The Fascinating World of Anime Tattoos - InkedWith

The Fascinating World of Anime Tattoos


Anime tattoos have surged in popularity in recent years, thanks to the growing global appreciation for Japanese animation. These tattoos are not just a tribute to favorite characters or series, but often carry profound meanings and personal significance for the bearers. This article explores the captivating world of anime tattoos, including their history, styles, and why they've become a phenomenal trend in the tattoo industry.

A Brief History of Anime Tattoos

Anime tattoos are a fairly recent development in the vast history of tattoo art. The trend didn't gain momentum until the 70s and 80s when Japanese anime began to permeate Western culture. As animation technology improved over the years, anime became more intricate and sophisticated, leading to a corresponding evolution in anime tattoo designs.

The Uniqueness of Anime Tattoos

Anime tattoos are derived from animated series and films, commonly known as 'anime.' Anime is a natural progression of Manga, the Japanese cartoon art form. These tattoos are characterized by bold lines, flat colours, and inventive ways of creating depth perception through sharp shading and detailed lines.

One of the defining features of an anime tattoo is its representation of a character or scene from a favorite anime series. These tattoos are not just a reflection of an individual's enthusiasm for anime, but they can also symbolize personal values and experiences.

The Anime Tattoo Styles

New School Style

The New School tattoo style is renowned for its bold, vibrant colors, and use of detailing and shading to create depth and a 3D effect. This style is ideally suited for anime tattoos due to the similar aesthetic shared by anime cartoons and New School tattoos.

Illustrative Style

The Illustrative tattoo style works well with almost any cartoon-type design. It gives tattoos a 2-dimensional appearance, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an anime tattoo that's true to the original manga style.

Japanese Style

Japanese style tattoos are known for their sharp angles and exaggerated features. This style is particularly suited to anime series in the horror genre due to the dramatic effects such designs can create.

The Rise of Anime Tattoos

Anime tattoos have seen an exponential rise in popularity. This surge is largely attributed to the growing number of anime and manga fans worldwide. These tattoos have become so popular that anime tattoo enthusiasts even have their own name - 'Otattoo,' a wordplay combining 'Otaku' (a term for anime lovers) and 'tattoo.'

The Anime Tattoo Controversy

Anime tattoos have not been without controversy. There was an infamous incident where the news broke out that anime tattoos were declared illegal due to Intellectual Property violations. The news turned out to be an April Fool's Day prank, but it did create a significant stir in the anime community.

Celebrities and Anime Tattoos

Anime tattoos have found fans in celebrities too. Pop singer Ariana Grande made headlines in 2018 with her Chihiro tattoo from the famous anime 'Spirited Away.' Other celebrities like Ruby Rose and Kreyashawn have also embraced anime tattoos, further driving their popularity.

The Significance of Anime Tattoos

Anime tattoos are more than just a tribute to a favorite series or character. They often symbolize personal experiences, values, and aspirations. For example, a Naruto tattoo could represent strength and courage, while a Sonic tattoo could symbolize speed. Some hardcore fans even get tattoos of totems from their favorite anime series as an identifier.

Life Lessons from Anime Series

Anime series have a unique way of imparting life lessons to their viewers, making them more relatable and impactful. The lessons learned from series like 'Dragon Ball Z,' for instance, resonate with fans and often find their way into the tattoos they choose.


Anime tattoos have carved a unique space in the tattoo industry. They've transcended the barrier of being just a tribute to favorite characters to become symbols of personal values and life experiences. As anime continues to grow in popularity, the trend of anime tattoos is expected to rise even further.

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