How Anime Art Has Changed: An Explainer

How Anime Art Has Changed: An Explainer

Anime, you’ve changed! To be honest, the look of it is always changing. Styles and fads suit each age, so let’s see how anime has evolved over the past few decades.

On 2ch, a commenter uploaded the following image below, which Kotaku has translated into English:

(Image: 2ch | Translation: Kotaku)

I quite like this as it gives a good, nuanced look at just how anime has changed since the 1990s.

Elsewhere in the same thread, others uploaded images that also show how anime styles have grown. You might have seen them before, but if not, have a look.

(Image: 2ch)
(Image: 2ch)

I wonder what anime will look like 30 years from now.

90年代と2010年代の絵柄の違いが一目で分かる画像wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww [2ch]


    • Yeah, and the old style would probably have been cheaper to animate in the days when everything was hand-drawn.

      I’d also argue that this is just an artificial example, there’s a huge amount of variation in the look between different shows now, much more so than in the 80s and 90s.

        • While I’m sure you can find examples of that look, I’m not sure that it was actually a trend.

          Unless you mean really bright colors on everything by ‘bubblegum look’? If so then yeah, most of the early to mid 00s was them all suddenly going “holy crap when we paint digitally and present our stuff digitally we can make the colors SEAR INTO YOUR RETINAS”

  • The thinner lines probably also have something to do with the spread of HDTV and larger television sets overall.

    If you’re using a small SD television to watch a noisy analogue broadcast, you need the thicker lines to actually see the detail. The same thing happened to western shows like The Simpsons when they switched to HD/widescreen.

    • not just that, but also the swap to digital ink. The commentary to the second (but the first episode when they swapped perminantly) episode of the simpsons done in digital mentions that it allows them many more layers than would be possible before without major cel artifacts.

  • I like the old style, but that’s just personal preference. I shudder to think what something like Cowboy Bebop would look like drawn today :/

  • It’s interesting to see the comparisons side-by-side, but it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that something from this decade looks different to something from 20 years ago…

  • So no one wants to talk about pandering to creepy otakus and how much loli there is in almost all anime nowadays? Was it that bad 20/30 years ago?

    • Nadesico’s Ruri
      Cowboy Bebop’s Ed
      Magic Knight Rayearth’s Princess Emeraude
      Dragon Ball’s Chi chi & Dragon Ball GT’s Pan
      The whole female cast of Card Captor Sakura

      I could keep going.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!