Japanese Twitter artist produces handy reference guide covering characters with younger or older brothers or sisters.
Japanese anime artists and manga illustrators tend to be incredibly meticulous in how they present their characters. Aside from having the right costuming, a character needs expressive body language to quickly and effectively communicate their personality to the audience.
To that end, Japanese Twitter user @Miyajimanouen has created a comparison of five different anime-style girls, all with different family structures. Since one’s relationship with siblings, or the lack thereof, is one of the most influential parts of growing up, @Miyajimanouen feels that each of these five young ladies would sit on the floor (as is common in Japanese homes) in a different way.
宮島農園 (@Miyajimanouen) December 27, 2016
At the top left is the girl with a younger brother. Confident and self-possessed, she crosses her legs in a regal manner that suggests just a touch of haughtiness stemming from her position atop the pecking order of the children of the house.
Next to her, at the upper right, is the girl who’s an only child. Like the big sister with a little brother, the only child also has no qualms about taking up a lot of the floor space, though in her case it’s simply because she has fewer family members she has to share it with. This lack of self-consciousness is further reflected in how she’s slipped off her socks for maximum relaxation.
Slouching at the bottom left is the girl with an older brother. Having endured years of teasing from her big brother, according to @Miyajimanouen, she’s harboring a deep-seated grudge against him, and this resentment is manifesting itself in the curve of her back.
Finally, we come to the girl with a younger sister (bottom center) and the girl with an older sister (bottom right). @Miyajimanouen draws the two similarly, with both showing consideration by refraining from stretching their legs out too far. The older sister is just a little more prim and proper, clasping her hands to lightly draw in her knees, while the younger sister takes things just a bit easier by extending her hands down to her ankles.
Considering that most families in Japan, and by extension in anime and manga, have two or fewer children, @Miyajimanouen has actually put together a pretty comprehensive reference sheet here, which should give other artists a nice running start on their creations. Provided, of course, that they don’t get bogged down in the inevitable debate about which girl is the cutest.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he votes for Only Child.