Article: hair and eyes, why anime characers look the way they do
Anime Sociology: Why anime characters look the way they do
Welcome again to anime sociology, were I use my community college drop-out education to good use. If you don't know what sociology is, it is the study of how society interacts with itself. Other Scientists say bad things about sociology because you don't need to be that good at math to be a sociologist. And since I have trouble with anything tougher than first year algebra I chose to be sociologist. Since I have found out you get paid squat for being a sociologist I decided to pick another field to study(namely computers which will pay for all the DVDs, convention expenses and Anime merchandise that I want). Note: In reference to the last article Isaac Newton didn't invent gravity he just discovered the law of gravitation. That and was sucked into another dimension, ran an empire and tried to conquer the world with giant robots that turned invisible.
Anime character sure do look weird. However there is a reason why they look the way they do.
Why do anime characters have such big eyes? That is a common question. The truth is not all anime characters have huge eyes. The more friendly, cute or sensitive the character is the bigger eyes they have. Conversely, more serious characters have realistically sized eyes. And then there are characters who seem to see fine despite the fact that they walk around with there eyes closed. As eyes are very often used to convey how the character feels characters with their eyes closed tend to be mysterious or untrustworthy, and they often hide this under a whimsical facade.
Characters sometimes change their eye shape to convey a change in attitude. A good example of this is Ruroni Kenshin. When Kenshin is in a fight he has narrow serious eyes. At most other times he has big eyes, conveying that he is a nice friendly person. The character you really have to worry about are those that can change the size of their irises, they are the real psychos.
Have you ever wondered why anime character's have such crazy hair colors? So have I, However after hundreds of hours of watching anime I think I have an answer. The things is helps people determine one character from another. Also I think each hair color has it's own meaning, hence the rest of the article. This guide is not perfect but just a guide of generalities, just like most sociology.
Most people in Japan have naturally black hair. Anime characters with black hair tend to be the more normal characters. This does not mean that they are not interesting, just that they tend to be a bit more sane and traditional than people of other hair colors. Black haired characters tend to take traditional vocations while fighting evil, like being a samurai or a Shinto priestess. Characters with brown hair tend to act just like characters with black hair.
The stereotype in America is that blondes are cheerful and rather dumb. Anime has is share of characters that follow this model, Mihoshi, Gourry and Usagi1 for example. Anime also has it's share of blonde geniuses, Ritsuko Akagi, Maetel, and Haruka Tenou2 as examples. It is that blondes tend not to fall into the middle of the road when it comes to intelligence. As another departure from the American mold is that blonde characters are not always the good guys, as anybody who has seen Fushigi Yugi can tell you. (Note: none of the previous applies to super saiyns as they get this hair color as a result of astronomical power levels not personality.)
Redheads tend to be straightforward and unsubtle. Depending on the character, this could they are very cheerful, incredibly cheerful(Hikaru Shido), brash and rude(Shayla Shayla, or very destructive(Lina Inverse). When it comes to special powers, redheads tend to go for blasting people with gouts of fire. Due to this type of personality redheads tend to be one of the most popular hair colors for the main protagonist.
People with blue or purple hair tend to be upper class types of people. This can mean that they are often elegant and refined, or spoiled and selfish, but often a bit of both. Often they are paired with a character with red hair. In these cases they are often the ones that use magic while the redhead fights.
People with pink hair tend to be sickeningly cute little girls. This generality is the most sound as no one but a sickeningly cute little girl would want pink hair. The only exception is Utena Tenjou, but that is probably done as a deliberate juxtaposition of gender and hair color roles.
1 also known as sereana, for those poor fools who watch the sailor moon dub. 2 also known as amara, for those poor slobs who watch the sailor moon dub. At least sailor Saturn got to keep her original name. sigh.