Cosplay, branded apparel, and Funko Pops are just a few of the many ways people display their love of the imaginative world of anime and manga. But one of the best ways, in our opinion, is via your manicure — and by the end of this gallery full of anime nail art, you’ll be running to book your next nail appointment.

There are endless design possibilities for anime- or manga-inspired manicures. Maybe you have a solid-colored manicure with an accent nail featuring a symbol from your favorite series. Perhaps you go all out with a character’s entire likeness — vibrant hair and all — on your nails. You can even reinvent the characters as adorable animals or in a different animation style. (You’ll see what we mean later.)

Meet the Experts

  • Vanessa Ta is a nail artist who specializes in anime-inspired designs and co-founder of Texas-based Meraki Manicures
  • Kelly Kim is a manicurist who mainly works with Gel-X and acrylic extensions, based in Florida

How Long Does Anime Nail Art Take to Create?

Texas-based nail artist Vanessa Ta says that, on average, anime nail sets take her about two to three hours to create, depending on how extensive the design is. “If possible I prefer to hand-draw them,” Ta says. “If the design is too complex or there are too many details for the small nails, then I do try to find specific stickers or decals for it,” she shares. 

On average, it takes about three to four hours for Florida-based nail artist Kelly Kim to paint designs and another hour and a half for the entire appointment. Though she creates a variety of nail art, anime manicures have a special place in her heart. Within the last decade, she’s noticed that with anime’s rising popularity, more clients have requested those sets. 

Both Ta and Kim are used to making anime sets, so it’s worth noting that your appointment might take longer than four hours if you schedule an appointment with an artist who does not paint anime nail art regularly.

How to Create Anime Nails

It’s totally fine to let the pros like Ta and Kim who have the skill, time, and patience create the anime manicure of your dreams. If you’re a nail art novice who wants to create anime nails at home, keep the process simple by adhering nail art stickers or decals. 

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