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Learning To Draw In The Japanese Anime Style

Japanese Animation or Anime is one of the most beloved kinds of cartoons all over the world. These are basically cartoons that are based on Japanese Manga series, or comics that were brought to life by being animated. If you want to learn to draw Japanese Animation, here are some of the things that you should know.

They Are Based On Manga

One thing that you should remember when drawing Japanese Animation is that they are based on Manga. Thus, the style of drawing would be pretty much the same as the comic version, only that they are moving for the animated version. Here are some things that you should take note in drawing this style of cartoons.

Characters Have Wild Hairstyles

If you observe characters in this kind of genre, youll see that they usually have wild hairdos. More often, male characters have long hair. In fact, there are shows where sometimes men are mistaken to be women because of their long tresses. Their hair colors are also wild too. You can see pink and green haired characters. The style of their hair could be very extreme also. Often times, their hair would be sticking up and out to different directions.

When drawing hair, all you have to do is draw them into clumps that would stand as hair strands. For female characters, ponytails, headbands, pigtails and loose hairstyles are common. For men that have long hair, loose let down hair is also in fashion along with ponytails. Bangs are also used for both sexes.

The General Male

Most male characters would be muscular. A lot of them are depicted to be warriors of some sort. A lot of them are also lean and tall. It is normal for you to see blue or even pink colored hair on male characters.

The General Female

Most female characters are depicted to have slim bodies and long legs. These features are also emphasized by the type of clothing that females wear. More often they wear clothing that shows off their long legs, especially if the setting of the story is in the modern times. The breasts are also prominent. Women also have sharper chins and snub noses.

Little People?

Do not be surprised if you get to see characters that look like little people. These are called Chibis. These are basically distorted versions of characters. Although proportion is a rule when drawing, Chibis are intended to have a distorted proportion. This is done to achieve a cuteness factor. This type of drawing is usually applied for child-like characters. They have big heads, small bodies, big eyes and no nose.


For villains, characters are usually drawn to be more realistic. There is more shading to make their faces look scarier and the lines used are more crooked than smooth and straight. You could usually find them in the form of mafia bosses or gang leaders. Big bosses are also usually not seen but instead alluded to in order to raise tension. Body parts such as hands, feet or a mouth smoking a cigarette are the commonly used images whenever the big boss is focused on.

Cute Vs. Macho

For cute Anime series, the drawings are often simplistic with huge eyes and a lot of hearts and touches of pink. However, for more macho types of Anime, the characters have more details and are rendered to be more realistic.

I hope this helps with identifying key elements that pertain to the Anime style. Watch a bunch of different Anime series for inspiration and see if you can make one of your own!

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