20 Best Tomboy Anime Characters Of All Time

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Is a tsundere a tomboy? What about a kung fu fighter?

What about aliens? Robots?

Anime world is as weird as it is diverse.

There are so many shades of tomboy from the girl who dresses like a boy, to the feminine but powerful fighter, to literally transgender men, to those who change gender every other episode (I’m looking at you Ranma).

Regardless, the tomboy (and all related character archetypes) is a mainstay of anime characters – even if it’s badly defined.

These characters represent the perfect blend of the whole gender spectrum. They can be sexy but reserved, powerful but feminine, shy but sporty, the androgynous everybody and the star of the show.

So without further ado, here is my list counting down some of my favorite characters with tomboy-ish charm.

20. Yuuko (Nichijou)

Yuuko tomboy in Ninchijou anime

Yuuko is a prime example of a tomboy, that isn’t really all that much of a tomboy – or a girl – or a boy.

The main character of the highly successful slice of life anime, Nichijou, Yuuko is the tomboy that is the ‘anybody’.

A natural fit for the lead of a show that translates to ‘Everyday Life’ (日常).

Yuuko is silly, naïve, and carefree which causes more troubles than she’s worth.

She’s also a joker who loves to make puns and prank others, though rarely will she get a laugh back.

She also thinks herself a brilliant artist, but is easily outshone by the burgeoning mangaka, her close friend Mio.

Brilliant series, cute character.

19. Misty (Pokémon)

Misty, tomboy anime girl from Pokemon

Is Misty a tomboy?

That’s a question that keeps me up at night.

If you google it, there are a couple of threads explaining how she isn’t a tomboy… but if she’s so clearly not a tomboy, then why would people need to argue that in the first place?

Anyway if we take the simplest definition of tomboy – that is a girl that acts and dresses pretty masculine – then Misty is a heck of a tomboy.

She’s the aggressive one of the original Pokémon anime trio and dresses very… not feminine.

Also, her gym leader title in the games is “the tomboyish mermaid”.

18. Hajime (New Game)

Hajime from New Game anime

Hajime a classic, classic tomboy character.

And one of only two masculine characters to balance out the all-girl cast of New Game.

Hajime is a character designer and a massive otaku with a desk filled with figures and models of superheroes (she’s always found watching superhero anime).

In the second season, Hajime becomes the lead game designer after pitching a mecha dodgeball game.

Though the most masculine of all the tomboys in series, she’s not the most exciting.

17. Eiko Aizawa (Squid Girl)

Eiko Aizawa from Squid Girl

Another mildly memorable but pretty run of the mill entry, Eiko Aizawa is a masculine girl that runs the Lemon beach house in Kamakura with her sister Chizuru.

When Ika Musume, the squid girl, appears from the depths of the ocean to take over the world, it’s Eiko that reigns her in and forces Ika to become Lemon staff in order to pay off damages from the ‘invasion.

She likes sports, speaks crudely, and doesn’t like wearing dresses – she’s …a pretty standard tomboy.

16. Kei (Akira)

Kei from Akira

Kei is one of Akira’s three main characters.

A loyal fighter for the Neo-Tokyo government resistance, she is the one who introduces several other important figures into the group.

Just before being arrested she finds out that she has psychic powers, an important skill in Akira. But can’t use them herself.

So she has to channel them through others.

Sensitive but strong-willed, a great fighter, and very intelligent, Kei is someone who can face the end of the world and survive.

15. Kaori Makimura (City Hunter)

Kaori Makimura from City Hunter

The mildly tomboyish Kaori Makimura is a hitman-assassin-bodyguard and co-founder of the City Hunter team along with her romantic interest Ryo Saeba.

Physically fit and blessed with a large build perfect for her job, she’s unfortunately often mistaken for a man which causes a few problems.

Kaori can hold herself in any fight and has an array of weapons to fight off enemies.

The only enemy left is Ryo who won’t fall in love with her no matter how hard she tries.

14. Mikasa Ackerman (Attack On Titan)

Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan

Mikasa is hot headed, stoic, and merciful.

But she’s also one of the army’s best soldiers.

Mikasa is also one of the world’s last Asians, a background which has caused her endless amounts of trouble as a child.

Full of contradictions, her tomboy-ness lets her be both loving and passionate.

But also reserved in the face of chaos and death – a useful skill when you and your loved ones are fighting literal zombie giants.

Luckily Mikasa, the protector of even the boys, fears little.

13. Seishirou Tsugumi (Nisekoi)

Seishirou Tsugumi from Nisekoi

Seishirou is a perfect example of the hot-headed, bad-boy tomboy archetype.

Hilariously she’s considered incredibly attractive and has very large…assets….no one, including her adoptive father, knew she was a girl until she became a teenager.

Even at school, she dresses as a boy and introduces herself a boy.

Adopted by Claude Ringheart, leader of the notorious Bee Hive Gang, Seishirou (a boy’s name by the way) trained as a hitwoman and is fiercely loyal to the gang.

Having mastered every weapon under the sun, those who cross her path better be prepared.

12. Haruko Haruhara (FLCL)

Haruko Haruhara in FLCL

Not technically human (so can you still be a tomboy?) but all violent, unpredictable spunk, Haruko Haruhara is a member of the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood and hellbent on chasing down the notorious space pirate, Atomsk.

Does she do it for justice though?

Absolutely not.

The primary anti-hero of the FLCL franchise, she’s introduced running over a 12-year-old kid in a vespa, then smacking him over the head with a bass guitar.

11. Casca (Beserk)

Casca from Beserk anime

Casca was a unit commander for the Band of Falcon, a feared mercenary group that helped the Kingdom of Midland score multiple key victories against their rivals.

Casca grew up starving in a poor mountainside village as the only girl of six siblings.

At twelve she was sold off to become a maid for a nobleman, only to have the nobleman attempt to rape her enroute to the castle.

Suddenly Griffith, the leader of the Falcons, appears and slices off the pervert’s ear but instead of offing the nobleman himself, passes his sword to Casca.

Since then Casca has been a loyal and fearsome member of the Falcons.

That is until the unspeakable happens…

In truth, she just wants to absorb Atomsk’s powers for herself and as for the Police Brotherhood?

They don’t care because they probably don’t exist.

10. Sora (Digimon)

Sora tomboy in Digimon anime

Sora might seem like an odd pick for spot #10 considering her similarities with Misty.

But she’s actually not at all like Misty. It’s just that Digimon and Pokémon are way too similar.

Sora is Digimon’s pre-eminent tomboy with a troubled past that deeply impacted her emotions throughout the franchise.

She was told off for playing football as a kid, and growing up in a fractured family, never quite learned to give herself worth.

It takes her years of growing into an adult before she finally understood that her friends love her, and that she could love herself too.

9. Nagisa (Pretty Cure)

Nagisa from Pretty Cure

Nagisa Misumi is one of the two dual leads of Futari Wa Pretty Cute, the classic magical girl anime that my girlfriend introduced to me as ‘Weeb Essential Viewing’.

I’m a weeb so I viewed it.

Nagisa reluctantly becomes a Pretty Cure when Mepple lands in her bedroom and annoys Nagisa into taking him to meet his partner Mipple, who happened to be in Honaka’s outhouse.

Nagisa, or Black Cure when transformed, is written as the perfect foil to White Cure, or Honaka Yukishiro.

Honaka is intelligent, feminine, and beautiful.

Nagisa is sporty and crude.

She bullies her younger brother, as all older siblings do, and yells ‘Don’t snitch!’ when he tells mom.

Nagisa is the school’s star lacrosse player and receives multiple love letters from admirers. Unfortunately Nagisa is straight and her admirers are not.

8. Amanda O’Neil (Little Witch Academia)

Amanda O’Neil in Little Witch Academia

Debuting in the second movie Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, and later becoming a main character in the 2017 series, Amanda O’Neil is quintessential.

The spunky, sporty, show-offish delinquent tomboy who gets told off by teachers for doing reckless, yet impressive physical tricks.

In Amanda O’Neil and the Holy Grail, she transforms into a boy to sneak into the all-boys magic-hating Appleton Academy in Handsome and elegant. No one thinks her out of the place.

She also reveals herself as a natural sword fighter, defeating several fencers without the aid of her wand.

7. Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)

Utena Revolutionary Girl in anime

High schools in anime are surreal places where anything can happen.

And few are more surreal than Ohtori Academy from the surrealist anime Revolutionary Girl Utena.

At Ohtori, students swordfight for the hand of ‘Rose Princess’ Anthy.

Utena is a tomboy who wishes to be a prince.

A brilliant swordfighter, she defeats all other suitors and takes Anthy’s hand, fulfilling her dream of becoming a prince.

But as with all anime high schools, there’s something darker lurking in the shadows….

6. Ukyo Kuonji (Ranma ½)

Ukyo Kuonji Ranma half

Ranma’s not allowed be included because he (she?) is a guy (girl?), but Ranma’s long running love interest Ukyo Kuonji is totally fair play.

Like Ranma, Ukyo is the perfect mix of masculine and feminine that runs the show but without the actual gender transformations – just lots of crossdressing.

Though childhood friends, Ukyo’s tomboyish personality and upper hand in playfights, however, hid the fact that she was a girl from Ranma who wouldn’t find out the truth until many years later.

Like Seishiro, Ukyo is introduced as a male student when she only dressed up as a boy to join an all-boys academy.

But constantly skips school to learn from restaurants in order to become the world’s best Okonomiyaki chef.

Eventually she finds Ranma again, falls in love, and becomes feminine to get his attention… but eventually returns to her tomboyish style.

5. Winry Rockbell (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Winry Rockbell in FMA

Winry Rockbell is the simultaneous sister figure, love interest, and competition for Edward Elric throughout the Fullmetal saga.

A childhood friend of Edward and Al, Winry and her grandmother Pinako were the ones who created Edward’s mechanical arm after the horrible transmutation accident that kickstarts the series.

Her mechanical and medical knowledge would come in handy as she fixes the reckless Edward’s arm multiple times after military injuries.

When she and the brothers move to Rush Valley, the automail capital of the world, she quickly amasses a loyal clientele drawn to her amazing skill.

4. Kobayashi (Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)

Kobayashi from Dragon Maid

Like Yuuko, the non-descript 9-5 office lady Kobayashi is ‘the everyone’.

She’s a woman, but she’s not particularly attractive.

She does masculine activities but isn’t one of the bros either. However Kobayashi has a lot more going on beneath her flat exterior.

One drunk night, she pulled a sword out of a Dragon’s back.

The dragon then shows up the next day and begs to be Kobayashi’s maid.

As the series progresses, Kobayashi is thrust into adoptive motherhood, becomes guardian of earth and (in the later manga chapters) a magician.

Her heart of gold and calm mind has helped all those around her adapt to their new lives and in return, Kobayashi’s life begins again.

3. Bulma (Dragon Ball)

Bulma in Dragon Ball

It’s not an exaggeration to say that without Bulma, there would be no Dragon Ball.

Introduced in the first Dragon Ball episode, Bulma is almost as important to the show as Goku.

She’s the one that introduces Goku to the power of the Dragon Balls and brings him out of the mountains and into the city.

Though she doesn’t have any superpowers, Bulma’s genius mind and tenacity are indispensable.

Bulma also doesn’t shy away from using her charms in order to find the dragon balls which often leads to…somewhat unneeded eye candy…but the 80s was a different time for TV.

2. Ryuko (Kill La Kill)

Ryuko from Kill La Kill, anime screenshot

Masculine, violent, and angry mixed up with a troubled past.

Ryuko Matoi shows up one day as an exchange student at Honnoji academy a school run by the student council and their superpower transforming Goku Suits which they use to subjugate dissent.

Her reason?

To find out information on her murdered father. And who better to violently ask than the council president Satuski Kiryuin?

Easily defeated by Satusuki’s goons, Ryuko escapes back to her childhood town.

There the blood from her wounds wakes up Senketsu, a sentient sailor uniform created by Ryuko’s late father.

Initially uncomfortable with their revealing magical girl transformation, she slowly learns the power of being comfortable with her body, her mind, and her past.

Allowing her to finally challenge Satuski again and find out the real reason behind her father’s death.

1. Sailor Uranus (Sailor Moon)

Sailor Uranus, the best tomboy in anime

One of the most important pro-LGBT characters of classical anime, the openly lesbian Sailor Uranus has stirred so much controversy that the there aren’t enough stars in the sky to cover the amount of articles about her.

Sailor Uranus or Haruki Tenoh dresses as a male, has a girlfriend, Sailor Neptune, is a racecar driver and a swordsman.

But at the same time she’s elegant, she’s protective, and comfortable in her sailor/princess personas.

In rankings, Uranus has consistently proven to be one of Sailor Moon’s most loved characters specifically because of her mix of masculine and feminine traits.

For these reasons Sailor Uranus demands nothing less than the number one spot on my list.

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Cyril Ma

Cyril is a freelance writer, drama teacher and singer from Hong Kong. Growing up in East Asia, anime is literally everywhere. It’s on the streets, it’s in the malls, it’s always on TV. You’re sort of expected to know your anime stuff. Studying University in the UK, Cyril realized the rest of the world is not like that, so with his background in tow he volunteered with Animeleague’s Anime and Gaming conventions. Cyril wrote for the shortlived Shonen-World anime review site and also writes for Underground Hong Kong, a local music magazine. You can find him and the stuff he does on Instagram @cyril_does_a_thing.