There are many examples of completely serious or plainly normal scenes in anime where a girl is running but then, I have to burst out in laughter because they are swinging their arms horizontally left and right.

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I swear, no one runs like this. I've been in Japan, as well as other Asian countries, and I swear this is not some hidden cultural manifesto. The most probable answer I can think of is that when women wear purses, one arm might move like this to keep the purse strap secured but not both arms.

What is the origin of this and why is it such a phenomenon?


2 Answers 2


Looking at a WARNING! TvTropes WARNING! One thing is clear, this kind of running is an exageration. So you will not probably find examples in real world.

But what is it exageration of? That character is female and that she is a ditz. In proper "girly run" arms are close to body and move in controlled way. This (supposedly) allows control of bouncing breasts. I can clearly imagine woman IRL running like that if she doesn't want to have a bra accident. Plenty of women will tell you that breasts bouncing around is not comfortable.

But character that lacks motor control or physique might have problem with this kind of running style. Which is why they attempt it, but fail and their arms start flailing around. It might also be due to exhaustion, as fine motor control becomes more difficult.

Another point that just came to me is that, in real life, you mostly see people running who actually want to run. So they put effort into learning good running style. And in case of females, invest in good sports bra.


I’m not exactly sure, but I feel that it may be because most artists might think it makes the character look like it has more momentum to them when they run. I also notice it mainly being a thing a lot in older anime as well, so maybe that was just the trend back then.

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