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hentai4me



Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Posts: 1313
Location: England. Robin is so Cute!

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:42 pm Reply with quote
Considering that most of you enjoy anime you have to care at least a little bit about the character designs. What design style is your favourite, what do you hate? Why?

Personally I like cute, quite rounded characters and I especially like when a series will often shift into super deformed/chibi style artwork, as it is very expressive whilst being exceptionally cute. Examples include Hidamari Sketch, Lucky Star, AzuDai, Kare Kano, Stellvia and so on.

Probably the most important feature though is matching design with atmosphere, there would be little good about having super deformed in WHR for example.

I thoroughly dislike angular, slimline, characters with very sharp features; which is odd given my preference in real women (I like narrow, sharp featured faces, but rounded bodies); but the traditional idea of the bishounen character looks very unappealing, or similarly designed women. I think it's because the art style is often an attempt at 'realism' in anime and it looks so very 'fake'.
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Porcupine



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1033

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:58 pm Reply with quote
I like a number of styles, mainly depending on how well each style is done. But if I have to say what I generally prefer, if all else is equal (the particular styles being compared are done to equally good quality within their style) that I prefer skinny characters. But again this depends on what kind of skinny and whether that particular skinny style is good or not. I do not like the skinny styles of many shoujo anime such as older CLAMP shows (the newer CLAMP shows tend to have a larger variety of style so I cannot make a generalization), etc. I don't hate these styles, I just don't particularly like them. I also do not really like the skinny style of that guy who designs the Galaxy Express 999, Star Blazers, etc shows. But I really like the skinny style of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, he is one of my favorite character designers. To me his art style is one of the best, if not THE best, art style out there.

One interesting thing I would point out is that some of those series you listed, Kare Kano in particular, does not have rounded characters. Kare Kano has fairly skinny characters. They do deform though every so often. I dunno how I feel about deformations. I don't really like the girl-style deformations featured in Kare Kano, Azumanga Daioh, etc...the ones with the scribbly empty circle eyes. I don't hate that particular deformation, I just don't like it too much. But certain other deformations I think aren't bad. Still, if the base style of drawing is good enough I don't see a need for deformations.
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Veggie-Trunks



Joined: 14 Jun 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Chattanooga, TN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:59 pm Reply with quote
I like a design that is more realistic. I like realistic anime looking characters. Not too realistic, I still want it to look like animation, but I like the facial features to be semi-real. The lips, eyes, ears, etc. I'd like the nose to not be too realistic though.

I suppose the way Final Fantasy characters look would be the closest to what I'm talking about, or just japanese game characters in general like Dead or Alive or Soul Calibur III. Just animated like an anime, not a game.

I am so confusing Embarassed
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Porcupine



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1033

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:05 pm Reply with quote
I don't think what you said is confusing, I totally understand what you mean, Veggie-Trunks. To me though, that's exactly the style that I hate in anime. I like bigeye characters, sort of. I do not like HUGE eyes, but I like eyes that are bigger than in reality. I am not sure why. Maybe I think real people are ugly, this is certainly a possibility. Most real people I think are ugly.

I think the smallest eyes on an art style that I have liked is the Yoshiyuki Sadamoto style, again. His eyes are in the semi-traditional big style but they are not as big as on most anime. They are halfway between the average size anime eye and realistic size.

I've also noticed that I like eyes that are really wide relative to the width of the entire face. Height can be anything, but if the eye is not wide enough I won't like it.
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Vortextk



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 892
Location: Orlando, Fl

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:27 pm Reply with quote
The biggest thing for me is just DIFFERENT characters. What do I mean? Gundam Seed is what I don't mean. So many of the characters look like a clone of eachother.

And while I love air's overall look and art, I think it's another good example of this. Most of the female characters are rather similar looking and even the main character is pretty ordinary if you take out his hair. And not ordinary as a "regular joe", but sometimes they look exactly like a design template.

While one of my favorite shows doesn't have HUGE differences in cast design, Honey and Clover, they have distinct details. They aren't just defined by crazy hair cut/color. I like some realism in the characters. Not to say the reverse side is bad but most often the more cartoonish they look, the more generic and bland they look as well.

And this is somewhat a part of character design I have to say I HATE seeing the same outfit for 26, 50 or 150 episodes. People change clothes, they really do. Again it seems that I just want a bit more quality out of the animation department here. I'm sure it must've been much harder to draw Sakura from CCS in a million different outfits, but it looks infinitely better than seeing her in the same set of school clothes and same costume every time. Even slight differences, like back in Honey and Clover, is very welcome. Dress clothes, suits, sports wear, every day outfits being switched constantly.
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Leuconoe



Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:43 pm Reply with quote
hentai4me wrote:
I thoroughly dislike angular, slimline, characters with very sharp features


I must admit to liking such character design very much, typified for me perhaps by the elongated characters of Code Geass (apparently CLAMP did the design work on CG?), regardless of the quality of said series as a whole.

I wouldn't say there's any style I really dislike.

Vortextk's points about variation - in character design and also in costume - are dead on. Varied costumes, if well done, show a studio who are really prepared to put extra work in. Although there are, I think, some types of series where a particular costume can define a character. Generally, however, variation is a positive thing.
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LeoKnight25



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Puyallup, WA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:06 pm Reply with quote
I've very partial to the classic design sense of Kazuo Komatsubara (Getter Robo, Getter Robo G, Grendizer, Captain Harlock), Shingo Araki & Michi Himeno (Saint Seiya, Amon Saga, True Savior Legend Fist of the North Star), Kenzo Koizumi (Space Battleship Yamato), Hideyuki Motohashi (Godmars, Goshogun), Yorihisa Uchida (Beast God Liger, Legend of Lyon: Flare, Guy) and of course Toshihiro Hirano (Dangaioh, Hades Project Zeorymer, Iczer One). These have been and always will be my favorite designers. The facial features and overall look of the characters is what got me into anime. The gritty look to the styles and the hair is really cool as well. Especially Araki's designs and animation style...very fluid and almost balletic.

For those that I dislike, I'd say the Tenchi-style designs used after Tenchi Muyou in stuff like Dual, BGC Tokyo 2040 and most other AIC shows of the time. The designs were way over used and have no sort of structure to them. Very gangly-looking designs...almost as if the characters have no bones in their bodies...too overly cute as well.
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Porcupine



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1033

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:21 pm Reply with quote
Leuconoe wrote:
I must admit to liking such character design very much, typified for me perhaps by the elongated characters of Code Geass (apparently CLAMP did the design work on CG?), regardless of the quality of said series as a whole.
Code Geass' story and such was done by CLAMP, but the art style is completely unrelated to them. It is the art style of character designer Takahiro Kimura, who also did Godannar and Gun x Sword. He is another one of my favorite character designers and I like his art style a lot too. I recommend you to watch Godannar and Gun Sword if you like the art style of Code Geass (I haven't seen Code Geass yet myself, I'm waiting for USA domestic release, but I saw a few pictures and it's obviously the Takahiro Kimura style).

That's why I said in my earlier posts that the newer CLAMP works (post-digital anime age) can't be generalized as being one art style anymore. Many of their newer shows feature the art style of someone different, or are subtly different from their original classic distinctive art style of the 90's (such as with the "X" anime, etc).
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Veoryn87



Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 808

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:04 pm Reply with quote
The only style I don't really like is moe, but I can tolerate that pretty easily. I really like Akira Toriyama's character designs (Dragon Ball), they look especially good in 3D, like in the JRPG's Dragon Quest VIII and Blue Dragon. I also love Yoshitoshi ABe's look (Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei). I have a nice SEL artbook and some nice Haibane Renmei computer wallpapers. I also like Range Murata's style (Last Exile).
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PantsGoblin
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 2969
Location: Agoura Hills, CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:06 pm Reply with quote
From a similar topic.

PantsGoblin wrote:
Akio Watanabe (Poyoyon Rock) has always been my favorite character designer. Very shiny characters... I just like them.

He also worked on the art/animation for Soultaker, which for anyone who has seen it, could tell the artwork is very unique and... somewhat oddly done. It's really a matter of preference I guess, I know some people who hated the artwork and found it to be way too distracting, which to be honest, it kind of was. To me, the art was one of my favorite parts of the anime though.

I'm glad Akio Watanabe finally came out with Hoshizora Kiseki, I've been wanting to see more of his work for a while. Story was meh, but I always love seeing his artwork. I wasn't expecting anyone to sub it but to my surprise some group actually did...


His website.

Another artist who I've found a particular liking to is Hiroaki Magari, the creator and artist for Majokko Tsukune-chan. I suppose not surprising, this is also one of Halko's favorite artists. I seem to have the same tastes as Halko, as Akio Watanabe is also one of her favorites. Magari is also a fan of Halko, which I guess is apparent.

And although he hasn't done any anime yet, an artist called Hirohiroki has recently caught my attention. He is the one who did my lovely avatar artwork right up there. I love his artwork. Although I haven't bought any of his books yet. I plan to if I can ever actually find any. He's a doujin artist, has a blog as well:

http://hiro2ki.blog55.fc2.com/​ (Warning: Site contains some sexual content and nudity)

And there's a lot more anime I like the character designs from as well. This would include Lucky Star (although I don't care for the show itself, I'm really attracted to the character designs), Majipoka, Air/Kanon/Clannad (I like all of Key's designs a lot), Strawberry Marshmallow (Barasui's artwork is great), and probably many others I can't think of at the moment.

hentai4me wrote:
what do you hate?


Oddly enough, while it's one of my favorite anime, I don't particularly care for Higurashi no Nako Koroni's anime character designs. I don't really hate the character designs either. I just don't like them. I do like the game's artwork though (the PS2 game, not the original PC game).

Now for artwork I hate? Akira Toriyama's artwork is probably at the top of my list for this. I find all of his characters to be incredibly ugly and unappealing. This isn't to say I won't try anything he does out. In fact, I actually love both Chrono Trigger and the early Dragon Quest series games, both are among some of my favorites. I just don't care for the artwork. At all. Thankfully in the actual games his artwork isn't that apparent (I suppose this is why I'm not really interested in any of the newer Dragon Quest games, where his artwork is apparent from the 3-D designs).

Akagi's character designs seem to . Although I've heard it's a good show. The lack of any females and those... noses, they just really turn me away.
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Craeyst Raygal



Joined: 30 Apr 2002
Posts: 1383
Location: In the garage, beneath a 1970 MGB GT.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:28 pm Reply with quote
What? No Yoshitaka Amano fans in here? I'm shocked, appalled, and driven to vomit uncontrollably by the lot of you.

But in all seriousness, Amano is such an astonishing artist, and the surreal beauty he's given the Vampire Hunter D universe is beyond compare.

Kenichi Sonoda is another personal favorite of mine, and is perfect evidence in my eyes of why I want the rounded character designs of the mid to late 80's to make a comeback. C'mon, doesn't anyone else want a Cannon God Exxaxion anime complete with all of Sonoda's Verhoeven-esque sex and violence?

Finally, a man whose character designs I've loved especially as I've got to watch them evolve over the past twenty years, Kousuke Fujishima. Honestly, just look at the change in Belldandy as he's drawn her since 1988. It's incredible, especially since she's instantly recognizable in all of her incarnations, outfits, and hair-styles. He's a master at creating individual characters.
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Vortextk



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 892
Location: Orlando, Fl

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:10 pm Reply with quote
Craeyst Raygal wrote:
What? No Yoshitaka Amano fans in here? I'm shocked, appalled, and driven to vomit uncontrollably by the lot of you.


Well my problem is I never care about production companies, directors, actors etc. I know a handful of english voice actors, and I think two japanese directors? I also know 3-5 shows from maybe 5 companies, and that's it.

I liked Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust though =P The first was kind of average. Who knows, I might like a lot of other designs he has done.
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ElementSun



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:54 pm Reply with quote
I've always liked the character design in Sola and Shakugan no Shana. It's something about the detail in the eyes that give the characters a very innocent and naive look. I know people refer to this as "moe", but for some reason it these two series seems to stand out more than all the other types of character designs.
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Son-kun



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:02 pm Reply with quote
I've always enjoyed Toriyama's designs, but for whatever reason I've never felt it made a good transition to an anime form (the Blue Dragon & DBZ anime is a prime example of this). Thankfully his DQ stuff & current style are great.
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Murasakisuishou



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 1469
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:15 pm Reply with quote
I'm a sucker for Masamune Shirow-styled art. None of the anime adaptations of his work equal the original manga (which I find both entertaining and just beautiful to look at, in sort of a gritty way), but the character designs for GitS: SAC really reminded me of the manga, especially how the designers weren't afraid to make people look 'ugly'. The (male) members of Section 9 didn't even look like the usual good-guy bishounen you see in anime (with the possible exception of Saito and Togusa); they were all grizzled old men. Then we had such gems of character design as Aramaki, Gohda, and the unforgettable Minister of Home Affairs.

I also think that the art from Revolutionary Girl Utena is absolutely gorgeous. The style is sort of odd and angular, but at the same time extremely graceful, and it fits in nicely with the sort of 'fairy tale land' theme of the show. I've only seen the first half of the series and yet I've been collecting images, just because the characters are so pretty to look at. Bishounen paradise Anime hyper

Additionally, I enjoy the round character designs in Yoshitoshi ABe's works. They're realistic enough to convey the serious subject matter, but still look whimsically cartoony. I especially love the detail that went into the individual characters of Haibane Renmei; the booklet in the first volume was quite fascinating to flip through.

Finally, I'll always have a soft spot for the over-exaggerated character designs featuring prominently in Shaman King. It's not great art, not by a long shot, but it gets the point across. I love how everyone is just so unique and colorful, especially regarding their hair and clothing. Sure, to draw fanart you have to learn about six different sets of proportions, but it's fun to watch on screen.
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