Anime is a type of animated programme or film often aimed at adults as well as children. Anime is what they call animation in Japan, it is often produced in Japan or at least associated with it. Many anime are based on a manga series or Japanese stories which include historical references and folklore.
There is a typical character style associated with anime: fair skin; long legs; big hair and big eyes. They are generally ‘nonculturally specific’ (1) in terms of their design, they don’t look Japanese or Western either.
The eyes are the most iconic part of the characters in anime. The bigger the eyes, the more innocent the character. Lead protagonists usually have large eyes, although this concept can vary widely when it comes to male characters.
The villains in anime are often very pale skinned and usually have much smaller eyes than the protagonists, giving them an ‘evil’ look. This also represents the fact that they may be narrowminded in focusing on the one thing that they want. A good example of eye difference is in ‘My Hero Academia’ (pictured). This anime features many heroes and villains, where the heroes mostly have large eyes and the villains have narrow ‘tired’ eyes, or their eyes are hidden.
I hope this has given you an insight into the world of anime, next time we will look at the animation in anime!
If you are interested in watching ‘My Hero Academia’ (‘Boku no Hīrō Akademia’ in Japanese) please note that it is rated a 15 by the BBFC and the manga is rated OT, Older Teen.
(1) Susan Napier (2006) Anime From Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle – Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, Palgrave Macmillan, p.24.