Anime are full of many different diverse characters, but have you heard of the anime trap? While the definition of an anime trap seems to have morphed over the years, an anime trap is defined as a guy who does not fit in with society’s idea of how a guy should appear, often appearing more feminine with gentler qualities. Then we have the reverse trap who is a girl who has more masculine qualities. Basically, traps are characters who just do not fall into gender norms that we usually think of.
Despite what many people believe, anime traps do not include gender benders, which are characters who cross dress to pretend to be another gender yet usually lack a gender identity, nor transgender individuals, who identify as another gender completely. This might cause a lot of confusion amongst otaku. Who counts as an anime trap? Well, that’s why we have our list of top 10 anime traps! Let us show you the world of anime traps!
10. Tetra (Log Horizon 2nd Season)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2014 – March 2015
Shiroe and the Japanese players have been trapped in Elder Tales for half a year, but have grown accustomed to the life. The earthlings are living in peace with the players following the war against the Goblins in the Zantleaf Region leading the Cowen family’s Princess Rayneshia to live in Akiba. It doesn’t seem as if the players will be freed from the game yet so they must decide on their next course of action. Are they content with how things are or should they continue with their expansion? Will Shiroe be able to lead the members of Log Horizon in the right direction?
Galaxy idol, Tetra, makes it as #10 on our list of anime traps! Despite his avatar’s girlish appearance, in reality, Tetra is a guy. He just had the luck, or misfortune, of being caught in the game as a female avatar. Tetra finds amusement in teasing others, especially poor Naotsugu, who Tetra will usually flirt with, although it does surprise Tetra when Naotsugu takes him seriously, not realizing the truth. Many fans might not even realize that Tetra is actually a guy even though he uses the pronoun “boku,” which is an informal way of saying “I” by males, since Tetra usually likes to follow up by calling himself a “bishoujo” or “pretty girl.” Tetra weaved himself an intricate web worthy of an anime trap!
9. Kikuchi Makoto (The iDOLM@STER)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2011 – December 2011
765 Production Studio produces a group of 13 girls who all want to become top idols in Japan’s world of entertainment. They face many obstacles as they start off. Through the laughter and tears, the girls embark on the path to becoming the top idols in Japan! Just how will they do it?
Kikuchi Makoto has the looks, the moves, and the charm of a bishounen, but in fact, Makoto is a reverse trap! Using her boyish looks, Makoto has charmed many girls, making her one of the most popular in The iDOLM@STER. Although Makoto uses her boyish charm to her advantage, deep down, Makoto loves girly things and had intended to use her debut as an idol to become more feminine. Guess you just can’t run away from being a reverse trap, huh?
8. Haku (Naruto)
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: October 2002 – February 2007
Right before Naruto was born, Konohagakura was being destroyed by the Nine-Tailed Fox, Kyuubi. To save the village, the Fourth Hokage used his life to seal the demon within Naruto was he was being born. Fast forward into the present day, Naruto is a young ninja who has a knack for getting into trouble. Naruto has been shunned his whole life for possessing the kyuubi within him, but Naruto has not let that destroy his morale. Naruto continues to look for a place where he belongs while he works towards his dream of becoming Hokage!
When it comes to anime traps, Haku was probably one of the first! Dressed in a kimono with his hair down, Haku even fooled Naruto who thought Haku was more beautiful than Sakura! Haku appears to be aware that people mistake him as a woman, but Haku makes no effort to correct people, which only makes him seem all the more confusing for viewers! Haku also has a very gentle disposition that is unlike many assassins. With his gentle nature and feminine appearance, Haku really sets the bar for anime traps!
7. Shiota Nagisa (Assassination Classroom)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: January 2015 – June 2015
A strange creature has destroyed a part of the moon so that it is now a permanent crescent. However, this creature has shown up to Kunugigaoka Middle School to give the country one opportunity to kill him. Acting as the teacher of class 3-E, the monster given the name of Koro-sensei, is allowing himself to be the target of a series of assassination attempts by the class. Should they succeed, they will be given a large reward. However, Koro-sensei is almost indestructible with the ability to move at Mach 20. Despite the danger he poses, Koro-sensei has turned out to be the best teacher the students of class 3-E have ever had!
Shiota Nagisa is one character who has confused many a viewer. With his quiet disposition and feminine appearance, he is even questioned by his own schoolmates who doubt his manhood! Nagisa’s feminine appearance is even capable of charming men, as he is shown doing towards the end of the series. Nagisa is a real man killer; too bad he doesn’t roll that way. Nagisa will just be a heartbreaker. Did Nagisa break your heart?
6. Shirogane Naoto (Persona 4 The Animation)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Otober 2011 – March 2012
Narukami Yuu has just moved to Inaba, which is an ordinary town out in the middle of nowhere. Yuu quickly becomes friends with Hanamura Yousuke, the previous transfer student, as well as Satonaka Chie and Amagi Yukiko. However, just after moving, there have been a series of unusual homicides which occur on foggy days. The only clue to the mystery is a rumored television channel called the “Midnight Channel.” With the help of personas, which are manifestations of their “true selves”, Yuu and his friends will venture into the world of the Midnight Channel to put a stop to the killings. Along the way, they will discover more about themselves than they ever cared to admit.
The detective prodigy of Persona 4 The Animation is a reverse trap? Yes, Naoto may look and act like a boy, but she is all girl! Naoto definitely does not conform to gender roles with her being a female detective, often putting herself in harm’s way to solve a case. With her androgynous appearance and boyish behavior, Naoto has even managed to confuse Kanji! Did Naoto lead you to question your own sexuality?
5. Kashima Yuu (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 – September 2014
Sakura Chiyo has finally decided to confess her feelings to Nozaki Umetarou, but he mistakes her for a fan! As it turns out, Nozaki is a famous shoujo mangaka known as Yumeno Sakiko. Somehow, Chiyo finds herself as one of Nozaki’s assistants. As Chiyo works for Nozaki, she learns just what is needed to be a mangaka as well as the real life inspirations behind each one of Nozaki’s characters.
Truly a prince, or a playboy, Kashima Yuu really has the game of reverse trap in the bag! Yuu has perfected the art of charming girls, often flirting with them and doing all the things that make you go “Moe!” such as agokui and kabe-don. It’s no wonder the girls swoon over her! Poor Mikoto never stood a chance. Is there anyone else more deserving of the nickname “Prince?”
4. Seishiro Tsugumi (Nisekoi)
- Episodes: 20
- Aired: July 2014 – May 2014
Raku is a high school student as well as the heir of the Ichijou yakuza family. Although he has grown up in a yakuza family all his life, Raku has no interest in the business and wants nothing more than to spend his days with his crush, Onodera Kosaki. Unfortunately, a turf war between the Bee Hive Gang has led to Raku being forced into a fake relationship with the heiress Kirisaki Chitoge, the Bee Hive’s chief’s daughter to help bridge a relationship between the two groups. However, unknown to the others, Raku has promised to marry a childhood friend, a promise he made 10 years ago sealed with a locket and key. As Raku tries to cope with his hateful relationship with Chitoge, the promise from long ago is starting to resurface and he’s going to be more surprised by the result!
Tsugumi is an adorable young girl with the appearance of a bishounen, often leading many to believe she is a guy at first sight! Even as a child, Tsugumi has confused adults with her boyish appearance. It really doesn’t help that Tsugumi prefers to wear the boys’ uniform because it is easier to fight in. Tsugumi has deceived many, viewers and anime characters alike! Claude still doesn’t know that Tsugumi is a girl despite the ribbon she wears in her hair. Claude raised Tsugumi as a boy and will probably never see her as a girl. It’s tough being a girl, even when you look like a boy.
3. Totsuka Saika (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2013 – June 2013
Hikigaya Hachiman is a narcissistic teen disillusioned with life. Hachiman holds to the belief that the joys of youth are a lie and those who buy into it are just buying into the falsehood. Hachiman wrote an essay which made a mockery of social relationships, so as punishment, his teacher makes Hachiman join the Volunteer Service Club, which helps students who need assistance in whatever goals they may have. Together with the ice queen, Yukinoshita Yukino, Hachiman helps other students out with their troubles while reflecting on his own way of thinking.
Another “Prince” on our list is Totsuka Saika, a young boy with an unusually feminine appearance. Saika would really prefer it if you didn’t mistake him for a girl, but it really doesn’t help that he has the clichéd flowery atmosphere of a bishoujo and is often seen forced into feminine clothes. It makes it worse when you see Saika acting quite feminine! You want to see him as a guy, but everything about him screams bishoujo! Could he be any more moe? Wait, Saika just tilted his head and looked up at you. Yes, Saika could be more moe.
2. Shidou Mariya (Maria Holic)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2009 – March 2009
Miyamae Kanako transferred to Ame no Kisaki Catholic school to find true love because her parents fell in love there. However, Kanako breaks out into hives around men, so in fact, she is looking to fall in love with someone of the same sex at this all-girls school. At Ame no Kisaki, Kanako meets Shidou Mariya whom she falls in love with, but Mariya is actually cross dressing as a boy! To protect his secret, Mariya threatens Kanako and replaces her roommate to keep an eye on her.
Mariya is charming, feminine, and as delicate as a flower. And a boy. Mariya has a reason for why he dresses like a girl, but is aware that he is a boy. Even though the viewer knows Mariya is a boy, you can’t help but stop and really wonder. Mariya has a higher voice, a sweet smile, and a very petite frame that is quite deceptive. How often do you find yourself forgetting that Mariya is a boy?
1. Kinoshita Hideyoshi (Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2010 – April 2010
Akihisa Yoshii attends an academy that discriminates based on exam results. The A class is the best class rewarded with recliners and air conditioning while Yoshii’s class, the F class, has equipment that is hanging on its last thread. The academy also has one other special feature: students are able to summon fantasy creatures to battle out their differences. Now the F class has decided to use these creatures to attain a better school environment one battle at a time!
There is no doubt that the top anime trap is Kinoshita Hideyoshi. Yes, Hideyoshi has a sister, but clearly he is the bishoujo in the relationship. You’ll be thrown off guard by the shots of Hideyoshi during the intermissions in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, but you’ll be even more caught off guard when the guy characters dress him up only to peek at him. Everything about Hideyoshi screams trap! Hideyoshi even has to constantly remind his friends that he is a boy. Did you find yourself having to do the same thing throughout the series? Hideyoshi may remind you that he’s a boy, but is he truly a boy? Just how far did you fall into this anime trap?
Anime traps are a tricky subject. They aren’t gender benders nor are they transgender. Anime traps just don’t fall in the social norms that are expected of certain genders. Is there anyone out there who has fallen for an anime trap? There’s no shame in it; clearly that’s the intent! What do you do when you’ve fallen?