Look, we’ll be the first to admit that the term ‘anime femboys’ is heavily misconstrued. Mostly because, well, it often came with a negative or derogatory meaning attached to it. Though, older weebs might know anime femboy characters by a different term aka ‘Traps’. Either way, the internet was not kind to characters like them. Which never made any sense to me, considering how cool these sort of characters ended up being. Like, they push the boundaries of our perceptions.
So, deeming anime femboys as simple comedy fodder is a huge disservice to them. Now, we’re not saying that anime itself doesn’t perpetuate some stereotypes about them, mainly as metaphors for deceit or using them to ‘dupe’ the main protagonist. It’s sadly a part of old anime culture to be, well, kind of offensive when it came to queer folk or minorities. But we have come a long way since, considering they aren’t simply ‘men dressing up as women’ anymore. And like, credit where credit’s due, you know?
After all, gender itself is such a spectrum. What we consider typical of one gender, might’ve been the norm for another a century ago because styles and aesthetic change over time. For example, the idea of heels and long hair, which are seen as feminine traits, were typically seen as male fashion back in the Baroque era and as late as the Victorian era. You can’t judge biological gender simply by clothing and aesthetic anymore, as the line have been blurred and we’ve realised that all of that gender coding is actually silly.
So, how do anime femboys come into this? Well first of all, they challenge our idea of overexaggerated masculinity and give us a different perspective on how gender norms work. They add a unique twist to a narrative, or simply diversify a cast that might feel boring. Just look at Orochimaru from Naruto Shippuden, who constantly skirts the line of non-binary. So, if you enjoy that, here’s our top 15 anime femboys that challenge the status quo! Let’s begin.
Eljuia – Endride
Eljuia gives off serious ‘strict hot teacher’ vibes, for sure. And you would confuse him for a female easily enough, thanks to his effeminate features.
But the stylistic choices in Endride don’t do him any favors either. In the anime, he also dresses in very flowy clothing, almost giving him the air of a Shrine Maiden. Couple that with the pretty flowers in his hair and, well, it’s no wonder Eljuia gets confused for a woman. But his main prowess lies in being a precognisant, aka he can predict the future.
Saika Totsuka – Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigateiru
Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigateiru might be a mouthful to say, but you may know it by it’s shorter title, OreGairu. Or maybe by it’s western title, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. Or maybe, you’ve heard about it’s roster of colorful characters which include Saika Totsuka.
As far as anime femboys go, Saika is pretty tame. He is a student at Sobu High School, where he’s the president of the Tennis team. But due to his soft looks, he’s often mistaken for the opposite gender, despite dressing traditionally male. It gets to the point where the main protagonist, Hachiman Hikigaya, often forgets that Saika isn’t a girl.
Kaguya Arikawa – Himegoto
Now here’s an anime femboy that knows his face card never declined! Which is really refreshing to see, considering how crossdressers are often treated in Himegoto.
But not Kaguya Arikawa! Unlike his brother, Hime Arikawa, who is forced to dress up like that to please his seniors that protected him from Yakuza debt (don’t ask), Kaguya takes a lot of pride in his feminine looks. He loves the attention that comes with it and often refers to his fans as ‘servants’. A little weird? Maybe. But you can’t deny that’s a bold move!
Hideyoshi Kinoshita – Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu
Can Hideyoshi Kinoshita count as an anime femboy when he’s really more androgynous? For the sake of this list, we think he does!
In Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, Hideyoshi enjoys the position of one of the most popular characters. Why? Because first of, he is the twin brother of Yuuko Kinoshita, the class ambassador. And secondly, he is just absurdly beautiful. Like almost otherworldly. Despite being one of the more average students, rumours about his unbelievable looks are so widespread that a lot of people dub his existence as a 3rd gender, simply known as ‘Hideyoshi’. Because it is incomparable to anyone else at the school!
Hideri Kanzaki – Blend S
Sing it with us folks: Maid girls will always be in Vogue. Like, anyone dressed as a cute frilly maid will automatically be the best thing on Earth.
So, it’s no surprise that Hideri Kanzaki, an anime femboy that dresses up as a maid in Blend S, made it on to this list. With his adorable looks and bubbly nature, he is well loved at Café Stile. But his real dream is to make it out of the hicks and become a famous idol.
Nasu Suketaka – Drifters
Underestimating this anime femboy due to his looks is a huge mistake. Because Nasu Suketaka might look delicate. However, he is anything but.
And in a setting like Drifters, filled with Samurai of old and trauma galore, you need to be of a stronger constitution to stomach it all. And Nasu delivers on that front. Despite his appearance of this tall but feminine man, he is a powerhouse of an archer who kills fleeing enemies accurately. However, behind that mischievous demeanour, hides a traumatic upbringing filled with insecurity.
Titus Alexius – Magi: The Labyrinth Of Magic
Who doesn’t love a pretty mage? And in Magi: the Labyrinth Of Magic, Titus Alexius might just be the fairest of them all. But that’s not all he is.
Titus enjoys the position of being the Grand Priest of the Reim Empire, as well as one of the four main Magi. But due to his effeminate looks, he’s often confused for his predecessor, Scheherazade. It doesn’t help that he dresses pretty ambiguously and has ahigh pitched voice. No wonder Aladdin confused him for a girl upon first meeting!
Shiota Nagisa – Assassination Classroom
You know, seeing anime femboys be cornered into either the side characters or butt of the jokes can get pretty disheartening. Which is why it’s so cool to see one be the main protagonist of an anime.
Shiota Nagisa is the narrative viewpoint of Assassination Classroom. He is an extremely talented budding assassin with a shy but observant disposition. Oh, and also, he is extremely pretty. Shiota is known for his pigtails that his mom had styled him in since childhood and his petite frame, which often earns him some teasing. But of course, he proves his merit with his dedication to his studies.
Aoi Hyoudou – Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama!
Aoi Hyoudou is here for a good time, not a long one. And he absolutely knows exactly what he can get away with thanks to his looks in Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama!
Aoi is the nephew of the owner of the maid café where the main character, Misaki Ayuzawa, works. Online, his persona is that of a net idol, but he later started working at the Maid Latte café. Because he was bullied for enjoying cosplaying female characters, he took revenge on men by toying with their feelings. And despite his cute looks, this anime femboy packs a punch, considering how athletic he is as a star Volleyball player.
Luka Urushibara – Steins;Gate
We’re sorry, Mayuri Shiina who? Kirusu Makise who? In this household, we only stan one true waifu in Steins;Gate. And that’s Luka Urushibara.
Admittedly, Luka isn’t a woman. At least, in most timelines. He is an effeminate boy that works at the same maid café as Mayuri, and often cosplays alongside her. With his soft-spoken nature and elegant styling, it’s easy to confuse Luka for a girl. Hell, even Itaru Hashida was attracted to him at one point!
Grell Sutcliffe – Black Butler
No, we will not be taking any critiques on this one. Grell Sutcliffe is the most anime femboy to ever exist and we will die on this hill.
Okay, fair enough. Grell comes across as mostly androgynous in Black Butler, but his flamboyant nature and constant crossdressing easily gives him a pass as being the ultimate anime femboy. And the best part is that he has never been ashamed of his glamorous nature. The man knows what kind of style works for him, and he plays it up tremendously.
Astolfo – Fate/Apocrypha
It’s Type-Moon. Of course, the Fate Series would have at least one anime femboy. I mean, if Saber can exist, then why not Astolfo?
Astolfo makes his debut in Fate/Apocrypha as this eternally curious Servant that loves dressing in fancy clothing to compliment his sweet facial features and has a special affinity for hair ornaments. His generally optimistic nature is in direct contrast with his serious position as a Rider class Hero for Mages that might end up summoning him.
Chihiro Fujisaki – Danganronpa
Danganronpa is known for it’s eclectic roster of characters and this anime femboy is no different. However, there is more that meets the eye here.
Chihiro Fujisaki was bullied for his weak stature and often told to be ‘a man’ about it. Of course, that kind of bullying rarely works and instead he starts dressing up more like a girl so he’d be spared from the teaching. But that only worsened his insecurities, and he grew up pretty isolated. However, this meant that Chihiro spent more time around computers, thanks to his software engineer dad. And he ended up becoming a teen prodigy in programming.
Felix Argyle – Re:Zero – Starting Life In Another World
Felix Argyle is one of those rare cases where we see anime femboys be explored as fully fledged characters rather than as forgettable cameos.
But then again, that’s to be expected from something like Re:Zero – Starting Life In Another World. Felix is a demi human, specifically a half cat, half human boy from the noble house of Argyle. He had a pretty cruel upbringing, due to the stigma around demi humans and his effeminate looks. But ultimately, he grew into being a masterful healer and one of the best practitioners of Water magic in the Kingdom of Lugunica.
Haku – Naruto
I saved the best for last. And we reckon this was a lot of people’s first experience with an anime femboy in mainstream Shonen anime.
When someone talks about some of the best arcs in all of Naruto, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t mention the Village Hidden In The Mist arc at least once. And that’s because of Haku, a tragic antagonist that is the main focus in it. We meet Haku as this beautiful man that Naruto Uzumaki confuses for a woman. And during Team 7’s fight with Zabuza afterwards, you can’t help but feel for the beautiful Haku and his loyalty to the person that saved him. His character is so memorable, despite having such a small role in the beginning.
So, this was our curated list on some of the best anime femboys that the medium has to offer. But more importantly, we hope this shed some light on the subculture in general and helped get rid of some of the typical tropes and stereotypes we’ve associated with the term ‘Traps’, in the past.
They aren’t just there to be fetishized or ridiculed, but have their own incredible stories to tell.