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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.

Examples of Hime Cut include:


Anime and Manga


Comic Books

  • The Japanese X-Man Armor is usually portrayed with a Hime Cut, denoting her as more distinctly Japanese.


Films

  • 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).


Literature

  • 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.


Video Games

  • 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.


Visual Novels


Web Comics

  • 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.


Western Animation

  • 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.


Real Life

  • 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.
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