It ain’t Anime w/o these trademarks



We all know by now exactly what makes anime, well….anime. It has come to have its own characteristics completely distinct from other styles in animation.

And yet anime was simply a reflection of what Disney had made back in the days. What the Japanese creators wanted was to create a character that would have very expressive eyes and the way to do that was to make them bigger than ordinary ala Disney.

Today, anime is known as anime for a number of reasons.

One: the eyes. From the eyelashes to the light playing and reflected in the iris, anime has created a completely original way of drawing character eyes.

anime eyes
Two: the hair. You know its anime when you see the hair. They’ve experimented on hair to the point of insanity (^^). Yet, they worked and now fans adore them and even try to copy the styles. Even colors have fast become a trend and the weirder the color, the better.

anime hair
Three: the uniform. It has become such a big sign in anime. Yes, because it’s Japanese but lately even some non-anime shows have started to draw characters in uniforms.

Four: Mecha. Anime has helped revolutionize robotic design and has since then become unstoppable, creating more original design than the previous. Just take Gundams for instance.

mecha - gundams
Five: the attacks. It has become a common thing in anime to insert character power attack scenes to lessen the work of creating more animated panels, especially in the Mahou Shojo genre.

anime attack (maho shoujo)

This day and age, furthermore, it seems the Japanese still have some more anime-only styles to inject into their work as evidenced by the  following trends that would clearly announce: “Yeah, it is anime!”

01: Hair Antennae.

In a Love Hina episode, it was hinted that an antennae in a female character is kinda adorable. There are two kinds of antennae poking out of a female anime character head: the single and the double antennae.

Naru and Mutsumi with antennae
Ahoge or the single antenna sometimes connotes that a character is stupid. It is also called “stupid hair”. Although of course there are character exceptions to this, so it may not be entirely true.

For whatever the purpose of the antennae in the hair is, no anime fan seem to be complaining.

02: Peculiar Eyes.

There’s been a new trend in anime eyes that may have started with Seishiro Sakurazuka and Kenshin Himura: eyes that look different or changes with emotion.

Murapika - red eyes

Kurapika has both eyes turning into red, while Lelouch possesses a Geass symbol. Even Syaoran has the same eyes as Seishiro.

Lelouch - Geass eyes

Syaoran kun - different colored eyes
03: Loli-goth.

Probably the most recent trend in anime is the gothic-lolita look, where cute characters dress in black gothic style clothing, making them look confusingly wicked and cuter at the same time.

Asuka in loli-goth
And then there is…

04: Western religion.

Leave it to anime to tackle themes inspired by Western religion. Leave it to anime to give it a slight twist—or a completely different turn.

Chrono Crusade cast

A number of anime have used Western religious influences in their plot to make more interesting stories. Some anime tend to use parts while others such as Chrono Crusade holds the entire religious philosophies but with a nun showing off some skin—that’s the twist right there.

And then there’s Evangelion which is probably the one anime to mix different religious influences to make a very interesting story.