Best Anime Pose Resources – Websites, Books, Images

Anime is incredibly popular, and one of the main things that really sells that anime style, other than the designs, is the anime poses that they perform. Poses are important in all forms of animation, but perhaps no more so than in anime. Because anime is drawn with fewer frames than Western animation each pose is held for slightly longer, and to compensate they go all out on their powerful poses.

Some anime studios, such as Studio Trigger, the creators of Kill La Kill have even made it something of a signature of the studio to go so over the top as to parody the style of anime. They are a great example of how crazy poses can really sell that anime style. Dragon Ball Z’s Ginyu Squad was also known to be a parody of the Super Sentai style that was particularly popular at the time.

Dragon Ball FighterZ Ginyu Squad  anime pose.
Ginyu Squad from Dragon Ball FighterZ

So when it comes to drawing anime, even before you know what style you want to go with, you have to figure out the all-important pose. Keeping it interesting and powerful without losing the shape and form of the character can be tricky, especially for hobbyists and amateurs like us. One easy way to get used to drawing anime is to use anime poses that other people have used, such as the initial block out stages of characters, to build your art on top of.

Anime Pose Websites

Anime Reference Poses is a great website that provides lots of free images of different anime poses, broken down by the type of character, the scene and the feelings you want to convey. The great thing about this resource is the consistency across poses which means you know that you can use multiple images and keep consistency between them.

Anime Base is another great resource for base anime poses. The large variety includes some different styles and allows you to filter by things such as clothing types. Some of these anime poses provide more detail than many other sources which can help people new to anime drawing, but it makes them less useful for customizing it with your own artwork.

Game Designing has a great article that talks about the whole process of drawing anime, from blocking it out to final style. It gives tips on best practices and how to get the most out of your drawing. Whilst it doesn’t have a library of resources for you to use, it’s invaluable if you want to draw your own anime base poses rather than use someone else’s template.


Pinterest is a website where people can make libraries of images they find online without downloading them. They can also be shared so they are a fantastic resource for art reference. Some of our favorite collections of anime pose references are this one and this one. The downside to Pinterest is you don’t know where the images original come from, so you can’t be aware of if you are allowed to use them or not. Most poses are quite generic, and if you are only using them for practice or personal reasons then it’s not a problem, but some may not be useable for commercial products.

Anime Pose Books

How To Draw Manga: Character Pose Collection

How To Draw Manga is possibly the best resource for drawing anime poses. Not only does it come with a library of blockout poses, but it also goes in-depth into the theory and how to get the most out of your poses as well as some general drawing tips. Learning the fundamentals taught in this book will take you to the next level of making believable and powerful anime and manga art.

The Master Guide to Drawing Anime

The Master Guide To Drawing Anime is a great series of books all about how to draw the best anime characters that you can. This one in particular is focused on nailing the best anime poses possible to get the most out of your drawing.

Drawing Manga People And Poses

Drawing Manga People And Poses is another book focusing entirely on the posing of anime and manga drawings. It has a large range of references for poses with lots to dig into so you’ll be finding new ones to try out every time you open the book.

How To Draw Anime Poses

How To Draw Anime Poses is specifically geared towards how to draw anime poses through every step, from blocking out the initial shapes and forms right the way through to drawing the clothing and hair. It’s a step-by-step process that doesn’t go into much depth, but instead shows each step the independent artist goes through to get the finished product.

Anime Pose Tutorials

4 Ways To Draw Manga Female Poses

4 Ways To Drawn Manga Female poses is a video by a great manga art youtube who is friendly and helpful. She encourages you to draw along with her and it’s a great way to learn the basics and have fun doing it with company.

How To Draw Anime Boy Fighting Pose/Stance

Another great draw-along video, this time focusing entirely on one pose, a fighting pose. As it only does one pose it goes into much more depth and detail allowing you to learn a lot from drawing with him.