An Improbably Female Cast is when a work's cast is dominated by women in a situation where this is incredibly unlikely. This can range from males being present in the setting but not given screen time or importance to the story, to literally the majority of the people in the main setting are female. As a side effect, you can expect any male characters that do appear to gravitate to satellite status. Older women (where "older" can mean "over twenty-five") don't tend to fare much better.
There are two main reasons for a work choosing to have an Improbably Female Cast: they target a male demographic and the many women provide Fanservice and Les Yay, or they target a younger female demographic and are simply going with characters the intended audience will most likely empathize with. Confusion between these two motivations can easily result in a Periphery Demographic for both that can leave you asking "What Do You Mean It's Not For Little Girls?"
For another way that writers of Bishoujo Series get around needing all these female characters, see Otaku Surrogate. If it's a female cast but in a setting where this is probable, it's Chromosome Casting. If there are a bunch of boys around, and it's due to Moe appeal rather than because the target audience might ignore girls, it may have a Cast Full of Pretty Boys. For when an entirely female society is used as a setting (but not necessarily an excuse to have a predominantly female cast), see Lady Land. If the complete cast only looks female, you might have a case of Otokonoko Genre.
This trope is far rarer that the Spear Counterpart.
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Anime & Manga
Aside from the cute boy Twin Stars and a middle-aged commander, Galaxy Angel is noticeably devoid of men. This role is usually performed by Forte whenever a gag requires a "male" equivalent, something she eventually starts complaining about.
Broccoli (the production company) sometimes lampshades this in gags, notably the prince who kidnaps Milfeulle and a flashback to Usada's father, who are obviously women in really transparent disguises.
The large majority of the cast of Bodacious Space Pirates is female. There are some male characters who play supporting roles, but every important character save one is female. This show is neither fanservicey nor for little girls, instead providing a plot with action and adventure, starring strong female leads who hold positions of power.
This is largely to do with the cast being divided into two Cast Herds - the members of the Hakouh Academy Yacht Club and the crew of the Bentenmaru. The former are all female (being from an all-girls' school). The latter are mixed gender.
As the cast of Lyrical Nanohakept getting larger with each season, the number of important male characters managed to go down. Chrono got shipped off with (new character) Griffith to Mission Control, which oddly enough didn't affect their female co-worker Hayate's screen time much. There's a whole meme about Yuuno slowly losing his screentime once he stopped being a cute talking ferret, and new character Erio being prominently featured has a lot to do with being a non-threatening little kid that fan-favorite Fate likes to dote on. Zafira suffered an even worse fate, since he has apparently been trapped permanently, and inexplicably, in his animal form since the beginning of the third season; even when severely injured and bedridden in the infirmary, he's still in wolf form.
Even the villains follow this trope. The Mad Scientist Scaglietti is male, but for some reason, except for Zest, all of his combat cyborgs and artificial mages are females. He does give a reason, albeit one with disturbing implications: he's impregnated all of them with clones of himself.
ViVid takes this a step further, with every major character introduced being a girl. So far, Erio and Zafira (in a brief cameo) are the only named male characters to have made an appearance in the entire manga. At least Zafira gets to show up in his human form.
Force began to turn the amount of improbability back a bit by giving us a male protagonist in Touma and an antagonistic family with a male-female ratio of 3 to 4.
While Keroro Gunsou isn't a bishoujo series, its creator is fond of the genre. To get around this, nearly all the male characters are funny aliens, while female characters are often prominently humanoid.
Lucky Star has a grand total of three recurring male roles (five, if you count Anizawa and his assistant.) The girls eventually lampshade this by commenting on the lack of romance in their lives.
Queen's Blade, given the target audience and premise of the franchise, this is not surprising; still it's worth mentioning if one wants to take the story a bit seriously. There are only a few remotely significant male characters in the whole franchise, and even so they are basically token motivations (Owen and Count Vance) or enemies (Delmmore) for the female characters; basically if a man isn't a Satellite Character, he will definitely be a Cannon Fodder, a Mook, a Posthumous Character, or any other defining role that minimises the screen time spent away from the girls.
The iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia. Somewhat justified. The reason they use innocent girls as pilots is to avoid the appearance of the robots being weapons, since they're only used for asteroid defence.
Vandread, justified. The bulk of the cast are Space Pirates from an all-female planet. The few males are refugees/prisoners from the all-male planet. And the planets they visit are more normally gender-balanced.
For some reason there are absolutely no male gondoliers in ARIA, even though steering a gondola can be hard work requiring quite a bit of muscle power. The girls don't look especially strong, though. Explained in the manga: gondoliers not working in tourism do tend to be men, and the appeal of the female Undines has made them a tourist attraction in themselves. The sexism in the industry makes it so that any young woman looking to steer a gondola basically has to go into tourism.
Mai-Hime. There is an explanation given at the very end, and it isn't pretty.
For some reason all the mecha pilots in Sky Girls are cute young girls. There's a reason males of the right age aren't around, but you'd think they'd be able to find people out of their teens.
Battle Athletes Daiundokai is focused on a prestigious, interplanetary sport event which is for girls only. Male characters are rare, mostly passive and usually much older.
In Silent Möbius, the special agents battling the monsters/demons from another dimension are all women. At one point, their leader offers some sort of philosophical justification about women being able to bear children and thus being the key to the future. It doesn't really hold water, especially since one of the agent is a cyborg and most certainly unable to become pregnant.
The eponymous warriors from Claymore are all female. There's a plot reason why, and it ain't pretty: Male Claymores had an extremely high rate of turning into giant flesh-eating monsters. As such, the only men running around with Claymore abilities are ones who have already turned.
In Strike Witches, which very much follows the mold of Sky Girls, only young, female mages can pilot the units that enable them to fly.
In Shikabane Hime, only girls of a certain age who die in specific circumstances can become Shikabane Hime. It is later justified, when it turns out the ritual to create them was originally developed by the founder of the Kougon Sect to resurrect his dead daughter.
Kurogane Pukapuka Tai manages to have only one recurring male character, the old, Zen Master-like Captain of the Unebi, who is monk-like in his asceticism and thus off limits for any erotic speculation. No explanation has been given except that the cruiser's intended crew were all taken ill with typhoid and a substitute crew had to be found; why these would be all women has not even had a Hand Waving justification, although a shortage of military-age men in 1943 might be one that comes up.
Hayate × Blade uses the all girl school version. The only male character with any plot significance is the father of one of the characters. Even most of the parents who have shown up so far have been female.
Yamabuki High School in Hidamari Sketch is supposed to be coeducational, but males happened to only occupy a third of the student body. The only recurring male characters in the series is just the principal and an art teacher.
it isn't unusual for an art school to have a majority female student body.
K-On! has exactly one eligible bachelor: Ritsu's little brother. Even when the band goes to a live show, most of the other bands are also all female.
Other than a magical pet, Puella Magi Madoka Magica has only three NAMED male characters - the title character's dad and little brother (who are practically nonexistent after the first episode), and another main character's love interest. Since it's a Magical Girl show, the five primary characters are all female; the aforementioned magical pet is technically male, but has a female voice actor and is closer to Ambiguous Gender than anything else.
Due to the game-changing Powered Armor being only usable by females, every major character in Infinite Stratos is female. Except for Ichika, the one male who can use the armor. The school has no male staff, and no prominent males appear in the town the school is set in.
Parodied in the Excel♥Saga episode "Increase Ratings Week", in which all the female characters are drawn in moe style (as they go to a swimming pool, which just so happens to be populated by characters catering to nearly every fetish imaginable) and all the male characters are forced offscreen (much to their displeasure).
The 1121st Platoon in So Ra No Wo To consists entirely of young women, which is the main reason it's often called "MilitaryK-On"...at first. Other soldiers that show up later (except the one the protagonists capture) are mostly male, though; it's implied that individual platoons are intentionally single-gender.
Not only that; the 1121st Platoon is traditionally always composed of five females, as a callback to the mythical Flame Maidens who protected the city from a demon.
Azumanga Daioh, despite being set at co-ed school, only 3 males are prominent and 2 of them are animals.
Trinity Seven has a magical school setting. It justifies the lack of male mages by stating that magic is based on emotions and since males are often more logic-based are much fewer in number.
All Sailor Senshi in the Sailor Moon universe are explicitly women. Men may possess Star Seeds or Sailor Crystals, but they can only be planetary princes, never senshi. The fifth season skirtsnote no pun intended. Maybe. this gender requirement (much to the manga writer's annoyance) by introducing the Sailor Starlights, normally female senshi who become men in their civilian form so as to better find their princess as male pop idols (and to create drama via romantic tension).
The 108 battle aliens of Sekirei are almost entirely female, with only four known males out of the more than 50 already introduced. The males are all insanely pretty Bishōnen, and one ends up becoming a Gender Bender because of his unstable powers. A somewhat more balanced example, in that there are several prominent male characters in the form of the Ashikabi, but they tend towards being Non Action Guys who stand on the sidelines while their Magical Girlfriends battle each other.
In Yuru-Yuri, the full cast is female; and crowded places almost never feature males.
In Hyper Dimension Neptunia The Animation, there are almost no male characters, aside from villains. Even virtually all of the civilians throughout the show are women, which makes it a bit strange when there are no male soldiers or cops around.
Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C 3 Bu is about competitive airsoft (mock gunfights). There are plenty of male players...somewhere. They usually don't stand a chance against the female stars or their female rivals, so only the girls get more than a few seconds of screentime.
Small Favors only shows young attractive females even during the crowd scenes of a supposedly normal city. No males are even mentioned in these comics.
"La Bionda"/"The Blonde" has an occasional male, and in one story a boy general (overshot with the youth serum)but is overwhelmingly populated by women. Not all of the normal proportions neither as Franco Saudelli likes BBW as well as the more standard superheroine proportions.
There are only two reoccurring males in You're Under Arrest! in contrast to the five women, with typically only one of them being a part of the episodes.
DC Comics's Animesque series AmeComiGirls is set in a world where almost all major heroes and villains are female.
Volver doesn't take it as far as the above film, but it does have a large female majority in the cast.
The 2012 horror film The Pact (no connection with the novel of the same name) also has a large female majority in the cast; it is not until a third of the way through the movie that a male character even speaks on screen, and in that conversation with the heroine he immediately brings up his offscreen daughter.
The 1939 film The Women, like the play it was based on, has an all-female cast. Although the males are much talked about, and the central theme is the women's relationships with them, no males appear; background characters, pets, and even portraits hanging on walls are female. The only exception is a photograph of a bull.
In the Discworld book Monstrous Regiment, it's implied that a good majority of the Borogravian military consists of cross-dressing females who have fooled almost everyone, including each other. In fact, only three soldiers are confirmed male: Lieutenant Blouse, who tells the other regiment members that they could never pull off dressing as female; Paul, Polly's older brother; and the man who supposedly got Shufti pregnant (though she rejected him). Everyone (except Blouse) in the eponymous regiment is female. Hell, it's revealed at the end of the book that the masculine Jackrum is actually a woman and has been faking for so long that she's more comfortable as a male. S/he even goes to visit his/her son and tell him that s/he is his father. At first, you're led to believe that it's really a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, but nope. This is possibly because the war (wars?) has been going on for so long that there aren't any men left.
A Brother's Price looks this way, but it's actually explained in-book that birth rates in that world are very skewed. In theory nine girls are born for every boy, but in practice any family with that ratio among their children is seen as having an unusually fertile husband.
The core ensemble of Destructive Harmonics consists of an all-female metal band and their female manager. The supporting cast is a bit more even but still female-dominated.
The Marags in Belgariad. Not that there were no men, the women just outnumbered the men more than four to one. Justified in that their God had an absolute fascination in... relationships between two individuals of opposite sexes, among other things.
Monster High consists mostly of the daughters of Universal Monsters, with four male characters (three if you count Jackson Jekyll and Holt Hyde as the same person) against eight females. The disparity comes in when you count how many times the female characters pop up in different lines compared to the males - Deuce is the only male so far (August '11) who has appeared in a second line after his introduction.
In Takara's CYGirls, only the two cyborgs were male.
Skullgirls starts out as an example — all eight of the initial characters, and at least two more that were announced prior to release, are female. The creators later introduced two male characters (Big Band and Beowulf) as DLC.
Rumble Roses. It's the only wrestling game that has an actual mudwrestling fight. Advertised right on the box, no less.
Your party in the story mode of the flash Turn-Based Strategy game Zening will most of the time have more women than men. At one point, a player will have six women and one man in the party. There are also times where the party is composed entirely of women.
For no known reason, all the Savior candidates in Duel Savior Destiny are female, so everyone is absolutely shocked when the very male Taiga ends up as one. It turns out to be because they really are supposed to only be girls. Males are not capable of the creation side of what the true Messiah is supposed to do and can only destroy things. If Taiga were to become the true Messiah like he intends, the world would end.
Kenji of Katawa Shoujo lampshades how unlikely it is that such a huge percentage of the students at the Protagonist's school aren't just girls, but cute girls as well... Being himself, he of course ties it to the great "Feminist Conspiracy" he's always ranting about.
The online game Scarlet Blade runs on this, as the only playable classes are all female.
In the first chapter of Alpha Shade, set in a war, nearly all the important soldiers on both sides were attractive women, although crowd photos appeared to be mostly male.
Earthsong has 8 of the 9 protagonists as being female.
Collar 6 for a long time went without any named male characters at all. There was one guy in the side-story, males in flashbacks but that was it. Until the arc introduced three of them at once - a male agent working with the protagonists, one antagonist and Mistress Butterfly's husband, whom she succeeded in releasing.
The Dragon Doctors - Justified. The first case the Doctors solve in the series is a cursed valley with a statue in the center that caused all visitors and inhabitants to become permanently female. The doctors themselves were hit by this curse before they managed to destroy the statue, so most of them are stuck as women. Most of the comic takes place in Tinto, the town next-door to the valley, but it also has a large female population as a sociological side-effect of the curse; rescue workers, police officers, delivery workers and anyone else with a high-mobility job is female in case they need to pass through or near to the valley.
Electric Wonderland started out with three girls and one guy. Currently, the main roster consists of five girls and two guys, one of whom is Too Dumb to Live. The unequal skewing towards girls in the cast even got lampshaded once.
Amazoness has a cast full of Amazon lesbians who view men with disdain. When a captured slave turns out to be male (but very girly looking) the queen herself has to interfere to stop him being killed. Many of the Amazons view a male and female having a relationship as a perversion.
Last Res0rt has men aplenty and is otherwise even-handed, but a lot of the primary characters (Jigsaw, Daisy, Addy, Veled, etc.) are female. The main reason is that one of the main subplots involves the Galaxy Girl Scouts, which many of these characters are affiliated with.
Assumed by a character but then averted in Grrl Power, where Peggy shows that Math isn't the only male on the super team: there's also Achilles, Mr. Amorphous, Hiro, and some tall brunette guy. Also the general, computer wiz, occult expert, and Sydney's coworkers are all males with decent screentime. Of the super team guys, only Math has gotten serious screentime so far, not counting when Achilles and Amorphous were disguised for a stunt, and the team does seem to have more women, not even counting Harem's five duplicate selves.
Karin-dou 4koma has been running since the start of 2010, and in that time, only six males have ever appeared—and only token appearances, at that.
Out of over 60 recurring characters on My Little Pony, only three are male. And except for Spike, all of them were invented solely for the TV series; talk about girl toys. There are male ponies, but they only show up in one story; they've been on "a race around the world" the entire rest of the series — According to one of the comics, the baby ponies come out of Majesty's magic mirror.
The G4 incarnation Friendship Is Magic has Spike as the sole male main character, and a literal handful of recurring secondary and minor characters such as Big McIntosh, Shining Armor, and Snips and Snails. In season 1 this trope even applied to Recurring Extras, with background shots of Ponyville frequently consisting entirely of mares with not a stallion in sight. This was acknowledged by the writers, and after the first season male characters start showing up more often in the background and in secondary roles. Still, the entire primary cast, with the exception of Spike, are still female.
The toy line has always been more gender-balanced then the cartoon adaptations. Back in G1 there were some 20 or so male ponies, stallions and colts, and it was made explicit that ponies can breed normally (as seen by the "families"). My Little Pony Tales and the later G2 line had male ponies as much as female ponies but by G3 stallions were nonexistent. Chances are, the male pony toys just didn't sell as well.