When I think of “
In 2020 it becomes even more obvious when you look at the range of styles, shapes and how much characters “weigh” based on appearance.
Let’s talk about it.
First I’ll start with why.
Anime Body Diversity Has Changed:
1. Blame it on the beauty industry
The beauty industry is alive and well in Japan. And in the world. But we’re talking about
Beauty standards in general point to one thing: skinny or slim bodies. You’re not beautiful if you don’t “fit” these standards.
This is true even if you’re “thicc” or you’ve got some meat on your bones like Nozomi Tojo from Love Live.
This “standard” effects WOMEN more than Men by such a large margin it’s ridiculous. That’s why a lot of women can be insecure about their weight and how they look.
This stretches to Japan and the beauty industry they have there. And the “standards” that are set by their beauty industry.
- Social pressure
And the beauty ideals that are set by the beauty industry.
Models in Japanese society are anything BUT skinny or slim at most. And this bleeds into the many
Your environment plays a big role in your mindset and how you “portray” that in your art after all. There’s no denying that.
It’s clear as day anyway, a blind man can see it.
2. Japan’s culture is unique compared to most
In a lot of countries it’s true that generally if you’re fat or obese, you’re gonna be judged, shamed and people will even find you disgusting.
It’s a depressing truth but a truth no matter how much you try watering it down. “Overweight” isn’t the beauty or body standard that’s pushed, praised or highlighted.
This is true even in the USA.
But in Japan? They’re a unique bunch.
Obesity in Japan is as rare as seeing a unicorn running down the main road in a big city.
Japan’s influence is powerful when it comes to ”body” ideals.
The only time you’ll see an obese or even overweight person in Japan is when they’re Sumo Wrestlers.
This is a sport so it’s by choice and it’s accepted for that reason. Take away the sport though and the chances of seeing it are next to impossible.
You can guarantee that THIS plays a role in
Like I said before – even being thicc or having some meat on your bones can be considered “not” ideal. So it’s no wonder
3. Japanese creators don’t see it as an issue
And it’s not an issue in a literal sense.
That being said –
In Japan like I said – most people aren’t overweight, thicc or anything of the sort. Skinny is the ideal, with slim being close to it.
From this point of view it only makes sense to portray and design characters who represent Japanese body types, and Japanese society as a whole.
It doesn’t make sense (from their general point of view) to create a range of body types just for the sake of pandering.
From an artistic point of view it’s a good idea because it creates variation and gives
If there’s more body diversity in
That’s the idea anyway.
Anime Body Diversity Has Changed (Or Not):
Old school vs new school
I’ll start off by mentioning old school anime from the 80’s and work my way up to
I’ll obviously skip some years since we can’t be here all day, and it’s not necessary to make my point.
First off is Bubblegum Crisis (1980’s).
The designs here are even “less” diverse if we wanna be literal. But I wouldn’t say they’re over the top skinny either.
Even if they are in suits….
You’re Under Arrest is the next
Here we have more realistic and relatable body types. And they’re more in the realm of “realism” than they are fiction.
They aren’t dozens of women in this
There’s little here to speak of though.
Next we’ll use an
Say what you want about the
Look at these hotties in
Is there so much diversity that you can point out each and every body type? Absolutely not. But that’s besides the point.
Not all old school
There’s absolutely no difference here at all.
Every character fits the bill in the most obvious way possible.
Down the line we end up with Love Live (2013). An idol
Other than Nozomi Tojo, most characters fit a typical body style.
There’s not much else.
Then we come across Galko Chan, released in 2016.
This is one of the few
You have chubby, thicc, skinny and everything else you can imagine.
Regardless of labels.
It wouldn’t surprise me if this
And in 2020 there’s 22/7. An
Here we can see all the designs of the female characters. Most of which are the same and don’t have much variation.
In the end – most of
Are there 100’s and 100’s, even 1000’s of more
Even if we analyzed every
There’s so many female characters in
Same is true for the male characters if you wanna go there. But few
They don’t “need” to do it, but it will open up more doors for representation and female fans who’d like to see more of it.
Designs have evolved, but just not in a way that’s blatantly obvious.
What do you think about