5 Reasons Why Do Anime Characters Have Big Eyes?

5 Reasons Why Do Anime Characters Have Big Eyes

While watching your favorite anime series, have you ever wondered why do anime characters have big eyes? You may have your reasoning, such as the fact that anime characters have large eyes, which make them look more attractive, but it is not the complete picture.

Osamu Tezuka, the father of manga, must have been inspired by a specific rationale to make the eyeballs of the anime characters more significant in his illustrations.

So, In this article, I will tell you the actual logic behind the bigger eyes of anime characters and discuss the 5 big reasons of Why do anime characters have big eyes? Let’s start with the topic.

Why do anime characters have big eyes?

The tradition of bigger eyes dates back to the first-ever anime adaptation named “Astroboy,” which gets massive love and appreciation from viewers and critics. This is mainly due to the character development and arguably the more prominent eyes. But as I mentioned above, there are a few reasons behind the bigger eyes concept, let’s explore them.

1. Eyes speak more than the words

Why do anime characters have big eyes

Yes, Whether we’re talking about people or animated characters, it holds true in every way. Whether you speak up or not, your eyes will do, and this is the primary reason for the bigger eyes of anime characters. When anime characters try to portray their emotions through eye movements, it is simpler to perceive them when they are larger.

You can easily see the pain in the eyes of Shoya in the “The silent voice” anime movie. It seems simple to interpret changes in a person’s facial expression, especially their eyes, to determine how they are feeling.

2. A big influence of Disney cartoons

Why are Anime Eyes so Big

Why do anime characters have big eyes? The answer is western animation and Disney cartoons. You might not have been aware of this, but Osamu Tezuka’s art has had a significant influence on and has been extensively emulated by manga.

Although the artist acknowledges that Disney animations he watched as a child had a substantial influence on his approach, his work often resembles Disney artwork from the time period.

The severity of this prompted him to collaborate with Disney to produce manga adaptations of many of their motion pictures. Other inspirations on him included large-eyed American cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Charlie Puth’s Betty Boop.

It is pretty reasonable to embrace these well-known cartoons as a reference point, but now it becomes an integral feature of anime.

3. Because it’s cheaper

You may disagree, but Anime characters with bigger eyes have lower overall production costs, which is a million times true. Feeling irrational? But it’s not. Again read my first point: eyes speak more than words. Just by investing all the emotions, feelings, and characteristics alone in the eyes, the producer saves a hefty amount of other body part development.

Didn’t get it? Let’s play the analogy game. Suppose, In the USA, consumers are willing to buy a smartwatch solely for the purpose of tracking their health status. Then, in this case, Fitbit, a well-known manufacturer of smartwatches, will install an extremely sophisticated monitoring system while allowing other features to function as-is.

This significantly lowers the cost of the smartwatch. The bigger eyes of anime characters also serve a purpose in a similar way. Limiting the number of frames aids in even more cost-saving for the animation.

4. Reflection of cuteness

why do anime characters have big eyes

If you’ve ever noticed, kids almost always have huge eyes, which emphasizes how adorable they are. However, when a baby grows, its eyeballs get smaller, which also applies to Japanese people.

Unquestionably, Walt Disney noticed this first, and Osamu Tezuka adapted it later. This is unquestionably a metaphorical depiction of aging in Japanese animation, and it is quite fascinating to see.

So, bigger eyes are a reflection of cuteness and innocence as well. If you have watched a couple of anime series, you might see that when these cute characters get older, their eyes become smaller relatively. This is why do anime characters have big eyes, but most of the younger characters are not elders.

5. Of course, It’s a Japanese culture!

Japanese manga is much more subjective in style than typical European and American comics, placing more emphasis on the characters’ feelings than their positions and other factual data. Since the eyes are the gateway to the soul, manga characters often have large eyes that let them express their feelings more effectively.

However, there are a few aficionados (however, I disagree with them) who think the number of anime with huge eyes and those without is roughly equal. So, it’s evident that anime contains no connection to any Tezuka/Disney aesthetic and does not, by default, have the “large eyes” appearance that many people mistakenly think it does.

Why do anime characters have big eyes Reddit?

I already mentioned the major reasons and reasonings why anime characters have big eyes; it could be an influence of western culture, it could be a cheaper approach, and it ultimately depends on the producer.

However, we feel (I and the Reddit users) that big eyes may effectively convey emotion in character, which is why Disney and anime creators have succeeded with this design element. However, I agree, that Osamu Tezuka was greatly influenced by western animation, especially Disney-produced animation.

Do all anime have big eyes?

Do all anime have big eyes

Of course, NO. Big eyes might be tradition or culture, but modern anime also changes according to modern animation and public demands. However, some aspects of the animations continue to be exaggerated, and the Eyes are still larger than they should be.

If you have watched Modern anime movies like TekkonKinkreet, it is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Taiyō Matsumoto.

The movie’s main protagonist, Black and White, both have comparatively very small eyes than the traditional anime series. And No, anime, especially contemporary anime, does not always have larger eyes. There are numerous examples of such anime series.

Final Words

After reading this article, I hope you understand why do anime characters have big eyes? Western cartoons and animation definitely the biggest reason for the larger eyes of anime characters; however, this is not the only reason, as we discussed in this blog post.

The eyes are the most effective means of communicating a character’s feelings. What, according to you the reason behind big anime eyes? Comment your reason below; we love to hear that.


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