Character Designs that Put Me Off Anime

cf2Working from the hair down, characters with hair styles that look like they are trying draw attention to themselves, be it from odd colors to extreme styles that not only would have taken hours to get that way (ask a cosplayer) but also don’t move by the laws of physics that the rest of anime seems to follow, put me off. I can underst2641182-0403679084-yu_giand some colors being elaborated such as black for dark blue or auburn for red. I also don’t mind extreme hair styles, but within the context that they should at least be shown being prepared for the main characters and at the least becoming damp when wet. Yu-Gi-Oh is an almost the perfect example of these flaws

When it comes to eyes and eyebrows I find that eyes in the general anime design has some large quality to them to emphasize emotion. But when they exaggerate the size of the irises to point that they fill up the entire eye is where the designs become a bit much. Hollow eyes and a black dot swimming in a sea1324196126530 of white is also off putting. Also there is a tendency to extend the eyelashes to go around the sides of the eyes or make them point out past the frame of the character’s face. An exception can be made for certain characters but the ratio of the general character design should have some balance.

Noses are a mixed bag, and as pathetic as it sounds it can really be a deciding factor for me. The noses in Monster almost put me off the series entirely, luckily it didn’t. Most cutsey anime can usually have them tiny to the point of just being a dot or just a single line and some shadow which makes the character seem completely different when in profileusopp. On the other hand noses that are too big are generally to give more distinction between characters which we can see through Hayao Miyazaki’s work. But even this can be tested by the designs of anime like One Piece. Despite being an almost perfect example of everything wrong with anime character design I can only assume Usopp really gets the ladies.

Usopp works as an almost perfect example to those sausage lips and massive mouths. I swear that most of the characters in One Piece are like the Canadians from South Park considering how wide their mouths can stretch. Another thing I notice is that when certain anime try to give emphasis to the upper lips with a few lines it can end up looking like they’re giving the characters mustaches. This is really distracting when you see it on a female character and can’t un-see it. Finally the softer kyo-ani lips that piss me off the most because they’re not mouths rather than incomplete circles in the character’s faces.1383684_556916797695367_1794438213_n

I think jaw lines are one of the best ways to distinguish differences in the characters. Simply put for men square jaws shows manliness, pointed jaw can show femininity or evilness and round jaw can show that character is overweight or softness. For some reason female characters have less of this, generally pandering to the cutsey rounded off mid-point in 1357046192-hidamarisk-obetween these because god forbid we have an unattractive female character. The last time I can think I saw one of those  was Roy Mustang’s mother from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Oh and there was also the oddity of Hidamari Sketch, what the hell happened there?

I won’t do too much on the body structure as I think the face is the most expressive part of character design but I will say that, like with the face, I like characters to be somewhat in proportion to real life; hence why I’vtumblr_inline_mmidzwuEiu1qz4rgpe never been a fan of ecchi or fan service anime, proportions. Another common design for certain anime characters is their stretched bodies that when looking at some of them can just become absurd. Code Geass has this but still it wan’t as bad as some other of Clamp’s stuff. Hell, I bet even Tim Burton would think some of the character designs from XXXholic looked bloody stupid.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone thought that any other anime character designs put them off certain shows. Share in the comments.

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14 Responses to Character Designs that Put Me Off Anime

  1. Kai says:

    Some of the pictures are pretty funny, lol. I don’t really remember much of visual designs that look pretty off-putting for me, but Yu-gi-oh hair designs are definitely one. I also remember watching Tsubasa Chronicles and was like “Why the heck are they so friggin’ thin!?” You can pretty much ask that question to most of Clamp’s works actually, lol. That, and sometimes when there is to much lightning, you can barely see character’s mouth when they are not opened, since it’s pretty much one tiny line, unless it’s Usopp’s mouth.

  2. jstorming says:

    I can imagine outlandish character designs being off-putting for cosplayers for the very reasons you’ve listed in your post. But I see the exaggerations as just part of the aesthetics of anime. As for Yu-Gi-Oh! specifically…well, I don’t mind the crazy, duo/tri-toned ‘dos…it’s all about the card games anyway 🙂

  3. I totally agree with the eyes and especially the body proportions! It looks plain weird

  4. Silvachief says:

    I don’t think there have been any shows i’ve decided not to watch because of their character designs. Still, I recognize that a number of designs aren’t exactly the best.
    Soul Eater’s noses, Clamp’s elongation, Magi’s teeth that show whenever people speak. It may not be anime, but Tales of Graces had some major trouble with its female characters’ lips at times; I can’t even describe what they looked like (though I have seen some series with similar problems).
    Finally, I don’t normally have a problem with eyes but those older-style examples from Kanon look horrific 😄

    • Lazarinth says:

      I’d have to agree with magi one though i always thought the soul eater noses were -suppose to be that way to give the faces skull-like appearances as though look like they have been cut short, which I can agree looks odd. When it come to the cutsey ones like Kanon it’s the squashed faces that gets me where the tiny noses are almost between eyes.

  5. I am trying to be less judgmental when it comes to visuals these days. A lot of anime and western cartoons that looked like crap were actually entertaining once I gave them a chance.

  6. The hairstyles don’t annoy me too much, but face proportions and body proportions is what gets me. Particularly the shape of the eyes and the position relative to the mouth. The mouth shape is also a really big one- when characters have thick lips that stick out I can’t help but think of apes. I find this a more annoying problem in manga than in anime though. There are a few manga that I’ve put off reading just because the art does not impress me (mostly shoujo, though, so that’s pretty much asking for it).

  7. fiddletwix says:

    XXXHolic is actually a series I’ve wanted to watch because I’ve heard it’s really good, yet I can’t get around the insanely stretched bodies. I respect a lot in terms of artistic style but I feel like all of those characters are out of a Tim Burton stop motion film.

    I’m also totally with you in the nose department. Many people pay it no mind, but when I see those noses that are just two tiny dots with no lines and no shadows (from the front) all I can think about is Voldemort from Harry Potter. Dot noses don’t bother me too much, most because that’s the kind of style I’ve gotten used to seeing, but when characters have a bad mix of the huge eyes, tiny nose thing, you get an insanely annoying effect much like the screen shot you posted.

    Great article!

    • Lazarinth says:

      Thanks. Another kind of nose I didn’t like where the ones with no bottom, just a line. A good example of this is in Gundam seed character when seen front on.

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