Easter is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by delving into the history of bunny girls in anime, and discovering where they came from and why they’re so popular. Let’s get started!
There’s still time to pick up our My Girlfriend is the President visual novel and its fandisc, which Vladimir Putin hates because he’s parodied as a female hentai character in the games. Both titles are 50% off, with all proceeds donated to Ukraine. Details here!
The History of Bunny Girls in Anime
There are certain core cosplay tropes that have established themselves in anime over the past few decades. The sexy maid, is ready to do whatever her master asks. The cute nurse wearing the shortest of skirts. The “mini-skirt police girl.” And of course, the bunny girl, a girl wearing a sexy leotard with bunny ears and a bushy tail attached to her butt.
It will surprise exactly no one that the visual concept of bunny girls originated with Playboy Magazine. The iconic “bunny girl” costume debuted at the exclusive Playboy Club in Chicago on February 29, 1960, and became an instant hit. The cultural reverberations made it all the way to Japan, becoming an iconic symbol of the sexual revolution. It was similar to the way the famous Marilyn Monroe up-skirt scene in The Seven Year Itch made such a splash in Japan, it caused Japanese women to start wearing Western underwear.
That Time Playboy Hassled Us Over Do You Like Horny Bunnies?
While we love the subtle beauty of some of the visual novels we’ve published, such as the incredible story of sadness and love that is Kana Okari or gorgeously written characters from Yume Miru Kusuri, we can never control which titles will become big hits. One series of games that became quite famous was Do You Like Horny Bunnies? 1 & 2, a pair of harem-type visual novels in which you were the sole male employee working at a restaurant where bunny girls serve customers… and need your help to relieve their sexual stress when their shifts are done. The series became famous thanks to its outrageous title, plus being featured on G4TV for a shocking “sex in video games” segment back in the day. Both games recently received HD remasters and are available digitally on JAST USA, and an upcoming limited edition release is available on the J-List site.
But once, Playboy Magazine sent a cease-and-desist related to this game, claiming to own the very concept of “bunny girls.” We declined to stop selling the games and they didn’t do anything further.
The 12 Most Famous Bunny Girls in Anime
There have been a lot of really cute anime bunny girls over the years. Let’s look at the 12 best ones!
Starting off with what is probably the first anime bunny girl most of you saw, Bulma wearing her classic bunny costume. So cute!
One of the high points in 2000s era of anime was when Haruhi got on stage to sing God Knows. It’s still one of my favorites whenever I go to karaoke.
I was ready to hate the “Star Wars anime” Disney commissioned for their Disney+ streaming service, but found myself blown away by how innovative and awesome all the stories were. Near the top was the tale of Lop, a
bunny girl alien who has to do battle with her sister when the Empire comes to their planet.
Reisen Udongein Inaba, is the popular bunny girl character from the Touhou universe. I just love her.
Far be it from me to plug our legendary hentai world-conquest-and-harem-building games Eiyu*Senki and Eiyu*Senki GOLD, but Percival (a sexy re-imagining of one of King Arthur’s knights of the round table) is another bunny girl you might want to get to know better.
The best “American” bunny girl I can think of is Charlotte E. Yeager from Strike Witches.
Melona from Queen’s Blade is a monster with natural bunny ears. She’s such a grown-up and sexy character, it took me years to realize she was voiced by Queen of Tsundere Rie Kugimiya.
One epic moment in otaku history was the Densha Otoko drama. The OP was a shout-out to the Daikon Opening Animation made by the Gainax founders in the early 80s.@elonmusk please make sure Twitter remains a cool place where we can post short copyrighted clips like this, thx. pic.twitter.com/HXZLe0eEmr
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) April 15, 2022
Mina Tsukuda is the bunny girl from the opening credits of Densha Otoko, a popular drama about an otaku who finds love with a “normie” girl. The opening credits are a love letter to the classic 1983 Daikon Opening Animation made by the later founders of Gainax while they were still university students.
Cecilia from Infinite Stratos looks rather fetching in a bunny suit, too.
Uzaki-chan looks great, too. She could hang out at my place anytime.
The only literal bunny girl on this list, Haru is a dwarf rabbit who is so small, that she feels powerless in her life. The only time she has the upper hand is during that sweet moment when a boy invites her to his bed. Legosi is a grey wolf who is torn by his desire to find love with Haru…and his yearning to eat her.
Need a reason to watch the outstanding BEASTARS anime? Here are five reasons!
Finally, the titular (heh) bunny girl herself, Mai Sakurajima, from Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. It’s a genius series if you haven’t watched it!
If You Love Anime Bunny Girls, We’ve Got Them in Stock
If you love bunny girls in anime, then browse the many figures we have for you on J-List. I’m especially happy with the huge 1/4 scale anime bunny girl figures by figure maker FREEing which let you collect your favorite 2D waifus wearing a bunny suit and check out every detail of her close-up.
For more than 25 years J-List has been your Friend in Japan™, acting as a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world. Now to help everyone out during these challenging times, we’ve got an automatic $25 Shipping Support Coupon for all orders of $150 or more coming from Japan. Along with our new lower-priced EMS shipping, they make it super easy to get what you want from Japan! Browse today’s new and restocked products here!