Light Feminine and Dark Feminine
aka: Light Feminine 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 naïve, whereas the dark is usually aloof and brooding. Either type applies to a 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 always a villain or a whore but half of a "good girl, bad girl" or "naughty and nice" pair. Remember, Dark Is Not Evil.

Compare the innocent child and the seductress of The Three Faces of Eve as well as the sweet-naïve one and sexy one of the Four-Girl Ensemble. 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.

Contrast the polar opposites, Bifauxnen and Lad-ette—two girls who are both masculine, but in different ways—and Noble Male, Roguish Male—two guys who are both masculine, but in different ways.

Not to be confused with Pale Females, Dark Males. This is about personality, not hair color.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Rangiku and Momo's zanpakutos fit this 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.
  • Detective Conan:
    • 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.)
    • Yukiko Kudo and Sharon Vineyard aka Vermouth. Yukiko is Shinichi's kind and beautiful mother who is also kind of a woman child sometimes, and Sharon is her long-time friend and quite the dangerous mixture of Femme Fatale and Dark Action Girl.
  • Count Cain's sweet, energetic, rebellious but utterly good-hearted baby sister Meriweather and jealous, Trickster-ish, spider-controlling... something Mikaela vie for his attention through much of the Godchild arc. They even dress in clothes that resemble Sweet and Gothic Lolita, respectively.
  • 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.
    • There's Tohru's friends, Uotani (a tall, 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).
    • Later in the manga, we also get sweet, happy Tohru and the depressed, broken Akito, a much abused young woman and who keeps the Sohma clan's reins through fear and anger (and sometimes sex, in the case of Kureno and Shigure). Tohru then helps the Sohmas through her issues, thus she becomes Akito's target... and she ultimately manages to reach for her too.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • There's one female in each group of eight - Action Girl Riza Hawkeye as Light Feminine, The Vamp Lust as Dark Feminine.
    • During the latter parts of the series, on the heroes side we have both the aforementioned Hawkeye as Light Feminine and Major General Iron Lady Olivier Armstrong as the Dark, who also play on the pairing.
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure: Nagisa, a sporty tomboy on the lacrosse team, is oddly the Light Feminine considering her generally upbeat nature (to say nothing of her love for sweets), and Honoka, the more down-to-Earth scientist, is the Dark Feminine considering she literally pulls no punches against the enemy.
  • Gundam SEED has Lacus Clyne as Light opposite Fllay Alster as Dark. Lacus is softspoken and ladylike and a Token Wholesome in looks (save for sometimes showing off her long legs, while Fllay is a very busty Broken Bird with serious issues and who uses her looks to her advantage. They are also interested in the same guy, Kira Yamato, though not at the same time; Fllay is his First Love and ultimately The Lost Lenore to him, while Lacus becomes his Second Love and end-game Love Interest.
  • Gundam SEED Destiny has the aforementioned Lacus and her much Hotter and Sexier Body Double, Meer Campbell. Heartbreakingly, Meer pulls a Heroic Sacrifice for Lacus and perishes in her arms.
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya series has a one-woman example with Mikuru Asahina: her sweet and shy younger self is the Light Feminine, and her sexy and manipulative future self is the Dark Feminine.
  • Highschool of the Dead portrays Rei and Saeko as polar opposites in more ways than one:
    • While Rei is a Martial Pacifist, Saeko's an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight. In her recount of how she'd once been accosted by a would-be rapist, Saeko told Takashi that realizing she had the upperhand and seeing his fear was exhilarating for her, which incited her to beat him within an inch of his life. By contrast, when Rei was given the opportunity to kill Shidou (whom she loathes), seeing the fear in his eyes had the opposite effect.
    • This is also reflected in their ongoing Love Triangle with Takashi, with Rei being the "Betty" to Saeko's "Veronica". As such, Rei is the Childhood Friend/Girl Next Door with a crush, whereas Saeko prefers to let her sex appeal do the talking and flaunts it. This is further reflected by the difference in the way they dress. Rei wears her school uniform, with knee and elbow pads for protection. Saeko modified hers to include: garter belts, lacey black thigh-high stockings and stiletto-heeled boots, along with a matching mini-skirt with a split seam so high, it flashes her panties when she walks. When Rei and the others see what she's wearing, Rei explodes:
    Rei: (incredulous) What the heck is THAT!? Aren't you embarrassed showing off like that!? I can't believe you're walking around like that!!
  • In Idol Densetsu Eriko we have the two main ladies, the aspirant idol singer Eriko Tamura and the already famous performer Rei Asagiri. Eriko is the Light thanks to her child-like appeal which fits well in Japanese society's obsession with cuteness and innocence and her position as a Naïve Newcomer to the business which will make her suffer more than once, while Rei is the Dark since she's an Ice Queen with Hotter and Sexier looks, quite a bit more of singing/performing experience under her belt and a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • 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.
  • InuYasha has the good-natured, cheerful Kagome, and the brooding, revengeful Kikyou. Despite Kagome being Kikyou's reincarnation, inheriting her looks and Miko powers, the two are exact opposites of each other: Kagome is plucky and optimistic while Kikyou is broken and embittered.
  • Kimagure Orange Road: Hikaru Hiyama and Madoka Ayukawa were a Tomboy and Girly Girl duo as little girls, but switched to this as teenagers. Bright, naïve, cheerful Hikaru is the Light, while harsh yet kindhearted and very sexy Madoka is the Dark. This is also emphasized by their hair color (Hikaru is blonde while Madoka is dark-haired) and even their names (Hikaru's name references the sun and light while Madoka's name references the night and darkness).
  • Ranka Lee (Light - Moe, A-Cup Angst, naïve, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • 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.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt has the light feminine Stocking and the dark feminine Panty. Stocking dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita, believes in true romance, and has a comparatively tame vice in the form of sweets. Panty, on the other hand, wears skimpy outfits, only sees romance as sex, and has an endless desire for it.
  • 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.
  • In Private Actress, we have the actresses Sayuri Nagasawa (the main character's mother) and Ruriko Daichi. Both women are pretty and talented performers, but whereas Sayuri is a classical beauty who plays "Nice Girl" roles, Ruriko has sexier looks (huge breasts included) and tends to play Ice Queens or Rich Bitches, often as the "love rival" or "bully" to a chara by Sayuri.
    Shiho: "Ruriko Daichi, the person known as Japan's Marilyn Monroe in terms of sensuality... She is the opposite of the pure and innocent Sayuri Nagasawa."
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Madoka and Homura. Madoka is an All-Loving Hero who spends much of the series struggling to maintain her optimism in the Crapsack World she lives in. Homura, meanwhile, is a Byronic Hero who long since gave up on idealism.
  • Another one-woman example occurs with the dual personalities of Moka Akashiya in Rosario + Vampire, with the more personable Outer Moka being the Light Feminine and the Terror Heroine Inner Moka being the Dark Feminine.
  • Sonic X has the happy-go-lucky Cute Bruiser Amy as light feminine and seductive Ms. Vice Girl Rouge as dark feminine.

     Comic Book  

  • In Astérix and the Actress, a Roman actress named Latraviata pretends to be village sweetheart Panacea with the goal of retrieving 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.

     Fan Fic  


  • 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.
  • Batman & Robin had a dark villainous character (Poison Ivy) and a light heroic character (Batgirl).
  • Inglourious Basterds two female characters fit this trope well - Light, glamorous movie star, Bridget Von Hammersmark; and dark Unkempt Beauty on a vendetta, Shoshana Dreyfus.
  • Lili is both of these over the course of Legend (1985), first as an innocent and naïve 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.
  • In Lemonade Joe, Or Horse Opera, Winifred Goodman and Tornado Lou both love the Ideal Hero Joe. Wini is a sweet and naïve Ingenue with who dresses in white and is usually seen helping her Preacher Man father or visiting her mother's grave, while Tornado Lou is a Soiled Dove and a Chanteuse who wears dark and skimpy outfits and works in a saloon but dreams of becoming a different, better person.
  • Love Actually has the two interests of Alan Rickman's charcter - his wife and his aspiring mistress. Guess which one is which...
  • Mean Girls had dark Alpha Bitch Regina and light Hollywood Nerd Cady. Janis is also a dark feminine to Cady's light.
  • 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.
  • Pretty Persuasion had two BFF's plotting the demise of their teacher in their search for fame - light Brittany (naive) and dark Kimberly (Fille Fatale).
  • 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).
  • The Virgin Spring features Karin, the innocent who is specifically stated to be a virgin, and is also a Christian, and Ingeri, her servant girl, who is about eight months pregnant, isn't married, and is a secret pagan.

  • Gone with the Wind: Melanie is the sweet and demure Light Feminine, Scarlett is the more flirtatious and ambitious Dark Feminine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Twilight's Alice and Rosalie are the adoptive sisters in high school. Alice is happy in nature. She adores Bella from the start and cares about Bella's safety above anything. Rosalie is proud of her great beauty. She is initially annoyed by Bella's presence but she is the most respectful of Bella's choices.
  • 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.
  • Anna Karenina: Kitty and Anna are at first friends, with Kitty being younger and a great admirer of Anna's beauty and personality. They also both love Count Vronsky who courted Kitty but fell for Anna. Anna is a beauty who ends up being an adulteress while Kitty is a pretty girl who ends up in a happy marriage.
  • In "De skandalösa" by Simona Ahrnstedt, Magdalena Swärd is the intelligent and brooding proto-feminist (dark feminine), while Venus Dag och Natt is so beautiful, lovely and docile (light feminine).
  • In Dragonlance, Kitiara (Veronica) is the dark one, a cross between a Blood Knight and a Femme Fatale; Laurana is a Spoiled Sweet royal turned Badass Princess.
  • Lissa Dragomir and Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. Rose is the seductive, temperamental, and violent of the duo while Lissa is the more light-hearted, even-tempered, and angelic-looking of the two.

     Live Action TV  
  • Degrassi has the noble Emma as light and her best friend the provocative Manny as dark.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Enemy of the World", the two heroic "Bond girl" characters are Astrid - wholesome, a pilot working for the good guys, optimistic and with a Stiff Upper Lip; and Fariah, a woman heavily implied to have dark secrets in her past. Astrid is innocently charming, very honest and fights with straightforward Action Girl methods, while Fariah is beguiling, mysterious and fights with social manipulation. Both Astrid and Fariah flirt with men at one point to get them to do what they want, but when Astrid does it she just ends up gushing to the Doctor about how wonderful he is, while Fariah will smoulder on cue if it means Salamander is less likely to suspect her of leaking information.
  • Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 - see the page image. Most of the shows storylines are generated by the contrast between the short, trusting, and sweet June and the tall, manipulative, and promiscuous Chloe.
    • Of course, the plot is driven by the fact that June can keep up with Chloe and regularly gives her a taste of her own medicine.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy and Faith are Vampire Slayers, the Chosen Two. Bad girl Faith says that killing vampires always makes her hungry and horny contrasted with Buffy who sometimes craves a nonfat yogurt afterwards and cares about always doing the right thing. This trope gets a thorough workout when their bodies are switched.
    • In season 4, there is a distinct light and dark contrast between Oz's two love/lust interests - his long time girlfriend Willow and fellow Werewolf Veruca, which plays every femme fatale trick in the book, down to the Contralto of Danger. ironically, by the time Willow loses her next love interest - Tara, she goes through a 'very'' dark phase.
    • Angel also had a take on this trope with Wesley's love interests - Fred (light) and Lilah (dark). Lilah herself lampshades this quite often.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • 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 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.
  • In Arabela, we have sisters Xenia (dark, seductive) and Arabela (light, pure).
  • A Veronica Mars episode plays the dark/light contrast between Meg and Veronica herself (who also serve as a Betty and Veronica triangle Princely Young Man Duncan), in Duncan's dream. Veronica is wearing a skimpy black outfit - Meg is in an angelic white dress. Veronica gags Meg who scolds Duncan for forgtting about the love they had, and then goes off on Duncan for his childish feelings for Meg.
    Veronica: Is that really what you want? Teddy bears and mash notes. Grow up. Grow up and get over it!
  • At the beginning of the second season of Agent Carter, Daniel Sousa is attracted to two women: Violet, his bubbly blonde nurse girlfriend (who bakes), and Peggy, the snarky brunette secret agent coworker for whom he harbors an unresolved crush that hasn't quite gone away.
  • In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Adorkable goody two-shoes Detective Amy Santiago is the Light Feminine and narcissistic and vain Gina Linetti is the Dark Feminine.

  • 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.


    Video Games 
  • Darkstalkers: Felicia, the childish cat monster raised by nuns would be the Light, and Morrigan, the rebellious hedonistic succubus would be the Dark. Both are Miss Fanservice but Felicia simply doesn't need clothing, Morrigan is a fashionista that's purposely seductive.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Leliana, the quasi-nun and moral center of the group, is the Light Feminine, while Morrigan, the mysterious and cunning witch, is the Dark Feminine. Leliana is eventually revealed as a subversion of the trope, while Morrigan will defrosts as the game progresses. Hence standard BioWare deconstruction takes place. The same pattern is followed in the sequel Dragon Age II with Merrill (light) and Isabela (dark)
  • The two female love interests in Mass Effect are Liara (young, naïve, 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.

     Visual Novels 
  • Lilly Satou and Shizune Hakamichi from Katawa Shoujo. Lilly is a serene, kind, Yamato Nadeshiko-ish Team Mom who more often than not dresses rather conservatively (save for her pajamas), whereas Shizune is a bossy and straightforward Miss Fanservice who's very aware of her good looks and is very uninhibited in her sex scenes. Though Lilly turns out to be also kinda kinky if she's pursued as a love interest.
  • Umineko: When They Cry 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.
  • Out of the love interests in True Love Junai Monogatari, Remi Himekawa and Mayumi Kamijou play it straight. Remi is a sweet and straightlaced Cute Bookworm who's seen as a borderline "unapproachable" at first by the Player Character, whereas Mayumi is the tsundere Good Bad Girl who dresses sexily and approaches the PC without fear or excuses. Surprisingly (or maybe not), it turns out they're Childhood Friends.
  • In ClockUp's Euphoria, we have Nemu and Kanae, specially when taking in account how Takato see them. Nemu is a reflection of his dark personality and sadism, and wants him to drown in his own desires. Kanae represents innocence and naive happiness, and is that how Takato wishes everything to end, even with Nemu keeping pushing his buttons. In the Betty and Veronica Switch in the True Ending, we also switch those trope labels between the two.


     Web Original 
  • 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.
  • Literature/Tasakeru: Hanami is the Light feminine, proper, timid and girlish... while Faun is a confident, sexy trickster.
  • In Season 4 of The Most Popular Girls in School, we have Mackenzie (who dresses in red and pink to show that she's more controlled than her friend) and Brittnay (who dresses in all black during her Mercenary Cheerleader stint).

     Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
  • Total Drama:
    • Heather is Dark Feminine while Lindsay is Light Feminine.
    • Zoey is Light Feminine while her rival for Mike's affection, Anne Maria, is Dark Feminine.
  • Most episodes of Ewoks, feature both princess Kneesaa and her best friend Latara. They're literally light and dark; and personality-wise, one is ridiculously innocent most of the time, all about sharing and caring, while the other starts out as a melancholic starving artist type and turns out to be a manipulative prima donna in the second season, after Character Exaggeration.
  • In the episode Green Isn't Your Color of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic we start off by learning that Fluttershy and Rarity spend time together at the spa every week. Kind and timid Fluttershy is the Light Feminine while the outgoing fashionista Rarity fits in nicely with Dark.
  • In Albert the Fifth Musketeer, Queen Anne is sweet-natured and amiable (Light Feminine), as a contrast to the seductive villainess Milady De Winter (Dark Feminine).
  • All racial jokes aside, Susie from Rugrats, who fulfills the big sister role, is the Light Feminine to Spoiled Brat Angelica's Dark Feminine.

Alternative Title(s): Light Feminine Dark Feminine