Blondes in Anime: A Choice Among Japanese Audiences?

blondes in anime

There has been considerable speculation about why characters in Japanese cartoons often feature large blue eyes or possess a slim build with Westernized features. However, the origins of these images in Japanese animation remain relatively unknown to many.

The inception of modern Japanese animation, as we recognize it today, dates back to the conclusion of World War II. The distinctive appearance of these characters can be attributed, in large part, to Osamu Tezuka, often regarded as the father of Japanese animation.

Tezuka himself acknowledged in one of his numerous interviews that this distinctive style was influenced by American cartoons. Cartoons from the 1930s to the 1950s, characterized by oversized heads and large eyes, left a lasting imprint.

The concept of this unique physical appearance can also be traced back to the era of "Japanese Imperialism." During this time, the Japanese idealized the Westerner as a model to emulate and surpass, contributing to their present sociocultural and technological achievements. This ideal included an image of the Caucasian man with prominent, clear eyes, tall stature, gallant demeanor, and an enviable physique.

This article delves deeper into the subject, recognizing that the Japanese have transcended the archetype of the white man. They have created a diverse array of images, featuring vibrant women with green, pink, or even purple hair. This prompts the question: Do they prefer blondes?

The prevalent myth that blondes dominate Japanese animation has led me to ponder, for instance, the hair color of characters like Hikaru in "Magic Knight Rayearth." Would Ranma look just as captivating as a woman if retaining his black hair? What color is Ayane's hair in "Ayane's High Kick"?

And what about the most alluring girl's hair color in the series "Voogie's Angel"? Has anyone noticed the resemblance between Hikaru and Kotetsu from the series "Kotetsu no Daibouken" (The Adventures of Kotetsu)? This exploration goes beyond the surface, uncovering the intriguing diversity within Japanese animated characters.

Many of you may have already noticed, or perhaps not, but each of the characters I've mentioned turns out to be "redheads." So what? Well, it seems there is some truth in the phrase that says "red is passion," because if we pause to think, how attractive would these women be if they were blondes at some point? From my very particular point of view, I believe they would lose their flavor and charm.

Certainly, we cannot deny that there are also characters with hair that makes them look sensational. Can anyone deny how sensual Umi (Magic Knight Rayearth) looks with her long blue hair? Would Shampoo (Ranma 1/2) be as attractive if her hair were a different color instead of purple? Who could resist the charm of Momoko in "Wedding Peach," whose hair is pink? And the height of it all, would Urd (Oh My Goddess) be as sexy if she lost the platinum of her hair and the cinnamon tone of her skin?

As we can see, the wide range of colors in Japanese animation leads us to the conclusion that "mangakas don't live on blondes and whites alone"; they also enjoy the colors of the rainbow.

This diversity of hair colors in Japanese animation reflects the creativity and artistic expression of mangakas. It goes beyond the conventional portrayal of characters and adds a unique flair to each individual. The choice of red hair for these characters seems to symbolize passion, adding depth to their personalities and making them stand out in the vibrant world of anime.

Moreover, this exploration of various hair colors extends beyond redheads. The inclusion of characters with blue, pink, or even green hair showcases the mangakas' willingness to break away from traditional norms. It not only serves an aesthetic purpose but also contributes to the character's identity and overall appeal.

In essence, the spectrum of hair colors in anime goes hand in hand with the diverse and imaginative nature of the stories being told. It's a testament to the artistic freedom and creativity of mangakas who embrace the colors of the rainbow to bring their characters to life in ways that go beyond the ordinary. So, next time you encounter a character with unconventional hair color, appreciate the mangaka's artistic choices that make each anime world a vibrant and captivating experience.

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