Hime Cut

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_motokoaoyama_2086.jpg
And it's easy to maintain!

The regal hairstyle worn by many female characters, primarily in Japanese or Japanese-inspired media. The name comes from the Japanese word for princess and is associated with the upper classes and tradition.

In its pristine form, the straight black hair endemic to actual, real-life Japanese people is worn long, save for perfectly level bangs trimmed just above the upper eyelids, and side locks trimmed to roughly cheek and/or shoulder level (or sometimes even both). It is widely believed to be the court style of the Heian Period, and thus Older Than Feudalism. Well, Japanese feudalism. The hairstyle is rooted in the fact the Japanese tend to have voluminous sideburns.

The Hime Cut is rivaled by other styles. Ojou Ringlets are gaining prominence among anime royalty, and the general populace in Japan also favors distinctive short cuts or ponytail offshoots, such as Tsundere pigtails.

This hairstyle has a good chance of showing up if the character is an Ojou or Yamato Nadeshiko. It's also a fairly popular style with Mikos. In more modern settings, it's popular with Elegant Gothic Lolita characters. If it's a Chanbara, its appearance is a given, although usually the hair is tied back with a ribbon, and sometimes the side locks also. It's also used to accentuate personality traits traditionally associated with the ojou and similar types: calm, dignified, traditional, elegant, graceful, demure, and modest (or some combination thereof). When listing examples, please identify which character traits the hime cut is symbolizing or accentuating.

Naturally, any Historical Fiction or Period Piece set between the Heian period and Meiji Revolution will have women wearing this hairstyle, in which case the choice of cut itself has little meaning. When listing examples, please mention if the story is set in those times.

Please do not list examples unless they have all the required physical characteristics (straight hair, bangs, sidetails, and back) and at least one of the lifestyle or personality characteristics (royalty, Miko, Ojou, Yamato Nadeshiko, Elegant Gothic Lolita, Lady of War, or other traits).

For Western haircut with similar high status connotations, see Regal Ringlets. Do not confuse with a Gilligan Cut, or any kind of scene change as a cut. The trope Samurai Ponytail can have similar connotations of class but also indicates martial ability and, of course, the samurai.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Yuuko Ichihara from Xxx Holic, which enhances her sophisticated image.
  • In Aruosumente, protagonist Legna is a rare male example, although it's not immediately obvious because most of his hair is hidden beneath his cloak; he has long black hair with bangs and side tails cut off at chin level. He is also, as the Oracle, of a high social status, traditionally minded to a fault, and outwardly calm and dignified.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
  • Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts has Shōko Kirishima, the Ojou.
  • Hitagi Senjogahara from Bakemonogatari as she has the Ojou vibe.
  • Miho, the Ojou from Bakuman。.
  • Hotarubi from Basilisk has this as her hairstyle, as a traditional Ninja.
  • Ben-To:
    • Shiraume Ume features one of these, complete with a largely formal demeanor and implied vast wealth.
    • The elder Kyo Sawagi, as well, sports this hairstyle and is hinted to be an Ojou.
  • Nadeshiko Adenokouji from Binbō-gami ga! manages to combines this with Ojou Ringlets. Though it becomes more noticeable when she lets her hair down.
  • Bleach: In the Zanpakuto Rebellion arc, Tobiume wore her hair like this, adorned with cuffs on the sidelocks and a plum-branch ornament on her left temple. This is likely a reference to her Yamato Nadeshiko nature.
  • In Blue Exorcist, Izumo generally wears her hair in the traditional Girlish Pigtails for her character type, but when down it fits the Hime Cut to the T. Suits her as well, with her Hien Period Eyebrows and Miko status. Of course, the last miko of the Kamiki family is her mother who also had a similar hairstyle...but though a powerful miko was also a supreme Woman Child.
  • Ouka, the Student Council President from Busou Renkin.
  • Himegami Aisa from A Certain Magical Index as a variation on the Miko theme.
  • Saten and Uiharu from the spin-off A Certain Scientific Railgun perhaps explaining their fascination with Ojous.
  • Just about the entire female cast of the manga The Change! wears the Hime Cut because the series is set in the Heian court.
  • Azmaria from Chrono Crusade has this hairstyle, despite being Portuguese, not Japanese. It fits her mature personality, although she's quieter and more humble than the Ojou.
  • Tomoe from Count Cain, who wears it because she is the daughter of a samurai.
  • Salamandinay from Cross Ange also sports this hairstyle. It is very fitting because she is a princess living in the eastern-themed DRAGON world.
  • Chichi from Dragon Ball. She's had it underneath her headgear since childhood, and it's more prevalent when she grows up and takes it off. Signifying her traditional worldview and her role as a traditional Japanese mother.
  • Kagura Mikazuchi from Fairy Tail sports this style as a symbol of superiority among her guild.
  • Isuzu (aka Rin) from Fruits Basket, who often dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita but Akito crudely cuts it off as "punishment."
  • Yomi Isayama from Ga-Rei -Zero-, as she's the next to inherit the Isayama familiy name, which is considered prestigious among the exorcists of Japan.
  • Rory Mercury from Gate has the hairstyle to go along with her Elegant Gothic Lolita attire.
  • Yukio Himemiya in Gokujou Drops has her hair this way. Makes sense since she's also an Ojou.
  • Nako from Hana Saku Iroha (although she usually has it up) the Yamato Nadeshiko of the group.
  • Ryoko Asakura of Haruhi Suzumiya sports this hairstyle, probably as part of her Class Rep surface persona.
  • Hell Girl has Ai Enma. Along with her kimono, it's meant to give her the air of a traditional miko... but in a rather dark and unsettling sense.
  • Girlycard from Hellsing, befitting the fact that Alucard was a ruler in his life as Vlad Dracula III.
  • Ms. Yoshinoya in Hidamari Sketch uses it. That's why she was given a leading role in a parody of the story of Kaguya-hime, by her former student Kishi Maiko.
  • Male example: Fujiwara no Sai in Hikaru no Go. Justified, at his time this hairstyle was gender-neutral.
  • Yamada from Honey and Clover signifying her more traditional Japanese Girl Next Door nature.
  • Ririchiyo Shirakiin from Inu × Boku SS, an Ojou.
  • InuYasha:
  • Saraswati/Kirara from Is This a Zombie? is a Elegant Gothic Lolita Idol Singer.
  • Koko Hekmatyar in Jormungand has this haircut. She's nicknamed "Princess" by her squad.
  • Mio from K-On! fitting the more mature and traditional member of the band.
  • Kämpfer has Shizuku Sango, an Ojou with trimmed bangs.
  • Ayano from Kaze no Stigma, signifying her status as the successor of the Kannagi family.
  • Satsuki Kiryuin, the Student Council President and heir of the Kiryuin Conglomerate from Kill la Kill.
  • Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi ni Todoke. She's a good traditional girl.
  • In Kyo Kara Maoh!, the calm, dignified, intelligent and very male Great Wise Man (whose actual name has been lost to history) is shown with this haircut.
  • Caucasian-esque example: Princess Millia from Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, which symbolizes her being a princess. Her hair gets cut short later on after getting rescued by Fam and Giselle.
  • Love Hina has the samurai Motoko Aoyama (pictured above), who sports this type of hairdo.
  • A Rare Male Example is Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier; some characters even make fun of him calling him "hime-sama". It's implied that the reason is that he used to play female roles when he was a theater actor. It's not explained why he keeps the hairstyle after abandoning his acting career, though habit could be a reason as a flashback shows he's had it since he was a child. Another reason could do with the fact he strongly resembles his deceased mother.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
  • Shizuru from Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome. She's an Ojou who uses slicing weaponry in combat.
  • Coco from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, being a princess.
  • Tsumugi, the eponymous miko from The Miko's Words and the Witch's Incantations.
  • The second empress in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit has this, as befits her station. (Doubtless the first and third empresses do also.)
  • Naruto:
    • Hinata Hyuga, daughter of the respected Hyuga clan grew her hair into this style after the timeskip.
    • Shion a blond miko from the first Naruto Shippuden movie also wears her hair this way.
  • Kureneko from Oreimo, in this case because she is mirroring the style worn by an anime Gothic Lolita.
  • One of the most important features of Yukari Hayasaka from Paradise Kiss, given that she's trying to become a professional model.
  • A clear example has shown up in Rinne. Kaori Himekawa in chapter 8 sports a pristine version, if a trifle short in the back. Fitting, as she is a reincarnated princess, or rather it was enough to convince a ghost as much. Kaori is actually a reincarnated sea turtle. She's not happy about that. Then again her name "river princess" does actually foreshadow this reveal.
  • Lady Kayura from Ronin Warriors has a traditional hime cut as both a Yamato Nadeshiko and Lady of War.
  • In Saki, Sumire Hirose uses this to match the princess-like attitude she has. Logic!
  • Kirara, a miko, and Ukyo from Samurai 7 the anime version, when they take their hats off.
  • Rin Itoshiki in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. She has many traditional Japanese traits, such as her interest in ikebana.
  • Nadeshiko Fujisaki from Shugo Chara! wears hers in this style, but as a ponytail, and (if you ignore the psycho-ness) is clearly a Yamato Nadeshiko. However, she's actually a boy. Appropriately, he wears his hair in a Samurai Ponytail.
  • Anya from the Soul Eater Spin-Off Soul Eater Not!, who is an Ojou.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf fitting her as a goddess.
  • Maon from Tamayura, underlining her efforts to become a Yamato Nadeshiko.
  • Ayeka from Tenchi Muyo! has a variation of it. It has the perfectly cut bangs but the hair is promptly cut off at neck level, save for two long pony tails that nearly touch the ground. Clearly designed to remind you of the Hime Cut while being alien enough to remind you... she's an alien.
  • Benio Adashino from Twin Star Exorcists, signifying her position as the current head of a distinguished family of exorcists.
  • Saki Rukino from Valvrave the Liberator sports this hairstyle, combined with a half-updo. She is a Teen Idol, who also requires a very presentable public image like other kinds of celebrities.
  • Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower. Fits her Yamato Nadeshiko theme.
  • Aoi from WORKING!!, to underline the suspicion that she may come from a high-class background.
  • Yuki Yuna Is a Hero has Togo. Her bangs are a little off from the traditional version but she counts. Togo is very into traditional Japanese culture and history, to the point where she won't even eat "western" breakfast like her parents, and is quite patriotic.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: The Japanese X-Woman Armor is usually portrayed with a Hime Cut, denoting her as more distinctly Japanese Magik (just look) also wears one, though she's Russian.

    Films 
  • Millennium Actress - Chiyoko has her hair (or prop hair) in this style when playing an actual Princess for one of her movies.

    Literature 
  • In the Protector of the Small quartet, the Yamani princess Shinkokami and her two ladies-in-waiting are described as having this haircut, referred to as "the noblewoman's style" and worn either loose or tied back with a ribbon.
  • In Stone King, Lt. Kirihara Azusa wears her hair like this until most of her hair is burned off during Jalal's attack on Kasama Defense Station.

    Live Action Television 

    Video Games 
  • Maori Kasuga of Arcana Heart, a Miko.
  • Seraph Lamington, the ruler of Celestia in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, wears this haircut in its most pristine form.
  • Utsuki, Kureha and Lady Ayako from Kuon. Since it's set in Feudal Japan, it's hardly surprising.
  • Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword sports a traditional Hime Cut in place of the tiara favored by her other incarnations.
  • Pokémon: Mawile's head seems to sport this haircut (it's not hair technically, but it looks like it), and it's even more evident in Mega Mawile. Indeed, the Pokémon is based on the legend of the futakuchi-onna, a demonic woman with a mouth on the back of her head, though obviously most people wouldn't know.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko Nakoruru and miko Mizuki from Samurai Shodown.
  • Emily "Lili" Rochefort, an Ojou, from Tekken sports a perfectly trimmed blonde example of this.
  • Touhou has several examples of the haircut, but only a few matches the personality as well:
    • Reimu Hakurei, the resident miko, sports this hairstyle in most of her early appearances. ZUN's art also leans more towards this than the wilder hair of most other depictions of her.
    • Princess Kaguya, which makes her one of the few characters without a Nice Hat or Hair Decorations.
    • Fujiwara no Mokou, who would have been actual Heian nobility.
  • Valna from the Valis games. She's a princess, after all.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • In Drowtales, several characters have this hairstyle and associated traits.
    • Faen wears her hair like this and is that daughter of the Sullisin'rune Ill'haress and has a gentle, meek personality due to her empathy. She also usually combines it with a small tiara.
    • Sil'lice Val'Sharen wears her hair this way and is associated with the "dignified, traditional and elegant" traits associated with it.
    • Also Vidhi'yani, one of the Empress's overseers, has a Fashionable Asymmetry variation with one sidelock dyed black and longer than the other. The overseers are apparently all Ladies of War and represent tradition.
  • Another western example is little Akiko Kitsune in El Goonish Shive, presumably at the behest of her traditional Japanese mother.
  • Clementine in Frivolesque always sports the hairstyle even though she's not Japanese. It accentuates her quiet, demure personality quite well, making her the closest thing to a western Yamato Nadeshiko the cast could have.
  • Ai, the catgirl robot of Ronin Galaxy has this haircut. She seems to be modeled after a traditional Japanese woman.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Many wearers of Lolita fashion and Hime Gal have a hime cut, presumably both due to its regal connotations and the fact that it frames the face nicely if all the rest of the hair is in ringlets or a bouffant. It is admittedly less popular now than it used to be.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HimeCut