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Too many people has the wrong idea about what does "Anthro" mean...  even before deviantART created a whole gallery devoted to this special kind of art, there are still too many doubts about this category, and maybe that explains many of the mistakes when uploading pictures, images or drawings to our section.

Even when I was still not the Anthro Gallery Director , I tried to explain this concept in a journal entry but couldn't manage to make it clear, and now I think it's the perfect chance for a new attempt. ^___^ To start with, let's take a look at two definitions that may help us.


  1. ...from Wikipedia:

    Anthro: a synonym for anthropomorphism in the furry fandom.

    Anthropomorphism is the attribution of uniquely human characteristics and qualities to nonhuman beings, inanimate objects, or natural or supernatural phenomena (...)
    Anthro Art and may be any fictional work that employs the concept of animal characters with human characteristics. For this reason, any work, in any medium, may be considered part of the anthropomorphic genre simply by inclusion of a fantastic animal character, although such characters are most often seen in comics, cartoons, animated films, allegorical novels, and video games. The science fiction and fantasy genres make frequent use of anthropomorphism, and as a result, are especially popular in furry fandom. Since the 1980s, the term furries has come to refer to anthropomorphic animal characters.
  2. ...from WikiFur:

    Anthropomorphic is a word meaning "like a human." It is used to describe a well-known concept called anthropomorphism: ascribing human characteristics to a non-human being or object. (...) the word can apply to any non-human thing, including animals, plants, and inanimate objects.

    Since the 1980s, the furry fandom has used the word to refer primarily to bipedal animals. Anthropomorphic animals are sometimes called anthro or morphic for short, and art featuring furry characters is sometimes called anthro art. This is somewhat ironic, as anthro ultimately derives from the Greek anthropos, a word that means "human being."



...And, to enlighten you a bit, here you have examples of the most common mistakes ;)

  • :bulletblue: Dragons, as any other kind of Mythical Creature, like for example Mermaids, Unicorns, Bigfoot, Chupacabras or Loch Ness Monsters, are not "Anthro", so they should be uploaded to Fantasy.
  • :bulletblue: Boys or girls with cat ears or tails, are humans with animal features, but NOT animals with human features.... so they are not Anthro, and should be uploaded to the right gallery, for example Manga/Anime if they fit that japanese drawing style.
  • :bulletblue: Believe it or not, there are still miscategorized deviations because drawings featuring people, are submitted to Anthro in the (wrong) belief that "Anthro" means "Human"... if you have read this News Article down to this point, then you can realize they are 100% mistaken


...So I hope this little report has helped you to understand a bit more the purpose Anthro Gallery has in deviantART. I can understand there are not only black and white but a whole range of possibilities, and sometimes the difference between "Animal" and "Anthro", or related to "Fantasy", is a thin red line, but as a general view, the previous definitions are the regulations currently in force, even if that doesn't mean they can't change.... We're flexible, after all, and any kind of feedback is always more than welcome :heart:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkimonoboxfox:
KimonoBoxFox Featured By Owner Edited May 15, 2016
When referring to an 'Anthro' or 'Anthropomorph' What really sets things apart is not strict 'anthropomorphism' ala dictionary; because what we're usually describing when we use the term 'anthropomorph' or 'anthro' is not just 'any' degree of expression of anthropomorphism, but that very specific human-like expression style and subset of animal features, that has tied itself strongly to cartoon animation, and with the Furry Fandom. Animal facial features, merged with human facial expressions. Grins that are impossibly wide for dogs to make, and humanlike eyes, for instance.

photos.auctionanything.com/x/9…

Anthropomorphs don't necessarily 'demand' a human-like body frame, either. For example: Georgette, Charlie B. Barkin, and Scooby Doo are all anthropomorphic dogs, despite also being what is lovingly termed 'feral' -- quadrupedal, taking a secondary role to human characters--but  they still make human expressions and communicate through speech; even adopting human characteristics like primping in mirrors, gambling, placing bets on coin flips with their human companions, and the like. Sometimes, these feral anthropomorphs may even break the rules of their body-type, and make bipedal poses like human beings. Check a watch, flip through stacks of cash, grab a sandwich with their forepaws, open windows, and so on--usually in moments of emotional expression. While in other scenes they revert to acting like one would expect dogs to in real-life, even ceasing dialogue.

images5.fanpop.com/image/photo…
vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/p…


Particularly, visuals--expression and physical features--distinguish an anthropomorph, more than a yes/no exhibit of anthropmorphism. Traditional mythical creatures, often exhibit dictionary anthropomorphism by definition--anything imagined by humans to be more than it is in real life, in fact, is anthropomorphized, to a degree. Take the Grim Reaper, a humanized embodiment of death. Father Time, likewise. Mother Nature. These beings are anthropomorphized exhibitions of the objects they actually are, but they are not what one thinks of as visually 'anthro'. This is specifically, because in real life, animals are animated and posses behaviors and physical traits, already--whereas abstract concepts like death, time, or nature, tend to demand too many human qualities in order to make them into animate, relatable, beings, to pull that trick off.

The cartoon style of 'anthro', specifically, creates the 'illusion' that we are dealing with some other kind of creature, while tricking us into 'overlooking' the presence of the human traits, and just passively accepting what we're seeing, rather than focusing on it. This is why it's not disturbing that Bugs Bunny can walk around nude. Bugs Bunny isn't a human, but he behaves human, jokes like a human, grins like one, stars in theater shows with Elmer Fudd. And he can just as easily act the other way, as an animal, when it's useful for comic relief, burrowing into a den, escaping being hunted--duck season/rabbit season, etc.

Dragons, on the other hand, kind of play a special role, in muddying up the dictionary use of anthropomorphism. The 'traditional' view of a dragon is widely accepted as intimidating, with a large, imposing, not-human frame, by necessity. Very non-anthro. But as time has passed, these matters have come to change enough by the lore of different mythos, that dragons often exhibit strong features of anthropomorphism in their social behavior--tyrannical personality, eloquent speech, greedy treasure-hording, brood politics--even going so far as to be able to shapeshift into human form in some story settings, but they still fall on the not-anthropomorph side of the line, appearance-wise, based on how sheerly inhuman their overall sillouhette is, their limited level of human-like facial expression and bodily gestures, their dwelling places, their constant animal-tendency to prey on live beings, etc. Dragons tend to be cognitively, but not visually, anthropomorphic. And thus, they are not 'anthro', feral or otherwise.

seraphina.wikia.com/wiki/Drago…

That of course, needn't always be the case, as evidenced by cute, approachable, scaley-style dragons, which exhibit a greater concentration of anthropomorph traits: Expressive eyes and faces, approachable size and manner, and human-like silhouette. Spike, from MLP for instance, would be an example of an anthro dragon. Maleficent's dragon form in Sleeping Beauty... not so much so, even though it's controlled by a sapient evil fairy. Shrek's Dragon would fall somewhere down the middle, lacking the humanlike movement, speach, and silhouette, but able to make human gestures and facial expressions. In which case it becomes pretty blurry whether to treat her as an anthropomorph or not. Generally, when you can't tell by the character, you judge by the setting the character exists within, and by the other characters in that character's setting, and how they interact. Donkey, for instance, looks like a mundane donkey, but is definitely a feral-style anthropomorph--cracking jokes, speaking human language, making human expressions, marrying the Dragon. Shrek's Dragon is thus an anthropomorphic one, albeit just barely.

cwatson.org/wordpress/wp-conte…

Alternatively, in the case of some liminal beings like mermaids, harpies, lamia, etc., you run into the other extreme. The beings in question are simply so human facially, that they do not register as 'not-human' to the mind, even while exhibiting some physical traits and forms of locomotion, of other species. Technically, such beings are 'not' human, and 'are' being applied human qualities--anthropomorphism--but they're so far toward human visually, that our mind presents us the illusion that they 'are', instead of the illusion that they aren't. The 'Monstergirl' anime style revolves around this particular trick of anthropomorphism--non-human trunks or limbs, human facial features. The beings are not human--they might even have some very animal tendencies, like Rachnera of Monster Musume--constantly spinning victims into webs--but facially, we are made to think of them as humans, so the cartoonish 'anthropomorph' distinction doesn't stick here, either.

vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/d…

(Combine the characteristics of such a being with the appearance of the popular furry anthro style, and you then get what are called 'taurs'. Which are anthro. See how 'facially' oriented this illusion is?)

art.by.virmir.com/i/full/reind…

Incidentally, the term for anime-style humans with lesser animal accents; such as tails, horns, ears, etc., is 'Kemonomimi', meaning 'beast ears'. These are not 'anthro' for the same reason as monstergirls are not. Anime-style anthropomorphic animal characters, (and Japanese furry fans themselves), are meanwhile referred to as 'Kemono' -- 'beasts'. These 'are' anthro.

(A 'Kemonomimi' character - not Anthro) static.zerochan.net/Kuugen.Ten…
(A fursuit depicting a 'Kemono' character - definitely Anthro) s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/7…

And that is all for now. Hopefully it was an informative dissertation, and you can see all the various ways that putting human-like qualities in or out of different parts of a thing, changes the style of the character to something other than an 'anthro'.
Reply
:iconbaloothebear1000:
Baloothebear1000 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for clarification.
Reply
:iconmoltenkitty:
Moltenkitty Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016   General Artist
So 'anthro' is simply like a sentient lion, for example~ right ?
Reply
:icondeviator101:
Deviator101 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2015
What about an example like Katt or Rei from the Breath of Fire series? What would they be considered?
Reply
:iconkimonoboxfox:
KimonoBoxFox Featured By Owner Edited May 18, 2016
Katt is Kemonomimi--cat ears, cat tail, otherwise human appearance. Rei is Kemono--anime style beastperson. (Rei would be considered 'anthro', but not Katt. She'd probably get a free pass by association, though, if the piece features Breath of Fire chars--most of them 'are' anthro style, with the exception of the direct protagonists, usually, who are mostly anime-style 'humans')
Reply
:icondeviator101:
Deviator101 Featured By Owner May 18, 2016
Actually Katt has a lot of fur and beastial features and she is of the same species as Rei. Its possible that she could be either or in terms of definition.
Reply
:iconkimonoboxfox:
KimonoBoxFox Featured By Owner Edited May 26, 2016
This is speaking lore-wise, though--not in terms of artstyle, which was the topic. While yes, Katt has more animal qualities than say, your typical kemonomimi; an excess of fur on the midriff, clawed feet, stripes on the face--she's facially human, and her body's figure is human. She falls closer to a monstergirl than to a kemono.

Worth mentioning as an aside, is that, in some productions, it's popular to give male characters more animal characteristics than female characters--which would explain for your species lore.
Reply
:iconlaco-eo:
Laco-EO Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks it's very useful I was actually wondering what it was. Once again thanks à ton :3
Reply
:iconcryogenox:
Cryogenox Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
first few minutes on DA and I swear I got at least five new terms in my vocabulary..
Reply
:iconbrowniecomicwriter:
BrownieComicWriter Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dragons aren't anthro? Well, I know that traditionally they're not, but what if they are?

e.g.

Tall and Short by BrownieComicWriter
Reply
:iconpaigely:
Paigely Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Student General Artist
Cool drawing, did you make that?
Reply
:iconbrowniecomicwriter:
BrownieComicWriter Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why yes, I did.
Reply
:iconpaigely:
Paigely Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015  Student General Artist
Cool!
Reply
:iconjosephmorgan2000:
Josephmorgan2000 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Not at all
Reply
:iconsyrieampora:
SyrieAmpora Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist
I was wondering what anthro was! Thanks for the help!
Reply
:iconpaigely:
Paigely Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Student General Artist
So was I, thanks a lot skifi
Reply
:iconnicolai82:
nicolai82 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015
thank you for the help :happybounce: 
Reply
:iconcocoawebkins:
Cocoawebkins Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Ahhh, this explains a lot. Thank you for explaining!
Reply
:iconbarbarianbabes:
BarbarianBabes Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
that's actually not very helpful as the online hobbyist community has given it an entirely different meaning.  regardless of the actual definition, "anthro" according to the internet at large means human mixed with ---
Reply
:iconwoofdoggofhere:
WoofDoggOfHere Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, that clears lots of stuff up.
Reply
:iconcali-purp:
Cali-Purp Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Very helpful! I was wondering what that meant thank you!
Reply
:iconbroskirage:
BroskiRage Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I sort of understand.
I am guessing something like for example.
Krystal the Fox is an Anthro.
Same as Mordecai from Regular Show is also Anthro?
Sorry I am just trying to understand your post 
:D
Reply
:iconsunnybunny1199:
sunnybunny1199 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, now I understand. Now all I need to know right now is what "feral" means. x)
Reply
:iconsunnybunny1199:
sunnybunny1199 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Never mind, it's just the opposite of this, haha!
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:iconpmcdoctah:
PmcDoctah Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
oh
Reply
:iconatomicf0x:
AtomicF0x Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't even know why my 'Skyena Crass' was declined. I thought I knew this group...
Reply
:iconet1104:
ET1104 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Student Filmographer
I still don't get it...
Reply
:iconzodywoolsey:
zodywoolsey Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013

Anthro may refer to:

Via: wikipedia

Reply
:iconangelvoicethepony:
angelvoicethepony Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
so anthro is a cat standing with clothing with gloves too, right?
Reply
:iconvanessa-blurose:
Vanessa-Blurose Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
So let me get this straight. So an Anthro drawing would somewhat be an example of a Sonic the Hedgehog character?
Reply
:iconrosaleedrottining:
rosaleedrottining Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wait, so anthro is just, like, personification?!?! D:
Reply
:iconspikethed:
spikethed Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
so let me get this right in order for it to be anthro it must be a animal with human features not the other way around. 
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
Exactly. At least, in the most commonly accepted way :)
Reply
:iconspikethed:
spikethed Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
so for example, bugs bunny is anthro? 
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:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
Yep, he would be! :3
Reply
:iconspikethed:
spikethed Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
yeah!! I learned something new. 
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013
Glad to be useful x)
Reply
:iconmakrokosmik:
makrokosmik Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was helpful :)
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
I'm glad for it :3
Reply
:iconmakrokosmik:
makrokosmik Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wait, no... I don't think so.
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
xD;; 
Reply
:iconmakrokosmik:
makrokosmik Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So my OC is an anthro? Cool :iconmistthewolf05: <--
Reply
:iconlinnil:
linnil Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You made me understand anthro more than ever before. XD
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Thanks a lot, I'm glad I was useful ^^
Reply
:iconlinnil:
linnil Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
>///<
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
The same than I learnt from you about the "555+" meaning ;D
Reply
:iconskifi:
skifi Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
The same than I learnt from you about the "555+" meaning ;D
Reply
:iconlinnil:
linnil Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OH! so embarrassing. =///= I use that 555+ on this site for half a year until I know that no one get it. Q3Q

Forget for a (long) moment that this is not a thai site. _ _lll
Reply
:iconohnoitsyoyo:
OhNoItsYoYo Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Hobbyist
Let's see if I understand this...so, I've been drawing these half-human-half-lion people-things since I was like 7, and they look like normal lions, only they walk like people and have actual hands and fingers like humans, but they have claws, fangs, tails, and blah blah blah...these would be Anthro, right? Cause if that's what Anthro is, I HAVE FOUND MY GROUP.
Reply
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