Friday, September 25, 2015

A Guide to Anime Images

Anime Images

Whether you are a fan or a blogger, or somewhere in between, anime images tend to fascinate a good amount of the population. However, unless someone is extremely computer savvy or knowledgeable about search engines, many anime-image websites may be hard to find. Even if you can find them, their reason for existence may not be clear.

So if you're having trouble finding the images you need, please take a look at this post. As a Graphic Designer and Blogger, I can definitely provide you with some of the best resources. There's more to images than a pretty picture, and there's a lot to look out for when it comes to using and finding anime imagery.

Brief Explanation

Anime Teaching

If you already know about the basics of image types, searching, and other tools, feel free to skip over this brief explanation. If not please read this section!

When it comes to searching for anime-related images, the most important thing is to understand what your goal is. If you're just an anime fan that's searching for images for a collection, then you can basically just go wild. If you're looking for an avatar or a wallpaper, it may be a good idea to look for those specifics pre-made, or find the necessary images to make them yourself. The list goes on. 

Basically the more specific your task the more limited your search will be. With that being said, regardless of your goal, everyone who is finding and using images in anyway should know the difference between the most common file types. Let's keep this simple using Yui from K-On!

K-On Yui PNG
This Yui looks pretty much normal, but the area surrounding her is transparent!

PNG - Used for transparent images and is common for Anime Renders. Renders involve taking an image and removing its background, like removing the surrounding color from an anime character. This allows graphic designers and artists to create custom avatars, wallpapers, and signatures.

K-On Yui JPG
Similar to the previous picture, but contains the background that goes with Yui.

JPEG/JPG - Is another common image type. Basically used to for most images, it's good to make use of these on your blog because of low file size and compression. Make sure to use lossless compression before using them, since it's basically a free file size reduction. Ex: JPEGmini

K-On Yui GIF
Finally, this Yui is alive and fully animated!

GIF - Usually used for moving images such as GIF. When creating layouts or others images, you can add GIFs to create animations or such to make images jump out at viewers. Usually too many of these in one area can be off putting however. GIFs are also good choices for avatars as GIFs can be mixed with static text.

(Extras) - PSD and XCF (Technically not image formats, but they are used for pre-made layouts and templates that can be edited in programs such as Photoshop or GIMP.) Vectors also fall into this extra category, and are basically images taken from anime scenes and the like. They are simplified and are excellent for use in design projects. They can be re-sized with minimal quality loss.

Hatsune Miku Car Design

So now that we've summed up the basic image types, what now? You might ask, what type is most suited to the task at hand?

Well on a general basis, it goes something like this:

PNG is best for: Images with Added Text, Renders, and Extremely-High Quality Images. (Therefore good for wallpapers.)

JPG is best for: Anime Blogging, Images with Size Limits, and Photographs. (Best to keep in mind if you're taking cosplay photos and such.)

GIF is best for: Mostly Animated Images. (Such as anime scenes and the like.)

Finding Images

Now that you've learned about images and what they're used for, it's time to finally start searching! There's many ways to go about this, but the most common is finding a good website. Since the internet is such a vast and wide place, there's naturally a lot of them out there.

Thus, I have created a list of some of the best places to go for finding anime images, renders, wallpapers, and more.

If there are other anime-related websites that you feel should be included in this list, please let me know and I'll update it!

Anime Images

Danbooru/Safebooru - Probably one of the most common places for anime images. Has a vast range for almost any anime. Danbooru has a wider selection, but you can browse Safebooru without worry.

E-shuushuu - An image based website similar to Safebooru that has quality, safe images. I used to upload images here myself, and the community is very active and friendly. Definitely recommend this one.

Zerochan - Another website that focuses on providing images, however Zerochan uses a different system in contrast to the others. You can find quite a lot of fan art here.

Avatars and Icons

Live Journal - Great outlet for many smaller anime icons. Although not as popular anymore, you can still find a lot of anime icons in archives.

Tumblr  - You can find many icons and avatar packs just by doing a quick search. Many of the creators also take requests and can easily make icons/avatars for your favorite anime.


Giphy - Website solely dedicated to GIFs, contains quite a few anime ones.

Reddit - Consists of a subreddit dedicated so solely posting anime GIFs. 

Tumblr - Again, Tumblr gets a special mention for GIFs, majority of the website consists of these.


Baka Renders - Well known for having quality, anime renders. Check them out!

Deviant Art/Google - These two are also good for renders. Just doing a quick search for "anime renders" will get you quite a bit. 

Screenshots and Screencaps

Anime Screencaps on Live Journal - A website I use a lot, it's great for high quality/high definition screencaps.

Sad Eeyore - Somewhat of an odd website, but a great place for finding shots of your favorite anime scenes.

Wallpapers and Large Images

Konachan - Specializes in mostly anime wallpapers and other large images. 

Minitokyo - Full of many fan-made wallpapers and scans from art books and the like. Great for extremely huge images.

The Anime Gallery - Similar to the previous, but featuring a different selection.

Misc. Tools and Resources

GIMP/Pixlr/Photoshop - These three are image editors, useful if you want to take anime images to the next level. GIMP and Pixlr are free to use, the only difference is that Pixlr is usable through an online client. Photoshop is one of the more powerful and easier to use, but most of its functions can be done in the other two.

Grabber - Used to view images from many sites at the same time, thus saving time and making searching and saving a breeze. Talked about more in my other post!

Pixiv - Contains a lot of different anime images, but can be a bit timely to navigate due to it's layout. Best used when searching for images of less-known anime. 

That's all for now! I will try to update this post with oncoming comments and resources. So please check back here!


  1. I should point out that Pixiv is an extremely popular place where many Japanese doujin artists upload their works there. It's essentially the Japanese version of DeviantArt. There's a lot of hidden, high-quality fan artwork there but it requires a bit of digging and it helps a lot if you can navigate in Japanese.

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