If you have noticed how the characters in some Japanese animated films or shows appear to be white, then like other people, you may wonder why Anime characters look white. Some Americans think the Japanese are fascinated with Western culture.
So why do Anime characters look white?
Anime Characters are not realistic; therefore, they have an idealized appearance. Japanese see white skin as beautiful, which is why their Anime characters have white skin.
However, that does not mean the characters are not Japanese. Most Japanese would not even see them as white. They would identify their Anime characters like Japanese, not white like Americans would identify them.
Why Do People Think Anime Characters Are White?
The characters in Japanese animated films and shows have colorful hair, white skin, big and, most times, colorful eyes. All these characteristics are typical westerners’ looks.
Westerners have blond hair or red hair. They also have green or blue eyes, and many of them have white skin. So, most people would think that Anime characters look like white people.
If one looks at Japanese people, one will notice that most of them have brown eyes, dark hair, and slightly darker skin. So from most people’s perspective, Japanese people don’t look like most of their Anime characters.
So, this is why so many westerners wonder why Anime characters look white. However, the fact is that Japanese people wouldn’t see it this way. They don’t think their Anime characters look like westerners.
The Japanese do not think that they draw their Anime characters as white. It is the westerners who think the Anime characters are white. The Japanese people see anime characters like Japanese, but the westerners, specifically Americans, see otherwise.
Americans think Anime characters are white because they think white is the default human being. When they see an Anime character, they see a white person like them because they believe only whites exist.
However, white people are not the default human beings in Japan. Therefore, they don’t need to draw them to look “Asian” as they already assume the characters are Japanese, no matter how ridiculous they look.
When it comes to art, the Anime style is distinct and created to make animation cheaper, so the artists didn’t use many details. They decided to exaggerate some features.
Anime creators exaggerated their character’s features, such as their eyes and the size of their heads, to make it easy for viewers to read their emotions.
The creative also drew their characters, using common features that Japanese people consider attractive. The application of these features makes their characters look more appealing. So the characters have big eyes, big heads, and white skin.
The Japanese people find white skin very attractive, and that’s why you will see a lot of their women avoiding the sun so that their skin wouldn’t turn brown. The women sometimes carry UV-resistant umbrellas because of this.
Anime is an exaggerated art style, so the white skin is also exaggerated. However, most Japanese don’t think their characters look white.
Why Westerners Think Anime Character Look White
Most whites undoubtedly think Anime characters look white even though the creators of the characters don’t think they are white. Here are some reasons why people think Anime characters are white;
They are biased:
These people already see white as the default being. So it doesn’t matter if the character is of the Asian or African race. As long as the skin is light, they already believe they are white.
Because anime characters are light in complexion:
The most intriguing thing about this belief is that only westerners think that anime characters are white because of their light skin. The Philippines, Indians, Africans, and many other countries don’t think the characters are white.
It probably strokes their ego:
When you believe that an anime character is the same as you, you will relate and connect with the story. It can even help you feel good about yourself. SO if this makes you feel good, then you will believe the characters are like you.
Here is the reality:
- Unless the character is intended to be American or European,they’re not white.
- The above is also true for any race, background, or culture.
Another theory as to why westerners think characters in Japanese animation are white is because they imagine themselves in their favorite or the protagonist’s role.
Do Anime Characters Look Alike?
Some anime characters look alike. People who watch anime may have noticed that there are a few character designs. There are few character designs because anime is an adaptation of manga, and manga creators have strict deadlines to submit their works.
Anime character creators keep the same face to only have to learn the same type of face. For them, this means spending less time redrawing the characters. The creators may also switch out some characters in certain scenes if the director wants it.
In this case, only hair or a specific part would be changed, and not the entire body. Also, changing the eye color will only require a simple image tool slider. They can also leave the character’s facial features untouched and can be left alone if they are in a rush to release.
Anime has also been refined over the years. For instance, if you watch a story about teenage schoolgirls, the story will fall into a certain subset of design. You won’t be seeing heavily shaded faces and gritty speed lines unless there is a gag.
Also, anime characters are not as detailed as real-life humans. This feature can make them look alike.
Why Are Anime Characters Thin?
Like it is in other parts of the world, Japanese media also have beauty standards. In the west, to an extent, curvy women are the “standard,” except for models, who are expected to be thin. Anything that is outside of this standard is termed “unattractive.”
That beauty standard is what we see in the western media and even in other parts of the world. And in Japanese media, creators have taken it to a greater extreme. In Japan, the beauty standard is being thin and skinny.
If you are not thin and have skin, you are considered fat, ugly, chubby, and you have a look that most people don’t consider pleasing to the eyes. The beauty standard is why anime characters – both male and female, look skinny for a reason.
The appearance of the anime characters reflects Japanese culture, standards, ways of thinking, and societal beliefs. Even though some people may think it is extreme or questionable, it makes their body standards different.
Why Do All Anime Characters Have Big Eyes?
One feature makes it easy to distinguish between a western cartoon and a Japanese cartoon – the eyes. Aside from the anime characters’ thick and heavy outlines, their huge expressive eyes are distinct.
If you are wondering why anime character has big eyes, here is the answer to your question;
It originates back to the first cartoon movie produced by Disney and how Osamu Tezuka, the father of manga, was influenced to create huge, expressive eyes for his characters,
Osamu’s art style influenced and popularized the generations after creating their anime characters with huge, bulging eyes. They create their characters with big eyes so that they can convey emotions easier.
By creating big eyes, the artist would focus on the eyes when expressing emotions without changing the character’s stance or pose too much. This method was cheaper to produce, and it turned out to be effective.
Why Do Anime Characters Look Better Than Real Attractive People?
Anime characters are not real-life humans. Their looks are somewhat unrealistic. The characters in Japanese animation are most often exaggerated. The artists will make them have certain desirable body features that are extremely accentuated.
The characters’ undesirable features will also be un-accentuated or sometimes removed. These characters are made to be “perfect.”
Why Does It Seem That Anime Characters Do Not Have Lips?
We stated earlier that the creators of anime characters lay a lot of emphasis on their eyes, making them huge and expressive. So, it seems like the eyes have covered most of their face.
The huge eyes also make their lips a less important facial feature. This trend in Japanese anime has only become stronger over the years.
Why Do Most Female Anime Characters Have Bangs?
In Asian countries like Korea and Japan, a slim face with a pointed chin is considered beautiful. Bang hairstyles cover the forehead and part of the cheek, making a person’s face appear slim and the jawline more defined.
When it comes to why people think anime characters are white, we have explained that only westerners think that Anime characters are like them. Japanese people do not pay attention to the color of the characters’ skin as Westerners do.
Ask Japanese why their anime creators make their characters white, and they won’t even understand what you mean.