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Shibuya 109 gyaru store staff from the brand MA*RS

Gyaru (Japanese: ギャル; Japanese pronunciation: [ɡʲa̠ɾɯ̟ᵝ]), a Japanese transliteration of the English slang word gal, is a Japanese fashion subculture.[1][2][3]

The subculture's origins remains uncertain. Gyaru fashion style is thought to have been popularized by Pamela Anderson's role on the late 1990s American television series Baywatch, which also appeared on Japanese television. Another possible inspiration for gyaru fashion may have been American phenomena such as the prominence of teenage party movies of the 1980s or valley girls, which were then exaggerated by Japanese fashion culture to create the distinct gyaru style.[4][5] An alternative explanation is that the subculture started with jeans brand Levi Strauss's 1968 advertisement campaign for a women's jeans line named 'Levi's For Gals.'[6]

The term gyaru itself was introduced and popularized in Japan by the American jeans company Wrangler. Wrangler released a line of women's jeans in 1972 named 'GALS,' which quickly became used outside of its original branding and was adopted to describe gyaru fashion in 1979.[7]

Gyaru subculture was at its peak during the Heisei era. It had a large influence on Japanese fashion and its economy,[8] with multiple gyaru brands branching out before eventually declining due to financial instability and changes in its target demographic.[9][10] The term's usage peaked in the early 2000s and has gradually declined since.[11][12] This decline[13] has been attributed to shifts in magazine industry,[14] the exaggeration of the style in terms of its style use and progression,[15] western media,[16][17] and government policies.[18] The meaning of the term gyaru gradually drifted to apply to a slightly older demographic whose apparent lack of interest in work or marriage resulted in these women being regarded as childish or a hussy.[19] Due to its past and its present connotation, it is now used almost interchangeably with kogyaru.

The department store Shibuya 109, across the intersection from the Shibuya Station in Tokyo, was a popular location for purchasing gyaru style clothing and was where this fashion subculture was most often seen. In the early 2000s, Shibuya 109 was considered the source of the newest and trendiest items or brands for gyaru, from popular and largely recognized gyaru brands to more independent local designers within that department store. Although 109 began as the primary source of gyaru style clothing, the style's growth in popularity saw brands branching out, having different brands of clothing being available at pop up stores, in conventions or through web shops that offered international shipping. Second hand and vending of gyaru apparel and accessories also increased their availability.


Shibuya 109 in 2006

Gyaru is a description of either gender, but is considered for women when referring to gyaru. Some groups and people follow a type of Japanese street fashion with many subcategories and substyles of which many types originated in the late 1970s.[20] It is a fashion subculture that is considered to be nonconformist or rebelling against the Japanese standards of its society and beauty[21] at the time when women were expected to be housewives and fit Asian beauty standards of pale skin and dark hair. For Japanese women who saw those who participated in this fashion during its rise, they considered it a fashion style too racy and freewheeling; with some feeling it caused a ruckus, juvenile delinquency and frivolousness among teenage women.[22]

Its popularity peaked in the 1990s and early 2000s. They are also known for partying or clubbing, being rather provocative, being flirtatious and unwinding and having fun.

In the 2010 gyaru fashion was typically characterized by having heavily bleached or dyed hair from shades of dark brown to lighter brown or multiple different shades of blonde. Hair is mostly styled either by curling it with a curling iron or having straight hair done by a hair straighteners. As for skin, tanned skin is a considered a must in some substyles and most often seen are also highly elongated and decorated artificial nails. As for appearance, dramatic makeup is considered to be essential as well in this fashion subculture or depending on which substyle one partakes in. The makeup typically consists of black eye liner, fake eyelashes, sometimes white eye shadow or a touch of that color is applied to either the inner eye corners or to the outer corners near the lower lash line of the eyes. As to make them appear larger or to contour them to elongate the eye of the sclera and to make them appear larger as well. Contouring different parts of the face to change facial features and highlighting the nose for a slimming effect is often done. Colored contacts are often seen especially circle lenses to change eye color from a distance and also to make their eyes appear larger with the extreme diameter of these lenses.

The appearance of circle lenses on the right eye

But some hairstyling may differ depending on which styles or substyle one would participate in. The hair may be curled to create extra volume and heavily crimped up. The hair is crimped differently than in the West.

This hair styling was called スジ盛り (sujimori); in English it means assorted streaks. This styling is named so, not only because of its enormous volume of hair, the usage of hair extension to achieve this look or even its use of an assortment of wigs to create this hairstyle. But this name comes from these streaks of hair that are made apparent by being by held by gel. Since after the curling and crimping; the gel would be used to keep a type of hair streaks, that they were visible and these streaks would stay throughout the day.

Apparel for gyaru fashion differs depending on which gyaru substyle the individual has chosen to include themselves in and from where they would buy their items; this choice of brands can denote which substyle one is from or is participating in. Japanese street fashion brands or western fast fashion brands with general gyaru aesthetics would determine one's style in the gyaru fashion substyle depending on their appearance in an outfit. Some would have the luxury to buy from western luxury brands or even haute couture brands, but for most and even those who lived in Japan; they usually gravitated toward Japanese brands, depending on their style. Most of the apparel originated from Shibuya 109. A full outfit of only designer brands isn't considered completely gyaru unless one is trying for a specific substyle. Yet, even those who participate in the substyle of wearing designer items do have different brands that do not all originate from the same designer, regardless of whether the brands are Western or Japanese.

They would generally mix their whole outfit of different brands to create a gyaru look.

Popular recurring gyaru models, icons and idols who may have been easily recognized during its peak were Tsubasa Masuwaka, Kumiko Funayama, Rie Matsuoka, Hikari Shiina, Kaoru Watanabe, Satomi Yakuwa, Sayoko Ozaki, Yuka Obara, Rina Sakurai, Nana Suzuki, and twins Gura and Guri Yoshikawa.[23]

Other notable gyaru recently in this medium are Yuki Kimura, aka Yukipoyo, and model Iwamoto Sayaka, aka Usatani Paisen. In Japan they are also both known for being models for Gravure from the books they have appeared in.

Common gyaru styles[edit]

A gyaru, probably an agejō gyaru wearing MA*RS in 2007

Gyaru is a spectrum style. There are various subcategories of gyaru fashion depending on the choice of apparel and gender. The style as a while is referred as a ギャル系 in Japanese or in romaji (gyaru kei). It consists of the most common way to name someone who is in gyaru style. As gyaru isn't a singular style, it is an umbrella term for its many subcategories, substyles or themes of gyaru since it is a spectrum style. The Japanese word for translates to the English word system; meaning its usage refers to the fact that this fashion has so many subcategories and substyles that it is indeed akin to a system, in terms of fashion.

The most common styles of gyaru are:

  • アゲ嬢 (Agejō): a style that was highly active, agejō was mostly inspired by, and its aesthetic referenced in, the magazine Koakuma Ageha. It is a very foxy, ladylike, and mature style. It is generally worn by, but not always exclusive to, a hostess. The intention is to be flawlessly glamorous and desirable. The agejō style has an emphasis on the eyes, often enlarging and enhancing them with circle lenses and several sets of false eyelashes in an alluring way. The hair is always styled in an updo, almost like hime gyaru, with curls or hair that is crimped in the sujimori hair style, and sometimes includes extensions and wigs. It is common for those participating in the agejō style were to wear multiple wigs at the same time. The agejō style is similar to hime gyaru, except for being more skimpy and with the intention to be classy. Japanese fashion brands most recognized in this substyle are DaTuRa, Jesus Diamante, La Parfait, MA*RS and Princess Melody.
    Shibuya 109 COCO*LULU store staff who is wearing amekaji style
  • アメカジ (Amekaji): A style that is heavily inspired by Americana; its name can be directly translated to American casual. It is usually a very bright, fun, flamboyant and generally multi colored style. Inspired by fictionalized images of America the clothes are generally looser than most of the other styles. They usually have many layers that overlap each other. It mostly involves sweaters, bomber jackets from the early 2000 and coats such as Letterman jackets. In the summer they would wear t-shirts and cargo pants. Also, they would sometimes wear their boyfriend's clothes. Shoes were mostly tennis shoes, uggs or engineer boots. Girly shorts are welcome (for the girls). Japanese fashion brands most recognized in this substyle are ANAP, Coco*Lulu and Wakatsuki Chinatasu.
  • B-ギャル (B-gyaru):[24] A gyaru style,[25] consisting of not only being gyaru but also rejecting the Japanese standards of beauty to instead become black.[26] As the letter B in this substyle directly refers to the word black. This style is synonymous with the gyaru store Baby Shoop. But even as a gyaru substyle it is now considered inappropriate and even appropriation of Black culture[27][28][29][30] just as rasuta gyaru and even chola gyaru. Some or most of the westerngyaru participants of this fashion do not see the appropriation of substyles such as ganguro or its other extreme substyle, that are derived from it but do have a distaste for this substyle in particular and express their distaste and anger on social networking services. This substyle has also been stated to be a joke in egg magazine and was expressing that this wasn't a serious style of gyaru to even gyaru participants despising other gyaru doing this style.[31]
    Japanese gyaru in 2006
  • ガングロ (Ganguro):[32] A gyaru with an artificial deep tanned skin and bleached hair, and makeup which tended to use white around the eyes and on the lips, and darker shades of color are sometimes seen on the eyes of ganguro. But white is most often used eyeshadow for this substyle. Also, decorations such as glitter or flowers, such as hibiscus flower stickers added under the eyes. This style was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The name ganguro is the mix of both the Japanese words (Kao) and (Kuro), these Kanji translate to the words face and black but the term that gyaru use for this substyle is written in Katakana.
  • ギャルセレブー (Gyaru serebū):[33] This style of gyaru is referred to in English as gyaru celebrity or rather used as the shortened for that very same word; in Japanese being written as セレブ (serebu). It specifically targets the concept of either being an actual celebrity in the gyaru style or to achieve that aesthetic to the point of becoming someone with the celebrity status by achieving this through this substyle. For most participants of this particular substyle, they could only first dream of living this substyle but have successfully achieved this feat through dedication, persistence and effort. Since it is probably one of the most expensive substyles to maintain if one would try to replicate it. This style at first might resemble onee gyaru but when looking at not only at which apparel pieces that are being used; from which these brands that are far above the average price of gyaru brands from 109. Also the general look that they wouldn't be regarded as gyaru from passersby on the street in Japan unless the fake eyelashes were visible; due to price of apparel and confidence in their appearance by wearing these luxury items. These apparel pieces from clothes, accessories, shoes to even flip phones in order to be based on that time period are needed to
    Ayumi Hamasaki being photographed by paparazzi in 2007
    achieve the celebrity appearance. Those who participated and contributed in this substyle have been others who started mostly without a celebrity status or any sort of exponential media recognition in Japan. What these gyaru tried to achieve is to replicate the whole look of a celebrity during the Heisei era or 1990s and 2000s; these celebrities were generally chosen for their luxury clothing choices which was always of a 'McBling'[34][35][36] aesthetic at the time. Luxury and haute couture brands are a must; fast fashion, poorly made apparel, inauthentic luxury branded apparel to accessories or second hand pieces do not suffice. Unless these items are from an actual luxury or haute couture brand that were authenticated but then only by that standard; otherwise new and on trend haute couture fashion is a must. These brands do not have be to Japanese owned or Japanese based brands; most of these brands are actually western brands such as: Juicy Couture, Baby Phat, Betsey Johnson, Von Dutch, Ed Hardy, Chanel, Moschino, Michael Kors, Versace, Fendi, Louboutin, Balenciaga, Coach, Burberry, Gucci and even Givenchy when Alexander McQueen was the head designer and the same can be said for Dior especially when John Galliano was head designer of said haute couture brand. These brands weren't a staple of gyaru fashion but were seen in other substyles such as onee gyaru or kogyaru but sparsely and not of this quantity in just one outfit. Most of its inspirations came from either Japanese gyaru celebrities such as Ayumi Hamasaki, Koda Kumi, Namie Amuro, egg magazine model Hiromi Endo and more recently Emiri Aizawa or Tsubasa Masuwaka aesthetically when she is going to Gucci's fashion events. Even western celebrities had a much larger influence such as: Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, Lindsey Lohan, Victoria Beckham, Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Aaliyah, Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown.[37][38]
  • ギャルママ (Gyaru mama):[39] Teenage gyaru or women who continued with this style even after having children. BBC News states: 'Gal mama are young mothers who refuse to shed their gal-ness'.[40][41] They also would clothe their children in the same style, meaning a boy would look like a gyaru-o while girls would look like a gyaru, but the style would depend on the mother's personal choice of style or which subculture she belonged to. For example, Aki, a gyaru leader of her own gyarusa named 'Brillant Lab' reveals how these mothers dressed and how they chose their children's outfits, hair and hair color to correspond to their mother's outfit. In other words, the child became a gyaru mama's accessory. It is also telling when the leader of this gyarusa is a single mother which is generally how most of these gyaru mothers end up or are after being pregnant.[42][43]
    A gyaru-o in 2007
  • ギャル男 (Gyaru-o): A male gyaru. Typically, gyaru-o have similar elements to their appearance with gyaru in terms of having high volume styled hair, the same fashion elements apart from the more female centric ones. They are sometimes seen having tanned skin to extremely tanned depending on choice in their style.
    Picture of Himena Osaki, a hime gyaru influencer, taken on May 26, 2012
  • 姫ギャル (Hime gyaru): also known as 姫系 (hime kei), is one of the more over the top and one of the most expensive styles of dress of all of the categories since it is considered to be essential to buy the brand names such as: MA*RS, Jesus Diamante, La Parfait or Princess Melody. The hime gyaru substyle is largely based on the Rococo era, as the Japanese word is literally princess. Gyaru of this style wear dresses or skirts in pink or other pastel colors with many laces and bows. Rose patterns, rosettes, pearls, and crown motifs are also very common. Headpieces range from large bow clips with pearls to headbands with a rose accent, while the hair is either bleached in a specific color, crimped in a bouffant at the top and curled or wigs/extension are worn to create that スジ盛り or (sujimori) styled hair. This make-up style has even more exaggerated eyes than the typical gyaru. Hime gyaru does not only include clothes, but many girls see it as a way of life and make or buy custom made decor for their homes. The style blossomed in the early 2000 but has since declined or turned more casual; this version is referred to as hime kaji, but this style mostly uses the Japanese fashion brand Liz Lisa rather than the obsolete brand Princess Melody, La Parfait or Jesus Diamante; though it is still present today in some substyles of this fashion in their groups or circles. Not to be confused with Japanese street fashion of Lolita fashion.
  • 姫カジ (Hime kaji): The toned down version of the hime gyaru style. As stated above, it is referred as hime kaji due to being not only a toned down version of this already pre-existing style (at the time) but the Japanese term カジ is a shortened version of the word (kaji) which is casual in Japanese Katakana. There is an obvious focus on comfort, cuteness and being effortless. This is why this style and roma gyaru are most often lumped and mistaken together. Even today with being confused with the fashion of Cottagecore. The hair styles often resembling roma gyarus; in the sense of them having curled hair which would often be either long or short in length. The hair would be often worn down and the color would mostly be from completely bleached blonde to lighter shades of brown. Clothing wise, this style would be on the more comfortable spectrum of gyaru but still remaining as flattering as gyaru could be. Common motifs are roses and hearts and patterns that are the most often seen are ginghams, florals and plaid. Colors most often used would be pink and most outfits who were or are using this style would always feature something in a pink shade. As for the relation with hime gyaru there are less accessories present than that style and nails are still somewhat long but not as ostentatiously decorated as hime gyaru. But if they were they wouldn't be as excessive as hime gyaru. The style now is most ubiquitous with the use of the fashion brand 'Liz Lisa'; rather than any other brand which had the similar feel such as Ank Rouge, TraLaLa or Titty&Co.
    A kogyaru in 2013
  • コギャル (Kogyaru):[44][45] Is a term that generally defines present gyarus that dress in this manner; they wear Japanese high-school student uniforms as a form or way to represent the past kogyaru who wore them. These uniforms would be either similar in appearance to them but with slight alterations such as color or presentation of the garment. Or they would be an exact replica of an actual highschool uniform which could be purchased at a burusera. But the term itself didn't first start as a pass time to pretend or dress as a high school student but from actual female Japanese high schoolers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, around the Heisei era; they wore this style during or after school sessions.[46][47] They would shorten their skirts from their high school uniform protocol length to give them a miniskirt appearance and length and wear loose socks. These socks are from an American brand called E.G. Smith, they are the sock brand of actual origin to these socks.[48][49] That made them longer and appear larger by loosening them to the point of almost arriving at the level of their shoes. They also had dyed hair, accessorized their high school bags with danglers or mixed educational material with cosmetic products and a portable mirror. Although some of these were prohibited in Japanese high schools, some would wear it mostly after school but some would still do it even in school and be warned for doing so. But kogyaru who did this usually didn't care. They would go to Tokyo, predominantly Shibuya to visit 109 and went to Akihabara for purikura and the booths they have in their arcade halls. Namie Amuro is said to be not only the one who popularized the tanned appearance, but also as having started the kogyaru trend during the Heisei era. The term kogyaru is derived from the mixing of the Japanese word 子供 (kodomo) which means child in English and the word gyaru.[50][51] A thing to note about kogyaru is that due to the Japanese education system on uniform and their regulations, the uniforms depending on which school being either of higher standards in terms of grades or wealth is also a fashion stand point in kogyaru fashion.[52] The term of kogyaru is closely related to 女子高校生 (joshi kōkōsei) or in English would be directly translated to a female high schooler. It uses the word 女子 (joshi) which is girl and 高校生 (kōkōsei) highschooler in English. The importance of these two words is that often seen on social network services, were these Kanji would be abbreviated to JK; due to the fact that the first letters used in these Kanji are the letters J and K. In this case, these letters combined aren't used to convey or be internet speech to refer to joking but is a direct abbreviation for the word joshi kōkōsei. This subculture of kogyaru fashion is closely related to JK business and compensated dating or enjo kōsai.[53][54]
  • 黒ギャル (Kuro gyaru):
  • マンバ (Manba):[55] Manba is even darker than yamanba, but also wilder than yamanba. Manba would wear sexy outfits from very short to very long dresses, or shorts to long skirts. Accessories (such as bangles, beads, etc.) would also include the motif of flowers such as leis or hibiscus, of which these patterns would appear on their clothes. Colorful clothing was considered to be essential. They would sometimes wear sweatshirts, pants, and leg warmers. Disney characters made an appearance as a choice of fashion apparel such as characters from Lilo & Stitch and also characters from the Mickey Mouse franchise. The white lips remained and white eye shadows were applied. A manbas eye shadow can also be placed on a different place around the eyes. The amount of eye shadow could vary greatly. Some manbas also used a different eye shadow color on their eyelids. The use of glitter was acceptable as well. Stickers weren't used under the eyes anymore, instead, they were replaced with rhinestones (however they did not necessarily put them on). Common hairstyles featured big hair, bouffant, high ponytails with hair partly down, synthetic dreads, ribbons braided in, teased, side swept, fringe, braids, curled, simply straight, or very colorful. Popular hair accessories included leis and other types of flowers/bows, straw cowboy hats, or straw hats. Flip flops, sandals, platform sandals, slippers, crocs, boots or leg warmers could also be worn.
Two manbas in 2006
  • お姉ギャル (Onee gyaru): The name of this substyle refers to the older sister of gyaru as a substyle because the name of this substyle is the two Japanese words for describing an older sister and translating only its beginning will give an exact translation of these two words in English. The substyle is named after its participants, who are usually older gyaru. Instead of refusing or changing their current style they adapt it to their age, from their more alluring appearance to the apparel they wear; they are referred are the mature version of gyaru fashion.
  • 悪羅悪羅ギャル (Ora ora gyaru):
  • ロマギャル (Roma gyaru): Roma gyaru come from two words: romantic and gyaru. The aesthetic is commonly mistaken for Cottagecore due to its use of colors, patterns and motifs. It has many similarities today in the style hime kaji but instead is considered a style of its own. The colors are more subtle and muted, patterns range from floral to gingham and sometimes polka dots. The style is considered one of the more relaxed and accessible styles of gyaru. It is also one of the more 'casual' gyaru substyles of this fashion. The style consisted of having hair color ranging from darker browns to strawberry blonde tones. The hair was often curled, wispy or had fly away hairs but retained the constrained gyaru hairstyles or was simply worn down but slightly curled at the ends. The makeup is considered too simple for the most experienced gyaru; in terms of style and it is less use of overtly longer nails or false lashes. As mentioned earlier, the nails are just a plain color that matches the clothing worn or are French manicured. Motifs would include fruits; mostly strawberries, cherries or when going towards a different primary color such as blue; blueberries. Textile prints are mostly ginghams, polka dots, florals and sometimes plaids. Other fabrics found are lace on some apparel pieces but not as prevalent as the hime gyaru style. In terms of accessories boots with heels and are mostly knee high length, are most often seen and worn in this style.
  • 白ギャル (Shiro gyaru): This substyle of gyaru is not what it appears to those unfamiliar with gyaru. Only thinking that gyaru is depicted by the ganguro substyle and its subcategories with the thought that only the most participants having tanned skin is gyaru even if it isn't necessary for all of its substyles. Shiro gyaru is an example of this: one who would participate gyaru wouldn't tan their skin and would most likely try to achieve a clear complexion to return to the Japanese tradition and standard look of bihaku. Using the Japanese Kanji written in romaji (shiro) and is literal translation as the English word lit.'white'. This gyaru substyle is generally a way to denote participants of the gyaru substyle who do not sport a tan. They still usually wear a number of different substyles. But this substyle was most often seen in the early 2010s. Mostly sweeter styles and punkish styles of appareal and gyaru fashion substyles would be seen having this type of skintone. The multiple problems that arose from the issue of skintone, is with that previous participants of gyaru substyles such as ganguro who already have or had artificially tanned skin, with the use of tanning lotions or through excessive amounts of sun light; will resort to bleaching their skin to achieve this look. This can be also said the same to those that wanted to achieve the apparence of pearly white skin texture but being already pale by nature, yet they would still use these dangerous products. In both cases, tanning and bleaching the skin is dangerous.[56]
  • ツヨメギャル (Tsuyome gyaru):
  • ヤマンバ (Yamanba):[57] Just as manba, but even to a more exaggerated degree. Yamanba's overuse of tanning to become much darker than their actual complexion, the nose contour stripe being white colored and going past the eyebrows, foundation is far darker than before as well. Which brings us to the origin of the yamanba name. Yama-uba 山姥 from the Japanese folklore of the yōkai, the yama-uba is described as a type of mountain hag or sometimes as a witch which would appear as a beautiful young woman to lure men into a cave, where the yama-uba would then revert to her true form of an evil old woman with long, dark matted skin, golden white hair wearing a kimono which is both filthy and tattered from both age and being unkept. She would then reveal her hidden second mouth as well as bobby pins; by doing so resulting the victim to be then presumably eaten by her. As the two have distinct similarities even though more exaggerated for yamanba as to give them a derogatory term or just that the Japanese citizens really did see the similarities between the two. This style was regarded by many Japanese as improper or even dirty.[58]
A yamanba in 2016

Micro styles of gyaru[edit]

Micro styles of gyaru which are either less common styles, have declined or they are either obsolete.

  • 姉ギャル (Ane gyaru): A gyaru style that has the 'Yankī' and biker gang culture with gyaru makeup and style. The girls drive as a couple, are mechanics, or ride bikes and tend to have tattoos and piercings. They not only look rebellious but the style caters to girls who live on the edge. Ane Gyaru is a tougher version of onee gyaru, and is for more mature and virile, yet effeminate for the gyaru subculture. The magazine of choice for fans and followers of this substyle is Soul Sister, a relatively new magazine at the time.
  • バンバ (Banba): Banba is a lighter form of manba. They wear less white makeup than manba, use more feminine and glittery makeup and have less colorful hair but neon colored hair can be seen at times. Banbas wear more extreme types of false eyelashes and the use of more dolly colored contact lenses is seen. Banbas also often wear darker colors than manbas and dress in club wear or feminine outfits. They are toned down in term of its predecessors ganguro, manba and yamanba but are still connected to those styles.
  • ビビンバ (Bibinba): this look usually includes much gold and jewelry. It is similar to B-gyaru. As stated above, egg magazine did not consider this a serious style or even a style at all, but more of a joke. This might be the case since the name of this substyle might refer to the Italian word 'bimbo' which is derogatorily applied to females in English.
  • ボヘミアンギャル (Bohemian gyaru): A gyaru substyle which is rarely worn and is considered less of an actual style and more of a seasonal outfit for those who participate in broader gyaru fashion. Mostly due to it being less of a substyle restrained by rules and it being mostly worn in the spring and summer seasons or for those that live in warmer climates. Since the clothing pieces are of a lighter textile, only a jacket is used for layering, more often are woven leather accessories such as a belt and shoes are seen then in other substyles. Also sandals aren't an accessory to be missed as an item in this micro style of gyaru. Instead most of the other substyles that use more apparel that would hold warmth easily, such as apparel with thicker textile or wollen materials and the use of multiple different layers of clothes for one outfit. This style is also denoted by its use of very airy, denim, flower patterned, tie-dyed and nomadic textile motifs in most of its outfits within it. Most apparel piece are mostly dresses that are either maxi dresses or only being at knee length. The style seems to be heavily inspired to even emulate the late 1960s Hippie fashion and takes its name from the Bohemian style of fashion.
  • チョーラギャル (Chola gyaru): Just as the styles of B-gyaru, rasuta gyaru, bibinba and even ganguro are or can be somewhat frowned upon by most people who have the actual respective origin of these styles or those who suffered through what these style can represent to the actual person of that ethnicity; such as rasuta gyaru being so heavily influenced by the appearance of Rastafari; the question always remains, is it appropriation or appreciation of another countries culture? For chola-gyaru the same can be said for its substyle, as this comes from the Chicano culture that even in its own history has connotations of its own; the book Comentarios Reales de los Incas has a quote that describes, evokes, shows how the actual word came to be and how it was utilized then in 1609: 'The child of a Black male and an Indian female, or of an Indian male and Black female, they call mullato and mullata. The children of these they call cholos. Cholo is a word from the Windward Islands. It means dog, not of the purebred variety, but of very disreputable origin; and the Spaniards use it for insult and vituperation.'[59][60] The style itself takes enormous influence from Chicano as many chola-gyaru wear apparel clothes that are more often than not the same as Chicano apparel or street wear. A combination of tartans, flannels, oversized t-shirts and tank tops. Accessorized with bandanas, a baseball cap, dark sunglasses, gold chains and even tattoos; which still in present day Japan is still considered a taboo due to its past connotations. Also baggy jeans are a must. There is also a Japanese music artist that both exemplifies both gyaru but most of all Chicana cultural in terms of style that she is influenced by; being MoNa.[61][62] She has also been interviewed and documented in the series from Refinery29: Style out there and also by The New York Times YouTube channel.[63][64]
  • ギャル電機 (Gyaru den): a style of gyaru consisting of reviving gyaru through technology. It takes aspects of the gyaru fashion substyle and then makes use of technology as a way to revamp the style. The creators of this style have created all of their items themselves, which can be LED lights or synthesizers which are used on accessories such as necklaces, loose socks which are those mostly seen on kogyarus. They would create new and different apparel pieces from the regular gyaru clothing pieces since that they are mixed with technological enhancements. The creators of this fashion substyle are both, Kyoko from Japan and Mao from Thailand who she immigrated, went to Japan and has a degree in Engineering.[65][66]
  • ゴシックギャル (Goshikku gyaru): This substyle in gyaru is one that is most often misinterpreted with the another gyaru substyle being rokku gyaru. as they share a similar look to each other and use the same apparel style or motifs at first glance but are completely different, due to goshikku gyaru being in direct correlation with the fashion of Gothic, as it is its main inspiration. This substyle does not require the participant to tan themselves unlike most of the other gyaru substyles. The makeup does remain the same over exaggerated and dramatic false eyelash appearance but the makeup colors are more in line with Gothic fashion as the colors are darker or even black and white are more predominant then in the other substyles, The fashion motifs and pieces are generally studded, leather, ripped denim, mesh or fishnet apparel pieces with the most prominent apparel colors being black, white, red, purple and any color used in the actual Gothic fashion. But these color choices would generally remain with traditional gothic fashion.
  • ハーディギャル (Haady gyaru):[67] To understand the substyle haady gyaru, one must first understand its origin in its name. The Japanese word 派手 or written in romaji as (hade) which in English can translate to either the word flashy or vulgar. This substyle is the epitome of this; simply by its name alone this can be already understood; the difference of spelling is simply for youth factor, by accentuating the vowels and adding the letter 'Y' to also not be too obvious about it. Examples of this gyaru fashion substyle resemble the work of artist Lisa Frank due to their use of motifs and color, with bright neon colors from across the entire spectrum. Leopard, cheetah, zebra or anything in printed patterns to early 1990s to 2000s Hip hop inspired fashion such has 'McBling'.[68] Clothing shape vary from very loose fitting to tight but the colors are never toned down. In terms of makeup is this gyaru substyle and the substyles that range from ganguro to further are the only ones with the use of more pop in terms of color while most gyaru substyles use either muted to seemingly girly colors, most of these would be in the pastel range of color such as pastel pink. The creator of this gyaru substyle has been credited to the egg model Kaoru Watanabe as she not only created this substyle but also her own brand to supply for this fashion JSG, the acronym for Japanese Super Girl.
  • 異色肌ギャル (Ishoku hada gyaru):[69][70] Is a gyaru style that consists of taking ganguro to an even higher level than manba or yamanba. Instead of making ones skin color twice as dark then its actual skin color, instead the use of face paint or to seem as if the participant were to have physically dipped themselves in a colorful paint, to resemble something of an extraterrestrial, but with the same essential of gyaru makeup. This micro style can be seemingly placed as a form of body art. The translation of this substyle is unique skin gyaru in English. The creator of this style, Miyako Akane states in an Arte interview:[71] 'I decided to create this style since that this style was created due to the fact that westerns have different hair and skin colors compared to the stereotypical Japanese features of pale clear skin and black hair, so when we want to do this we have to do something drastic. So, by changing our skin color or painting it we get to liberate ourselves; it is like a therapy from makeup, we are allowed to choose our hair color and skin color'. She also states that 'There are many mixed marriage children that are subject to a number of prejudices because of their skin color or their hair color; that's why I want to help by saying loud and strong that everyone is allowed to be whom they want to be.' She also stated in an online interview[72] that: 'I decided to create this style based upon by many things apart from gyaru, but also Harajuku fashion and of course the idea of extraterrestrials; of course it is かわいいギャル (kawaii gyaru).' In a Kotaku interview[73] she stated that she has 'longed for the interesting skin tones see in video games, anime, and movies'. This fashion substyle in gyaru has been promoted in egg magazine with positive regard.
  • 女子高校ギャル (Joshi kōkō gyaru):
  • キグルミン (Kigurumin): Kigurumin is a micro style of gyaru or rather it is derived from the manba substyle. These gyaru wear the kigurumi outfits as apparel or the mascot apparel of Japan but still apply and wear the same makeup and have tanned skin as the participants of manba. The name could also be seen as 着ぐるみギャル (ki-gurumi gyaru).
  • モードギャル (Mode gyaru):
  • ラスタギャル (Rasuta gyaru): Rasuta gyaru is separate from B-gyaru and bibinba but it is still considered under the same style umbrella or spectrum in terms of style; due to its heavy influence of African culture as a style resource. Especially rasuta gyaru would most often take influence of Rastafari culture; even though it would be mostly used to resemble the appearance of a Rastafari which would effectively seem more as cultural appropriation then actual culture appreciation. Rasuta gyaru is most often characterized by its use of Jamaican flag as an accessory, leisure wear to sport clothing sporting a Cannabis plant symbol or Rastafari colors, handbags made of straw or anything that would resemble with the idea of what Rastafari would wear. Colors would be predominantly green, yellow and red just as the Jamaican Rastafari flag. The hair once again very similar to B-gyarus; meaning going from extensions to cornrows, micro-braids except dreadlocks, an afro and dreads would rarely appear in the B-gyarus hair choices. Even though both styles have to try to replicate these hairstyle but effectively cannot. Also B-gyaru's do not appear often wearing a Cannabis symbol in their accessories. The reoccurring colors of the Jamaican Rastafari flag would also be often seen in their hair of rasuta gyaru as well. A somewhat obsession with Bob Marley, as to say that to the participants of this style would immediately recognize this singer but they do listen to other Reggae music too.
  • ロックギャル (Rokku gyaru):
  • ロマンバ (Roma manba):[74] The name of roma manba derives from the same as roma gyaru; being both based around romantic overtones and aesthetics. But instead roma manba keeps the manba makeup, the depend tan, style and aesthetic to a great affect. It does not tone it down just adds a romantic aspects to their apparel. Their choice of apparel piece would vary between them and manba, as they would replace the colors worn with dolly pastels, pink lace and sundresses that are frilled. Roma manba gyarus instead of accessorizing with Lilo & Stitch, they instead accessorise mostly with characters from Disney's The Aristocats with the character Marie often used as a motif. Roma manba fashion brands primarily are; Pinky Girls and Liz Lisa. Tanning achieved mainly through make-up and deep colored tanning lotions, bronzer, sunbeds are not a thing in this substyle as they try to keep their complexion depend but not darkened. But they do instead appreciate more tone down things in life than just clubbing.
  • サイケギャル (Saike gyaru):

Styles with gyaru origin and influence[edit]

  • キャバ嬢 (Kyabajō):[75] The style kyabajō is similar to agejo as it has been inspired since the publication of koakuma ageha, which enticed and engrossed women to work in Kabukichō as a hostess or a kyabajo, which the Japanese society is still trying to disregard even though this magazine influenced young women to make that choice. They dress in a particular style that makes them mostly wear dresses that are revealing but not too much, from the Japanese brand MA*RS or from the Jesus Diamante. As stated before, this style is similar to agejo as the participants have the same attire and also have unbelievably long fake decorative nails. The most exceptional about this style is a gyaru known both from the magazine Koakuma Ageha and as a hostess who worked in multiple hostess clubs in Kabukicho and is now known from her title as 元No.1キャバ嬢 (Moto nanbā 1 kyabajō) or Former No.1 Miss kyabajō; Emiri Aizawa (愛沢えみり).[76][77][78][79][80] She should be noted as she is a hostess who has amassed a total sum of 200 million yen or approximately 1,8 million dollars annually as a hostess. In her lifetime as a kyabajō and as producer of her own brand Emira Wiz; she has made 44 billion yen or 400 million dollars. Due to certain health circumstances she cannot drink alcohol.[81] She has since retired from both being a hostess and a model for Koakuma Ageha.[82] But in return for her astounding efforts she had been gifted by her hostess club a champagne tower of 100 million yen or 910 thousand dollars. Before her retirement, she had written a semi-autobiographical novel about her teenage life and her path to becoming the leading kyabajō titled キャバ嬢社長 歌舞伎町No.1嬢王 愛沢えみりとしての生き方 (Kyaba jō shachō Kabukichō nanbā 1 jō Ō Aizawa Emiri to shite no ikikata) or Miss Kyaba: Boss of Kabukicho No.1 miss Emiri Aizawa's way of life.[83][84][85][86][87] A market researcher named ((暑し三浦) Miura Atsushi, did research on the women or young ladies who participated in kyabajō', he wrote a book about the whole situation that Japan had to go through with these women, called in Japanese 女はなぜキャバクラ嬢になりたいのか? in romaji would be (Onna ha naze kyabakurajō ni naritai no ka?) translated to English: 'Why do women want to become kyabajō?'[88]
  • 孫ギャル (Mago gyaru) lit.'grandchild gyaru':[89] A style that is said to have happened in Japan due to it being specified in 2008 livejournal that is dedicated to the gyaru subculture.[90] The virality of this claim is unknown but with the assumption that this is true, the participants age of these gyaru would be those of a middle schooler, due to the fact that the style is also referred to as 中学校ギャル (chūgakkō gyaru) lit.'junior highschool gyaru' or middle school gyaru. In other words, all of these gyarus would be the approximate age of a middle schooler.
  • ネオギャル (Neo gyaru):[91][92][93] This is the name that was coined for gyaru that wanted to revitalize the style during the 2010s during its decline. By the time the style reached popularity and people had noticed its existence, the community of gyaru reacted to it differently than expected; what came was an antiquated, radical and older or more fanatical gyaru accustomed to seeing gyaru in a different ideal and some have even shunned the style. Alisa Ueno herself, has stated on her own blog that her brand FIG&VIPER and the style she is representing within her brand has nothing to do with the gyaru subculture or fashion as a whole and the style was a probable misconception from magazines and Japanese television programs implying it was. Even though she participated in the gyaru subculture when she was young, as a model; she has stated in her own blog, 'The fashion has nothing to do with her brand.'[94] But those who were wearing said fashion were not using the same fashion style as before or in its traditional form as a substyle; from its apparel to their makeup. To previous, older and newcomers to the gyaru fashion substyle perceived it as not following the traditional gyaru look or values of the gyaru subculture. To them it looked more western or even resembling grunge wear.[95] Even though the style may resemble SeaPunk more than the actual grunge fashion it is said to resemble. The makeup was also considerably darker in terms of lipstick and the eyeshadow using more metallic or holographic textures and colors compared to earlier styles of gyaru and their use of makeup which did not use these textures.
  • 清楚ギャル (Seiso gyaru): This substyle was coined during the decline of gyaru subculture and new gyaru looks during the 2010s. The naming of this substyle derives from the Japanese word 清楚 (seiso) which in English can be translated as 'neat', 'polished' and 'clean'. This style is also interchangeable with shiro gyaru as they are both formed through the resurgence of the Japanese bihaku within the gyaru subculture.

Western gyaru or gaijin gyaru[edit]

Often referred to as foreign gyaru or western gyaru and online as 外人ギャル (gaijin gyaru). Women and even men who have found gyaru fashion outside Japan and have decided to participate in said fashion subculture; western gyaru includes countries also outside of the West, such as the Middle East. With the women who have gravitated towards this fashion by going or doing gyaru and its multiple substyles. While men gravitate to gyaru-o. Western gyaru or gaijin gyaru created their own communities or groups and forums which they communicate amongst one another. They also had lists of tutorials or YouTube playlists to help beginners to gyaru with their application of makeup and how to create the appropriate hairstyles.

Gyaru got its popularity outside of Japan due to the help of bookstores selling gyaru magazines in western countries and social media networks also helped the spread this Japanese fashion style further than its origin to other parts of the world.

That is not to say that during its popularity online in the past and even now that there is only positivity within its community.

Outside of Japan, most western participants have been subjected to websites dedicated to criticism of gyaru participants. Some of these website are currently active. These websites ridicule people's looks or appearance by giving them advice on how to better wear the style. A documentary has been made on YouTube, about three different Japanese street fashion styles and the journeys of these three participatants and how they navigated their way with these styles and the negative influences each of members of differing styles can come across online in their own style of choice.[96]

Even so, in 2011, these western or gaijin gyaru held their first event the 'Gaijin Gyaru Awards' which was created by an English gaijin gyaru with the online username Lhouraii Li. It was done to spread awareness of this style and to bring positivity back into the western gaijin gyaru community.[97][98] These events lasted till 2014 with Lhouraii Li and these events were mostly done online. They were stopped in 2014 by the creator of the event, Lhouraii Li, due to online backlash against her online award show.

Since 2014 there wouldn't be another contest until 2016 where they were made into an event in the Netherlands and was broadcast through a livestream.[99] Three years would past till this community award ceremony would be brought back in 2019 in the United Kingdom,[100] just as in 2016 this was an in-person event and was only made into a live broadcast online for those not able to join the event. These contests were made so that one could vote for contestants within categories or subcategories of this fashion and gain Internet attention from peers by winning within a category.

During the early 2000s, most anime conventions saw a glorification of gyaru and gaijin gyaru presence as they held gatherings, meetings or events usually organized by their gyarusa and fellow peers in these conventions in their country of residence or where the actual gathering would be held in.

International and national meetings among members of the gaijin gyaru community were held on an almost annual basis. Many YouTube videos since the 2010s document these gatherings.[101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112][113][114][115]

As of late 2018, early 2019 there was a big boom in activity for the gaijin gyaru community caused by the comeback of egg magazine as well as a resurgence of gyaru in Japan.[116] This has affected the gaijin gyaru community as well, as a new gaijin gyaru magazine had gotten published named Papillon in October 2019.[117] The foreign magazine Gyaru-go also made a comeback.

2021 does have some good news for gaijin gyaru, in the form of an article written this year about one of their magazines; the only down side is that its for one of their oldest gaijin gyaru magazines being GAL VIP.[118] Also in 2021 a six minute documentary on western gyaru or gaijin gyaru has been made discussing the substyle of manba and has been made viewable to the public through YouTube.[119]

Gaijin gyaru magazines[edit]

As stated before, the gaijin gyaru magazine Papillon was published in 2019, but there were two predecessors of magazines for gaijin gyaru before being Gyaru-go who only published on 1 April 2016 and Gal-VIP on 12 April 2012. They are both online magazines while Papillon has online and purchasable issues.

Related media[edit]

Clothing brands[edit]

Shibuya 109 staff from an onee-gyaru brand
Three gyaru models being photographed.




A regular pastime for gyaru is パラパラ or in romaji known as (parapara), is a dance performed mostly with hands and legs going back and forth from left to right and when performed in a group everyone should be evidently in synchronized with each other when performing parapara. It is mostly danced with Eurobeat music or covers of other song but with the aforementioned Eurobeat remix. Such a remix is for example songs from Japanase singer ICHIDAI[190] being an infamously remixed into eurobeat and danced to.

The one of the most infamous parapara song and its tagline being 'GET WILD & BE SEXY' is synonymous with gyaru culture which was of an infamous eurobeat song of the same name, by the group called Eurocker-Girlz also abbreviated to E-Girlz.[191] There is a diverse choice number of songs that can be danced to parapara.

There are people performing parapara on YouTube in the past and even today; but the most dedicated channel to perform parapara on YouTube is the YouTube channel 'Para Para Yurakucho@Hong Kong', they are still active to this day.[192] Another active platform with eurobeat has its own website that is being regularly updated by enthusiasts of Eurobeat on the website eurobeat-prime.[193]


2007 purikura stylus pen screen

A common gyaru hobby is Purikura プリクラ. These photo booths are often used by groups, couples, or individuals to capture ridiculous poses depending on the preferences of the participants. Purikura booths are mostly located in the electronic district of Tokyo, Akihabara, where they are a popular activity for both casual gyaru enthusiasts and professional gyaru models. In addition to being a hobby, purikura booths can be used as a way into magazines. Photos taken in these booths are used by magazines to scout for amateur models (who are often readers of these gyaru magazines themselves), referred to as 読者モデル (dokusha moderu) or ドクモモデル (dokumo moderu) in Japanese.[194]

Decoden, also known as ケイタイ芸術 (keitai art), is another gyaru associated hobby. Decoden is a compound of 'deco,' a shortened form of decorative, and 'den,' a shortening of denwa (電話), the word for 'phone' in Japanese. Originating from Japan, decoden involves the decoration of mobile phones and other electronic devices with materials such as acrylic, rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, silicone and polymer clay. Denwa decoration is often ostentatious and makes use of 3D motifs as well as media influences. Decoden has also been used for events. Acer Inc. held a decoden contest for the release of their Acer Aspire One netbook laptops in 2009. The contest involved three contestants presenting their different decoden designs for the netbooks in addition to a popularity poll.[195]

Events and meetings[edit]

A group of gyaru, probably a gyaru circle

A group of gyaru who often meet together to hang out is called a gyaru circle or a ギャルサークル (gyarusākuru), but can also be shortened to ギャルサー (gyarusā). Gyarusā differ depending upon their membership criteria, such as gender, fashion style, region of origin, and age. There are two types of circles: なごーさ (nago-sa), small groups based around casual gatherings, and イヴェーさ (ivuē-sa), which plan, host, and have events with each other. The Japanese word イヴェー (ivuē) is a direct reference to the English word events. These events typically consist of clubbing, karaoké, purikura, going out to eat at fast food chains or restaurants, and showing their outfits off to one another.[196]

One of the most famous gyarusā groups is Angeleek, which consisted of at least twelve members who predominantly wore ganguro. They have been promoted numerous times in egg magazine and on national Japanese television. Another prominent gyarusā in the same district of Tokyo is Shibuya's НЯК, also known by their Japanese gyarusā name, 渋谷ギャルサー 「НЯК」. It boasted Shibuya's largest gyarusā, with over a thousand members. As of 2021, Nachu, the leader of this gyarusā, still has a website.[197] НЯК has also made their own music.[198] Gyarusā have seen a recent revival as of the 2010s with the creation of the newer group, Black Diamond.[199][200][201][202]


Gyaru have their own themed cafés. Similar to maid cafés, waitresses wear gyaru attire and exhibit exaggerated personas in addition to other gyaru themed rituals. For instance, a general rule in gyaru cafés is the prohibition of polite honorific speech 敬語 (keigo).[203] Other gyaru cafés, such as galcafé 10sion,[204][205] offer services such as the chance to wear gyaru makeup or receive a full gyaru makeover.[206] Another notable café targeted towards the gyaru subculture is Beauty Café by GirlsAward. Created by the prominent fashion event GirlsAward, this café employs gyaru reader models 読者モデル (dokusha moderu) as an additional draw.[207]

The Ganguro Café[208][209][210][211][212][213][214] in Shibuya, once the home of the gyaru and ganguro style, was closed in July 2018.[215][216][217]

Gyaru scandals in Japan[edit]

A yamanba styled gyaru

In 2012 the gyaru model Jun Komori committed fraud and helped with said fraud on an online auction website in Japan. She worked with the at the time thirty year old Ryusuge Suzuki, who was the penny orders section owner of the 'World Auction' website in Japan. She had to close her official web blog due to the backlash of her actions.[218][219]

On February 3, 2015 in Shinjuku 'Lumine EST' mall three gyaru Rady shop staff were arrested and charged with both stealing apparel which amounted to 1,100,000 yen 10,000 dollars from various stores and selling it. This was calculated to be the equivalent of 5,000,000 yen which is 46,000 dollars; a grand total of 6,100,000 yen or 56,000 dollars of both theft and money laundering. It is stated that the crime occurred due to shop staff only getting paid about 880 yen an hour; the equivalent of 8 dollars. The gyaru brand Rady, closed its store within the same month in that vey same mall in Shinjuku.[220][221]

In 2014 a gyarusā was arrested due to multiple cases of rape to gang rape happening within its gyarusā[222] and this wouldn't be the last of these malicious gyarusā: in 2019 another was found with the same criminal delicts acted towards the members of their group.[223]

In 2021, egg magazine created a video on their official YouTube channel by making a prank video and using domestic violence as the joke.[224] They used makeup to create fake wounds or damage that can be created from the domestic violence and by the end of the video laughing at the prank video they made. All of the participants, models and the egg magazine model herself participated in the creation of the video, the decision to make it or complied in the creation of the video. The video shows the participants and models not taking domestic violence at serious face value. The date of the video's release was on International Women's Day as well as Women's History Month, which attracted even more criticism. Even though the video was supposed to be considered a prank; some of their Japanese and Western fans have shown their disdain for this video in the comment section. Foreign gyaru or gaijin gyaru community have come out and demanded other participants of this fashion subculture to report the video from YouTube. They also expressed shame that their favorite magazine, egg, had created this video without any forethought towards the actual subject matter or victims of domestic violence.[225]

オヤジギャル (Oyaji gyaru):[226] isn't a style,[227] rather it is a title that gyaru have gotten themselves because of their manner of showing and acting out towards others on the street, these gyaru have carried as the over prevailing years of its existence of as a subculture of Japanese street fashion. Over these years of its existence it has garnered them this title of oyajigyaru, especially when this title has been given by the Japanese population when asked in a survey of the most used words of the decades or buzzword rather which are used on a daily basis. Because of their rudeness towards others, masculine character: such as drinking beer, smoking in public places, swearing, and overtly sexual manner of dress.[228] Oyajigyaru lit.'old man gyaru' and is used as slang to describe most revolting gyaru.

Charity and Fundraising Events[edit]

Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, gyaru clothing brand GALSTAR launched a fundraising event where they donated a percentage of their revenue to the Japanese Red Cross Society.[229]

Influence in media[edit]


Koda Kumi performing at a convention in 2005

Music is not necessarily a main hobby within gyaru culture, although J-pop and eurobeat remixes; these songs are popular from Japanese singers and they are casually listened to, mostly during a date or when driving a car. Eurobeat remixes are regularly danced to with the dance parapara written in Japanese as パラパラ (parapara). However, there are many popular Japanese singers who are casually listened to, at ones leisure, during a date or when driving a car.

Singers such as Koda Kumi, Namie Amuro and Ayumi Hamasaki are internationally famous, and regarded as inspiration for many gyarus. Other J-pop artists that were considered to be essential to listen to were LOVE to LOVE,[230][231] GAL DOLL,[232][233] KAHORI[234][235] and Juliet.[236][237] Singer Sifow also known as Shiho Fujita who at the time, was not only a model but also a singer for J-Pop as she had been a solo artist when starting her music career as Sifow.[238][239] She has already announced her retirement from the music industry back in 2008 and has now her own established a cooperation for the advocacy of health; which not only relates to food but also agriculture and dieting as a business, it is called: Office G-Revo Corporation.[240]

Prominent Japanese gyaru models or members who have participated in gyaru fashion may also attempt to have a musical or acting career.

Debuting egg magazine model and well known model from popteen, Tsubasa Masuwaka, whose stage name is Milky Bunny,[241][242] koakuma ageha model Rina Sakurai has had a music career as well, using her given name Rina as her stage name.[243] Debuting as a model for ranzuki, MensEGG and egg magazine and most known for her career in popteen magazine as a gyaru model, Hikari Shiina has also had a career in the J-pop industry as an idol under the stage name 'Pikarin Shiina'.[244][245] She is under the management of music coorporation, AVEX Inc.[246] Egg models Aina Tanaka and Yumachi Takahashi formed as a J-pop duo.[247]

Both Aina Tanaka and Yumachi Takahashi haven't only tried to achieve a musical career for themselves; they created in 2010 the idol group that consist of only gyaru with the objective to achieve the same amount of popularity as AKB48.[248] At the time of auditioning there were at least four thousand applicants for this group. This was then narrowed to 24 members and then doubled, creating a group of 48 members.[249] Including the creators who participated in the endeavour, there were fifty members. The idol group is called 渋谷GAL's (Shibuya GAL's). They have two songs in their discography with Aina Tanaka and Yumachi Takahashi.[250][251] In 2011 they also collaborated with girl group GAL DOLL to continue to achieve their endeavor of having an idol group with only gyaru members to have the same amount of fame as AKB48.[252] A television program produced by egg magazine called GAL-TEN, which consisted of only models from that magazine, had their own J-pop single titled キラキラ-GAL or (Glitter-GAL) in English.[253] Another Japanese idol group ギャルル (Gyaruru), which consisted of three members; being Ami Tokito, Gal Sone and Nozomi Tsuji. The group was produced by Tsunku by his label TNX Inc. and the Hello! Project. Natsuko Sone, better known as Gal Sone, is known not only as a J-Pop singer, but also as a Japanese competitive eater. Being the most gyaru member, most fans have gravitated towards her in the group. To this day, most enthusiasts of this style gravitate towards her, as she still wears the gyaru style. The group Gyaruru have only one hit song, 'Boom Boom Meccha Maccho', which was released on 20 June 2007.[254]

Lil'B is a Japanese musical duo which consists of singer ミエ (Mie) and female rapper アイラ (Alia). They have created at least nine songs in four years; from 2008 till 2011.[255] They should not be confused with the rapper Lil B despise the group and the rapper having the same stage name. J-pop artist 三宅宏実 in romaji (Miyake Hiromi), she is known by her stage name 宏実, she is an artist that is known for her R&B inspired J-pop songs.[256][257] A singer that has gyaru fans and used to have an appearance of one is Miliyah Kato or better known from her stage name 加藤ミリヤ (Katō Miriya); considered a J-pop artist with urban influences who not only made pop and J-pop music but also R&B.[258]

A gyarusā with a notoriety in music for and by the gyaru is Angeleek. They had a eurobeat song that was for parapara that is on an album with a song that was gyaru and even a gyaru fashion brand named Rady had their own song on the same album.[259] Another gyarusā, black diamond, are among the very few prominent gyaru to have built a career outside of being a gyarusā.[260] They were the previous owners of the ganguro café, black diamond and have tried their hand at music.[261] They also tried to reform their group and reform as an idol group again when the new generation of black diamond began. This endeavour, Black Diamond -from 2000- has made music as well, but later disbanded.[262]

Most of the aforementioned gyaru are or have been musicians; some are still artists with a cult following, while others are remembered by the gyaru community because of their music. But most of those mentioned no longer participate as musicians. They have either stopped creating music or have never finished an album since their debut, but still are, have or had a gyaru aesthetic and influence on the gyaru media during their musical careers. Some have had no success outside the subculture during their careers, especially those debuting as a musical act but having a small fan base or being only known within the gyaru subculture. Therefore, most of these artists have only single song in their discography.

Gyaru have recently been resurfacing within the music industry and in multiple music genres in Japan since 2019; most notably within the rap genre.

In 2019 Japanese rap group 'Zoomgals' debuted their career into the industry;[263][264][265][266] their group consist of six members with some already having notoriety within the industry. Their name is based on the video conferencing program Zoom; as their first music video debuted their group with the use of the program. The group consists of rappers Haruko Tajima, Akko Gorilla, ASOBOiSM, Valknee, Marukido and Namichie. As stated before, some of these members within the group have already been already present within the music industry such as Haruko Tajima and Akko Gorilla already being present since 2017.[267][268] Rapper Valknee has also debuted her own career apart from being in the rap group 'Zoomgals'.[269][270]

2019 was also the year were J-pop and R&B singer, Thelma Aoyama[271][272][273] released her song 世界の中心~We are the world~ or (Sekai no chūshin)~We are the world~, which made use of egg models from that time in front of Shibuya's 109.[272][274][275][276]

In 2020 gyaru model Yuki Kimura had a collaboration with DJ Hello Kitty[277] for a seven-hour livestream.[278]

The gyaru magazine egg has also recently debuted multiple of their models from their magazine into the Japanese music industry; four of these models being 鈴木綺麗 (Suzuki Kirei), 瀬戸ももあ (Seto Momoa), 古川優奈 (Furukawa Yūna) and 小田愛実 (Oda Aimi). All four are also most known by their magazine nicknames being: きぃりぷ (Kīripu), まぁみ (maami), ももあ (momoa) and ゆうちゃみ (YU-chami).[279] Kirei Suzuki debuting into the J-pop industry on her own[280][281] while Momoa Seto, Yūna Furukawa and Ami Oda have debuted as their own rap group called 半熟卵っち (Hanjuku tamago tchi)[282][283] which in English means a soft-boiled egg; an obvious reference to their magazine they work for. They have also collaborated with singers and rapper Doja Cat and SZA by covering their song Kiss Me More.[284][285]

Also Japanese rapper MANON has created a song celebrating the gyaru subculture; with her song:'GALchan Mode'.[286][287][288]

The Japanese music company AVEX Inc. has pushed towards a new artist within the gyaru style, being 安斉かれん (Anzai Karen) or pronounced Kalen Anzai.[289][290] She first debuted with her song 世界の全て敵に感じて孤独さえ愛していた (Sekai no subete teki ni kanjite kodoku sae itoshite ita).[291] She was later first recognized by the gyaru style from her song 'GAL-TRAP'. She didn't recognize herself as a gyaru or even what is now called pos-gyaru this is a term for gyaru that are still participating post Heisei era.[292] She is still producing music.

Japanese rapper WISE[293] is also known to have both worked with gyaru models and other notable Japanese artist that have a following with gyaru enthusiasts. He has featured two Japanese artist with fame with gyaru enthusiasts, being Kana Nishino[294][295] and Japanese R&B singer デアール (Deāru) lit.'Dear'.[296] With Dear he had a notable gyaru model perform in his music video, Yuka Obara.[297] This wouldn't be the last time that he worked with Kana Nishino since in 2013 he would this time be featured in one of her songs.[298]

One of the older gyaru J-pop music that should be noted is ディープス (Dīpusu), lit.'deeps'.[299] It was the first J-pop group to be created from reader models from egg magazine. The J-pop group deeps, debuted in 1997 and lasted till 2007. In their debut single 'Love is real'[300][301] members were Akiko Matsushita, Chikako Iwanuma and Hiroe Kabashima or known by their egg magazine nicknames as AKI, CHIKA and HIRO.

Western music has also seen and has given use to gyaru within their music videos. Such as British indie pop band Kero Kero Bonito's lead singer Sarah Bonito being featured in Filipino artist Zeon Gomez or better known from his stage name Ulzzang pistol or U-pistol. With their 2014 collaboration song titled 'Kawaii Pink 2'.[302] Within that music video one can see multiple magazine flip throughs of multiple popteen magazines.

Gyaru listen not only to Eastern Asian music, but also Western music. They do not limit themselves to a single genre, as rock, rap, pop and other genres are listened to as long as they conform to the gyaru aesthetic.

Anime and Manga[edit]

Gals! was a manga that had much influence on gyaru fashion. Also for being a manga that centers completely on the gyaru subculture. It was created by the female mangaka Mihona Fujii in 1998 and is a shōjo manga that has again become renowned in the subculture of gyaru.[303] Another manga having ties to gyaru is Gal Japon, published in 2010. It is a slice of life manga surrounding the gyaru subculture. A 2018 manga called My Roomie Is a Dino features a gyaru as the protagonist of its story and eventually got an anime in 2020.[304] Another manga with deep rooted relations to gyaru which started publishing in 2017, is currently in circulation and is an ongoing series is the manga Super Baby.[305][306] The story's protagonist, Tamao, lives near gyaru locations or near locations representing gyaru, such as the mall 109, this manga centers on gyaru fashion and subculture. It is created by mangaka Meme Marugao, it is a shōjo manga. A manga debuting in 2017, that is still being published today; has a plot driven character named Anna Anjou she is a gyaru. The series is called Yancha Gal no Anjou-san.[307] Another recent manga that debuted in 2019 Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable! and is stll being published as of 2021, has a character that is detrimental to the plot who is gyaru called Minami Fuyuki.

Many other mangas have characters in or related to gyaru. For example, Peach Girl, a manga created by Miwa Ueda which started publication in 1997. The 2003 manga Bijinzaka Private Girls High School or Shiritsu! Bijinzaka Joshi Koukou in romaji, had a titular gyaru character named Nonomiya En, she is in a shōjo romance as well a comedy manga. In 2005 Galism: Renai Joutou 3 Sanshimai or in English Galism: Love Supreme Sisters manga was released. A shōjo, romance, high school and comedy manga. In 2009, the manga KECHONPA was published. Instead of being a shōjo manga, it had a drama driven plot. Also in 2009 the anime Hime Gal Paradise ran on Japanese televisions and revolves around a main character who is initially ordinary but enters a high school where every student is a gyaru. In 2014, the manga and anime series Please Tell Me! Galko-chan[308][309] is published. It mostly discusses topics ranging from gender differences, sexual behavior or body complexes and differences in both the female and male bodies. Galko-chan is the protagonist of this manga and she is a gyaru herself but she also has an older sister; who is also a gyaru.[310]

A stop motion anime series named Milpom[311] was created to promote the gyaru lifestyle, especially in its television pilot. Notably, the mall of Shibuya 109 is shown as the first shot in the scene of the pilot and is present during its entirety. But it eventually drifted towards other Japanese fashion subcultures instead of only centering on the gyaru subculture. It was released in 2015 and lasted till 2017, due to lack of interest and bad reviews from both Japanese and foreign viewers. The voice actresses of this series consist of magazine models, especially within its series such as Anna Yano who appeared in mer and KERA magazines and Saki Shibata from the magazine mer. But the most notable and gyaru voice actresses for this anime are the popteen models Hikari Shiina and Ai Matsumoto, they are also the very first characters to appear since the pilot and remain till the last airing of Milpom. Hikari Shiina voice-acting Milpom and Ai Matsumoto voicing the secondary lead, Pon-pon; after the pilot her name had been changed to Silky.[312]

Some mangas have gyaru influenced characters who are not considered gyaru by gyaru fans. These mangas are Gal Gohan which was published in 2016, the 2017 series My First Girlfriend Is a Gal, Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro also published in 2017 and Gyaru Cleaning published in 2018. They have gyaru characters within its series, have the archetypes of a gyaru or are dressed and addressed as a gyaru within its series. But due to the nature of its manga, the romance subplot having an age gap between characters, the actual plot going to unconsenting actions towards the gyaru character or simply the participants of this fashion regarding these as not being the proper representation of what they want or want to be seen as gyaru representation. Most of these gyaru readers resent these manga series or their depiction of its fashion subculture.[313]

Other manga that have ties to the gyaru subculture but do not have it as their main plot point include the manga Komi Can't Communicate which debuted in 2015. Its ties to the gyaru subculture is the side-character Rumiko Manbagi. She is introduced as a ganguro in the manga. In 2021, the manga Bleach had a one-shot where they introduced a character named YuYu Yayahara, a lieutenant under Lisa of 8th division. She is portrayed as a gyaru.[314]

A non gyaru orientated anime series; being the comedy Mr. Osomatsu, has a gyaru character called Jyushiko Matsuno. Another comedy series being Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san has also had appereances of two gyaru and a gyaru-o character. The first gyaru being a customer that is also a Fujoshi looking for books of her liking; she appeared in the first chapter and episode of both the manga and anime and the other two being other characters within an other episode being clients as well. Another non gyaru orientated series is the shōnen series Sgt. Keroro with the character Angel Mois. In her human form she takes the appearance of a kogyaru. Another non-gyaru anime, being the well known series Pokémon has also had a gyaru in the 2018 movie Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us. The gyaru character in question is Risa. But the Pokémon series already had a gyaru representation; rather a ganguro representation by the actual Pokémon, Jynx. The only issue is that this is still in debate within fans and Pokémon company themselves since the appearance of this Pokémon's in 1996 for Pokémon Red and Blue on the Game Boy and anime since.


Some movies either center around or have a gyaru influence to give it either a cult following or for a nostalgic factor for those who participated in gyaru.

In 2009, Japanese model Rina Sakurai from the magazine koakuma ageha had a role starring in her own film and debuting as the protagonist of the movie 'GIRL'S LIFE';[315][316] the protagonist in the movie Haruka Ichinose is also a gyaru just as Rina Sakurai. A renowned scene in the movie is Haruka having to choose a name for herself since she started working as a hostess in a kyabakura and after a minor disagreement with the hostess bar's manager regarding the nickname she originally proposed, she reluctantly decides to be nicknamed 'Ageha', an obvious reference to the magazine for which she models.

Colourful, the 2010 anime movie; does not have a gyaru as the protagonist but does have one as a predominant secondary character who is and has the issues that stem from being gyaru. Being the character Hiroka, not only from her appearance to her nonchalant attitude but enjo kōsai, forms a major part to her role as a character and in her arc in the plot.

Flying Colors,[317][318] a Japanese coming of age film released in 2015, has a gyaru protagonist, Sayaka Kudo, and examines her hardships as a gyaru and her attempts to conform to Japanese expectations and to succeed academically, such as being accepted into university. In Japan, this movie was well received in terms of cinema viewing and box-office revenue. But the foreign gyaru community, on social network services and in their written reviews, they indicate a dislike of this movie. It stems from focus on personal growth and its divergence from what gyaru enthusiasts expected to see from this film.

The Japanese movie Sunny:Tsuyoi Kimochi Tsuyoi Ai[319] a movie that came out in 2018, has the plot of a group of Japanese female high school students who are now adults reminiscing about their youth in 1990s and during their time being gyaru. The thing about this Japanese centric movie is that it never happened or started in Japan; well the origin of this movie. Sunny from 2011 is a movie that has beats in term of the plot line instead taking place in South Korea during the 1980s. While having heavier implications such as the Gwangju Uprising and the democratization of South Korea as a country. As for the Japanese 2018 recirculation it is entirely about the whole 1990s gyaru, gyarusā conflicts and just Japanese high schooler dilemmas.

Japanese television and commercial media[edit]

Japanese television have a had an enormous amount of gyaru based television broadcasting during the Heisei era. These television programs could be centering around gyaru to even commercials being made by using gyarus that would be famous or not, as actresses to popularize and market a multitude of products. For Japanese television broadcasting these shows at the time, these varied from being shows that are made by gyaru for gyaru, that were not only to boost their popularity and moral as a Japanese fashion style and to do the same for the participating models in these programs as well. But also to either market, popularize the magazines or the stores in Shibuya 109 that were shown in these programs since they were either producing or had a contract with a television program or station for these shows to be made. Most of the models did not have a problem with these shows either since they were probably contracted by their magazines to participate in them. By using these models; the magazines would also get more notorety and marketability by doing these shows and so would these models.

For example, some television programs would make a single segment about current trends that were happening at the time. Such as in the Kantō region, that being of Tokyo; their were many small segments of programing sometimes dedicated to the gyaru subculture. One being in its earliest form about ganguro and their love for tropical clothing and a new type of tigh-high socks that looked like bell-bottoms that had at the time been released in Shibuya 109.[320] Another is during the 2010; looking for the latest trends then that were happening with the gyaru subculture.[321]

A show created by gyaru for gyaru is GAL-TEN, a show produced by egg magazine and broadcast by TBS Television in the 2010s.[322][323]

Other television segments used gyaru or gyaru models to promote the show and the models themselves; such as this segment promoting koakuma ageha model Rina Sakurai.[324]

Shows that have relevancy to the actual lifestyle or subculture of gyaru, that would appear during the Heisei era; would be the television special about the gyarusā or gyarus in general. For example, the gyarusā 'Angeleek' had its very own episode on Japanese television, fully dedicated to their events, general outings with each-other and how they made a younger generation than them participate or join their group to continue its legacy.[325]

But there were also shows that would have nothing to do with the gyaru subculture but would have gyarus or gyaru-os for one episode or a segment in an episode and they would use these gyarus as either a popularity stunt for the program or to be participants to become a farce of that episode in a show. Even if some were there to educate the Japanese masses on the gyaru fashion subculture, the harsh comedy applied to the style or participants by the hosts of these shows is apparent.[326][327][328][329][330][331] An example of either a full segment or episode to degrade gyaru participants from a Japanese television program can be seen on YouTube titled as 日本のゲームショー! (Nihon no gēmushō!) or in English 'Japanese game show!'. But the name of the actual show could be entirely different.[332]

There are many commercial based products for gyaru or endorsed by them or their companies such as magazines.

Among the many magazine ads were the advertisements for popteen magazine which had a partnership with the Japanese food company Ezaki Glico with their snack Pocky. These advertisements were called 'Deco-Pocky' which were sponsored by the magazine themselves to promote Pocky but by either creating new desserts or decorating the Pockys themselves into gaudy snacks.[333] Pocky has also made Japanese television commercials with Tsubasa Masuwaka.[334] Another Japanese brand that collaborated with Tsubasa Masuwaka but this time a Japanese candy brand for a commercial for chewing-gum. The Japanese chewing-gum brand ストライド (sudoraido), lit.'Stride' from the company Kraft Heinz; made a commercial debuting their new flavor at the time.[335] Other noteworthy commercial collaboration would be for the Japanese tea and coffee brand UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. for the commercial of their product of 'Paradise Tropical Tea'.[336] The Japanese McDonald's company has created an advertisement with Tsubasa Masuwaka for a marketing tie-in with Sanrio characters, being the Sugarbunnies. These were for a line of Happy Meal toys, that are hair accessories such as scunchies and plastic rings with their likeness.[337]

Another commercial in which Tsubasa Masuwaka participated was for a Valentine's Day-related commercial for Universal Music Japan, a commercial that is for at the time a streaming service or digital music distributing platform to purchase particular songs curated for Valentine's Day from Universal Music Japan.[338] Japanese general merchandise and department store Ito-Yokado made an umbrella commercial with Tsubasa Masuwaka for their subsidiary company Seven & I Holdings.[339]

Japanese fashion brands have also had a way to create commercials to promote their own brand. For example, the gyaru brand 'Rady' created their own J-pop and eurobeat-esque song to promote their brand[340] Their song is featured on an album featuring various gyaru artists.[341] and the brand LADYMADE often used gyaru models in their music videos at the time, such as koakuma ageha model Yuka Obara.[342] Another gyaru brand COCO*LULU also creating a J-Pop girl group called COCO-GIRL, to promote their very own brand as well. This J-pop group consisted of notable gyaru models of that time; such as: 中嶋杏理 (Nakajima Anri), 飯田志穂 (Īda Shiho), 太田郁美 (Ōta Ikumi) and 藤田ニコル (Fujita Nikoru) or better known from their magazine nicknames as あんあん (Anan), ちゃむ君 (Chamu-kun), いくちゃむ (Ikuchiyamu) and にこるん (Nikorun). They do not participate in the same magazine, Anri Nakajima and Nicole Fujita are from popteen, Shiho Īda is from egg and Ikumi Ōta is from ranzuki magazine.[343]

There are many advertisements for wigs from varying Japanese companies with promotional endormsent from various gyaru models.

There are three notable wig brands, アクアドール (Akuadōru), ラブズウィッグ (Rabuzuuwiggu) and プリシラ (Purishira); in English they are written as Aquadoll, LOVES WIG and Prisila. Aquadoll made a commercial with the use of many gyaru models to even actresses participating within its commercial to promote their various wigs.[344] LOVES WIG made multiple commercials for wigs created with popteen model Kumiko Funayama's endorsement.[345] While Prisila made a commercial with the endorsement of popteen model Nana Suzuki for a smaller array of wigs such as clip-on bangs and clip-on extensions.[346] Prisila is also known for its tagline that has not only been present in commercials on Japanese television but in various gyaru magazines as well, such as 'No wig, no life!'.[347]

Japanese hair dye products have also had a variety of advertisements based on the gyaru subculture that were also present during that time and can still be seen through YouTube. There are two notable hair dye brands noted in the gyaru subculture being パルティー (Parutī) and ビューティーン (Byūtīn); in English being Palty and Beauteen.[348][349] These two brands have been endorsed by two known gyaru models, Tsubasa Masuwaka and Kumiko Funayama. They had been the endorsers for these brands but one being the promotional model for Palty while the other for Beauteen. Kumiko Funayama appearing in Beauteen commercials[350] while Tsubasa Masuwaka having appeared multiple times in these commercials[351] with some commercials having appearances of popteen model Yui Kanno for Palty.[352][353] Tsubasa Masuwaka has even appeared in the advertisements for its male hair dye variant of Palty.[354] Even South Korean Pop group KARA have participated in 2011 for a commercial for the Palty brand with Tsubasa Masuwaka as the one placing the hair dye on her hair while KARA singing since the begin of the advertisement by promoting their new J-Pop at the time song, ガールズビーアンビシャス (Gāruzubīanbishasu) lit.'Girls be ambitious'.[355][356]

Among the amount of wig products and hair dye-based advertisements produced for gyaru there have also been electronic hair tools or accessories created during the popularity of the gyaru subculture for gyaru enthusiasts. Tsubasa Masuwaka has participated as the endorser for a portable hair straightener collection called: TsuyaGla Perfect. They were produced by the brand CJプライムショッピング (CJ puraimu shoppingu) lit.'CJ Prime Shopping', it is a hair straightener including accessories such as plastic covers to create curls with them to almost the same effect as a hair curl with a hair curler. They were produced in candy pink, midnight navy and virgin white.[357] CJ Prime shopping also made a professional version of the 'TsuyaGla Perfect' hair straightener with the endorsement of Jun Komori as gyaru model.[358] This version being simply called: TsuyaGla Pro. The very same Japanese company have also made a wave hair curling iron and regular curling iron with Kumiko Funayama as the model who endorses this product, this time the product is called TsuyaGla Wave and TsuyaGla Curl.[359]

In a competition for the Japanese music company, AVEX Inc.; Kumiko Funayama won a special background for Japanese flip phones with Sanrio and ミュゥモ (Myuumo), AVEX's digital music distributon company to create a specific Hello Kitty character that resembles Kumiko Funayama herself.[360][361][362][363] Another Japanese electronic brand Fujitsu that made a collaboration with both Kumiko Funayama and three brands from the Shibuya department store 109; these being Cecil McBee, COCO*LULU and Pinky Girls.[364] This collaboration was made through the use of their flip phones products from the line of NTT Docomo.[365][366] The Japanese company フリュー (Furyū), written FuRyu that produces purikura machines has made a collaboration at the time popteen model Tsubasa Masuwaka for their new machine in 2011.[367]

Manga had also its fair share of commercials dedicated to the gyaru subculture. A manga that had an ad on Japanese television during the Heisei era and during its publication would be Gals! with its commercial not only created to serve as a marketing strategy to bring new readers to the quarterly shoujo manga magazine Ribon, the publisher of Gals! at the time. It wasn't necessarily targeting the gyaru demographic but due to its story, the origins of the manga itself and the merchandise available for purchase at the time. It is likely that past gyaru have purchased this exclusive merchandise from Ribon or current gyaru now seek these accessories for themselves out of nostalgia.[368] This wouldn't be the only commercial created for and featuring characters from Gals!, as Tomy made multiple commercials dedicated to electronic devices with the Gals! branding.[369]

Even SEGA have used gyaru as participants to promote a product, a commercial for the 1999 video game Seaman on the Dreamcast with gyaru discussing the product.[370] Another video game company; that being Nintendo themselves have used three gyaru models from the magazine popteen such as Kumiko Funayama, Jun Komori and Yui Kanno to act in a commercial for the Nintendo DS game titled Threads of Destiny which was produced by Alchemist and released in 2008.[371] The only difference being that Nintendo used models established from popteen magazine models or well-known gyaru at the time, while SEGA opted for unknown gyaru to actual citizens who participate in the gyaru substyle who auditioned to act as these characters solely for this commercial or they could just be actresses.

Other famous gyaru figures within the Japanese media; J-Pop artist Ayumi Hamasaki has been in a commercial for the car brand Honda for one of their past car series the Zest Spark. Ayumi Hamasaki was the actress that performed the role of enticing others to purchase said car.[372] The car dealership サコダ車輌 (Sakoda sharyō) or lit.'Sakoda vehicles' made a commercial in 2020 using an actress with the appearance of a gyaru.[373] The Japanese car-licensing service 勝田車両センター (Katsuta sharyō) or lit.'Katsuta vehicle center' also made an advertisement with a gyaru actress.[374]

One such example of commercial marketing centering or entirely base on the premise of having gyarus to promote a brand's product, would be for a tampon commercial that happened in Tokyo were a hundred gyarus of either famous, who have notoriety in Japanese magazines or online through social networking services to simply gyaru enthusiast. They participated to display their approval for a brand of tampons by walking through Tokyo with fans that would have the tampon's brand name on it.[375]

International television[edit]

South Korea has also had influences from the gyaru subculture but it wasn't used in a way that both Japanese or gyaru participants wouldn't have thought. South Korean Comedian Korean박성호; RRPark Seong-ho made a depiction of a gyaru or kogyaru in 2012 in its most comical and bordeline insulting way towards gyaru. This was made for a KBS Entertainment Awards which was shown on KBS2; a sketch-comedy show called Gag Concert. By him using the character Korean갸루상; RRGyaru Sang, he depicted a character that is so self absorbed that she barely takes notice of those that are speaking directly to her and is portraited as an idiot. This depiction was created with barely any knowledge of the actual gyaru culture or how most participants thought it should be represented. Park Seong-ho, stating himself in an interview that: 'He didn't know the gyaru style, in any sense. He didn't even know what it exactly meant from the start. He just created the character from what little knowledge he had, such as the heavy makeup and their way of speaking Japanese'.[376] It is most probable that this sketch alone caused an outrage online due to how it has interpreted as offensive towards Japanese audience from his representation of gyaru or most likely Japanese people; due to it being a blatant farce.[377] But KBS2 have also made a report on the ganguro substyle in Japan.[378]

Western audiences weren't left out. The BBC had English gaijin gyaru known for her online alias 'Lhouraii li' on BBC Three's Snog Marry Avoid? in 2010.[379][380]


On the Internet, there are many makeup tutorials and event videos of gyaru meeting each other on YouTube. Many videos discuss this fashion subculture, such as article videos, history videos, makeovers and questionnaire videos.[381][382] Also the only way to take a look into the Heisei era gyaru period and how Shibuya's infamous mall, Shibuya 109 looked like then from the inside and out. Is through the YouTube channel: 'TokyoFashionMoEStyle';[383] a YouTube channel established in August 2012. From September to December 2012, it posted a series of videos examining Shibuya's gyaru fashion style and publicising the stores that were then in Shibuya 109. It was presented by Japanese JELLY magazine model Mana Honda.

Another YouTube channel dedicated to gyaru culture, especially towards the gyaru mama subculuture, would be the Japanese YouTube channel 'kaorimama1'.[384] This channel was established in June 2010, and published videos from 2010 till 2012. It had many and a series of episodes dedicated to the gyaru mama lifestyle called BeMamaTV.[385] This series had a show that would be published online in three parts and it debuted in 2010 and lasted till 2012. It is unclear if this YouTube channel had any commercial ties with the gyaru magazine I LOVE MAMA or if it was its own channel.

There are also many parody videos of this style and even Japanese television program fragments remain viewable on YouTube, making a farce of gyarus and gyaruos. One of the most famous is the 2011 GAL男宣言 (GAL O sengen), lit.'Gyaru O declaration' created by the Japanese music group 'Policeman' ポリスマン, (porisuman),[386][387] which achieved brief popularity outside of Japan as an Internet meme.[388] A recent parody that can be also interpreted as an honoring of every notable gyaru that has appeared in manga, anime and hentai is the YouTube video Gyaru Sushi.[389] It is a reference to an actual sushi restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Video games[edit]

There are also many characters from various Japanese media who have a gyaru connection. For example, in the Yakuza series, especially in its third iteration, Yakuza 3. It debuted a side-mission which would then be included with its gameplay and features in later sequels. Where in fictional Kabukichō or as the game refers to it as Kamurocho, the player would need to recruit women to join a hostess club. These women were actual gyaru from the magazine Koakuma Ageha. These models are used as actual character models in the game; their whole appearance was replicated to the smallest detail to have them created and placed as 3D characters. These models from Koakuma Ageha are Sayaka Araki, Nemu, Rina Sakurai, Eri Momoka, Riho Nishiyama, Rina Aikawa and Shizuka Muto. They have even been compared to their replicated three-dimensional counterparts.[390] These characters would become hostess of these fictional hostess clubs; if the player chooses to do this side-mission and complete it. But the hostess club section of the game first appeared in Yakuza 2; in the sense of visiting the clubs themselves and not in the similar way as in the third game where the player recruited actual members for the clubs. They even have their own magazine in the games called Kamutai Magazine which is also replica of the actual magazine Koakuma Ageha.[391] This content however was cut in the Western releases of Yakuza 3.

In Danganronpa the character of Junko Enoshima is inspired by gyaru subculture. The Persona series also has a gyaru. In Revelations: Persona, there is a kogyaru named Yuka Ayase. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has a kogyaru enemy as a character. The player must defeat her to proceed in-game; she is known as Shinobu Jacobs who is encountered later in the game.

The Girls Mode series (known as Style Savvy and Style Boutique in North America and the PAL region respectively) is based on multiple Japanese street fashion subcultures and has a main focus on brands and selling apparel. The video game has a variety of different brands and styles but also some of these that can be interpreted as mimicking or representing some gyaru fashion brands. For example the in-game apparel brand AZ*USA (AZ-USA in the West) has a striking resemblance to the gyaru brand D.I.A.; another one would be the brand CherryBerry (April bonbon in the West) also having its own representation of the amekaji style. Most probable inspiration would be the gyaru brand COCO*LULU. The Nintendo DS was the first to introduce this series by the developers syn Sophia and then later got three sequels on the console's successor the Nintendo 3DS. In the West the word new would be added to the pre-existing title of Style Savvy and Style Boutique. In total this franchise would make at least three games on the Nintendo 3DS for this series but with the addition of the Nintendo DS in total the series would be at least a quadruple series.

The video game franchise Animal Crossing by Nintendo also had a gyaru, but she only appeared in a spin-off game of this series. Specifically the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on the Nintendo 3DS, the character named Lottie appears in that video game for the first time, she is a character represented as an otter. After multiple encounters with her; there will be an in-game event on the third day of gameplay, where her uncle Lyle will state himself that she wears too much makeup in a game dialogue and in a later in-game event she can even be found without her makeup. She will state to the player character, that it was due to the fact she woke up too late for work but would often wear her makeup to impress a male colleague by wearing makeup; the colleague's name in game is Digby.[392][393] Another video game franchise with a gyaru character is the Dragon Quest series. In the Nintendo DS game Dragon Quest IX has a gyaru being the fairy character, Sandy.[394]

The Super Gals! anime series had its own video game, it is a series of threequels published in 2001 and 2002; produced by Konami for the Game Boy color.[395] The anime series Hime Gal Paradise also had its own video game[396] on the Nintendo 3DS published by Nippon Columbia-games.[397]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]