You know, this whole thing about #FallAesthetic that Instagram and Pinterest are all about is starting to grow on me. I’m not a big autumn person myself, but it does warm my heart to see people getting excited about Thanksgiving, Halloween, leaves, bonfires, PSLs, and things of the like.
Anime has quite its own fall aesthetic though, as well as its own symbols of fall based on culture and geography. For the Fan-art Exhibition event of the Animanga Festival, I’ve decided to make a fun compilation of fall-inspired characters depicted in the style of different artists.
Disclaimer: none of these artworks are owned by me. I couldn’t always find the original artist, so some of these links only indicate the users under which I first discovered the artwork. I’m terribly sorry, but it’s difficult when you do most of your searches in English!
Yuuko Kanoe (Tasogare Otome x Amnesia)
Yuuko was the first character I thought of when I decided to do this gallery. I’ve always associated this anime with fall, mostly due to its orange tones and iconic opening. Whilst not all of these artworks are explicitly autumnal, I think it’s fair enough to associate the colours of dusk with the colours of autumn. I love Yuuko’s devious expressions and how the light frames her dark figure in many artworks. Also, I’m noticing an interesting correlation here: artists from Japanese sources tend to depict Yuuko more innocently?
Shichika Yasuri (Katanagatari)
Autumn is literally a part of Shichika’s character design in Katanagatari. Seriously, this guy deserves Canadian citizenship. The character artist, Take, made sure to fit maple leaves into every aspect of Shichika’s design – from the shape of his hair and clothing to his hair accessory and colour scheme. Fun fact: officially, his maple leaf is seven-pointed to match the “shichi” (seven) in his name.
Yoruichi Shihouin (Bleach)
It may not seem so at first, but Yoruichi’s purple x orange colour scheme is so Halloween. Also, she’s a black cat. And in addition to that, her last name “Shihouin” (四楓院) can be broken down to mean “four maple garden.” I think that’s enough reasons. Why two Yoruichi x Urahara images in a row? Because I ship.
Ai Enma (Jigoku Shoujo)
Ai and Yuuko actually share some similar vibes, both being dead girls with long black hair and bangs. While Yuuko is represented by maple leaves, Ai is associated with the higanbana (red spider lily) – a flower that marks the beginning of autumn in Japanese tradition, in addition to being a symbol for the dead. The word “higanbana” (彼岸花) literally means “flower from the other side.” Ai Enma art may be the most wistful in this list.
Holo (Ookami to Koushinryou)
Speaking of fall, we can’t forget about the harvest! We must give thanks to the goddess of harvest for apples and wheat fields. Holo’s vibe is much cheerier than everyone else on this list, and I love her for it.
I thought Elias and Chise fit the bill because of the pairing of thorns + a splash of scarlet. They’re like a combination of winter and spring/summer, which results in autumn (logic!).
There’s plenty of good fall Kikyo art, but I feel like Ai Enma already covers her category (dead black haired girl associated with spider lilies) pretty well. I do love good Kikyo art though.
Nero Claudius, the Red Saber (because fall is the season for Nerofest). Harvest season is also fight season.
The entire cast from the Emo Halloween Kids show (a.k.a. Soul Eater). Out of everyone, cat lady Blair should really be at the centre instead of shoved into the corner, but everyone in this show is indeed very emo and very Halloween.
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I’m pretty happy with how the list turned out. I tried to balance it by choosing characters that reflect different aspects of autumn.
So, which characters do you associate with fall? And I’m pretty curious: does anybody associate certain anime with seasons like I do? Let me know in the comments, and do remember to check out Animanga Festival posts by others this month!