[Image: An Di]

One of the most famous (infamous?) anime underwear tropes for female characters is light blue and white striped underpants. Male characters, it seems, have a similar trope.

Advertisement

For the female characters, the stripes are horizontal, but for the male characters, they are vertical. As you can see below in this Twitter by Japanese Twitter user Takumi, a wide range of characters (from Lupin III to Ash from Pokemon) have all worn similar boxers.

(Apparently, Nick in the Disney feature film Zootopia does, too? I haven’t seen it yet, but according to Takumi, this shows how influential the trope is. Though, Disney might not be directly influenced by this anime trend.)

Advertisement

Be aware that some of these characters also wear different colored boxers. Ash, for example, has also worn white undies, while Lupin has worn heart boxers on several occasions.

Striped, however, are most common for the famous thief.

Advertisement

Sponsored

But who started this striped boxer trope in Japan? Some wondered if it wasn’t early 1970s manga Otoko Oidon:

Or the earlier Osomatsu-kun, which ran in the 1960s:

It’s possible that this type of underpants was popular at the time in Japan or that artists simply needed a shorthand to easily express that a character was in his undies and not wearing shorts or swimwear.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.