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The regal hairstyle worn by many female characters, primarily in Japanese or Japanese-inspired media. The name comes from the Japanese word for princess and is associated with upper class and traditional upbringing.
In its pristine form, the straight black hair endemic to actual, real-life Japanese people is worn long, save for perfectly level bangs trimmed just above the upper eyelids, and straight-cut side locks trimmed to roughly cheek and/or shoulder level, however shorter than the main length. It is widely believed to be the court style of the Heian Period, and thus Older Than Feudalism. Well, Japanese feudalism. The hairstyle is rooted in the fact the Japanese tend to have voluminous sideburns.
The Hime Cut is currently losing favor among new titles. Styles such as Princess Curls are gaining prominence among anime royalty, and the general populace in Japan is adopting distinctive short cuts or ponytail offshoots, such as Tsundere pigtails.
This hairstyle still has a good chance of showing up if the character is an Ojou or another similar type, like the Yamato Nadeshiko. Also a fairly popular style with mikos. In more modern settings, it's popular with Elegant Gothic Lolita characters. And if it's a Chanbara, its appearance is almost a given, although usually the hair in back is gathered with a ribbon, and sometimes the side locks also. It's also used to accentuate personality traits traditionally associated with the Ojou and similar types: calm, dignified, traditional, elegant, graceful, demure, and modest (or some combination thereof). When listing examples, please identify which character traits the Hime cut is symbolizing or accentuating.
Naturally, any Historical Fiction or Period Piece set between the Heian period and Meiji Revolution will have women in this hairstyle, in which case the cut has little meaning. When listing examples, please mention if the story is set in those times.
Please do not list examples unless they have all the required physical characteristics (straight hair, bangs, sidetails, and back, all cut perfectly straight across) and at least one of the background or personality characteristics (royalty, Miko, Ojou, Yamato Nadeshiko, Elegant Gothic Lolita, or personality traits).
Do not confuse with a Gilligan Cut, or any kind of scene change as a cut.
Anime and Manga
- Most any nubile woman in a Rumiko Takahashi work, especially in the Sengoku Era Inu Yasha.
- Sango also wears her hair in a version of this when she's not prepared for battle; she might be an action girl but she also is more mature, quiet, and self-conscious about her duties than she could be. Kikyou starts with ribbons binding both her back hair and side locks, but ditches the ribbons, going to the pristine form. She is a solemn priestess.
- A clear example has shown up in RIN-NE, Kaori Himekawa in chapter 8 sports a pristine version, if a trifle short in the back. Fitting, as she is a reincarnated princess, or rather it was enough to convince a ghost as much. Kaori is actually a reincarnated sea turtle. She's not happy about that. Then again her name "river princess" does actually foreshadow this reveal.
- Caucasian-esque example: Princess Millia from Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing, which symbolizes her being a princess. Her hair gets cut short later on after getting rescued by Fam and Giselle.
- Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Shōko Kirishima, the Ojou.
- One of the most important features of Yukari Hayasaka from Paradise Kiss, given that she's trying to become a professional model.
- Miho and her mom from Bakuman｡.
- Pictured above is Motoko Aoyama from Love Hina, who sports this type of hairdo, as does her older sister Tsuruko.
- In another Ken Akamatsu series, Konoka Konoe in Mahou Sensei Negima, who doubles as an Ojou. Mana Tatsumiya, who is a Miko, wears her hair in a version with the side locks bound with cords. Also, Chachamaru Kakakuri and Akira Okochi qualify thanks to their Yamato Nadeshiko traits.
- Arika, Princess of Vespertatia, and Theodora, Third Princess of Hellas, as befits their stations.
- Ai Enma from Hell Girl.
- Ojou character Kuro from Kodomo no Jikan.
- Ruby from Rosario to Vampire sports this style.
- Hinata Hyuga from Naruto grew her hair into this style after the timeskip. Shion a blond Miko from the first Shippuden movie also wears her hair this way.
- Marina Ismail from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
- The second empress in Seirei no Moribito has this, as befits her station. (Doubtless the first and third empresses do also.)
- Yomi Isayama from Ga-Rei Zero.
- Azmaria from Chrono Crusade has this hairstyle, despite being Portuguese, not Japanese. It fits her mature personality, although she's quieter and more humble than The Ojou.
- Shizuru from Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome. There's a joke in this somewhere...probably the kind involving her use of slicing weaponry.
- Mio from K-On! fitting the more mature and traditional member of the band.
- Tomoyo Daidouji from Cardcaptor Sakura, being The Ojou. Especially apparent in the anime.
- Ms. Yoshinoya in Hidamari Sketch uses it. That's why she was given a leading role in a parody of the story of Kaguya-hime, by her former student Kishi Maiko.
- Rin Itoshiki in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. She has many Yamato Nadeshiko and ojou-like traits, such as her interest in ikebana.
- Himegami Aisa from To Aru Majutsu no Index she's also a variation on the miko theme.
- Saten and Uiharu from the spin-off To Aru Kagaku no Railgun perhaps explaining their fascination with ojou-samas.
- Yamada from Honey and Clover signifying her more traditional Japanese Girl Next Door nature.
- Male example: Sai no Fujiwara in Hikaru no Go. Justified Trope, at his time this hairstyle was gender-neutral.
- Tomoe from Godchild, who wears it because she is the daughter of a samurai.
- Coco from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, being a princess.
- Bleach: In the Zanpakuto Rebellion arc, Tobiume wore her hair like this, adorned with cuffs on the sidelocks and a plum-branch ornament on her left temple. This is likely a reference to her Yamato Nadeshiko nature, something she shares with Momo.
- Chichi from Dragon Ball. She's had it underneath her headgear since childhood, and it's more prevalent when she grows up and takes it off. Signifying her traditional worldview and her role as a traditional Japanese mother.
- Ayano from Kaze no Stigma, signifying her status as the successor of the Kannagi family.
- Tsumugi, the titular Miko from The Mikos Words and The Witches Incantations.
- Just about the entire female cast of the manga The Change! wears the Hime Cut because the series is set in the Heian court.
- Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi ni Todoke. She's a good traditional girl.
- Kirara, a Miko, and Ukyo from Samurai Seven the anime version, when they take their hats off.
- Hitagi Senjogahara from Bakemonogatari as she has the ojou-sama vibe.
- Hayate the Combat Butler (being about ojous) has several examples. Hinagiku clearly has the length and cut to qualify, and even had such before she was adopted into a wealthy family (probably due to personality).
- Isumi has a straighter, more traditional, example, with long purple-shaded hair. She's the miko.
- Ririchiyo Shirakiin from Inu × Boku SS.
- Another example is Holo from Spice and Wolf fitting her as a goddess.
- Hotarubi from Basilisk has this as her hairstyle, as a traditional Ninja.
- A male example: Japan of Axis Powers Hetalia. Word of God says his official Gender Flip counterpart's hair used to be cut in this style until she abandoned her concept of isolationism, when she cut it to show that she could open up.
- Ryoko Asakura of Haruhi Suzumiya sports this hairstyle, probably as part of her Class Rep surface persona.
- Saeko Busujima from High School of the Dead being the samurai girl.
- Aoi from Working, to underline the suspicion that she may come from a high-class background.
- Kämpfer has Shizuku Sango, an Ojou with trimmed bangs.
- Nadeshiko Fujisaki from Shugo Chara wears hers in this style, but as a ponytail, and (if you ignore the psycho-ness) is clearly a Yamato Nadeshiko. However, she's actually a boy.
- Kureneko from Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, in this case because she is mirroring the style worn by an anime Gothic Lolita.
- Lady Kayura has a traditional hime cut but keeps it in a pony tail when fighting in Ronin Warriors (Yoroiden Samurai Troopers).
- Anya from the Soul Eater Spin-Off Soul Eater Not, whose an Ojou.
- Nako from Hanasaku Iroha (although she usually has it up) the Yamato Nadeshiko of the group.
- Ayeka from Tenchi Muyo has a variation of it. It has the perfectly cut bangs but the hair is promptly cut off at neck level, save for two long pony tails that nearly touch the ground. Clearly designed to remind you of the Hime Cut while being alien enough to remind you... she's an alien.
- Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower. Fits her Yamato Nadeshiko theme.
- Shiraume Ume of Ben-To features one of these, complete with a largely formal demeanor and implied vast wealth.
- The Kyo Sawagi twins as well sport this hairstyle and are hinted to be Ojou.
- Saraswati/Kirara from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? is a Elegant Gothic Lolita Idol Singer.
- Maon from Tamayura, underlining her efforts to become a Yamato Nadeshiko.
- Isuzu (aka Rin) from Fruits Basket, who often dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita but Akito crudely cuts it off as "punishment."
- Reika Aoki/Cure Beauty as a typical Ojou from Smile Pretty Cure.
- Victorique from Gosick has this haircut and an Elegant Gothic Lolita style.
- Togame of Katanagatari has this haircut, along with Rapunzel Hair and Princess Curls. She is some kind of nobility as well.
- A rare (if not unique) male example is Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier, some characters even make fun of him calling him "hime-sama", it's implied that the reason is that he used to play mostly female roles when he was a theater actor (is not explained why he keeps the hairstyle after abandoning his acting career).
- The Japanese X-Man Armor is usually portrayed with a Hime Cut, denoting her as more distinctly Japanese.
- Millennium Actress - Chiyoko has her hair (or prop hair) in this style when playing an actual Princess for one of her movies.
- Sadako from The Ring (being associated with the mystical).
- In the Protector of the Small quartet, the Yamani princess Shinkokami and her two ladies-in-waiting are described as having this haircut, referred to as "the noblewoman's style" and worn either loose or tied back with a ribbon.
Live Action Television
- In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Mako Shirashi had a hime-cut in later episodes. (Samurai)
- Also Kaoru Shiba, an actual princess.
- Nakoruru and Mizuki from Samurai Shodown.
- Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword sports a traditional Hime Cut.
- Flonne, the Elegant Gothic Lolita-esque girl from the Disgaea series. Incidentally, the male Seraph Lamington is the one who wears it in its most pristine form.
- Touhou has several examples of the haircut, but only a few matches the personality as well:
- Reimu Hakurei, the resident miko, sports this hairstyle in most of her early appearances. ZUN's art also leans more towards this than the wilder hair of most other depictions of her.
- Princess Kaguya, which makes her one of the few characters without a Nice Hat or Hair Decorations.
- Fujiwara no Mokou, who would have been actual Heian nobility.
- Maori Kasuga of Arcana Heart, a Miko.
- Emily "Lili" Rochefort from Tekken sports a perfectly trimmed blonde example of this.
- Utsuki, Kureha and Lady Ayako from Kuon. Since it's set in Feudal Japan, it's hardly surprising.
- In Ace Attorney there's Maya Fey, a spirit medium from an isolated villiage, wears a variation of this haircut along with her kimono. Her expy, Ema Skye, wears almost the exact same variation but with the bangs brushed to the side.
- Rika as a Miko from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- Rosa and Virgilia Umineko no Naku Koro ni. There are others who have this hairstyle, but lack the personality traits.
- Kazuha from Yosuga no Sora an Ojou.
- Yo-Jin-Bo's Hatsuhime has this cut, but, perhaps because she's a Rebellious Princess, she keeps it tied up in a ponytail with a red bow, leaving only her bangs and framing shoulder locks free.
- Mayucchi and Kokoro from Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, who are both Ojou.
- Ai, the catgirl robot of Ronin Galaxy has this haircut. She seems to be modeled after a traditional Japanese woman.
- In Drowtales, Vidhi'yani, one of the Empress's overseers. The overseers are apparently all Ladies of War and represent tradition.
- Another western example is little Akiko Kitsune in El Goonish Shive, presumably at the behest of her traditional Japanese mother.
- Mai (nobility) from Avatar: The Last Airbender has hair like this, though it's rarely drawn down. She also has Odango Hair.
- In the Inspector Gadget episode, "The Japanese Connection" Penny's Japanese friend Atsuko sports this hairstyle along with the associated personality. It's probably the least offensive of the numerous stereotypes present in the episode.
- Many wearers of Lolita fashion and Hime Gal have a hime cut, presumably both due to its regal connotations and the fact that it frames the face nicely if all the rest of the hair is in ringlets or a bouffant. It is admittedly less popular now than it used to be.