Seeing ‘not attractive’ or ‘ugly characters’ in anime or manga industry is quite rare, and I am not talking about the background characters or bad CGI designs. I am talking about the main characters in anime and manga, who are generally made attractive and beautiful, despite how horrible their character is.
A Japanese Twitter user @takenokokun0521, who describes themselves as an independent light novel author, recently explained this same point that why we don’t see ugly characters more often in the anime industry? The author tweets:
Surely we have all wondered at some point of time, that, why in the manga and in the novels there are only attractive people and the protagonist will always have a well defined face but according to the MC, it is “ordinary”. I once asked an illustrator friend a question and he gave me a simple answer: “Making ugly characters is expensive“
It’s not that drawing bad looking characters is crazy to produce, but it’s very difficult and time consuming to do that way. I’ve heard that there is an easy way to add fat to the chin and make a character fat, but my illustrator friend mentioned that that just makes him ‘a fat character but with a still attractive face
The author continues with the Tweet that to make character an antagonist, he in not given the bad face shape, but ihe is introduced in the series in a setting (like giving them recognizable costumes, for example a witch or a king), where audience can easily figure out that this is a bad character. Another reason is that there is less demand from audiences to see ugly characters. Also check out the Worst Anime of 2021 according to ratings.
In short, to make ugly looking characters, the illustrator has to add more lines to the sketch which takes more time. Also, most of the readers or watchers are not looking to see bad looking characters on their screen, that is why authors don’t even take the risk of introducing such characters. After seeing the popularity of antagonist, like Aizen, Madara, and Esdeath (who have done some horrible deeds but still loved), you can figure out why there is a trend of beautiful characters in the anime industry.
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