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How to draw four different anime girl body types, from slender to plump

Illustrator shares his secrets while breaking down the fine points of fine 2-D ladies.

Anime’s penchant for stylized artwork sometimes has those outside its fandom disdainfully declare that the medium depicts female characters as uniformly top-heavy. That isn’t true, however. Though Japanese artists do, on average, show a stronger penchant for busty character designs than their counterparts in other countries, even anime characters exhibit a variety of physiques.

By way of example, illustrator and Twitter user @plus15 says that female anime characters’ body types can be broadly divided into four different categories, and he’s even prepared a list of attributes for each one to use as reference when drawing.

@plus15 designates each group with a latter that roughly corresponds to how their body line appears. His descriptions start with the X/Glamour Type (the word “glamour” is often used in Japanese not to describe fashion or mystique, but sensuous curves), the characteristics of which are:
● Sensuously curvy
● Thick frame, especially in the upper body
● No pronounced collarbones
● Springy sking
● Short neck and small hands
● Easily puts on muscle
● Body line resembles and apple if she gains weight
● High-waisted with large hips
● Looks good in simple jackets and shirts
● Looks heavy-set when dressed in a tunic

Next up is the I/Slender Type:
● Long silhouette with few curves or protrusions
● Tight frame, despite having no thickness
● Pronounced, visible collarbones
● Sinuous build and thick skin
● Large, long hands and feet compared to other women of the same height
● Bones and joints stand out more than muscle mass
● Looks very large if she puts on body fat
● High-waisted with long, flat buttocks
● Looks good in coarse hemp shirts and wide-legged pants
● Looks seedy and scraggly when dressed in form-fitting clothes

Moving on to heavier builds, @plus15 details the A/Thick Lower Body Type:
● Body line looks like a triangle with a wide base
● Flat-planed upper body with a thin frame
● Faint, small collarbones
● Soft, cushiony skin
● Long, thin neck
● Doesn’t easily put on muscle, but can get thicker below the waist
● Looks like a pear if she gains weight
● Low-waisted, breasts are set low on the chest
● Looks good in clothing with frills and round-collared blouses, and clothes made with soft or see-through fabrics
● Looks lonely when dressed in simple clothing

And finally, the O/Plump Type:
● Round build
● A voluminous body
● Easily noticeable collarbones
● Pillowy skin
● Clean lines around the neck, small hands and feet
● Easily puts on muscle
● Easily puts on weight around the hips, which then become curvier
● Voluminous buttocks
● Looks good in clothes with low necklines and which shows the ankles and wrists
● Looks bloated when dressed in billowy clothing

The amount of detail in @plus15’s descriptions, along with the care that he’s put into each example illustration, shows that he’s happy drawing characters of all four types. Still, he understands that people have preferences, and so he’s included a poll asking other Twitter users to pick their favorite physique.

At the moment, the survey has garnered more than 240,000 responses, with I Type in the lead at 35 percent, followed by X (28 percent), A (22 percent), and O (15 percent), suggesting that there’s a fanbase for each, and thus a number of outlets for @plus15’s diverse skill set.

Source: Twitter/@plus15 via Otakomu
Featured image: Twitter/@plus15

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