Anime Breast Failure


On seeing this image, which gives a reasonable idea of how to draw breasts, and an excellent idea of how not to draw them (like mysteriously levitating grapefruit as so many erotic anime do), I was struck by how badly certain titles manage to fail at providing convincing breasts.

You can see below just how badly, and let us put things to a vote to be sure.


Koihime Musou. The anime may be great, but their breasts are something of a let down.


To Love-Ru. Quite passable.


Sekirei. Total failure.


Kanokon. This looks to be a subjective case. They seem to do the whole “large breasts at pendulous angles” thing fairly well.


Ikki Tousen. Awful.


Code Geass. These (older) designs are rather stylised, so I would be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.


Zero no Tsukaima. Unconvincing effort.


Strike Witches. Win? They look to be the only ones who actually paid much attention to the female form in their work…

Nobody said they have to be photorealistic, but at least some nod to realistic shape is an improvement over hovering spheres.

The actual animation is a different issue, but I think there is generally a good correlation between illustration and animation quality, so let us leave it at that. Another issue is that size clearly plays a role.

Since these examples are just from recent titles, so I’m sure there must be some really excellent examples from prior seasons?

[poll id=”19″] [poll id=”20″]

Leave a Comment


  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen quote-unrealistic-unquote anime boobs (Burst Angel) which accurately replicate a – in my mind – bad boob job I saw on a stripper.

    At the same time, I’ve seen “unrealistic” anime boobs I’d *love* to see on a live woman – even if a boob job was required to make it happen.

  • You guys forgot the worst like Eiken they look like poles holding two balloons and gravity only seems to work when the main character is under then. or Divergence Eve which I can forgive only because in space they could get that big! Sure it is ecchi but no were near realistic

  • if they look like overinflated balloons that dont fit the characters design. they are failure. when its comical however, then you really shouldnt focus on how unfitting it is – ala “Eiken , but even those breast had gravity so i compliment it for that lol.

    heck, Tarot : Witch of the Black Rose is one of my fav comicbooks, Jim Balent loves breast and draws them all kinds of sizes (flat, small, large, huge). but he draws the breast that actually balance with the characters body, no matter how humongous they get.

    i think “Zero no Tsukaima” is quite fitting, the breast hang and they fit the body. “Ikki Tousen” is the balloon thing i am talking about, they just dont look right at all.

    i dont find it fair to bring “Strike Witches” in, since the focus was not how large the animators can make the girls breast. pretty much about how much underwear they can flash.
    overall, their breast fit their bodies.

  • it depends for me, I agree that IS anime based off reality and therefore should at least be somewhat anatomically correct, but I think it depends on what media its in, in animation its more the movement that matters, and well it flows, so I can forgive them for not using figure studies for every fucking frame. (that would be a pain in the ass, and costly) but in manga or illustrations, I expect to see at least a semblance of proportional correctness.

    but what really matters is not that they have every detail of the human body taken into account, but more, that they have the body balanced looking, and that they have no impossibilities in the picture, like backwards arms or legs bending in impossible ways etc.

    stylization can account for allot, but thats no excuse for have in two left hands drawn onto a girl, that’s just being outright lazy.

  • Being an artist, this is always something that bugged me slightly and I’ve had plenty of problems with getting them right myself.

    To be honest, though I prefer well-drawn breasts and non F-cups, I’m not going to nitpick them to death. The fact is in most anime styles, breasts simply are drawn that way so commonly (or off in some other small way) you stop caring as long as the picture ‘looks good’. I, like many of the commenter’s, can forgive some playful proportions / body edits when the things are already unrealistically sized anyway.

    This is especially true considering the number of movement / more complicated busty poses; where you can tell the artist had problems just getting the pose to look good, let alone close to anatomically correct. Cut them a little slack.

  • Compare any of these to classically trained artists work and they ALL fail. Strike Witches is the best out of the selection because all(most?) of the characters are minors; and the characters artists were wise enough to realise girls of that age don’t sport triple F’s.

    But generally most anime characters bodies are drawn incorrectly because the artists were not classically trained. The average viewer doesn’t really notice the difference, but those with an eye for detail can easily spot the anime in which the character artist can actually accurate proportions. The anime in the selection above (whose prime audience appears to be teenage boys) do not fall into this category.

    Anime’s which would win this vote include, but not limited to:

    Byousoku 5cm (5cm per second)
    Death Note
    Freedom Project
    Gin-iro no Kami no Agito (Agito the Silver Haired //Origin: Spirits of the Past)
    Perfect Blue

    One will also notice that the above anime lack pointless nudity that does not add to the story (sans Perfect Blue). /rant

    • Anonymous says:

      This is only boobage we’re talking about here, so yeah, of course the target audience would be shounen. Also, you really can’t go docking points off an anime for drawing the body with a 4 or 5 head size ratio, it’s shounen anime we’re observing here! So if head sizes can be all freaky, why stop there? There’s a full market of testosterone driven horny little youngsters willing to shell out their lunch money for boobage, so stick on some C cups to a girl that’s 4’2″, and PROFIT!

      The question here is, do the breasteses look nice, plump, and natural, something you can really sink your face into, (despite the body, shape, type, or age) or does it look like they stuck perfect spheres in there, looking like hard, unfriendly, playground kickballs, all uncomfortable like?

      Personally, for some of the pictures given, I can’t say, because you really can’t account for holding the boobs up against the chest with either hands or a tight wonder bra or whatnot. You can only REALLY judge them when they are hanging loose in it’s full, glorious, bouncy gravitation.

      That said, I like Code Geass, even if they don’t have a hard black line defining the underboobage, the shadows do a very nice job replacing it, and the squash, stretch, and squeeze look nice and comfortable. And I hate the Ikkitousen boobs, they look like hardened, overstuffed silicon. Blah, I say.

    • So, all anime characters MUST be drawn to perfectly realistic proportions, or they fail?

      Does super deformation make you scream? 🙂

      I prefer artistic stylization to rigid guidelines for ultimate perfection.

  • wow, sometimes I wonder why people even watch anime or become otakus. They can be so much more satisfied just going outside and looking at average everyday women, maybe giving them some company, and eventually getting them in the sack to see real, average boobs FOR REAL.

    Me, I like them big, and as far as I can see Ikkitousen and all of them get big boobs right. I actually think Strike Witches is the worst, not just because they’re small, but to me it looks like they didn’t even TRY to give them detail at all. What are you guys looking at? Just that one pic on this list of Strike Witches shoes how little they cared about drawing those breasts. Nipples count too. If you want to see attention to detail, check out plastic little. If this list had it, I’d choose Queen’s Blade, though 😀