Anime is known for its wide variety. Be it stories, genres, or characters. You’ll find it all. There are people who just can’t get over the shonen genre where they watch a young teen with a big dream take over powerful foes. And there are those who enjoy the little quarrels of two characters who secretly love each other. Shows like Naruto, Attack on Titan, Tora Dora, are extremely famous examples of the various genres of anime. The characters, too, vary. For example, the young overconfident brat with an impossible dream to achieve is usually the protagonist of a shonen anime. A great example of this is none other than Naruto Uzumaki. Then there is the cynical mass-murdering protagonist who has extreme ideologies which drive him to kill a whole lot of people. Great examples of this type are Light Yagami from Death Note and Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan. And then, there are trap characters.
Trap characters can be seen as protagonists in some anime like Assassination Classroom, and yet in some others, they can be seen as side characters who don’t appear in the whole anime more than twice, like Naruto. So, what are trap characters in anime? Put simply; trap characters are those who are rejected by society based on the traditional norms of male-female. These characters might have very feminine-looking features but are actually males. The opposite is also possible where a female with very boyish-looking features fools viewers about her identity. Traps are often written to foreshadow the gender orientation of the character. And other times, they just exist for no iron-clad reason.
Here are few examples of famous trap characters from anime for your better understanding.
1. Haku, Naruto
One of the very first trap characters an otaku came face to face with. Haku of the Ice Style appears to be a very beautiful girl. Naruto himself comes across Haku in a forest where he falls asleep after training too hard. He wakes up to see Haku trying to help him up. Naruto immediately gets stunned by Haku’s beauty, calling him even more beautiful than his crush, Sakura.
Later on, both viewers and Naruto himself are shocked to find out that the adorable-looking Haku is actually a boy. Not only that, he is a proficient assassin of the Blood Mist Village who works to protect and serve Zabuza, the Demon of The Hidden Mist
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2. Nagisa, Assassination Classroom
A great example of a trap character as the protagonist of a show. Nagisa was forced to keep an appearance that would resemble a female by his mother. And as a result, well, you know what happens. He has great light blue eyes and hair. Many viewers would claim that they did not realize he was a boy for several episodes believing Nagisa to be a girl for quite a while. Nagisa is calm and collected and probably the smartest, most tactical character in the show.
After the death of Korosensei, Nagisa takes on teaching, having studied under one of the best teachers of his life. However, he changes his appearance a bit, no longer keeping his short hair in ponytails though he still maintains bangs. Nagisa keeps wearing his signature waistcoat apart from the times he is made to cross-dress to emphasize his trap characteristics.
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3. Saika, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
Saika is one of the characters who does not entirely hide his identity as a boy. However, he looks quite feminine and, moreover, acts a lot like it too. It doesn’t help when the studio gives him a very natural feminine vibe and then reveals that the pretty anime girl we’ve been crushing on is actually a guy. He has fooled viewers a lot, too, just like the other trap characters, even more so when we see him cross dressmaking the confusion greater.
4. Ruka Urushibara, Steins;Gate
Ruka identifies as a female. And so, making him look and dress like one makes complete sense. Steins;Gate is all about time travel and sending memories and messages to the past. Ruka messages his mother in the past to eat more vegetables so he would rather be born as a girl, and to everyone’s surprise, it works! However, soon it all turns back to normal because of the events that follow. Still, Ruka will always be a great trap character to have in an anime.
So this was the complete guide on trap characters. Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.