[Comparisons via Zekurosu]

Previously, Kotaku published an explainer on how anime art has changed in Japan over the decades. Now, let’s have a look at how some manga characters have evolved.

It’s only natural for characters to evolve, and it happens any and everywhere. Heck, just compare Steamboat Willie and Mickey Mouse.

What is interesting is to see how these changes reflect not only artists’ trends of the time, but also show how the artist matures and comes into his or her own as a creator. You can see them developing their signature characters and style.

A few years ago, several wonderful comparisons appeared on Japanese video site NicoNico Douga, which were uploaded by YouTuber Zekurosu. Many of the manga are from the 1980s and 1990s. You might have seen these contrasts. You might not have. I don’t know! Below are juxtapositions that show how characters, both well-known and not so well-known, have developed.

You might like the earlier incarnations better. You might like the later ones. Have a look and judge for yourself. Note that the old images are on the left, and the newer renditions are on the right.

[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]
[Comparison via Zekurosu]

You can watch the comparison clips on YouTuber Zekurosu’s channel.

This article was originally published on November 25, 2014.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.