Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character

If you're working on drawing your own manga or even if you just want to write a fanfic for your favorite anime or manga, you'll want to make a character who is interesting and makes people want to read your story (without becoming a Mary Sue!). WikiHow can show you how to write interesting characters, as well as teach you how to draw them! Get started with Step 1 below or check out the Table of Contents above for more specific help.





Finding Their Personality


Creating Compelling Stories


Drawing Your Character


Improving Your Skills


Sample Character Descriptions






Related Articles


Finding Their Personality

Decide their blood type. Blood type is seen as a common indicator of personality in Japan. You can use this as a way to help decide what you want your character to be like. The blood types and associated personalities are:

O - confident, optimistic and strong-willed but also self-centered and unpredictable

A - creative, reserved and responsible but also stubborn and tense

B - active and passionate but also selfish and irresponsible

AB - adaptable and rational but also forgetful and critical

Decide their birth date. The Western Zodiac or the Eastern Zodiac can both also be used to determine personality. You can use this to choose your character's age or birth year and their birth date.

Use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. If you really want to get an idea for a fully formed personality, you can check out the Myers-Briggs personality test. These personality types, based in the study of psychology, can be helpful in fleshing out your character's personality.

Use a personality balancer. You'll also want to be sure to balance your character's personality. A balance of positive and negative traits is necessary to create a compelling, believable character. Count up your character's negative traits and positive traits and try to make the negative traits slightly outnumber the positive ones. By the end of your story, your character will have developed to overcome a few of the negative traits. Example negative traits include:


Often lies

Insults others

Uncaring about their impact on others

Focused on only their own goals

Has poor impulse control

Frequently resentful, even of small or accidental slights

Is usually reckless or impulsive

Give them a great name. Many people also believe that someone's name can affect their personality. Studies have show that having an uncommon name can lead to bullying and the personality issues that result from being bullied. There are also people who believe a name can determine your whole personality (called Kabalarians). This, whether true or not, can help you decide on a name.

Try to avoid using really unusual names in an otherwise realistic setting. This makes your character seem out of place.

Creating Compelling Stories

Identify your character's ending goal. Where do you want your character to end up? What do you want their lesson to be over the course of your story? What do you want them to have learned or changed? You can use your character's ending state to figure out how to portray them in the beginning.

Identify your character's beginning. Once you know where they end up, decide where you want them to start out. This should follow logically from where they end. For example, if you want a character that learns to appreciate others, you want to show them not appreciating the people that care about them in the beginning. You probably also want to show why they think they don't need people.

Decide how they get there. Think about where you want them to start and end. Now, what would lead someone to change like that? This is where you can get some great ideas for your story, because the things that happen to your character to make them change makes for great plot or subplot.

Avoid the clichés. Their girlfriend gets killed. They were orphaned at a young age. They grew up the perpetual new kid. These are all clichés meant to jump start your character's development. And because they're clichès. They tend to be boring. Try to avoid them. Work to be original in your character development. This will make people more interested in your character and want to follow your story.

Drawing Your Character

Choose a style. Different types of anime and manga are often drawn in different styles. You can just use your own natural style or you can emulate the look of classic artists for different genres. Shojo and shonen anime and manga are the two most common genres.

Draw the character. Keep in mind that cute characters usually have wide eyes while cool characters have small, slanted eyes. Check out these resources on how to draw your character:

Here's how to draw an anime character


An anime boy

An anime face

Anime eyes

Here's how to draw a manga character


A manga head

A manga girl

Draw a Manga Girl Face

Manga hair

Take design cues from your character's personality and history. Add clothing and accessories. Let your choices help reflect your character's personality and history. For example, if you have a female character who tends to be very practical, put her in flats rather than heels. If you want to hint at a character's past, think of things that they might wear or keep that are significant to them. For example, in

The Legend of Korra

, Mako wears his father's scarf at all times. Be creative!

Improving Your Skills

Study human anatomy. Making characters that look good starts with a basic knowledge of human anatomy. You don't want to make your character look like they have too many muscles or too few, too many joints or too few, a badly disproportionate body, etc. Get a good anatomy book and learn about where our bones and muscles are, how they bend, and where they line up.

Draw from life. Drawing a manga character requires a basic knowledge of the human body. The more you can draw humans,the easier would it be to draw a manga. So start with drawing (for practice) your friends and even yourself sitting in front of a mirror.

Practice different, dynamic poses. To draw poses for your character, you can take images of yourself doing those poses and then try to draw your character in those poses with the help of the images. You can also use helpful websites like for reference.

Try to keep anatomy in mind when you do these poses. You don't want your character to end up looking like a Rob Liefeld drawing.

Keep practicing! The more you practice, the better you'll get.

Sample Character Descriptions

Doc:Male Anime Character Description,Female Anime Character Description,Villain Anime Character Description


If the character seems too bland, that's okay! Get some peer critique from peers or people of the same interest, or if you're creating a character for a published work, get feedback from your audience.

Check out these blood types and meanings:

O - Happy, open, caring, and energetic

A - Chilled out, cool, caring, positive attitude

B - Chilled out, cool, negative attitude with an occasional glimpse of happiness

AB - Hyper, funny, positive thinking, energetic, cool, overall great person!

Try drawing your character again and again to see what works and what doesn’t; the more familiar you are with the character, the easier it will be to draw him or her in different situations. This will also improve your drawings over time, so don't worry if it looks awkward or strange in the beginning. Also,try to draw your character from different angles.

When designing a character's physical attributes and features, try and find out what physical traits people tend to have with certain personalities so you can have an easier time designing their physical traits. This will make your character's personality correspond better with what they look like physically.

Try to practice drawing as much as you can. It will finally pay off later when you get all those compliments about your drawing.

If you are having difficulty in getting new ideas, think of the animes/manga you have watched and observe the characters. Then combine or choose from their abilities or appearance.

Observe the people around you. You can even base your character on them. Or try basing them off yourself!

You can make your character more unique by making marks or scars on them.

When designing what your character looks like, don't go overboard with the special effects. You don't want 3 cool belts, 5 cute bracelets, and 8 weapons! Just go easy on it. Remember, a little individuality can go a long way!

Shading can make your character more nice. Shading of shadows must be done so as to give the direction of light where it is coming from.Shade below the hair, between the hairs,below the neck and in the clothes.Try shading lightly in the inner part and darkly in the outer part. Do not go overboard with shading too.

Here's how to make an eye - Draw a circle and then make two curved lines - one in the above covering a small portion of the circle and the other below similarly. Add and a small dark circle in the middle of the circle and draw one or two bubbles in the bigger circle. Make small lines coming out of the smaller circle.The lines should be almost half of the distance between the smaller and the larger circle. Shade and then it should be finished.

Make your character related to you, or maybe have the same interest as you.

Never stop drawing. If you stop your drawings will never be good / it will not improve.

Make sure your character fits in the story. People who don't fit in the story won't be called "special".

If you are really interested, send out your work to publishers. They might take notice!


Sketch your lines lightly or you won't be able to erase them.

Be careful not to plagiarize another anime or manga.

Try not to make your character's eyes too big.

Don't make their weapons huge! You don't want your character to be carrying around five feet wide swords all the time! Make it simple. Just make it big enough so they can defend themselves well.

Escaping into a fantasy world tends to drive us away from real social interaction. If you decide to get invested in the anime or manga world, try to join a club to make sure you keep having interactions in the real world.

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See also

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Create and Develop an Original Character

Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

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Create a Fictional Character from Scratch

Create a Credible Villain in Fiction

Create a Highly Detailed Character Profile

Describe a Character's Looks Well

Write a Character Sketch

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