A new anime season is upon us, which means it’s time for me to look back on the last season and judge the most important aspect of any series’ character designs: the eyebrows. Truly, there is nothing that draws me to a new character more than a good set o’ brows. They are the key to expressive character design – a well designed set can tell you all you need to know about character. Are they a cute girl filled with whimsy and joy? Perhaps they have fluffly triangular nubs. Are they a cranky old man? You can probably tell from their scraggly grey eyebrows. The eyebrows can unlock many a secret about a character.
This past season was a bit hectic. We had botched, rushed adaptations; we had unplanned recap episodes pretending to be planned episodes; we had 3D. But this post isn’t about alla that. It’s about something much more exciting (and much less controversial). I have thesaurus.com open to the “eyebrows” page and a flagrant desire to use em dashes and semi-colons – let’s blog!
As a quick note – Attack on Titan‘s Eren Jaeger and Yuru Camp‘s Aoi have both been nominated in previous lists. Therefore, they are not eligible for this list. They both won their respective past seasons, though, so they are still MVPs of Winter 2021.
10) Echidna, Re:Zero
It’s not very often that you see a set of thin white eyebrows on an anime girl, right? They certainly fit Echidna’s aura. However, the real zinger here are her eyelashes. They’re ethereal and haunting, and would easily top a best eyelashes list. Unfortunately, this is not an eyelashes list, so she’s chilling at number 10.
9) Yggdrasil, Ex-Arm
This is probably the ONLY “Best of” list that Ex-Arm‘s anime adaptation will ever appear on! This woefully inept CGI anime was run by a team of people who NEVER WORKED ON ANIME BEFORE, EVER, and it looked like absolute horseshit. However! I must give credit where credit is due. Those thick slabs of pink hair are amazing. Unfortunately, they also like, never move because the animation is bad, so it totally undercuts that expressive appeal I was talking about earlier. Thus, she remains low on the countdown.
8) Makio Tanihara, Horimiya
It’s not all about thickness around these parts, though. Sometimes, less is more, and that’s certainly the case with Makio. These thin blue slants give him a distinct coolness and a vague chihuahua-like energy. It fits his character very well. I commend them for how much they get across with so little.
7) Tae Howa, Back Arrow
It was an incredibly good season for these funky old man eyebrows. I think that we often fixate on cute anime girl characters when talking about anime, but we must take the time to acknowledge the joy that is “older anime men.” It seems to me that anime guys are either precious little twinks or elderly abominations. Of the two, the latter always have better eyebrows. Look at these babies. Green, crooked, unnecessarily long, and inexplicably feathered. This is the kind of innovation I yearn to see in my seasonal eyebrows.
6) Adam, Sk8
Oh, but what’s this!! A twink with an equally intricate eyebrow has appeared! Sk8‘s character designs were fantastic (as expected from frequent Gundam character designer, Michinori Chiba), and the devilishly handsome Adam was no exception. For much of the series, Adam is wearing a masquerade mask, so when his eyebrows are FINALLY revealed, it was such a treat for little old me. You know I immediately frantically wrote down ADAM EYERBOWS HOT GOOD when it happened.
5) Kabane Kusaka, Kemono Jihen
At first glance, these appear to be a pair of my beloved thick bois. However, upon closer inspection, you will find that these brows are actually made up of many thin hairs, with gaps like window blinds! It’s an optical illusion of ocular follicles. That’s some M.C. Escher ass supercilia. Props.
4) Rika Kawai, Wonder Egg Priority
There’s something really special about these ones. The way they peek out from behind the blonde bangs. The realism of the dark brow against dyed hair. The sheer expressiveness of them, and the playfulness of their movements. They fit our rascally little idol girl perfectly. Truly kawaii.
3) Sylphy, Mushoku Tensei
Don’t get mad at me, but I extremely did not watch this show. I’m sure there’s an appeal there, a lot of people really like it, but it was emphatically not my bag and I dropped it after episode 1. THAT BEING SAID, I absolutely took notice when I saw these beautiful little green nubs appear on my Twitter timeline. They are triangulated, subtle, and perfectly encapsulate the “less is more” style of eyebrow’age. They are so good, it almost makes me want to give the show another chance…but not really, though.
2) Clayman, That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
Again, I’m really not super into isekai shows, but I really adore the character designs here. Rimuru is adorable and I love the monsters! Clayman here really caught my eye. Once more, we have a character doing so much with so little across their temple. What really sells it are the fact that he ACCESSORIZES the eyebrows. He recognized the natural beauty of his angular evil white eyebrows, and he added a nice little curved accent to them. It softens them, yet retains their evil energy. Truly incredible work.
1) Kaseki, Dr. Stone
Though we had plenty of excellent thin eyebrows and surprising twink appearances, the number one spot belongs to this old man. Dr. Stone is no stranger to these roundups, as they all have gloriously complex eyebrows. But the mountainous weathered wool on Kaseki is jaw-dropping. Magnificent!
Dishonorable Mention: The Accas, Wonder Egg Priority
Yo I don’t know what these guys plans are with their art[SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER]ter bullshit, but whatever they’re doing involved them losing their eyebrows to become puppet men. Trading your blessed brows to achieve some out-there goal is just NOT the move, guys. Truly the worst atrocity they committed.
Thanks for reading! I will not be proofreading this, so if I used the wrong naming conventions…oh well! Are there any eyebrows you liked? Again, Eren and Aoi are in my hearts, but I didn’t want to repeat shows too much. Let me know who you like best in the comments 🙂