Anime and manga have been in the global mainstream for a few decades now and like anything else, they have a way of evolving over time. Sometimes, though, the changes are so gradual that we don’t notice it until someone throws it all up in a handy infographic such as this one that surfaced on the internet recently. In it, the creator points out some key differences between female characters in the 1990s and those of the current decade. Let’s see what’s going on in the translation below.
It seems that overall, faces in the ’90s tended to be sharper whereas current characters tend to have smoother faces both in shape and shading. On the contrary, ’90s hair was bushier and fuller while current hair drawings appear sharper and straighter.
When talking about the nose shape of ’90s women, the writer is referring to the Japanese hiragana letter for “ku” (く). Also in the middle of the image the writer refers to dōjin which is fan-made manga, anime, and so on.
Some netizens were surprised at how drastic the changes actually were when put side by side. Many seemed to have preferred the look of the ’90s, and one commenter put up this image of Mio from K-On! Drawn in the styles of each decade.
Looking at all the decades together like that really puts the transformation of the art into perspective and makes us wonder what changes in style are in store for Japanese drawing in the decades to come.