How to draw your own manga or cartoon character

How to draw your own manga or cartoon character
How to draw your own manga or cartoon character

Have you decided to draw your own manga or do you want to write a fanfiction relating to your favorite animated film or manga? Either way, you'll need to create a character that is interesting enough to make people want to read you, without falling into clichés and giving her the features of a Mary Sue! wikiHow aims to explain how to create interesting characters, before drawing them!


Part 1 of 5: Developing the personalities of your characters

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 1

Step 1. Define your character's blood type

In Japan, blood type is considered to be a relatively reliable indicator of a person's personality. You are free to use this technique to guide your choice of character for your character. Traits associated with different blood groups are as follows.

  • O - Resolute, optimistic, endowed with a strong will, but also egocentric and unpredictable.
  • A - Creative, reserved, responsible, but also stubborn and naturally tense.
  • B - Dynamic, passionate, but also selfish and irresponsible.
  • AB - Rational, able to adapt easily, but also dizzy and critical.
Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 2

Step 2. Establish your character's date of birth

To give it a specific age, year or date of birth, it is also possible to use the signs of the Zodiac. Western or Eastern astrology can both offer you immense sources of inspiration.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 3

Step 3. Use the Myers-Briggs Psychological Type Indicator

This personality test could provide you with the specific character traits that match your idea of ​​your character. The different personality types described have been defined from psychological studies. This will undoubtedly help you to give thickness, a certain reality to your characters.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 4

Step 4. Remember to balance your character's personality

For the latter to be credible and convincing, it is necessary that it possesses positive traits, but also negative traits. List your character's qualities and flaws and make the negative traits outnumber the positive ones slightly. You will just have to choose the challenges that your character will have to overcome, to have the opportunity to fight (and overcome) some of these flaws. Here are some examples of negative traits.

  • Your character is manipulative.
  • He tends to lie.
  • He regularly allows himself to insult his fellows.
  • He doesn't care what his actions might mean for other people.
  • He has only his goals in mind and is convinced that "the end justifies the means." "
  • He does not control his impulses.
  • He is often resentful, even for trivial or accidental things.
  • He is usually hasty and reckless.
Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 5

Step 5. Think about your character's name

Many people believe that a person's name can influence their personality. Indeed, some studies have shown that people with an unusual name are more frequently victims of harassment or brutality than others. We can easily imagine the psychological disorders that can result from such a state of affairs. Followers of Kabbalah also believe that a person's name determines their entire personality. Whether this is all true or not, it is always possible to seek inspiration on this path regarding your character name.

Avoid giving your character a name that is too unusual in the event that the latter evolves in a realistic environment. It might give the impression that he is out of place

Part 2 of 5: Imagine compelling stories

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 6

Step 1. Determine your character's state of mind at the end of the story

How do you want it to end for him? What lessons has he learned from recent events? What will he have learned, what will he have changed? It can be helpful to portray your character at the end of the story, so you know how to define it at the beginning.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 7

Step 2. Determine your character's state of mind at the start of the story

Once you have decided on how it ends, you can logically deduce how it should begin. For example, you could talk about a character who learns to consider and appreciate the people around him. In this case, it will be more interesting that this one ignores the people for whom it matters at the beginning of the story. In addition, the reader will no doubt be curious to discover the reasons which lead him to think that he does not need anyone.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 8

Step 3. Draw the path that your character will have to take to move from one state of mind to another

You have decided on the beginning and the end. It is now a question of knowing what could push someone to change in this direction? Let your imagination run wild. These events, which will change your character, will undoubtedly give rise to intense and inextricable intrigues or even simple and touching stories.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 9

Step 4. Avoid clichés

Your character's girlfriend has been murdered. He lost his parents when he was a child. He had to raise all his brothers and sisters on his own. Your character's progress will be influenced and intensified by their snapshots. But, since these are clichés, they will make your story bland and conventional. So try to avoid this kind of pitfalls. Develop the character of your character in an original way and thus make sure that your readers cannot live without him or your story!

Part 3 of 5: draw a character

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 10

Step 1. Define your style

The line of the drawing often differs depending on the type of manga or animated film you are dealing with. It is up to you to define your own style of drawing or to draw inspiration from pre-existing works within a particular genre. The two most common genres turn out to be shojo and shonen manga.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 11

Step 2. Draw your character

From experience, you probably already know that the archetype of the cute character has large eyes, while the classier character has slanting eyes. Use the following pages for inspiration to draw your own character.

  • Here's how to draw a cartoon character.

    • A young boy
    • The face of a cartoon character
    • The eyes of a character
  • Here's how to draw a manga character.

    • Your character's body
    • A manga head
    • A young woman
    • Your character's hair
Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 12

Step 3. Insert outside clues relating to your character's personality and history

These can be clothes or accessories. Make these clues reflect the character or background of the character. In the example of a female character with a particularly practical mind, it would be more likely to make her put on shoes with flat soles, rather than stilettos. Significant objects that your characters will carry or keep with them will be good ways to draw attention to a particular event from the past. For example, in “The Legend of Korra,” Mako never parted with his mother's scarf. It's up to you to be creative!

Part 4 of 5: Improving your skills

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 13

Step 1. Engage in the study of human anatomy

You will need a basic knowledge of human anatomy if you want to draw characters correctly. Indeed, their appearance would suffer from an excess or a lack of muscle, an excess or a lack of joints, an obvious disproportion of the body, etc. Get a good anatomy book and study the locations of bones and muscles, how they articulate or stretch.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 14

Step 2. Take inspiration from reality

Before you can draw a manga character, you need to have some knowledge of the human body. The more you know how to draw the real, the easier it will be to draw manga. As a practice, you can start by drawing your friends, but also take your own image as a model using a mirror.

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 15

Step 3. Practice drawing different dynamic positions

To keep things simple, take photos of yourself in the positions you want. Then draw your character in the same positions using the pictures. Websites such as PoseManiacs can also be very useful.

In order to avoid any comparison of your characters with those of Rob Liefeld, try to keep anatomical reality in mind at all times

Make Your Own Anime or Manga Character Step 16

Step 4. Keep practicing

The more you draw, the better you will become.

Part 5 of 5: Some examples of character descriptions

Description of a male cartoon character

Description of a female cartoon character

Description of the villain character for a cartoon


  • To figure out what works well with your character or not, you will have no other means than to practice drawing it over and over again. The more familiar you are with this one, the easier it will be to draw it in any situation. The accumulation of experience will also allow you to improve your trait. So don't worry if your designs look awkward or weird when you get started. Feel free to draw your character from different angles.
  • Don't panic if you feel like your character is unattractive! Instead, ask people who are interested in this topic or even your audience for advice if your work is to be published.
  • When deciding how you want your character to look, limit the frills. Nobody walks around with 3 belts, 5 bracelets, each more unique than the other and even less with a whole artillery! Needless to add, a simple well-crafted detail can add depth to your character.
  • The following traits are often associated with different blood groups.

    • O - Cheerful open, attentive and energetic
    • A - Relaxed, detached, attentive and with a positive attitude
    • B - Relaxed, detached, endowed with a cynical spirit where sometimes reflections of joie de vivre appear
    • AB - Effervescent, funny, with a positive, dynamic, relaxed spirit, in short, a good person!
  • Add shadows to enhance your character's drawing. To determine where the light is coming from, you will need to shade your design. Add shadows under the hair, between the hair, under the head and in clothes. These shadows should be very light on the side the light is coming from and darker on the opposite side. Again, don't overdo it.

    • Here are some tips for drawing an eye:

      start by drawing a circle. Then draw two curves above and below this circle - they should cut it slightly on either side. Add a small black circle in the center of the circle, before drawing one or two small bubbles inside the latter. You can then draw small lines stretching outwards from the small central black circle. These lines should be about half the radius of the largest circle. All you have to do is set the shadows and you're done.

  • Make your character even more unique by imagining specific marks or scars.
  • If you're running out of new ideas, think back to the manga or cartoons you've seen. Take a good look at the characters, before adapting some of their talents or some of their peculiarities.
  • Observe the people around you. Do not hesitate to be inspired by it to create new characters!
  • Practice drawing as much as possible. You will see the value of it when you receive your first compliments about your work.


  • Be careful not to plagiarize any existing manga or cartoon; it is prohibited by law.
  • The lines of your sketches must remain very light, otherwise you will not be able to erase them later.
  • Don't overload your characters with oversized weapons! They don't need to carry a pair of two-meter-long sabers all day! Keep it simple. Their weapons must be of a size that allows them to defend themselves effectively.
  • Also, prevent the characters' eyes from taking up half of their face.
  • Fantastic universes tend to distract readers and writers from normal social relationships. If you decide to participate in the development of the manga or cartoon world, join a club. This will allow you to meet and interact with a host of interesting people.

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