Along with Monster of the Aesop
there's a tendency for all the monsters in a given show to be male or female, rarely will there be a mixed bag. The exception is if the The Dragon
or the Big Bad
are a different gender and deign to fight the heroes. And much like Monster Misogyny
applied in reverse, guy heroes will only fight guy monsters, and girl heroines will only fight girl monsters. Though girl heroes fighting male monsters is not uncommon either, male is kinda of the default gender for Mooks
(if not the default gender in fiction
This also tends to follow the predominant gender among the cast. Mostly girl heroines? Then it's female monsters. Mostly guy heroes? Then it's male monsters.
There's really two reasons this happens:
- It's a lot easier on the costume/animation department if everything is fairly uniform across the board for the generic cannon fodder and slightly less generic Monster of the Week. There's also an easy story justification when monsters are involved: simply put, they are all modified forms of one design, pressed from a single mold, created by the same spell or, in the case of the first generation of Imperial Storm Troopers, cloned from the same guy.
- In the case of where the single gender protagonist(s) fight single gender monsters, this is probably to avoid Unfortunate Implications. Violence of men against men and women against women isn't viewed with the same sort of sensitivity as men against women. By reserving the men against women for developed characters (where you can develop very good reasons why they need to fight each other) and not having it for the Always Chaotic Evil Mooks that get steamrolled every episode, you can avoid accusations of the piece being inherently misogynistic or misandristic.
See also One-Gender Race
, Designated Girl Fight
. Contrast Female Monster Surprise
Anime and Manga
- In Guyver, no female zoanoids are ever featured (though a couple appeared in the American live-action movies).
- Late in the manga a sole female Hyper-Zoanoid does show up, Griselda, one of Akito's Thunderbolts and engineered to block the telepathic influence of any nearby Zoalords. Still quite dangerous in close-combat even if that isn't her primary function.
- Mazinger: Nearly all Robeasts from Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer were male. Even Rhine X1 (Donau Alpha1 in the original manga), a Mechanical Monster controled by a girl, was male. Maybe the only exception is Marquisse Janus, one of the Co-Dragons of Great Mazinger: her Humongous Mecha was clearly female-shaped.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: All featured Mooks of Galaktor were male.
- While most male superheroes have at least one or two well-known female villains, the vast majority of Spider-Man's rogues are men. The few villainesses he has faced (such as Calypso) have not entered pop culture quite like the Green Goblin or Venom.
- The Lord of the Rings movies had only male orcs in line with its source material, though in the final movie there are two orcs that appear to be strikingly female, like the one who orders for the catapults during the Minas Tirith battle, and some orcs, such as the one who inspects a freshly born Uruk-Hai in Fellowship, were played by women. Whether they were meant to be orc women, who knows...
- Star Wars Episode II and onward had the Clone Troopers, clones of Jango Fett.
- All the Mogwai and Gremlins seen in the Gremlins movies are (ambiguously) male save one female in the second movie, who was only such because it had gotten a hold of a gender-changing potion in a lab. Any reproductive processes not involving a splash of water are not discussed.
- Power Rangers tends to limit itself to two female monsters per season, though there is always at least one female Dragon.
- Though a lot of monsters tend to be gender ambiguous at best.
- On Doctor Who:
- Sontaran soldiers are cloned in batches and are always male. The Sontaran Straxx in the new series can't quite mentally come to grips with the idea of more than one gender and often addresses women as "boy". He does try his best though, yet sometimes ends up addressing boys and young men as "girl".
- Daleks are entirely genderless. Females of other species who are converted into Daleks become genderless in the process.
- Cybermen lose all gender identity when they are converted (although one "partially converted" cyberwoman appearing in an early Torchwood episode was obviously still female, not to mention her metal plating looked more like a stripperiffic steel bikini than the full-body armor you'd expect). Classic-series Silurians showed no perceivable females, although the new series have quite a few of them.
- The Weeping Angels all appear as feminine statues, though given their power it's unclear whether it's merely their "stone" appearance.
- All Orcs mentioned by name in Lord of the Rings novels are male. However, since Tolkien had written that "Orcs multiply after the fashion of the Children of Ilúvatar", i.e. elves and men, there must have been female Orcs somewhere, but given the times and his source materials Tolkein probably just discounted them. There aren't a lot of females on the heroic side either, and all but one (two, depending upon how you count Galadriel) are little more than window dressing.
- In just about any fantasy setting, it is rare for female goblins, orcs, trolls, ogres, or giants to be mentioned. There are of course exceptions (such as Xanth, Shrek, and tabletop games run by particularly forward-minded Game Masters), but they tend to be rare.
- When Our Dwarves Are All the Same, Our Dwarves are usually all male as well, or at least, dwarf women aren't recognizable as women to non-Dwarves.
- The Koloss from Mistborn are all male, and the one Koloss questioned about it has a hard time grasping the concept of gender at all (and he was a smart one). This is because Koloss are an artificial race created by transforming humans with Black Magic- they don't technically have sexes, because they don't reproduce sexually, but are generally referred to as male.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a few female orcs in the fiction (there is one particular in the latest few Drizzt books). There are rules for them, in that orcs and many other humanoid monsters have tribal rules in their monster entries, covering how many females/elders/infants/so forth should be part of any group of Monster X. Somewhere between the inattention to detail of most games, the vague distaste for genocide, and the fact they don't provide much in the way of XP, they tend to get ignored.
- For orcs, it's justified that you don't often fight females—the males usually treat them as breeding stock whose place is in the home, so in any scenario where conflict with female orcs is possible there's also probably orc kids and babies around, and any sane DM would probably advise players of non-evil characters to tread very lightly...
- The Forgotten Realms novel Evermeet quotes an Orc proverb "If Gruumsh had intended females to lead, he would have given them bigger muscles."
- And for trolls it's averted, since they're matriarchal.
- This is typically applies to gnolls too, which is a little strange since real life hyenas are matriarchal.
- The Orks of Warhammer 40,000 are basically "drunk football lout" crossed over with "genocidal zealot", and are universally ridiculously masculine. Justified because they reproduce asexually (biologically, they're a lot like fungi).
- This has lead to a lot of interesting little bits of in-universe lore, though. Such as if a planet's ever invaded by Orks, even an Exterminatus might not be enough to get rid of them, and their spores, completely, and their version of a doctor being able to work in a perfectly effective manner, despite being a psychotic chainsaw nut that harvests spare parts and stick them onto those in need at near random.
- The spores just don't make more orks; they also make the fungi and squigs they eat, and the lesser greenskins to farm and help the orks. In other words a single ork can make an entire ecosystem. (This is the main reason why orks are so good at fighting the Tyranids.)
- Donkey Kong Country: ever see a female Kremling?
- As of Barrel Blast, yes (Kalypso and Kass). Before then, though...
- The Super Mutants of Fallout all look male, but it's revealed in files that the FEV virus which creates them makes both genders visually identical (secondary sexual characteristics like breasts and high-pitched voices disappear). Indeed, in Fallout: New Vegas, there are several female Super Mutants who, yes, sound exactly like the men (though they don't necessarily act like the men; one is a sweet old granny).
- All of the Covenant Aliens in Halo are male.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there appear to be no female giants.
- Samus is a Girl, yet all space pirates in Metroid are referred to as male. In fact, pretty much everything Samus fights is either male (Ridley, Space Pirates, Kraid...) or gender-neutral (most of the wildlife, the titular creatures, robots...). Even Dark Samus and the SA-X technically have no genders. As for the Mother Brain, "she" seems to refer to "herself" as female in the manga, but "she's" a giant brain in a jar, so "she" may not count. The only enemies Samus ever fought who were definitely female were the Metroid Queen and Gandrayda.
- The orc part is averted in the Warcraft series, a female orc was seen as early as Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Though being an army building game, its mostly played straight with the other races, female humans alone weren't seen until the third game and it took till World of Warcraft for females of most of the other races such as Trolls, Tauren, and Dwarves to show up on screen.
- Pretty much played straight with most other monstrous races. Ever seen a female ogre, sea giant or fel orc?
- The later Wizardry games. In Bane of the Cosmic Forge, all dwarves, giants, gremlins, knights, samurai, ninjas, and rogues are male. In Crusaders of the Dark Savant, all Rattkin, Gorn, Munk, Dane, and Umpani are male. There is only one T'Rang female, justified in that she's a bloated egg-laying queen, and Wizardry 8 adds the Rattkin females... most players rather wish they hadn't.
- Pokémon has quite a few Always Male mons: The Tyrogue family, Tauros, Gallade, Volbeat, Mothim, Rufflet/Braviary, Sawk, Throh, Latios and the Kami trio from Black/White (Landorus, Tornadus and Thundurus).
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, the thieves have an ability "Steal Heart" that charms the opponent, but only those of the opposite gender of the user. All monsters are considered male with regards to this ability, which means female thieves have an advantage. Don't think about this too hard.
Anime and Manga
- Cardcaptor Sakura mostly fights cards that seem female when they aren't too ambiguous, but this might be just because they're so cute looking.
- With some of the things implied about their in-universe creator, it'd be unsurprising if he specifically decided he wanted them cute looking.
- Cutie Honey may possibly be the Ur Example, being the forerunner to the Magical Girl Warrior subgenre of Magical Girl series. True to the author's style, the monsters, while female, were always hideous.
- However, the Panther Claw mooks that Cutie Honey could mow down several of in each episode are all male.
- While Sailor Moon arguably popularized the female Monster of the Week and Monster of the Aesop tropes, and unlike Cutie Honey usually gave those girl monsters super model proportions and porn star attire, the show actually averted this trope throughout its run: monsters were generally a mixed bag of genders, even when having mixed genders wouldn't make sense, like the fake-sailor-senshi Phages from the Stars season. Sometimes, it depended on who summoned them: Fisheye from the Amazon Trio in the fourth season only targetted males and thus only summoned male remless/lemures to fight the Sailor Scouts. The only reason people think the show followed this rule is because female monsters were more common during the more popular seasons.
- In what is probably a nod to Sailor Moon, the Pretty Sammy series employs exclusively female "Love-love Monsters", which are mundane objects animated into anthropomorphic creatures with similar traits.
- Based on their voices and booklet art, all of the Marriages of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS Sound Stage X appear to be female.
- All of the Dolems in RahXephon had female characteristics, their avatars were women in skimpy outfits, and their Mulian controllers were all women as well. There are two exceptions, both of whom are plot relevant to the lead and the tormented leader of Terra.
- Zig-zagged in Claymore. Most of the monsters the characters face are Male Youma, but most Awakened Being are female, prompting a shocked response from one character on there even being a male Awakened.
- After this point in the series, though, the author seemed to forget that male Awakened are supposed to be rare, because most Awakened Beings later encountered appear to be male...
- As could be assumed from their name, the witches from Puella Magi Madoka Magica are all female... not that you could tell by looking at them. Justified in that they are actually corrupted magical girls
- In the Xanth series harpies are all female. As a notable exception to the norm in this series this naturally becomes a plot point in one of the books.
- This is what everyone thought about the Dragon Princesses from InCryptid. Turns out that they're female dragons with an extreme case of sexual dimorphism and the ability to produce daughters through parthenogenesis. They need to mate with male dragons to produce more males and periodically introduce some genetic variation into the females
- The Helazoid race in Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant are a thriving all-female culture. Justified by their use of advanced technology to reproduce and only produce female children.
- In Scarab Of Ra, the pyramid is infested with monkeys, cobras, and lionesses.
- In WarCraft all Harpies are females.
- Just like the all-male species, there are a number of all female Pokémon. Kangaskhan, Smoochum/Jynx, Happiny/Chansey/Blissey, Vullaby/Mandibuzz, Petilil/Lilligant, Wormadam, Froslass, Vespiquen, Illumise, Miltank and Latias.
- Notably, unlike many other cases, Froslass is not a female-exclusive evolution. If you don't have a Dawn Stone, your female Snorunt will end up evolving into a female Glalie (assuming that you don't delay it).