Anime culture has given rise to a myriad of character developments, and among the most vibrant and distinct are the ‘gyaru’ girls. These gyaru anime characters, adorned in flashy fashion and portrayed with cheerful personalities, have become icons of rebellion and individuality. They break away from the conventional character molds, often representing a free-spirited nature that resonates with many fans.
The Origin of Gyaru Culture
Gyaru culture emerged from Japan’s bustling metropolises in the late 20th century. Initially recognized in the 1970s, the word gyaru is a transliteration of the English word gal. The subculture was a statement against the traditional expectations of Japanese society towards women, emphasizing a more liberated and flamboyant style. Contrasting the conventional fashion, Gyaru adherents adopted bold hairstyles, dramatic makeup, and distinctive tan skin.
The 1990s marked the expansion of Gyaru, where the style became prevalent among young women in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, a burgeoning epicenter for youth culture and fashion. Magazines such as egg and Popteen presented a platform for Gyaru fashion, thus solidifying its image as a youth subculture. It branched into several styles, each with its unique traits:
- Kogal (Kogyaru): Focused on high school motifs, with school uniforms modified to reflect the gyaru aesthetic.
- Ganguro: Featured heavily tanned skin contrasted with vibrant hair colors.
- Himegyaru (Princess Gyaru): Inspired by Rococo fashion, featuring ruffled dresses, pastel colors, and elaborate accessories.
Characteristics of Gyaru Characters
Gyaru characters are known for their bold and vibrant fashion. This often includes heavily bleached or dyed hair, tanned skin, and elaborate nails. Makeup tends to be dramatic, with accentuated eyes and lips. Their clothing is equally expressive, adopting trends from Japanese street fashion.
1. Kaede Hozuki in Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister!
Kaede Hozuki is a supporting character in the anime series Onimai: I’m Now Your Sister!. She makes her presence known with her embodiment of the gyaru fashion subculture, which includes thematically vibrant outfits complemented by striking accessories and dyed hair.
Kaede’s interest for the gyaru style is evident in her appearance, which defies the conventional beauty standards of her Japanese culture. Her fashion choices reflect her individuality and confidence, with her tanned skin and blonde hair setting her apart from her peers.
She is more than what meets the eye. Her intelligence and caring nature quickly dispel any superficial judgments. Known for her sharp wit and friendly demeanor, Kaede has garnered popularity among fans. While her screen time is not extensive, she leaves a lasting impression due to her distinct personality and fashion sense.
The anime series began airing in January 2023, and Kaede’s impactful role contributes to the diversity and charm of its character ensemble.
2. Sakura Hibiki in How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?
Sakura Hibiki shines as a standout character from the series How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? Hibiki’s journey revolves around her goal to get fit. Standing out with her tanned skin and blonde hair, she defies the typical muscular preference within her gym surroundings, aiming instead for a lean and well-defined physique.
At the core of Hibiki’s character is her immense appetite, often indulging in junk food, which initiates her quest for weight loss. Despite her love for eating, she is determined and shows a strong sense of motivation, making her an inspirational figure. Her gym challenges and lively usage of gyaru slang adds a authentic touch to her personality.
3. Yuzuko Yuzu Aihara in Citrus
Yuzuko Aihara is commonly known as Yuzu. She is a vibrant character from the anime Citrus. With the show’s release, she quickly caught the attention of the audience with her distinctive gyaru style. Her blonde hair, tan skin, and trendsetting attire are central to her gyaru identity, reflecting her outgoing and bold personality.
The narrative follows Yuzu’s life upheavals as she adjusts to a new school and family dynamics due to her mother’s remarriage. This transfer to an all-female school brings challenges, notably clashing with the stringent student council president, who turns out to be her new stepsister.
4. Shiipon, AKA Shino Goto in Akiba Maid War
Shiipon is also known as Shino Goto. She is a standout character in the anime action-comedy series Akiba Maid War. The anime consists of 12 episodes and was released in 2022. Shiipon is recognized for her role as a nonchalant gyaru maid working at the Oinky Doink Café, an establishment that’s part of a maidservant café chain in the heart of Akihabara.
Shiipon embodies the gyaru archetype with her tan skin, golden eyes, and artificially blonde hair styled in a high half ponytail. Despite the often negative misconceptions surrounding gyaru culture, Shiipon breaks the mold with her friendly nature, resulting in a narrative that gyaru characters signify more than just a fashion statement.
5. Akari Watanabe in More Than A Married Couple, But Not Lovers
Akari Watanabe is definitely a prominent gyaru character in the anime More Than A Married Couple, But Not Lovers. She captures the essence of the gyaru subculture through her vibrant, pink-dyed hair and her fondness for trendy and eye-catching attire.
In this series, Akari is a protagonist whose initial goal is to partner with her crush, Minami Tenjin, during their school’s marriage practical. However, fate pairs her with Jirō Yakuin, which is the catalyst for her remarkable character development.
Throughout the series, viewers observe Akari’s transformation from a superficially materialistic gyaru to someone who displays depth, kindness, and emotional maturity. This nuanced portrayal has contributed to her popularity among fans, who appreciate her character arc’s representation of personal growth.
6. Nana Sunohara in Miss Caretaker of Sunohara-Sou
Nana Sunohara is a supporting character in the romantic comedy anime Miss Caretaker of Sunohara-sou that stands out with her expressive and colorful style, typical of the gyaru fashion subculture.
Nana plays a significant role in the residence, with her bubbly personality and distinctive aesthetic. Her choice of attire often includes the gyaru staples of brightly dyed hair and an array of accessories such as bracelets and necklaces, setting her apart from the standard uniformity of her peers.
7. Naruko Anaru Anjou in Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Naruko Anjou is affectionately known as Anaru, stands out in Anohana with her trendy gyaru style. Central to the series’ emotional narrative, Anaru is part of the core group, the Super Peace Busters.
Anaru is depicted as a high school student who struggles with fitting in. Although she associates with the popular crowd, this connection feels superficial, reflecting her internal conflict and longing for genuine relationships. As a fan of manga and video games, she also works part-time at a video game store, showcasing her otaku side.
8. Lords Of Pastimers in Asobi Asobase
In the anime Asobi Asobase, the Lord of Pastimers makes a memorable impression with her striking gyaru style, which aligns with the show’s comedic vibes. As a distinguished character from the neighboring all-girls academy, her appearance during Episode 4 is a significant highlight.
Her fascination with the gyaru aesthetic, especially the more extreme styles like yamanba or ganguro, render her a standout character. Featuring patterns of white patches, heavy eye makeup, mint-colored contacts, and vibrant hair, she becomes an unforgettable figure not only within the context of the anime but also within the gyaru subculture showcased in animation.
9. Galko in Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan
Please Tell Me! Galko-chan consists of a series of 12 short-form episodes, where Galko’s appearance and actions play a pivotal role in depicting the gyaru lifestyle authentically.
Galko’s appearance is immediately striking with long, dyed hair and an expressive wardrobe. Contrary to the gyaru stereotype, Galko is characterized by her kindness and innocence, which endears her to viewers and her peers within the show.
Galko is depicted as a high school student who, despite her flashy looks, is caring and surprisingly down-to-earth. The series delves into not only her daily school life but also her personal interactions and responses to various girl problems.
10. Lisa Imai in BanG Dream!
Lisa Imai’s gyaru fashion often consists of chic outfits with neutral and black tones. Lisa’s choice of attire ranges from a knitted off-the-shoulder dress with a black belt and knee-high boots, to casual summer wear like a pink T-shirt paired with ripped denim shorts, golden necklace, bracelet, and wristwatch.
Lisa’s personality is of warmth and liveliness that often takes on a mediating role within her band Roselia. Despite her cool exterior, she harbors a secret passion for amigurumi, showcasing a softer side.
As Roselia’s bassist, her musical prowess is evident, though she humbly considers herself the least skilled member. This contrast between her confident exterior and vulnerabilities endears her to fans.
She tends to be the glue that holds the group together through challenging times. It’s her friendship with Yukina, the lead vocalist, that shines, rooted in their childhood.
11. Yuria Niguredou in Mieruko-Chan
Yuria Niguredou is a distinctive character known for her blonde pigtails with pink tips, a characteristic detail of her gyaru-inspired look. Standing with a petite stature, she embodies the gyaru fashion style using her school uniform with mushroom and lolita fashion elements and pairing it with black leggings.
Yuria is recognized for her determined and somewhat mischievous personality. She exhibits fearlessness and a strong will, particularly evident in her quest to hone her medium abilities.
Beyond her stand-out look, Yuria’s relevance in the supernatural genre of Mieruko-Chan comes from her spirit sight which is limited to weaker spirits and auras. When her energy wanes, it paradoxically sharpens her perception, allowing her to sense more potent spirits faintly.
12. Junko Enoshima in Danganronpa
Junko Enoshima is a central character in the anime and video game series Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. She is portrayed as a charismatic high school girl with a flair for the gyaru fashion style, which includes elaborate, decorated nails and a bold sartorial choice that sets her apart from the traditional aesthetic norms.
As the series unfolds, it is revealed that Junko holds the title of Ultimate Fashionista, highlighting her dominance in the realm of high school fashion trends. Her style is an embodiment of the gyaru subculture, often characterized by immense creativity and self-expression through vibrant outfits and makeup, including the iconic blonde hair and tanned skin.
13. Marin Kitagawa in My Dress-Up Darling!
Marin Kitagawa is a standout character in the anime series My Dress-Up Darling. A high school student with a flair for cosplay,
Her vibrant personality and cosplaying talent are key elements that resonate with fans. She often swaps her school uniform for more adventurous and meticulously crafted costumes, showcasing her creativity and attention to detail.
The series, which spans a total of 12 episodes, is categorized under the Romance and Comedy genres. Marin is particularly noted for her positive attitude and kind heart, often acting as a beacon of support for her classmate Wakana Gojo, the anime’s protagonist.
14. Minami Fuyuki in Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable!
Minami Fuyuki’s distinctive dyed blonde hair and fashion sense, complete with blue or violet contact lenses, make her instantly recognizable. At 16 years old, Minami attends Kitami Hokuryo High School, where she is both popular and talkative, traits which amplify her character’s presence.
The plot often showcases Minami’s knack for uplifting those around her, whether through helping Tsubasa adjust to his new surroundings in Hokkaido or offering her spare blanket to keep him warm. The way she teases Tsubasa is seen as endearing and adds to the lighthearted humor of the series.
15. Rio Nakamura in Assassination Classroom
Rio Nakamura stands out among the characters in the anime Assassination Classroom, bringing the gyaru style into the mix with her vibrant personality. She is a student in Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School.
She sports blonde hair, which is emblematic of gyaru girls, and fits the mold with her confident and outgoing nature. In a class where every student is tasked with the challenge of assassinating their teacher, an alien with superpowers, her intelligence and strategic thinking make her a prominent figure in the series.
Her backstory includes her time as a prodigy in elementary school, which adds depth to her character. Despite her past loneliness, she showcases resilience and an aspiration to connect with her classmates in more genuine ways. Her ingenuity often shines in various situations in the classroom, whether in daily interactions or in assassination attempts against the unique target that is their teacher, Korosensei.
16. Saki in Magical Sempai
Saki is a distinctive character from the 2019 comedy anime Magical Sempai. As a third-year high school student, she showcases her flair in the art of street magic as the leader of the Street Performance Club. She is recognizable for her long orange hair that complements her vibrant and expressive fashion sense.
Saki gyaru fashion includes accessories like hair clips and soft red nails, reflecting her lively and daring persona.
Saki’s genuine love for street magic and balloon artistry—despite frequently getting into embarrassing mishaps—makes her a memorable presence, marking her as one of anime’s iconic gyaru girls.
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17. Asami Yuki in Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved And Took In A High School Runaway
Asami Yuki is a standout supporting character in the anime Higehiro. With her distinctive blonde hair and lightly tanned skin, At 19 years old, she reflects a unique blend of style and substance, making her a memorable gyaru character in the eyes of fans.
Born into an affluent family in Tokyo, Asami decided to carve her own path, fueled by a desire to stand out and be noticed by her distant parents. She works part-time at a convenience store alongside her best friend, Sayu Ogiwara, despite her family’s wealth.
Asami’s friendship with Sayu Ogiwara is a significant aspect of the show. They study together, support each other, and Asami’s protective nature over Sayu underscores a sisterly bond that resonates with viewers.
18. Mikoto Aiura in The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K.
Mikoto Aiura makes her first appearance as a transfer student at PK Academy, known for her distinctive and lively gyaru style. This includes her tanned skin, flashy fashion sense, and casual slang, all of which are signature elements of the gyaru subculture.
As a high school student, Aiura quickly captures the attention of her classmates. What sets her apart, however, is her paranormal ability. Aiura is a psychic and soothsayer, gifted in fortune telling and aura reading, which adds depth to her character beyond the gyaru stereotype.
19. Sakura in Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro
Sakura is a supporting character from the anime and manga series Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro. She attends the same high school as the titular character, Nagatoro, and is part of her friend group. The series falls within the comedy and romance genres and has gained popularity for its playful take on high school relationships.
Sakura stands out in the series for her gyaru style, characterized by her trendy clothing, bold makeup, and flirtatious nature. While she often partakes in the teasing that Nagatoro initiates, Sakura retains a kind and genuine side that endears her to fans.
20. Ran Kotobuki in Super GALS!
Ran Kotobuki is the central character in the Super GALS! anime and manga, prominently stands out as the so-called No.1 Gal in Shibuya. Her vibrant appearance, marked by an orange perm with a red streak and an eye-catching tan, complements her fashionable Shibuya style. Ran’s height is accentuated by the platform shoes she often wears.
Although academic pursuits are not her strongest suit, physical education is an area where she excels. Despite her initial disdain for the police profession, she demonstrates a profound sense of justice and occasionally delivers inspiring speeches, exhibiting strong character.
Among her unique habits is conversing with Shibuya’s mascot statue, Hatchi—a testament to her quirky nature.
21. Yukana Yame in My First Girlfriend Is A Gal
Yukana Yame is a central character in the anime series My First Girlfriend Is A Gal, which spans a single season of ten episodes. She is a vibrant, strawberry blonde high school student characterized by her gyaru fashion sense, which includes trendy, attention-grabbing outfits and a carefree attitude often associated with the gyaru subculture.
Yukana is initially portrayed as a flirtatious girl who catches the eye of the protagonist, Junichi Hashiba. Despite appearing aloof at first, she becomes Junichi’s girlfriend, and audiences witness her transformation into a more caring and genuine person as the series progresses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are some notable female characters in gyaru anime?
Noteworthy female characters in gyaru anime include Yukana Yame from My First Girlfriend is a Gal who is highly recognized for epitomizing the gyaru aesthetic in anime. Ran Kotobuki from Super Gals! Kotobuki Ran is another prominent figure, known for her energetic personality and dedication to the gyaru lifestyle.
Who is the cutest gyaru character in anime?
The title of the cutest gyaru character in anime is subjective; however, many find characters such as Sakura from Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro to be charming, with their flirtatious behavior and stylish appearance.
Can I be gyaru if I’m not Japanese?
The gyaru subculture is not limited to those of Japanese nationality. It is a fashion and lifestyle choice that individuals from various backgrounds can adopt. The subculture mainly emphasizes a distinct appearance and attitude rather than ethnicity.