Saturday, February 14, 2015

Top 10 Ambiguously-Gendered Anime Characters (Traps)

Written by Shiggins and Claydragon
Top 10 Ambiguously-Gendered Anime Characters (Traps)

Happy Valentine's Day!

To celebrate the day of love and all that romantic stuff, we're going to confuse your sexuality and make you question your own feelings of love for the world! Sometimes, it can take a few seconds to determine what gender an anime character is. Then, there are those characters who look as though they fall squarely on the boundary between man and woman. This collaborative list between Shiggins and Claydragon brings together the top ten anime characters who would certainly cause confusion for Professor Oak. 

WARNING: Due to the nature of this list, there may be spoilers here. You may also feel several instances of confusion, and may in fact question your sexual orientation. This is your last warning. 

10.)      Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV (Cowboy Bebop) (Written by ClayDragon)

Ed: "Ed will introduce Ed. Full name - Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky the 4th. ... Ed made up that name for Ed, isn't it cool?"

An eccentric super-hacker, Ed was living alone on Earth until she was picked up by the crew of the Bebop. Somewhat feral and unsophisticated, Ed was instantly assumed to be a boy by the crew, until Faye tickled her and found out she was in fact a girl. Given that she always wears a loose-fitting shirt and shorts, the confusion is somewhat understandable. In fact, on the one occasion when she actually wears a dress, she looks more like she’s cross-dressing. 

She's also a candidate for our Top 10 Nerds list.
Due to Ed’s upbringing (or lack thereof), she comes across as fairly odd at times. She can easily type with her feet, and she seems to have a physical aversion to wearing any kind of footwear. In fact, wearing socks for more than five seconds causes her to trip up. She also repeats some words twice, and a significant portion of her conversations are made up of her talking in rhyme.

Her choice of clothing was our initial reason for confusion.
Near the end of the series, Ed meets her father (and even he has difficulty telling what gender she is). After meeting him, she decides that her place is no longer on the Bebop, and chooses to leave the ship with Ein, the data dog that she befriended on board. The last we see of her is her and Ein walking off into the sunset, looking for a new home. 

9.)           Giselle Gewelle (Bleach) (Written by Shiggins)

Giselle: “That face… made me so wet…”

Yumichika: “Did you mean to say you got hard, you sick pervert?”

Claydragon, just accept it. Giselle is a dude. If Yumichika says Giselle is male, Giselle is male. I understand that being tricked by Bleach makes you cry but you have to accept it. She "smells of semen" and unless she's had the most disturbing bath of all time, she's a guy. Although to be fair, I did not expect Giselle to be a man either.

Claydragon's response when I first suggested Giselle goes on this list. (hence the blade)
Probably the creepiest on our list, Giselle is one of the scariest and most troublesome of the new villains in Bleach's Thousand War Arc. He has a sick love for zombies to a level where watching a show like the Walking Dead would probably be considered a porno to him, he isn't afraid to eat some dead flesh if need be and he's constantly being as filthy as he possibly can in a sexual way.

In a way, they're all the odd one out.
Giselle is disgusting and yet, it's hard not to be interested to see what he does next. He's fucked up and scary but that's "part of the charm" because it does set him above many of the other less interesting Quincies like NaNaNa or Cang Du. Just make sure you're never in a position for him to get on top because he will take it and be very turned a bad way.

8.)        Titus Alexius (Magi) (Written by Shiggins)

Aladdin: “Sorry but you know, your voice has a high pitch and your bottom is quite big, so I thought that… I thought you were a miss, but are you by any chance a mister?" 

Titus is probably one of, if not the least-known character on this list and that’s mostly because he’s only been in one or two arcs of the series. Now, trust me when I say that if you are considered girly-looking to the characters in this series, you are definitely going to confuse audiences in many ways for many years to come because some of the characters are just "fabulous".

*plays Choir music*
In fact, when I first saw this character I stared for quite a while to try to figure him out. I’m just thankful Aladdin got curious enough to check for me. I’m trying to avoid spoilers here so I’ll stay vague and just tell you that Titus attends a famous school for magic (like Hogwarts but much more corrupt), and he’s one of the top students there, as well as hugely sure of himself and full of secrets.

Wait. Mavis? What are you doing here...? Oh.
He’s a fun character at first with his crazy reactions and anger, but then turns into a sweeter and more affectionate character as we learn more of his past, his general outlook on life and especially when he makes a new friend that is even more feminine than him. That’s because his new friend is a little girl though.

7.)        Haruhi Fujiko (Ouran Highschool Host Club) (Written by Shiggins)

Haruhi: "It's better to be recognized by who you are than be recognized by what sex you are."

The fun thing about this girl is how every other character can fall for her even though she’s in her boy uniform. Apparently, you aren’t gay if you’re attracted to a girl that looks like a boy if you are a boy. You also aren’t a lesbian if you’re attracted to a boy that’s actually a girl if you are a girl.

Wow. There goes my heart...
From her funny expressions to kicking away various annoyances in this series, Haruhi manages to prove that being a girl is not to be a drooling moron or fangirl, like a person who hates a Naruto character all the time. From flirting with mafia sons to having her first ever kiss be with a fellow girl, she’s done everything you’d expect a girl being forced to cross-dress and entertain spoiled rich girls to do.

Uh... Go back to your boy version, Haruhi. He's much more attractive.
She constantly shuts up any who dare try to do anything with her other than give kind praise, and we've seen more than a few girls swoon because her boy disguise causes those yaoi-loving brats to have those stupid love heart eyes. That being said, "daddy Tamaki" isn't exactly able to consider himself above those rich girls since he's fallen for her harder than all the others. 

6.)           Seishiro Tsugumi (Nisekoi) (Written by Shiggins)

Tsugumi: "But there's one thing I can't believe about him... In ten years, he hasn't figured out that I'm a girl".

I hate admitting I like this series. A guilty pleasure of mine, Nisekoi features the usual harem-genre cliches I dislike so intensely, and yet the characters and comedy keep me interested enough. One of the characters that keeps me reading is Tsugumi, the bodyguard and hitman who works for Chitoge who is the daughter of a mafia don, which makes Tsugumi hugely protective.

Weird. Where have her boobs gone?
With a preference of dressing up in male uniforms at school, Tsugumi is considered so beautiful that she's often mistaken for a model when she actually puts effort into her appearance. Even when she was mistaken for a boy, the girls still thought she looked gorgeous (so they must have questioned their sexuality as much as the readers of this list).

Oh, there they are!
She also has a huge crush on the main character Raku and hates herself for constantly blushing and being considered "cute" by him and other boys. Throughout the entire series, her femininity starts to shine through and everybody can see her beauty increasing... everybody except her own adopted guardian who might make it on a "Top 10 Unobservant Characters" list one day.

5.)           Crona (Soul Eater) (Written by Shiggins)


And neither do we, Crona. Probably one of the most well-known characters of this list, Crona has never been fully revealed as to what exactly they are and that puzzles us greatly. Even the mangaka of the series is unsure as to what gender Crona is, if any. Personally, I was always leaning more to the female-body side of the spectrum, if you get my meaning.

This list has made me realise how cute all these traps actually are.
The child of the best villain in Soul Eater, (Medusa by the way), Crona has black blood and another person growing out of them called Ragnarok. With tons of social anxiety problems, fear of talking to girls, fear of talking to boys and just fear of talking in general, Crona is a perfect example of shut-in that I'm sure many readers could relate to.

It's shocking that we still don't know the answer despite getting a page like this.
Throughout both the manga and the anime, Crona gets a lot of development and many of us wondered about their future and how they'd end up. (The anime ends better than the manga does, trust us). Despite Ragnarok constantly trying to make Crona flash us to answer the huge secret, neither series truly committed to answering the gender question. I wouldn't keep my hopes up about ever getting an answer.

4.)           Chihiro Fujisaki  (Dangan Ronpa) (Written by Shiggins)

Genocider Shou: “What? He’s a cross-dresser? That’s such a turn-on!”

A unique entry on this list and one that just gave away quite a big spoiler, this “trap” purposely misleads us, instead of being accidently mistaken for the wrong gender. Before the entire mayhem that is the Dangan Ronpa series starts, Chihiro was a frail little boy who often got bullied for being such a little one. He retreated and started working on computers instead. Thankfully, it wasn't Twitter but instead, he became a master programmer.

If you don't want to watch the adorable boy in a dress, just look at that weird spinny thing instead!
In fact, he became so good that he got accepted into Hope Peak Academy. (Watch/Play this series to see the irony there.) While everyone else in this series tends to be loud, aggressive or confrontational in some way, Chihiro was always the kindest one that needed some help from one of his friends.

Ever shipped a ship that you shouldn't ship? Well, this series really wants you to do so.
Since turning into a girl via a skirt just made him hate himself more, it was nice to hear he tried to fix that problem of his. Out of every character of this twisted and freaky series, Chihiro remained one of the good ones with almost zero chance of malice or deception inside him. No wonder we liked him so much.

3.)        Ruka Urushibara (Steins;Gate) (Written by ClayDragon)

Okabe: "Ruka Urushibara. Delicate as an orchid, fair as a cherry blossom. The personification of feminine grace…and a dude. Tall as a willow, slender as a reed…a dude. Radiant in shrine vestments…dude. The sun dips low in the rosy sky, cicadas buzz…Ruka…is a dude."

Ruka is an extremely feminine boy who works at a shrine owned by his family. In fact, he’s so feminine that Daru (the team pervert) tends to insert him into Yuri fantasies. He has a huge crush on Okabe, who (for the most part) seems largely oblivious to this. Given Ruka’s shyness, he stays out of the spotlight for the first quarter of the show, before gaining some more attention when he asks Okabe for a favour – namely, the chance to send a message back into the past and change history.

The right way to view Ruka.
Given this chance, he chooses to try and change the timeline in such a way that he was born a girl, and it ends up succeeding…although there’s absolutely no physical difference whatsoever. Using this opportunity, he (she?) asks Okabe out on a date. Okabe takes this…less than well, and pretty much freaks out and jumps back in time just to give himself an extra two days to process this. However, events end up unfolding in such a way that Ruka’s message to the past must be undone, and he goes back to being a dude.

His beauty is like Kaa from the Jungle Book: "Trussst in me...."
Even other girls aren’t immediately sure of Ruka’s gender. When Kurisu first met him, she assumed he was female until she found out the truth, and during the OVA episode, when discussing who would bunk with who at a motel, she described Ruka as ‘kind of a guy’. To be honest, you can’t blame her for getting confused. With his long hair, choice of clothing, and hair decorations, Ruka does look very much like a girl. But he’s still a dude.

2.)        Haku (Naruto) (Written by Shiggins)

Naruto: “He’s even cuter than Sakura!”

Yes, you knew this one was going to be here. My first ever trap, and probably everybody else’s too. This is the one who cruelly taunted us with his gorgeous hair and then revealed his true gender, causing us all to scream in shock, be confused by our own bodies, and realise just how scary and twisted the true world of anime could be.

Haku, are you fucking kidding me right now with your Disney princess shit?
Yes, there are more convincing traps out there, but none gain the title of “eye-opener” as much as this one does. Since Naruto is commonly people’s first anime, Haku is commonly known as the first trap. Don’t get me wrong. I love his character. I do. He’s got a messed-up and dark past, and he actually made me think Sasuke was dead for a scene or two. That's a really big deal for someone so early in the series.

Nope, sorry. Shippuden went too far. Again. (Sigh. Fucking Shippuden).
Bringing him back for the Shinobi War arc was both brilliant because we got more Haku-time, and horrifying because it was as if the animators were making fun of us for believing Haku was a boy and gave him lipstick and even more effeminate eyelashes in every scene. Way to make us cry, Haku!

1.)        Hideyoshi Kinoshita (Baku To Test to Shoukanjuu) (Written by Shiggins)

Akihisa: “So, is Hideyoshi a new gender?”
Hideyoshi: “But why? I'm just a regular guy...”

That quote is wrong. Hideyoshi is not a boy. Hideyoshi is not a girl. Hideyoshi is a Hideyoshi. He has his own bathroom, unique swimsuit and is constantly mistaken by every single student in his classes about his gender. If he puts on shorts at the beach, he gets in trouble because girls aren’t allowed to be shirtless. When he performs in plays, he’s given roles such as a female nurse. And he’s so beautiful, the main character often forgets about his love and focuses on Hideyoshi instead.

I'm Hideyosexual and that's okay.
We’ll ignore the fact that Hideyoshi has a crazy female twin, the fact he can summon a random creature by doing a Sailor Moon-style transformation sequence, and the fact that he is actually able to get more love confessions from boys than his own sister. (For context, Naruto gets two per lifetime and one of those was fake!) He’s also a member of the Drama Club and due to focusing on that club too much, gets his classes in the worst class of the entire school he attends. He loves drama so much, he actually speaks Shakespearean. “Thou” is his most common word.

........*goes to get a wedding ring and dusts off my knee*
This series did a popularity poll once, to find out who the most popular characters were. Hideyoshi was voted 1st in the Male category, 10th in the Female category and 2nd in Best Character Overall category. All of you now know fear. Lock up your doors. Turn off the lights. Anime is no longer safe because no matter what, there will always be ways to trick you. Hideyoshi makes you doubt your sexuality. And that’s just how anime wants it... And part of us are shockingly happy about that!

Honourable Mentions:

Neferpitou (Hunter X Hunter)

Doll (Kuroshitsuji)

Nagisa Shiota (Assassination Classroom)

Any "traps" we missed out? Which character do you find shocks you in ways that make you question who you are? Let us know in the comments below.

He's clearly just as curious as we are.

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993, but he doesn’t use it that much. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. Bitch, bitch, bitch.


  1. You're aware that smelling like semen doesn'tequate being male, right? She could just have sex with a male zombie, which given her character, is not really out of question. Or since when has a boy being identified as one, becuase of smelling like semen? Boys usually don't smell like semen. Even if it were her own, Giselle still could as well as be a a transgender or a hermaphrodith, in which case she is identified as female. Immediatly thinking that she is a boy, is jumping to conclusions and being accused of smelling like semen is a flimsy proof at best. And Mayuri did identify her as female. So unless there is a direct confirmation, her sex is still ambigious.
    Ann btw, the term trap is rather insulting to real-life transgender and crossdresser.

    1. The semen thing refers to this quote I found from a comment on Bleach Chapter 588 Review: "Yumichika's comment about Giselle isn't that he ACTUALLY smells semen on's a Japanese euphemism that implies that one is hiding their true gender."

      Also, how long do you think semen lasts? Unless we literally saw Giselle fuck a zombie then turn round to Yumichika, Giselle won't be smelling of literal sperm. Not unless there was a bath or... I don't need the imagery but it's a Japanese euphemism.

      Trust me, you're giving Bleach too much credit. It's not a complicated shoujo or drama or anything like that. It's a bunch of guys and girls using swords against a bunch of girls or guys. Shonen don't spend time focusing on gender politics or diversity because that's not what the series is about. A guy dressing up as a girl is the most "diverse" you're gonna get.

      I'm insulting real-life transgenders and crossdressers? By saying a character designed to look female and is actually a male is a "trap", which is a common phrase that has been used for years for anime characters and not real people?


      No no no. I refuse to accept that. If I wanted to be offensive, I would be offensive. If you read this top 10, you'll notice we don't make one reference to any of the offensive language that has been used in the past or imply these characters were wrong or sick or any of that other bullshit.

      I embrace people of all faiths and religions, so long as they do the same. Calling Hideyoshi or Haku a trap is not me being offensive because there is no malice or dislike intended. Hell, this top 10 has me gushing over Hideyoshi like an idiot because, despite being heterosexual, I think he's beautiful.

      ON THAT NOTE: If there are any crossdressers/transvestites/transexuals/etc offended by the use of the word trap or this top 10, please keep in mind that not once did Claydragon and I mean offense. We are open to all cultures and believe in freedom and equality.

      Thank you for your time.

    2. That was a euphemism this whole time?!

      I have discovered the truth that the Japanese Language is really really weird.

      Also, I can kinda understand why "Trap" can be considered an offensive term. Trans people wanna be who they wanna be, and so when people call them a "trap", it kinda implies that they were "hiding" their real gender, or something...
      Well, this was made more serious than it was supposed to.

    3. Trust me, I would never call a "trans" a trap, because it's totally different to calling Hideyoshi or Giselle a trap. Hugely different. I am hugely about equality so I would never be offensive to a real person, unless that person is an idiot/phobe.

      And yeah, Japan is always odd.

    4. Also, let's be honest here: How many of these characters on this list qualify as trans? I think you could argue Giselle and Crona, but the others just crossdress/look feminine for whatever reason.

    5. "I'm insulting real-life transgenders and crossdressers? By saying a character designed to look female and is actually a male is a "trap", which is a common phrase that has been used for years for anime characters and not real people?


      No no no. I refuse to accept that. If I wanted to be offensive, I would be offensive. If you read this top 10, you'll notice we don't make one reference to any of the offensive language that has been used in the past or imply these characters were wrong or sick or any of that other bullshit.

      I embrace people of all faiths and religions, so long as they do the same. Calling Hideyoshi or Haku a trap is not me being offensive because there is no malice or dislike intended. Hell, this top 10 has me gushing over Hideyoshi like an idiot because, despite being heterosexual, I think he's beautiful.

      ON THAT NOTE: If there are any crossdressers/transvestites/transexuals/etc offended by the use of the word trap or this top 10, please keep in mind that not once did Claydragon and I mean offense. We are open to all cultures and believe in freedom and equality.

      Thank you for your time."

      Just wanna say I support you here. I've noticed that people who advocate for such things tend to expect the world to conform to their definition of what a word means even if 90% of society doesn't use it that way. They say "trap" is offensive because it implies a "trap for heterosexual men," yet call the most innocuous things "transphobic" when the word only implies "fear of trans (people)." So clearly the "implied definition" doesn't mean much in the latter case, but it does in the former? These people only want to advance their own world view, no matter how skewed.

      Treating someone with respect is more than how you categorize them in your head.

  2. You missed envy (FMAB)

  3. ................................*SCREAMS INTO PILLOW DUE TO SELF-INDUCED FRUSTRATION*

  4. You left out the cross-dresser from Lovely Complex aka Love Com.

  5. We don't know who that is, sorry. Can you show us?

  6. How about Kyubei from Gintama?
    Had me fooled the first time she appeared but after that I realized she was a she.

    1. She's cool but I was already told she was female before I even saw her episodes, so I think that probably affected my judgement about whether or not she should be on this list.

  7. Actaully the word trap does refer to fictional characters, whose gender are ambigious. So the only traps are Giselle and Chrone, because anyone's else sex is known. Envy would count too I guess. I've heard many people theorizing that Giselle is intersex, because of some kind of duality theme around her: dead/alive, funny/sadistic, cute/creepy, healing/zombiefying, so why not male and female. Woulnd't be weirder than the brain in the jar. And Kubo didn't go the obivous route and reveal her as male, so he could kill her off. Maybe the whole thing will be revealed in some kind of flashback. She is surprisingly still around and now "good"

  8. I'm surprised you mentioned Titus Alexis from Magi, but didn't mention Kouha Ren. I mean the dude was quite girly as a kid, and in the recent chapters, Alibaba actually thought he was a beautiful woman

    1. Honestly, it was one per franchise. And while I do find Ren gorgeous, I think Titus managed to win the prize due to his first appearance literally having his chest felt for boobs.

  9. I think they are missing out Touzokuyama Megumu, Totsuka Saika and Aoi Hyodo.

    1. We only discovered Totsuka Saika this year, but he is beautiful so I do wish he was on this list. As for the others, we admit we hadn't heard of them until you told us, but that's part of the fun of these lists. :)

  10. I'm surprised that Asuramaru from Seraph of the End didn't make the list.

    1. Seraph of the End's anime didn't debut until after this list was out. Pretty character though.

  11. Kirito gun gale was also a thingg