So maybe I haven’t left my house in over a month…Maybe it’s doing things to my brain and I’m latching onto any random little thing for intellectual entertainment. That could be the case. I’m just human after all. But it’s totally not the case for this post! This one is solid! And based on like the three show’s I’ve seen…

I think that in anime the girl with the long hair always gets the guy…

Anime long hair
I couldn’t find a character with really long hair….

Admittedly I don’t watch many romance animes and love triangles tend to be one of my least favourite tropes so I haven’t seen that many shows where the male lead has multiple love interests and actually ends up with someone. Or at least shows an undeniable interest in one of the characters.

Off the top of my head, the ones I can think of are Toradora, Steins;Gate, Re:Zero, Yamada-kun and the seven witches, To Love Ru and In/Spectre. O.k. so In/Spectre is a bit of a stretch for this but both Saki and Kotoko do show a romantic interest in Kuro and he dated Saki until she cut her hair even shorter than Kotoko and now bam, he’s with the blonde even though he acts like she’s nothing but a pain in his rear end!

It’s difficult to blame Okabe for being smitten by Kurisu. I get it, most people would get it. But poor short haired Mayuri didn’t even stand a chance! Kurisu’s hair goes down past her…. cough…hips. Maybe if Faris took out her pigtails she could be of some competition but I’m not sure.

I’m not sure how many people have seen Yamada-kun. For what it’s worth I thought it was an entertaining enough harem show. Now Yamada has possibly the most extensive harem with his pick of a whole array of girls yet he only has eyes for Urara and she happens to have beautiful long blonde hair. There are other girls with long hair in the show mind you but the only ones with even remotely as important a role, and therefore that could be potential rivals, all have considerably shorter hair than her.

Yamadu kun
there’s a lot of gender swapping too….

You could argue that To Love Ru doesn’t actually have a canon couples resolution but c’mon, we all know Lala steals the show. To Love Ru and Toradora are actually the shows that really made me realize that something fishy was going on here. Because in both of these shows, the protagonist already had a love interest. In fact, in both cases, he was deeply smitten by a classmate he had known for some time (as such the relationship was built on more than passing fancy, and was trying hard to pursue a romance with that character. And in both cases, the young lady in question seemed potentially opened to those advances. The young short haired lady…. And then BAM, another girl with a fiery personality and a habit of putting our protagonist in physical pain swoops in and steals his heart. Another girl with very long hair!

I haven’t seen either but both leading ladies in Your Lie in April and Sword Art online have romantic character arcs and very long hair so I’m just going to go right ahead and assume they also prove my point.

Now you could just say it’s a romance trope. Romance heroines have had long flowing hair since the dawn of the genre. It’s sort of prerequisite. Anime is just following along with a formula. And it’s also what fans want out of their leading romantic ladies. That’s how clichés happen, it’s cause the public responds to them!

Well ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you my last piece of evidence: Rem! Rem is a fan favourite. I mean Beatrice is queen and we should all bow to her, but there’s no denying that powerful yet fragile Rem captured the audiences imagination. Countless fan artists have devoted hours to trying to do her justice. I don’t know if it’s the fact that she has a twin sister or the ultra sexy maid outfits she wears… we may never know the secret of her popularity but at the very least, all the polls I found put her squarely ahead of Emilia.

To add to that, Rem actually has feeling for Subaru. She might be the only character in all of these shows to have actually confessed and she did so after getting to know the young man and after saving him a number of times. Honestly there is no reason for Subaru not to choose to be with Rem. There is ample reason for him to agree. except of course, Emilia has much longer hair!


It’s not the will of the public and it’s not for the sake of narrative integrity. In many cases it doesn’t make any sort of obvious logical sense for the protagonists to turn down one girl in favour of another. These are all different shows with different genres, themes and intended audience and yet they all have one thing in common! The hair!!! And if it’s not just a question of we have ingrained troglodyte instincts that make us see long hair  as romantically desirable in women (because again Rem is beloved and if that fan art is anything to go by, a lot of people see her very…cough…romantically, indeed), then there’s really only one answer. Illuminati!

OK, maybe not the actual Illuminati, those don’t exist (please don’t come for me). But clearly there is an underground shadow organization controlling the anime industry to have long haired ladies get the guy. I’m not entirely sure if we want the guy though. In a lot of those cases the guys are sort of not as impressive as the girls. I’m not sure if the point is to make ladies want to have long hair. I think it may be to make people want to be and/or be with ladies with long hair. And who would profit from that?

wikihow is terrifying

You guessed it, the wig industry!

The big shot Wig Lobby has gotten their hooks into our beloved anime industry and are trying to brainwash us all. There is no such thing as a short wig… And it’s working! I’m looking up wigs on another tab right now! We can’t let this happen. We do people have to fight back against this injustice!By continuing to create really amazing fan art of short haired anime ladies, and possibly sending it to me. Because that’s we win. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I think I’ve made my point. If I disappear in the coming days, you know who did it. Do not trust your local wig salesman. Keep fighting the good fight, together we’ll get them!

Rini 2020 (9)


36 thoughts

  1. That was a fun post! Come to think of it, it’s true that in most titles I can think of off the top the heroine who gets together with the lead is a girl with long hair. Short hair lost out in both Bleach and Naruto. (Ironically enough the character in Naruto had short hair at first and was losing the battle so she took advantage of the 3 year timeskip to grow her hair out and win her man) I tend to think of it as the main trope for girls. If you’re reading a Shounen Jump series in particular the main guy’s always going to have spiky hair and the girl will always have long hair. I’m using always pretty loosely there but that seems to be the main dynamic.

  2. Hmm… thinking about my favourites…

    Short tresses wins:

    Naruto: Hinata Also, Sakura didnt’ have a chance with Sasuke until she chopped her hair off

    Ghost in the Shell: She can get anyone really

    Princess Tutu: Ahiru and Fakir (she is a duck, so her hair is much shorter than Rue’s)

    Claymore: Hmm, I am hoping Clare and her underaged servant don’t hook up, but same thing goes with her as Mokoto (from Ghost in the Shell)

    I have no idea how it turns out for Attack on Titan yet, since I haven’t seen anything past season 2. ArrgghhhH!
    But Annie and Mikasa both are short-haired girls that seem unrivaled.

    Long tresses wins:

    Princess Tutu: If being with Mytho is a win (Fakir is better, but for the those who were rooting for Mytho and Ahiru), Rue wins. She is a human, so honestly, it wouldn’t matter
    how short her hair was I guess, since Ahiru is…well, a duck.

    Fate Stay Night: I believe Rin’s hair is much longer than her sister’s

    Blood Zero: Uhh… no one ‘gets’ anyone, but the heroine is rocking those tresses

    Also, I haven’t seen the anime, but the main girl in Hana Yori Dango (which is a romance) has shortish hair too. 🙂
    OK, back to finals week. Hahah!

    1. well this was certainly not worth wasting your precious study time but I hope you got a mild distraction

    2. Naruto’s kind of funny if you think about. At the beginning Sakura’s hair is long, Hinata’s is short, and he likes Sakura. By the end Sakura’s cut hers, Hinata’s grown hers out, and he likes Hinata. Of course it wasn’t the cause – their hair changed years before his feelings did – but it still ends up with the long-haired girl (at the end) winning.

  3. Can you imagine Mayuri with long hair? She’d be a romantic unstoppable force of nature. The power of a husky “too-too-roo” is terrifying even to think about…

    Your example of Rem? That’s conclusive proof right there.

    BTW, I know it’s not the Illuminati because… well, I’ve said too much.

    I’ll just say this in the hope’s it’s circumspect enough: The evidence sure points to the wig industry’s big-wigs, doesn’t it? It all fits, nice and neat.

    A little _too_ nice and neat…

    Props to Dawnstorm for extensive research.

  4. Personally, I find long hair to be incredibly attractive, especially on a feminine person. I think I’ve always been into long hair, dunno where the hell it came from, lol. It’s one of the reasons I finally grew mine out. In anime, I tend to love girls with crazy long hair, and if dudes have long hair, then it’s all over hahaha. So, I’m not surprised that most long-haired ladies get the dudes.

    1. Strange though. It seems rare that the long-haired dudes get the girl.
      I feel the same way as you do- long hair on guys is a yes.

    2. I don’t think I have a preference. It’s more about what suits the character for me.

  5. Loved Yamada-kun! High school rom-com harem done right.

    It’s just another one of those anime tropes the Japanese have foisted onto us. (Like any women with less than a D-cup is inadequate.) It symbolizes uber-feminine to teenage boys

    I notice in “Sing Yesterday for Me” both women have short hair. The older woman had long hair but cut it off and now she has shorter hair. Wonder where that’s going? I seem to remember in Fate: Absolut Vodka Demonic Front, Mash has the shortest hair. And breasts that look like they were painted with silicone rubber…

    My daughter has stunning full-length hair that she dyes black. When she gets it flowing it almost looks like anime hair. It does seem to attract the boys.

  6. Interesting. Given that I have no intuition at all on the topic, I thought I might go to MAL and use the romance tag and go through the shows I watched and remember enough to know who “wins” (getting the guy isn’t always winning, in my book):

    Sorted by popularity (“most members”):

    Sword Art Online: Yes
    Kimi no Nawa: No rival I can remember; hair not particularly long
    Toradora: Yes
    SAO II: I didn’t watch it, and I include it only to say that I’m going to leave off further franchise listings, or this list will be 90 % Monogatari (I exaggerate)
    Your Lie in April: Yes (with complications, but yes)
    Elfen Lied: There was romance? Oh, sort of. Probably yes, but with even more complications.
    Clannad: No. Actually, almost everyone had longer hair than Nagisa
    Bakemonogatari: Yes
    Hataraku Mao Sama: Not conclusive, but most likely yes
    Danmachi: Hm… In a sense.
    Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai: No (though there’s no real rival)
    Pet Girl of Sakurasou: Yes (depending on how you count Ponytails…)
    Oregairu: Not finished yet, but I seriously doubt it’s anything other than yes
    Kaichowa Maid sama: How do we deal with shows that have the girl as a main character? (Main character definitely has long hair, though)
    Nisekoi: Ask the manga readers. In any case, it’s difficult, because of the hairstyles…
    Ouran Highschool Host Club: You know, I’ll leave out reverse harems. (No, but doesn’t count)
    Howl’s Moving Castle: No rival, really. Also, female main.
    Darling in the FranXX: Yes
    Fate/Stay Night: Is there a winner?

    I think I’ll stop here. The main exception so far is Clannad, so you’re onto something here. I’ll go through the list and mention only other exceptions I find:


    Kokoro Connect
    Haruhi Suzumiya
    Mayo Chiki
    Hentai Ouji (??Inconclusive during the anime, but I really can’t see another outcome)
    Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou (Can’t remember if there even was a rival)
    Kotoura san (the only potential rivals both have short hair; now that’s rare!)
    We Never Learn
    Nazo no Kanojo X
    Midori Days (Another one with the only rivals both having short hair)
    Ai Yori Aoshi

    Shows with no harem elements, but still a short-haired heroine:

    Nodame Cantabile
    Natsuyuki Rendesvouz

    And this is where I get bored. By far the most shows have the long-haired girl win. You’re right.

    Finally, I’m curious how interpret School Days. I’d say nobody wins, but in a way…

    1. > Kimi no Nawa: No rival I can remember; hair not particularly long

      You could sort-of say Okudera was a rival, but not for very long after their one date fell flat. It’s hard to categorize Mitsuha anyway, since she went from moderately long in the beginning to short in the middle to much longer at the end. It might be notable that the short-haired version of Mitsuha is the one Taki spends the least amount of time with (or as), though.

      > Fate/Stay Night: Is there a winner?

      Winners are different depending on the route and timeline, but all of the women who end up in Shirou’s bed in one continuity or another have long hair, at least when they’re not keeping it bound up like Saber usually does. Depending on the given adaptation’s character designs either Sakura’s or Saber’s is the shortest, and they still both always have it at least below the shoulders.

      > Haruhi Suzumiya

      Ah, but don’t forget that Haruhi did have very long hair when she first caught Kyon’s attention, and he openly admits that he’s a sucker for ponytails. There’s also a very brief glimpse of a future Haruhi in one of the post-anime novels who’s grown it out a bit again.

      The only other notable exception to “long hair wins” that I could think of in a series where there was legitimate competition for a guy among multiple women was Saekano, and even there Megumi actually spends a good chunk of the series growing her hair out; it was short when she first met Aki, but by late season 2 it’s almost as long as Utaha’s.

      There are a few others I can think of where a shorter-haired heroine “wins”, but like you noted those tend to be either reverse harems and MMF triangles where the main girl’s hair happens to be short (like Escaflowne and Ouran), or stories with a clear main couple and no serious female rival (like Silver Spoon, Redline, and Chunibyo), rather than traditional harems or MFF love triangles.

      1. I did write down all the exceptions I could think of (didn’t write down Saekano, because I haven’t seen the movie yet, and wasn’t sure what hair-length was at the end of season 2). That’s a very short list for hundreds of titles.

        The most notable title for me was Clannad, mostly because nearly everyone else had long hair (and they do have OVAs where long-haired girls win). The most interesting title is Ai Yori Aoshi, which is really a one-couple show (mostly like Clannad, too), but Aoi is pretty much portrayed as the perfect Yamato Nadeshiko in anything but long hair (it’s still, I think, a hime-cut, but without the long hair).

        I also think it’s interesting to find shows with only short-haired girls competing, like Kotoura-san and Midori Days.

        About Kimi no Nawa: I completely forgot about the boy’s crush, and that should have been “I can’t remember”, not “I can remember”. If I were to count percentages, I’d have been tempted to cut the film, but with the crush added in it’s a matter of definition, and I’d have to re-think. I’d definitely not count reverse harems, or serial harems like Amagami SS, where everyone gets her arc, or true harem endings, where they just all stick around.

        You certainly have a point about Haruhi Suzumiya – we’d have to find a meaningful way to deal with changing hairlength. (I mean, Irina provided us with a picture of Iwai from Crime Edge, and it’s in the nature of the show that the hair length changes again and again and again – I do not know how the manga ends, but the anime ends without a conclusion.)

        It’s a surprisingly interesting topic the more I think about it.

        1. I’m sure there are more, we just haven’t seen them! I did think of two other exceptions, albeit old ones. One on the harem end is Ranma 1/2 (though again with the qualifier that Akane’s hair also started long and got cut early in the series, but she never grew it back out). The other (with no rivals) is Trigun, which doesn’t have an explicitly romantic ending but does make it pretty clear that Vash has at least accepted that Meryl loves him and stopped trying to push her away, which is enough of a win for her in my book. Overall, Irina’s definitely on to something here, though.

          Megumi cut her hair back to its original length at the end of season 2 and kept it short for the movie – she said the long-haired version of herself was “a vindictive woman,” but of course the whole picture was more complex. I think it was about her wanting to (symbolically) start over again with Aki after their relationship went sour for a while, but that’s just my take.

          > I’d definitely not count reverse harems, or serial harems like Amagami SS, where everyone gets her arc, or true harem endings, where they just all stick around.

          Agreed. Can’t really count someone as a clear victor if everybody “wins.” Speaking of that, btw, I heard that We Never Learn’s manga had bonus chapters after the official ending where all of the other girls also got to win, so can we really count that one as an exception? Feels more like a copout to me.

          1. Yep, that’s definitely not an exhaustive list. It’s only shows MAL tags as romance, and I’ve only gone in around 5 pages (~500 shows including duplicates or specials, so there are a lot of duplicates).

            I would count We Never Learn, if they’re really just bonus chapters, with a clear canon ending (sort of like Clannad, where the anime has bonus episodes about the Tomoyo and Kyou routs). If we’re strictly talking the anime, they only animated one end so far (I think; not sure if a special exists). I also wouldn’t really call bonus chapters a cop-out so much as having fun with what-if.

    2. School Days : Nobody Wins – That should be the tagline of the game. I feel like it would go over well!

      1. Row, row, row your boat
        Gently down the stream
        Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
        Life is but a dream

    1. yeah. People use to use my comments to just advertise other sites without letting me know and I had some trouble with it

  7. I am reminded of a post I haven’t thought about in a year but still loved writing

    This post is the opposite of yours, in that the short hair girls always lose 🙁

    Which is a damn shame because I’m into short hair, lol

  8. You know, you might be into something. There’s actually a Re:Zero light novel that shows what would have happened if Subaru got hitched with Rem – and she has long hair in it! (Unfortunately everyone else is dead and the Witch Cult has taken over Lugunica. You win some, you lose some.)

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