What qualities must a character possess in order to be deemed kawaii?
It can be very difficult to determine what is considered kawaii and what is not. For instance, some people experience this compassion when they see a baby, while others do not. However, when it comes to illustrations, there are particular elements that instantly identify a figure as kawaii.
One of them is the look on the face. There are guidelines for drawing eyeballs, such as using dots or tiny, sparsely filled black circles as examples. Another one is the positioning of the mouth, nose, and eyes. Our character will appear more vulnerable the nearer they are to a horizontal line that crosses their faces. Our perception of what we find charming is directly related to the concepts of horizontality and centralization, both of which are present in newborns or pups.
Early in life, the eyes and nose are often situated more in the middle of our faces, with the eyes having a bigger percentage. They split and change to the dimensions of an adult face as we mature. Because of this, we get the desired kawaii effect when we see a character with large eyes, a small mouth, and everything else placed closely together.
A very simple color scheme, the utilization of few resources, and omission of unnecessary elements are all examples of simplicity. It involves saying a lot with a little. Sometimes, despite lacking fingers or even a nose, our characters' gazes and poses allow us to convey what is happening to them.
The last piece of advice is that a character will evoke more tenderness if they appear little, plump, and compact. That always works.
The subtext of “Cute” Culture
Anyone who has ever lived in a city understands how annoying constantly present construction sites can be (and sometimes, a danger). Tokyo has come up with a solution to make the locations a little more inviting, and because Japan is Japan, the solution is adorable: cartoon road signs. While elephants and dolphins adorn the road barriers, Hello Kitty figurines hang from the bars to warn pedestrians away from holes.
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