons when she is about to kick ass.
- Carly's voice becomes much lower after becoming an Ax-Crazy Dark Signer.
- Misty, who is also a Dark Signer, has a low and mature voice even in her normal appearance. However, she is not really Ax-Crazy, but her calm, low voice reflect her Tranquil Fury character.
- Both Carly and Misty get even lower voices and Voice of the Legion when the Earthbound Immortals take control of them, which happens when they try to redeem themselves.
- Sherry LeBlanc is a Badass Action Biker Babe and a very skilled duelist who can rival even Yusei. She eventually has a Face-Heel Turn, but then Crow and Aki defeat her and she joins the crew.
Film — Animated
- The tough-as-nails Space Marine Sergeant Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph has the lowest female voice (she is voiced by Jane Lynch) and is by far the most overtly badass character in the movie.
- Megara from Hercules has a sultry, husky voice, atypical of both Disney female Love Interests in general and female characters in the movie. She's also working for Hades (albeit unwillingly), and at one point tries to seduce Herc into revealing his weaknesses, though she just ends up falling for him instead.
- Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings, a character often described by lesser mortals as incomprehensible and dangerous (which isn't surprising considering she hails from an age when her kin were the main source of trouble in the Middle Earth), speaks in a deep contralto in the book. In the movie she's played by actress Cate Blanchett, who isn't exactly squeaky-voiced either.
- Descriptions of Admiral Michelle "Mike" Henke in the Honorverse frequently include her 'husky' contralto voice. While she is neither a Femme Fatale nor a classic Action Girl, she is an extremely dangerous commander with a devious mind, and a full-fledged Four-Star Badass (and member of the royal family) to boot.
- Darwi Odrade from Heretics of Dune is described as having a "soft contralto" voice. She is a Bene Gesserit, so the badass part goes without saying.
- In Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena's voice is much deeper than Gabrielle's, since between the two, Xena is a seasoned fighter, while Gaby is a bard.
- Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory usually has an adorably squeaky voice... until she gets pissed off. Then her voice drops low and the other characters know she means business.
- Mass Effect: The female Commander Shepard, voiced by Jennifer Hale, speaks in a rough, smoky contralto and, since the games lean on Purely Aesthetic Gender, she's just as terrifying a combatant as the male version.
- Halo 4: Commander Sarah Palmer, also voiced by Jennifer Hale, sports a deep tone whenever she talks on-screen, and is a Four-Star Badass through and through.
- Diablo III: Jennifer Hale does it again, this time with nightmarish effect, when Leah is possessed by Diablo following Adria's betrayal.
- Zhu Rong from Dynasty Warriors.
- Guilty Gear's Baiken speaks in this tone, indicative of how aggressive, rugged, and simply badass she is, and also alluding to the fact that she is based off Kenshin Himura, whose seiyuu, the aforementioned Mayo Suzukaze, also spoke in a contralto for him.
- TOME: Kizuna has a much huskier voice than the rest of the female cast members. Her voice is used this way to portray her as being an Action Girl, before we actually get to see her fight. It also plays up her Creepy Monotone mannerisms.
- This is a common shtick of voice actress Jennifer Hale. She has a range of lower and higher pitched voices to use for weaker or tougher female characters respectively. One of the best examples of this is her voice for Jean Grey and her Super-Powered Evil Side, the Phoenix, which are higher and lower, respectively.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- June, a bounty hunter Zuko hires to find and capture Aang, has a deeper voice than the other female characters to portray her as dangerous.
- Avatar Kyoshi also has a deeper voice. And both she and June are also done by Jennifer Hale.
- The Legend of Korra:
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The borderline Physical God characters in Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have deeper voices than most mares, though Premier villain Nightmare Moon takes it to it's greatest extent. Being so much taller than normal ponies, their necks and so vocal cords are about twice as long which would result in a lower pitch.
- Ditto Queen Chrysalis in her true form, and Sunset Shimmer from Equestria Girls.
- Inverted, however, with the main protagonists who all have higher voices, even Ashleigh Ball's tomboy Action Girls. The deepest voice in the Mane 6 (not by much) is Rarity (Tabitha St. Germaine, same as Luna and Nightmare), the most feminine of them.
- Played straight by Adagio Dazzle and Aria Blaze in Rainbow Rocks, but subverted by Sonata Dusk, who has an airheaded Valley Girl-type voice.