Shonen manga and anime are aimed at boys under 18, with a focus on adventure, action and fighting. Because of this, Shonen typically has a male protagonist, but that does not mean Shonen is short of fantastic female protagonists, antagonists, love interests and supportive characters.
JustSketchMe gives us a good idea of where to start when drawing a Shonen female. Load up their “Stylized Female” under the ‘Anime’ section, and get started with posing. Once you have your pose, we can start to think about our character. Is your character a school girl, a trained fighter or a damsel in distress?
Shonen contains its fair share of fan service. Because of this, females are often drawn with curvy, exaggerated bodies. My character’s outfit was chosen to highlight her physical features - tight clothing that shows a lot of skin. Her boots were inspired by the Dragon ball anime characters.
Females are generally good looking, with simple faces. Use your character’s hair and facial features to set her apart. Like most manga, facial proportions are unrealistic and cartoony. Mouths and noses are small, with very little detail, and eyes are large, bold, and glistening. Use exaggerated facial expressions to convey emotion.
A character’s hair can be long or short, or move like it has a life of its own. Their hair is typically spiky, dramatic and unrealistically voluminous. Try to keep the line work simple - don’t add too many individual hair lines. Your character’s hair (and eyes) does not need to be a realistic colour - I went for bright blue and shocking pink!
When drawing your character, be mindful of your line quality and colour tones. The lines should be sharp and thin, and straight to the point. Try to use less detail and lines. We are trying to create a distinct character with as few lines as possible!
- Alida Loubser