Anime Manga

Manga Characters Evolving 6th Finger; Simpsons Still Have Just Four


Via ANN, Via Manganews, Via,

Apparently, manga characters are evolving a 6th finger. No one really knows why. As Manganews has translated:


Via ANN, Via Manganews, Via,

Apparently, manga characters are evolving a 6th finger. No one really knows why. As Manganews has translated:

In any case, fingers are a pretty famous topic in manga, but 2004 saw some strange occurrences: one after another, titles from famous shonen magazines started showing people with 6 fingers.

I thought that originally, cartoon characters had four fingers because they were easier to draw. Think about it. If you’re doing 24 or so frames per second, and you have 1 less finger to draw per hand, that’s 63,360 less fingers to draw per character per 22 minute anime episode! Sure, fingers aren’t the hardest thing to draw, but they add up!

I wonder if this is just a wacky coincidence, or if these manga artists are seriously trying to change the way that manga are universally drawn. Do they really need to make things harder for themselves? Though it’s weird seeing six fingers on a manga character, it’s probably just as strange seeing 4 fingers on an American cartoon character. I’ve just sort of been desensitized to it.

6 replies on “Manga Characters Evolving 6th Finger; Simpsons Still Have Just Four”

Wow, that’s really freaky. Simpsons is just one show, but were talking multiple popular mangas like Air Gear and Death Note. I hope they don’t start making everyone have six fingers. A anime girl with 6 fingers is not attractive >_

I think most cartoon characters generally have four fingers, not just the Simpsons. Also, the 6 fingers don’t weird me out as much as the fact that the guy in the picture is holding poo on a stick! Now that’s a disturbing trend…

MG… i think that it is right ONLY if the manga is about funny things… the serious one are (to me) more “realistic” or naturals… six finger is NOT natural.. XD

Well, people can have six fingers IRL — hey, they can even be born with three arms. I don’t know how it works when the sixth finger grows out though, as most people have them cut off as babies, don’t they?

Western cartoon characters from Mickey mouse to Simpsons have 4 fingers (actually a thumb + three fingers if you want to be exact) for a good reason.

It is not like how some people say, done to “save time” creating these time consuming animations. I disagree. To “save time” all they have to do is draw on a smaller scale.

The true reason is that when creating animation, especially with older techniques first used for animations, when the drawings are put into motion, the characters look as if they have extra finger. To avoid this effect on screen, makers of mickey mouse animations simply did without the pinky.

Also keep in mind, animal paws have four sections – look at paw prints of cats and dogs. Thus, it further made sense to have four fingers for mickey, goofy, tom and jerry, etc.

Now days, cartoon characters are no longer based on animals like mickey, goofy, tom and jerry but based on people-like characters like simpsons. But the tradition stuck. Therefore, people based characters have four fingers as well in America.

Since Western ways heavily influenced Japan during the early modern times, many of Japan’s early animations had characters with same number of fingers (four, not five).

However, with better technology, use of computers and birth of new manga style which does away with tradition, Japanese artists are drawing characters now with five fingers. Also, keep in mind that “most” of Japanese characters are human based, not animal so it further makes sense to use five fingers not four.

Now, I do understand that there is proof that some manga drawings have characters with six fingers. But do understand that people make mistakes. It should be seen as an overlook on the artists’ part.
Not a new style.

-Art instructor DD

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