Welcome to our anime character finder by image guide! In this article, we will teach you the basics of anime reverse image search, for advanced tips, check out our follow-up article. It is also helpful to read our anime finder resources page, where we list all the resources we have that are helpful in finding anime related content.
Have you ever found a picture and wondered, “what anime is this”? If yes, don’t worry, there are many anime image search tools available to help you find anime by image. In this article we will list the methods that have the highest rate of success, so if any of the methods listed in the earlier part of this post are unhelpful in teaching you how to search anime by image, keep trying the other options in our list until you find the correct anime title.
How to Find Anime by Image: Using Reverse Image Search Tools
Using a reverse image search tool is by far the most reliable and quickest way to perform anime image search. There are many services available online, but only a couple of them are actually good, so if none of them give you the necessary result, it is better to either try to tweak your search parameters, or try another method of finding anime by image.
We will list the top tools available at the current moment and compare their effectiveness and ease of use. We used three test images, to compare the effectiveness of the tools, which you can see below.
1. Google Image Search
Google Image Search is the best anime image search tool, because Google has the best database for images overall. On the other hand, they rely heavily on their text-search capabilities and can output results that have a relation to the image related keyword, but not necessarily to the content of the searched image. In most cases, however, it works like a charm and should point out many sources that will lead you to the correct anime title.
With our test images, Google image search had no trouble locating the source for image 1 and image 2, but dished out a few pages in Japanese although the images search was performed from an English domain. So one thing to keep in mind with Google Image search is, that the results of the anime image search will be linked to the keywords related to the image and you may either have to scroll through some pages until you find a result in English, or use a browser translate tool to render the search results in English.
Using Google Image Search is pretty straightforward. Just navigate to images.google.com, click the camera icon and either drag and drop an image, post the image URL, or upload the file manually. Performing this anime image search will usually lead you to a bunch of web pages that can help you find the anime title you are looking for.
If Google has the best database, TinEye has the best index for image search available. That means, if Google Image Search does not give you good associated keywords for your image, your next best chance is to use TinEye to locate all known domains where your searched image is being used and try to find out the title of the Anime/manga by visiting these domains.
The anime image search process itself is convenient, just navigate to tineye.com and enter the URL of the image, or upload it from your PC. The filter to use is by domain/collection. Tineye does not retain the uploaded images, so the search process should be anonymous.
The problem with the Tineye anime image search, however, is that it will quite often return many results for the reverse image search, but if the domains where the images are hosted on don’t provide enough context for finding your anime, the search will either not be very helpful, or you will have to look through a bunch of domains, before you find the anime title.
For our test images TinEye easily found answers for image 1 and image 2, but had trouble with finding good results for the more obscure image three.
The main problem was that the domains were the results were found had already been taken down, which is a pretty common problem for Tineye as compared to Google Image Search.
Sauceno.com is the most obscure “anime sauce finder” service on this list, but it works surprisingly well both in terms of delivering good search results and in user experience. The anime image search tool gave correct results for image 1 and image 3, but surprisingly generated a bunch of false positives for image 2.
So this anime image search tool is a bit of a wildcard on the list, but if Google Image Search and TinEye fail to generate results, it may be worth it to give saucenao a shot.
The search process is simple, but the image file needs to be uploaded, a URL cannot be posted. On the other hand, the anime image search tool has the convenient feature of actually pointing out the title you are looking for, as it is directly intended to look up the source title of images from anime, TV shows etc.
How to Find Anime by Image: Using Anime Character Lists
Still not sure what is this anime you have an image of? If you have tried all the listed reverse image search tools and none of them yielded any helpful results or showed you how to find anime by image, it may be helpful to look through some popular anime character lists.
If the image you have contains an anime character, it may have distinctive traits that are helpful in finding the source of the content. There are basically three anime character lists available, which could be helpful in finding the anime you are looking for.
1. Anime Characters Database
Out of all the anime character listings available online, ACD appears to be the best, because it enables more complicated search queries.
So, If you can describe the anime character you are looking for in detail, navigate to the animecharactersdatabase.com. Search and pick out the visual cues that point to your character in as much detail as you can. This type of search is pretty effective for finding obscure anime characters with distinctive visual traits.
2. AnimePlanet Characters List
This is the second best anime search engine online, because it allows for basic search queries like Gender, Hair and Role which could help narrow down the list of candidates. Also the pictures of the characters tend to be pretty clear and helpful for identifying them.
To perform the search, just navigate to the AnimePlanet character list, narrow down the list of characters, and see if you can identify your target. The appearances of the characters in media are usually documented in detail.
Easy to use and intuitive, AnimePlanet is one of the best anime character search options on the web.
3. MyAnimeList Character List
The last list worth checking out is MyAnimeList’s character list.
There isn’t any way of narrowing down the search or changing parameters, but the characters are ranked by popularity and the pictures are pretty clear, so it might be worth checking out this anime sauce finder if your character is well known in the anime community.
MyAnimeList is great for both finding anime characters and for anime search in general.
How to Find Anime by Image: Posting on Forums
If none of the listed search tools were helpful and you still don’t know how to find anime by picture, the next logical option is to ask the anime community. Just post the image into one one of the following well known forums or social media platforms and politely ask if anyone knows the source of the image.
- anime.stackexchange is the best Q&A board if you want serious answers to your questions
- MyAnimeList Anime & Manga Recommendations sub-forum could be helpful in finding your anime by a description post.
- Anime Forums recommendations sub-forum could be helpful as well.