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Anime Research Project

Anime is Just Drawn.... Different

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Types of Anime
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Eyes: Anime has many differences stylistically compared to other forms of animation.  Some of the most notable differences lay in the characters.  The characters of anime have many common features inside of the genre. One thing that is noticeable right off is the overly large eyes.  Eyes on anime characters are made to be the most prominent feature for a reason.  Mimicking Western cartoons, anime started drawing large eyes to help convey emotion.  They are also used to show openness or friendliness.  The enemies, or bad-guys, on the other hand typically have smaller eyes.  This increases the feeling of emptiness or hostility coming from the character.  It also makes them seem shallow and even less human because they cannot convey emotion as well (Sanchez1).

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Mouths/Faces: There are many other anime-common features of the face.  The characters mouths, like the eyes, are also used to express emotion.  Often, in times of great emotion, the characters mouth will grow to take up half of the characters face.  This is common when mad, shouting, or exaggerating something.  The mouths are just as likely to grow smaller and thinner.  This is used when they are sad, talking softly, or talking about something bad.  Even the faces of anime characters are drawn similar.  They typically take the form of a triangle with the jaw and chin coming to a point.  This is a very eccentric style used often, but it the characters faces still differ from one another, particularly with age and sex differences (Features).  

Colorful Hair: Another common feature is the unnatural and every-color-of-the-rainbow hair.  There is a reason behind this, though.  For one, the crazy colors help the viewer keep the characters apart.  Often times the artist will have to set scheme for drawing the characters, therefore, the men and women’s bodies can wined up looking the exact same.  The different colors also help add uniqueness to the characters, not everyone can have blue hair and pull it off.  Multi-color hair also helps to accentuate the different personalities the characters may have.  Blue haired people tend to be calmer, red haired people tend to have strong or brash personalities, purple hair may allude to someone with a very flamboyant nature, and white hair may symbolize someone mysterious (Sanchez1).

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"Tenchi Muyo" the gang

Body Types: The bodies of anime characters usually sport long legs that take up two third’s of the characters height.  Both women and men normally have extremely thin waist lines.  The women almost always have overly large hips and bosoms.  The only time this changes is when the girl is supposed to come off as younger, boyish, or a running gag as in Slayers.  The sex and age of the characters play a large part in their body’s shape.  Men are almost always taller then women.  Young children are extremely small, while older children are the same size as adults.  Then, if they happen to reach old age, in the anime world the grandparents are often the size of children (Features). 

Expressions/Emotions: There are also many different facial expressions used to express emotion in Anime.  These are common in all the genres, comical, action, or serious.  The emotions of characters can change quickly, therefore the transition can be hard to catch without these eccentric’s.  Certain symbols are used like teardrops.  These can be used to “express embarrassment, stress, nervousness, or realization of stupidity in themselves or other characters.”  Pulsating veins are also commonly used to show anger or frustration.  They grow as emotion grows.  Eyes also change shape and structure often.  They will swirl to express confusion or fatigue, or they can go star or heart-shaped to show a dreamy imagination or the arrival of somebody they desire (Features).

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SD/Chibi Mode: One feature that is used mainly in comedy is the Super-Deformity mode, also know as “chibi mode.”  This is when a normal sized character goes into a smaller form of themselves to “increase comedic reactions and expressions to the situations.”  Its one of those things that is never really explained and the other characters just go about their business.  It is not out of the ordinary in their world (Sanchez1).

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"Chobits"

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