The entelechy of ‘reverse traps,’ and the 7th Philippine Toy Convention

I went to the 7th Phil. Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention yesterday. The event was actually far from our place, and I had a sore throat. I decided to go there, however, because it is most probably my last year of stay here in Manila and conventions occur only once a year. I actually enjoyed the convention a lot because it was the first time I was able to meet with other members of our anime organization; I also had friends who accompanied me in my search for good but cheap merchandise. Finally, I was able to purchase two CDs of the brilliant green and some very cheap books (not comic books, but non-graphic ones), so I didn’t go home empty-handed.


The brunt of my post, however, will not be about my experience with the convention. It will be about the entelechy of reverse traps. This post came to mind when I saw a cosplayer who was a good example of this phenomenon: she wore a Prince of Tennis cosplay of Kunimitsu Tezuka (I think), and she was quite attractive both as a guy or as a girl. As I already had the inspiration for the post, I decided to interview her: this would allow me to flesh out the entelechy of the phenomenon better.

Reverse traps are a phenomenon in some anime and manga. This arose from the trap phenomenon, which most non-casual anime fans are familiar of. A trap is genetically a human male (with a penis) that looks a lot like a human female. Notable examples would be Mizuho from Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru and Jun from Happiness!. Conversely, a reverse trap is a human female and is someone that looks a lot like a human male or can pass off as one.

Before I saw the lady I interviewed yesterday, I was thinking of reverse traps purely and solely within the world of potentiality: it was highly implausible, but it was possible that it could happen in the real world. The situations where Mizuho is placed in is an absurd one; the same can also be said with regard to Fujioka Haruhi‘s situation.


Having seen a lady that can pass off as a man without any plastic surgery, however, made me decide to interview the lady. My friend even took pictures of her. Without him, I wouldn’t have proof of a reverse trap existing in real life. Thanks, Steve.

In my interview of Raissa (for that was the name she gave me), I noted quite a few similarities in the situation of the reverse trap purely in the realm of potentiality (anime and manga) and the same situation in real life.

1) The women are as straight as arrows.

Fujioka Haruhi and Ashiya Mizuki are women who are straight. This means that they have romantic feelings only for beings of their opposite sex. Haruhi struggles with the advances of her harem, and so does Mizuki.

The same can be said regarding Raissa. When I asked her whether she was straight, she quickly replied that she was. She admires Haruhi and Mizuki, however, because she likes female empowerment.

2) The interests of the women involved are often masculine in nature.

Haruhi is fond of her studies to the extent of doing all those things so that her academic education would not be destroyed; Mizuki wanted to be close to her idol, but also excelled in a sport that men are more prominent in, which is track and field. Likewise, Raissa is fond of Filipino poetry (she told me this was her interest), which is a field dominated by men.

I think this is what allows them to adapt easier to the more brusque nature of man: they have interests that are masculine as well as feminine, so when they are required to adjust (more will be said about this in the third point) they have an easy transition.

3) Their transvestism, or dressing up as men, is more a necessity than a desire.

This is very obvious.

Mizuki had to dress as a guy because she belonged to an all-boys’ school; likewise, Haruhi has to dress up like a man because she had to belong to a girls’ host club.

Raissa had to dress up as a guy because she cosplayed as a guy in Prince of Tennis.

Their adjustment to acting as men, however, has an easy transition because they are steeped in masculine actions and interests. Were these ladies interested in only in Barbies or dolls and using make-up, the transition would be quite difficult. Being a reverse trap is also an art.

* * *


I believe the incidence of reverse traps in recent anime signals the shift from purely male-dominated anime (Fist of the North Star comes to mind) to a more balanced treatment of men and women. I applaud the shift: I appreciate women who think and act for themselves; I don’t, however, like women who act like doormats (which is why I disliked Hot Gimmick). I could actually add more to this post, but that will have to come later as I still have a ton of academic requirements to fulfill. πŸ™‚

P.S. Click the thumbnails for the full picture. The camera doesn’t do her justice, but it was a camera from the phone of my friend.

26 Responses to “The entelechy of ‘reverse traps,’ and the 7th Philippine Toy Convention”

  1. issa-sa Says:

    Woohoo reverse traps that embody the empowerment of women VS regular traps that are just there to pander to the curious XD
    Yea, anime could use a more balanced treatment between the genders, and if reverse traps provide that, then more of them are more than welcome!

  2. rei Says:

    I knew I should have gone to the toy convention! Anyway, interesting post. I’ve always been interested in people who crossdress. I mean, why choose to cosplay a male when you’re female and when there is a diverse selection of female anime characters to choose from. Whatever the girl’s personality and cosplay needs are, i’m pretty sure she can find at least one female character that suits her tastes and even budget.

  3. Lelangir Says:

    The only thing I did was click on the thumbnails and turn my laptop 90 degrees clockwise, thank you very much.

  4. Michael Says:


    Or they may signal changing trends in the world today. It’s actually something I welcome. πŸ™‚


    Thanks. It’s fond to think about what-ifs, and trying to make sense of things. I was personally just surprised, because it’s my first time seeing a reverse trap.


    The camera doesn’t do her much justice, but she looks pretty good. Honestly.

  5. Ez Says:

    Wow, she looks a bit like me with glasses on (except that I look like a guy). Other than that, she’s really quite pretty! O_o

    Cool post! =D

  6. Shance Says:

    There were traps on that con too, cosplay-wise. Too bad mike didn’t get to see me.

  7. Michael Says:


    Yes, she is, right? Just from that I decided to interview her.


    Um, I wasn’t able to get your number, so I had to bustle on to the con. πŸ™

  8. Baka-Raptor Says:

    I need to watch Fist of the North Star. Sounds like my kind of show.

  9. akurashy Says:

    Really interesting, which left me thinking, why didn’t you ask for her phone number too!?

    Oh well! glad you enjoyed the convention, i’ve never been in one since I don’t really have interest in going to one πŸ™

  10. Barclay Says:

    interesting post

    I’ve never known anyone to actually deeply ponder the plight of the trap, I did know a guy who fapped to traps, but thats beside the point

    also i think the allure of fujioka haruhi was that she was good as a guy or a girl. She was one of those characters that is immediately likable. I’m guessing her dad being a trap helped that too πŸ™‚

  11. IKnight Says:

    ‘The Other Haruhi’ was a relatively normal and understandable person in a world of mad, rich people, and she looked suitably ornamental whichever way her clothes were gendered (for some reason I dislike the use of ‘gender’ as a verb). Of course, it helped that OHSHC was a fantastically witty show. I’m not sure about dedication to study being a masculine trait, though: I’ve no idea how this functions around the world, but in the UK at least girls tend to be more academic than boys.

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  13. Lelangir Says:

    I believe the incidence of reverse traps in recent anime signals the shift from purely male-dominated anime (Fist of the North Star comes to mind) to a more balanced treatment of men and women. I applaud the shift: I appreciate women who think and act for themselves; I donÒ€ℒt, however, like women who act like doormats (which is why I disliked Hot Gimmick). I could actually add more to this post, but that will have to come later as I still have a ton of academic requirements to fulfill. πŸ™‚

    I disagree: “reverse” traps are only “re” in such that they’re female? It’s like the “female novelist” as opposed to the “regular” novelist who is a male – or WNBA as opposed to the NBA whose name is not gendered and signifies “normalcy”. As if the Women’s National Basketball Association were some crazy mutant hybrid of the “normal” origin of basketball associations. English, while not having gendered articles is still gendered in different ways. I think all this trap business is on a pedestal rather than egalitarian. It’s exoticized and elevated for entertainment

  14. Susie Q Says:

    @Michael- interesting dicussion topic! I was going to say I’ve seen a couple, but then I realized they were all traps but never reverse traps. I agree that having both represented in anime definitely is related to having equal social stature for the sexes- for example like how “butler cafes” as opposed to maid cafes are becoming popular these days b/c it’s no longer only accepted/allowed for guys to like. before it was like, oh girls shouldn’t be interested in that sort of thing, they should refuse male advances and especially not go looking for it!

    @ Lelangir: Hmm I sort of agree about the wnba naming, but I’m not sure how else they could make a separate women’s group for that…but for the women novelists, are you asking “why do we have to categorize them as ‘women novelists’ instead of just novelists?” I think it has to do with, it is harder for women to feel like “just a person and gender doesn’t matter” because it is pretty much part of every interaction, however subtle. I think it is actually easier for men to look past gender (if they want to) because they don’t have to change anything about themselves, just how they see other people. but women kind of have to continually reconcile the “norm” of society where the default is male, with themselves and how they are different.

  15. Lelangir Says:

    Then you’d call it MNBA and WNBA.

    “I think it is actually easier for men to look past gender (if they want to) because they donÒ€ℒt have to change anything about themselves, just how they see other people.” Oh no – I disagree there. When we view gender as simply male vs. female we forget about strife between males. There’s just as much struggle for power between men as there is between men and women. Maybe.

    Yes, women have to put up with double standards, but so do men. Once again, focusing simply on the oppression of women diverts attention away from feminized men – hence the “plurality” of masculinity: the fact that there is more than one type of man, just as there is more than one type of woman (to go with the flow of categorization etc.).

  16. Michael Says:


    I think it’s your kind of show, too.


    Hi! πŸ˜€

    I’ve no plans on courting her, and while I asked her e-mail she gave me an address that was non-existent. Perhaps I looked like a stalker, or something. I wanted to contact her to prove to her that I really used the interview for a post. Too bad. πŸ™


    HI! Thank you.

    Yes, that’s a good point. She was very likable as a person.


    I don’t know. Maybe I was mistaken, but that was just a shallow observation of mine regarding academics.




    Yeah, but you have to recognize that the trend of using women as primary characters and protagonists is notable (at least, compared to the male-dominated heroes of the 80s). It may be elevated for entertainment, but at least something good comes from it?

    @Susie Q


    I like the aim for fairness. At least society is going somewhere, I don’t know.

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