"Man, and I thought there were too many girls here before..."An Improbably Female Cast is when a work's cast almost entirely consists of women in a situation where this would be unusual. For example, a supposedly mixed-sex school where females make up more than two thirds of the students. It has been argued that the main reasons for a work choosing to have an Improbably Female Cast are: they target a male demographic, with fanservice and the possibility of girl-girl interaction; or they target a female audience that is more likely to empathize with a predominantly female cast. Confusion between these two motivations can easily result in a Periphery Demographic for both types of show. The writer may have wanted to tell a story about women outside of a traditional female role, to emphasize a fictional society in which this would not be unusual, or have been forced by Executive Meddling to add an unusual situation to provide excitement or appeal to a male audience. Note that the mere fact of a story focussing on a group of women in a larger setting is itself not an Improbably Female Cast; it can occur only when the cast is intended to represent the entire or majority membership of a group and yet with no explanation most are female. For example, a work where the cast comprises the entire student body of a mixed-sex school, yet females are more than two thirds of the students, is an improbably female cast. The same may also apply if the cast is an entire year group (a substantial division) or a single form group (a representative group). However, a story about a group of female friends in the setting of a mixed-sex school is not Improbably Female; it's simply a story about those particular characters, and the focus on that group makes no assertion about gender balance in the wider setting. No comparable trope exists for an 'improbably' male-dominated cast. The closest thing to it is The Smurfette Principle, where there is only one female in a cast of males. Closely related to World of Action Girls, which facilitates the abundance of females. Any examples of casts made up exclusively of female characters (regardless of how improbable) fall under Chromosome Casting. For when an entirely female society is used as a setting, see Lady Land. If the complete cast only looks female, you might have a case of Otokonoko Genre.
— Yukinari, Girls Bravo
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Galaxy Angel is a parody of a galactic peacekeeping force that, for some reason, is entirely made up of cute girls - aside from the cute boy Twin Stars and a middle-aged commander. The 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.
- 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.
- Kurogane Pukapuka Tai featured an Imperial Japanese cruiser in World War II that is entirely crewed by women, except for the only one recurring male character, the old, Zen Master-like Captain of the Unebi. No explanation is 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 is not explained, although a shortage of military-age men in 1943 might be one.
- 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).
- In Hyper Dimension Neptunia The Animation as with its video game equivalent, all the characters representing personifications of parts of the (male-dominated) game industry are girls.
- Gunslinger Girl explains why all the assassins are children note , but it never explains why there aren't any young boy assassins.
- Geneshaft features a society openly declared to be 90% female. Justified in that the entire society is genetically engineered to have a 1:9 female-male ration because women are seen as easier for society to control (and also because it allows the few male characters to have a Supporting Harem and, in the case of evil characters, to easily prove that they Would Hit a Girl)
- Lyrical Nanoha delves more and more into this with each season.
- You see that redhead at the far right of the page image? He is one of only three major male characters in the entirety of StrikerS, and he gets the least amount of character development. And this was a season with so many characters that the character page had to be split in three.
- ViVid takes it even further since it only introduced one new male character, and they've been dead for hundreds of years. During the tournament arc (which was open to both genders) there wasn't a single male entrant to be found, not even among the extras.
- New Game! is about a game studio and its staff. While in real life one you expect the industry to be male-dominated, the cast is completely female. The internal justification being the manager Shizuku is a bit of a lesbian Covert Pervert; she'd prefer hiring those who'd be cute enough so that she'd forgive their mistakes if the need arises.
- Enforced in issue 100 of Birds of Prey when Oracle decides to enlarge the team after Black Canary's departure. She recruits only female agents, even though a) she had recruited male agents in previous issues (Savant, Creote, Wildcat) and b) even though it would have made a lot of sense to recruit certain male agents (the mission was to break someone out of prison, and Oracle recruited Barda Free but not her husband Scott Free, the world's greatest escape artist, without any explanation as to why Scott was unavailable).
- Birds of Prey is also an example of the Periphery Demographic that an all-female casts can invoke. Is it a series written for girls by having an all-female superhero team? Or is the audience mostly men who read for the attractive female characters and the occasional Girl-on-Girl Is Hot? Some men expressed suspicion when Black Canary was made bisexual because of this, despite the female writer Gail Simone having repeatedly commented on the importance of organic media representation of all kind of gender & sexuality.
- 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.
- Galaxy Angel, much like the anime; to some extent it lampshades and parodies the trope. The men are put in Mission Control, with an Unlucky Everydude, his Lancer and best friend, and various crew members that are either old mentors or cute little boys, and one of those boys is a Sweet Polly Oliver.
- In the first chapter of Alpha Shade, set in a parallel Earth in the World War 1 era, nearly all the important soldiers on both sides are women, although crowd photos appeared to be mostly male. There is no explanation of why there are so many female soldiers, given that there were actually very few in WW1.