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Why Do Anime Characters Have Big Eyes

Goku Vs Vegeta: Who Would Win

Why Anime Characters Have Big Eyes

Most main characters in anime history have that one friend thats next to them in strength, if not equal, and are oftentimes regarded as their rivals as well. Theres Naruto and Sasuke, Kawaki and Boruto, Natsu and Gray, Yugi and Kaiba, Ash and Gary, Melodias and Ban, and even Sanji and Zoro (though none of

Only Western Fans Of Anime Believe That Anime Characters Are White

As mentioned above, only western fans think, that Anime characters are white. Japanese people don´t care about the color of the skin as much as we do.

If you ask someone from Japan, why their Anime characters are all white, they won´t even really understand your question!

Another theory to why western fans think, that anime characters are western, is because they are imagining themself in the role of the protagonist or their favorite anime character. That is also why cosplay is such a big thing in western countries nowadays.

It is completely normal to follow the adventures of a character and wanting to be part of it and imagining to be part of their universe and maybe subconsciously we then start to imagine our anime heroes to be western and that is the point when we start to ask the question if they are from japan then why are they not looking more like Japanese people and actually more like I do?

And that is the moment where the confusion started. While Japanese people only watch their favorite anime and imagining themself in the same universe while thinking nothing of the heritage of their favorite anime heroes because they are obviously Japanese to them.

So I hope, you could understand the problem with this question. At its core, this whole thing is a cultural misunderstanding. Anime characters are not white, they are simply idealized abstractions of reality!

Comparison With Western Comics

There are popular comics in the west, mostly created by DC and Marvel. Unlike the cartoonish big eyes, the proportions of character designs in Western comics are more or less proportional.

However, since comics in the west are typically created by bigger teams. For example, Marvel comics stories are created under the direction of Stan Lee but drawn by a team.

This is different from mangakas, which typically create and draw their own mangas by themselves. Popular mangakas do have a team, but they still handle how to create the main story and drafts of the manga.

And since its typical to release a version once a month, it would be better to use the technique of anime eyes instead of drawing details of the face.

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Other Reasons For Big Eyes In Anime And Manga

This trend was also perpetuated because large eyes are aesthetically pleasing in Japanese culture, so much so that some Japanese try to enlarge their eyes and feel envious of Westerners. The Japanese mysteriously are attracted to different things, this also explains the characters’ colored hair.

Another reason is that humans naturally like babies. Babies have big eyes, so humans tend to like people with big eyes. This is very much related to the kawaii culture that grew as a fundamental part of Japanese culture in that century.

Using big eyes on anime characters appeals to the viewer’s inner child. It doesn’t matter if he is an adult or if the manga or anime is aimed at an adult audience like a seinen. Removing the work from realism with big eyes makes it even easier to use violence and sex without alienating and generating arguments.

Um mesmo anime pode ter diferentes personagens com diferentes tamanho de olhos. Às vezes um pode até ter nariz e outro não! A verdade é que não existe uma razão especifica além de ser um detalhe artístico que ajuda a cativar os leitores. Isso não é nada mais além de um clichê importante de animes, mangás e até jogos.

There is no conspiracy with demon as parents think. Unfortunately, several stereotypes have spread around Japanese animations, which created ideas that have nothing to do with artistic style. What do you think of big eyes in anime characters? We appreciate the comments and shares!

How Big Should Anime Eyes Be

Why do Anime Characters Have Big Eyes?

One defining feature of anime eyes is that they are usually much bigger and wider than real eyes so that is how we will draw them. The eyes should be far enough apart that you can fit a third eye in between. For a normal expression draw the iris slightly covered by the top eyelid while just touching the bottom eyelid.

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Many Japanese Undergo Cosmetic Surgeries To Make Their Eyes Bigger

Now, another factor that shows how the Japanese like big eyes is that many of them undergo cosmetic surgeries to get double eyelids. The majority of Japanese people have single eyelids which make their eyes look slanted, but many of them dont like them and want bigger eyes with double eyelids.

The easiest way to get double eyelids is to undergo cosmetic eyelid surgeries, and according to this article, one third of young Japanese girls have undergone some sort of cosmetic eyelid surgeries.

For those who dont want to undergo surgeries, there are eyelid glues to temporarily make your eyelids double fold. So many girls use this glue every day and some of them cant even see anyone without using it.

A girl using eyelid glue

Now you see that having slanted eyes with single eyelids isnt taken very positively in Japan. No matter what Westerners might think, saying you have small eyes is considered an insult in most cases and you should never say that to a Japanese. Its like a Japanese saying to a Westerner wow, your nose is so BIG! Each race/ethnicity has different aesthetic tastes and no one should press their tastes on others. See more details in this article about why Asians hate the slant eye gesture.

Here are some tweets by the Japanese about how they feel about having small eyes:

Latte*° May 29, 2021

Saku. May 29, 2021

May 28, 2021

Why Is Eye Size Important In Animation

It doesn’t matter if the eye is big, medium or small, the main reason why the Japanese use eyes that stand out on the characters’ faces is because they are the windows of the soul. The eyes captivate the spectators representing emotional and sentimental expressions of the character. That perfectly explains Disney’s success!

Larger eyes make it easier to represent emotion more accurately, making characters easier to relate to. The position of the eyes, the shapes, colors of the pupils and irises and their gradations allow animators and designers to share the whole personality and history of a character with only the face.

O tamanho dos olhos podem até mesmo prender o telespectador e evitar que ele perceba algumas falhas na animação ou no cenário. Nota-se que às vezes um manga tem um desenho super detalhado do rosto do personagem, mas o resto está totalmente rascunhado e incompleto.

The big eyes help to understand a character’s emotional reactions without having to use dialogue.

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Why Do Anime Characters Yell Each Others Names During Battle

Naruto and Sasukes final fight. One Pieces Luffy vs. Lucci. Dragon Ball Zs Goku vs. Frieda, which famously lasted 20 episodes and is the longest fight scene in anime shonen history.

Some of the most popular anime is founded on fight scenes, and its not uncommon for characters to shout their opponents name. The announcements may seem redundant, as its unlikely theyre confirming that theyre fighting the right person. So, why the name-calling?

According to Tsugata, calling out each others names before battle is attributable to Japanese feudal fighting practices.

You see this during history dramas as well, but during battles, Japanese samurai shouted their opponents name before fighting, then they swung their katana, he said.

You see this during history dramas as well, but during battles, Japanese samurai shouted their opponents name before fighting, then they swung their katana.

In feudal Japan, it was customary to state samurai names and hometowns to know who had been defeated on the battlefield. It was a necessary form of proof to show one had defeated his opponent, as well as a chance to bask in glory. Anime artists adopt a similar technique, borrowing from tradition.

Why Are Anime Eyes So Big

Why do Anime Characters Have Big Eyes? | Art in Motion

The main Reason is to convey emotions easier. This way animators could concentrate their efforts of the eyes when it came to showing emotions and didn´t have to animate the stance or pose of the Character to much.

This was cheaper and turned out to be a very effective method. It was also faster to animate only the eyes and not focus too much on the rest.

But money wasn´t the only reason. The Japanese culture was another one.

In the western world, we convey our emotions mainly through our body language and our mouth. Not by speaking but by smiling, frowning or screaming.

But in eastern countries, people don´t show their emotions as open as we are. They are either hiding their emotions behind their hand, by covering up their mouth for example.

Or they dont react in any way at all. This is seen as polite. So in Japan, for example, if you want to know what your opponent is feeling you will have to look in their eyes. Emotions can´t be masked as easily in the eyes. So Japanese people are used to looking in the eyes to read the emotions of others.

Another reason is that we are all positively drawn to big eyes. Big round eyes make characters look innocent and young. Just think back to the famous Bamby eyes.

This is the reason why bad characters in Anime, most of the time, have smaller eyes. This is not the case for all Animes but a lot of the older Animes used this trope a lot! Because it works.

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Behind The Trend Of Huge Eyes In Japanese Anime

There have been controversial debates going on about why characters in Japanese manga have huge eyes. Do such huge eyes in Manga mean that Japanese people are craving for them?

Having read Terry Kawashimas piece, Seeing Faces, Making Races: Challenging Visual tropes of Racial Differences, I also started wondering why the eyes of characters in Japanese manga are big, even though I had never strongly questioned that before. Readers from Western countries might have wondered about the looks of characters in Manga because the characters features are similar to the features Caucasians have, including round eyes or blond hair.

Thinking about the real purpose of this kind of trend from the perspective of Japanese myself, I would say that is not because Japanese strongly desire to get big eyes like Caucasians, but rather because big eyes are one of the most important techniques to express characters minds and make it easier for readers to observe its minute movements, since only iconography and visual languages are used to let readers read what characters are thinking. Therefore readers can easily read characters thoughts by looking at their facial expressions with unique movements of their eyes.


Tabatha Butler.. How Walt Disney Influenced Anime. Retrieved from

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Why Do Japanese Anime Characters Have Big Eyes


These big, beautiful, colorful eyes have already been the iconic signature of Japanese animation. So a lot of people are already asking where these big eyes originated.

Some say the grandfather of anime and manga, Ozamu Tezuka, had started it all as he released his masterpiece, Astro Boy, in 1952. It was said that the world-renowned mangaka had actually been inspired by Western characters like Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop, both of whom had different versions of big eyes.

Some say, however, that it comes from the Japanese frustration with their own human eyes, being small and cute. Because manga has been one of their own ways of self-expression, each succeeding mangaka adopted the big-eyes artistic license.

Whatever the answer really is, these eyes had already been and will always be associated with the Land of the Rising Sun.

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There Are Two Sides To The Same Story

Ive written about this before, so Im not new to this topic.

In my first article: I talked about the MYTH of anime characters looking white.Mostly to supremacists and some white people who think the world shines out their rear-end.

And to a degree a small portion of fans in general.

I explained in that article that I understand why people believe this.

Im black. So naturally if I see a brown character, bias will kick in and claim that character looks like me, and IS like me.

We all do it to an extent, because thats how we relate to the characters and even understand them.

I also mentioned how anime characters are inherently Japanese, and most Americans, courtesy of bias, will find blonde characters to prove their arguments .

How Do You Make Anime Eyes Sad

A Nightmarish Explanation Of Big Anime Eyes

When you are drawing an anime character that is staring to cry draw the eyes squinted. Draw the bottom eyelashes/eyelids curved inwards and slightly lowered towards the outer part of the eye. Draw the top eyelashes/eyelids less curved than normal and also slightly lowered towards the outer part of the eye.

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Why Do Anime Characters Have So Big Eyes The Japanese Like Big Eyes

Published by Naima Niemand on May 29, 2021

Image courtesy of Pixabay

There has been a long-last controversy in the Western world on why the Japanese anime characters have so big eyes. As you know, anime characters usually have so big eyes which are almost unproportional. But why are they so big? Is it because the Japanese like big eyes?

Although Im not going to conclude this debate, Im going to provide some interesting factors and comments by the Japanese that could be a clue to why the Japanese draw the eyes of anime characters big.

Before reading this article however, note that Im in a neutral position and not trying to offend anyone. Im going to mention some things about specific races and feelings the Japanese have for them, but I will only provide plain facts without any personal opinions of mine.

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Goku Vs Broly: Who Would Win

The Dragonball series is known to have a lot of epic rivalries, which usually involve Goku since he is the overpowered main character. Thus, he is oftentimes pitted against powerful enemies like Frieza, Beerus, and even his friend Vegeta. And theres Broly, another overpowered character in the series that gained notoriety as one of the

But Propaganda Is A Disease

Why Do Anime Eyes Look Like This? – Why, Anime? | Get In The Robot

Yes, there is such a thing as white supremacy even though its not something I mention or ponder on.

Whether this group of people are few and far between or not, this is part of the propaganda thats been spread all over the world.

Mostly by media companies rather than individuals.

Japan isnt the only culprit either.

India as an example has their own racism. And the darker you are, the more looked down upon you are as an individual.

This stretches to Jamaica, UK, America and many other countries in some variation or another.

And then you have beauty magazines, which to me is a BIG part of the reason so many people equate white or light skin with beauty.

Youll struggle to find anyone of a certain skin tone in beauty magazines or media. Because thats not what the media wants you to believe is ideal.

Japan is no different. The lighter you are according to Japanese skin tones, the more revered youll be as a person.

Being pale is admired in Japan.

QUOTE from Wikipedia:

Bihaku is a Japanese term meaning beautifully white which was coined in the early 1900s with the emergence of skin whitening products

Source: Wikipedia

When you blend that with the fact so many Japanese are getting surgeries to look western, and how that trend is on the rise, it paints a clear picture of anime character designs.

And knowing this kind of thing ALSO happens in Korea, China, and so on, only adds more pressure and propaganda across Asia.

Even if its only on a micro level.

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Osamu Tezuka And The History Of Big Eyes In Anime And Manga

Osamu Tezuka was a famous Japanese manga and anime author, best known as the pioneer of modern manga and anime. Tezuka is a truly enormous figure in Japan, often called the God of manga. He was exceptionally prolific, creative and innovative, upgrading the contemporary standards and pushing manga and anime into the modern age. His most famous and revolutionary work is Astro Boy, which likewise defined modern trends in manga and anime. Due to his influential work, Tezuka is often considered to be the Japanenese Walt Disney, which is an interesting fact because Tezuka was heavily influenced by Disney in his formative years.

So, why is Tezuka so important for big eyes?

When Osamu Tezuka started his revolutionary work on manga and anime, he designed his characters in a very specific way, i.e., with big eyes. Although the animation evolved as the years went by and the big eyes themselves changed in design, manga and anime are still to this day known for the big eyes of their characters. And this is all because of Tezuka.

Namely, Tezuka way heavily inspired by Western animation, especially that of Walt Disney. He also loved Betty Boop. A lot of Disneys characters, as well as Betty Boop, had characteristic, large eyes, but they werent so expressive as modern animanga eyes.

Astro Boy


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