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I have a question related to art style, but I'm not sure if asking it would be considered on-topic. Most of the questions on the main tend to be related to a single anime or manga, but I'm more interested in why certain specific styles are more common than others. In particular, eyelashes and eyebrows tend to be visibly rendered as outlines behind hair that would technically prevent them from being seen.

However, I believe this would lead to opinionated answers as it currently stands, so my educated guess is that it would be off-topic for that reason.


Are questions about art style considered on-topic?

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In general, I would say yes.

In your particular case, this question might cover some of the bases: Why are the eyes in front of the hair?

Overall this is an pretty uncommon topic, but it does come up.

It's a multifaceted subject that can be pretty subjective depending on the one asking the question and what they are looking for in terms of an answer (clear intent) and/or how they scope their question (i.e. narrow vs broad).

Some anime are clearly inspired by particular artists, or art movements and fairly easy to answer. Elfen Lied and Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo being very notable examples. Most of the time it's a blend of art styles, but at the same time there are works that take their style and make it their own (for better and for worse), like Jojo, Tatami Galaxy, Afro Samurai, various Studio Trigger works (like Promare), Clamp works (notably xxxholic), and Flowers of Evil. Whether one author was influenced by another author's work or technique, but was never under the tutelage of them, is a bit harder to answer. Such would be a case with the author of One Piece and the author of Fairy Tail having similar styles (they were both influenced by the same author Akira Toriyama, and went to the same art school, in this case).

Character design techniques are a bit of a blurred line as it skews on design. While this site might not have the expertise to provide an adequate answer (i.e. it might take a while to get answered), as anime/manga history is a bit of a niche topic as resources in English is particularly lacking. It might not be considered on-topic as other site Design.SE might not favor specific questions on the topic, as it's more of an art history topic more nuanced to anime.

We've had similar types of questions related to animation in the past, particular, which why running animation in anime is difficult to draw. In lieu of sources, it's recommended that answers provide some layer of abstraction and visual references in other to prove a satisfactory point, but often time these answers take a lot of effort to research and compile. The broader the scope of the question the more effort is required to answer it, so it might not be popular with your average user or anime/manga fan.

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