An Introduction to Cute Japanese Anime
There is no denying that the Japanese culture is one of the richest and multi-faceted ones in the world. The taste of the Japanese varies from mainstream to extremely niche, and they have a knack for grouping people based on a single distinct interest. It is truly a fascinating culture.
One of the multiple facets of the Japanese culture is undoubtedly cute. There is no denying that no other culture that can pull-off the kawaii factor more than the Japanese. It is for that very reason that the Japanese word “kawaii” is being used to describe multiple things all over the world. Of course, Japan itself is the ultimate destination for all things kawaii.
Of course, fashion is the first thing that comes to mind with the mention of kawaii. Kawaii fashion, after all, has taken the world by storm - becoming a major trend even on the other side of the hemisphere. A trip to Japan would also merit a visit to one of the many kawaii themed cafes and parks in Japan. These places will surely be a winner among the hearts of both the young and the young-at-heart.
Even regular items in Japan are a thousand times cuter than everywhere else in the world. This can easily be proven by visiting shops like Daiso or Don Quixote. From cute cosmetic packaging a la Sailor Moon to adorable Tupperware, the Japanese has it. There is no room for boring items.
Japanese anime is also very diverse, showing different themes, different issues for different target demographics. There are violent animes such as the bloody Battle Royale, there are other serious animes that deal with dark fictitious plotlines. There are animes that are not necessarily dark, but they are not comedic either, and there are those hilarious animes that may lack real substance but still manage to get the attention of viewers through their humor.
Cute anime, in particular, are a favorite among many. Whether the anime is cute due to the drawing styles used, or it captures a cute plotline. Regardless, cute or kawaii animes are able to capture a wide range of demographics. With the continuous growth of the Japanese animation industry, it just comes to no surprise that the quality of anime that Japan has to offer keeps on improving more and more; especially on cute animes.
The succeeding parts of this article would tackle cute anime characters, provide a list of recommendations for animes worth watching, and discuss themes of top anime shows.
Super Cute Animals and Creatures with Cute Eyes in Japanese Anime
An easy way to attract viewers is undoubted to place a cute character, whether he or she is the main star of the show, or just a sidekick to the main protagonist, the presence of a cute anime character will surely up the appeal of any show. A distinct trait that makes any anime character cute physically is the presence of huge eyes. This applies to both humans and character mascot of any anime or manga.
Perhaps the most iconic Japanese mascot is Pikachu, from the most iconic anime of all time: Pokemon. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Pokemon and Pikachu, he is the trusty Pokemon sidekick and best friend of the main protagonist in the Pokemon series: Ash Ketchum. The little yellow creature is undoubtedly a cute one, with his chubby stature, rosy cheeks, and round beaded eyes. Though the concept of Pikachu is fictitious, there is a bit of reality infused during his creation. The real Pikachu happens to be inspired by a rodent native to China, however, this has only stemmed through mass speculation.
The real pika rodents of China does bear a strong resemblance to the well-loved character though. They are chubby, yellow rodents that are definitely cute. Unfortunately, they have been deemed as pests in China and have been undergoing massive extermination for the past seventy decades. However, there are recent studies that have surfaced indicating that the presence of pikas is actually good for biodiversity. Hopefully, this would mean a better future for the real like Pikachu’s.
Despite having hundreds of other Pokemon creatures present in the show, Pikachu serves as the most iconic Pokemon of all. However, there are others Pokemon who are almost as cute, if not cuter, than Pikachu. Some examples of these Pokemon are Jigglypuff, Clefairy, and Snorlax. These cute Pokemon are the reason why children adore Pokemon and continue to adore it even in their adult years.
Cats, in particular, are common as sidekicks in Japanese anime. This can be attributed to the fact that the Japanese adore Neko's (cats). Polls conducted on the internet show that among the top ten cutest animals or mascots across various anime series, a majority who were voted cute are cats.
A good example of this is Sadaharu, a giant cat from the anime Gintama. Sadaharu is a white, fluffy cat. Despite his giant fangs and size, he can be found often on the shoulders of his master, which just affirms why he is considered as one of the cutest cats or mascots in Japanese anime.
Another popular cat sidekick in an anime series in Natsume Yujin-cho's Nyanko-sensei. This adorable cat definitely adds an extra ounce of cuteness to his master’s spirit sighting adventures. Meanwhile, Fairy Tale features another lovable cat: Happy. As his name implies, he’s definitely happy to embark on adventures with his master. This adorable flying cat may be blue physically, but he is definitely not blue in spirit.
A runner-up among the cute anime characters is Cerebrus from Cardcaptor Sakura. He is a powerful guardian who guides the teenage Sakura through her day to day life. In his real form, he is a strong and powerful tiger, However, unfortunate circumstances have led him to take refuge in a body that looks like a tiny yellow stuffed toy with wings. His cute physical form, as well as his good-natured charisma and undying loyalty to Sakura just makes him one of the most lovable characters of all time.
A List of Cute Girls in Japanese Anime
It is a given fact that plenty of guys in their childhood watch anime so that they could watch cute anime heroines. Indeed, Japanese anime’s are filled with cute girls with a matching adorable personality. Research shows that popular girls in anime who are considered to be cute all fall into at least one of the qualification that will be mentioned below. They are known to spark feelings of “moe”, which is a term for having an emotional attraction towards fictitious anime girls.
In particular, ditzy and quirky characters are considered to spark a lot of “moe” feelings. Similarly, shy or dandere archetypes earn the hearts of viewers due to their shy, yet warm personality. On the other hands, tsundere archetypes are also a favorite among audiences. Usually, these are girls with a tough girl persona, but with a secret soft and loving spot. Girl characters who show off boyishness, but harbor an inner girly person deep inside are also well-loved, similar to tsundere.
There are plenty of animes with cute heroines to fall in love with. A usual favorite among anime fans is the Lucky Star for the very reason that it features not one, but rather two cute anime girls: the twins Tsukasa and Kagami. Tsukasa’s character is just oozing with cuteness; from being forgetful to dozing off practically everywhere, combined with her natural ditziness. It’s no wonder that the audience loves her. Her sister Kagami, on the other hand, is equally loved for her tough persona with a touch of her own ditziness. Upon examining her persona, it will be evident that she fits into the tsundere archetype.
On the other hand, the next heroine who will be mentioned is a dandere at heart. Fuuko from the anime series Clannad comes off as a shy girl who likes being alone. This doesn’t mean that she is the brooding type though. While the back story behind her character is quite tragic as it involves a tragic accident, the character portrayed by Fuuko is heartwarming as she tries to spread happiness to other people in school in the form of wooden starfishes.
Another “moe” worthy anime girl is Mirai Kuriyama from the anime series Beyond the Boundary. Her whole personality is cute. From having short pink hair, with bangs and classes, to her natural clumsiness, it comes to no surprise that she is one of the favorite cute girls from anime. By day, she appeases her quirkiness by maintaining a blog about bonsai trees. However, by night, she transforms into a kick-ass fighter of evil spirits.
A List of Cute Guys/Boys in Japanese Anime
Of course, girls can also gush about guys on anime. With the diverse range of animes produced by the Japanese, it is quite common for any find one or two fictional boys to have a crush on. Below are several anime boys who are voted as top favorites among internet polls.
Perhaps the most crushed on anime boy of all time is Tetsuya Kuroko from Kuroko’s Basketball. Being the main protagonist of the show, he is portrayed as an excellent athlete throughout the show. However, that is not the main selling point of his appeal. A great portion of his fan girls claims to like him due to his natural cuteness. He is an athlete who is definitely tall physically, but his persona shows a fragile boy who is slightly clumsy and extremely kind.
Another fan favorite among Internet users is Nagisa Hazuki from the anime series Free!. It is quite easy for plenty of girl viewers to have a crush on his character due to the variety of reasons. He’s extremely cheerful and high-spirited most of the time, coupled with his natural sweetness and charm. Similar to Tetsuya from Kuroko’s Basketball, there is something extra cute about his childlike disposition. The other characters in the show love him, which makes it harder for anyone watching to dislike his character.
Yuri and Viktor: Topping The List of Cutest Anime Couples
Through time, there have been plenty of anime couples whose relationships have sparked plenty of “fandoms” not just in Japan but even outside of Japan. On of the most recent anime’s, that was released just a couple of months ago was Yuri on Ice. It was well-received all over the world for plenty of reasons, such as it’s unique plot that center’s on men’s ice skating, as well as the artistry that went into making the choreography within the anime look as true to life as possible. However, a large portion of Yuri on Ice’s viewers admittedly stuck around because of the love story embedded within the story.
For those who are still unfamiliar with Yuri on Ice, the main character is a Japanese ice skating champion Yuri, with whom the series was named after. However, his love interest does not happen to be a girl, but rather it is in the form of a Russian ice skater Viktor who happens to be a boy. In the burgeoning of LGBT acceptance, Yuri on Ice portrays an unconventional love story.
It’s not the first homosexual relationship in any Japanese anime, but it was released at a time when people have started fighting for equal rights so it comes to no surprise that it has been received well all over the world. The relationship between Yuri and Viktor shows a lot of cute, and gushy moments. While their common passion for ice skating makes their relationship undeniably full of chemistry, there are plenty of moments that show a great relationship dynamic between the two.
This award-winning anime has top-notch quality in terms of graphics and storyline, that it is quite easy to binge-watch the whole series in a matter of hours. It is that addicting.
Fandom: Drawing Pictures Inspired By Cute Anime Characters
Fans would know that it takes a lot of dedicated time spent on watching anime to be considered a true fan. However, for some, watching is not enough. Those who have blessed with enough drawing skills, whether by hand or digitally channel their love for anime by drawing pictures of the cute anime characters that they love.
Creating art is a popular way for plenty of people on expressing their love of anime. This allows them to create stories that may or may not be canonical to what happened in the real series, hence it allows the viewer to expand his creativity and imagination.
Of course, art is meant to be shared with the world. Thanks to the internet, it is easy to share anything with other internet users worldwide. One way to share fan made art would be through creating a blog or portfolio of some sort. However, another way is by becoming a member of online communities for anime fans. By joining these online communities, it paves the way not just for sharing art but also for networking with other individuals who are equally passionate about anime.