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All Out!! is a sports series about high school rugby. The teams are large, so there are many characters. I understand that the mangaka and character designers want to make each character stand out. They do a great job here. But a few stand out much more than others, due to what I think of as fantasy hair:

4 All Out!! characters with "fantasy hair"

  • (ULC) Oharanu Etsugo -- "antennae hair", two small hair groups sticking straight up
  • (URC) Ebumi Masaru -- "anchor hair", two somewhat bigger hair groups sticking left and right from bottom of his head. He also stands out due to eyes often wild and almost constantly angry expressions.
  • (LLC) Ise Natsuki -- "horn-hair", they even manage to stick out of his helmet! (Rugby helmets have holes; his holes must be magically located.)
  • (LRC) Sekisan Takuya -- "ribbon hair", curly ribbons of hair at various angles

Are any of these styles something a Japanese teenager would actually wear? (Are some of them even possible?) Except for someone from another team commenting that Sekisan has really wild hair, these fantasy styles are treated as normal looks. The styles definitely help the characters stand out. With three tall blonds on the team, it is nice that two of them have unique appearances. Is blond hair fairly common among Japanese teenagers?

The strange thing is that the series is reality based; no-one has a beyond-human-capability ability or genius move. For example, another series might have a character grow up on a dairy farm, and now he has an unbreakable grip on the rugby ball due to 10 years of milking a dozen cows twice daily by hand. In All Out!! there is nothing but tough training and a great coach.

It is just ... it's just ... the fantasy hair, man.

related: Name of hair style with one strand sticking upwards and Is there a reason for the "Hair of Death" hair style?

  • You don't have to do custom links in questions; just post the full link and it'll prettify by itself. – Gallifreyan Feb 26 '17 at 17:13
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    @Gallifreyan Thank you. I approved your edit, and the two site-specific links transformed to their full question titles. Cool! – RichF Feb 26 '17 at 17:19
  • It's one of those things SE should advertise more, IMHO – Gallifreyan Feb 26 '17 at 17:42
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This is nothing unique to all-out. This is infact so common in Anime that Tv Tropes has a page dedicated to it.

You've been warned, TV Tropes link - Anime Hair. Take a look at the image of Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh.
Yep, Thats his real hair

Find below the excerpt from TV Tropes

Usually, the most important characters of the story will have wild spikes or a cool-looking hairdo in order to stand out among the crowd. It also helps to create a distinctive silhouette that will stand out in branding, media, and merchandise. It may be one or more different colors that don't appear naturally in real humans (blue is a popular choice). Sometimes the hair appears semi-transparent, with the character's eyes visible through it, although this presumably represents hair fine enough that it isn't completely obscuring, rather than anything outré. Anime Hair is very common among protagonists of anime/manga for the Shōnen (Demographic), although the trend seems to be headed to more plausible styles: compare Son Goku's hair to Ichigo's.

  • Thanks for the link to the TV Tropes article. It calls out over 30 anime hair styles, including hair antennae. I am aware that wild hairstyles are common in anime, but I think it rare in reality based shows. Consider just sports genre -- Is there anyone in Haikyuu!! whose hair is as unrealistic as the 4 I mentioned? Days!? Free? Cheer Boys? Heck, in Yowamushi Pedal, Midousuji Akira's hair is the most normal thing about him. Thus I think All Out!! stands out in this regard. – RichF Feb 26 '17 at 16:30
  • @RichF This is more of a Confirmation Bias. From the Sports Genre, I can immediately think of Kuroko No Basuke or Eyeshield 21. "Not that uncommon" doesn't mean that it is universal. As you correctly notice that sometimes authors try to keep the characters realistic and avoid the hair styles/colors. Also if you read the quoted part from TV tropes, it does mention, "although the trend seems to be headed to more plausible styles: compare Son Goku's hair to Ichigo's". – Arcane Feb 26 '17 at 16:42
  • Not so much confirmation bias as those are the sports anime I've watched (oh, also Yuri on Ice). Checking, I can't see that any Kuroko No Basuke characters have unrealistic hair. The only one that stood out to me was a completely bald teenager. I agree with your major point (+1d) that wild hair is common in anime. My point is that All Out!! is unusual, mixing a very realistic scenario with a few unrealistic hairstyles. Also, its two MCs, Gion and Iwashimizu, have relatively normal hair. – RichF Feb 26 '17 at 17:08
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I would wager that these hair styles have no basis in reality, and are meant to give the viewer an opportunity to remember these characters as they factor into this anime. In that vein, I'd say it's worked; you can identify each of these characters by name, and they stick out in your mind.

  • I appreciate the reply. As far as character names go, I cheated. 🦊 I'm not good with Japanese names. Heck, I'm not even that good in remembering English names. You are right, though, that the styles help me remember who is whom. – RichF Feb 25 '17 at 23:23

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