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Motherly Side Plait, also infamously known as Dead Anime Mom Hairstyle refers to Trope about female characters who depicted with her hair tied in a loose plait or ponytail and put on her shoulder to emphasize her gentle and motherly personality. This may or may not come with an apron to further emphasize their motherhood. Since the hair is only tied up loosely, it creates a soft, relaxed, gentle appearance, enough to give impression, "Hey, this mom has to be nice and gentle!". Putting the hair over the shoulder allows the audience to see her hairstyle from the front, while also providing a slight element of Fashionable Asymmetry. Braiding the hair that way is also faster and easier than braiding it behind one's head, contributing to the low maintenance angle.
This not only apply for actual mothers however, as this includes girls or child-less adult women who have shown motherly sides towards her friends and family.
The reason why this trope infamously known as Dead Anime Mom Hairstyle is because adult female characters with this hairstyle often among those who either deceased and act as posthumous character or worse, among death counts in stories they featured in as part of recurring scenario of Dark and Troubled Past. At times, in stories which involves a lot of character deaths, it seems motherly women with this hairstyle will inevitably among the firsts to go like like black characters or Red Shirts albeit played in tragic manner. Fortunately, it's not always the case as some examples are fortunate enough to survive until the end of the story she featured in. Plus it looks like, for the Japanese themselves, this is just coincidence.
Anime and Manga
- Pictured above: Trisha Elric, Edward and Alphonse's mother from Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Carla Jaeger, Eren's Missing Mom from Attack on Titan.
- Chiemi Takakura from Mawaru Penguindrum.
- Kasumi Tendo from Ranma ½, who is a surrogate mother to her sisters.
- Hinami Fueguchi's mother, Ryouko, from Tokyo Ghoul.
- Ursula Callistis aka. Chariot du Nord/Shiny Chariot from Little Witch Academia is arguably a resilient example and survivor for surviving 2 near-death experiences: First being accidently sent plumetting from Wagandea tree by the Big Bad and later, saved from devoured by Noir Dragon.
- The titular character's late older sister, who raised him after their parents died and perished protecting him, in Goblin Slayer.
- Kokoro from Darling in the FRANXX uses this hairstyle (plus braid) when piloting, but normally has her hair down and with a hairband. She uses it more after she becomes pregnant with her and Mitsuru's child, Ai., though she eventually returns to her original style and MUCH later cuts her hair short. Unlike many other moms, she lives to the very end.
- Jintan's Missing Mom, the Ill Girl Touko Yadomi, from Ano Hana.
- While Marie Pandavoine from The Story of Perrine normally pulls her hair in a Prim and Proper Bun, she sometimes uses this style too.
- Tomoyo Daidouji from Cardcaptor Sakura is WAY too young to be a mom, but she braids her hair like this when she's sick.
- A part of Anna Stephanie's Adrenaline Makeover includes her switching from a Tomboyish Ponytail to this. She's almost subjected to a cruel Public Execution but is rescued, and she ultimately lives to the end of the series.
- In Sengoku no Mikazuki, Isshinta's girlfriend Natsu styles her hair like this despite being young to be a mom. Another one who dodges the usual death of the ladies who keep heir hair like this.
- Akane Hyakuya (once Akane Iida) from Owari no Seraph is the Team Mom for the Hyakuya Orphanage's children and uses this hairstyle. To no one's surprise, the poor girl is killed - and in the first episode, even! Her head is kept by Ferid in a transparent jar, her hair still styled like this... and when Yuu sees it he's, naturally, furious.
- In Umi no Yami, Tsuki no Kage, a schoolgirl named Asako had a braided version. She tried to bully the protagonist over the guy they crush on... but actually bullied her Evil Twin. It didn't go well AT ALL.
- Colette from Innocents Shounen Juujigun was no mother, but she was a Cool Big Sis figure to the boys of the Children's Crusade and wore her hair in this style. She's executed for "heresy" via being burned at the stake, and her fellow villagers are massacred by the Corrupt Church.
- Some Sheith fan comics and art in the Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom feature Keith with this hairstyle, particularly ones where he and Shiro have their own children. Subverted in that he's usually alive, but one AU plays it straight: in it Sven from "Hole in the Sky" is written as Keith and Shiro's son, and they were both killed by the Altean Empire.
- Zael's mother in The Last Story, only with braids.
- Natsuhi Ebata, Inori's mother from School Days. Sekai's mother Youko styles her hair similarly, but not to side plait level.
- Some women from the Fire Emblem games like Lady Louise of Reglay, Titania from the Greil Mercenaries, and pre-Time Skip Mercedes von Martritz from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. There are also two Rare Male Examples in Prince Lewyn of Silesse's Older and Wiser self from the second part of Genealogy of the Holy War (who is heavily, heavily implied to have been Dead All Along, since his human body's all but stated to have been used by the Dragon Forseti as a Soul Jar.) and in the Luthier of the FE Gaiden remake Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (who may die if the game's in Classic Mode and does die for real in the novels - ironically, when he had a single braid rather than this)
- Annette Birkin in remake version of Resident Evil 2, though barely as motherly as other examples due to her single-minded focus in studying G Virus.
- Sirin's mother from Honkai Impact 3rd.
- Akiko Minase, Nayuki's mom and Yuuichi's aunt/caretaker, from Kanon. She almost dies when she's hit by a car, but Ayu's miracle saves her.
- Haru from Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow is not a mom, but she still uses the style and often acts mom-like towards the cast.
Webcomics and Internet
- Nei'kalsa from Drowtales