Tall, Dark and Bishoujo
"If you're out on a moonlit night
Be careful of them neighbourhood strays
Of a lady with long black hair
Tryin' to win you with her feminine ways"
—Cliff Richard, "Devil Woman"
She's tall, pretty, aloof, and composed. As a result, she generally attracts quite a following wherever she goes. She usually has waist-length dark hair. If she's unusually pale, she might also have Raven Hair, Ivory Skin. Usually, but not always, a Statuesque Stunner.
While it might not be fair to say that trouble follows her everywhere, it's accurate for most cases of the type. This sometimes causes an undeserved reputation as a delinquent (a notable example is Madoka Ayukawa from the manga and anime series Kimagure Orange Road).
The term was coined to describe Azuma Hazuki of Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, playing on the old description of a man as "Tall, Dark and Handsome". However, this is not a purely physical characterization; the aloofness is a key aspect of the trope.
No real life examples, please; we'd be here all day.
Anime and Manga
- Ghost in the Shell: Motoko Kusanagi.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Olivier Mira Armstrong, who is blonde but has all the other aspects.
- Lust, who is tall, aloof, and has the characteristic long, black hair as well.
- Akira in Aria (pictured).
- Early example: Reika from Aim for The Ace is the aloof, gorgeous and talented star player of the tennis theme that is the Onee-Sama for the newbies, and Even the Girls Want Her.
- Azuma Hazuki in Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, for whom the term was created, with Yuri Fans checking to see if anyone else fits the pattern.
- Ayla from Battle Athletes.
- Tenjou Utena in Revolutionary Girl Utena, one of the early incarnations of this character type—except for her hair, which is pink in the anime and strawberry-blonde in the manga.
- Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh is a subversion - her apparent aloofness is really because she's a Shrinking Violet, in spite of her physical appearance.
- Himemiya Chikane in Kannazuki no Miko, complete with blonde and Moe Shrinking Violet girlfriend (Himeko).
- Mima in Perfect Blue, despite having short dark hair.
- Shion, Mion, Rena, and Miyo in Higurashi.
- Sans the stereotypical brunette hair.
- Majority of the female cast of Code Geass in terms of appearance, but proper examples are C.C., Cornelia, and Marianne.
- Nico Robin and Boa Hancock in One Piece.
- Princess Erika in Daimos.
- Lucy in Elfen Lied, despite having red hair, especially evident in contrast to Nyu, who is neither aloof nor particularly tall. If you pay attention, you'll notice that Nyu is actually about a head shorter than Lucy. They are the same person.
- Suzuka in Outlaw Star.
- Momo in Peach Girl.
- Bleach, for all its fanservice, has very few examples of females that genuinely fit this trope. Nemu Kurotsuchi is a willowy beauty with long dark hair, has an aloof personality, and is always calm, polite, and reserved. You still wouldn't want her as an enemy, though.
- The three Flame Hazes in Shakugan no Shana, although, like Rukia, Shana is short, while Margery, Wilhelmina, and Pheles are respectively blond, rose haired, and green-haired.
- Natsuki Kuga and her Hot Mom Saeko in My-HiME. It Runs in The Family, obviously.
- Zakuro in Tokyo Mew Mew.
- Aoyama Motoko in Love Hina.
- And her sister Tsuruko.
- Lieutenant Kanuka Clancy from Patlabor. Possibly a part of her rivalry with Bifauxnen Lt. Kumagami.
- Madoka Ayukawa in Kimagure Orange Road—since KOR is over 20 years old, she is one of the originals.
- Same goes to her cousin-in-law, Yukari.
- Sai in Angelic Layer.
- Tomoyo in Clannad, who immediately gained fangirls upon transferring and received gifts from them. Also, compare how tall she is to the other girls by looking at how tall her life-size teddy bear outfit is.
- Shizuma from Strawberry Panic. She has white hair, but otherwise fits this trope just fine.
- Maki Izumi from Martian Successor Nadesico is something of a subversion of this. Physically speaking, she's quite attractive; however, she's always cracking bad puns, has a habit for playing the ukulele (terribly), and nobody seems sexually interested in her while she never shows any sexual interest in anyone else. At least, not until the episode where everyone's repressed personalities come to the forefront and her sexual side tries to convince both Akito and Akatsuki to have sex with her. Of course, this is also the episode where it's explained that she's repressed her sexual side because both of her fiancees died young and she's convinced if she opens up to anyone, they'll inevitably die as well and she'll just be alone and heartbroken again.
- Jun Fudo in Devilman Lady.
- Asagi from Yotsuba&!, only the waist-length hair is brown and she's more troublemaker than troubled.
- Setsuna Meioh (AKA Sailor Pluto) and Rei Hino (Sailor Mars) from Sailor Moon, both having various friendship issues, but especially the former, mostly isolated due to being the Guardian of Time.
- The manga version of Rei plays this trope terribly straight, looking much older than her actual age in the process.
- Kikyo and Kagura from Inuyasha.
- A full-on villainous example is Tsubaki, the Dark Priestess.
- Reki from Haibane Renmei.
- Akira Ookuchi and Mana Tatsumiya from Mahou Sensei Negima.
- Cynthia from Pokémon, despite being blond.
- Don't forget about Gym Leaders Sabrina and Clair, as well as Pike Queen Lucy.
- Kotonoha Katsura in School Days looks the part but is a subversion, as she mixes it with Shrinking Violet and, later, Yandere.
- Ogasawara Sachiko in Mariasama ga Miteru.
- Ceres in Ayashi no Ceres.
- Paraietta, Dominura, and Onasia from Simoun apply for this trope, despite their different hair styles (shoulder-length wavy-hair, Princess Curls, and a bun, respectively).
- Amatsuka Megumi in Tenshi na Konamaiki. (She has the wrong hair color, however.)
- Kazetsubaki Kuriko in Maburaho.
- Caren in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch and, later, the other members of the secondary trio.
- Rina was one before any of the mentioned above entered the cast.
- Karen and Komachi in Yes! Precure 5. Karen best fits the personality part, though.
- Konoe Tsurugi in Hanaukyo Maid Tai.
- Simone from Shiroi Heya no Futari, the first Shoujo Girls Love manga ever from way back in the '70s. Yes, this trope has existed ever since the beginning of the genre.
- Maya from Maya's Funeral Procession, another Girls Love manga from the '70s.
- Kan'u Unchou in Ikki Tousen. To be expected, since she's supposed to be a voluptuous schoolgirl version of the resident Genius Bruiser and Gentle Giant of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu.
- Ran, titular character of Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran, is a textbook example of this trope, particularly in that she attracts trouble like a magnet (or is attracted to it?) and has a Moe Chinese Girl following her around most of the time. However, she dresses and acts in a masculine way, despite looking quite feminine; if she were ever taken for a boy (oddly, no one makes this mistake), she would be bounced right over into Bifauxnen territory.
- People are often in the dark about her gender until she starts talking, though.
- Hinamori Amu from Shugo Chara wears a public persona that makes her appear as an example of this trope to her schoolmates—in reality, she's plagued by self-image issues and hates acting this way.
- Kanae Kotonami from Skip Beat! fits this trope—at least the physical description, anyway. Her true personality is a bit more fiery.
- Isayama Yomi from Ga-Rei -Zero-. To certain extent, the main character, Tsuchiyama Kagura, also count.
- The chief of the Environment Ministry special division and her secretary, as well.
- And Natsuki Kasuga from the unfortunate Defense Ministry squad.
- Come to think of it, is there any woman not fitting this trope in Ga-Rei -Zero- ?
- There was that one cute brunette in the first episode that got her brain sucked out by a metroid and shot herself.
- Tatsuki from Hyakko, although it's her blond friend Torako who gets the fangirls.
- Anego from Dai Mahou Touge is the full-blown delinquent variety, even though she is nothing compared to the protagonist.
- Ami Kawashima and Sumire Kanou from Toradora!
- Takane from Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo.
- Suigintou from Rozen Maiden...as far as miniature dolls go anyway.
- Despite having WHITE hair.
- This is a major plot point for Yukari Hayasaka from Paradise Kiss, as she uses her appearance to break into professional modeling.
- Mio from K-On!, complete with an all-girl fanclub, despite being painfully shy.
- Futaba from Amanchu is rather withdrawn, but as things look now, she may score cute Hikari as her girlfriend.
- Katori-sensei perhaps qualifies even more, since she has the personality to match.
- Sae from Hidamari Sketch, despite having short hair and being a Pettanko.
- The Gundam series has a number of these too:
- Haman Karn from Zeta Gundam and its sequel.
- Micott Bartsch from Gundam Unicorn.
- Rain Mikamura and Nastasha Zabikov from G Gundam.
- Relena Peacecraft (despite being a blonde), Lucrezia Noin, and Lady/Saint Une from Gundam Wing.
- Murrue Ramius, Natarle Badgiruel, and Aisha from Gundam Seed.
- Meer Campbell from Gundam Seed Destiny. Her hair was really black before undergoing plastic surgery.
- Marina Ismail, Sumeragi Lee Noriega, Kati Mannequin, Shirin Bakhtiar, and Kinue Crossroad from Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Tieria Erde looked and acted like one in his Wholesome Crossdresser episode. Cue Squeeing.
- Sumika from Sasameki Koto.
- Mana Kuzunoha and the Natsume sisters, Maya and Aya, in Tenjou Tenge.
- Nana Osaki from Nana, though of the short-haired variation.
- Arashi Kishu from X and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
- Mitsuko Souma and Takako Chigusa from Battle Royale. The former kills the latter.
- Signum from the Lyrical Nanoha series also suits, even if she has pink hair, being one of the tallest girls in the third season.
- Haruhi Suzumiya is a subversion. The reason for her aloofness is her lack of interest in "ordinary" people. She cuts her Rapunzel Hair, deliberately looks for things out of this world and toys with the resident Moe girl via Black Comedy Rape.
- Rio from So Ra No Wo To.
- Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail is a red-haired variant.
- Urtear as well.
- Yuuko from xxxHolic.
- Maria Kawai from Devil and Her Love Song.
- Paife from The Third the Girl With The Blue Eye
- Shizuku Sango from Kämpfer.
- Saeko Busujima from High School of the Dead.
- Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower, despite being a Nightmare Fetishist.
- Isuzu 'Rin' Sohma from Fruits Basket fits this trope to a T. She's tall, has waist length black hair, and severe trust issues courtesy of her emotionally Abusive Parents. Bonus points for being an Ill Girl and a serious Ms. Fanservice. Word of God states that she's the character in charge of sexiness.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- One of the possible sketches for Portugal includes a Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Lady of War.
- Female!Austria is a ladylike Woman in White.
- Vietnam is definitely one, in contrast to the more Moe Taiwan, who is the Girly Girl to her Tomboy.
- Hourai Touko from Aphorism. Tall, beautiful, and Hinata's Aloof Big Sister.
- Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. And her circumstance is not unlike that of Chikane, to boot.
- Yuuko from A Channel, though she is a bit of an Expy of Mio.
- Houki and Chifuyu from Infinite Stratos.
- Seraphim and Saraswati from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?.
- Akaba Chizuru from Student Council's Discretion.
- Kagari Ayaka from Witch Craft Works.
- Dorothy from Akazukin Chacha, particularly in the manga where she has black hair—though in either case, Seravy's behavior usually robs her of what composure she has. She's still the tallest female member of the cast.
- Hatori from Life, though her hair is lighter than usual.
- Satellizer, Elizabeth, and Creo from Freezing, despite their hair being a blond/white.
- Yozora from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
- "Mona Lisa" Komabayashi and "Vampanella" Hoshino, membresses of the Sorority in Oniisama e.... Fukiko are Rei are both Tall Blond And Bishoujo.
- Kaori Matsumoto from Captain Tsubasa, specially in the Road to 2002 TV series.
- This trope is used word for word to describe Homura in Neon Genesis Madoka Magica.
- In Final Stand of Death Fusion Gundam meets this trope despite armor, which adds to their height. Without this, they're normal height, with Redd (Melanie aka Sporty) still being the tallest at 5'6". Hawk (Victoria aka Posh) meets this despite being shorter than Redd, yet still mostly emotionless. However, subverted when it comes to their height, as Redd's human form still has a Tomboyish Ponytail while Hawk has a bob cut.
- Silhouette from Watchmen (she even has a cute nurse girlfriend), in spite of her bobbed hairstyle.
- To some extent, Liz Sherman. She had long hair in the first film; it was cut into a bob by the second.
- The Baroness from G.I. Joe.
- Miho (Devon Aoki) from Sin City, aside from the tall part - she's only 5'6", which is medium to tall for a woman - fits this perfectly. The comic version has shorter hair but is otherwise identical.
- Lady Sif in Thor.
- Mo Banjoree in Lemonade Mouth
- Matsu in the Female Prisoner Scorpion series
- Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- Vidia from the Disney Fairies series.
- Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter.
- Susan Pevensie from Chronicles of Narnia.
- Polgara the Sorceress from The Belgariad, oh so very much.
- Blanche Ingram from Jane Eyre has the looks, but her personality is more Rich Bitch than "alluringly aloof".
- Eugenie Danglars from The Count of Monte Cristo.
- Mirtai from The Elenium nails ALL the traits of the trope, but still doesn't quite qualify. Why? Her other traits...
- Susan Sto Helit and Adora Belle Dearheart from Discworld.
- China Sorrows from Skulduggery Pleasant is very much this trope: she's tall, beautiful, dark-haired, aloof, and can make men and women fall head-over-heels in love with her.
- Romana I from Doctor Who.
- Prue Halliwell from Charmed, although Shannen Doherty is only 5'3".
- Dr. Lisa Cuddy from House MD, for certain values of tall, as she's 5'4".
- The titular heroine of the Korean drama Queen Seondeok. Big Bad Lady Mishil counts as well.
- Princess Cheonmyeong, the heroine's twin sister, count as well.
- A fair number of Super Sentai girls are these, notably, Sakura Nishihori/Bouken Pink, Mele, and, of course, Marika "Jasmine" Reimon/Deka Yellow.
- Yuri and Megumi Aso of Kamen Rider Kiva count as well.
- Tina from Glee, although (like Sakaki) the apparent aloofness is due to her shyness.
- Shelby Concoran fits the trope to a T. Santana also has a cute girlfriend at hand, though she subverts the tall part.
- Kahlan Amnell from Legend of the Seeker.
- Zoe from Firefly, with Wash helpfully playing the part of her Moe love interest.
- Ice Queen Miss Parker from The Pretender. And tall she is. With her beloved high heels, she's almost as tall as her co-star Michael T. Weiss (who is 6 ft 3in/191 cm).
- Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey.
Mythology, Folklores, Legends, etc.
- In the Heike Monogatari, an account of the Genpei War, Tomoe Gozen, a female samurai of the Minamoto clan, is described as "especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features". She was also recorded as being "a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot." She was one of the last warriors standing at the Battle of Awazu, even outliving her master who was struck down by an arrow during the fight.
(An excerpt from the Encyclopedia in Shogun 2: Total War)
- Due to the setting, everyone in Jade Empire has black hair, but personality-wise, the closest to this trope is probably Silk Fox.
- Morrigan in Dragon Age.
- Hatsune in Atlach=Nacha.
- Maria Kain from Pathologic.
- Saki Tsuzura of Arcana Heart. The fact that she looks like Chikane may just be a coincidence, really.
- Shanoa from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, some of the women she rescues flirt with her, even.
- Also, Tear Grants from Tales of the Abyss
- Legretta as well.
- Uzuki from Akai Ito.
- Julia Chang and Zafina from Tekken. Nina Williams from the same game is a blond example.
- Final Fantasy:
- Tifa Lockheart and Aerith Gainesborough from Final Fantasy VII with a twist. Tifa has the looks, but not the aloof demeanour. Aerith has the attitude but gentler looks.
- Quistis Trepe from Final Fantasy VIII is another blond example.
- Lulu from Final Fantasy X, although people generally leave her alone because of her sardonic nature. NPC Dona is pretty much the same, with an emphasis on "dark".
- Fran (despite being white haired) and Ashe (despite being blond) from Final Fantasy XII
- Oerba Yun Fang from Final Fantasy XIII fits this trope to a T. Even funnier is Fang's best friend, Vanille, who is
considered by many fans to bevery obviously her Moe girlfriend. Also, Lightning from the same game, except she has strawberry blonde hair.
- Brigadier General Selvaria from Valkyria Chronicles is a tall, dark Person of Mass Destruction.
- Lana Skye from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
- Lara Croft.
- Lita Halford from Brutal Legend.
- Ayra from Fire Emblem Jugdral, and how.
- Miranda Lawson from Mass Effect 2
- Miku in A Profile. She appears to be fairly popular with guys because of it, but is largely uninterested in them since she already loves someone else.
- Kaya from Aoi Shiro, as well as a milder version in Ayashiro.
- Tsugumi Komachi in Ever 17.
- Misaki in Canvas 2.
- Sena from Chaos;Head.
- Rider in Fate Stay Night embraces this trope. And her true Master was actually Sakura, a Yamato Nadeshiko girl.
- As does Rin Tohsaka, who, despite being a bit on the shorter side, more than makes up for it with the rest of her reputation, personality, and appearance.
- Orihime in Kara no Shoujo who is tall, elegant, aloof, and refined. She's also highly repressed and ends up starting a prostitution ring involving herself and girls that she knows who feel the same way.
- Natsuhi from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Would probably be an adult counterpart to The Ojou if she didn't have a tendency to get upset and yell at people so easily.
- Mai in Kanon is the "undeserved delinquent reputation" variant.
- Shion in Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru.
- As mentioned above, Kotonoha Katsura and Nanami Kanroji from the original School Days VN.
- Raven from Teen Titans, despite having short hair. In two episodes, she grew waist length hair.
- Ember from Danny Phantom, though she really IS a delinquent.
- Mai, Princess Ursa, and Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Asami Sato from The Legend of Korra
- Princess Tenko from Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic.
- Heather in Total Drama Island, at least in the first season, before she lost her hair.