Author Explains Why Visually Ugly Characters Are Scarce Within The Anime Industry

Illustrator says "busaiku" or unattractive characters ask for more drawing effort and time.

Twitter user, @takenokokun0521, a  light novel author of the independent site, Shousetsuka ni Narou, posted a thread on Jan 2, 2022, explaining why anime designs are made attractive to be sold, regardless of the quality of the story.

The author had a chance to ask an illustrator about why there are only attractive characters, who claim to be “normal” in manga and novels, to which the illustrator replied, “Making ugly characters is expensive.”

In a simple way, the illustrator explained that it is not that animators can’t draw ugly characters. Nonetheless, “busaiku” or unattractive characters ask for more drawing effort and time.

“For the moment, I leave it simply that ‘ugly characters simply require more lines, that is, drawing time.’ I don’t think it has to do with illustrators being incapable of doing them, ” quoted the author from his illustrator friend.

The author revealed that there is an easy way to add fat to the chin and make a character fat. However, in his illustrator friend’s experience that just makes them ‘a fat character but with a still attractive face .’

Other than the fact that uglies consume more time and have less demand among the consumers, the author says it is easier to let the story present it to the audience that a character is normal or ugly. Recognizable costumes and accessories such as crowns and capes are expected to do the work instead of character design.

“Therefore, it is easier to show “that’s the setting” by letting the character evaluate himself or herself as “ordinary appearance” in advance, like giving the actor an easy-to-understand costume or prop like a crown or cloak in the play.

The rest is simply “low demand” or something like that … at least he said it wasn’t mainstream,” said the author.

Source: Somo Kudasai

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