The Japanese Anime Eye Styles


Eyes are perhaps the most significant element of the Japanese anime. The images of big eyes are the first that come to your mind when thinking about Japanese animations and characters. The prime focus of this page is to look into the Japanese anime eye styles

When you look at the Japanese anime eye styles, you will invariably see large eyes. The famous artist, Osamu Tezuka, is known to use this style in his characters. He seems to have got his inspiration from the exaggerated features of American cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Disney. Tezuka found it easy to depict emotions through these large eyes.  The Japanese anime eye styles were specifically targeted at young girls. A stylistic template was later on set for the other artists to follow.

Color too gave a distinct character to the Japanese anime eye styles. Depth was given to the corneas using by variable color shading. Usually, you will see mixture of a light shade and a darker shade used to give more depth to the emotion. However, cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn disagrees that such stylized eyes in Japanese animators are a foreign influence.


The Japanese anime eye styles of drawing big eyes are however not religiously followed in all characters. Some works and characters, for example, by Toshiro Kawamoto and Hayao Miyazaki are known to show realistically proportioned eyes for their characters.

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