, 2022-09-19 19:16:21,
When it comes to anime and manga characters, hair colors and styles can say a lot about their personalities without a single word needing to be spoken. For instance, pigtails — better known in Japan as twintails — are typically worn by characters who are especially innocent, child-like or emotionally immature. Meanwhile, red or orange-haired characters with pigtails, such as Evangelion’s Asuka, are often stubborn and passionate tsundere characters who are quick to lash out from possessiveness or jealousy.
In contrast to pigtails, the loosely-worn low side-ponytail, or sometimes side-plait, is commonly worn by older anime and manga characters, and particularly by loving, kindly anime/manga mothers and motherly figures. From classic mom characters such as Kusakabe Yasuko from My Neighbor Totoro to more contemporary examples like Rengoku Ruka from Demon Slayer, the ‘mom-style’ side-ponytail or side-plait has been around for decades and persisted until this day.
In fact, the hairstyle has become ubiquitous enough that certain similarities can be drawn between the numerous anime and manga characters seen wearing it and their personalities and/or everyday roles. For instance, since the style isn’t designed to be especially elegant or showy, but instead informal and low-maintenance, it makes sense that characters who usually have loose side-ponytails probably don’t have a job that calls for them to be in a professional office setting or involves rigorous physical activity where their hair would get in the way.
This type of hairstyle also frames the face, making characters appear softer and more stereotypically feminine. There’s a marked difference in personality, for example, between a mom like Dragon Ball Z’s Chi-Chi, who wears a high, tight bun that naturally makes her look somewhat strict and no-nonsense, and Toradora!’s Takasu Yasuko, who has a far more relaxed and easygoing personality. If a figure such as Isabella, aka Mama, from The Promised Neverland, wore a low and casual side-ponytail instead of her trademark bun with her hair scraped back from her forehead, it would give an entirely different feel to her character. Likewise, if the gentle and softspoken Kawamoto Akari from March Comes In like a Lion wore a tight bun rather than her loosely twisted side-ponytail, there would be an odd disconnect between her appearance…
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