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  • V.V. of Code Geass. A young boy, voiced by an actual young boy (for once), whose blond hair (longer than his body) and androgynous name throws many a viewer off.
  • Ed from Cowboy Bebop is just so tomboyish she easily passes as a boy. The fact that the Mexican dub gave her an androgynous voice doesn't help. The crew apparently didn't even realize it until Faye shouted it out at the end of the episode she's introduced in.
  • Death Note:
    • Manga readers often presumed Mello female by his tight pants and haircut. To combat this, the anime gave him an uber-masculine voice -- but then gave Near a female voice actor. In his first appearance, Mello wears what appears to be a dress, tall boots, and a fur-lined coat longer than the "dress". He's also got some very distinct hips in some shots, and at least one manga cover even made him look like a flat-chested girl.
    • Even worse than that is Rem, Misa's shinigami. Sure, shinigami only have Purely Aesthetic Gender, but it's still a bit of a brainbreaker to realize Rem is a female. It doesn't help that her voice is extremely hoarse.
  • Digimon: This is a problem for any digimon who doesn't have any overt secondary sex characteristics, including the very young (like Poromon or Calumon) or ones who look very different in certain evolutions. Usually, voices or Tertiary Sexual Characteristics make it clear once more forms are shown.
    • Digimon Adventure has Garudamon who has been suspected to be male despite the other forms being obviously female, just because of the body shape (more anthropomorphic the others, long blonde hair).
    • Cutemon is Xros Wars's character of questionable gender: it's pink, wears floral-printed headphones, and has a high-pitched voice. And it's...a boy. His use of boku gave him away.
  • Frieza/Freezer from Dragonball Z -- in Japanese, he is using fairly feminine language. In order to try to approximate this in English, where words are the same regardless of the gender of the speaker, they had him voiced like an elderly woman, which made him come across as a hermaphrodite. It didn't help that he had purple lips that looked like he was wearing lipstick, either, or that his final form had no genitalia. His other forms, however, did have a black speedo.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Envy counts in the manga version of the story. He's stated in an omake as having no true gender, which means that it may or may not be a canon statement.
    • Wrath from the first anime is of similar circumstances to Envy. He's young, has long hair, a female voice actor and the fact that he's lived in an isolated island cause confusion as to his gender.
  • GetBackers:
    • At first glance, Kazuki, with his long flowing hair, long lashes and slim frame, would mislead anyone into thinking he was a girl. It didn't help that he was portrayed wearing female clothes in various points of the manga and anime, and he's grouped with the girls in one of the ending clips and some of the official artwork (apparently, the writers were in on the joke). He is also a victim of Tokyopop's She's a Man In Japan translation.
    • Kazuki has a female counterpart, Ren; she appears at first glance to be male, to the extent that the other characters don't realize she's female until she points it out (read: yells it) in passing. Her personality doesn't help much, either... nor does her previously freaking out after realizing that the person she kissed to deliver a medicine was male (said person being... Kazuki, naturally).

 Shido: That's a girl? (muttering) I suppose if Kazuki can be a guy...

  • Seguchi Touma of Gravitation is feminine enough to pass for a woman for several episodes -- even though he was always referred to as male in the subtitles and he had been revealed to be married to Yuki's sister!
  • A number of those who saw the first Hellsing anime expressed annoyance that the titular Sir Integra was such an embarrassingly pretty Bishonen. This is somewhat excusable, what with the author referring to her as "Sir", presumably due to a misunderstanding of British titles. A woman given the honor of joining a knightly order is referred to with the honorific "Lady" or "Dame" (depending on the order and rank). It was explained somewhere that it is some sort of a legal fiction -- to give Integra a chance to inherit the Hellsing name and Round Table position, she was officially registered as a man. So being legally a man, she is entitled to a male honorific.
  • Fujiwara no Sai from Hikaru no Go. It's not so difficult to see what his gender is if one has a passing knowledge of Heian court dress, but the western audience is left wholly at sea.
  • Hunter X Hunter:
    • Kurapika. His gender is hidden for a large part of the manga and he is so perfectly androgynous that it's difficult to make up one's mind.
    • A lot of fans were confused in regards to Neferpitou in the manga, what with his incredibly effeminate appearance and mannerisms.
  • From Inuyasha:
    • Shippo, the fox demon of Inu-Yasha's group is often mistaken for a girl due to having female voice actors and wearing a bow in his hair.
    • There was also a filler in which a sibling of an early set of antagonists, the Thunder Brothers, challenged Shippo to a fight for revenge against "his" Brothers. Both actually sound feminine but they're young kids and the practice of hiring women to voice kids is very common practice. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that the younger "Brother" was actually a "sister"!
  • Kaze to Ki no Uta:
    • Arion Rosemariné is bad enough to have confused some scanlators. He dresses entirely in Gorgeous Period Dress, has long blond Princess Curls, and is voiced by a woman in the OVA. The only way many people have realized his actual gender is through the fact that he lives at an all-boys boarding school. In any case, his gender is proved once and for all when it's revealed that Auguste raped him, and Auguste only goes for pretty boys.
    • Liliath Florian manages to be an even worse offender. This minor character has flowers in his hair, is very effeminate both in appearance and personality, and seems to be flat-out referred to as a girl by other characters... and yet he goes to the very same all-boys school.
  • Kino from Kino's Journey causes this trope. It's not helped by a certain tendency to use both male and female pronouns on and off. Thankfully, the real gender is a plot point, and a good bit of the character's development and relationship with the audience is developed around the confusion... even if most viewers get it wrong the first time. The English translation of the first novel moves The Reveal chapter to the start of the book to avoid having to dance around pronouns, while the English dub of the anime gives Kino something of an androgynous voice, so you're not sure if she's a boy or a girl for several episodes until a gender pronoun is used.
  • In the Koudelka manga, the little boy turns out to be a little girl whom her mother, a prostitute, disguised as a boy to save her from being used as a prostitute in turn.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, thanks to her deep voice, baggy clothes, and boyish looks, a lot of people mistook Otto to be The One Guy amongst the Numbers Cyborgs. It wasn't until Jail revealed that all of his cyborgs are pregnant with a perfect clone of him did those people realize that, yes, she's a female too.
  • Naruto has a few:
    • Gaara's uncle Yashamaru looks exactly like his sister. Even though the "-maru" indicates a male, some translations referred to him as a female.
    • Deidara's gender was ambiguous at first, as the long blond hair and slim build suggested a female. It doesn't help that he looks like Ino's older sister.
    • Sai's midriff exposing top and slim build, along with his Emotionless Girl status cast some doubts about his gender at first.
    • Taken to its extreme with the seven-tails host, who is only seen on the splash page of one chapter and an artbook where the author himself stated he was unsure of his/her gender.
  • Yoshiyuki Sadamoto admitted straight out in an Omake to an early volume of the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga that Shinji's design is basically Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water's with a different haircut. So this is understandable. Not to mention that his Japanese voice belonged to a lady who is very well-known for her deep voice. Case in point, she's also well-known as Sailor Uranus, who has her own entry.
  • In the manga of Paradise Kiss, Yukari IDs Isabella as a cross dresser virtually as soon as she meets her. However in the anime this doesn't happen, and no-one makes any reference to the fact that she's actually a biological man until episode 10. Consequently, watching the anime first means there isn't even have a clue that anything is amiss until that point- given how fruity most of the characters were, there didn't seem to be anything odder than usual about her, especially as she's voiced by a woman in both languages.
  • In Ranma ½ you have Konatsu the "Genius Kuoichi", a crossdresser who managed to trick Ukyo and the rest of the cast into thinking he's female until his clothes get blown off.
  • Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. He has long red hair, a slim build and a rather feminine face. The author, in fact, stated that he gave Kenshin his X-shaped scar to make him look more masculine. Not surprising, as his Real Life counterpart, Kawakami Gensai, was said to be of a small stature, slim build and unusually pretty... for the deadliest assassin on the Loyalists' side. Both he and Kenshin had their fair share of being mistaken for a woman -- and the latter in-story too.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Zirconia is a decrepit old woman who's initially only seen in shadow, so by the time she was given The Reveal she had already been dubbed as an old man.
    • Sailor Uranus has occassionally run into this in some adaptations; while she has even occasionally portrayed as female only while transformed, many adaptations find hiding her gender too difficult or ingenuine to bother with.
    • Fisheye is an even worse case, being a Wholesome Crossdresser. Even some dubs that didn't have much problem with crossdressing and homosexuality to begin with managed to get his gender wrong.
  • Happens often in Saint Seiya:
    • Andromeda Shun has a feminine voice in the Japanese dub, wears pink armor, has a slight figure, and is prettier than most of the female cast. In fact, most of Saint Seiya's Bishonen are prettier than most of its female cast, and have fooled many unwary viewers. It confused even the French dubbers who had a female voice actress dub Shun's lines in the first few eps, until Ikki calls Shun explicitly his "brother". And later, there is this episode stating that female Saints wear masks, but the confusion's still there.
    • It's even worse with Pisces Aphrodite (also given a female voice in the French Dub). Even knowing that female saints are supposed to be masked, and thus he has to be male... he's girlier than Shun, wears lipstick and fights with roses... and seriously, he's called "Aphrodite"! Saga even describes him as "the warrior of beauty".
    • Aries Mu, possessor of a very pretty face and long, shiny pink hair, also got a female voice in the French dub.
    • Aquarius Camus was -- in the manga -- explained to have long red hair, long red fingernails and feminine features because the Aquarius sign represents the myth of Ganymede and has been seen as both male and female. This didn't transfer into the anime, but it left viewers wondering exactly what other excuses Kuruamada had for all this Ho Yay and Viewer Gender Confusion.
    • The queen of this trope is Lacerta Misty. Big poofy blonde hair, wears pink, wears pink "lipstick" and says "alrighty"? It took until he was completely naked for most of the viewers to realise his gender -- and even then some didn't believe it. Even when his dub voice is none other than Vic Mignogna.
  • The BL light novel and anime series Sukisho has Team Mom Nanami. Everything about him is completely feminine and he even goes by a female name. His clothing when outside or at work are rather ambiguous, but at home he's usually seen wearing an apron or bunny slippers. The only hint on his male gender ever are the pronouns in the subtitles and in one episodes even the subtitle refer to him as female.
  • It was pretty much inevitable in Simoun. Not helping was the fact that the most prominent breasts in the series are also possessed by the most prominent male character.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh has one in every adaptation:
    • Bakura from the second anime Yu-Gi-Oh. officially, he's a male with long, flowing white hair and a voice in the original japanese that leaves everyone wondering. It doesn't help when you find out that he actually had a female voice actor.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh GX:
      • Doctor Crowler. His voice in the original is very clealry male, but the dub does add quite a bit of confusion to the issue. The purple lipstick doesn't help. The dub even lampshades it from time to time.
      • Even worse is Yubel. You're pretty much guaranteed to guess the wrong gender. Because "she" and "he" are both used in reference and Yubel is technically a hermaphrodite at this point. Even the original Yubel is very androgynous, though not to the same cheater level as most of the series.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has three of these:
      • Rally is supposed to be a boy, but has long red hair, huge round eyes and a voice that could be confused for either gender. His clothes don't help.
      • Jeager is short with a slim build, a feminine high-pitched voice, lipstick and pointy ears. He's supposed top be a clown, but his gender is not very clear.
      • Luciano is even more confusing. If he wasn't wearing a male uniform, the long red plait and girly voice could fool anyone. It certainly doesn't help those who play the World Championship Series games that, in the 2011 title, Luciano's hairstyle and outfit are only available for female characters.
    • As Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series said: "There are no women in Yu-Gi-Oh! Only extremely girly men! And I am the girliest of them all!"

 Pegasus: Keep telling yourself that.

  • Epsilon from Urasawa's Pluto. What makes it even more difficult is that he's based on the Astro Boy character Neptune (who is male), but shares the name and character traits (such as being a Technical Pacifist) of a female character from the same series. It doesn't help that the fan translation has referred to him as "she" once or twice...
  • Tieria Erde from Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Likely the first response of most viewers the first time he speaks (in a rather masculine voice) is "That was a guy?!"
    • This spawned a bit of a Memetic Mutation in Japan, as many artists gleefully went right to work in creating pictures of Tieria as a girl... While only having to slightly change some visual details (and in a few cases, giving "her" a somewhat Genki Girl personality).
    • As if Tieria wasn't bad enough, season two brings a new character named Regene Regetta, who looks almost exactly like Tieria (curly hair aside) and has a very feminine voice (and up until his character design was released shortly before the season started, there was rampant confusion and specualtion over his gender. Then again, his aforementioned girly voice is provided by Romi Park, of all people).
    • Not to mention the first drama CD, which contained Tieria posing undercover as a schoolgirl, complete with falsetto and demure speech. Fan response was predictable.
    • Even worse, episode 8 of the second season has Tieria responding to an invitation by the Innovators' leader and resident Big Bad Ribbons Almack by attending his party... as a woman. A very, very busty woman. In a backless dress. An extremely convincing pair of fake breasts indeed, otherwise the directors have been trolling a vast majority of the fanbase for a while now with the enigmatic comments about Tieria's gender.
      • The producers may have been playing with this since the beginning. Note that the show's first ending theme's title, "Wana" translates roughly as "The Trap".
      • The first line of lyrics for the above song goes as far as saying: "Despair is a sweet trap" Coincidence? I think not...
      • The playful toying extends to the dub where Johan apparently thinks that Tieria would make a pretty hot girl.
        • Micheal says that actually, the direct quote is "That's too bad. If he were a girl he'd be kind of hot." Apparently many Japanese 'artists' thought the same.
    • ALL Innovators are basically this. Just try to guess the genders of Revive Revival or (really worst offender here) Hilling Care. Hilling was wearing a tuxedo in Ribbons' party and looks rather boyish, but still uses pronouns and speech patterns that are distinctively feminine.
      • Word of God is that Innovades are technically sexless but still resembling one gender or the other, and always come in matched pairs like Tieria and Regene. The sole exception is Anew Returner, Lockon/Lyle's Love Interest, who is apparently unique in being the only confirmed female Innovade.
  • Gundam Wing: Hilde Schbeiker, anyone?
  • Kurau from Kurau Phantom Memory. Even though she has an alternate persona in Christmas, who is obviously female, her ambiguous clothing, hairstyle and seiyuu cause some confusion. It gets better with age, though.
  • A lot of Pokémon fans are under the impression that Team Rocket agent Hun was given a gender change in the dub despite the fact that the script directly calls "her" a man at one point. It really doesn't help that his dub voice sounds makes him sound like a woman.
    • This site has the quotation in question, and the webmaster points out that "men" is commonly used as a gender-neutral term. So the jury's still out on this one.
    • Shaymin in Giratina and the Sky Warrior. Cute little flower hedgehog... forme change to kickass doggy-reindeer thing. Coincidentially, its dub VA is well known for voicing Tails in the more recent Sonic the Hedgehog games and Sonic X.
      • Unlike most examples here, Shaymin are actually sexless (called "genderless" in the games).
    • In the Adventures manga, Gold ends up mistaking Bugsy for a girl on first sight, and even flirts with him.
      • In reverse is Anabel, who looks like a little boy despite being a girl.
    • Another Bugsy incident happened in another manga, Golden Boys. Their Gold had mistaken Bugsy for a girl but it was a much milder example and was dropped instantly. It doesn't help that he's a Bishonen -- cute little boy mix in that manga.
    • Mew. Oh, dear, sweet, Arceus, Mew. It's pink, cute, fluffy, has a high-pitched voice, and in the original games it gave birth to Mewtwo (Even though Mewtwo is otherwise said to be an artificially-created "clone" of Mew). It must be a girl, right? Nope, Mew's genderless... an "It".
      • It's kind of mind blowing that Mew's cutesy realistic kitten sounds are done by a grown man: Koichi Yamadera a.k.a. Spike Spiegel.
      • This can apply for pretty much 'any Legendary Pokémon that doesn't already have a definite gender. For example, the Brazillian dub of Jirachi: The Wishmaker calls Jirachi a female and the English dub calls it a male.
    • Tate. If it wasn't for the anime, most people would probably think he's a girl.
      • It also doesn't help that Tate actually can easily be used for a feminine name.
      • The main confusion comes from the fact that he looks almost exactly like his sister.
    • Ash's Pikachu gets this a lot. It's male, but wasn't confirmed this until the infamous Diamond & Pearl episode with Rayquaza and an evil Togepi.
  • Bedivere in the anime of Fate/stay night. The guy's just as feminine as Saber and has Mamiko Noto's voice. What are we supposed to think?
  • The Firey in Cardcaptor Sakura, with roughly equal amounts of evidence for both male (flat chest) and female (all the other elemental/humanoid in the manga Cards are female).
  • Kuu and Kana from Haibane Renmei, helped by the latter's Wrench Wench status. Even the manager of the cafe where Kuu works thinks she's a boy.
  • Ladios Sopp in The Five Star Stories, with his shy and soft-spoken demeanor, effeminate voice, baggy yellow clothes, big dewy eyes, and long braided hair is constantly mistaken for a woman. In fact, one character, Voards Viewlards, eventually learns the truth and still flirts with him! It doesn't help that Sopp is the alter-ego of the king of the A.K.D., who is named after the ur-goddess of Japan, and frequently played by a female Body Double while the king is off playing as Sopp!
  • Many first time viewers of Keroro Gunsou think cutesy, shiny-eyed Private Tamama is a girl. Oh how wrong they are...
  • An interesting case comes from Girls Saurus. That cute girl getting molested by men on the train and is saved by the main characters? Yeah, that's a guy. But wait, he's got breasts and is wearing a skirt!... Not really: turns out that he's so feminine that the main characters (and, indeed, everyone who meets him, man and woman alike) hallucinate that he's built and dressed like a girl. No, seriously.
  • Hong Kong from Axis Powers Hetalia: a normal and quiet Chinese boy or a very convincing Bifauxnen? The kid was recently confirmed by Word of God to be male, but new fans still get confused...
    • Even China himself. Non-fans who know of the series' existence -- or even occasionally some unknowing fans -- call him a girl.
      • Well, considering his long black/brown hair, his slim figure and small shoulders (at least in the webcomic), him being the second shortest of the main eight characters, his unisex human name, and his female seiyu, it's not that difficult to fall prey to Viewer Gender Confusion when concerning him.
      • Hell, a prime example of Viewer Gender Confusion in regards to China can be found on this very wiki; hetalia WMG.
    • The newest character New Zealand is currently a source of this. Are they a cute short-haired girl or a simply effeminate looking boy in the vein of Poland and China? Time will tell...
    • Lithuania and Poland (the latter being a Wholesome Crossdresser) will often be mistaken for girls by new fans/people who don't know the series. An amusing comment on the PolandxLithuania group on Deviantart remarks on this:

 Person 1: Are they lesbians?

Person 2: They are two boys.

Person 1: *mind fucked* o.o

    • In universe example in the English dub.

 Soldier on seeing Holy Roman Empire's picture of young Italy: Oh ho! Is this the painting of your little girlfriend, or boyfriend, or gender-neutral chibi-thing?

  • Souji Okita from Peacemaker Kurogane has confused many, many people.
  • Ranewater Calder from Zombie Powder. It didn't help that he's the leader of a gang called the "Ash Daughter Gang", and it certainly didn't help that he was drawn as being much prettier and feminine than pretty much all the women in the series.
  • Considering the abundance of white-blonde Action Girls in Claymore, it's likely that most fans assumed that Isley was yet another one until he took off his shirt. Of course, you can hardly blame them -- does this look like a man's face to you?
  • Midriff-exposing, bangle-wearing Toboe from Wolf's Rain apparently caused author gender confusion -- an artist's note accompanying character model sheets in the first manga volume jokingly(?) laments "I thought he was a girl... sniffle".
  • There is some disagreement about the gender of Pierre in Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, which may well be the goal of the author of the original Light Novels. Pierre's real name, Akeru, is a typical girl's name, although there are no truly fixed rules for that in Japan. Also, Pierre has long braided hair and female mannerims, but in the world of manga and anime (and outside of it) that doesn't have to mean much. Pierre furthermore uses the gender-neutral "watakushi" for "I", which complicates matters even more.
  • Canute from Vinland Saga amongst both the fandom and in-canon is confused for a girl when he first appears. He's male though, most certainly.
  • Quite a few people mistake Fai from Tsubasa Chronicle and his "poofy Toma Seguchi coat" for a girl. Even though he is most definitely male, no matter how good he'd look in a dress.
  • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure
    • Hermes from Part 6 is really masculine. If not for text and the fact she's in a female prison and some of the insinuative events at her first appearance (and other times), one would have sworn she was a he.
    • Also Narancia from Part 5, but in reverse as thinking 'he' was a 'she'. His attire and Japanese game's voice actor doesn't help.
  • Husky, the fish-boy from Plus Anima. It even gets to the point where the other characters in the manga are confused about what his gender is.
    • He even has to drop his pants at one point to convince Nana he wasn't a girl, since she refused to believe anything he said to the contrary.
  • Yuki Kaori has been guilty of making her characters (of either sex) look more like the other's gender thanks to her love of androgyny. She mentioned once about the character Rociel from Angel Sanctuary that she got letters early on asking if he were male or female. Her response was something like "Well, I did say he was Katan's father..."
  • Speculation on the Youtube comment boards for Glass Fleet continued to wonder why androgynous Michel was referred to as a boy but obviously sounded like a woman. Once that was cleared up, the fans turned to poor Ralph, a child repeatedly referred to as a boy, with a boy's name, but with very feminine mannerisms and an obsessive crush on an older man.
  • After Art Evolution, Katekyo Hitman Reborn has suddenly started getting a bunch of them. Chief offenders include the Acrobaleno Viper from the Varia and Kikyo and Daisy of the Real Furneral Wreathes. Only in the latest chapter has the translator been certain that Kikyo is male and no one can is yet certain if Daisy is this or a Bifauxnen.
    • It's now been confirmed that Daisy is a boy.
  • Zaji of Letter Bee is thought to be either a boyish-looking young woman or a man. It doesn't help that early on in the series, a girl named Nelli who looks a little like Zaji is mistaken for a boy.
  • Waq Waq's Yoki looks like a woman with a feminine face and long hair, and dresses in loose robes, but is referred to as "he".
  • Several Saki viewers were quite surprised when Jun shouted "I'm a girl!", partly thanks to her heavy usage of the "ore" pronoun. Guess they just assumed that she was The One Guy in the entire tournament.
    • Well, she does wear pants combined with a skirt, but perhaps that's considered men's clothing in Japan.
  • Luppi, a minor villain from Bleach. He looks and acts very much like a woman, leading to some deep confusion among readers of the manga. The anime solved this problem by giving him a very masculine voice, making his gender apparent from the moment he opened his mouth.
    • In addition, anyone who missed Wonderweiss Margera's "birth" scene could be forgiven for thinking him a young girl, since he does look very feminine and almost never speaks.
    • It also initially occured with Yoruichi, while she was still in her cat form. It wasn't helped by the fact that the anime gave her a masculine voice. Then she revealed her true form and there's no longer any doubt.
      • It was implyied in the manga however that she mad at least a deeper, or different sounding voice in cat form as they did refer to her as 'Mr. Yoruichi' until it was revealed Yoruichi was, a woman.
  • Ill Girl Kayoko Nagato in Ojamajo Doremi has a name that isn't very girly, an androgynous voice, and a very short haircut (her dinosaur tooth necklace doesn't help). The only telltales was her pink backpack and Doremi using -chan when referring to her.
  • Several characters from the Loveless manga. Yayoi, Kio, and both halves of "Zero" who have longer hair in feminine styles, feminine body structures, and most often baggy/feminine looking clothes. And no voice actors to seek guidance from.
    • At least in the anime, Yayoi, Kio and Youji are all voiced by blokes, and even Natsuo's seiyuu is best known for voicing young boys. The real prize for this trope should go to Yurio, who appears quite late in the manga, has a very girly hairstyle (bobbed with long curls underneath), has the kanji for "man" in his/her name, and generally gives people a headache as to what his/her actual gender is.
  • Nachos from Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto is actually a boy, but it's very hard to tell until his gender is actually stated because he has long hair in braids and looks more feminine than his sister, Chips. Their gender-neutral names don't help, either.
  • Shigeru Kanmuri from Yakitate!! Japan, especially when he wore a girls' sailor uniform.
    • Even the artist admits that up-close, he looks exactly like Tsukino.
  • Kanon from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. He's even harder to differentiate than usual because not only does he look feminine, his voice sounds feminine too. (Hint: Jessica calls him "Kanon-kun".)
    • A minor detail, but "kun" is gender-neutral, it just tends to be used in regard to males more than females. This does not help.
    • There is a reason for his feminity, namely the fact that he is just a split personality of Yasu/Shannon/Beatrice, plus the fact that with the reveal of Lion, it's confusing of what gender they truly are.
  • Fushigi Yuugi's victim is not Nuriko, as his real gender is revealed two episodes after his introduction. It's poor Chiriko who suffers from this, of all people.
  • Crona from Soul Eater: even Word of God refused to confirm her/his gender!
    • In the English dub, Crona is referred to with male pronouns because the dubbers didn't want the dialogue to sound too awkward by avoiding the subject. No one, especially the ones behind the English dub, has a clue behind Crona's gender.
  • Some people that read Yu Yu Hakusho may have mistaken Kurama for a girl, due to the hair and the way that his shirt is drawn (with a fold at breast-level), only to be embarrassed when they find out otherwise. They should feel better when they read the story which has him crossdressing to investigate a haunting at a girl's highschool campus, and several people mistaking him for a girl even when dressed normally.
    • The Hungarian dub of the anime has a deep but definitely female voice actor for Kurama.
    • In the Philippines, Kurama initially had a distinctly female VA and started out female. Yusuke was surprised to learn he was a guy on their first assignment in the demon world. The explanation given was that he was male in the demon world but female in the human world. However, all later appearances had him strictly male, regardless of which world he was in. The dubbers were apparently also confused as to Genkai's gender as the name they gave her was Jeremiah and her VA was very noticeably male. It wasn't until after she first transformed into her younger self during the Dark Tournament that she was given a female VA.
    • There is also the one shot villian Miyuki a very feminine looking demon dressed in feminine clothes with an equally feminine voice, after knocking him unconscious Yusuke and Kuwabara pull down his pants and are shocked that such a feminine demon is actually male.
  • Kira from Legend of Himiko can definetly throw off viewers. The fact that her/his higher-ups call her/him "Lady Kira" assure us that Kira is female, but her voice does sound like that of a boy who sounds like a girl.
  • It's actually amazing how many people mistake an undisguised Kuroshitsuji's Grelle Sutcliffe as a woman. It doesn't help that he refers to himself as one.
    • Well, Word of God says that Grelle was born male, but is a Male-To-Female transsexual. So yeah...
  • Haihane of the disciplinary squad in Sekirei looks like an androgynous man until she loses her jacket (revealing she's female).
  • Junior in ROD the TV. Letting down his long, flowing hair, after being introduced in boy's clothes has a tendency to cement the confusion,and don't forget Maggie who even does not wear a dress to a party or ball.
  • Dilandaeu in Vision of Escaflowne has the voice and features of a girl, but everybody referred to him as a man, so that settled that. The finale throws everybody for one hell of a loop.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo loves this trope. The confusion ranges from just some ridiculously pretty Bishonen to the outright cruel. Take at look at Service.
  • In Trigun, when you first see Vash and Knives as children they look very much like girls, but once you hear them speak you realize their gender.
  • Rei of Saint Beast. Especially when the viewer doesn't know the show belongs to the BL genre.
  • Plenty of people have mistaken Asuka from Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh for a girl due to his effeminate appearance and teeny-tiny shorts, even on this very wiki. His name doesn't help, as it's the name of a female pilot in another, more well-known series; and that his voices in both Japanese and English versions are pretty androgynous. Not that his fanboys care...
  • While revealed by p. 8 in Volume 1 of the manga, Nakahara Tatsuki from Boku No Tsukuru Sekai, a very convincing Wholesome Crossdresser and Magical Projectionist teacher, is revealed to be a man from his son Ritsuki when he calls Tatsuki "Dad."
  • Norio Koga in Narutaru. Apparently, some readers have gone through the entire manga without realising that the character is (biologically) male. It doesn't help that his hair is nicer than most girls, and that he's lusted after by both male and female fans.
  • While not the most common, Chopper from One Piece in a few cases, being the Ridiculously Cute Critter with a female VA and pink as his main color. On the Drum Island arc commentary, some of the dubbers at Funimation admitted they weren't sure of his gender until hearing his scream about being a man.
  • Eisuke of Detective Conan. Inspector Sato can sometimes look more masculine than him.
  • Raenef and Erutis of Demon Diary look like a girl and a guy, respectively. But, of course, it's actually the other way around. Raenef falls victim (rather literally, actually) to Dude Looks Like a Lady at one point, and Erutis rants at the artist for making her look so boyish that the readers get confused.
  • D Gray-Man has some a lot of Bishonen, some of whom reach this level of girliness. Kanda, for example, is easily mistaken for female at first glance due to the long hair, and he's got nothing on the (male) Creepy Twins Jasdero and Devit; both are rather ambiguous-looking, and in combo, well... The author actually had to clarify their gender through the Fourth Wall Mail Slot.
  • Baka Test's Hideyoshi Kinoshita. It's basically the point of the character. It's gotten to the point that the fanbase has considered Hideyoshi to have be its own gender. Also to mention is that he can emulate anyone's voice.
  • Heroman gives us Joey, the main character. While his name is obviously masculine, his design is androgynous at best and his personality, body language, and especially his voice are much closer to a tomboyish girl than a teenage male. It's enough to make you wonder.
    • "Obviously masculine"? It can be a girl's name too, although more rarely. Joey is androgynous all around.
    • Thick shoulder-length blonde hair, girly voice, short, thin, even a little curvy... Yeah, I doubt there's anyone who knew he was a guy when they saw him for the first time.
  • Powerpuff Girls Z's version of Snake.
  • Risky from Risky Safety is androgynous, a voice that sounds like it either belongs to a tough girl or a young boy, and...ah, it's just hard to tell. The japanese version never explicitly came out and said anything until about two-thirds of the way through, and even the dub got confused, referring to the revealed-female Risky as male, calling her "him", "he", and having a minor character refer to her as "Mister Shinigami." She also refers to herself as "ore was" in Japanese, adding to the confusion.
  • Huang Chaun from Riki-Oh is a very effeminate man with a slender build, lipstick, long eyelashes, and long painted finger nails, but he has a rather masculine voice in the anime.
    • In the live-action adaptation, they went further and had him played by an actual woman and voice-dubbed by a man.
  • The Headless Rider in Durarara is ambigious for the first two episodes, as she's only shown from angles that mostly hide her feminine curves, and is referred as male by the people who talk of her as an urban legend. Then it turns out that she was the female narrator all along.
  • Ryo Kuromatsu from the manga The Magic Touch is a girl but she looks remarkably like a boy and is rarely seen in her school uniform. When first encountered in the manga, her gender is not specified, save for one character calling her "she" in order to surprise Amane Mihime, and the reader who didn't catch the gender drop.
  • Hansel and Gretel in Black Lagoon. By the end of their story arc, it's still not very clear if they were brother and sister, sisters, or brothers.
  • Takumi in Gad Guard. He has long blonde hair styled into a Hime Cut and appears to be romantically linking up with Hajiki in his first few episodes. However, switching to the English-language dub leaves the viewer in little doubt as to his gender as the voice sounds masculine (despite being voiced by a female in the English dub).
  • Kimba the White Lion: Due to Tezuka's art style which averts Tertiary Sexual Characteristics (even male characters have eyelashes), and due to the Cross-Dressing Voices, people who have no knowledge of the series watching the 90s dub for the first time and caught certain filler episodes have thought that the title character is female.
  • Tail from Dorothy of Oz, a Manhwa take on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He looks feminine, has feminine eyelashes, and his personality fits Genki Girl-Big Eater. Just look at him. It doesn't help that he appears to have a Sarashi affect with his shirt and give him a "boost". Mara also gives some of this, due to her short hair and somewhat gender neutral appearance.
  • For people who have not seen Seirei no Moribito from the start, it may be a surprise that Chagum is a boy.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Occasionally happens when Maya is mistaken for Shinji and the other way around. The source of this confusion is that, Word of God, Shinji's character design is actually a female head slapped onto a male body: he's based on Nadia, the main character from Gainax's previous series, "Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water", just with shorter bangs and the jewelry removed. So when people accuse Maya of looking "butch" its actually the other way around: Shinji is based on a girl. Maya is just how Gainax draws generic girls.
    • It happens a lot in the Alternate Continuity Gakuen Datenroku ("Records of Heaven's Descent"), where Shinji is at his most androgynous and really looks like Maya and where it's sometimes necessary to have a close look to realize that the cute short-haired girl is actually him.
  • Magical X Miracle inspires a lot of this. For starters, the main character Merleawe is a girl who looks exactly like (and must pretend to be) the male Master Wizard, who went missing. In the bonus art, it's really hard to tell which is which. In addition, several fans have expressed confusion at Yue's gender. He's actually a man, but between the Rapunzel Hair, the Qipao, and the Gender Blender Name, things can get confusing. It gets worse when, in book 2, a female character who closely resembles him (both in looks and Sugar and Ice Personality) was introduced in Glenn's flashback. Perhaps Lampshading that, later in the book, General Lenolora makes fun of him for looking like a girl.
  • Steins;Gate gives us Ruka Urushibara, who acts and sounds like a woman, looks more Bishoujo than any other girl, mostly dresses in Miko outfits and feminine-looking clothing. But, he's a guy.
    • It certainly doesn't help that Ruka ends up looking exactly the same after hir gender was changed via D-Mail.
  • Hana from Michiko To Hana; she even got mistaken for a boy in one episode. She's young (around ten years old), dresses in a boyish manner, and her voice isn't all that feminine. The series takes place in South America, so Japanese Pronouns can't help either in-series.
  • Beyblade gives us Oliver (at least in the English dub). With his femimine features, girly voice, pink beyblade, and unicorn bitbeast, many people assumed he was female. Some of them even thought his name was actually Olivia, and was just being mispronounced. Eventually everyone got the hint when he was continually referred to as a 'he'.
    • Beyblade's spinoff, Metal Fight Beyblade, has quite a few guys with questionably feminine appearances. Thankfully, most of them are saved with masculine voices.
  • Wandering Son is.. Complicated due to it being about Transsexuality and crossdressing. But some characters play this trope straight. Makoto for example is rather feminine looking, round, short, has feminine mannerisms, and typically goes by "Mako-chan".
  • Ai Ore Love Me lives off this trope. Everyone in the background is a girl, and the one in the front is a boy.
  • Gamaran has Ranmaru Itou, a male samurai who looks very feminine.
  • The main character from Chi's Sweet Home is female; this trope is easily Justified since she's a two-to-three-month-old kitten. The verdict is out on her new kitten pal Cocchi from the manga and OVA though; the Japanese version has him/her refer to him/herself with "ore-sama", and the overall interpretation leans toward male. But you never know with kittens, even in Real Life when sometimes you have to check twice.
  • Un-Go has the detective's assistant, Inga, who apparently is an energetic young boy, although it's hard to be sure. The main issue being that for yet unknown reasons, possibly provoked by how close the 'truth' is in a case, Inga transforms into a vaguely monstrous (it's somewhat feline, and looks to be bigger than a person should be) female who insists to Yuuki that she be told a single question to solve the case.
  • Zatch Bell has Zophise, who is voiced by a woman in both the Japanese and English versions, has curly hair, and has clothes and a face that inspires resemblance to a demonic doll. Despite all this, he is confirmed to be male.
  • In The World God Only Knows, Chief Dokuro is typically assumed to be male, despite the fact that all New Devils are female. This extends to the anime, where in the dub she has a male voice actor, and in the sub her voice actress uses such a coarse voice that everyone assumes she's male.
  • Ana Graham from Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle is apparently a dude despite looking, dressing and sounding like one. Apparently confirmed after taking his [1]
  • Jun from Persona Trinity Soul is very easily mistaken for a Pettanko girl. Slightly justified in that his twin sister died in a car crash and donated part of her brain and organs to him, resulting in a shared Persona.
  • Tomokane from GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class is Hot-Blooded and refers to herself as ore, not to say she never wears her bolo tie to school. Even she still wears a dress, viewers need to consciously remind temselves of her gender. Lampshaded in the character sketches that said she's often confused as a boy when she's not wearing her school uniform.
  • Leeron from Gurren Lagann can easily be mistaken for a woman at first because of his feminine look and crossdressing nature, but it turns out he's actually a homosexual, crossdressing man.
  • A few characters from Shaman King:
    • The first one that comes to mind is Lyserg; he was even confused for a girl In-Universe! (And boy, was everyone shocked when they found out he was a dude...) You can't blame them, though: He's voiced by a woman, has noticable eylashes, and has an androdgynous appearance.
    • Tamao is another example, since the only thing to indicated she's a girl is her pink hair and eyes; even with her female voice, you could confuse her for a boy since many characters have Cross-Dressing Voices, not to mention she lacks Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, wears pants, and is associated with a pair of spirits who are the anime equivilent of Ren and Stimpy.
    • Chocolove's voiced by a woman, has big lips, wears something similar to a skirt, is more calm than the other members of Team "The Ren", and has a feminine-sounding name...Wait, why's her shirt open? And where are her boobs?...What do you mean she's a HE?!?
      • Also, it doesn't help that said "skirt" makes his hips look a bit bigger and that his not built like most of the other guys. Additionally, he crossdresses when telling a few of his jokes.
      • The Thai dub gives him a voice that sound like a cute little girl, which doesn't help much...
    • Apparently, some translators in other countries suffered from this, because if you see the She's a Man In Japan page, you'll see that Hao became a woman in one dub (until The Reveal), Kororo became a guy in another, and Opacho was a guy in the English dub (luckily, though, she was still voiced by a woman).

Notes

  1. you only see his back.
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