Time marches on. Things change. So do styles. But how did Japan's animation and manga styles evolve?

Twitter user @mayousa_desuga uploaded the above comparison between two children's book versions of The Little Mermaid: one published in 1985 and the other published this year.


The story is the same, but the art style is... different. It makes for a fascinating comparison.

As mentioned above, the publishers are different, but both books are aimed directly at Japanese children. The newer books are being published this year and feature art by manga artists and animators, most notably Futago Kamikita of Pretty Cure fame. Pretty Cure is infamous for big-eyed characters.

It's worth noting that these days not all Japanese anime or manga looks like this. However, you can perhaps see how these children's books reflect a common style found in this generation.


Many commenters on 2ch, Japan's largest web forum, seemed to prefer the older style. One wrote that nowadays the eyes of characters are overdone. One 2ch user thought that the fairy tale characters looked like nightclub hostesses. Others even thought that the Snow White cover looked liked an adult video or an erotic anime! "Those dwarves are creepy," chimed in another.

Another commenter posted this old chestnut that shows the country's stylistic evolution:

"The olden days art was better," wrote one 2ch user. "Why are they doing this style of anime images? Probably because this is the only style they can draw."

Another asked, "Don't you wonder what kind of drawings will be popular thirty years from now?" At this rate, one shudders to think.

最近の絵本がヤバイwwwwwwwwww進化しすぎwwwwwwwwwww [2ch]

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