The Art Style of Anime
Anime is its own art form. There is a very stylistic approach seen in every anime. From head to toe the anime character is meant to be noticed. The standard cartooning techniques are all there, but Japanese animation takes it to new and realistic level. In an anime, the face, the proportions, camera angle, and hair will give it all away.
The anime face is very distinguishable. They typically have larger set of eyes and exaggerated. Osamu Tezuka possibly started this technique to do his liking of American animation such as Disney and Betty Boop. Since then the majority of anime’s have taken on this style for eyes. Hayao Miyazaki and other artists do not take this view point. Their eyes tend to be a typical size and fit in with reality. They choose to be as close to reality as possible in an animation.
The facial expressions are also very typical in anime style. They cover a wide range of expressions that typical cartoons do not usual show. They will show a character with a sullen face or an extremely happy face. There moods are much like that of reality. They also show expressions of passion such as blushing over someone they like.
Unlike Western cartoons, the body proportions of an anime character are that of a normal human being. Western animation relies on odd proportionate bodies for comedic relief, while anime only focuses on the realism of the character. Of course they typically exaggerate the female body parts, but mostly to show the characters personality types. In some cases you come across the cute chibi form, but it is only for cuteness. Sometimes this is also referred to as Super Deformed. They are normally only two heads high, have no distinguishable hands or feet, and created for comedic relief.
The camera angle in an anime plays a big role in the style of anime. There will still be background sound effects written in as well as close up confused looks with question marks above their heads. The effects of the camera angle also show the desperation of passion for the scene and its importance. In this aspect, anime keeps true to the manga form camera angles.
Anime characters have very distinctive hair. Their hair color can be any color ranging from green to brown. While anime’s trying to be realistic will rely on the original hair colors, other anime’s will spice the characters up a bit and throw in some purple hair. The hair is normally spikey looking and goes along with the characters personality. In a lot of anime, the bangs of the hair are normally in the shape of a heart closer to the forward head.
In a lot of anime, the clothing will be school uniforms, mystical type clothing, or even street clothing. Anime’s try to express as many creases as possible to make it reality. An anime about school life or revolved around a high school kid, will typically have Japanese uniforms as clothing. This is the Japanese skirts for girls and pants for boy’s uniforms. In a fantasy anime, the character will don amour or robe like clothing.