Rant: Anime Characters Do Not All Look the Same

A criticism about anime that I often hear is “all anime characters look the same.” No, they do not. Please, you sound stupid when you say that. Let’s examine the definition of anime.

Anime means “animation” in Japanese. In our context, anime is “animation from Japan.” So if you say that all anime characters look the same, you’re saying that ALL animation from a country looks the same. I’ve never heard anyone say that about Western comics, so why are people saying that about anime? A lot of people are used to seeing the following characters:

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Yugi-Joey-Kaiba-Yu-gi-oh

Big eyes, exaggerated features, cute girls. Let’s take a look at some other anime:

Ping Pong 

Junji Ito Collection

Junji-Ito-Collection-2-620x388.jpg

Kaiji 

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One thing that Kaiji is great at is showing human emotion. People don’t look pretty when they cry.

Devilman Crybaby 

Devilman Crybaby-01 Te necesito5

Neo Yokio

neo-yokio.jpg

I’m not a fan of this art but it’s still anime.

The photos of Sailor Moon and Yu-Gi-Oh look very 2D, but look at this beautiful photo from Violet Evergarden. This photo gives a totally different feeling from the first two photos.

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I’m glad that my university (University of British Columbia) recognizes the value and importance of including anime in academia. I’m happy to have taken a course on Anime and Manga. If you think that “anime characters all look the same,” I encourage you to critically think about this. Honestly, it’s not very hard.

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16 thoughts on “Rant: Anime Characters Do Not All Look the Same

  1. Honestly…I have never even once given that a thought. Of course they look different, and that’s a good thing right? So in other words: I have always thought the exact opposite.There are so many different styles and types of characters. And that’s pretty much what I love about anime 😊 So…great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great that you think like that. I was feeling frustrated earlier because I’ve seen popular American comic artists write about anime in that negative light and also staff from certain universities. Thanks Michel!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol! Very well said. It’s pretty ignorant thing to say about anime. If that’s what they think, they can’t have seen much of it. And if they haven’t seen much of it, they can’t possibly make a judgement about “all” the characters. It

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The really silly thing about this argument is that even if people assume all anime is Sailor Moon or Yu-Gi-Oh… THOSE TWO SHOWS HAVE MASSIVELY DIFFERENT ART STYLES! Like, REALLY obviously.

    The people who make this argument generally just want an excuse to heap scorn on a medium they have no interest in, and thus inexplicably want to tear down. I really don’t understand it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes Rose!! Preach it! It really bothers me when people say this as each series and character is so unique! They shouldn’t be all thrown in together as being the same as it’s for me in fact the opposite! Anime and it’s characters can look so different in terms of style when compared to one another and that is part of the fun when watching anime!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That makes complete sense though because it’s from the same mangaka. I would say the same for a lot of Western creators and their art as well. It’s when people say that different creators in Japan draw in the same way… that’s what bothers me! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a very informative, article and so true on so many levels a lot of people seem to get anime confused, this form of entertaiment has various styles and techniques, I like the uses of Yu-Gi-Oh and Devilman Crybaby and Sailor Moon all from different times yes I agree with this article

    Liked by 1 person

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