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Hime Cut

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The regal hairstyle worn by many female characters, primarily in Japanese or Japanese-inspired media. The name comes from the Japanese word for princess and is associated with the upper classes and tradition.

In its pristine form, the straight black hair endemic to actual, Real Life Japanese people is worn long, save for perfectly level bangs trimmed just above the upper eyelids, and sidelocks trimmed to roughly cheek and/or shoulder level (or sometimes even both). It is widely believed to be the court style of the Heian Period, and thus Older Than Feudalism. Well, Japanese feudalism. The hairstyle is rooted in the fact the Japanese tend to have voluminous sideburns.

The Hime Cut is rivaled by other styles. Ojou Ringlets are gaining prominence among anime royalty, and the general populace in Japan also favors distinctive short cuts or ponytail offshoots, such as Tsundere pigtails.

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This hairstyle has a good chance of showing up if the character is an Ojou or Yamato Nadeshiko. It's also a fairly popular style with Mikos. In more modern settings, it's popular with Elegant Gothic Lolita characters. If it's a Chanbara, its appearance is a given, although usually the hair is tied back with a ribbon, and sometimes the sidelocks also. It's also used to accentuate personality traits traditionally associated with the ojou and similar types: calm, dignified, traditional, elegant, graceful, demure, and modest (or some combination thereof). When listing examples, please identify which character traits the hime cut is symbolizing or accentuating.

Naturally, any Historical Fiction or Period Piece set between the Heian period and Meiji Revolution will have women wearing this hairstyle, in which case the choice of the cut itself has little meaning. When listing examples, please mention if the story is set in those times.

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Please do not list examples unless they have all the required physical characteristics (straight hair, straight bangs, shorter sidelocks, and back) and at least one of the lifestyle or personality characteristics (Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, Elegant Gothic Lolita, Lady of War, Miko, Ojou, royalty, Yamato Nadeshiko, or other traits). Having straight bangs only does not count as a hime cut.

For Western haircut with similar high-status connotations, see Regal Ringlets. Do not confuse with a Gilligan Cut or any kind of scene change as a cut. The trope Samurai Ponytail can have similar connotations of class but also indicates martial ability and, of course, the samurai.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • ×××HOLiC: Yuuko Ichihara has blunt bangs, cheek length sidelocks, and Rapunzel Hair, which enhances her sophisticated image.
  • Gender Inverted with Legna in Aruosumente. Although it's not immediately obvious because most of his hair is hidden beneath his cloak, he has long black hair with bangs and chin length sidelocks. He is also, as the Oracle, of high social status, traditionally minded to a fault, and outwardly calm and dignified.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Aisa Himegami has blunt bangs, waist length sidelocks, and mid-thigh length straight hair. She wears a Miko attire, but she insists that she's a magician/esper instead. For bonus points, if written with different characters, her surname can be read as "Princess Hair."
  • Salamandinay from Cross Ange has parted blunt bangs, armpit length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair. She's the Dragon Princess, after all, living in a dimension with an oriental theme, and acts in a calm and dignified manner.
  • Chichi Dragon Ball. While it's difficult to tell after she becomes a mother, since she usually has her hair done up in a bun, on the rare occasions it's loose, she does have the blunt-cut even bangs, the two long forelocks reaching just below her shoulders, and the rest of her hair is long and straight. After her husband's death in the Cell Saga, once she's hit her thirties and her oldest child is in his mid-teens, she ditches the bangs and forelocks, and just pulls it all back into a more severe bun.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Kagura Mikazuchi has blunt bangs, armpit length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair, befitting for a Lady of War with a katana.
    • As a Magic Council member, Ultear has a variant with M-shaped straight bangs, armpit length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair, befitting for her Miko appearance.
  • Flying Witch: Makoto has blunt bangs, waist-length sidelocks, and longer hair, probably to show both her girlishness and her devotion to an old traditional practice like witchcraft.
  • Gosick: Victorique has blunt bangs, cheek-length sidelocks, and ankle-length straight hair to go with her Elegant Gothic Lolita dress.
  • In Kill la Kill, Satsuki has blunt bangs, bra strap length sidelocks, and thigh length straight hair, the latter two of which were mid-back length and hip length respectively when she was a kindergartener. She's an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, a Lady of War, and the dignified Ojou of the Kiryuin Conglomerate.
  • Motoko Aoyama from Love Hina has blunt bangs, bra strap length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair, empathizing her traditional upbringing and samurai-like personality.
  • In My Hero Academia, Saiko Intelli has blunt bangs, cheek length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair. She's also a very high-class kind of character.
  • Naruto:
    • Hinata Hyuga has blunt bangs, shoulder length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair in Part II of Naruto, befitting her status as the (former) heiress of the illustrious Hyuga clan and her newfound confidence and assertiveness. In The Last: Naruto the Movie, she wears the same hairstyle with bra strap length sidelocks and hip length straight hair. But by Boruto, where she marries Naruto (who becomes Hokage a few years afterward), it's back into a bob.
    • Shion from Naruto Shippuden: The Movie has blunt bangs, collarbone length sidelocks, and long straight hair, befitting her status as a Miko.
  • One Piece: Kiku has blunt bangs, shoulder length sidelocks, and mid-back length hair. She's also a Lady of War in a kimono.
  • Oreimo: Kureneko has blunt bangs, cheek length sidelocks, and waist length straight hair. In this case, she is mirroring the style worn by an anime Gothic Lolita. It is not applicable to herself.
  • Downplayed with Pipimi from Pop Team Epic. She has blunt bangs, armpit length sidelocks, and mid-back length hair, but while she's generally a lot calmer than Popuko, she can still be just as foul-mouthed and violent.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Ayeka has a variant with straight full bangs, collarbone length sidelocks, and chin length straight hair with two ankle length loose ponytails. It is clearly designed to remind you of the hairstyle while being alien enough to remind you... she's an alien. While she tries to be graceful, modest and elegant at all times, she also has a temper and is prone to fighting with Ryoko.

    Video Games 
  • One of the possible haircuts in Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D is long straight hair with two symmetrical bangs hiding the eyebrows and two thin locks ending at shoulder level. Mostly used for women, but not restricted to. It can be found in pre-made characters, such as Rivertorrent (brown hair), Ray (brown as well), Irene (green hair) and Percival (purple); and you can give it to your customizable characters.
  • Since Onmyōji is set in the Heian period and traditional Japanese aesthetics is pretty much the bread and butter of this game, this hairstyle crops up frequently on a lot of female and male characters.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona:
    • Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4 is a Yamato Nadeshiko who's the heiress to a traditional Japanese inn. Unsurprisingly, this trope very much applies to her.
    • Hifumi Togo of Persona 5 also has this hairstyle, and is an expert at shogi (traditional Japanese chess).
  • Gender Inverted with Kousetsu Samonji (long hair) and Ishikirimaru (short hair) in Touken Ranbu. Both are heavily associated with Japanese religions and are among the more overtly traditional in their designs.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Ace Attorney:
    • Maya Fey has blunt bangs, bra strap length sidelocks, and classic length hair. It serves both to reflect her traditional upbringing and act as a tip-off to her spiritualist job.
  • When They Cry:
    • Rika from Higurashi: When They Cry has blunt bangs, bra strap length sidelocks, and waist length hair, befitting for the Miko of the Shrine of Oyashiro-sama.
    • Umineko: When They Cry:
      • Rosa has blunt bangs, chin length sidelocks, and armpit length hair, befitting for the daughter of the wealthy Ushiromiya family.
      • Virgilia has blunt bangs, bra strap length sidelocks, and mid-back length hair, befitting for a Yamato Nadeshiko.
      • Bernkastel has blunt bangs, bra strap length sidelocks, and hip length hair to match her Elegant Gothic Lolita attire and to make her look like Rika.
      • Erika Furudo has a variant with blunt bangs, waist length sidelocks, and hip length Girlish Pigtails to go with her Elegant Gothic Lolita dress and to make her look like her master.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra:
    • Mai and Azula have variations of this haircut, Mai's sidelocks being long and down below her shoulders, Azula has short sidelocks and a top-knot until her Sanity Slippage when her hair completely disintegrates into a messy unkempt hairdo.
    • Creepy Twins Eska and Desna, princess and prince of the Northern Water Tribe, wear practically matching Hime Cuts.
  • In the Inspector Gadget episode, "The Japanese Connection", Penny's Japanese friend, Atsuko, sports this hairstyle along with the associated personality.
  • Lila Rossi from Miraculous Ladybug has blunt bangs, collarbone length sidelocks, and classic length straight hair. She embodies the Rich Bitch type of Ojou. Everyone is captivated by her tales and connections, but she's a skilled liar and thief, and unlike other akumatized victims (including Chloé to some extent), she doesn't learn from her mistakes and rejects Ladybug's apology.
  • In season one of X-Men: Evolution, Mystique has a variant with straight bangs rolled above her forehead, collarbone length sidelocks, and armpit length straight hair. She's also a Lady of War and The Vamp.

    Real Life 
  • Many wearers of Lolita fashion and Hime Gal have a hime cut, presumably both due to its regal connotations and the fact that it frames the face nicely if all the rest of the hair is in ringlets or a bouffant.
  • Japanese model Sayoko Yamaguchi sported this hairstyle, whether with either long or short hair.
  • Gender Inverted with Tenshinryū master Dōfū Takizawa a.k.a. Māko, again, with either short or long hair. It helps that the guy is a practitioner of a school of Japanese swordsmanship as well as has a reputation of being a Dude Looks Like a Lady and a Wholesome Crossdresser on top of that.

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