12 Days of Anime – Days 1 and 2: Staples

Too Soon?

To explain quickly why this post is on days 1 and 2 of Anime, I was not available to post yesterday. Mostly because I was not at my home and I only got on my computer exactly 7 minutes before midnight yesterday.

Now that that’s explained, let’s dive into my post of sheer silly. The intention of the 12 Days of Anime is too simply post on anime related things that interest you right? So I’m going to talk about something Anime tends to be very famous for. The generic must-haves. The staples of Anime. See, staples have a dual-meaning don’t they? It can mean something that is always there to be “consumed” but it can also refer to the object, which intention is to hold items together. So these generic must-haves, in a way, serve both functions.

Coloured-hair

That's not a common natural hair colour in Japan. I'm quite sure of that

Anime originates from Japan. Anybody who disputes that can go play “hide and go f**k yourself” So, Anime originates from Japan, where all the people are Japanese with black hair. In fact, most of the world has black hair. So why is it that anime characters tend to have a riot of hair colours? In fact, why do RL people want to dye their hair?

Hell, red is such a rare hair colour to have naturally

In my opinion after thinking about this a bit yesterday at 4am, I have come up with some ideas to explain this. To put it simply, it’s the idea of “I want what I do not have”. If you do not have something in your possession but you desire it, human nature will lead you to pursue it. Hence, seeing someone with naturally coloured might make one want to dye your hair. Maybe the colour catches your fancy. So it might be the same with Anime and hence the animators give characters hair colours besides black. Or hell, I could be completely wrong but that’s my idea.

Big Eyes

I think it’s also the same concept with big eyes as with coloured hair in Anime. You know, because we’re Asian and its genetic for us to have rather small eyes. But, I have a thought on another factor that might lead to this. For a proper “moe” character, it is a must-have to have huge, deep eyes. Why? Well, to quote from Valence who probably quoted from someone else, “the eyes are the windows to your soul”.

 

In order to be moe, the character needs to have the look that gives the feeling of, well, moe! a Tsundere with small eyes won’t be very Dere. She’ll just be bloody annoying when she’s Tsun. Moe characters also sometimes tend to give the air of naivety and being trusting. Due to eyes being windows to one’s soul, having squinty eyes could imply one being untrustworthy, a common stereotype about Asians apparently (This post is not about racism, just tryna make a point ;D). So giving a character huge eyes give them the air of innocence and contributes to the moe.

Short Skirts.

I actually have no idea what could lead to this being predominant in Anime besides the obvious. Because we’re all hentai and like seeing pantsu of course. The thought of this one just caught my mind when I was a bit stoned out last night.

Catholic/Christian Schools.

Christianity isn’t very predominant in Japan. It accounts for about 1% of the religions in Japan. So I’m quite curious about the numbers of Catholic or Christian schools portrayed in Japan. It’s not all that common, I just noticed that this seems to be rather…illogically numerous. I could rant on and on about why this would be so but that’ll be very boring talk. Not to mention discussing religion doesn’t bring out the best in me. So I’m going to use a rather straight-forward point that my friend put forth. “Forbidden fruit tastes sweeter”. Most of the time, when I see such a school in anime, it usually have an air of forbidden love to it. Let’s say, Yuri, in Sono Hanabira or Strawberry Panic to name a few. Christian values are obviously against such relationships. So that point could be a reason for such occurrences.

Well, I could continue talking about many other staples of anime but I kinda ran out of ideas of staples or I could not come up with anything interesting to say about them, so I’m going to end this post here. Just as a final word, these opinions and thoughts are all mine and hence, are not necessarily true. If I happen to have the luck of the Irish, I might be right but I doubt it. Either way, I will probably continue posting once every 2 days for the 12 days of Anime unless I manage to come up with an ingenious post idea every day. Till then, good bye.

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About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.
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9 Responses to 12 Days of Anime – Days 1 and 2: Staples

  1. moichispa says:

    I would rather not try to watch an anime with all characters black-haired. It would be rather difficult to separate different characters. Mostly in generic inverse harem ones where all characters looks almost the same. At least harems have different breast size.

    • Oh yeah, I forgot to write about oppai!!!

      And I suppose that different coloured hair would help differentiate characters in an anime. It’s like colour coding. HOWEVER, if an anime needs to strongly depends on visual means to differentiate characters, it probably means the characters are not built up well, hence not memorable. But yes, colour coding.

  2. minoru says:

    Those Sono Hanabira pics please me.

  3. kluxorious says:

    about big eyes, we are seeing more characters with slits nowadays than in yesteryears. Character like Gin and Yachiyo are two that I can think of at the top of my head atm. But yeah, generally they all have big eyes – its like you said… wanting something that you can’t have.

  4. Pingback: Christmas in Tokyo, Catholic Schools = I’m Just Being Rebellion, and Christian Filmmakers Decipher This Thing Called Anime «

  5. Nopy says:

    My thoughts:

    Hair
    In the past, it was difficult to differentiate characters with the same hair colour, even more so if they had the same style and clothing. Having hair colours taken from the entire visible spectrum makes it easier to identify who’s who. As for why people dye their hair, I think it’s for attention.

    Big Eyes
    Oddly enough, while westerners make fun of asian for small eyes, the Japanese make fun of westerners for small eyes too. All babies, regardless of race, have big eyes and look cute partly because of that. Naturally, if you want to make someone look cute, give them bigger eyes.

    Short Skirts
    I like long slender legs, I’m assuming most other guys do too.

    Christians
    I’ve been wondering this myself too, I have no idea why they’re so common in anime.

    • Yep, the whole bit on short skirts is completely on appeasing fans visually.

      And yes, babies do have huge eyes that do creep me out because it seems like they’re staring into my soul. Then they start crying too

      And related to hair, colour coding and instant character recognization

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