Sometimes I write articles that explore the intricacies of characters in an anime and their nuances, and I’m awfully proud of those. Like, it really makes me think about how their mangaka spent so much time focusing on every little detail of their design to showcase them at their most authentic. The discussion the weeb community creates around those characters is also very interesting. And then sometimes, that same community can’t even agree on what Shigaraki’s hair color is and it becomes a whole thing?
Look, there is an active debate out there about Tomura Shigaraki and what his hair color is, because the internet can’t decide, and we clearly have way too much time on our hands. But let me break it down for you: His hair has always been white. Not it isn’t pale grey or very, very washed-out blue. But genuinely crisp white. However, the problem is a lot of fans don’t realize how creative liberty taken by artists’ works, and that said art isn’t supposed to be monotonous.
Like, I can’t believe I have to explain color theory here, but manga art is extremely varied across creators. No one mangaka has the same art style or coloring technique as their peers. And adding shades of light and dark tones is what brings the 2D flat drawing into a more dynamic dimension. That’s what art does; it uses shadows and highlights to showcase its story. And since the style varies from artist to artist, when there are multiple people working on one work, creative disparity happens.
And My Hero Academia is a huge undertaking. It probably has an entire team of creatives that take different roles when creating both the manga and the anime. So of course, there’s going to be some hints of those artists taking their own liberties and changing things up every now and them. That’s simply how creating art works. But what does that mean when comparing manga that is created by a single artist VS an entire team? And do these creative differences impact the story? Let’s discuss!
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Shigaraki’s Hair: The Art Of Creating Manga
Back when I was a budding little anime weeb, I always dreamt about creating my own manga. I mean, I was okay at drawing, and my creative imagination was all over the place. Surely, it couldn’t be too hard drawing a comic panel with a simple story, right?
Of course, that’s not how it works. Even a creating a single page takes hours to do, thinking about placement and design, not to mention the aesthetic you want for your story. And that’s not even bringing up the narrative side of it all, because a manga isn’t just art, it’s also writing a plot that’s cohesive and understandable to a general audience. Safe to say, I stopped wanting to be a mangaka quick.
But this is a full-time job for so many people, and not all of them have an entire team they can depend upon. However, the one advantage this has is that the artist has full freedom to do whatever they want, with no stylistic differences. Their work is truly their own and it reflects the vision they have. But that doesn’t mean having a team is a bad thing. It certainly takes the pressure off of the creator and helps add layers to the art style.
Why My Hero Academia Has So Many Wild Design Differences:
The sharing of responsibilities when creating My Hero Academia is exactly why there are so many stylistic differences within the same manga. Where one character could look a certain way, a coloring choice can dramatically change or impact the narrative scene taking place.
For example. Tomura Shigaraki starts out as this spoiled but caged character, an antagonist that’s still in his initial phase. But as the story goes on and he gets more unhinged, we see his design morph.
Where there were shadows and subdued coloring, now his design was wilder. His hair was always white, but drawing it with more flair opened it up to having less sharp lines and more negative space. This signifies how Tomura has become an independent character without any influence.
All of this adds to the feel of the character (Shigaraki’s hair in this case) and how they’ve transformed throughout the course of the story.