Light Feminine and Dark Feminine
This is a character contrast trope. Both female characters are decidedly feminine, but in different ways. The light is generally angelic and feels love, whereas the dark is generally devilish and plays with desire. The light is usually sweet and naive, whereas the dark is usually aloof and brooding. Either type can be the girly girl portrayed in the Tomboy and Girly Girl
contrast. When a love interest is involved, it's likely to lead to a Betty and Veronica
love triangle: Betty being the Light feminine, and Veronica being the Dark feminine.
As with any two character trope
, the two characters have to have some sort of relationship with each other, be it friends, family, love interests, or rivals for a love interest, so the two characters can be playing the traits directly off each other.
The dark feminine character is not a villain or a whore
but half of a good girl, bad girl or naughty and nice pair. Remember not to put a square peg in a round trope
. Remember Dark Is Not Evil
Compare the innocent child and the seductress of The Three Faces of Eve
as well as the sweet-naive one and sexy one of the Four Girl Ensemble
. The Spear Counterpart
is Noble Male, Roguish Male
. With a duo consisting of a Magical Girl
and a Dark Magical Girl
, in general, the Magical Girl
is Light Feminine and the Dark Magical Girl
is Dark Feminine
Not to be confused with Pale Females, Dark Males
Anime and Manga
- In Code Geass, Shirley is the Light Feminine to contrast with either Kallen as the Dark Feminine, both being part of the Ashford Student Council and love interests for Lelouch. Kaguya could also be the Light Feminine to C.C's Dark Feminine, with those two being a part of the Black Knights.
- The manipulative and deceptive Haruhi (Dark), and the meek and mild Mikuru (Light) from Haruhi Suzumiya.
- In Corrector Yui, there's the Silk Hiding Steel Haruna as Light Feminine and the Genki Girl Yui as the Dark Feminine.
- Oniisama e...:
- Nanako Misonoo and Mariko Shinobu contrasting with the Bifauxnen and Lad-ette duo of Rei and Kaoru. While cute, mild-mannered and softspoken Nanako sits firmly on the Nice Girl spectrum, Mariko is a fair-skinned, raven-haired mixture of Yandere and Tsundere from day one. It's lampshaded in a scene at the start, when Nanako tells Mariko that she's fascinated by the latter's ruby-red lips and she explains that she keeps them like that via biting on them... then tries to get Nanako to do it, but she gets scared and runs off.
- Also Nanako and the very elegant and aloof Fukiko "Miya-sama" Ichinomiya, who displays her own share of femininity in a very sophisticated and high-class way.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ms. Fanservice Mai Valentine/Kujaku plays Dark Feminine to first Plucky Girl Next Door Tea/Anzu's and then ingenue and ex-Ill Girl Serenity/Shizuka's Light Feminine.
- There's more than one of these duos of these: I.e., Rangiku Matsumoto is a good Dark Feminine due to her Hard-Drinking Party Girl and Ms. Fanservice sides, and she has two prospect Light Feminines in Barrier Warrior Orihime Inoue and Nice Girl Momo Hinamori, with whom she occasionally doubles as Lovely Angels.
- Rangiku and Momo's zanpakutos also fit in the trope. Haineko is a Cat Girl Tease and interested in fashion, boys and her looks; by contrast, Tobiume is very cute and ladylike looking and refers to herself as a Yamato Nadeshiko (though technically, she's more of a Tsundere), as well as less open about her own share of fangirlism.
- Mawaru-Penguindrum gives us Himari Takakura (Silk Hiding Steel Girl Next Door) and either Masako Natsume (Action Girl Large Ham) or Yuri Tokikago (Badass Normal who swears by the Rule of Glamorous).
- Detective Conan has the happy, friendly Ran as the light and the Broken Bird Haibara as the dark (the former being the subject of Shinichi's Single-Target Sexuality and the second being implied to have strong feelings for him.)
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
- Homura Akemi embodies both sides. She starts as "Light" as she's a shy, clumsy and kind Meganekko, then switches to Dark as she reinvents herself as a Broken Bird Dark Magical Girl.
- For Madoka, it's Mami (Light) vs. Homura (Dark) (but see also the spoilered part above). For Mami, it's Madoka (Light) vs. Kyouko (Dark). For Yuma, it's Mami (Light) vs. Kyouko (Dark).
- Fullmetal Alchemist: There's one female in each group of eight - Action Girl Riza Hawkeye as Light Feminine, The Vamp Lust as Dark Feminine.
- In addition, during the latter parts of the series, on the heroes side we have both the aforementied Hawkeye as Light Feminine and Major General Iron Lady Olivier Armstrong as the Dark, who also play on the pairing.
- Princess Tutu has Ahiru/Duck as Light Feminine and Rue as Dark Feminine. The former is a cheerful and clumsy Genki Girl whose mission in life is simply to get Mytho, the boy she admires, to smile. The latter is an elegant and aloof Ojou who also cares for Mytho, but in a far more possesive way due to her Broken Bird nature. Both girls have white and black costumes of their respective Magical Girl personas, Princess Tutu and Princess Kraehe. Also, they're both based on Odette and Odile from the ballet Swan Lake.
- Bitter Virgin has manipulative, vain Kazuki as Dark Feminine and meek, childlike Hinako as Light Feminine.
- Gundam SEED Destiny invokes the trope with the softspoken and lady-like Lacus Clyne and her much Hotter and Sexier Body Double, Meer Campbell. Heartbreakingly, Meer pulls an Heroic Sacrifice for Lacus and perishes in her arms.
- Initial D gives us the only team made of girls: the driver Mako Satou, who is a Nice Girl, and her best friend/co-pilot Sayuki who goes the Femme Fatale way.
- In One Piece, Nami and Robin are both interesting mix of both types of femininity. Nami is not afraid to show her feelings and tell if she is fond of someone (as a friend, that is), and she has a soft spot for cute animals and children, but she is more known for being greedy, wearing skimpy clothes and using her feminine attributes to blackmail just about everyone. Robin is polite, motherly and has many Proper Lady traits, but on the flipside she is something of a Broken Bird, she always thinks up macabre things, and she is absolutely ruthless in battle.
- Hikaru Hiyama and Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road were a Tomboy and Girly Girl duo as little girls, but switched to this as teenagers. Bright, naive, cheerful Hikaru is the Light, while harsh yet kindhearted and very sexy Madoka is the Dark.
- Ranka Lee (Light - Moe, A-Cup Angst, naive, youthful) and Sheryl Nome (Dark - Broken Bird, Buxom Is Better, Stripperiffic when on-stage) in Macross Frontier.
- In the American arc of Marmalade Boy, Jinny Golding was the flirty Femme Fatale Dark to Doris O'Connor's mature Cool Big Sis Light.
- Sonic X has the happy-go-lucky Cute Bruiser Amy as light feminine and seductive Ms Vice Girl Rouge as dark feminine.
- Fruits Basket:
- In the manga version, the kind and sweet Yamato Nadeshiko Tohru Honda is the Light to the sexy Broken Bird Rin Sohma's Dark.
- Later in the manga, we also get sweet, happy Tohru and the depressed, broken Akito.
- There's also Tohru's friends, Uotani (a tall, blonde, outgoing, tough former gangster) and Hanajima (a Perky Goth who's frail and tends to creepily threaten people with her psychic powers, if they upset Tohru).
- Earl Cain's sweet, energetic, rebellious but utterly good-hearted blonde baby sister Meriweather and jealous, Trickster-ish, spider-controlling auburn-haired... something Mikaela vie for his attention through much of the Godchild arc. They even dress in clothes that resemble Sweet and Gothic Lolita, respectively.
- Card Captor Sakura gives us the literal invocation of the trope with The Light and The Dark Clow Cards.
- In Astérix and the Actress, a (brunette) Roman actress named Latraviata pretends to be (blond) village sweetheart Panacea with the goal of retriving some treasure unwittingly fenced by the Gauls, and vamps the character up significantly. Although she is a Honey Trap, it's apparent from early on that she's not a bad person, and she ends up being something of a sexy, clever love interest for Guile Hero Asterix, where Panacea is an innocent, delicate love interest for Kindhearted Simpleton Obelix. Both Latraviata and Panacea start out as rivals but end up as best friends by the end.
- Sunrise: The Woman from The City is the Dark Feminine (hedonist, cheater), while The Wife is the Light Feminine (goody-goody all the way through).
- Batman Forever has Two-Face's molls, Sugar (played by Drew Barrymore) and Spice (played by Debi Mazar). Subverted in that both of them are "bad", and "Sugar" is probably worse because she gives The Riddler the cube with the information about Bruce Wayne's Secret Identity.
- Lili is both of these over the course of Legend, first as an innocent and naive virgin in a white dress, then as a sexy and cunning Manipulative Bitch in an extremely low-cut black gown. It's all an act, however. She's actually a Fake Defector trying to fix her own, terrible, mistake.
- Maria and her mechanical doppelganger in Fritz Lang's Metropolis are an example of this trope. Maria is loving, kind, and saintly, whereas the machine-woman is a demonic temptress deliberately created by Rotwang and Joh Fredersen to discredit her.
- Daphne and Luster in The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. Daphne is Lawful Good, dresses sensibly, and usually conducts herself with (relative) dignity. Luster is a Stripperiffic Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
- The Jack Weyland book Michelle and Debra has the obedient Michelle as the light and her rebellious best friend Debra as the dark.
- The two leading ladies in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance. Priscilla is the demure, fragile, domestic (read: conservative) Light Feminine; Zenobia is the mysterious, sensual, outspoken, transcendental feminist (read: liberal) Dark Feminine.
- Taken almost to parody with Alice (Light Feminine, all the way to golden hair and utter helplessness) and Cora (Dark Feminine, at least as far as her looks and refusal to be anyone's doormat) Munro in The Last of the Mohicans.
- Cassie and Rachel have shades of this: Cassie is a down-to-earth Friend to All Living Things who only fights the Yeerks because she has to, while Rachel is a borderline-Dark Action Girl who honestly enjoys the war on some level, despite having the appearance and fashion-obsession of a supermodel. Despite all this, they're also best friends. Funnily, not to be confused with their inverted skin tones.
- Also, possibly Rachel in The Separation, when she literally splits into two different people after her starfish morph goes wrong. One is timid, caring, gentle, and pacifistic; the other is dark, ruthless, and obsessive.
- Ellony Leckery and Pharinet Palindrake in The Chronicles of Magravandias, Ellony being a straight example of The Ingenue while Pharinet is something of a Yandere when pushed. Other female characters in the story, particularly those who fill similar roles or are related to them or are named for them are more balanced between the two extremes.
- Practical Magic has motherly Sally (light) and seductive Gillian (dark). That goes double for the movie adaptation. In fact, a quote in the book used to describe them sums up this trope quite nicely (albeit poetically):
Night and Day, the aunts called them, and although neither girl laughed at this little joke they recognized the truth in it, and were able to understand that the moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.
- In Smallville, Lana is Dark while Chloe is Light after Lana starts dabbling in the Luthor business and Chloe's character is softened by Jimmy.
- Degrassi has the noble Emma as light and her best friend the provocative Manny as dark.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- There are the two slayers, the responsible Buffy and the destructive Faith.
- Also with Willow (light) and Cordelia (dark), particularly in their interactions with both Xander and Buffy, with Willow being supportive and Cordelia being cutting sarcastic.
- In Season 6, Tara is the Light Feminine to Willow's Dark, as Willow becomes addicted to her magic.
- How I Met Your Mother has the motherly, married, Girl Next Door Lily and the vain, independent, sexy Robin.
- Similarly Friends has the motherly, married Girl Next Door Monica and the sexy, fashionable Rachel. This goes back to their high school days when Rachel was a spoiled Alpha Bitch cheerleader and Monica her Fat Best Friend.
- Played with as Rachel is also naive, sweet and the baby of the group, while Monica is more feisty, independent, and a lot more cynical. So it goes both ways.
- 'TOW The Flashback' shows when Phoebe and Monica were roommates Phoebe, with her ditzy, hippy nature was light feminine and strong-willed, neurotic Monica was dark feminine. (This clash eventually led Phoebe to move out, though they stayed best friends).
- The series has has Guinevere, the good hearted heroine, and Morgana, the villainess. Interestingly, Gwen is linked more with desire than Morgana, who (despite a couple of early Femme Fatale scenes) almost comes across as asexual in her complete lack of interest in men. And as an added ironic bonus, Guinevere (light) is played by mixed-race Angel Coulby, and Morgana (dark) is played by extremely pale Katie McGrath.
- In the episode The Hunter's Heart, Guinevere gets a turn at playing the dark feminine in contrast to visiting Princess Mithian's light.
- Robin Hood:
- The first 2 series has Marian as the light feminine, who was replaced by Isabella, the dark feminine.
- In the third series, in which Isabella and Kate are rivals for Robin's affection, Kate would also count as the light feminine in contrast to Isabella's dark. However, after Isabella's Face-Heel Turn it became a blatant Madonna-Whore Complex.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Hilary (dark) and Ashley (light).
- Xena: Warrior Princess (dark, being a warrior) and Gabrielle (light, being more of a diplomat). Granted, Xena was a Tomboy Princess, but in her first appearance she was also quite decidedly The Vamp.
- Zigzagged & subverted throughout the series as it's Serena who acted as a dark feminine pre-series where as Blair was more fiery but ultimately light feminine before both use both types at different places during the show's run.
- The Vampire Diaries:
- Elena is the Light Feminine and Katherine is the Dark Feminine. Elena and Katherine, whom are both doppelgangers, share an uncanny physical resemblance, but in terms of morals, Elena is known as good and moral, while Katherine is known as bad and immoral. Both share a common love and interest in Stefan and are often in competition for his affections.
- Alvaro Véliz's songs "Ni tú ni ella" ("Neither you, nor her") are abut a guy who can't choose between two loves. The girl he's "singing" to is the Light Feminine — sweet, gentle, kind, whom he cares for dearly. The other girl he's referring to in the lyrics is the Dark Feminine — sensual, a Blithe Spirit, passionate and able to bring his wilder side.
- In an apocryphal Abrahamic mythology, Lilith (the first wife of Adam, who refused to submit) represents the Dark Feminine — while Eve (Adam's second wife) is the Light Feminine.
- The two female love interests in Mass Effect 1 are Liara (young, naive, virginal academic) and Ashley (gun-toting, suspicious of aliens, snarky soldier) largely follow the trope. The expanding cast and changing personalities prevent this from applying to the later two games, however.
- The Florian Sisters of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny. The caring Idiot Hero of a big sister Amita serves as the Light Feminine, while the coy, flirty, and cynical little sister Kyrie serves as the Dark Feminine.
- Chun Li and Juri Han from Street Fighter IV. Both women are Kick Chicks, but while Chun Li is an Action Girl who's very firmly on the side of good, Juri is a mix of Bastard Girlfriend and Dark Action Girl.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Kind and benevolent Zelda is Light, while playful and snarky Midna is Dark.
- Dangan Ronpa: Chihiro, Aoi, and Sayaka are the Lights to Sakura, Junko, Celes, Kirigiri, Touko, and Syo's Darks. Played with in that Chihiro's actually a guy, Syo is a split personality of Touko, and that at very first sight Touko has Light Feminine looks due to her butt-long braids, glasses and very cute sailor uniform.
- The King of Fighters:
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni has kind, motherly Shannon and decadent, sadistic Beatrice. Of course, since the two are one and the same, Beatrice becomes more Light Feminine as the series goes on.
- Played with in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Played straight with the energetic Rena Ryuguu (light) and the Good Bad Girl (also a big time pervert) gadfly Mion Sonozaki (dark). Used to a lesser degree in comparing Mion (light) and Shion (dark) in terms of personalities and approach.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- The two sisters Ukraine and Belarus. Ukraine, a Fragile Flower and Naïve Everygirl of a Team Mom is the Light, while Belarus, the Stalker with a Crush Yandere who dresses as an Elegant Gothic Lolita is the Dark. They're also the extremely rare example in which the duo crosses into Tomboy and Girly Girl as well: Ukraine is sweet and gentle but she dresses like a boy and has Boyish Short Hair, whereas Belarus is stubborn and Yandere-like but looks very dainty in her Elegant Gothic Lolita dress.
- Among the Nyotalia ladies, Female!England (Girlish Pigtails, Meganekko, depicted in a nurse uniform) is the Light to the Dark of Female!France (The Ojou, with a bottle of good wine in her hand, wears classy dresses). Similarly, Female!Japan (Yamato Nadeshiko with a kimono and hakama) and Female!America (Stripperiffic Plucky Girl with a rather smart mouth) have similar looks.
- Homestuck: Rose is about as Dark as you can get with this trope, while Jade's a Meganekko, ditzy Pollyanna who's clearly Light most of the time.
- Monster High plays with this trope. While Draculaura dresses mostly in Black clothing, she is actually Light feminine. Whereas Cleo Is Dark feminine, despite wearing a lot of glittery gold... and being deathly afraid of the dark.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy (Light) is kind, caring, very much like a mother to the animals. Rarity (Dark) is vain and somewhat manipulative. Note that even the specific "plays with desire" aspect (or at least a Y-rated version thereof) applies to Rarity.
- In regards to appearance there's also Princess Celestia who is light feminine, and her sister Princess Luna who is the dark feminine. In personality the opposite is true as Luna is the shy, nice girl who only wants to love and be loved by her subjects, while Celestia is manipulative and puckish.
- With regard to Northern Water Tribe social norms, in the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the dutiful, self-sacrificing Yue is Light Feminine and rebellious Action Girl Katara is Dark Feminine. However, Katara is arguably the Light Feminine when compared to the series' other Action Girls due to her unofficial status as everyone's mom.
- Total Drama Island: