Tall, Dark and Bishoujo

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Akira from Aria, who went from pre-teen tomboy to looking this good.

"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).

Often the target of one or more Schoolgirl Lesbians. If she is one herself, expect her to have a more-or-less Moe or Shrinking Violet girlfriend.

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.

This character type crosses over rather regularly with the Ojou, Kuudere, and occasionally the Tsundere. Feel free to compare the examples.

No real life examples, please; we'd be here all day.

Examples of Tall, Dark and Bishoujo include:

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.
    • There's no doubt that she is perceived as this by her schoolmates (with all that Even the Girls Want Her aura), but she isn't aloof at all. Juri from the same series is a much better example, although she has orange Princess Curls.
  • 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:
  • 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.
    • Also, Tre among the Numbers: short hair aside, she's quite attractive, very strict and aloof, and she's a whopping six feet tall.
  • 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 ×××HOLiC.
  • 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:
  • 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.
    • Mariko has the looks, but she's younger and more...troubled than the standard. Her Hot Mom Hisako as well as Nanako's mom mix this with Yamato Nadeshiko. And the grown-up Nanako from the last episode of the anime strongly resembles the archetype.
  • Kaori Matsumoto from Captain Tsubasa, specially in the Road to 2002 TV series.

Fan Works

  • 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


Live-Action TV


  • Megurine Luka, one of the Vocaloids, was designed with this image in mind...except her hair, which is pink like that of the previously mentioned Utena.
  • Cliff Richard's hit song "Devil Woman" is about this kind of woman.

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)

Video Games

Visual Novels

  • 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.


  • Maaya Chiaki from Red String.
  • Susan of El Goonish Shive eventually evolved into a flawless clone of Sakaki, and more or less fits this trope.

Web Original

  • Sapphire has Khina Sabiri (although her hair is in a ponytail and medium-length) and Morgana Rubanenko.
  • Shandala, heroine of Broken Saints, fits the physical type (until her haircut in Chapter 6), and trouble does tend to follow her around.

Western Animation