Follow TV Tropes


Artistic Age

Go To

A character's age isn't always easily apparent. There's "young 'uns" who are Older Than They Look or Really 700 Years Old, and "adults" who are Younger Than They Look. However, sometimes the character's age is obfuscated — not from the rest of the cast, but us viewers.

For whatever reason, the artist has taken Artistic License in how they depict the character's age. They might be drawn as younger or older than they really are, or in vague enough strokes that allows us to superimpose whatever age we want on the characters, with their actual age in canon often only stated in supplemental material. This is often a creative way of averting or subverting Teens Are Short (much like real life).

This can serve a few different purposes:

  1. Much like a drawn equivalent of Dawson Casting, the character in question looks older than he or she is, often done in order to depict Fanservice, violence, etc. involving said character that would otherwise be very problematic if they actually looked as young as they are. While their age in canon is treated as a mere background detail to be glossed over, some viewers who do examine it closely can't help but find such portrayals of the character to be ridiculous at best, or uncomfortable at worst.
  2. The character looks younger than he or she is. Artists probably do this to have mature storylines without losing younger viewers (and depending on the genre, it can also be applied for a particular kind of fanservice or its more innocent version). This is somewhat like casting Hollywood Homely and Generic Cuteness, in that everyone is drawn in such a way that they seem attractive, or in this case the same age.

See also Vague Age and Age Is Relative. Out of universe, this is a frequent source of Self-Fanservice; fan artists have less qualms sexualizing a canonically underage character when there are no obvious visual indicators to tell if the latter is as old as canon states they are.

Examples of Type 1

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The main characters of the manga version of Battle Royale they are all supposed to be 15 to 16 years old, are all supposed to be 9th graders, ages 14 to 15, (except Shogo, who got held back) but most of them look (and act) like they're in their twenties at least especially Mitsuko. Possibly to make all the extremely graphic violence a little easier to swallow.
  • Guts from Berserk was only 18-19 during the Golden Age but the manga, anime, and movies make him look a man in his late 20s to mid 30s, this can be easily justified by saying Guts's horrific life has aged him far beyond his years. Similarly Gentle Giant Pippin looks like he's in his 30s at the very least but is actually only 19 same as Guts during the Eclipse.
    • Guts is 24 at moment but he still looks much older most of the time.
  • In Black Cat, Woodney, Train's imposter, is revealed to only be 20 years old. He doesn't look 20.
  • The main human (or equivalent) cast of Bleach look at least nineteen but are actually in the 15-17 range. Ironically, Rukia looks the most like that age, but is Really 700 Years Old. What makes this even more bizarre is that Chad is explicitly Younger than He Looks on top of that. The 15-year-old Orihime from Bleach is famous for her rather large breasts. Likewise Ichigo and most of the other male teenage protagonists have exceptionally mature, chiseled bodies. When a Time Skip happens, this is naturally reflected by the now 17-year-old Orihime having even bigger breasts and Ichigo having an even more chiseled body. Since they already looked practically like adults before the time skip, there was little else to do.
  • In Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan, Zakuro is canonically 9, when physically she looks about 18, due to her... features.
  • Show of hands: who here thinks Masaru and Toma from Digimon Data Squad look fourteen (especially considering that nineteen-year-old Masaru looks exactly the same in the Distant Finale)?
  • Show of hands: who here could tell Dragon Ball Z's Son Gohan was no older than ten/elevene in the Cell Saga, just by looking at him? And who here thought he was at the very least thirteen to fourteen? No wonder videogames call this form TEEN Gohan, instead of giving that monicker to...well, teenaged Gohan from the Buu saga (who is just "Gohan"). The manga makes this worse. While he looks relatively shorter, his well defined muscles still makes him look like a teenager, and he's nine!
  • Gundam
  • In the classic mecha series Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3. Banjo, the main character, is 18 years old, but looks, acts, and is treated as a man at least in his late-20s, possibly even early 30s. More of one of the early-bloomer types.
  • Umi and Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth should've looked a bit like 16 or 17. But they're really 14 years old. By contrast, pint-sized Hikaru is a Type 2 —the two others first thought she was in grade school, and she admits she's a little small for her age...
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch has this (especially with 13-year-old heroine Lucia), mainly because Hanamori Pink can't seem to draw any female character (besides Yuuri and Seira, both very young girls) flatter than a D-cup. And that's why changing Lady Bat to a girl instead of a Wholesome Crossdresser doesn't work.
  • Yumiko from Modern Magic Made Simple is 15 years old, but her body frame is closer to Misa, who's in her 20s.
  • Naruto does this a lot, mostly with antagonists due to Age Is Relative:
    • The Sound Five were fourteen years old and look seventeen/eighteen, except Kimimaro who is fifteen and almost looks like a thirty-year-old (though that's at least partially because of his super-stern attitude/look on his face and illness).
    • Hidan is 22, but looks about 30. Deidara is 19 and Jugo is 18, but they both look like they're in their mid-twenties (although when he stands next to someone else it becomes apparently that Deidara is relatively short).
    • Itachi already looks significantly older than his official age of 17 when he's introduced, and a static character design leads him to look almost the exact same during flashbacks when Sasuke was 8 (which would make him only 13). A family photo shows that he's always had those weird creases that make his face look a lot older than he is even as an adult since he was apparently born with them. Though the manga also shows a young Itachi without the markings so it's vague if he's had them forever or not.
    • Alternatively Kakashi looked pretty much like a teenager when he passed his chunin exams— except that he's supposed to be 6 (5 years younger than his similar looking teammates Rin and Obito). Either Kishimoto forgot, or Kakashi was a very early bloomer. Fortunately for him, he doesn't look much older than Naruto when they are respectively 40 something and 30 something. Though of course, keeping half his face covered doesn't hurt...
    • Asuma looked like he could be in his mid 30s but was actually close in age to his wife Kurenai who was in her late 20s in part 1-2.
  • One Piece:
    • Zoro and Sanji are a lot younger than they look, sound and act. Neither of them were 20 before the Time Skip, but looking at them, you'd expect them to be in their mid-20s at least, hilariously Zoro and Sanji in Real Life wouldn't have been allowed to drink and smoke like they do at that age. There's some justification in that both characters went through Training from Hell and experienced events (especially Sanji) that have likely matured them greatly.
    • Oda has a habit of doing this with certain female characters: Vivi was 16 in her debut, but being in disguise as Miss Wednesday she appeared to be in her 20s. After she was revealed to be Good All Along, however, she started looking a lot closer to her actual age. Ditto for Rebecca who looks as visually mature as most of the grown women in the series despite being only 16. Pudding is implied to be even younger and yet she looks the same age as Nami who is currently 20.
  • Except for Echizen Ryouma and most of the other first-years, none of the players on The Prince of Tennis look like they're supposed to be in middle school. Of the first-years, Aoi Kentarou and Liliadent Krauser also look much older than they are. In Aoi's case, his wide eyed design and demeanor soften the effect, though he still looks like he's at least 15.
    • Lampshaded when Kawamura's father thinks team captain Tezuka Kunimitsu is the coach, and offers him booze.
    • Konomi Takeshi originally intended for the characters to be in high school, but was asked to change the setting to middle school for whatever reason. He agreed, but didn't bother changing the character designs.
  • Psychic Squad. Before the Time Skip, the main heroines are 10 and look 10, but afterwards, they're 12 and look more 15-16.
  • In Ranma ˝ has flashbacks in which characters look far younger then their actual age. When Akane is thinking about her past with Dr. Tofu, she resembles 6-year-old while her elder sister towers over Akane and wears a high school uniform. There is actually only a three year difference between them, meaning Akane was actually 12 or 13 around that time. Similarly a flashback to Tatewaki Kuno's Hilariously Abusive Childhood depicted the very tall Lord Error-Prone as an extremely short kid who looked around 6. Kuno is 17 and the flashback was 4 years ago, making him 13 in the flashback.
  • Almost everyone in Revolutionary Girl Utena, a show where middleschoolers look like highschoolers while the highschoolers look like they're in their twenties. Considering what kind of messed-up stuff goes on later in the series, this may actually be a good thing. The only exception is that elementary schoolers look like elementary schoolers, which makes Nanami look like one hell of a paedophile for liking Tsuwabuki, despite the fact that she's only thirteen herself. In fact, the only teenagers that do look their age are thirteen-year-old Miki (who's voiced by a woman in the Japanese version and is given a more boyish voice for English) and Shiori, who seems to be the same grade level as Juri (first year of high school).
  • Saint Seiya:
    • The protagonists are all depicted as young men in their late teens/early twenties, but are actually 13-15. Considering the violence in the series, this may be to avoid the connotations of violence against children. Considering they all underwent Training from Hell around when they were ten years old, there are fans who consider their adopted father to be an inordinately cruel man rather than a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Case in point, this is officially a 13-year-old girl.
    • The Gold Saints all looked to be in their Mid 20s at least, yet when their ages were revealed only a few of them are past 20, with the oldest among them (Saga) being 28, in particular Aiolia who looks to be in his 30s, and has one of the deepest voices you'll hear was only 14 when he died, and Big Guy Aldebaran being only 20, despite looking to be in his Late 30s-40s. This was most likely due to the author not thinking that much about it given the discrepancies caused to certain plot points.
    • The Spin-Offspring anime Saint Seiya Omega somewhat averts this. The new protagonists are around the same age range as the original ones and actually look like it, except for Haruto, who looks like he's, at most, 16.
    • To make the matter worse, the series is very loose with continuity regarding the characters ages:
      • In a flashback set 5 years before the start of the series, Seiya is a young boy training under Marin. However, Marin is 16, which would make her 11 in the flashback, but she doesn't look any different.
      • Ikki has a vision of him as a young boy holding Shun as a baby in two distinct moments: one has a nightmarish vision created by Shaka, another as a recollection of his first meeting with Pandora. While when this happened is not specified, Ikki is 15 and Shun 13, while these scenes makes it very unlikely their age different is only 2.
  • Jin from Samurai Champloo has a face that looks more like someone in his early thirties, but he's actually only 20. Him complaining about his back hurting in one episode doesn't help either.
  • Most of the characters in Slayers actually look their proper age (fifteen-year-old Lina, twenty-two-year-old Gourry, and fourteen/fifteen-year-old Amelia, who, despite her roundish face and large bustline, is mid-height), Zelgadis definitely doesn't look like he's the sixteen years of age he is in the anime. It isn't just his chimeric appearance either; his voice is deeper than Gourry's is. In the original novels, he's a far more plausible twenty.
  • According to Word of God, Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is around 14 years old. The same age as Kid Hero protagonist Simon, who is quite a tad shorter.
    • It has been explained that living underground for so long (with no visible sun) has messed up the calendar, and Nia is the only human with an accurate age.
    • Also, Simon himself falls more towards the opposite extreme (perhaps to emphasize his Kid Hero aspect) as he's pretty damn short for his age (he's 14, but most people estimate him to only be about four feet tall).
    • Yoko's appearance barely changes after the Time Skip when she's twenty-one, indicating that she might be older than 14 pre Time Skip since a 7 year change in your later years is less noticeable.
  • Lucia, from Venus Versus Virus is only fifteen years old, though she looks like she is at best eighteen. The fact that she smokes doesn't make it any better. She looks more her age in the manga, beginning at volume 4, though.
  • Witch Hunter Robin. Robin is 15. She falls in love with Amon, who's 25. You wouldn't be able to tell they're supposed to be different ages without being told - they both look mid-twenties.
  • Wandering Son has a few characters, mostly Doi and Chiba (especially Chiba). The latter did look like a ten to eleven-year-old at first, but starting around volume 4 her appearance became more of a mid-aged teenager. It matches her personality change.
  • The predecessor to Wandering Son, Shikii no Junin, relied heavily on Artistic Age. The characters can't be older then 11, but they all look like they're at least 16. It doesn't help that with Art Evolution, whenever Shimura draws the protagonists in her later styles he looks like his actual age.
  • Eyeshield 21's characters have appearances based on their personality, maturity, or whatever their shtick is, despite all of them being around the same age (15-18). The series is very self-aware, however, and never fails to lampshade how absurd some of the characters look.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure appears to take place in a strange alternate reality wherein twelve-year-old boys look like they're twenty.
  • The main protagonist of Only Yesterday looks 40-50 years old sometimes, because of the lines on her face and her homeliness. This is to emphasize her Old Maid status. Her actual age? 28 years old.
  • Arguably in Azumanga Daioh: Yomi being the Only Sane Man, she sometimes looks as old as her teachers. It helps that her teachers also sometimes look younger than they are, as well.
  • All over the place in Sugar Sugar Rune The ten-year-old characters look like they're around 13, while all the junior high characters look like they're in their twenties. Not helped by the show's bad case of Most Writers Are Adults.
  • Most of the main cast in Sailor Moon. They are only 14 years old, but look like they are around 17, if not more. This is most noticeable with Haruka and Michiru and the Sailor Starlights. They are around 16-17, yet they look very mature and almost old as Setsuna, who is in her early to mid twenties (physically). This is made even more apparent when we see the future inner senshi, who look exactly the same in the manga and crystal while the only difference they have in the 90's anime is wearing lipstick.
  • Hellsing: Integra Hellsing is a young woman in her early twenties, but due to the way she's drawn, how tough she looks thanks to the Crapsack World she's in, and her no-nonsense personality, you'd be forgiven for believing she's in her late twenties to early thirties. Poked fun at in the Abridged Series, where she insults the band of Nazi vampires chasing her by proclaiming how it took a whole squad of them to capture a twenty-two-year-old woman and their response is "She's TWENTY TWO?"
  • The students of class 3-4 in Great Teacher Onizuka are in their final year of junior high, making them approximately 14 years old; this isn't too unrealistic in the early manga, which draws them with the mature-yet-still-scrawny builds you'd expect from teenagers in the later stages of puberty. The anime and later portions of the manga, however, depict them as looking akin to 16/17-year-old high school students, which is jarring given Onizuka's early annoyances of teaching a class that's younger than he expected.
  • Misty in The Electric Tale of Pikachu is only twelve. This is very hard to notice due to the Hotter and Sexier nature of the manga, even when they toned down her design in later chapters.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In the Pokémon anime itself, Ash, much like the direction Sugimori was taking in the games' artstyle as best seen in remake protagonists, looks at least 12 in XY saga, thanks to his more defined features, sideburns, tanned skin, and thinner frame. The lack of an older companionnote  and Ash's veteran experience makes him appear the oldest member of the XY gang, and Serena's crush on him is treated more maturely and seriously as opposed to a love gag. While it has never been officially stated, it can be safely assumed he's still 10 officially. The following Sun and Moon arc reverted back to looking around 10. To a lesser degree, Ash suffered from this in Advanced Generation and Diamond and Pearl. Many fans swore he looked older than he previously had, made worse by the fact Ash's Sinnoh rival himself seemed teenage, but it was simply his clothes giving off the impression he'd gotten older. Ash has gotten taller since Kanto, but he's not teenage height yet.
    • A common complaint of May is that her physique isn't realistic for a girl that's eleven at oldest. This is because her design was very Off-Model and would change often. When she reappeared in Sinnoh she was made more game-accurate.
    • Subverted with Jessie. She has stated she's seventeen despite looking like an adult and being treated like one. However, in this case she is actually lying about her age. There are multiple signs that she's actually in her mid-20s (around 25 more precisely).
    • Paul is supposed to be ten. His design, combined with his deep voice and cynical personality, make him seem several years older than that.
  • Several characters in The Seven Deadly Sins are physically childlike, but it's a gory Shōnen series where buff warriors do cool things, so their appearances are based less on 'what's their age?' than 'does the narrative need them to be taken seriously in this scene?' Meliodas in particular is proportioned more like an extremely short bodybuilder than a child.
  • Yusuke and Kuwabara from YuYu Hakusho are stated to be fourteen years old and attend middle school during the beginning of the series, but look, sound, and act like young adults, or at least much older teenagers, especially in Kuwabara's case.
  • Tokyo Revengers can get ridiculous with this. The majority of the story takes place during middle school for most characters, but while their looks help sell the idea that they are charismatic and strong delinquents, they hardly match up with the time frame. This gets especially bad in the final arc, where we're introduced to South; flashbacks show him becoming a favela crime boss at twelve years old, but he has the height and physique of his high school self.
  • Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh! is canonically fifteen, as he's in the same grade as Yugi and company. You would probably never guess this if you didn't notice this fact, as not only is he far taller and noticeably more mature-looking than his fellow fifteen-year-olds, but he's also ridiculously well-accomplished, being the owner of a large corporation, a Gadgeteer Genius, and apparently able to drive a car or pilot a helicopter on his own terms—not to mention never being seen in school outside of his first appearance. The series' Art Evolution also exacerbates this, as both in the anime and manga he actually looks more his stated age in his first few appearances, but was gradually drawn to be much taller and more imposing looking as the series went on. The Badass Longcoat he acquires definitely adds to the mature impression too.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Fiction 
  • Ruin Value conceals Luna, Celestia's, and Discord's ages in service to concealing the story's true nature as a Stealth Prequel.

    Film — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon is full of this:
    • Take the Disney Princess characters for example. Do either Jasmine from Aladdin or Aurora from Sleeping Beauty look sixteen? The fact that most of the Princess characters are under eighteen surprises many fans. Jasmine especially so, as she is a Ms. Fanservice yet spends most of the film as fifteen. Since Atlantis: The Lost Empire, however, more and more princesses are either explicitly over eighteen or designed to look age appropriate. In comparison to previous princesses in their age group, Merida from Brave and Moana from Moana are designed to look young (they're both sixteen).
    • Christopher Robin is supposed to be six in Winnie the Pooh. This is believable in the original books but Disney's interpretation makes him seem a few years older.
    • Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is supposed to be seven, but in the Disney film, she appears to be eleven or twelve.
  • Teegra in Fire & Ice is rather tall, busty and curvy giving the impression she is her late-teens/early-twenties, but she is supposed to be 15 years old.
  • Jessie and Gabriella from Miracle in Toyland are supposed to be preteens, but they're drawn like teenagers. It doesn't help that they sound like teens too.


    Video Games 
  • Angela in Silent Hill 2 is actually nineteen, even though she looks to be mid-thirties or so and often adopts the mannerisms of a little girl. This was done to make her look more than a little off and hints towards her horrific backstory.
    • Eddie, meanwhile, is 23 according to the Book of Lost Memories, but his attitude, appearance, and backstory seem more suited to a high school senior or college freshman.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Mario and Luigi's mustaches tend to make them look like they're in their late 30s or 40s, but they're actually in their mid-twenties, according to Miyamoto.
  • Ages are amazingly hard to judge in general in the Final Fantasy universe. For an excellent example, let's take Auron from Final Fantasy X: he's widely considered to be a great warrior from the past generation, has plenty of wrinkles and greying hair, and yet is only thirty-five. Then again, his life has sucked badly enough to make him prematurely decrepit. And being dead and still aging probably didn't help either.
    • This causes a lot of problems in the spin-off Dissidia Final Fantasy - Bartz looks and acts closer to Zidane's age (16) and is practically babysat by the extremely mature and stoic Squall. This tends to shock people to learn that Squall is only 17 and Bartz is his senior (and in fact one of the oldest heroes) at 20.
    • Final Fantasy XII:
      • Balthier counts as well. In the English dub, he sounds and acts like he ought to be mid-thirties or so (the age of his voice actor, basically.) The manual puts him in his early twenties, which rather ruins things. Plenty of stuff that sounds pleasantly snarky from an older man just sound like a young punk talking when the character is so young... Except for the fact that, being trained to become a Judge since early childhood, he can easily back up everything he boasts about...
      • Same with Larsa. He's keenly intelligent, manipulative, and definitely one of the big movers of the plot, ascending to the throne of Archadia by the end of the game. How old is he? Twelve!
    • Crisis Core:
      • when Cloud first shows up in the game he's only 14 years old...but, Cloud doesn't look any different than usual, and is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai and Steve Burton, like always. The only reason you buy that he's a kid is his attitude.
      • Looking at Angeal, you'd think he's hitting his mid to late thirties, what with the muscles and the Perma-Stubble. Turns out he's actually 25 years old, born after Genesis.
      • Tifa was only 15 as appears in Niblehiem but her physique and attire makes her look like usual 20-year-old buxom self seen in the original game.
  • Pokémon:
    • Several of the protagonists look at least three or four years older than their supposed age (usually assumed to be eleven without confirmation, though after generation 5 they have been leaning more towards their mid-to-late teens). This is especially noticeable when it comes to the female characters, who tend to be more... developed than an average 11-year-old (and sometimes more so than half the adult female cast). A common complaint with Red and his rival Blue in the remakes is that they no longer look eleven, with their slender, somewhat adult-like proportions and less childish facial structures. So much so, in fact, they sound at least 13 in the English dub of Pokemon Origins. In the timeskip, where they're fourteen now, they look around sixteen or seventeen (or at least Blue does; it's difficult to see if Red has changed much at all).
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the protagonists are once again stated to be eleven. The female protagonist actually does quite look her age, with her flat chest, large eyes, round face, and childlike proportions, but the male protagonist had thrown off many into thinking they were a few years older; though he can pass for eleven. Not helping is the 3D models, while far more to scale than in previous generations, not being exactly to scale, making the protagonists, Hau, and Lillie appear taller than they should be.
    • Misty is implied to be Red's age but by Heartgold and Soulsilver can pass for someone several years older than fourteen.
    • In a similar case to Red and Blue above, Silver in the Pokémon Gold and Silver remakes also looks like a teenager, with his thin and adult-like proportions, sharp facial features and all, when he's supposedly the same age as the player character. Generations gave him a voice that didn't help matters, even keeping the post-pubescent voice for him in the flashback taking place three years before.
    • Let it also be known the seemingly at least-40 years old Cyrus is 27. Given his backstory though, it's possible that he aged prematurely due to stress and trauma.
    • The protagonists and rivals of Pokémon Black and White are described as being older than previous protagonists (who are roughly 11-12). They're taller and more teenage looking, leading many fans to pin them as 15-17. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 introduced new protagonists who look inbetween the ages of characters like Hilda and May, which confuses things more. According to a fan meet-up, Cheren was originally designed to look 14 or 15, which is a bit younger than he looks.
    • Many characters could also count as Type 3s.
  • One Super Robot Wars 4Koma pointed this out by comparing Sanger Zonvolt and Tetsuya Onodera. Sanger is 29 but looks like he's in his mid to late thirties, making him a Type 1, whereas Tetsuya is the same age but looks like he's in his early to mid twenties, making him a Type 2.
  • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening fans have done the math and concluded Dante and Vergil were only 19 at time and Lady was even younger at 17 or 18. None of them look that young, even if it was early in their careers.
  • Dead or Alive is a World of Buxom Action Girls, and thus the localization declined to tell the ages of three of those (plus one of the boys) as they were canonically 16-17, minors in the West, but deemed by Japan as fair game for a Ms. Fanservice. Thankfully, Dead or Alive 5 is explicitly set two years after its predecessor and thus makes official that everyone, even Elegant Gothic Lolita Marie Rose, is at least 18. Though it still makes many of them who also have mature personalities along with their looks not seem like women in their early twenties (professional assassin Christie is one of the oldest, and she's 26!).
  • The Legend of Zelda is full of this throughout the titles:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess we have Shad, who looks and acts like someone in his late 20s minimum, but is apparently the same age as Link... which is 17.
    • Link himself is often mistaken for being in his early-to-mid twenties when the oldest Links are in their late teens. The oldest confirmed age for Link is 17. Due to fluctuating sources, the Hero of Time might be in his early 20s, but several other sources pin him as 16-17.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The three lords of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade haven't reached 18 throughout the 2-year timespan in the story (Eliwood and Hector are 16-17, Lyn is 15-16, though age lifted into 18-19 outside Japan) but they look at least in their 20s. This contrasts the previous game's Roy and Lilina, who both look their age (15).
    • This goes double for Hector after all the characters retroactively got official voices in Fire Emblem Heroes, in which he gets a very low, mature English voice (in the Japanese voice he was case with an age-appropriate voice... that ended up falling massively under Vocal Dissonance due to just how mature the guy looks).
    • From the same game features Rebecca and Nino, both are 15 and 14 respectively. While their faces and the rest of their body fit their age, they are drawn with very long legs in official art, giving an illusion of making them look older as well.
    • Ike also looks older than 21 in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn; he could probably even pass for 30. Especially with his low, gruff, mature voice.
  • The animesque art style of Fusionfall caused several characters to look older than intended. Dexter and the Kids Next Door look more like teenagers than preteens.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Many forget Claire Redfield in Resident Evil 2 was only a 19-year-old college student, yet she looks the same age as Leon S. Kennedy who was 21 and even as physically mature as Ada Wong who was 24. The remake of RE2 fixes this up a bit, Claire has got more a baby face and is slightly less mature than Ada or Annette. It also helps remake Claire was modeled after a 18-year-old fashion model.
    • Rebecca Chambers in the HD Resident Evil remake looks as mature as Jill Valentine who is 23, but Rebecca was actually 18 at the time. She does looks her age in the artwork however.
    • Steve Burnside from Resident Evil – Code: Veronica looks he’s in his 20s but was only 17, Resident Evil The Dark Side Chronicles even gives Steve a deeper voice compared to his squeaky original dub.
  • Callie and Marie from Splatoon are implied to be seventeen in the first game, but they look a few years older. This is more pronounced in Splatoon 2, where a 19-year-old Marie wears a kimono which makes her look even more mature.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Amy is only eight in the classic games and is twelve in the post-Adventure games, but some fans mistake her for a teenager like Sonic, and more than a few instances of Self-Fanservice art tend to depict her with the shapely figure of a much older girl in her early 20s. Even Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) age lifted Amy into a seventeen-year-old instead of a twelve-year-old.
    • Many characters like Espio, Knuckles, and Shadow (physically speaking in Shadow's case) seem like adults due to their demeanors and deep voices, but are only in their late teens. Rogue is only nineteen but looks ten years older. It doesn't help that her second English voice made her sound like she was in her thirties.
  • Most of the playable characters, and some NPCs in the Persona series are high school aged, but so as to justify Fanservice and to make them more relatable to older players, some of them appear to be much older:
    • Mitsuru Kirijo from 3 looks like a college graduate in her early/mid-20s, but is actually just 17. This was likely done to justify her role as Team Mom, since making her appear older than the others would make it more believable, as well as to mirror the fact that she is considered in-universe to be mature and wise for her age. From the same game, Ken Amada looks his age in the game proper (10-11), but is only supposed to be 13 years old when he returns in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, despite looking more like 16-17. He still sounds like a kid, though.
    • Due to his muscular build, height, and deep voice, it can be hard to believe that Kanji Tatsumi from 4 is the youngest member of the Investigation Team at just 15 years old. This is Played for Laughs by the fact that he is the only party member who is not old enough to ride a motorcycle, meaning he has to ride his bike everywhere.
    • Due to their character designs, the entire cast of 5 with the possible exception of Futaba Sakura and maybe Kasumi Yoshizawa all look around college age despite being between 16 and 17 years old. This is made especially obvious when the protagonist is compared to his older female social links (Sae Takemi and Chihaya, for example), and doesn't appear to be that much younger at all. This also applies to Sae Niijima, who is only supposed to be 24 years old but looks and acts like she's around her late 20s or early 30s.
  • If the premise of Danganronpa didn't outright state that the characters were in high school, you would never guess that. Not only do several characters (examples being Peko, Kaito, Hifumi, Kirumi, and Gonta) look and act like young adults in their 20s, but it doesn't help that most of their talents, which include nursing, team management, and anthropology, are in fields that most teenagers, in real life or otherwise, would never be able to achieve success in so early in their youth, even if they are supposed to be elites.
    • This is somewhat justified in the first two games, as the characters technically are young adults due to losing a few years of memories, making them a few years older than their given age. Still, the cast of V3 look the same age but aren't implied to be suffering from memory loss, but they could still be adults, as it turns out they may not even be real, meaning they could have been subjected to Dawson Casting in-universe.

    Web Original 
  • RWBY:
    • It can be hard to remember that most of the main characters are under eighteen in the first three volumes. Their personalities and voices match their ages, but characters like Yang and Blake can pass for being in their early twenties.
    • STRQ look nearly identical between their teens and forties. It doesn't help that they wear the exact same clothes.
    • Despite her older-seeming design, voice, and demeanor, Winter is only in her early twenties when she first appears.
    • Fans assumed Cinder was in her 30s or 40s until it was shown that you can't become a maiden over 30. She looks older and is treated older as well (to the point where she's a motherly substitute to Emerald and has a skit with Taiyang in RWBY Chibi, who is old enough to have a 17-year-old daughter).

    Western Animation 
  • In Amphibia, Anne, Sasha, and Marcy were intended by the creative team to be around sixteen, but Disney requested they be thirteen instead. The series makes far more sense if you ignore every time they mention ages: not only do the trio look older than thirteen from a character design perspective and have fairly mature voices, but they bear a lot of the signs of mid-late teens, from Anne being interested in driving to Marcy mentioning SAT scores.
  • Arthur: Every single character. Seriously, they're supposed to be elementary schoolers, but most of the characters look to be between the ages of 13 and 15, with some of the kids such as Binky and the Tough Customers being able to pass for as old as 17. The preschoolers who are D.W.'s age are the ones who look more like elementary school kids. To make matters worse, whenever a character has an illusion of the future, when the characters are supposed to be in high school, they are drawn to look like they're in their early twenties at the least.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • Azula: a stern, tall 14-year-old who easily intimidates her brother (and everyone else) despite being two years younger than him. It could be the make-up though, since she looks younger without it.
      • Ty Lee is fourteen; however, this is often forgotten given her physique.
      • Katara is fourteen and for the most part looks it, but there are scenes where she seems closer to Zuko's age. It doesn't help that she intentionally tries to appear more mature than she actually is. Her Team Mom persona makes the age difference between her and Aang seem larger than it actually is.
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • Bolin is sixteen when introduced, but his muscular physique makes him look older. In future seasons, he has barely changed despite being in his twenties.
      • Asami in Book Four is in her mid-twenties but, looks a few years older. Fans joke her hairstyle makes her look maternal.
  • Doug: Doug and his friends are eleven in the Nickelodeon series and twelve in the Disney series, but both their looks and the fact that they're all voiced by adults makes it easy to mistake them for high schoolers.
  • Parodied in Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus where Dib within an Imagine Spot is drawn in a JoJo-like art style and loudly states that he is 12 years old.
  • Emily from Little Bear looks like she's probably ten at minimum, but she only turns seven partway through the series.
  • The characters in Sonic Boom look older than their main continuity counterparts but Word of God is that they aren't. Amy is still twelve, Tails is still eight, and both Sonic and Knuckles are still sixteen, but they seem a few years older.
  • Sunny, Rox and Blair of Sunny Day are said to be around ten, but they look, act and sound like they're at least thirteen.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim, Ron, Bonnie, Monique, and most of the high school characters are only around 15 or 16 at the start, yet they look several years older. It doesn't help that Kim enjoys midriff-bearing shirts. Shego is at minimum half a decade older than Kim, but this isn't noticeable when the two are side-by-side (not helped by Shego having a slightly immature personality).
    • Shego was designed to look like she is in her early 30s, but the series itself implies she's in her mid-20s.
  • The Simpsons: Homer and Marge were originally written as being in their early-to-mid 30s; however, they resemble their 40s more. According to at least one episode, Homer has been aged-up to 40 since the start of the show.

Examples of Type 2

    Anime and Manga 
  • Manabi Straight! is all over this. All of the (18-year-old or so) students are cute and rounded, looking about 10. It then lampshades it when members from another school, who are the same age as the protagonists, show up. They do indeed look perfectly 18-like.
  • Most of the girls in Lucky Star are in their late teens, but the Puni Plush art style makes them look like middle-school children or younger. Fans of the series have to constantly fend off lolicon jokes. Doubly so for Konata and Yutaka, who are even remarked In-Universe to look younger than they are. And then there's Ms. Kuroi, who is canonically in her late twenties, but could pass for a teenager.
  • Zig-zagged with Bulma from Dragon Ball she mostly looks her age throughout Dragon Ball Z's Saiyan-Android saga and becoming a bit older looking in the Buu saga (thanks to smoking). However played straight in Dragon Ball Super where she looks like she's in her 20s despite being older than Ch-Chi Dragon Ball Super: Broly reveals she's more than likely using the Dragon Balls to make herself look a few years younger.
    • Goku's look never changes from the time he turns 18 to the time he gets de-aged by Black Star Shenron in Dragon Ball GT where he's about fifty. This was hand-waved by Vegeta, who states that Saiyans age much slower than humans so that they can fight for longer. Even Word of God confirms Goku, Vegeta and Broly are currently 43 years old , though all three Saiyans could easily pass for half of that age, averted with Paragus Broly's dad who does looks his age and is by far the oldest Saiyan we've seen.
  • 7 Seeds has Koruri. She's the same age as the rest of her team, but being underdeveloped and having a rather cute, round face makes it easy for others to mistake her as being younger. Haru is surprised to learn that she's actually a year older than him.
  • All those classmates of Nagi in Hayate the Combat Butler? Yeah, they're 13-14. They look about 10-11. The 16-17-year-olds look like 14-year-olds. Except Maria, who looks her age (17) despite Hayate claiming she looks older. (Note that in the manga, it was the READERS who asked that...go figure)
  • Berserk: Miura has a bad habit of this.
    • Griffith is the same age as Guts and Casca, but in the Golden Age his unearthly looks are compared to a child, it's probably meant to invoke Uncanny Valley.
    • Casca looks her age in the Golden Age albeit more mature due to her experiences and personalty, currently she's 24 but played straight as Miura makes her look the same age as Farnese who is just 19 years old. Maybe it's just just due to her mental state because once Casca's old personality returns, her face changes becoming less child-like and more mature.
    • Princess Charlotte is 20 nowadays, but she still looks a teenage girl.
    • Isidro, Schierke and Isama are respectively 13, 14 and 15 but appearance-wise you could mistake them for being much younger due to the cutesy way they're drawn.
    • Ricket is now the same age as Guts was at the end of the Golden Age (19), there's some clear differences.
  • Transformers: Kiss Players. So very much. For reference, the titular Kiss Players are all in their twenties. They are all drawn to look somewhere around 8 at the oldest, and very disturbingly sexual things happen to them. Artist Yūki Ōshima says he did it "to make jaws drop". It worked.
  • Most of the main cast of Eden of the East don't quite look their listed ages of 22 or 21, but rather more like 15-17-year-old teenagers (or, in Micchon's case, like a preteen).
  • The manga and first anime series of Yu-Gi-Oh! lampshade this; little Yugi is so short that he has a hard time convincing people that he's a high schooler.
  • One Piece:
    • Robin is 28 in her debut and 30 by the time of the Time Skip, but going by appearance, she doesn't look much older than Nami, who was 18 pre-time skip and 20 currently. If anything the Art Evolution just makes Robin look younger.
    • Similarly Boa Hancock the World's Most Beautiful Woman is currently 31 and head over heels in love with Luffy (who's 19 years old), but her mannerisms around Luffy can almost fool you into thinking she's a Smitten Teenage Girl, albeit a 6'3 inch highly matured one.
    • Lampshaded by Bellemere, Nami's foster mom, who vainly claims despite being 30 eating tangerines has given her the smooth skin of an 18-year-old. When Nami points out her hands are orange, she grows at her adoptive daughter.
    • Cyborg Franky is the prominent male example, being 34 in his debut, but he looked and acted no more different than most of the young adult males on board the crew. Post-time skip he fits his age more.
    • A lot of the Charlotte Family look younger than their actual ages, Galette is 31 but could pass for 20 looking no older than Nami, Cracker is 45 but looks like a complete punk, and Katakuri is 2 years shy of 50 being 48 years old but still manages to be a Hunk.
  • Kosuna from Desert Punk looks about 10-12 but is supposed to be 14.
  • Kiryuu Shinpachi is the new character added in the final act of Bio-Meat: Nectar. He appears to be six-and-a-half feet tall, looks like any beefy hair metal guy from the late 1980s, and is 13 years old. He also has a job as a fisherman and can operate a boat expansive enough to house almost 4000 people.
  • Naruto:
    • While many characters fall towards the other side of this, Haku looks almost the same age as the rookie from Naruto's class (though taller), but Word of God states his age to be 15. The fact that Haku's first appearance prompted Kakashi to state there are people stronger than himself but younger than Naruto (12 at the time) probably adds to the confusion.
    • Invoked with two female Jonin: Kurenai and Anko, they're 27 and 24 respectively in Part 1 but both women could easily pass for being in their late teens. Even in Shippuden they only look a few of years older than Sakura, Ino, Hinata and Tenten who are 15-17 at that point. Averted in Boruto where Kurenai and Anko do look their age.
    • When you compare Temari and Kankuro from Part 1 with the Konoha 12 from Part 2, Temari and Kankuro look younger despite being around the same age.
  • Despite the fact that L in Death Note is intended to be twenty-four, he appears to be younger than the seventeen-year-old Light.
    • Near is 17-18 years old, but looks about 12
  • In 31 Ai Dream, a shojo manga by Arina Tanemura, the main character is a 31-year-old woman who is returned to her teenage years. However, as her 31-year-old self, you'd expect her to be around her early-to-mid twenties, because of her natural beauty, the fact that she's a Meganekko, and the manga's art style.
  • The main characters of School-Live! are in their third year of high school, but the Moe art style makes them look as though they're in middle school at most. Yuki's childish behavior doesn't really help. Later on, college students appear and they look more their age, despite only being a few years older than the high schoolers.
  • In the flashbacks to Your Lie in April the children are usually drawn looking younger than intended. Eleven-year-old Kousei barely looks like an elementary schooler.
  • At the end of the middle school portion of Wandering Son the characters are meant to be fifteen but don't look it. Puberty quickly catches up to the characters in the high school chapters though.
  • The women in Rock it, GIRL!! are meant to be adults (except for one who is seventeen), and we even get a flashback of Suzuhara in high school, however they're drawn in a way that makes them look like middle schoolers tops.
  • Working Buddies has a soft, chibi artstyle and a cast of Funny Animals, so the protagonists' age is indecipherable despite them being in the workforce.
  • Most students in the Battle Royale manga look like adults, but there are exceptions. Some of the students (such as Yutaka) look to be about 10 years old and are pretty small for 15-16-year-olds. This, however, is Truth in Television: there are quite a few people in early high school who look younger than they actually are.

    Comic Books 
  • Scott Pilgrim is a major offender. Thanks to O'Malley's artstyle, all the characters that are in their 20's, including Scott himself, who looks a lot teen-ish for a 23~24 years old.
  • Lt. Q.P. Dahl from Wally Wood's Sally Forth is the leader of his squad, despite being half as tall as everyone else and resembling a bald, prepubescent child.

    Fan Works 
  • Mobians don't seem to physically age much in Sonic the Comic – Online!. The characters are implied to be several years older than their game counterparts, yet they don't look much older. In an arc set decades in the future, Tails doesn't look any different than he did at eight.
  • How I Became Yours starts three years after Avatar the Last Airbender ended, however none of the characters have aged much. Katara still looks fourteen, despite being eighteen, which makes her pregnancy plot more awkward than it's meant to be.
  • The Future of Our Past contains some of this. For example, Scar's mother Uru looks younger than Sarabi.

  • Warrior Cats: It's commonplace for apprentices to be described as much younger-sounding than actual six month old cats. Some have even been held by the scruff like little kittens.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A Real Life actor example occurs in Wolf Hall. The series covers about a decade or so, but declines to use makeup or costuming to age up the actors. This means that Rafe Sadler looks like the same youthful apprentice during Anne Boleyn's fall as he was during Katherine's, even though he had married and established his own household by that time. Henry is also just as youthful and svelte, unlike in the book where he was visibly aging and losing his hair. (However, the Adipose Rex appearance he was famous for didn't get going until after his near-fatal jousting accident, which doesn't occur until the penultimate episode.)

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Depictions of the Finding of Jesus in the Temple nearly universally portray a child far younger than twelve by any cultural or historical standard.

    Video Games 
  • Iji is supposed to be twenty but she looks like she's about high school age. Despite canonically being a decent height for a man, the size of her gun gives her the appearance of Small Girl, Big Gun, and she lacks certain assets that could make her look older.
  • The protagonists of the Animal Crossing games are supposed to be young adults, but the cartoony 'mascot head' artstyle makes their age thouroughly vague from a visual standpoint. Since the player character is meant to be a direct avatar of the player in these games, this stylistic choice is likely to make it easier for players of all ages to project onto their character. New Leaf and New Horizons have drifted away from this somewhat, with the human characters being noticably taller with proportionately smaller heads than previous installments.
  • Almost everyone in the Story of Seasons series:
    • The main characters (in particular, your own character and potential spouses) often look to be about their teens at oldest (a few, such as Katie and Luna, are canonically in their late teens, though) despite getting married and drunk. Your potential spouses' parents tend to look maybe in their 30s or 40s, but anyone younger almost always looks like they haven't even hit puberty yet. Bonus points if the game is in chibi style.
    • Rather squicky in the PlayStation 2 version of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, where the 14-year-old girl (Lumina) in the GameCube version is now apparently 18 and available to marry... without changing her appearance at all, though post-marriage she instantly has her adult design after a small timeskip. In the JPN version she was sixteen in SE. Many fans don't even realize Lumina was 14, thinking she was 10 or 11. Harvest Moon DS avoids this by using her adult design from the start.
  • EarthBound: Does Ness seriously look 13? Note that those in charge of localizing the American version clearly didn't think so, and made a new clay model that makes him look considerably older, to the point that he could almost pass for 13. Compare the two models for yourself. However, the original version stuck, solidified by Super Smash Bros., not being helped by said incarnation of him giving him a very high-pitched voice.
  • In Devil May Cry 4 Dante in his 40s but aside from some Perma-Stubble he still looks like he's in his 20s. Averted in Devil May Cry 5 were Dante very much looks his age, even if he acts much younger.
  • Nearly the entire cast in Touhou Project to greater or lesser extents.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is obviously in his mid-to-late teens in his official artwork and this applies to him in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening too. The portraits in the latter game make him closer to "young Link" but it's likely the Super-Deformed style at fault. There is less of an excuse for the The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, where he inexplicably looks several years younger than before. Even though according to Hyrule Historia the three Links are one and the same and the Link's Awakening and Oracle games take place after A Link To The Past. There are two versions of the main A Link Between Worlds official art: One with in the ALTTP style and another in Oracles style. That Link is the descendant of the ALTTP Link but suffers from the same problems. He looks even younger than Zelda and Hilda. To muddle this up even more, every time this incarnation of Link has voice acting he sounds like young Link rather than adult Link.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Krile in Final Fantasy V is fourteen and drawn as such in Amano's designs. Her ingame sprites, however, make her look much younger—capes and robes trail on the ground, her White Mage hood has kitty ears, and there's a lot of pink. To cap it off, her battle sprite faces the front like the child characters from Final Fantasy IV, none of whom were over ten years old.note 
    • Probably for Rule of Symbolism reasons, Cloud in Crisis Core is depicted as having the face of someone in his mid-teens during a portion of the game when he's about 20. His face abruptly shifts to his Advent Children-style look for the Secret Ending, which depicts him as the "SOLDIER" from the original game... but that scene can only take place a year later, maximum.
  • The cast of Resident Evil get this every year thanks to the games chronically lining up with the years they came out. Chris and Jill are respectively 34 and 33 in Resident Evil 5 Lost in Nightmares which came out in 2009, however, they both still look like they're in their mid 20s despite Jill joking about getting older, even in Resident Evil 7 Chris is 44 years old but he doesn't look too much older than he was in previous games. Leon is more overt as he's in his late 30s to early the 40s by the time of Resident Evil 6 but he aside from Perma-Stubble he still looks like he's in his late 20s and not that much older than the 26-old Sherry who was a little girl last time he met her. Ada may be the more egregious since she's the oldest female protagonist in the cast at 39 and is technically in her 40s nowadays, yet in RE6 she still looks like she hasn't aged since 1998, it's more headstratching as Claire looks older than Ada in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 even though at 35 she is 5 years younger than her.
  • Almost all the kids from Destiny Islands in Kingdom Hearts. Sora and Kairi are fourteen in the first game but could easily pass for someone two or three years younger. Tidus and Selphie both look even younger, and it isn't helped by Selphie's love of jump roping or her dress which are commonly attributed to younger kids, though in Tidus' case he has a little bit of muscle. Remedied in the sequel, where puberty has caught up with the kids.
  • Oliver from Ni no Kuni looks and sounds like a nine or ten-year-old, even though he does act more mature than that. Turns out he's actually 13. Guess puberty just hasn't hit him yet.
  • The Inklings in Splatoon are at minimum fourteen but their designs and builds make them seem younger. However, they all look a fair bit older in official art, suggesting that their in-game depiction is a stylistic choice.
  • This is part of the appeal of Liar Liar. All the characters are drawn in a soft, animesque Puni Plush style and are all underdeveloped looking, while the content itself is a playfully dark tale about an Ax-Crazy girl trying to kill her boyfriend.
  • The Puni Plush artstyle of Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! means that the protagonists look younger than the previous protagonists. They're likely intended to be eleven, just like Red and Blue from the original Pokémon Yellow, but more resemble eight or nine-year-olds.
  • In the first Samurai Warriors, there is the ability to make a custom character, with a storyline specifically made for custom characters. A custom character will always look quite young, even though their storyline spans fifty-eight years.

  • The characters in Welcome to Room #305 are college students but the Scott Pilgrim-esque art style makes them look like high schoolers. It's even worse in actual flashbacks to high school, where they look like primary schoolers.
  • The main characters of Cross Heart are supposed to be fifteen at the start however they can pass for middle schoolers. This doesn't clear up after the three year timeskip. Subverted when they're shown as adults though.

    Web Original 
  • Raku from Neko Sugar Girls looks, sounds, and acts like a teenage anime fangirl but lives with her roommate and friend, Koneko. The finale reveals she's old enough to have long since finished college.
  • Certain characters in The Most Popular Girls in School, such as Rachel Tice, look younger than their intended ages due to what dolls are used to play them.

    Western Animation 
  • In Danny Phantom there's Danielle who (at least her human half) looks like an 8-year-old...despite being 12 (sorta).
  • The Gorillaz cast age in real time, but 2D still looked barely out of his teenage years at being thirty-three. Averted by Phase 4.
  • The art style to Justice League Action makes characters like Wonder Woman and Batman look like teenagers, instead of in their late 20s to mid 30s.

Other Examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • Class 3-A in Negima! Magister Negi Magi is all around 14-15 years old. Their actual character designs run from Type 1 (Mana, Kaede, Chizuru) to Type 2 (the Narutaki twins), and even some who actually look like teenagers in the middle. This has gotten numerous lampshade hangings.
  • Reborn! (2004) have largely avoided this with the main cast (especially the girls) actually looking relatively like 14/15-year-olds. Bianchi (18) and Adult Lambo (15) who are Type 1 and the two 5-year-olds who are Type 2 are some of the more noticeable exceptions.
    • Really jarring when, in a flashback, Gokudera is of a normal height at three years old.
  • Baccano! has a case where three major characters (Firo, Luck, and Claire) were all roughly the same age (19, give or take a year), but don't look like they could be. Firo's Type 2 status has been pointed out in the books, but few would ever pick up on the fact that Luck is physically (and chronologically) younger than Claire unless they looked at their family photos.
  • Kamichama Karin has both Type 1 and Type 2; the younger characters (around 12-13) look more like elementary schoolers than middle schoolers, whereas the older characters (14-15) look more like highschoolers.
    • Everyone except the older characters is drawn as a chibi, which makes accurately ageing them just by looking very hard to do.
  • In Attack on Titan it's all over the place. The 104th trainee squad consists of 15-17-year-olds, some of whome look their age, and others who don't. This trope come more into play, however, with character's whose ages are never mentioned. Levi, Hanji, and Petra all look like they could be close in age to the protagonists, though they could be anywhere from three to ten years older. Levi is also quite short and much smaller in stature compared to some of the others, making him appear younger. Word of God is that Levi is over 30.

    Video Games 
  • Infinite Space has many characters who fit in both Type 1 and Type 2. For Type 1 example, there is Terzi, who is 33 yet appears to be somewhere around 50s. As for Type 2, there is Hierarch Myagmar, who is 37 but looks like a man in his late twenties.
  • Pokémon has plenty of characters who fit both Type 1 and Type 2. For example, Red and Blue are canonically eleven but in the remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue they look like teenagers. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Emma from Pokémon X and Y, who is said in-game to be sixteen but looks younger and is treated years younger than the vaguely sixteen to nineteen-year-old protagonist.
  • In the classic Sonic The Hedgehog games, Sonic and Amy look the same age. They're almost the same height and there's no noticeable difference between the two. However, Sonic was between 16 and 18 while Amy was 8. The Adventure redesigns make their age difference (which is only 3 years now) more clear.
  • Overwatch tends to be very inconsistent when it comes to making its characters look their age. Sometimes a justification is given, but not always. For example, Mei looks considerably younger than 40 because she's been in cryostasis for almost a decade, but no justification is given for why Ashe looks younger than Cassidy despite being two years older than him.

  • Homestuck, amusingly enough, plays this trope both ways with the same characters. In the standard art style, the thirteen-year-old cast looks much younger (somewhat justifiable in that everyone was almost set to be ten years old), but in most of the alternate Art Shift styles which regularly crop up, everyone looks between sixteen and eighteen. Admittedly, no-one actually acts like they're thirteen; it's pretty clear that age is meaningless beyond protagonist John Egbert's birthdate being an Arc Number.
    • Aggravated even further with the post-Scratch universe. The new set of protagonists are explicitly stated to be fifteen years old, but they look identical in age to the original four heroes.
    • There are also the pre-Scratch trolls, who are all confirmed by Word of God to have been around nineteen years old at the time of their deaths. Their ghosts have the same childlike sprites as every other protagonist does.

    Western Animation