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Improbably Female Cast

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Guess who won the battle of the sexes in this world.
"Man, and I thought there were too many girls here before..."
Yukinari, Girls Bravo

An Improbably Female Cast is when a work's cast almost entirely consists of girls and/or women in a situation where this would be unusual. For example, a supposedly mixed-sex school where females make up more than two-thirds of the students.

It has been argued that the main reasons for a work choosing to have an Improbably Female Cast are:

  1. To target a female audience, which is generally known to be more likely to empathize with a predominantly female cast (especially in the case of a Feminist Fantasy).

  2. To target a male audience, which is generally known to enjoy fanservice, especially of the girl-on-girl variety.

  3. To target a queer female audience, which is generally known to do both.

Confusion between these motivations can easily result in a Periphery Demographic for both types of show. The writer may have wanted to tell a story about women outside of a traditional female role, to emphasize a fictional society in which this would not be unusual, or have been forced by Executive Meddling to add an unusual situation to provide excitement or appeal to a male audience.

Note that the mere fact of a story focusing on a group of women in a larger setting is itself not an Improbably Female Cast; it can occur only when the cast is intended to represent the entire or majority membership of a group and yet with no explanation most are female. For example, a work where the cast comprises the entire student body of a mixed-sex school, yet women are more than two-thirds of the students, is an improbably female cast. The same may also apply if the cast is an entire year group (a substantial division) or a single form group (a representative group). However, a story about a group of female friends in the setting of a mixed-sex school is not Improbably Female; it's simply a story about those particular characters, and the focus on that group makes no assertion about gender balance in the wider setting.

The Spear Counterpart is so incredibly common it would be near impossible to list all the examples. Its extreme Spear version is The Smurfette Principle, where there is only one woman in a cast of men.

Closely related to World of Action Girls, which facilitates the abundance of women, as well as Cute Girls Doing Cute Things. Any examples of casts made up exclusively of female characters (regardless of how improbable) fall under Chromosome Casting. For when an entirely female society is used as a setting, see Lady Land. If the complete cast only looks female, you might have a case of Otokonoko Genre.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Galaxy Angel is a parody of a galactic peacekeeping force that, for some reason, is entirely made up of cute girls - aside from the cute boy Twin Stars and a middle-aged commander. The role is usually performed by Forte whenever a gag requires a "male" equivalent, something she eventually starts complaining about. Broccoli (the production company) sometimes lampshades this in gags, notably the prince who kidnaps Milfeulle and a flashback to Usada's father, who are obviously women in really transparent disguises.
  • In Silent Möbius, the special agents battling the monsters/demons from another dimension are all women. At one point, their leader offers some sort of philosophical justification about women being able to bear children and thus being the key to the future. It doesn't really hold water, especially since one of the agents is a cyborg and most certainly unable to become pregnant.note 
  • Kurogane Pukapuka Tai featured an Imperial Japanese cruiser in World War II that is entirely crewed by women, except for the only one recurring male character, the old, Zen Master-like Captain of the Unebi. No explanation is given except that the cruiser's intended crew were all taken ill with typhoid and a substitute crew had to be found; why these would be all women is not explained, although a shortage of military-age men in 1943 might be one. Additionally, none of this explains the all-women crews of the ships they interact with, including US and British cruisers and a German U-boat.
  • Parodied in the Excel♡Saga episode "Increase Ratings Week", in which all the female characters are drawn in moe style (as they go to a swimming pool, which just so happens to be populated by characters catering to nearly every fetish imaginable) and all the male characters are forced offscreen (much to their displeasure).
  • In Hyper Dimension Neptunia The Animation as with its video game equivalent, all the characters representing personifications of parts of the (male-dominated) game industry are girls.
  • Gunslinger Girl explains why all the assassins are children,note  but it never explains why there aren't any young boy assassins.
  • Girls und Panzer takes place in a world where operating military tanks is considered a "womanly" martial art, resulting in most of the cast being female. While there are male characters, none of them are part of the main cast.
  • Geneshaft features a society openly declared to be 90% female. Justified in that the entire society is genetically engineered to have a 9:1 female-male ratio because men are seen as too aggressive (and also because it allows the few male characters to have a Supporting Harem; and, in the case of villains like Jean and Big Bad Lord Sneak, to easily prove how evil they are since they Would Hit a Girl).
  • Lyrical Nanoha delves more and more into this with each season.
    • Erio from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS is one of only three major male characters in the entirety of the season, and he gets the least amount of character development. And this was a season with so many characters that the character page had to be split in three. And the male characters from previous seasons were Demoted to Extra to boot.
    • ViVid takes it even further since it only introduced one new male character, and they've been dead for hundreds of years. During the tournament arc (which was open to both genders) there wasn't a single male entrant to be found, not even among the extras.
    • ViVid Strike! continues the trend, only introducing two male characters. One of them is a Satellite Character and the other is dead.
  • Episode 13 of Granblue Fantasy. Any male characters get relegated to background characters with maybe 1 or 2 lines, while the episode focuses heavily on the much larger crew consisting almost entirely of women. Even poor Gran is replaced with Djeeta, a lady who essentially takes his place and does it with much more power to boot.
  • New Game! is about a game studio and its staff. While the Real Life video game industry is still largely male-dominated even after more women have entered it, the cast is completely female. The internal justification is that the manager Shizuku is a bit of a lesbian Covert Pervert; she later admits that she prefers to hire girls who are cute enough so that she'd forgive their mistakes if the need arises.
  • Queen's Blade is a Fanservice-Fuel Medieval European Fantasy with all the important characters, including protagonists and antagonists, being all females. Male characters seem to exist only as living props or as flat characters serving as living plot devices.
  • Everyone in Kemono Friends is female except for Kyururu, the protagonist of the second season (whose gender was only confirmed by the Kemono Friends World exhibition). Word of God states that Sandstar turns even male animals into female Friends, as seen with Lion and Moose who still have hair resembling a mane and antlers respectively.
  • In the world of Little Witch Academia (2017), apparently one hundred percent of magic-users were female. There were male muggle characters, and even male magical creatures always around... but no wizards were depicted until the very end as cameos, and only witches were shown until then. The male muggles do however have much more prominence than female muggles in the show, and the Wild Hunters may actually be a group of all-male humans that use some type of magic distinguished from witchcraft.
  • Justified in Urara Meirocho; since only women have the power to become diviners and only diviners can live in Meirocho, the resident population of Meirocho consists entirely of girls and women. Played straight, however, in the portrayals of visitors as few men are seen among them.
  • YuruYuri exaggerates this to the point where even among background characters there are no visible male characters, even in places where they should logically be (one chapter takes place in Comiket, for example).
  • Justified in Seitokai Yakuindomo with Ousai Academy, a former all-girls school which just switched over to being co-ed, meaning that only 28 of the 552 students are male.
  • Discussed in Shonen Note: Boy Soprano. The choir has very few male singers. At the start of the series they attempt to get more boys to join, but even then girls outnumber the boys. The manga itself has a fair amount of male characters.
  • While the main character Negi Springfield in Negima! Magister Negi Magi is male, he teaches an all-girls class. Of course, this is a Harem Genre series... Even at the very end of the series with a huge cast, the number of main male characters can be counted on one hand, contrasting the dozens of female characters.
  • If there are any male characters to be seen in Lapis Re:LiGHTs, they are unnamed side-characters or background figures in the town. The entirety of the cast within Flora Girls' Academy are all female, student or staff. This may be somewhat justified by the school being a Wizarding School and there being no male magic-users depicted so far.
  • Parodied in Anime-Gataris. While the Anime Club starts out as roughly equal (counting Neko-sensei among the boys), the story ends with Kai Kai as the sole male member. The animification of the world resulted in Sebas and Neko-sensei getting Gender Bent, while Nakano was sent back to the anime world as a fictional character.
  • Justified in Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar, the series is primarily about mecha pilots and the world of Geminar explains that less than 10% of mecha pilots are male because you have to have a specific gene to be able to pilot a mecha, and that the gene is far more common in women than it is in men.
  • Played for Laughs in Project A-Ko: There are no male characters in the entire story. Captain D? Lady Looks Like a Dude. The hulking mammoth of a person who looks like the Terminator? Yep, that's a she too.
  • Justified in In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki. In their world, the Akane Class is an all-girls' class/village, in which the students are forbidden from making any contact with men, believed to be dangerous and unforgiving... or so say the matriarchs of the village. The actual reason was that when the Akane Class and their male counterpart, the Aoi Class, used to be a single entity, they suffered from a problem stemming from many of their disciples abandoning their ninja heritage in favor of coupling off and eloping. Fearing their heritage would go extinct if the problem continued, the heads of both classes made the decision to separate, agreeing to never let either the boys or girls of their respective classes make contact with each other again, thus creating a lie amongst both classes that the opposite gender is dangerous. By the end of the series, the rule was finally abolished, allowing the two classes to gradually allow their students to mingle again.

    Comic Books 
  • Birds of Prey :
    • Enforced in issue 100 when Oracle decides to enlarge the team after Black Canary's departure. She recruits only female agents, even though a) she had recruited male agents in previous issues (Savant, Creote, Wildcat) and b) even though it would have made a lot of sense to recruit certain male agents (the mission was to break someone out of prison, and Oracle recruited Barda Free but not her husband Scott Free, the world's greatest escape artist, without any explanation as to why Scott was unavailable).
    • Birds of Prey is also an example of the Periphery Demographic that an all-female cast can invoke. Is it a series written for girls by having an all-female superhero team? Or is the audience mostly men who read for the attractive female characters and the occasional Girl on Girl Is Hot? Some men expressed suspicion when Black Canary was made bisexual because of this, despite the female writer Gail Simone having repeatedly commented on the importance of organic media representation of all kinds of genders and sexualities.
  • Monstress was deliberately written to invert the Smurfette Principle, to have five women to every man and never comment on it. Homosexual Reproduction has been brought up in the context of the Baroness and the Warlord, both women and recently married, not wanting to get too frisky since it's both their "lunars" and getting pregnant would be inconvenient on the front lines of a looming war.
  • The gender-flipped AU in Star Trek (IDW). It's established that this universe's Starfleet is vaguely sexist (and not ironically reversed sexism, but the regular kind) and some in Command have doubts about Jane T. Kirk's captaincy based on this. And yet somehow it's worked out that the whole command crew is female except Nnamdi Uhuro and Jason Rand.

    Fan Works 
  • Fate/Harem Antics: In canon, the Holy Grail War was pretty gender-equal, with six female participants and nine male participants (if not for some behind-the-scenes backstabbing, it would have been seven to eight). Here, Shirou's adoptive mother Iri is controlling the Grail from beyond the grave, and decides to make everyone but Shirou female—and due to some mistakes on her part, five extra Servants get summoned, meaning that there are twenty-three girls in the War to just one boy. Iri thinks this is a good number of girlfriends for Shirou so she can finally get some grandkids.
  • In Paradoxus:
    • ALL of the children the Winx women had are female. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Justified, though, because all of the Winx were gifted (or, in Daphne's case, already had) a spark of the Dragon's Flame. It's stated in-universe said power is passed on matrilineally, so every person with even a mere spark of it is going to have a female firstborn. Of course, only Bloom's daughters will actually inherit it, but her friends and sister have been affected by the Flame nevertheless.
    • And that's not even counting the all-female, personal army that the Vakdrak are.
    • Or that the mentors of the protagonist trio are all women — Sylvanas trains Trisha to be a Dark Ranger, Galadwen oversees Trisha's studies for the time travel, Veleera shows Stacy the ways of the Rogue, and Snotra makes a fine swordswoman of Altalune.
    • Or the villain herself, Eudora, who joins forces with the Trix sisters and Diaspro.
  • Unlike the Pokémon, Tokimeki Memorial and Twinbee canon, the male characters in Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee are only relegated to appearing in the Boy's side stories, Special Stories and Side Story arcs as well as the major crossover arcs since the girls are the main stars here though certain Main Stories avert this.

  • Almost all characters in My Vampire Older Sister and Zombie Little Sister are female, the only major exception being the main character Satori. In the case of the non-human characters, all of the major ones are female, the only males being Mooks and/or off-page.
  • The boarding school in Wayward Children is open to both boys and girls, the student body is strongly slanted toward girls. While the worlds call to anyone, the majority of travelers are girls. Eleanor explains that it's not because of any inherent magic, but just because boys in general tend to be raised to be the center of attention, so they have fewer opportunities to get to their worlds.
  • Otherside Picnic is partially set at a university in Tokyo, partially in another world, and partially at a research facility known as DS Labs. Of eight regularly appearing characters, only one is male.
  • It's mentioned in passing at the start of High School Dx D that Kuoh Academy has a disproportionate number of female students, thanks to being an all-girls school until it went co-ed three years ago. At first that's just the reason Issei and his two perverted buddies went for that high school in particular, but it also serves as foreshadowing: Occult Research Club President Rias Gremory actually runs the place and had the school converted when she took over the surrounding territory three years ago so her male subordinates could attend with her.
  • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level has the main character assembling herself an expansive and diverse family across the series, all of which are female.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The WB's Birds of Prey series not only inherits the phenomenon from the comic books, it then amplifies it by having Harley Quinn as the Big Bad with no Joker around. There are plenty of male love interests and stooges for them to interact with, though, because it's a WB show.
  • Intergalactic: The show is an unusual example of a sci fi action adventure with a majority female cast, as seven of the ten are women (including the protagonist Ash) vs. just three men. Even a majority among supporting characters are female too.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: The series has the unusual premise of being set in an alternate US where witches exist and most are female, serving in the Army. Due to its focus on the witches, nearly all the characters are women, with only a handful of men (in more minor roles). This is quite unusual, both in fantasy and military fiction.

  • Every character with a "speaking role" (although nearly every episode is voiced entirely by Wren) in SPINES is either female or nonbinary (in the case of Shan). Overlaps with Everyone Is Bi and Cast Full of Gay: when characters' relationships are referenced, only one is heterosexual. And the fruit of that relationship leads to mass slaughter and possibly the end of the world.

    Video Games 
  • Artery Gear: Fusion: There is no given reason why every Artery Gear needs to be female. Yet, with the exception of the commander who is decided by the player, every single member of the cast is female.
  • Arcaea: Exaggerated — Every single partner available is a girl or at least a young woman, with only two exceptions. Said exceptions, Areus and Tenniel (of the Alice & Tenniel pair) aren't actually men either despite having male character designs; Areus has No Biological Sex and Tenniel is an illusion based on Alice's brother, so the exact amount of male partners is still zero. There is no in-game lore reason why this happens.
  • Orange_Juice's various games, such as SUGURI, QP Shooting, and Flying Red Barrel, have very few male characters between their games, at most featuring one or two male characters at most.
  • Galaxy Angel, much like the anime; to some extent, it lampshades and parodies the trope. The men are put in Mission Control, with an Unlucky Everydude, his Lancer and best friend, and various crew members that are either old mentors or cute little boys, and one of those boys is a Sweet Polly Oliver.
  • Girl Café Gun has you, the Manager, a young man in command of an all-girl squad of soldiers. This is justified by an in-game explanation that girls have better adaptability to using Ionus and Ionus-polluted environments.
  • Hazelnut Hex has a cast made up entirely of Cute Witches, from the player protagonist Nat to her arch-enemy Lamona and all the major bosses. The only confirmed male member is Nat's familiar, a flying squirrel.
  • KanColle: All personified warships are female. Notably, the page image is a fan work of this game, expanding it with US Navy shipgirls that weren't (at the time) officially released.
  • Khimera: Destroy All Monster Girls. It's right in the title. The only male character of note is the unnamed scientist who created the titular chimera.
  • The only confirmed male unique character in Muse Dash is Mio Sir, an Elfin (assist character). Otherwise, the entire playable cast and every guest character is female, and every Elfin besides Mio Sir and every boss are either female or of unknown gender. There are male common enemies in some of the settings, but not all of them.
  • Rabi-Ribi, where the protagonist and sidekick, along with every ally, boss enemy, and even many of the mooks, are young women. The only male characters are mooks in the "Real World".
  • Sakura Dungeon, though it'd be just as truthful to say that the game has an Improbably Lesbian Cast.
  • Senran Kagura has 99% of playable characters being female (and even if you include NPCs, that only falls to about 95%). In-Universe, it's not like men can't become Shinobi - in fact, plenty of named support characters are men and the Shinobi lifestyle itself doesn't really care what gender you are. Out of Universe, it's due to the series' shamelessly honest commitment to Fanservice.
  • SIGNALIS: Every character in the game (which takes place across a mine/factory and an apartment complex, among others) is female, including the incidental and unnamed ones. Even the tarot card for "The Lovers" is modified to feature two women. There are only two exceptions: the Adler line of Replikas (of which only one appears in the game), and a human Identical Stranger of him who appears in a list of medical records and may have been his template.
  • There are only two male playable characters (Big Band and Beowulf) in Skullgirls, and even then both have to be downloaded - the base game roster is entirely composed of women- and Double, who likes to look like a woman but definitely isn't one. It's justified to a point in that only women can wish upon the Skull Heart, but that's not even the goal of all the girl cast members.
  • Not counting the non-playable characters, every single Doll you evoke in Soul Tide is a female led by their summoner, the Evoker, who is explicitly male. It's made more improbable that every one of them is human(oid) despite having come from entirely different worlds separate from each other, and no explanation for all this has been given so far other than being lampshaded to poke fun at the Evoker being a Chick Magnet.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds stars a cast of combative ungulates, who all happen to be female. The first male playable character was only added as paid Downloadable Content two years after release. While there is no In-Universe reason why all of the Key Seekers happen to be girls, the Doylist explanation is that the game started off as My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic, a Fan Game for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (a show which itself happens to have an Improbably Female Cast). Because of this, all of the main characters are Expies of MLP's Mane Six.
  • Tofu Tower (Naka): As of the first 57 floors of more than 60, all gendered cards and monsters, are female. The only depicted characters that might be male, are the Scarecrow and Will o' Wisp monsters.
  • In Tokyo Tattoo Girls, every character with a portrait and voiced lines is a woman: all six protagonists, the gambling den owner, and every leader in the opposing Syndicate is a woman. The only person that "might" be male is the Tattoo Master player, whose face is never seen.
  • Touhou Project has few male characters, one appearing in a manga, one being a turtle, one being an angry pink cloud, and one in the PC-98 era. ZUN has stated that male youkai and magicians and whatnot do exist in Gensoukyo, but the stories just don't feature them. It's become a self-Enforced Trope, at that, as ZUN originally intended the Final Boss of Undefined Fantastic Object to be a man, but discarded that idea because he wasn't sure how well it would go over.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Butterfly Soup, the school's new baseball club turns out to be entirely female. It's even lampshaded that they didn't intend it that way.
  • In Double Homework, the protagonist and Dennis are in a summer school class with five attractive girls: Johanna, Lauren, Morgan, Amy, and Rachel. In actuality, more boys than girls take summer classes due to poor grades. Justified, as the class is designed for the purpose of an experiment about young people having sex, with an alpha male student as the rallying point for his female classmates.
  • Kenji of Katawa Shoujo lampshades how unlikely it is that such a huge percentage of the students at the protagonist's school aren't just girls, but cute girls as well... Being himself, he of course ties it to the great "Feminist Conspiracy" he's always ranting about.
  • Princess Evangile is a justified example, given that the main setting is a One-Gender School, and that protagonist Masaya Okonogi is their first male student, and is mainly there under an "experiment" to see if the school can become coed.

  • In the first chapter of Alpha Shade, set in a parallel Earth in the World War 1 era, nearly all the important soldiers on both sides are women, although crowd photos appeared to be mostly male. There is no explanation of why there are so many female soldiers, given that there were actually very few in WW1.
  • Most of the cast of Furry Fight Chronicles is female due to Combagals being female fighters, and that's not including friends and relatives. That being said, there are male characters in the story, but they don't have as much importance to the story as the Combagals.
  • Like the game it was based on, Learning with Manga! FGO features a regular cast of cute girl Servants. While the game itself had Servants of both genders but leaned heavily on the girls' side, the comic relegated most of its male Servants to cameo duty, with the most prominent regular being as girly-looking as the rest of the cast.
  • Questionable Content has vastly more female than male cast members (e.g. the new library employees are all girls) with no plausible in-universe reason. This is apparently Author Appeal.
  • Anecdote of Error is an example. Despite Mityaitimai Tshetshume School being coed, the only male characters are Fulik, Miak, a teacher who only appears in classroom scenes, and Kezaua, a member of Shimei’s Gang of Bullies. Only Fulik is of any importance. This is particularly improbable considering that Word of God has said that the majority of girls become housekeepers and don’t go to school.

    Western Animation 
  • Many villages and settings in My Little Pony are populated entirely by females. Justified in that the male ponies are on "a race around the world" for most of the series and, according to one of the comics, baby ponies come out of Majesty's magic mirror.
  • This is in effect in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, at least in terms of the ponies. While there do exist competent and important males, all five members of the alicorn race (of which the four adults lead Equestria, partially by virtue of their race) are female, as are all six of the ponies that bonded with the artifacts used to save the world. This is much less true of other races, which have or had male leaders (dragons, griffons), or which have only had male examples (draconequi, diamond dogs). This is accurate to real-life horses, who generally have mares outnumber stallions and are led by a dominant mare.
  • Many of the Barbie Direct to Video movies border on this. Although they are usually adaptations of fairy tales with female protagonists, many of the villains and secondary characters end up female as well.

Alternative Title(s): Pink Bishojo Ghetto, Pink Bishoujo Ghetto, Cast Full Of Pretty Girls