Tomboy Angst

Some tomboys are fine with their stereotypically masculine personalities or even thrive in it. Others hate the fact they're tomboys but have difficulties trying to change their behavior. They may try to invoke a Girliness Upgrade but this often results in Femininity Failure. No Guy Wants an Amazon is often a reason for them disliking being a tomboy. Whether they're fine with their tomboyish streak is another matter.

This appears often in Japanese material and is a point of Values Dissonance to many non-Japanese audiences. Due to Japanese gender roles, many female characters are embarrassed by seeming masculine and actively try to change it. It's comparatively much harder to find a non-Tomboy with a Girly Streak in Japanese media who is fine with their behavior than it is to find in American or British media.

If a character had tomboy angst in the past this could be why they Used to Be a Tomboy.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Masaki from Ice Revolution was Raised by Dudes and taught judo by her father. She hates how masculine she is and wishes to be girly however her attempts fail. All her peers still see her as very tomboyish or even as a boy. She gets into figure skating to become more feminine and gets a makeover over the course of the series. Though, Masaki still does best skating athletically rather than more "femininely".
  • Madoka of Mahou Sensei Negima! has a lot features which makes her a tomboy (notably short hair and a husky voice), but an important part of her character is that she hates them.
  • Boku To Boku is about a tomboyish girl named Yuuki who befriends a Wholesome Crossdresser named Junichirou after she saves him from a chikan. Yuuki hates how boyish she is but everything she does results in Femininity Failure. Another crossdresser falls for her specifically because she's cool and boyish, but Yuuki herself wishes she were girly.
  • Boyfriend is a oneshot about a girl who uses another girl as a Replacement Goldfish for the lack of boys at her all-girls school. Risa only likes Yuuko because she looks like a boy and she views her as one. She gets Yuuko to grow her hair out and start wearing skirts so she can see her as a girl. It's implied Yuuko didn't like being tomboyish much anyway.
  • Rin from Love Live! is a tomboy who doesn't think she is attractive due to it.
  • Yuki from Himegoto - Juukyuusai No Seifuku is a androgynous looking woman who wishes she was more feminine and hates her reputation as One of the Boys.
  • Subverted with Kashima from Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. When she got a cold which made her voice hoarse, she started mentioning how her voice is the only feminine thing about her and now that she lost it...she's happy because now she can pass off as a real guy.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Ryuunosuke was Raised as the Opposite Gender and is very tough and aggressive due to her upbringing, but she really just wants to be feminine. She wants to wear dresses, put on makeup and date just like normal girls do. It's difficult since her overbearing father keeps foiling her every effort to be like a woman.

  • Between the Lines: Chapter 42:
    In reality though, the gender of the #1 Level 5 esper was hardly male despite what their appearance might indicate.
    The constant confusion that people made about her gender pissed her off however she felt as though she would drop dead from embarrassment if someone saw her, regardless of whether they were a stranger or not in a dress or something girly. She wore those types of clothes from time to time however only on days where she did not expect to go out into the City.

  • In The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream. Alex Delgado (Francia Raisa) is a tough, spicy amateur ice hockey goalie who, based on her body language, really doesn't like playing with the boys. After a few rough patches, and a coaching change on his end, she becomes Zach's replacement partner.

  • Iria Gai from Alice, Girl from the Future was quite upset at having no cooking skills once she fell in love. She learned quickly enough though.
  • In The Stainless Steel Rat, Jim visits a planet where the traditional gender roles are inverted. One policeman complains loudly that his mother raised a tomgirl out of him while he wanted to be a househusband like dad.

  • "One Of The Boys" by Katy Perry is about a teenager trying to make herself more feminine so she won't seem so tomboyish anymore. Her crush sees her as a platonic friend or "little sister" instead of a romantic option.
    ''I wanna be a flower,
    not a dirty weed
    I wanna smell like roses,
    not a baseball team
    And I swear one day maybe one day you're gonna wanna make-out with me
    (Don't wanna be...)
    'Cause I don't wanna be "one of the boys"
    "One of your guys"
    Just give me a chance to prove to you tonight
    That I just wanna be one of the girls
    Pretty in pearls
    And not "one of the boys"

     Video Games 
  • Makoto from The iDOLM@STER is a bifauxnen who has a lot of female fans who like her looks. She wishes she were more girly and popular with boys.
  • Senran Kagura: Miyabi is well known for being a handsome girl who has a lot of female fans. She's bothered by it and she tries to have a more feminine appeal.

     Visual Novels 
  • A theme with Aoi Asahina's Freetime Events in Dangan Ronpa is her slowly revealing how unfeminine her thought-process/lifestyle is and in the last event we hear her worry that she'll never find a boyfriend because of it. After "practicing" a Love Confession on The Hero (which only turns into a Femininity Failure), he tells her she's quite charming the way she is.
  • Mion from Higurashi: When They Cry is One Of The Guys and even refers to herself as an "old man". Despite this she secretly has a more feminine side and gets very upset when Keiichi gives Rena a cute doll because he deemed Mion "too boyish" for it. Mion's situation is more complicated than most examples. Mion has an identical twin named Shion. The two used to pretend to be each other often until one day Mion received a yakuza tattoo. The problem is Mion was really Shion, thus the girl everyone knows as Mion was born as Shion. Mion has to pretend to be a tomboy instead of a Girly Girl, though occasionally their 'true' personalities come through.

     Western Animation 
  • There was a whole episode of The Legend of Tarzan ("Tarzan and the Enemy Within"), where Terk, the abrasive tomboy female ape, was having a crisis over how she viewed her tomboyishness as a hindrance to gaining the affections of a new male ape rescued by Tarzan named Gobu.
  • In All Grown Up!, Lil plays soccer and mostly wears pants. Although there have been a few episodes of the series where she does try to be more girly to fit in with the other girls, those episodes also emphasize, especially in the end, that she is a tomboy at heart.