The history of “Chibi” culture in Anime and Manga

The history of “Chibi” culture in Anime and Manga


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The term “chibi” is derived from the Japanese word for “small” or “short” and refers to a specific style of drawing characters in anime and manga. The chibi style is characterized by small, child-like characters with oversized heads and eyes and is often used to depict cuteness and endearment.

The origins of chibi can be traced back to the early days of anime and manga. In the 1970s, anime, and manga artists began experimenting with different styles, including the use of super-deformed characters, which later became known as chibi. The style quickly gained popularity; by the 1980s, it had become a staple in anime and manga.

One of the earliest examples of chibi in anime is the character Doraemon, who first appeared in the manga series of the same name in 1969. Doraemon is a robotic cat from the future who is sent back in time to help a young boy named Nobita Nobi. The character’s small and cute appearance, with his big head and eyes, was a significant factor in the popularity of the series and helped establish the chibi style.

In the 1980s, chibi became increasingly popular in anime and manga. Series such as “Dragon Ball” and “Saint Seiya” featured chibi characters in comedic side stories. In contrast, anime such as “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” featured chibi characters as main characters. This helped to establish the chibi style as a mainstream aspect of anime and manga culture.

The chibi style became even more popular in the 1990s, with series such as Pokemon and “Yu-Gi-Oh!” featuring chibi characters. Chibi characters were also featured in popular anime such as “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, and in video games such as “Kingdom Hearts”.

Today, the chibi style remains popular in anime and manga culture. It is often used in anime and manga to depict cuteness and endearment and to add a comedic or lighthearted touch to a story. Chibi characters can be found in a wide range of anime and manga, from shounen and shojo series to action and horror.

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