You wanted fetishes? Here we go. I’m starting with one of the best.

What is it about twintails? I come here today to find out. I know much about them, from my (worryingly) long career in this community of ours. They are:

  • Marvelous
  • Beautiful
  • Carefree
  • Playful
  • Erotic
  • Dignified
  • Mysterious
  • Grand

…but why? Why is this so? Why is it the second a lady walks past wearing the vaunted twintails, my head turns with her? Why does the mere doubling of what is otherwise old and passe turn it into something so wonderful?

This is not what we’re talking about. Ew. Come back when you’ve learned how to do it properly.

Some would say that twintails are childish, a hairstyle for little girls. No, no. In the Mind of Stilts1, twintails ≠ pigtails. For one, pigtails? Really? Someone thought that was a good name for a hairstyle? Pigtails sound like something suspicious that country folk sell at county fairs, probably pickled and smelling of regret and vinegar. No, pigtails are the domain of Pippy Longstockings and 4-year-old girls who got into mommy’s scrunchie drawer. Pigtails are for the young. Twintails are something else.

But no, maybe that’s not entirely correct. After all, you don’t often see twintails on an older woman (though I wish we did – I think we can all agree that this would be a wonderful thing. Can one of you make this happen?). While pigtails are for little girls, and therefore are of no interest, twintails are for young women, and I’ll admit there’s some allure there. Nothing strange, nothing weird! I’m not that old yet, I assure you. Just young at heart is the key.

Also not what we’re talking about, though they can be fun too.

But that’s not all, not the whole story. The allure is subtle, though I think I’m starting to grasp it. Take the twintails’ impoverished onee-san, the ponytail. A ponytail is nice, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it is simply a necessity. Pull the hair back and get it out of the way, I have work to do, that kind of thing. With the second action, the second hair tie, extra effort is paid. What does that mean…

Femininity, that is it! Think of it…while rarer than with our fairer counterparts, you still see men wearing the ponytail from time-to-time. In fact, I’ve done it myself, back in my college days of youthful indiscretion (as should be the case with college). But the wonderful, unknowable, undefeateable, unfathomable twintails? No, never2. Twintails remain solely for the use of the ladies, giving them an extra hint of femininity that makes them ever so more delightful to behold.

Do not shatter Stilts’ twintail illusions. It will not end well for you!

And now we’re getting closer! For though undeniably feminine, there’s still an element of practicality to the twintails’ application, and that’s key. While twintails still collect the hair away from the face so that the lady might attend to what she needs to do, a ponytail is more strictly functional. It’s the combination of practicality and un-necessity that gives us…fun! Twintails are playful, a way to attend to the day’s business while giving an extra hint of femininity and beauty and wow. That, and it is undeniable how delightful it is to see twintails bounce as a woman plays at the pool or beach. Wonderful.

The goddess.

There is something else, though, something more. This one is perhaps unfair, but I cannot help but admit that it’s there (ooo, I rhymed!). We all have mental associations, right? Over time one thing becomes related to another, to the benefit of both – or the detriment, but we’re talking about something glorious here, so certainly it is a benefit! What I am talking about is tsunderes, and by extension, the earth-shattering zettai ryouiki that the best of them wear. I will not overly belabor this point – that’s the subject of another post – but suffice to say that the zettai ryouiki is a wonderful thing. Yet, thanks to my anime career, a mere Grade B is no longer enough, and sometimes even a Grade A will not suffice! No, it’s in the search for the ever elusive Grade S – Grade A zettai ryouiki + twintails + tsundere personality – that ultimate happiness is found. Twintails have become wrapped up with tsunderes and zettai ryouiki in my mind…and I could not be happier. These are all good things! And twintails are among the best.

There, I think we have it, the answer to why twintails are so wonderful. Or perhaps that’s just my answer? Chime in with your thoughts below! And as always, email me at, or message me on twitter at @StiltsOutLoud, if you have any topic ideas for future posts. Now, I think I shall go lie down. All this twintail awesomeness is too much for one man, one blogger. Too. Much. Awesome.

That’s right, Kagami. Now you’re doing it right.


1 Which is not a place for the faint of heart. Never try to understand the mind of a writer and anime blogger. Other people dream of flying through the skym or of being in public in their underwear. I dream of nekomimi meido dueling with battle axes on a sinking space tentacle monster while cheery JPop plays in the background and elvish pirates fly past on very Nice Boats. And then it starts to get really weird.[Back]

2 To all those who are now getting funny ideas, please do not find, draw, or otherwise produce pictures of a man with twintails. Do not ruin this for me. Some things must be kept sacred![Back]


    1. well… I knew this was coming.

      And I shall give some credits to pigtail fetish… After all, no known human male can pull off this look. No one! Brad Pitt in his youth and Fabio (yeah, right) have known to pull off long lock, but I dare to imagine a male with pigtail…. You’re welcome and you can put down the kit kat now.

      So that takes out half of population right away. Then also not all women can pull it off, either. Surprisingly very few are good pigtails. For the health of our eyes, there is age limit set for this look. Maybe early 40ish for even the most freakish baby faced individuals, but that’s it… more like mid-thirty at best. So as good pigtails are so hard to come by and rare, I understand the fetish. After all, abundance and common are enemy of fetish. As for me, I am not that picky on hair; if it’s long enough to grab easily (hypothetically speaking, of course), I’ll be content.

      p.s. no one says Andrej Pejic. I’ve got no comebacker for that one.

    1. Didn’t Lenalee sport some twin tails for a while?

      i note she may have fallen from stilt’s grace with her anime essential character development hair cut…

      having said that her new hair in the manga is all kind of win…. ^_^

      1. Damnit fragb85 you cant through that last picture our without a warning. Adding glasses, garters, and sundresses to Rin’s already stacked gifts leaves her far too powerful. (Plus i don’t think this is an actual Zettai Ryouiki since you can see her panties.)

  1. Haha, I couldn’t agree more, there’s just a factor to them that can’t be ignore (I rhymed too!) By the way Stilts, I was wondering if you would like to write about how Westerners see “otaku’s” as compared to the view of those in Japan.
    From my view, when we refer to people as geeks or nerd nowadays, it’s not really much of an insult, while in Japan it can be a whole different story. I’m studying aboard over at Japan atm (20 minutes away from Akihabara, yay!), and notice that otaku’s (mainly guys in general) are seen as the stereotypical fat, smelly, or unsocial person (or all of the above). Girls on the other hand may be viewed completely different, but I don’t really know much. Don’t get me wrong though, there are also people who are pretty into anime and manga who are social as well, who playfully call themselves otaku.
    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to share and hopefully get your opinion on this ^_^

  2. So let me get this straight, if a chick in twin tails and zettai ryouiki were to come up to you and say the magical words “Its not like I did my hair this way for you!” you’d ascend to heaven? Or am I going to far? xD

    1. I swear, if any girl uses that sentence structure with me in conversation without knowing its relation to manga and anime, I would have SO much trouble holding in my laughter!

  3. You missed something Stilts. Twintails takes the hair away from the nape of the neck giving you a full view unlike the pony tail which requires a flick, drape over the shoulder, or a push away. Japanese have loved the nape for centuries with Geisha even having a specific design requirements on how they powder/coat/whiten the nape of their neck.

    1. That is a very good point, the nape is important in traditional Japanese clothing. You always see kimonos and yukatas with the back of the neck pulled a fingerbreadth away from the neck—go google it, I’m not making this up.

    2. twin tails may expose the nape and it might add some allure to it but i prefer pony tails. it just makes my day. it shows the nape but it covers it at the same time. utterly euphoric

      i had a ball of a time lookin at the pony tailed girls in my high school

  4. I am a woman and I love twintails, I really do. Indeed, a few years ago, I used to ‘wear’ this type of hairstyle quite often. But the truth is that when a woman gets a bit older, twintails are not an option anymore, at least not to go to work or to attend an important meeting, if you know what I mean. Of course for fun yes, for fun it is damn obligatory to ‘wear’ twintails, when you go to the beach or to camping, twintails are good ^o^

    1. I won’t lie… this hairstyle does require extra work so I’d only sport it if I knew that someone else liked this hairstyle on me ^^ I don’t do it often though since it’s not the image I want to portray at work =X

    1. Twintails ≠ pigtails! There’s a crucial difference sah! Pigtails are side of the head and childish, whereas twintails can be cinched elsewhere on the head and are typically longer. That makes all the difference in the world!

    1. Impossible. Zettai Ryouiki were mentioned at any level, so mention of The Goddess was obligatory. I don’t think the site would let me hit the post button without one!

  5. Hmm, I think it is also important to remember that twintails are an exceedingly rare hairstyle to have (at least down here, and the last time I was in Japan I didn’t quite notice any either). That is the same reason why tsunderes AND twintails AND zettai ryouiki go hand in hand because they just don’t appear very often at all.

    All this I meant in real life, of course.

  6. That was a pretty fun analysis! 😀
    I think, I dunno…’s like the aesthetic quality of the twintails holds this aura of elegant “sassy-ness”. (for lack of better wording)

    What I mean is that because of the length and the choice of not one, but TWO tails it allows it to maintains that graceful feminine quality to it, while the the fact that it’s tied up gives that sense of control and dignity. I guess that’s why it lends well to the tsundere personality/archetype? Of course, I could just be rambling nonsense here. =u=

    1. Absolutely it should be on the list. Twintails are many things!

      And Nanoha is badass, but I’ve no interest in her outside of a storytelling perspective until she’s rocking the full length sidetail / twintails later on. The loli version is all yours, The Moondoggie. o.O

  7. Even though twin tail are nice (Rin !!!) I’ll take to bed a pony tail (Mio-chan !!!)any day over a twin tails!! They are easier to handle with one hand and still leaves your other hand free for other business. But to each his own. Actully I can’t remember the last time I saw a twin tail walking down the street !!!! I’m leaving work early today and instead of looking at oshiri at the train station my eyes will be on the look out for that misterious and evasive twin tail species. Maybe I’ll change my mind 😛

      1. wow Talking about impossible tasks!!!! I failed the afternoon this post was made. Nonetheless yesterday I was determined to find a twin tail!!! Stilts I hate you , LOL!!!! I spend 4 hours in the mall walking in circles, avoiding the mall security and trying to look like a normal buyer and not a chikan. I ended in a candle shop, was full of females…nothing and spend 20 bucks. Then I went into a “bath” shop again full of females, nada zero zippo, another 40 bucks spend! I lost count of the pony tails after 50, there are so many of them! I have never “seen” so many heads and hair. When my feet started to ache I went to the food court in defeat. Carrying my candles, body cream cleaner and a tray worth of 15 more bucks on food I ponder my situation…

        Gessh!!! So my un-scientific study showed most older females (grandmas) will wear short hair. Middle age all kind of hairdo. Young pony tail!!! yay, Lolis most of them straight long hair. Under 5 all kind of pins and stuff to keep it together Even the 2 years old didn’t have a twin tail. At this point I finish my food and decided to go home yet again defeated. Throw away the trash and turn to head for the mall exit. Lo and behold!!!!! Walking straight at me a blond, two gold strands of hair at each side of her shoulders. Finally a twin tail !!!!! she was wearing it very low the tie was low at neck level and the two tail were resting at her shoulder. As soon as she went by me I got a huge smile and left.
        Final thought: You are completely right twin tails are a fetish. The ratio is so low to find one that is easier to pay for one.

        PD This invetigation made me feel weird and dirty. LOL I’m back at looking at mature women rumps.

  8. I’m not trying to be a hater or a troll…this is seriously my honest opinion. Even after this post I STILL don’t understand the “allure” of twintails. Twintails…pigtails, they are both the same to me. NO DON’T KILL ME!! I think I’ve tried having my hair up that way and it’s fun for the first 5 minutes and then afterwards I feel like an idiot for looking so damn childish. Granted I have a young looking appearance, but they just don’t work for me. I can’t see any of my friends pulling that off….okay maybe one friend. The normal ponytail I think is sexy enough. Especially those high ponytails! I argue that it can be just as feminine as you think pigtai-I mean twintails are. Think about it. Can you see a see a guy normally pulling off a high ponytail? I think not :P!

  9. wonder is it just me? I kinda think that most characters with long twintails have strong personality which there shine by being very active whereas those with short twintails have weak characteristics that would make people wanted to protect them.

  10. I must be one of the few people who prefer ponytails more.

    Though this is not to say twin tails aren’t alluring to me if a character that normally doesn’t wear one suddenly does – for example Kuroyukihime in the recent episode of Accel World. I think I died of moe then.

    Speaking of Accel World, whatever happened to RC’s coverage of AW5? Or Hyouka 3 for that matter since I’m at it?

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I like any kind of hairstyle as long as it’s not bald or mohawk.
      I don’t know about Accel World (I think it’s almost a week since recent ep was aired), but Takaii said in Acchi Kocchi 05 post:
      “P.S. Sorry about the late post everyone! With Finals and Work taking its toll, I just haven’t had the time to get it out till now. Hyouka will be out shortly and things will be back on track soon!”

  11. I now want to see inside your mind Stilts. Nekomimi maids, you can’t go wrong with that on any level and with a Jpop cherry on top, just wow! That is like hitting a jackpot in my opinion 😀

  12. While all the above is true. Nobody has ever talked about the huge drawback of the twintails. The back side of the head! Huge turn off, don’t know why. I definitely do not like it, any thoughts on this?

  13. I’m not too big of a fan of the type of twin-tails worn by Asuna/ Aria. Rather, I prefer the type worn by Rin, where there’s more hair in each twin tails, causing it to drape down, rather than protrude outward.

    Also, pony-tails = love for me.

  14. I have to admit I have been a diehard fan for long hair girls forever, especially those with hair down. Afterwards I’ve gained the love of ponytails and such, but not yet acquired twin-tails yet.

    However, as I read along this post, all these childhood to now memories came flooding back and I found myself finishing this short read with an enlightenment. TWINTAILS. IS. LIFE.

  15. Uhh, no.. Ponytails still the best for me. Why? because it exposes the nape of the neck. Best part of the ponytail is watching the girl tie her hair. Just a complete moe moment. I’m also a fan of sidetails.

    1. Actually, my original first picture was of meido Nagi, but she got bumped for Asuna. Sorry, I just <4 Negima too much to exclude Asuna from a twintails discussion. NEVER FORGET!!

  16. Meh, they’re cute and definitely playful, but they’re one of those things that don’t escape the 2D realm. No real girls wear “twin tails.” It’s also because twin tails are hard to achieve. Many girls can get a good pony tail going on, but it you have too thin hair, then well, you look like a child.

  17. As a twintail connoisseur, I feel that you’ve missed out a few key aspects regarding their charm.
    While obvious, there’s the sheer aesthetic aspect to them: their very nature is one of innate gracefulness. Long hair as a whole highlights this due to the way it lingers for a moment behind its owner, which really emphasizes the movements of their head and body, and as a balanced symmetrical pair, twintails are the perfect midway point between completely free and natural untied hair, and carefully designed braids. Natural beauty given a small push to perfection.

    You made a very good point on the innate femininity of twintails, but what you didn’t point out was exactly what this means for a character: when you consider that every morning they make the conscious decision to style their hair like this, we can take that as a visual cue of their inner desire to be seen as cute and feminine. Now, this is why they work so well with tsunderes: despite how lofty or uninterested a girl might act, if they’ve got twintails as their default hair, it’s an incredibly clear subconscious sign: they want to be cute. They might not admit it verbally, but they’re trying their best. It’s an instant creation of a moe gap between their words and actions.

    And that isn’t even starting on the variations in impression caused by changing the twintails’ length, or how high up the head they start. There are whole worlds of difference from just slight variations.
    But I’ve covered the two most important points you missed, so the rest can be for another time.


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