If you love watching anime shows like My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, or any of Miyazaki’s treasured films, then at some point, you’ve probably dreamed of being able to draw your favorite characters.
Now, you can make that dream a reality with these best selling how to draw anime books.
These guides will not only give you a command over the basics, but they’ll give you step-by-step guides on how to nail every detail from hair and clothes to poses, expressions, and more.
Whether you’re looking to draw super adorable chibi versions of your favorite characters or looking to create a professional, flawless design of your OC, there’s a guide out there for you.
See why Amazon reviewers are raving about these 20+ guides, authored by legendary anime artists in Japan themselves.
If you are looking for how to draw manga, please check this article as well: Best Manga Drawing Books To Master Manga Art. But now, we focus on how to draw that beautiful anime art.
From the basic style elements to advanced techniques, this book is a great comprehensive approach on how to draw anime. It has over plenty of reviews and customers seem to love the easy step-by-step templates.
This book also gives an in-depth guide on how to draw and design clothing for your characters, which is an important element to master in the anime art style.
While anime and chibi faces appear very simple, they can actually be quite difficult to master.
This book explores the variety of techniques used by anime artists to create expressive faces, as well as the foundation of the chibi style.
Even if you pick up another book for your anime basics, I highly recommend adding this one as well because it will enable you to draw the perfect (and totally adorable) chibi faces.
The Master Guide to Drawing Anime: Tips & Tricks: Over 100 Essential Techniques to Sharpen Your Skills (Volume 3)
This is the continuation of The Master Guide series, and it focuses on sharpening your existing skills as well as finding your own personal style in character design.
If you already have some basic skills when it comes to the anime drawing style, this is a great option to start with.
You’ll enjoy learning tips from leading anime artists and individualizing your own creations.
The Master Guide to Drawing Anime: Amazing Girls: How to Draw Essential Character Types from Simple Templates (Volume 2)
In this volume of The Master Guide by Christopher Hart, you’ll learn how to draw the most kawaii female anime characters!
There’s a lot that goes into drawing an anime character. In addition to nailing those hair and face details, you’ll also have to take clothing and posing into account.
Hart does a great job with his easy to follow templates on how to build your female characters from the ground up.
This guide is a hands-on approach to the world of anime and manga, and it was written by a Japanese artist herself!
The level of detail with the guides and templates is truly impeccable. One reviewer noted the fact that there’s even a tutorial on how to draw shoes!
We love anime for how expressive it is and its ability to tell an incredible story, whether through animation or still pictures.
Romance is a huge part of that, although you’ll find that this book will teach you how to draw a variety of different archetypes in addition to romance.
If posing isn’t your strong suit, this guide in The Master Guide series will really be beneficial.
There’s a lot to be said about learning how to draw from a stellar artist themselves, and that’s the experience you’ll get in this step by step guide by Alex Kudi.
You’ll learn how to start drawing anime characters right away and build on your drawings page by page in this in-depth guide.
Simplicity at its finest: this guide vows to make the art of anime easy for kids and adults alike! If you’re having a hard time starting or grasping the basics, you’ll enjoy smooth sailing with this book and its handy templates.
This guide gets major points for not only teaching you how to draw people but animals as well! What’s an anime protagonist without a beloved animal sidekick?
Learn to draw cats, dogs, and more (in addition to people) in this beginner-friendly guide.
This book is another great option for those looking to delve into the chibi style. It features 20 totally adorable animals, pets, and people in a step by step guide.
One cool feature of this guide is that it also has a guide on coloring and some extra pages to practice it!
Your anime faces will be top of the line with this book that features over 50 different step-by-step guides. If you have a pretty decent foundation in drawing but want to take your art to the next level, this book is perfect for you.
It’s also a great pick for those looking to transition into a more anime-esque art style from an existing Western style.
Drawing anime is like taking a selfie. Even if everything else is perfect, a wonky face will throw your whole work off. That’s especially true for drawing females or highly stylized characters.
This guide explores how to nail those kawaii and often minimalistic faces to create a flawless character design.
Anyone can learn how to draw professional looking anime characters, regardless of age!
The younger ones in your life interested in replicating characters from their favorite shows or manga will appreciate this basic guide that’s kid-friendly and easy to follow.
Drawing Anime Faces and Feelings: 800 facial expressions from joy to terror, anger, surprise, sadness, and more
In terms of value, you really get a lot with this book. Learn 800 different and unique facial expressions to add a unique edge to your characters.
In an art style known for its over the top and often comical expressions, this guide is a useful reference to have laying around!
How To Draw Anime & Manga Characters: A Step by Step Drawing Book For Young Artists, kids, and teens
One aspect often overlooked by some of the guides out there is that people interested in how to draw anime not only want to draw people but other things as well–like robots.
This guide is a great solution to that and will teach you how to draw a great character, but also a giant Gundam as well. How cool is that?
Awesome Anime Characters (Drawing With Christopher Hart)-Step-by-Step Instructions to Create Truly Awesome Anime Heroes, Villains, and Robots
This is an older guide by the legendary artist (and mastermind behind The Master Guides) Christopher Hart. Like the previous guide mentioned, it also explores how to draw robots, as well as villains.
There’s a lot of subtlety and minute differences that go into creating the perfect antagonist, and this guide defines all of those.
If drawing villains isn’t your thing, I still recommend this one. It’s fun! Come to the dark side!
This is an older guide with a lot of standing among anime artists. It’s written by Tadashi Ozawa, an anime artist himself, and explores how to replicate character designs you might see in Bishoujo type games or visual novels.
If you’re looking to replicate characters from your favorite high school animes, you’ll appreciate this guide.
How to Draw Anime: Beginner’s Guide to Creating Anime Art Learn to Draw and Design Characters Everything you Need to Start Drawing Right Away
This is another great guide by Alex Kudi, and like their previous one, it aims to give you the techniques and tools needed to start drawing authentic anime characters right away.
It also includes tips on how to draw chibi characters, so it’s a great guide for those just starting out!
Sophia Williams provides excellent step-by-step templates in this handy reference book. Although there’s not too much written instruction, it’s great for those who are visual learners or could do without the added distraction of words or writing.
Tadashi Ozawa returns with this highly rated guide to the art of the anime battle. Drawing anime is not solely about drawing kawaii characters and cute poses.
Action and intense battles are highly favored among fans, and this book will breakdown the drawing process behind them.
Fans of Tadashi Ozawa’s art style will appreciate volume 2 in his series, which describes how to pinpoint emotions in your characters.
One important thing that Ozawa touches on is that emotions are not just illustrated through facial expression, but stance and demeanor as well.
This is a great comprehensive approach to depicting emotion in your characters.
This guide has to be one of my favorites, especially for the fact that everyone can benefit from it (including those who don’t even draw in anime or Japanese art styles).
Tadashi Ozawa explores how to depict your characters doing regular, daily actions, but in highly expressive and engaging ways.
The tips and tricks Ozawa describes out of his own experience will bring a whimsical and unique edge to your art.
Beginner Today, Master Tomorrow
Any of these guides will provide a great starting point for beginners and give you the ability to start drawing anime right away!
The foolproof way to pick the guide that is right for you is to start by assessing your current skill level. How well are you able to draw today?
Try taking a blank canvas and draw a character, whether in the anime style or not. After ten minutes, take a second to assess your work. How satisfied are you with it?
Do you want to add more realism or perhaps a more refined appearance to your drawing? Maybe you can draw quite well, but you have some trouble nailing the famous anime expression.
Identifying what you want out of your work is the best way to pick the right guide for you. It’s important to remember that learning to draw takes time, effort, and, most of all, exposure.
Your first few drawings won’t be perfect, but putting the new techniques and skills you learn to use will concrete what you’ve learned and help you establish your skills as an anime artist!