ClockStopping on Sep 6th 2018 at 9:16:13 PM
Last Edited By:
ClockStopping on Sep 14th 2018 at 6:43:42 PM
Page Type: trope
A group of girls stand huddled in a group, watching an athlete in awe. Another leaves a fifth love note in said athlete's locker, sighing with joy. Who is this mystery man, so beloved by the girls of the school? The bishounen? The harem protagonist? No - it's a girl, and one whose boyish charm has won her many fans!
In East Asian media, it's often taken as a given that any sufficiently sporty or cool female character will be very popular with the girls. The reason and nature of that attention varies. Sometimes it's pure admiration, the woman taken to represent the confidence and ability her girlier fans lack. Sometimes the girl is seen as a stand-in for a man, either because men are unavailable or too threatening. And in other cases, the attraction is explicitly romantic, representative of a lesbian butch/femme dynamic.
In any case, the popularity of this trope is highly related to common East Asian views about sexuality, where it is entirely common and normal for girls to engage in romantic-coded behaviour with one another, so long as they eventually grow out of it. This trope makes that behaviour seem even safer, because of the clear excuses listed above - that girl fawning over a female athlete isn't a lesbian, she's just practising for her sporty boyfriend! Add in that tomboys are also typically expected to outgrow their masculine traits, and it all seems entirely non-threatening. However, some (though not all) Yuri Genre authors do take this trope to explicitly non-heterosexual places.
A possible version of Tomboy and Girly Girl. Compare Even the Girls Want Her, when a female character is attractive to everyone due to sheer beauty, and Only Has Same-Sex Admirers, about girls who are ONLY popular with other girls, and aren't too happy about it.
- Anne Happy 's Ren parodies this, being a boyish girl SO attractive that not only do girls flock to her, females of all species love her, leaving her constantly surrounded by female animals.
- In Ban G Dream Girls Band Party, the princely Kaoru can barely leave her school without summoning hordes of fangirls to gush over her - and she herself delights in the attention, calling them her 'kittens'.
- Tomoyo from CLANNAD is introduced beating up a bunch of thugs, and is immediately flocked with adoring fangirls. Kyou, an extraverted tomboy, also receives love letters from girls pretty regularly.
- Tomboyish track star Kase from Kase-san is very popular, and receives a lot of Valentine's Day gifts from other girls, even though she attends a mixed-gender school.
- As soon as Maki from Lemonade joins high school and becomes an athlete, she gains herself a mini fanclub of supportive girls.
- Tombyish athlete Tomari from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl often receives love letters from other girls, embarrassing her greatly.
- In Ouran High School Host Club, Benio, a short-haired Takazuka actor who specialises in male parts,
- In Revolutionary Girl Utena, Utena is a popular tomboy who is well-known for her athletic skills and her insistence on wearing the boy's uniform. When she walks into school, all the girls fawn over her.
- Lady Oscar from Rose of Versailles is the classic example, being a girl who was raised to dress and behave as a boy, who was very popular with the young women of the court.
- Rei from Sailor Moon is very popular among the girls at her all-girls school due to her confident, no-nonsense, hard-working behaviour and fiery personality, traits considered pretty masculine in Japan.
- In Strawberry Panic!, Amane is seen as especially popular even among other popular characters due to her princely appearance and athletic ability.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, butch Lad-ette Sully is said to have many female admirers who look up to her as an inspiring example of what women are capable of. In her support conversation with Inigo, superhero fan Cynthia also admits that she often receives love letters from girls, which Inigo guesses is as a result of her 'boyish charm'.
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