Top 10 Anime Traps

Anime Traps

For decades, anime has had many iconic character tropes, from the usual Tsundere, Loli, and Otaku, to more outlandish tropes such as Yandere, Delinquent, and Ojou. But one stands above the rest as the fastest-growing character trope in terms of popularity among the multiple fanbases in recent years, which is the “Trap” who is a type of character that looks like a specific gender but in fact, belongs to the opposite gender. A few of the most recognizable traps from recent memory are as follows: –

1. Astolfo

  • Anime – Fate/Apocrypha
  • Studio – A-1 Pictures

Astolfo is arguably the most iconic anime trap on this list, not only due to his incredibly fun personality and beautifully illustrated design. But also due to the sheer amount of memes, he has produced for not just his respective series but also for the anime fandom as a whole alongside his fellow traps. Astolfo is the quintessential trap that is single-handedly responsible for revitalizing the trope from stagnancy during the late 2010s.

2. Nagisa Shiota

Nagisa crossdressing
Image Courtesy: Lerche
  • Anime – Assassination Classroom
  • Studio – Lerche

Not only does he have the skills to be the ultimate assassin, but he also has the looks to go along with it. Nagisa is an indispensable character for the Assassination Classroom cast not only due to his anime trap character trope but also because of his endearing personality that provides a perfect and hilarious 1st person perspective for the viewer throughout the series. Even his growth as a character from timid to reliable is heartfelt to watch.

3. Kanzaki Hideri

Hideri making a pose
Image Courtesy: A-1 pictures
  • Anime – Blend S
  • Studio – A-1 Pictures

The iconic maid Idol strikes our 3rd place with his perfect feminine appearance that would make any guy skip a beat (and maybe even girls). Hideri is fun-loving and has an amazing character presence due to his insanely accurate feminine portrayal that never fails to emotionally confuse the viewer.

Also, the way his female personality always clashes with his boyish attitude is brilliant character work for an anime trap that has not been reattempted ever since.

4. Seishirou Tsugumi

  • Anime – Nisekoi
  • Studio – Shaft

We are coming in strong for the first anime reverse trap on our list with one of the best. The lovable Tsugumi has a personality that’s boyish to the extreme but that trait works really well because it hyper-accentuates her feminine traits whenever she decides to showcase them and each build-up is worth it due to the sheer comedy that ensues whenever we see the girl behind the curtain. Which makes her one of the best tomboy portrayals in anime.

5. Fujioka Haruhi

Haruhi Explaining her short hair
Image Courtesy: Bones
  • Anime – Ouran Highschool Host Club
  • Studio – Bones

Arguably the most important and iconic characters to ever fill this character trope. Haruhi’s ambiguous nature when it comes to her gender is one of the best parts of Ouran. Not only is it plot essential and is integrated into multiple plot threads perfectly but it also serves as one of the earliest LGBTQ representations in the anime industry, with Haruhi herself being strongly suggested to be non-binary due to her defining character trait of switching from Male to Female Japanese pronouns on a whim consistently throughout the show.

6. Haku

Haku talking to naruto
Image Courtesy: Pierrot
  • Anime – Naruto
  • Studio – Pierrot

Undisputedly the first real anime trap experience for many veteran anime fans who were left heartbroken. Haku is an ethereal character with a demanding presence that just snatches the scene onto him, not only is his design iconic but his personality is one that is directly tied to his character as a trap.

Haku is a walking contradiction when it comes to his appearance, morals, and emotions, and that’s why he still ranks among the greatest Naruto characters even today which is impressive considering his relatively short tenure.

7. Konoe Subaru

  • Anime – Mayo Chiki!
  • Studio – Feel

“The perfect man is a woman”, is a statement that perfectly summarizes the character of Subaru. Not only is she one hell of a butler but she is also the perfect compliment to the main character Kinjiro and his tragically acquired fear of women. Subaru is also a character rooted in an unironically tragic origin because she is someone who lacks self-acceptance due to the pressure put on by her family because of her gender. But seeing her and Kinjiro help each other through their problems is truly heartfelt and empowering.

8. Osana Najimi

Najimi being sus
Image Courtesy: OLM
  • Anime – Komi Can’t Communicate
  • Studio – OLM

Najimi defines the term “Uncertainty”. We are not even sure of whether they even fall into the anime trap trope or have they just created a trope all exclusive to themself. Najimi is a walking enigma that is full of sus-y energy that they are ready to share with both men and women at all times. Considering the challenge of integrating an LGBTQ character into any media without botching them with self-insert propaganda, the fact that Najimi turned out to be as fun and perfect as they did is an achievement for Mangaka.

9. Urushibara Ruka

Ruka is a boy
Image Courtesy: White Fox
  • Anime – Steins;Gate
  • Studio – White Fox

Ruka is the trap meme personified, but his character is not one of joy but tragedy. One of the few anime traps on the list that is canonically transgender, Ruka struggles with his identity as a biological male who was indoctrinated as a girl since childhood by his family and can never accept himself as long as he is in the body of a man because he can never even reciprocate his feelings for Okabe. Ruka is stuck in a mental dilemma of gender confusion that perpetuates his self-hate no matter the gender he identifies himself as, which is a situation that no individual should suffer through.

10. Arikawa Hime

  • Anime – Secret Princess Himegoto
  • Studio – Asahi Production

At last, we introduce you to the long-awaited ecchi character on the list. Hime is a mild-mannered feminine-looking boy who just wants to live a peaceful life but is hunted by debt collectors and is forced to cross dress by the student council in return for paying off his debts. He consistently faces perverted situations out of sheer bad luck and for some reason is surrounded by even more outlandish traps and reverse traps alike which include his little brother. So it is easy to say you are in for a questionable ride if you decide to check his series out.

Conclusion

The trope of “anime traps” remains a subject of consistent popularity within the anime community, with many viewing them as humorous or endearing characters that challenge traditional gender norms and provide representation with unique execution every time. Ultimately, the world of anime continues to evolve, and newer tropes will soon overtake the genre in popularity but the impact of traps can’t be understated when it comes to the normalization of sexual identity in the genre.

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