Either if you’re looking to be inspired by a new anime art style, or you just want to see what’s out there in the world of animation, you’ve come to the right place.
Anime drawing styles are usually known for their vibrant colors, amazing themes, and very unique ways of drawing their characters.
So it’s not surprising that many artists want to study how to draw in an anime art style, and get inspiration from many different anime series.
In this article we’ll go over the most popular anime art styles, such as Chibi, Shonen (Shōnen) and Moe, as well as go over some very unique popular drawing styles by creators such as Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) and Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli).
So let’s go over these fascinating anime art styles!
Table Of Contents
- 1 Types Of Anime Art Styles
- 2 Popular Anime Art Styles
Types Of Anime Art Styles
With so many different types of anime art styles, try not to get overwhelmed!
See below the description for each drawing style and focus on which example inspires you the most.
Shōjo (Shoujo) Anime Style
Shoujo (or Shōjo) anime art style is an art style that has themes usually attractive to girls. The theme of the anime itself focus on friendship, romance and some comedy.
So the Shoujo anime art style has soft colors, very slender bodies, and delicate facial features (normally with big, expressive eyes).
This is an ideal anime art style for artists that want to draw in a cute and smooth art style.
Some examples of Shoujo Anime Art Style are:
- Sailor Moon
- Fruits Basket
- Cardcaptor Sakura
Josei Anime Style
While still focused on romance (such as Shoujo), the Josei anime style focuses more on the daily life and relationships of adult characters.
Josei literally means “female” in Japanese, but when we’re talking about Manga and Anime, it’s more commonly known as a “ladies’ show”, more specifically marketed to an adult women audience.
In terms of art style, the Josei anime drawing style uses a very tame color palette. It is a simple art style with clean lines and shading.
Some examples of Josei Anime Art Style are:
- Yuri!!! On Ice
Chibi Anime Style
Chibi is normally used for small and cute characters. So in the anime art style, you’ll find many exaggerated character designs (sometimes called S.D. super deformed), with big heads and small bodies.
This anime art style also has very simplified features, such as huge round eyes and no nose being drawn.
This is a perfect anime art style if you’re looking to draw very cute characters and animals, and it’s also pretty simple to get started!
Also, if you’d like to draw your own chibi characters, be sure to take a look at my Chibi Characters Step By Step Drawing Course!
Some examples of Chibi Anime Art Style are:
- Lucky Star
- Himouto! Umaru-Chan
- Nyanko Days
MOE Anime Style
While similar to Kawaii, the Moe Anime art style targets young women. This anime style focuses on more realistic relationships (romantic or not) and more adult themes.
The art style itself is also more realistic, even though there is some exaggeration in terms of features.
With that said, the characters are normally depicted very young, with clean lines and relaxing colors.
Some examples of MOE Anime Art Style are:
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Seinen Anime Style
Seinen anime art style has more mature themes, which shows in the way the art is drawn.
With quite realistic character designs, the Seinen anime art style has much more details than other art styles. The colors tend to be darker as well, since this anime style tends to portray deep and complex storylines.
The biggest difference between Seinen and Shounen though, is that Seinen focuses more on a deep plot, while Shounen has a bigger focus on the action.
Some examples of Seinen Anime Art Style are:
- Bungo Stray Dogs
Kawaii Anime Style
The Kawaii Anime Style is very popular nowadays. It focuses on creating cute art (Kawaii roughly translates to “Cute”) with very colorful colors and adorable expressions. This can be a great anime art style to try if you’re a fan of the Chibi style but want to draw something a little more proportional.
Most drawings in a Kawaii style are very cheerful, with bright colors and playful facial expressions. It’s usually created when telling lighthearted stories for younger audiences.
Some examples of Kawaii Anime Art Style are:
- Non Non Biyori
(You could also consider different Pokemon being drawn in a Kawaii Art Style, since they do look very cute)
Kemono Anime Style
Kemono Anime Style is a specific art style where characters are drawn anthropomorphically. This means that human-like characters have a mix of human and animal features.
Usually, these features are the Tails and Ears, but in some cases, they can be almost the whole figure!
This anime art style is one of the best for people that enjoy drawing animals and characters based on animals.
Some examples of Kemono Anime Art Style are:
- Kemono Friends
Kodomo Anime Style
Kodomo (or Kodomomuke) Anime focuses on telling stories with themes that are appropriate for families and children. This is one of the most popular anime art styles, where the main character is usually created with a simple and colorful character design.
This anime style tends to promote positive values, so the stories are usually very heartwarming and enjoyable. In terms of art style, the art is done with simplified features for the faces, usually very round, and with very colorful tones.
Some examples of Kodomo Anime Art Style are:
- Digimon Adventure
Cartoonish Anime Style
Easily resembling traditional Western cartoons, the cartoonish anime styles tend to be very exaggerated with bold lines. Not only that, but the characters usually have very big eyes, with expressive faces.
This is one of those different anime art styles that is easily recognizable by a western audience. And if you’re an artist used to drawing cartoons, this might be a good gateway art style to try!
Some examples of Cartoonish Anime Art Style are:
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
- Astro Boy
- The Big O
You can find more Cartoon Art Styles (With Examples!) here!
Realistic Anime Style
The realistic anime style has a more serious tone in the stories that they tell, and that can be seen by the art style that is used.
This doesn’t mean that the art style is extremely realistic, but the attention to detail in a Realistic anime is higher than the other anime art styles. The art is drawn normally with regular human-like proportions and features close to real life.
In this art style you’ll see many details in the clothing, expressions, hair and body, so this is a great art style for artists that have attention to detail.
Some examples of Realistic Anime Art Style are:
- Violet Evergarden
- Vinland Saga
Shounen Anime Style
With very action-packed settings, Shounen Anime have vibrant colors and a great sense of movement in its art style. You’ll see characters with very bold features and dynamic poses, unlike many of the other art styles.
Shounen translates to “boy”, so it mainly contains themes and art styles that (mostly) interest young boys.
You’ll enjoy the Shounen anime art style if you like to draw dynamic movement and interesting action poses.
Some examples of Shounen Anime Art Style are:
- My Hero Academia
- Demon Slayer
Standard Anime Style
Standard Anime Style is a very hard to categorize art style. These tend to be a very “basic” art style that doesn’t belong in any specific category from before.
With that said, they aren’t bad art styles to try! This just means that the usual Anime that you see coming up on TV is usually Standard.
The art style itself tends to be very clean, with regular proportions and colorful tones.
Some examples of Standard Anime Art Style are:
- One Piece
- Sakura Quest
- Katana Maidens
Popular Anime Art Styles
Let’s now go over some popular styles of anime that are easily recognizable by fans!
These art styles are basically defined by their creators, such as Akira Toriyama, Eiichiro Oda, and Hayao Miyazaki.
Let’s go over these artistic styles!
Dragon Ball Style by Akira Toriyama
The Dragon Ball Art Style is one of the most recognizable anime art styles you’ve ever seen.
You can see Akira Toriyama’s Art style on: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Slump, Chrono Trigger, and more!
This very specific anime style focuses on very sharp facial features and exaggeration on the way the muscles are drawn. You can also find VERY dynamic action poses on the fight scenes drawn by Akira Toriyama.
Again, this is a super popular art style, so you might see several artists trying to emulate it (or just taking parts of it as inspiration).
So if you’re interested in drawing action poses with exaggeration and strong features, I recommend you take inspiration from the Dragon Ball Anime Art Style by Akira Toriyama.
One Piece Style by Eiichiro Oda
Another very popular anime style is Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece Style. And just like Akira Toriyama’s style, it focuses on very exaggerated proportions between different characters!
Not only that, but you can find super expressive facial features and vivid colors in Eiichiro Oda’s artwork.
In general, One Piece’s art has a very fun and creative tone, with spectacular characters in different outfits and colors. So if you’re looking for a style similar to Akira Toriyama’s, but are looking for a larger variety in character design, do check out this anime art style!
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki
One of the boldest art styles on this article has to be Hirohiko Araki’s anime style. With very striking poses that can bend and stretch as you’ve never seen before, the way Hirohiko Araki creates dynamic poses is amazing.
This art style is also very distinct by the way the artist uses strong and vibrant colors, as well as the use of different patterns on the character (and clothing) design!
If you enjoy creating dynamic and exaggerated character designs, you’ll love this art style.
You can find Hirohiko Araki’s Art style on:
- Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Cool Shock B.T.
- Gorgeous Irene
And many others!
Studio Ghibli Anime Style by Hayao Miyazaki
I might have saved the best for last, as Studio Ghibli’s anime art style is one of my favorites (as well as many other artists!).
Hayao Miyazaki has a very unique and enchanting art style that focus on attention to detail, textures, and beautiful colors. Also, the characters created in this style tend to have very expressive eyes with clean and soft facial features.
If you’re an artist that wants to create highly detailed backgrounds and expressive characters, this is the art style for you.
You’ll also love this if you enjoy working with vibrant and bold color palettes, and want to focus on storytelling through still images.
Some examples of Studio Ghibli’s Anime style can be found on:
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Howl’s Moving Castle
- Spirited Away
- Princess Mononoke
And that’s it, these are all the amazing anime art styles I have to show you today!
If you’re looking to expand your skills and find your own unique art style, try experimenting with some of these. The important part is to practice your artwork and have fun with it!
For more art styles, check out my article on the 17 Different Types Of Drawing Styles Every Artist Should Try.
And to get right into drawing, check out my Online Drawing Courses here!
Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!
Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!