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I've always wondered why a lot of anime characters, or at least some, have pointed chins. One example:

Clannad enter image description here

I'm wondering why they have such pointy chins. Is it to make them cute or something? Or is it because that's the easiest way to draw them? And if possible, I would like to know when it started, or who was the first to start including it in their work.

  • You seem to have two questions in one. The second one is most likely not going to be valid here because it's opinion based, and really what does it matter what specific technique is used to draw pointy chins? As for your first question, I don't think the answer would be surprising. Probably something to do with low artistic skill required to draw the same face basically. I mean look at your illustration: if you can tell the characters apart only from their face (remove all color and haircuts), that would be something interesting. – Hakase Nov 21 '16 at 16:20
  • I would assume that for a series with many episodes, it would be simply that; because it makes it easier to draw consistently. I mean, you don't want to have character A to have a pointy chin at one moment, a round chin the next, and a square jaw line the next. Also, it could make it so much easier to work on different viewing angles. It could also be due to how the brain determines beauty via facial symmetry......just a wild guess so not going to post as answer, late for classes lol. – NZKshatriya Nov 21 '16 at 16:39
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The answer is because that is what is deemed beautiful by Japanese. This article posted in Wisconsin Madison University tells us what is deemed beautiful by the Japanese in general.

First, the face. The face obviously has many important features: lips, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. For the Japanese, every facial feature has to be small, except the eyes. They admire eyes that are big, and have what they call “double eyelids”. “Double eyelids” are eyelids that have the crease. As you may have noticed, Asians do not have that eyelid crease, and their eyes are very small. They even have a feature to make the eyes bigger when they take pictures in photo booths (Puriga-プリ画), which is a very popular activity to do with friends. Also, because my eyes are blue, I’ve noticed they admire eyes that aren’t dark brown. You may have also noticed that the majority of girls (even guys) are overly petite and skinny. They admire a small, oval face because it appears more feminine and fragile.

Other sites, (thejapanguy.com and yumitolesson.com) also agrees that the Japanese deemed small face to be beautiful, although they didn't explain it as good as the one I quoted above.

A Google search on plastic surgery shows that many of the surgeries are done to make the chin more pointy. The following is a small example of the said surgery's before and after.

plastic surgery in Japan

This is true not only in Japan, but also in the East Asia in general. Koreans also like to have the plastic surgery to make their chin more pointy.

plastic surgery in Korea

It is not clear who is the first to do this. The oldest anime that I can find that features pointy chin is Akazuki Chacha.

Akazuki Chacha pointy chin

However, it should be noted that they use pointy chin only on certain angles and scenes. In other scene, the same character is shown with round face. What is clear is that when they want to show a bishoujo (pretty girl) or a bishonen (pretty boy) then they will draw her/him with a pointy chin. Once again, because that is what is deemed beautiful by Japanese standard. Had anime came from the Kayan tribe of Thailand, then the girls might have long necks instead.

Kayan Tribe Thailand

  • Don't the pointy chins suppose to make people look younger or something? It's really popular in Korea, I know that... – Akira Mahisaseru Nov 30 '16 at 5:39

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