This step by step tutorial shows how to draw male anime and manga characters. It includes a total eight examples of some of the more popular character archetypes with three variations of each.
The main focus of this tutorial is on personality. It shows how you can take the same anime style male face and transform it into different characters by tweaking the facial features and hairstyle. It also shows how to draw some of the facial expressions these characters are likely to have.
The character types covered in this tutorial are:
- Average Guy
- Friendly Guy
- Wealthy Guy
For drawing female characters see:
Male Anime Face Shape Breakdown
Before going into drawing specific character archetypes it’s a good idea to first analyze the characteristic features of male anime faces. While there is quite a bit of variation in the anime and manga style generally all anime characters tend to have large eyes, small noses amd simplified mouths with no lips.
Younger anime and manga male characters are often drawn with almost the exact same faces as females. Older male characters are more likely to have longer faces, wider chins, and smaller/narrower eyes (though still larger than normal). For this tutorial we will use a very generic male face that can be either a high school student or a younger adult.
The generic shape of this type of male anime face can basically be broken down into the three simple shapes in the example above.
Anime Male Character Face Proportions
These are the “default” proportions that the characters in this tutorial will refer to. So when you read something like “draw the eyebrows lower down” or “make the eyes narrower” it will usually mean in relation to this example.
Please keep in mind that they are just a guideline for getting male anime style looking characters. As already mentioned there is a lot of variation in the anime/manga style so this drawing template may not always apply.
For a detailed guide on drawing a male anime face see:
If you just want a quick breakdown of the placement of the facial features and drawing steps you can read below:
- Eyes – make a horizontal line through the middle of the head and draw the eyes below that
- Ears – make another horizontal line between the first line and the bottom of the chin and draw the ears between these two lines
- Nose – position the nose with its bottom at the line used for the bottom of the ears
- Mouth – draw the mouth with the bottom lip between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin and the mouth itself slightly above it
Draw the eyebrows slightly above the eyes.
Anime Male Character Step by Step Drawing
- Draw the basic shape of the head starting with a vertical line to help you make sure both halves are even
- Position the facial features as described earlier
- Draw the hair after placing all of the facial features
- Erase the parts of the face and head hidden by the hair and apply some shading
For more details on drawing anime male facial features also see:
Drawing an “Average Guy” Anime Male Character
The “average guy” character is usually meant to be someone the viewer can relate to or cheer for. These are often the protagonists of anime shows and manga or the lead male character if the protagonist is a female.
Somewhat messy medium length hair is very common for these types of characters.
To draw a male “protagonist” character with their normal expressions draw the eyebrows in their natural position and draw the eyes with fairly large pupils/irises.
If you want a friendly looking character draw the mouth with a light smile.
Drawing a Happy “Average Guy” Anime Male Character
A happy smile can be one of the expressions this type of character is likely to have. Usually this is a look the main male character can give to a character they like such as the female protagonist.
For the happy expression of the “average guy” draw the eyebrows slightly raised and the eyes slightly squinted. Draw the mouth with a smile. Leave the inside of the mouth white to indicate that its the teeth that are showing but don’t actually draw any hint of them, this will make the character look more friendly.
Drawing a Relaxed “Average Guy” Anime Male Character
This is another expression that this type of character can have. A sort of relaxed/wondering expression like “What am I gonna have for dinner tonight?”.
For relaxed and slightly puzzled expression draw the eyebrows with their inner ends slightly raised and draw pupils higher up (to make the eyes appear rolled up).
Add the mouth in an “O” like shape. Since the mouth is open you can draw the jaw lower down but this is optional. Often the jaws of anime characters are drawn in the same place even with the mouth open.
Drawing an Antagonist/Villain Anime Male Character
The type of look shown in this example is common to the “main villains” of fantasy and sci-fi shows and manga. They are usually intelligent and strong and thus also usually calm and confident.
These guys often tend to have long hair.
For the villain’s normal look draw the inner ends of the eyebrows slightly lowered (for a more aggressive look). Make the irises of the eyes slightly smaller than those of the “protagonist” character with the pupils even smaller in relation to them.
Draw the mouth and the hint of the bottom lip in light upside down curves.
The combined effect of the facial features drawn in such a way will give the “villain” a slightly confident yet unfriendly/stuck up look.
Drawing an Angry Antagonist/Villain Anime Male Character
This is an expression the villain tends to make when they are ticked off/angry/upset.
For an angry look draw the eyebrows closer together and very low down on the face (especially the inner ends). Give a hint of wrinkles between the eyebrows to further indicate they are being squeezed together. Draw the eyes squinted and draw the irises of the eyes smaller then normal with tiny pupils and no reflections.
Not drawing reflections will make the eyes appear more cold and uncaring.
Draw the mouth open and shaped similar to the number “8” that’s been flipped on its side with the teeth showing. You can also make the mouth slightly wider on one side and give a hint of the split between the top and bottom rows of teeth with curved lines on each side.
For more on drawing anime teeth see:
Drawing a Scheming Antagonist/Villain Male Anime Character
A scheming/plotting type expression is another one a negative anime/manga character is likely to have. This is a face they can make when anticipating the success of their plans.
To draw a scheming expression position the inner ends of the eyebrows to be very slightly raised, draw the eyes looking down with the top eyelids lowered. Draw the mouth with a smile (teeth showing) and again add a hint of the split between the top and bottom rows of teeth. These will make the smile look less friendly and more like a grin.
Drawing a Delinquent/Thug Male Anime Character
The “delinquent” character tends to be a bully or a thug. Usually these are negative characters that give other characters in the anime or manga a hard time.
Spiky and messy hair along with a goatee can be a good fit for the delinquent.
For a tutorial on drawing anime facial hair see:
For the delinquent’s normal look draw the eyebrows in their natural position. Draw the eyes with the bottom eyelids curving much further down then normal and draw the pupils much smaller then normal. There should be a good amount of space between the irises and the bottom eyelids. You can also give a hint of bags under the eyes with a pair of small curved lines.
Finally draw the mouth in a fairly sharp upside down curve and draw the bottom lip in a similar manner.
This combination of facial feature adjustments will give the delinquent an unfriend, slightly crazy and dumb look.
Drawing a Grinning Delinquent/Thug Male Anime Character
A grin is one expression that the delinquent/thug is likely to make when they spot someone they want to pick on.
For grinning expression for the delinquent character draw the eyebrows with their inner ends lowered, draw the eyes slightly squinted but still leave some space between the bottom eyelids and the irises.
Draw the mouth smiling but with a hint of the teeth (same as for the villain).
Drawing a Bullying Delinquent/Thug Male Anime Character
The “bullying face” is another expression the delinquent/thug is likely to make especially when they corner their target.
For the delinquent’s/thug’s “bullying face” draw one eyebrow lowered and one raised. The eye under the lowered eyebrow should be squinted and the one under the raised eyebrow opened slightly wider than normal.
Draw the with a grin/smile tilted to one side and draw the top portion of the mouth in an upside down curve (compared to previous example).
Drawing a “Henchman” Male Anime Character
The “henchman” is pretty much the most generic looking character type in anime and manga. If there is more than one of them they all tend to look almost the same. These are usually non-important characters that tend to be something like security guards or a villains minor minions.
A “buzz cut” may be appropriate for these types of characters.
For the normal look draw the “henchman” character with the eyebrows in their normal state. Draw the eyes with the bottom lids slightly lower down and the irises much smaller than normal. You can make the eyes look less “caring” by only drawing one tiny reflection in each. Give a hint of bags under the eyes with a pair of curved lines.
Finally draw the mouth in an upside down curve.
These combined features will give this character a fairly non-caring unfriendly and slightly tired look. For example like a guard that’s been on a long shift.
Drawing an Alarmed “Henchman” Male Anime Character
The “alarmed” look is one that the “henchman” type characters are especially likely to get when they are guarding something and notices a break in.
For an “alarmed” looking face draw the eyebrows low down on the head and closer together but with one slightly higher than the other. You can also draw some wrinkles between the eyebrow to show that they are squeezed together. Draw the eyes looking slightly to one side with one eye squinted and one opened wider.
Draw the mouth with even more of an upside down curve than normal.
Drawing a Scared “Henchman” Male Anime Character
The scared face is one the “henchman” can get following the previous “alarmed face” after they see that whoever/whatever broke in is too much for them to handle.
For the scared face draw the “henchman” with their eyes wide open and the eyebrows raised. Draw the irises smaller than normal with some white space between the them and the top and bottom eyelids.
Draw the mouth similar to an “8” flipped on its side with the teeth showing and the bottom lip in an upside down curve.
Drawing a Friendly Male Anime Character
The “friendly guy” is usually a positive supporting character such as the protagonists best friend.
A short and messy hair can be a good fit for the “friendly guy” as it can reinforce a down to earth and slightly carefree personality type.
For the “friendly guy’s” normal look draw the eyebrows in their natural state. Draw the eyes wider (taller) and make the irises and everything inside them larger than the base example at the start of the tutorial.
Give the mouth a light smile.
Larger eyes will make for a friendlier looking character and a light smile will further reinforce this look.
Drawing a Content Friendly Male Anime Character
A content smile is something that a friendly character is likely to have, often after they help someone.
For a content/happy look draw the “friendly guy” with the eyebrows raised and the eye closed. Draw the closed eyes as pretty much just a hair of dark curves similar to the eyebrows.
Draw the mouth in a wider smile than the previous example.
For drawing anime eyes in different states see:
Drawing a Surprised Male Anime Character
This is a lightly surprised face like them meeting their friend somewhere unexpectedly.
For the “lightly surprised” look draw the eyebrows raised with the eyes open a tiny bit wider than normal.
Draw the mouth open with the jaw position the chin slightly lower down and only the top row of teeth showing.
This will give the character a kind of a “happy to bump into you” expression.
Drawing a “Wealthy Guy” Anime Male Character
The “wealthy guy” characters tend to be rich and successful. They can often look down on those around them of lower status.
For the “wealthy guy’s” normal face draw the eyebrows slightly lower down. Draw the eyes with the inner ends of the top eyelids slightly lowered and draw the irises a little bit smaller than normal.
Draw the mouth with a hint of a smile but instead of drawing the smile with one curve draw it as a set of to curves (one for each side of the mouth).
These features combined will give this character a confident and slightly sly look.
Drawing a Disgusted “Wealthy Guy” Anime Male Character
The disgusted look is one the “wealthy” character archetype tends to make when they look at someone or something they consider beneath them.
For a disgusted look draw the “wealthy guy’s” face with the eyebrows in reverse of their normal curves. Make the inner ends of the eyebrows raised and draw them just slightly closer together. Make the eyes themselves slightly squinted.
Draw the mouth like an upside down smile, narrower at the top and wider at the bottom with the teeth showing. Flip the bottom lip upside down as well.
Drawing a Smiling “Wealthy Guy” Anime Male Character
A fake smile is another expression this character type tends to make. For example if the character is famous they tend to do it in front of their fans.
For this expression draw the eyebrows raised and the eyes closed (similar to the friendly guys content look). Draw the closed eyes with a pair of curves similar to the eyebrows.
Draw the mouth with a smile but to make the it seem slightly less friend add a hint of teeth on each side.
Drawing a “Loner” Anime Male Character
The male loner character can either be shy or socially awkward or may just plain dislike people. These types of characters can be both positive and negative depending on the story.
For the “loner’s” normal look draw the eyebrows with their ends slightly raised. Draw the top eyelids slightly lowered and draw the bottom eyelids with wider curves. Make the irises fairly small. Underneath the eyes add a few curved lines to show bags under the eyes (like the character has no slept in a while).
Draw the mouth in an upside down curve.
Thee combined features will give the “loner” a somewhat uncaring and unfriendly look.
Drawing a Tired “Loner” Anime Male Character
The tired face is another expression that can be quite common to loner characters. For example they may spend the night playing online games and be tired in the morning.
For a tired look for the “loner” draw the eyebrows in upside down curves with their inner ends raised. Draw the top eyelids in reverse of their normal curves lower down on the eyes.
Keep the mouth the same as the normal expression.
Drawing a Scared/Nervous “Loner” Anime Male Character
This is a scared/nervous expression anime/manga loners tend to make. This can be when they are being bullied or simply when they are in an uncomfortable situation (like having to socialize with others).
For a scared/nervous look for the loner draw the eyebrows raised (especially the inner ends) and in reverse of their normal curves. Draw the eyes fairly wide open with smaller than normal irises. Leave the top of the irises covered by the eyebrows but just barely.
Draw the mouth with the teeth showing an a number “8 on its side kind of shape” (similar to previous example). Add a hint of the bottom lip in an upside down curve
Drawing an “Intellectual” Male Anime Character
The “intellectual” character type in anime and manga does not necessarily mean a shy or weak male character. On the contrary quite often these characters can be both physically though and intelligent. Often these tend to be the school council president or some type of leader.
For the “intellectual’s” normal look draw the eyebrows in their natural state with the eyes slightly narrower than the default character example at the start of the tutorial. Make the irises slightly smaller as well. Smaller/narrower eyes will both make the character look more serious and hint that they may have impaired vision.
Draw the mouth in a light upside down curve to again make the character look more serious.
Drawing a Concerned “Intellectual” Male Anime Character
The concerned or “thinking” expression is one that the “intellectual” character is likely to make.
For the concerned expression draw the eyebrows lower down and closer together with some wrinkles in between them. Draw the irises slightly rolled up and slightly closer together.
Draw the mouth in an upside down curve but slightly higher up than the normal expression.
Drawing a Surprised “Intellectual” Male Anime Character
The “intellectual” may make a surprised face like the one in the example when they make some sort of a discovery.
To draw the surprised look for the “intellectual” character draw the eyebrows raised (especially their inner ens) and draw the eyes wide open with small pupils. Draw the mouth open in an “O” type shape. Since the mouth is open you can also optionally draw the jaw slightly lower down.
This tutorial covers drawing some of the more popular male anime and manga character archetypes by showing examples the of facial features, expressions, and hairstyles they are likely to have. While there is a lot more variety out there it’s very difficult to cover too much in a single tutorial. For more examples you can always look at your favorite anime and manga and see how the characters are most interested are drawn. You can also experiment with the personalities in this tutorial by combining the facial features of one character with another and seeing what you get.
For more tutorials on male anime character see:
- 12 Anime Male Facial Expressions Chart & Drawing Tutorial
- How to Draw an Anime Boy Full Body Step by Step
- 10 Step Anime Man’s Face Drawing Tutorial