Anime is exceptional for employing tomboy girl characters that drive the story. These characters prove that masculinity is not gender related. Tomboy girls can play football, and at the same time wear cute dresses and skirts, they are brave female warriors, girls who dress like boys, and even cross-dressing men.
All of them have a masculine and a soft side no matter how tomboy-ish they might be. Tomboyism can be sexy and powerful as well.
Here is the list of my top 25 anime characters that stand out the most.
30. Kaori Makimura from City Hunter
Karori is not exactly the token tomboy character. If your bar is a girl that can handle explosives, then sure, tomboy, she scan set up traps and knows how to handle a hand grenade.
Karoi can hold her own, when her boyfriend is caught chasing skirts she acts with a heavy hammer on his head. She never hesitates to stand up for herself.
She despises girly things and her jacket personality is the reason why there are plenty of embarrassing situations where she is mistaken for a man.
Under her tough layers, Karoi is very sensitive and gets offended when Ryomakes fun of her calling her a tomboy.
29. Yuu Kashima from Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
The “Prince” of the school is a tomboy girl at heart and a super popular character among the girls. There’s no arguing that she loves the attention, that’s why she studies acting, and she is pretty good at it. However, Yuu doesn’t like to work too hard.
It’s interesting to see her off-tomboy when she plays the prince in the club’s drama club in a very cliched fairytales version.
Yuu is a symbol of everything that is positive about masculinity.
28. Yuzuki SEO from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Yuzuki gets embarrassed when she has to deal with romantic feelings, it might be a shock to anyone who knows her as a tomboy girl.
Yuzuki has a beautiful singing voice, however, she has no filters. She is a self-absorbed girl with a habit of insults. It’s pretty to a point that Yuzuki needs to be contained so her singing club will be able to interact with other schools during competitions.
Also known as the “Oblivious Death God of the Basketball Court” the basketball team fears her.
27. Chizuru “Chizu/Chi” Yoshida from Kimi ni Todoke
Chizuru is a tall girl who dresses like a tomboy, her hobbies include beating the boys in school, she can beat most men in arm-wrestling. She set the school record for beating 99 of them.
Chi feels very comfortable with her muscles, but she’s not an academic ace, to say the least. She has a bouncy attitude especially when it comes to sports.
Her tomboy persona is just a mask that she hides behind when boys think of her as their “sister”, and she knows how hurtful it can feel, especially when she has a long years crush on her childhood friend Ryu.
26. Mikoto Misaka from Toaru Majutsu no Index
Mikoto is a powerful character, she has one of the most badass abilities of any character in anime, the girl can smack and clap. However, she uses her power to do good.
She faces a problem head-on and is not afraid to step into danger. She has confidence, and when everyone expects her to act like a “proper” girl, Mikoto prefers to be the tomboy she is. She wears shorts under her skirt, she would prefer to get rid of the skirt altogether.
25. Momoe Sawaki from Wonder Egg Priority
Momoe has an inner complex about her identity. When other girls tend to view her as a tomboy rather than just a girl, she breaks out crying. But she doesn’t correct them, maybe it’s because Momoe is just a kind, nice girl who doesn’t want to overshine others.
Despite her insecurities, she’s very selfless and brave. Her tomboy charm is a fangirl magnet, so she plays the part well. She attends an all-girl school and deliberately tells them she’s male, and they all end up falling in love with her.
See relevant: 26 Anime Characters Wearing Hoodies That Evoke Mystery
24. Tomo Aizawa from Tomo-chan Is a Girl!
Everyone thinks Tomo should play the boy’s part because her body may be a girl, but she’s a total tomboy.
Tomo is comfortable being a tomboy, but she is also a girl in love with Jun who doesn’t seem to be very into her.
Tomo is a powerful girl, and the only guy who can’t beat her is Jun. She has been Jun’s neighbor since childhood, but Jun didn’t realize that she was a girl until they were about 13 years old. He just sees her as his friend.
This makes Tomo’s confidence drop and she has to figure out a way to get his attention. Her best solution? She needs to act less boyish and more girly.
23. Shima Nishina from Watashi ga Motete Dousunda
Nishina is a rich girl, she lives in a mention with rooms dedicated to her otaku hobbies. She has an obsession to comics, figurine collection; and she has her own cosplaying.
She is very educated and smart, Mrs. popular with a massive fan club, mainly girls. When the girls meet her for the first time they see her as a threat, but when they realize she’s a tomboy, they are relieved. She often finds herself doing the boy’s role, anything that requires muscles, Nishina is there.
22. Touka Kirishima from Tokyo Ghoul
Touka is a tomboy-ish leading character with a temper, and affection for rabbits.
She is a ghoul fascinated by humans and wants to live like a normal girl among them as much as possible. She attends their schools and makes human friends. However, she can be very brutal and has no problem killing if it is necessary.
When she deals with customers at the café, she will quickly get into an insult rage, a typical tomboy girl behavior in anime.
21. Kei from Akira
Kei is a rebellion that is completely dedicated to the cause. She is a masculine girl with all the tomboy features, the short hair, the cynical attitude, brave enough to take on the government, but really hates cockroaches.
She is the type tomboyish character that is not gendered conventional. I think that is why I love Akira so much. All the women are intelligent, brave, and active – and not sexualized at all.
If there’s a guy making unwanted moves, Kei would retaliate. Too bad the anime didn’t live up to her cool manga persona.
20. Haruko Haruhara from FLCL
Haruko is a spontaneous tomboy from outer space who made it her personal mission, she has traveled to Earth several times to hunt down a powerful space pirate king. She is an extraterrestrial investigator for the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood.
Haruko is quite witty, changing her personality and interests immediately to fit her missions. She’s also one of the series’ primary antagonists and is responsible for most of the events in FLCL.
Her guitar is able to shoot bullets, act as a rocket launcher, and fly, and is used several times to open an N.O. channel in Naota’s forehead.
19. Hiyori Sarugaki from Bleach
Prone to rage attacks, grouchy and tomboy, Hiyori fights and insults. Her anger management problem traces back to her time as a lieutenant in the 12th Division under Captains Kirio Hikifune and Kisuke Urahara.
She wants to tear people apart with her sword, she wants to fight, and she hates containing herself. After all, that was who she is.
Hiyori is bossy to everyone, and whenever someone mocks her and gets her into her short-tempered attack, she will pull her sandal and slap them in the face.
18. Noa Izumi from Patlabor
Noa is an eager, tomboy police officer from division 2 that never loses her cool. She is obsessed with giant robots, and she spent most of her childhood watching Mecha Anime.
It was her life’s dream to join own her own robot, she gets a chance to fulfill it when she joined the force so she could pilot a Patlabor to fight crime/terrorism. Too bad, but Noa is a half-competent pilot with a tendency towards massive property damage.
She has a soft spot for arcade games, and she displayed her fighting skills on a broken mech when she tore a leg off four-legged labor, beating it into submission.
17. Kino from Kino’s Journey
Kino is a reserved girl who finds solace in the prospect of journeying through the lands. She is always composed and maintains a stoic-like attitude.
In each land she visits, she finds something interesting, something worth learning about, and just like that, she increases her knowledge. However, she often lets things be instead of stepping in and helping to resolve the situation.
Her core philosophy basically comes down to, “The World is not beautiful… therefore, it is.”
Still though, when she genuinely wants to help, she can be very kind.
16. Yuuko from Nichijou
Here we have a tomboy girl who can’t get enough of making fun of other people. Suffice to say, she also often crosses the line and faces severe repercussions.
Just kidding! This is a comedy anime, after all. Or is it?
She’s clumsy and has a simple approach to life, but since she always has to keep coming up with sometimes tasteless and sometimes creative jokes, it’s tough being her.
However, even if life can sometimes be unfair to her, she is always a big ball of energy and never stops the grind of coming up with new jokes!
Other than that, she’s the type of tomboy girl who lazes around when it comes to studying, but she can catch you off-guard by greeting you in a foreign language.
For the sake of jokes, of course…
15. Seishirou Tsugumi from Nisekoi
Seishirou is a hitwoman that first appeared as a male transfer student. Her assassin code name is “Black Tiger,” and she is Chitoge’s childhood friend. Seishirou tries to keep a decade-long promise of becoming Chitoge’s protector.
Her character is portrayed as a tomboy, frequently confused with a boy due to her androgynous looks. She has no problem being misunderstood as a boy, quite the opposite.
Nisekoi is an anime that exemplifies how masculinity and femininity are defined through the character’s usage of gendered expressions. The audience is able to identify Seishiro Tsugumi as a tomboy character, because her profession is based on violence, and displays dominant male characteristics.
Tsugumi is shown to use more masculine expressions when she is acting aggressive or is in a full-on battle mode. The tomboyism association cannot be more clear as her use of assertive language.
14. Misty from Pokemon
Redheaded tomboys are the rarest treasure among all women!
Misty was my gateway to tomboyism, her personality and actions are far more interesting than how she dresses.
She is an energetic girl with a competitive nature, which goes toe to toe with any male protagonist. Still, Misty is a sucker for shopping and fashion.
Pokemon balances Misty’s male personality with feminine behaviors and hobbies, suggesting that girls don’t have to choose between being tomboys or “girly girls.”
Misty has multiple variations of the same character with different Pokemon. In the game version, Misty is a gym leader known as the “Tomboyish Mermaid.”
13. Kallen Kozuki (Stadtfeld) from Code Geass
Kallen is a determined mecha pilot and martial artist, she’s the best pilot of the member. She keeps her folding knife to defend herself with her at all times, even when bathing,
Kallen is rather sensitive, especially when it comes to her heritage. Her past shaped the reason she fights, she has the guts to pull through any situation. Though she is of noble blood, she is a full-time resistance fighter.
Though her aggressive yet straightforward attitude definitely paints her as a tomboy girl!
12. Bulma from Dragon Ball
Quite interestingly, Bulma is the kind of girl who can be tomboyish and girly simultaneously.
In the earlier days of dragon ball, she was a tomboy girl through and through but was also quite adamant in pursuing romantic relationships like the young maiden she was.
Though her attitude has matured, she still uses her beauty as a weapon to excuse her selfish behavior even after becoming a mother, but it’s not like her beauty has dwindled, right guys?
When it comes to her preferences, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, and that’s Bulma’s everlasting love for bubble baths.
See relevant: 26 Buff Anime Girl Characters That Smash Stereotypes
11. Sora Takenouchi from Digimon
In Digimon Adventure Sora has a deep personality, she is assertive and caring, and could be considered the team’s mom, showing leadership qualities. She grow up liking things that were considered only for boys and was in constant conflict with an overprotecting mother who didn’t like her full-on display of tomboy girl characteristics.
But Sora grows and matures she buries the hatchet with her mom. She recognized what it means to care for someone, just as her mother cared for her.
10. Hajime Shinoda from New Game
“Tomboy Alert” was my first impression when I saw Hajime in her hoodie riding her bicycle to work. She is athletic, and constantly waves sword-like items that she keeps around her.
She doesn’t take herself seriously, and can often be quite a loud character.
Hajime is a massive Otaku designer who can’t get enough of her personal collection of superheroes. She is always brimming with toys, plastic models, and figures. This does lead to an empty wallet though, but hey, at least she’s having fun!
9. Ukyo Kuonji from Ranma ½
Ukyo blends male and female characteristics, known in the anime community as a trap. Her own father betrayed her trust, and she proceeded to develop as a masculine tomboy character to train as a martial artist and get revenge.
Ukyo loves to challenge anyone who underestimates her abilities, she takes particular pleasure in witnessing her opponent’s astonishment when she finishes kicking their ass to the ground. When she appeared on her first day at school she is dressed like a boy, she looks forward to the challenge. She usually wears the boys’ uniform, except when it’s gym time!
Ukyo seems straightforward at first, but once you get to know her; she has quite a handful of personalities. Especially when it comes to romance, her actions can often be somewhat complicated!
8. Winry Rockbell from Full Metal Alchemist
Not a lot of girls (Or boys) would be excited from bolts and nuts, but Winry does. She is a tech nerd who gets excited about technology and innovations. Winry is a total gearhead and knows how to create prosthetic body parts, she combined mechanic and medic knowledge which makes her a great automil expert.
Although she’s a tough mechanic and a tomboy, she sympathizes with other people, constantly worrying about them. Winry doesn’t go out of her way to be tomboyish, she is just tough and cool.
7. Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill
Ryuko Matoi is just about the epitome of tombing badassery that you can expect. While the plot may require her to blatantly reveal her skin just so she can power up, her strong-willed personality overshadows her feelings of embarrassment.
She is fearless, straightforward, stubborn, and ferocious. Her willpower never let her yield to any kind of authority or opponent, no matter how much the odds are stacked against her. Her spirit is practically unbreakable!
But even Ryuko has a cute side to her which she occasionally lets out!
6. Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats
You don’t have to try really hard to see Rally’s tomboyishness. Her knowledge about guns and rifles is unmatched.
She is a bounty hunter who shines during a hunt mission, she loves to get to that moment when she spins her CZ 75 9mm pistol to scare the bad guy. If her victims are smart, they better surrender, because Rally is a sniper, she can hit anyone from any distance.
Even her love of cars and her car of choice, the blue Ford Shelby Mustang Cobra GT-500, displays her masculine side. Overall, Rally’s fondness for cars and guns and her boyish appearance make her a total tomboy girl.
5. Revy From Black Lagoon
Revy is not your typical tomboy character. She has an absolute mess of a personality and a wide range of complicated emotions, but more than that, she practically personifies the term, “Badass!”
And I mean it is not just a positive, but also in a negative way.
As a cold-hearted mercenary, killing comes to her as naturally as breathing. She’d even kill innocent civilians if they are in the way. This apathetic nature is because of her nihilist beliefs. She has a very dark perspective when it comes to morality, and can often be quite sadistic.
Though that doesn’t mean she’s always just doom and gloom. No. She is also capable of light communication and sarcastic humor. That’s right folks, Revy is a handful!
4. Masumi Sera from Detective Conan
Masumi is a character with commendable charisma. She can single-handedly beat up big-time gangsters.
In her early days, Masumi used to wear boys’ Uniforms which often led to misunderstandings concerning her gender. Especially because she has short hair to go along with her tomboyish uniform. This does change though when she transfers schools and eventually starts wearing the girls’ uniforms, however.
One day, the genes will play their hand and she’ll be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with her mother when it comes to her chest size.
3. Amanda O’Neill from Little Witch Academia
Amanda is one of the best broom rider witches who charms people in extraordinary ways, but definitely not in a girly way. She is a fiery redhead who seeks fun in everything she does, a tomboy rebel with a cause, and has a criminal record.
She’s an incredibly rebellious tomboy girl, not afraid of any kind of authority in her school. She gets along well with the most problematic witches in her class. She’s good fried, always very protective of her friends, and will jump at the first chance to help them, no questions asked.
Amanda is an Irish/American descendant, the first girl to jump into any fight.
2. Casca from Berserk
Casca is the only female I’ve seen in anime that somehow manages to avoid the super “girly”/tsundere tomboy binary. She fully and beautifully embraces the feminine and “masculine” aspects of womanhood.
Casca is the number three ranking member of the Band of the Falcon, a mercenary group of warriors. She is surrounded by nothing but males all the time and constantly has to prove that she is capable enough. She has no choice but to pass as a tomboy who can fight for her survival.
As a little girl, she was sold to a noble man, before he fate was sealed she was saved by her savior who showed her the way to defend herself.
Casca used her stubborn character to get moving up the ranks. When Casca took the reigns of leader in Griffith’s absence, she proved to be a worthy swordswoman and got the respect of her men.
1. Haruka Tenoh, Sailor Uranus from Sailor moon
When Haruka takes some time off from her day job-fighting evil, she enjoys driving the 2000GT racecar to the edge, a track racer, and generally the most tomboyish and androgynous-looking of the Sailor Guardian.
Haruka loves to get physical and she loves a good fight just as much as using her guardian magic powers. She can handle a space sword very well.
She gradually lost her sense of idealism and became very pragmatic. She has the ability to kill innocent people, she will do whatever it takes to defend the solar system.