When animators go to create a new character, they have a wide range of character design elements to choose from, from interesting hairstyles and colors to an unkept strand of hair (aka ahoge) that sticks straight up, and more. There are various cute design innovations related to the teeth, and one of the more unique visual tropes to appear in the last decade or so has been “skinfang,” which is a cute single tooth that isn’t colored white, as teeth normally are, but skin-colored. Let’s look at why fans seem to love skinfang anime girls!
Show us your favorite “skinfang” anime girl? Sauce is Yuru Camp. pic.twitter.com/55IVugRH41
— J-LIST (@jlist) June 20, 2020
The History of Fangs in Anime
According to my research, because it’s kind of cool that this is my actual job, the innovation of giving characters fangs started with the character Nekomusume from the legendary Gegege no Kitaro, which popularized Japanese yokai folk monsters as well as cute animal teeth in demi-human characters.
Since Lum is literally a space-faring Oni (ogre), Rumiko Takahashi gave her entire race adorable dual fangs which quickly became iconic to her art style. How old were you when this show premiered back in 1981?
Rather than two fangs like Lum, modern anime characters are often shown with a single fang. This is known as yaeba, and is supposed to represent the crooked teeth the Japanese often find so cute, fake glue-on tooth extensions actually exist. As with glasses, clumsiness and other adorable imperfections that make characters appealing to fans, yaeba acts as a “charm point” for viewers to focus on. While a single fang as an element of moe exploded in popularity in the mid-2000s, it appeared earlier, in 1995’s Slayers! and even a cooking anime from the late 80s called Mister Ajikko.
The yaeba single fang is often called “snaggletooth” by Western fans.
Where Did the ‘Skinfang’ Come From?
It’s hard to say for sure. While making memes about skin-colored single fangs is a fun pastime for Western anime fans on social media, the Japanese don’t seem to have a separate word for “skinfang,” just perceiving it as a normal single yaeba fang. So as with the meme of “Senpai, notice me!” which is not a thing inside Japan, the cult of skinfang is something that Japanese fans might scratch their heads and wonder what all the fuss is about.
The 9 Best Skinfang Anime Girls
One of the first characters to sport this innovation, Hachikuji is just adorable. She’s also kind of a borderline skinfang character, as her single tooth is often colored white, depending on which series you’re watching.
Michiru from the Grisaia series is another adorable skinfang anime girl. I loved the in-story reason why Michiru is a blonde twin-tail tsundere girl despite being born Japanese. To find out why to watch the anime or play the games on Nintendo Switch.
Slow Start was a soothing “cute girls doing cute things” series that was a lot of fun. It also snuck in a surprisingly awesome yuri subplot in when fans weren’t paying attention.
Another beloved skinfang anime girl is
Yuuko Shamiko from The Demon Girl Next Door. And it also had some pretty cool yuri energy, too.
Of course, the Queen of Skinfang must be Aoi Inuyama from Laid-Back Camp. How can anyone resist her glorious fleshy snaggletooth?
Another cute skinfang girl is Astolfo. She’s the inspiration for one of the best-selling products in J-List history! You should totally get one!
Senpai from Magical Sempai — I hate that transliteration, but it’s the official English title — was always ready to entertain us with her sexy antics and cute fang.
It’s hard to pick a single “best girl” from Saekano, since each girl has her own amazing charm. I do love Eriri Spencer Sawamura and her adorable moefang.
Finally, the upcoming Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai is another great skinfang girl I’m sure we’ll all enjoy. If you haven’t already, check out my guide to the Summer 2020 anime series J-List will be paying attention to!
Well, did we get all the most important skinfang anime girls? If we missed any, tell us below or tell us on Twitter!
Who’s your favorite Senran Kagura waifu? We’ve got a great set of giant character cushions that are *life-sized* meaning you can lay your tired head down on the bosom of your favorite girl from the series. See all the Senran Kagura character cushions here.