Anime: An Art Style Like No Other
Anime art is hard to miss when you see it. In fact, unlike any other style of animation, you’ll know instantly that you’re watching anime as soon as you turn it on.
The large round eyes. The characteristic "V" shaped chin. Anime art is hard to miss when you see it. In fact, unlike any other style of animation, you'll know instantly that you're watching anime as soon as you turn it on. Let's take a moment to look at some of the typical features you'll find with this animation style.
One of the first things most people notice about anime is the characters' eyes. They tend to be large and very round. While not all anime has this standard eye style, much of it does, even the newer films. This style can be credited to the father of anime, Tezuka Osamu, who initially created Astro Boy (or Tetsuwan Atomu as most true anime fans know him). As he was drawing the character, it has been said that Osamu was attempting to emulate Betty Boop who had become quite popular throughout Japan.
In fact, many early animation characters all over the world had larger eyes than you might have considered. The early sketches of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, for instance, have larger eyes than most current sketches of the characters do.
Because Tezuka Osamu's Astro Boy became so incredibly famous, both in Japan and outside of the country, the style was used by other Japanese artists in the years to come. While many things about the anime style as a whole have changed over the years, those eyes give anime away every single time.
The Facial Expressions
Almost every anime character you encounter has exaggerated facial expressions. For example, if a character gets angry, you might notice pulsing veins on their faces. Characters who are embarrassed usually end up sweating in the scene, with massive drops forming on the foreheads. Characters who experience surprise will offer an expression that lasts several seconds, far longer than one might expect. It is through these facial expressions that anime creators hope to provide some of the emotional depth that is considered classic to anime.
Another thing many people notice about the anime style is that most character types have a certain appearance. If a character is supposed to be cute, they have the typical eyes accented by rounded cheeks and facial features that tend to be a little crowded. If a character is supposed to be an idiot, everything about them is round. They have a rounded body shape, a really round head, and tiny little round eyes. If, on the other hand, a character is wicked, you'll see almost all of the characteristic roundness disappear. The lines will become very sharp, and the eyes, again, will be much smaller.
Anime art has fascinated many over the years, and while the methods behind anime art have changed in recent years, with I suspect many creations now computer assisted, the characteristic art style remains the same.
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