Monday, February 19, 2018

Gender-Bender Terms

For reference, an overview of Japanese gender-bender terms used toward anime characters.

Gender-bender chart with terms in Japanese including crossdressing and transgender.
Otokonoko 男の娘 - Ansatsu KyoushitsuHideyoshi 秀吉 - Baka to Test to ShoukanjuuOnnanoko 雄んなの子 - Gakkou-GurashiOkama オカマ - Tiger & BunnyNewhalf ニューハーフ - Shangri-La
Futanari ふたなり - Maze Bakunetsu JikuuOnabe オナベ - Versailles no BaraJosou 女装 - KuragehimeDansou 男装 - Ouran Koukou Host ClubNekama ネカマ - Sword Art Online IINenabe ネナベ - Net-Juu no SusumeNyotaika 女体化 - Ranma 1/2Nantaika 男体化 - Mahou Shoujo Ore


otoko 男, dansei 男性, otokonoko 男の子.
Man. Male. Boy.

onna 女, josei 女性, onnanoko 女の子.
Woman. Female. Girl.

Trap / Apparent Gender

otokonoko 男の娘
Boy who looks like a girl. (not necessarily a crossdresser)
Trap. Femboy.

onnanoko 雄んなの子
Girl who looks like a boy. (not necessarily a crossdresser, either)

booisshu ボーイッシュ
Boy-ish. Girl who looks or acts like a boy, overlaps with onnanoko, but includes those that are unmistakably girls.
(also a fashion style)

Internet Gender

nekama ネカマ
Guy who plays a female character online, or pretends to be a girl online.

nenabe オカマ
Girl who plays a male character online, or pretends to be a guy online.


josou 女装
Guys dressing up like girls, wearing "female clothes."

dansou 男装
Girls dressing up like guys, wearing "male clothes."

iseisou 異性装
Crossdressing. (either-way term)


nyotaika 女体化
Turning into a woman.

nantaika 男体化
Turning into a man.

seitenkan 性転換
Sex-change. Gender-switch.


toransugendaa トランスジェンダー

han'in'you 半陰陽

shiyuudoutai 雌雄同体
Hermaphroditism. (applied to animals, not people.)

musei 無性
Asexual. (orientation.)
Sex-less. (physically. few anime characters are this.)

Okama Family

okama オカマ
Effeminate man. Gay, or crossdresser, or transgender, etc.
Generally uses female speech and claims to have the heart of a woman.
Vague word. (practically applies only to adult characters in anime.)

onabe オナベ
Masculine woman. Lesbian, or crossdresser, or transgender, etc.
In anime, generally acts like a man because of some weird plot reasons.
(okama's counterpart)

Newhalf Family

nyuuhaafu ニューハーフ
Male-to-female transgender. Transgender woman.
(specially those working in the entertainment industry.)

neohaafu ネオハーフ
nyuubooi ニューボーイ
Neo-half. New-boy.
Female-to-male transgender. Transgender man.
(more recent that newhalf, not very common)

shiimeeru シーメール
Shemale. (according to Pixiv, used toward transgender women with boobs.)

Futanari Family

futanari ふたなり
Generally a female character with boobs, penis and vagina.
Sometimes synonymous with hermaphrodite, shiyuudoutai.
In some cases, no vagina.

otokofutanari 男ふたなり
Male futanari. A futanari, but instead of a woman, it's a man.
A man with a penis and a vagina. (muscles instead of boobs)

gyaku-futanari 逆ふたなり
Instead of replacing a woman's vagina with a penis, replace a man's penis with a vagina.
This never counts as a hermaphrodite, by the way.
In English another term for it is "cuntboy."


Hideyoshi 秀吉
The gender of Hideyoshi Kinoshita 秀吉木下, from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu.


As of writing, the only canonically hermaphrodite / futanari character found in anime was Mill from Maze, however, the character is only a hermaphrodite in the manga, and was changed to female in the anime adaptation.

Originally I wanted to use Poison in the example chart, but it seems she was originally female and changed to a transgender woman due to censorship.

In Sword Art Online II, the "female" Kirito is actually male, a trap. It still sort of counts as nekama since he pretended his avatar was a girl at times. I couldn't find another nekama character whose nekama-ness was both memorable and the fact didn't spoil the story.

The anime Mahou Shoujo Ore hasn't even aired yet, the images are from the promotional video. It was the best thing I could find to match Ranma 1/2.

The only intersex character I know of is in the anime Level E. and the only character of Hideyoshi gender I know is from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. The more obscure reverse futanari, male futanari, and neohalf/newboy sounded so obscure I didn't even bother looking for instances of them in anime for general audiences.


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  1. This is a topic I know well, since I find it interesting (I especially love 男の娘) and also applicable to my own personal life as a non-binary person.

    Personally, I believe a futanari _must_ have both vagina and penis, especially given the origin of the word ("futa" from 二つ, "na" presumably as the adjective particle, and "ri" as in 一人 = "two in one person"). If your source for saying futanari sometimes have no vagina is Pixiv, I've seen many such "futanari" images with only a penis, but they are drawn overwhelmingly by American and other western artists. In such cases, I think it's a matter of the artist not understanding the true definition of ふたなり. They are actually シーメール (shemale) or ニューハーフ (newhalf) instead. There's a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about tag definitions among western artists on Pixiv.

    Other than the futanari issue, I would add that at least some of these terms carry some degree of deregatory connotation in either Japanese or English, such as okama. "Hermaphrodite" is a non-preferred and potentially derogatory term as well, and "intersex" is preferred these days.

    I'd add to the list メス男子, the preferred term for 男の娘 who is 青年 (late teen or 20's) and 男姉ちゃん (similar, but more voluptuous and closer to shemale). Along those lines, there's also メスショタ (similar to 男の娘 but with a stronger sexual element, or like ショタ but with a more feminized body), and this might be a good place to discuss 雌 (めす) and 雄 (おす) and why you don't use them to describe people, if you haven't already, as well as terms such as ホモ, ゲー, レズ, 百合, やおい, BL, GL, ML, NL, バラ, etc.

    Finally, I think I know at least one other nekama but as you said, you can't really name them without spoiling the story. I think it's ok to mention the character's name, though, since MAL lists 6 pages of characters named Tsukasa. (And it was such a great anime. They don't make them like that anymore.)