As the popular saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we often make our criteria for what is truly beautiful. We can’t actually judge someone objectively because what is beautiful for you is not always beautiful for others. To simply put it, everyone is entitled to their own opinion about beauty.

As an anime and manga enthusiast, my perception about the word gradually changed as I watched different varieties of male characters because yes, I am this overly exaggerated fangirl. I remember those old days I obsessively watched Fushigi Yuugi where I realized anime is the world of perfection where dazzling creatures exist and I had always wished they come out in flesh. Those were the moments my thoughts about beauty changed over the generation.


As many days went by, due to the wide extent of ideas and creations, I met the word “Bishounen” in an old anime magazine which featured the anatomical aspects of Sha Gojyo from the series Saiyuki, so I learned the right term to describe those beautiful characters. To have a brief definition, Bishounen literally means “beautiful boy”, particularly the youth, and whose sexual appeal transcends the boundary of gender orientation. However, I often stereotyped the term as a long-haired guy with sharp eyes, and more than just a beautiful face of a goddess with absence of masculinity as to physical attributes such as Hotohori (Fushigi Yuugi), Kenshin (Rorouni Kenshin), Kurama (Yuyu Hakusho), Tokiya Mikagami (Recca no Honou) and Duo Maxwell (Gundam Wing), to name few characters of the older anime generation.

As I finally reached the modern era of animation, I always had a bulk of anime series out there. As it grew larger and more progressively, I also came across with different characters of different artists, and I eventually realized there were a lot of stunning characters in the big world of anime. So I finally concluded, it’s not only about the woman-like face of a young boy that falls under the category of Bishounen. To be a Bishounen isn’t always about being the most beautiful man because it also pertains to the overall appeal, the humor behind the gorgeous face, and most of all, the charisma among fangirls, the gentle interaction with other people around them.

There are lots of anime series that prove to every fangirls that beauty does not always literally pertain to physical attraction over the face. Here are the charm and qualities of young boys behind their alluring faces:

anime_sports_001-horzThe Sporty Hotties

Do you prefer men with slender body or rather those with athletic built? If you prefer those physically active hotties out there with those sweats falling onto the ground you wish you could use your towel to wipe those sweats, then you can definitely find your ideal bishies in some sports related series like Prince of Tennis, Free!, and Kuroko no Basket. You can’t just get enough of their abs and muscles, can you?

anime_historical_001-horzThe Historical Beauties

The era of Shinsengumi is also the era of first class men among the antiques. This group of people is considered as the most beautiful beings during the Shougunate period. I know they only exist in anime and manga, but who knows, those beautiful young samurais might have also existed in our history. Aside from their heavenly gorgeous face, they are also skilled in swordsmanship, martial arts, and they can even protect you until their last breath. If you’d love to enter their world and be involved in their bloody battles just to take a quick glance at their superb moves aside from their stunning faces, anime series like Hakuouki, Sengoku Basara and Touken Ranbu, will truly satisfy your bishie cravings.

anime_music_001-horzThe Melodies from Heaven

Are you the type of fangirl who easily gets hooked up with characters with innate talents? These are men who do not only possess the framework of a total package Bishounen but also, what makes them more beautiful is their talent when it comes to music, song writing and their overall appeal on stage. They can offer their most impressive performance in front of oh-so hyped fangirls. So, be one of the audience of these young talented people through watching anime series such as Uta no Prince-Sama, Starmyu and La Corda d’Oro.

anime_mecha_001-horzThe Behind-the-Suit Bishies 

Sometimes, mecha series are often neglected especially if you are the type of Otaku who easily gets bored of watching those armors, battle scenes in the outer space, explosion all over the corner. In my case, I learned to love mecha series when I started watching Gundam Wing in our local TV network because that was the time I realized robots are amazing especially if you love the character behind the well-equipped suit. There are a lot of appealing male characters in mecha series. If you love those sharp eyes of Heero Yuy (Gundam Wing), the soft and gentle personality of Kira Yamato (Gundam Seed), the charismatic and arrogant appeal of Lelouch (Code Geass) along with their high skills to execute those gigantic suits, your criteria of Bishounen is surely above others’ preference.

anime_supernatural_001-horzThe Supernatural Beings

These are male characters with good looks who possess special abilities far from the ordinary world that normal humans can’t do. Fangirls also love to watch characters who are literally fictional more than what they thought that these characters would be. You will easily fall in love with different types of bishies in the series like Hiiro no Kakera, Code Breaker, and Kamigami no Asobi.

shounen-full-horzThe Shounen’s Gem

Have you ever noticed that aside from the overrated protagonist from a shounen series, there’s a cool-looking guy around who also plays a big role throughout the series? Take those good examples such as Gray Fullbuster (Fairy Tail), Killua (Hunter X Hunter), Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist), Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan) and Katsura (Gintama), to mention few characters of popular shounen titles. If you love their existence which makes the series a lot more special and enough for you to see them in every episode, then you absolutely have the best taste. They are those characters who do not even know they possess the most flawless look throughout the generation.

anime_romcom_001-horzThe Rom-Com’s Prince 

You always dream about that guy you watch in various romantic comedy series because most of their personalities are often seen in every corner of the modern society, that sometimes, how they act in front of the female protagonist, also happens in real life. For sure, you have already dreamed about the total cold-hearted Irie Naoki (Itazura na Kiss) and acted like the absent-minded Kotoko Aihara. If you also want to be the servant of the hottest student in your school, don’t hesitate to be the pet dog of Kyoya Sata (Wolf Girl and Black Prince).

Do you have other spices of Bishounen? Do these fictional characters let you define and make your criteria to its extent about the term? So, let this world know that these guys deserve to exist in real life.


15 thoughts on “What it means to be a Bishounen: The Different Perspectives

  1. Bishies!!!!! There are tons! And I’ll probably need to create an entirely different post for my list. This is an interesting read. I especially loved the categories you created for these gorgeous fictional characters and the ‘Behind-the-suit bishies’ sound so dope I can’t even.Thanks for sharing!

    The sporty hotties though…….


    1. Thank you for appreciating my post. I just wanted to express my thoughts about Bishounen since most of the fangirls, particularly the modern generation, love it, and I want them to realize that the world of anime is just so big and there are lots of gorgeous guys out there aside from how they stereotyped the word as ‘beautiful’. I’m looking forward to your post related to this. Cheers! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true! Aside from the gorgeous visuals, let’s not forget that some of the most memorable bishies out there has excellent characterization and life drama too! Yep! I’ll definitely link back to this post once I publish it! Cheers!


  2. That’s good summary of the Bishounen type you can found. As for myself I usually go for the sporty type (ultimate Anime crush being Daiki Aomine ) or the supernatural one (Crowley come to bite me) but also the Shounen Gem for a while I had a burning desire for Mustang.


  3. Those are very good categories, I don’t think I can add anything to it! The only other bishie typing I could think of is based on their looks (e.g. the megane type, the cool type, etc.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, fellow Filipino Otaku. I enjoyed making this post because I love bishie characters, and I would want my fellow fangirls to realize that these guys are not just about beautiful faces. They have lots to offer more than that. 🙂


  4. What a treat, this post! Oh my gosh. Speaking of Fushigi Yuugi, it was one of the greatest corruptors of my childhood. My goodness. I can’t believe my parents let me watch that anime as a kid. I’m not complaining, though. Ah, I love ogling bishounen and it’s true that bishies have been becoming more and more diverse and more and more…divine. My goodness. I could just look at these pictures the entire day. I like Shinsengumi-style bishies, as they’re HOT, but I also love sports bishies. My gosh. Ah, I’m hyperventilating. Thank YOU for writing this post. Bless you, girl. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww. Yes. Fushigi Yuugi. Tamahome, Hotohori, and name them all. Haha. And that awkward moment when we were watching romantic scenes at an early age, and we would look around to see if parents were just around.

      I know you love sporty bishies. Forgive me, I forgot to mention Yuri on Ice! Kill me now. Haha.

      Thanks for appreciating my post. Cheers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knooooow! I was in love with both Tamahome and Hotohori. Well, the weird thing was that I watched Fushigi Yuugi while the family was in full view. Actually, I think they were also watching. Ahaha! Yes, I love sporty bishies. And yes, I’m a little sad that I didn’t see YOI here, but that’s okay. Good post. Keep it up. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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