Is a term for Japanese animation, or a reference to the art-style it uses. Anime; or Japanese cartoons have amassed a cult following. And gets consumed at a global scale; but, is much more prevalent in its origin country and western society.
Now, for those who don’t understand the culture of anime and the audience it has, it may very well seem, weird. I mean, I don’t blame them, anime can get strange.
But, for that are a-part of the community. We can see the charm in the multi-colored hair, and big-eyed characters. We know that anime can not only tell a fantastic story.
But can also shine a light on a problem of society or people; while displaying human emotions. I’d say this the most significant selling point about anime.
Anime characters come in an array of designs, from tall and slender to short and bulky. The character-designs not only look fresh, funny, or attractive.
It helps to display the personality of the character.
A shining example would be Orochimaru, from the well-known anime, Naruto. Orochimaru has long-straight midnight locks. It is contrasting his pale skin that seems to lack any hint of color with piercing-gold eyes of a serpent’s. And his mouth contains a long black-colored tongue. When taking a look at Orochimaru, we discern two things from his appearance alone.
1. Orochimaru a menace.
Orochimaru, from his looks, is menacing. He looks like he can, and will, either hurt or kill someone. And you feel he already has. From his appearance, it feels like he is a dangerous person; lethal. A person you should try to avoid if you can, and run if you see him.
2. Orochimaru was going to be an antagonist.
Everyone who watches anime knows this one rule. If it’s not bland, it’s coming back again. Meaning, if it’s not a background looking character, blending in with its environment. Then, usually, the character will appear again.
What role the character will play in the story depends on how the anime portrays them. Such as, if a creepy looking person is stalking the main character, they most likely are a terrible person.
But, a person gushing over the main cast, may very well be their love interest; or a love-sick puppy. Orochimaru isn’t a bland character.
While his color palette is of the darker-simpler tone, its made with details. Certain details that would be lacking from background characters. Leading us to deduce he isn’t a pure filler for a blank space.
Anime has been around since the 1900s.
So, it’s no surprise they had amassed such a broad category of titles to choose. Having more than thirty-five-thousand-four-hundred-and-three titles, recorded in 2017, which is still ever-growing. This site has a great list of anime shows. https://dubbedanimehq.com/dubbed-anime-shows/
But anime isn’t the only form of media that take on such a stylistic look to its work.
There’s a book form called Manga.
Most animes are an adaptation or straight from the Manga.
A Manga is a comic book, with the same artistic style of Anime, but with a typical comic book layout. Most anime veterans believe you can never be a true fan of a particular series. Not till you read the Manga, anyway. Whether you think that is up to you.
With the many anime titles that we have, its no surprise about the number of anime characters that exist. And the number of design choices and looks. It may seem that there are no rules when drawing anime. To which you wouldn’t be wrong.
While they may not be any strict rules on how to draw an anime character. There are specific characteristics or stylistic choices, that would categorize the anime.
The five categories for the anime styles and types are:
Each of these categories is for different target demographics. Shonen being for young boys around the age of fifteen. Seinen being for boys aged fifteen through twenty. Shojo is for young girls age ten to eighteen. Josei is for adult women, and finally, Kodomomuke is for young children.
Each of these categories has an art-style that compliments the story-telling. And the target demographic it’s trying to reach. This category also affects, not how the characters look, but how they act as well. It also affects what the story content contains and the plot.
So, these categories matter, depending on what you are looking for in an anime, and it’s characters.
Anime characters features are essential.
Why you may ask anime characters features are significant. Because this is how the human emotion displayed. When reading their facial expression this how we know they are mad, sad, happy, or in-love.
We can read the facial expression of a character by looking at their eyes or direction of the eyebrows. And the curve of the mouth.
We know an anime character is mad by the downward-pointed turned of their eyebrows. And the angry gritting of their teeth, and the popping vein sign that may appear on their head.
There are many other visual queues, such as the sweat bead on the head. Or the common nosebleed that many characters get. These visual queues given, are other things that that we have seen across all anime, and in all art-styles.
Not all anime have unrealistic proportions.
It’s quite common to see anime characters with big eyes, and a very slender frame. And yes, while most anime has unrealistic proportions. By looking in the right place, you can find realistic humanoid cartoon characters.
An excellent example would be Ghost in a Shell. The body on this anime is very proportional as they can be in a cartoon. They look, and act, very much in a human-like fashion. Which adds more depth to the anime, I’d have to say.
Anime characters reflect the category, genre, and story. And that affects the look that they have, and maintain. A slice-of-life character look will vary from a character in a sci-fi anime. The two things that stay the same with every set of characters is the expression they wear. And the emotions they use. But, as a whole, anime, in general, provide us an emotional roller-coaster.