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Anime Wallpapers: HOW TO CHOOSE THEM. Do Not Fail, for it is SCIENCE.

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The rather lengthy title drives home the fact that wallpapers, on the computer, are serious business. Why, you say? Why can’t you have a large picture of a undressed Shana with a cucumber up her birth canal, you say? Sure, you could, but that would lead to certain undesirably side effects in the trifling object we normally call "life". Effects which involve cold metal bars or eternal solitude.

Let’s first look at a few important points.

  1. Wallpapers are the image that serves as a background for this "desktop", which most computers come with. If you do not appear to have one, then a) turn on your monitor or b) clear your icons.
  2. If you use your laptop in class, lecture or for presentations, the desktop image is what people will notice most. The next thing is your boobs, or moobs if any. But let’s not go there.
  3. Your interests will be judged based on that image.
  4. You will be evaluated based on what your interests are.
  5. You want to feel good about using your computer and seeing a favourite nice picture is one way to do so.
  6. You want to show individuality and the uniqueness of your computer.

The above brief points summarise what’s the big deal about desktop wallpapers. Now, we shall look at how to pick wallpapers.

The golden rules are many and must be followed if you don’t want to become a failure at life.

Composition
Unlike a normal picture, a desktop wallpaper is special in that it must be a supporter, not the focal point. Indeed, a good wallpaper must not steal attention away from the true stars of the desktop, the icons. If you’re too busy looking at the wallpaper and can’t find the icons, you have chose a bad wallpaper. Personally I find the rule of thirds, used in photography, to be applicable. Except that you should take wallpapers that occupy about 1/3 or even 1/9 of your screen. This is because icons will take up about another 1/3 and thus complete the 2/3 rule. Narutards love to pick extremely filled wallpapers that look nice as a picture but turn out like shit as the wallpaper as important details are covered by icons, leaving a feeling of frustration every time the wallpaper is viewed.

Like, "Hey let me showz you my neato wallpaperz! Wait a min, hey the mother fucking icons are blocking my Sasuke!"

Example of good wallpaper.


The seemingly random lines lead our eyes into looking at the girl, without diminishing the visibility of our precious icons.


The classic, clean, 1/3 desktop rule. Plenty of space for messy icon abusers like myself who store a shit load of stuff on the front page.


Oh!Great is a good wallpaper mine too. This one is a tad messy for my own liking but clearly shows how shapes can be used to compose.

Example of bad wallpaper.


I bet that’s exactly how your desktop looks like.

Complexity
This is related to the point above - the wallpaper must not be too complex. Since the computer is generally used for work (Puzzle Fighter is serious business), the desktop should be soothing, like a neat clean tabletop. If your table is full of sauce stains, crumbs and leftovers, you will feel pissed off, just like how girls feel when their panties are stained with menstrual blood. Low complexity for most of the image, with perhaps neat geometry shapes leading to the main 1/3 subject who can be complex, is best.


Otherwise, you can just set borders on where your icons can be stored.


So simple, yet so complex in meaning. What one seeks in life is to bring across as many in as little. That’s why there is so much sperm in a tablespoon of semen.

Example of bad wallpaper.


I don’t know where this is from but what the hell are those scrawly things dirtying the table? I can’t see my icons! My eyes hurt!

Sexiness
I set the projector, connect it to my laptop, and click the power point slides. I minimise to show a spreadsheet, and voila! MY DESKTOP IS A MIKO BUSTY SEXY BABE HAVING PROCREATION RITUALS WITH HORSES! What will my professor think? Perhaps "This student should be in the agricultural sciences, not food science. Or religious studies." More likely, "Ooh he loves cartoon porn! I must get some from him.

Sexiness is a huge no-no for desktop wallpapers. Sure, we all love a nice sexy image on 4chan or danbooru, but everyone’s ashamed of them on a more formal stage. Even regular people don’t use FHM posters as wallpapers in formal settings. There’s no point risking it. Things to avoid: cleavage, chest/rump extending postures, sweatiness, panty bulges, cameltoes, panties of all colours and patterns, boobs, nipples and extremely large boobs. Or penises for that matter if you’re one of those yaoi fans.

It also saves on the embarrassment of having to explain why you like cartoon girls with extremely large boobs that defy gravity, to your coursemate females who will then interpret any sort of response as "Oh creepy this guy is sick he wants huge boobs and is staring at mine, wishing they were as large, so he can fondle and do the bukkake thing on me!"

If you want your desktop anime girl to reveal flesh, you’ll have to find pictures which are tastfully done in the name of art. Check out these examples. These are not meant to be arousing, but rather intriguing so onlookers will be in awe of your respect of the human anatomy.

Similarly, loli stuff are very very bad. In today’s climate, even pictures of Ichigo Mashimaro girls will get you looked at strangely, with whisperings of "Call the police, I think he wants to rape children."


I guess the problem is solved if you photoshop a large "My Daughter" arrow.

Example of good wallpaper.


This is great as it does not seek to titillate but to show how Chise holds much power in contrast to her meek and seemingly fragile shoulders. The neutral colours and melancholic posture further give information on how she is exploited and sad.


On the other hand, this is a sexy one as she’s in a tiny nightgown. Yet emphasis is cleverly shifted onto her armlet and katana. Men value armour and weapons above boobs so they won’t look at the tits that much. Also note how this is great desktop composition as you can place the icons on the right.

Mainstreamism of Subject and Design
You want your interests and preferences to be known via your wallpaper, yet you don’t want to appear as some wanker who tears sakura tree branches. You want people who are like-minded to come up and exclaim, "Oh you’re an IGPX fan too!". You want to be unique yet recognisable. What do you do? You hit the "delete" button on all Naruto/Bleach wallpapers.

The thing is, not all series are made to be good wallpapers. There are some which you really like as a show, but make horrible wallpapers. I tried to get a nice Full Metal Panic wallpaper but to no avail. All the ones out there either had too much sexiness (Ooooh my Tessa!) or were just ugly. You’re Under Arrest as well, has pure sexy wallpapers despite not being a sexy show. Deathnote wallpapers make you look like a wannabe goth emo fag who hopped onto the new "ooh brain teaser" DN gravy train. One Piece wallpapers make you look childish. Inuyasha wallpapers scream of your secret desire to be a fat girl who loves buttsex viewage. School Rumble wallpapers lead onlookers to wonder if you have a fetish for school girls. Vandread wallpapers always have large tits or girl on guy action. In fact most common anime character designs fail the wallpaper litmus test.

What a good wallpaper needs is actually beautifully unique character design. Thus, it is infinitely easier to get illustrations as wallpaper rather than actual anime series. Range Murata is one example whose works make for great desktops. His art deco style mixed with complex steampunk designs on specific parts fulfils the requirement of good wallpaper. Other good ones include Lain (explains the commonness of Lain wallpapers), Samurai Champloo (cool hiphop fusion), Eureka seveN (colorful disco) and most GAINAX works.

The last point is useful. GAINAX works make for great wallpapers. FLCL and Eva in particular are the most successful as they are not that mainstream, yet stylish and unique. GONZO also has good wallpapers, with the likes of Speed Grapher, Gankutsuou, Last Exile and GK21. Speed Grapher cheats as it has a manga which is done by a hugely talented guy who can’t write.

There’s a fine balance between being overly mainstream and despised, or being overly esoteric and pretentious. Achieve the balance by choosing wisely.


Nothing says "I’m a loser who thinks an orange ninja is ultra-cool and the bestest best thing ever!" better than a Naruto wallpaper even if it is nice and well composed.


This is a great photoshop of a Range Murata picture.

Colour
Particularly important for laptops, colour scheme is integral to the overall aesthetic beauty of your computer. You should make sure your desktop matches the casing of your laptop. For example, mine is a matt black Thinkpad so it goes well with white backgrounds.  Use a colour wheel for ease of selection.


The lack of colour on this one lets it match very easily with any black laptop, preferably a jetblack one like the thinkpad. It’s quite a creepy one though I like it.

Favouritism
The funny thing is, my favourite series almost always have no wallpapers. Ghost in the Shell (Motoko too much boobage and sexy, original Masamune artwork ugly), Gintama (Sunrise Korean Studio colour scheme awful), Planetes (None available). Exception is Last Exile really. The good thing about anime is that there are so many series, plus games, manga and original illustrations, so you never really have to pick your top top favourites.

Resolution
Easy. Make sure it fits your screen resolution. Stretching spoils the proportions of the picture, and the composition and may introduce artifacts and pixelation. Bad bad. Bigger wallpapers are always good as you can resize them.


This is very bad and how your screen would appear to be if using a overly small image. Sort of like how fat women in tight jeans have this muffintop phenomenon where their fats are squeezed upwards into a muffin shape.


Wonderful picture, but you have to cut back on the icons.

So what’s your wall paper at the moment?

If it is a moe one, change it.
If it is a messy one, change it.
If it doesn’t fit your screen, change it.
If it is too sexy, change it.
For this post, I went through at least 2500 wallpapers just to obtain a sufficient sample size upon which to draw my above conclusions. My eyes are killing me now.

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44 Responses to “Anime Wallpapers: HOW TO CHOOSE THEM. Do Not Fail, for it is SCIENCE.”  

  1. 1 Crisu 20 comments

    This is mine. Haven’t changed it in 5 years. Obviously I don’t use icons much at all since I hardly have windows minimized long enough for it to matter; keyboard shortcuts open 90% of the programs I use. Plus it’s a good image of Sakura. I’m sad that there aren’t two versions so the image doesn’t have to be repeated in the background, but oh well.

    http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x177/crisuskeer/Miscellaneous/desktop01.png

  2. 2 Owen S 110 comments

    Funny how we share the same wallpaper principles. The last time I tried using a wallpaper of Habanero-tan sitting on the toilet, my little sister called me a pervert. I’ve never used anything remotely risqué ever since.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v469/kanarazu/akibakko-118950005169930.jpg

    I use the border method for the six icons or so on my desktop.

  3. 3 Owen S 110 comments

    Funny how we share the same wallpaper principles. The last time I tried using a wallpaper of Habanero-tan sitting on the toilet, my little sister called me a pervert. I’ve never used anything remotely risqué ever since.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v469/kanarazu/akibakko-118950005169930.jpg

    I use the border method for the six icons or so on my desktop.

  4. 4 Fabio 2 comments

    Here’s mine.

    It’s clean and the best part is that i can look at Nagisa every day. :)

    http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/1496/dfhbsdkifbiy1.jpg

  5. 5 jpmeyer 88 comments

    For the last couple years, I’ve either used an OS-tan one or a Muv-Luv Alternative one. I didn’t like Vis-tan so I don’t use an OS-tan one on this computer.

  6. 6 Calawain 23 comments

    1/3 of your desktop is icons? The hell is wrong with you people. I have 1 icon on my desktop…the Recycle Bin. Windows has this neat little function called “Frequently Used Programs” in the start menu, you just make the icons small and set it to like 10 icons. Between that and the quickbar you should have everything, and it’s much cleaner than a bunch of icons.

  7. 7 Hei 8 comments

    My wallpaper is Yuki Nagato with a guitar and everything else is white xD
    But the thing is that I don’t have any icons on my desktop I store them all in my start menu

  8. 8 LianYL 624 comments

    I design my own wallpapers.

  9. 9 super rats 100 comments

    I don’t have any icons on my laptop. Like Calawain, between the Programs in the Start Menu and the Quickbar I haven’t clicked on anything on my desktop. The purpose of the wallpaper is to have something to stare at for that minute where everything is loading up and too annoyingly slow to open anything. Other than that, I never see the wallpaper.

  10. 10 IcyStorm 11 comments

    http://img131.imageshack.us/img131/2051/desktoptz4.png

    Simple and clean. That app you see is Launchy (Google it). It goes away and comes back at a hotkey you set. Awesome app.

    “1. Inbox” is for downloads and ‘2. Misc” is just random stuff.

  11. 11 _KTX 1 comment

    screw icons, really. i never use them anyway, therefore i have more freedom in selecting wallpapers.

    http://screenshots.lunar-linux.org/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=888&g2_serialNumber=1

    it’s slightly scaled, but this adds up to the overall effect. if you don’t know, i use lunar-linux with fluxbox as the window manager of choice.

    -K

  12. 12 tik 57 comments

    wow I didn’t know that there are so much into the desktop…

    My desktop has been kept like this for over 2 yrs already
    and chances are it will just stay like this for another couples of years I guess
    unless my laptop dies before that haha

    http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/1811/sc1vg2.jpg

  13. 13 omo 68 comments

    this post is solid but fails in a way that is all too common: not only it is important to frame what’s in the wallpaper, but you gotta frame the wallpaper itself.

    which is to say, I almost never use a full-screen wallpapers. So few out there deserves 100% of my desktop real estate. there’s no reason why you should especially considering people still put icons on the desktop; some puts tons (like me.)

  14. 14 kaz3phyrous 3 comments

    don’t really have any icons on my desktop…
    i keep most of the things i use in the quicklaunch and the others i don’t usually use can be easily found using vistart…
    though i have to agree that you really need to be choosy about your wallpaper and just can’t place a random image as one… most of the time i use an image by solwyvern(http://solwyvern.net/) as a wall, his traces makes great walls…

    here’s my desktop right now…
    http://img372.imageshack.us/img372/4295/desktopxr3.gif

  15. 15 JackPk 2 comments

    Icons always were kinda bad, to much everywhere, so i killed them and with a little registry change u can also hide recicle byn, so u have a nice, clean desktop, now mine looks like this

    http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2372/minecp8.png

  16. 16 Newonerevived 1 comment

    I really liked this blog entry. I always change my wallpaper at least once a month or when i feel like i need to change life a bit. Most of the times i find myself collecting a hundred or so walls and making a selection. Sometimes i can’t just decide right away so my collection in increasing at an alarming pace. Generally i use the same criteria mentioned in this entry, trying not to use confusing or extreme colourful walls (or sexy or woman-body-based walls).

    Anyway, this is my desktop has i have it now.

    http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/5086/desktopnd9.jpg

    (Quality of image decreased)
    I went for a peaceful wall and a “cleaned” desktop, so i placed the icons on Rocket Dock.

    [Forgive me any “rude English” as English is not my native language]

  17. 17 Lss 17 comments

    usually i use bleach wallpapers. manga derived never from the anime. or stuff by oh great.

  18. 18 Anonymous 1 comment

    what? I’ve had a loli desktop at my univ for like forever and never had any weird eyes.

  19. 19 tj_han 1090 comments

    I LOVE ICONS! More than I love NARUTO HEROES! What is wrong with you guys? Why rid icons? Lol.

    This really shows much a) tech savvy and b) anime obsessed almost all otaku are. The vast majority of computer users out there use proper icons.

  20. 20 Yumeno 5 comments

    Taken quite some time ago, still using the same wallpaper. Stuff on the right are downloaded files which I didn’t take the time to organise into my folders ^^;

  21. 21 Yumeno 5 comments
  22. 22 Irake 4 comments

    I agree that Gainax’s series make for great wallpapers. Here, the dark green scheme of Chouginga Gurren-Lagann against a space backdrop compliments the right black, blue Vaio launcher and adds gar to my laptop.

    http://img115.imageshack.us/img115/1379/deskir4.jpg

  23. 23 Soshi 44 comments

    What’s wrong with having icons! I have lots of icons! Too many in fact.

    Hahah, strangely enough, I made my first wallpaper with more or less the same principles you describe here. Hurrah?

  24. 24 Loba 25 comments

    I love icons too! But I have so much that there’s not enough space on desktop for all of them lol! What to do?
    PUT THEM INTO FOLDERS!

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s292/Loba87/wallpaper-1.jpg

    And there you have it, much landscape and clean desktop.

  25. 25 Hynavian 38 comments

    I place all my seldom used icons into my “Shortcuts” folder so that my desktop will look neat.

    http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/3504/hynaviansdesktopyi6.jpg

  26. 26 albert_2mb 13 comments

    Ahh, wallpapers.. I need to stock them more… Also, I learnt to say goodbye to icons so that I can focus on arranging my wallpaper and my Rainmeter themes..

    My past:
    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g100/albert_2mb/Walls/KAMOSUZO.jpg

    Now:

    I think I’m content with my wallie now. Not so simple, but it’s quite formal while I have a strange attachment to female characters with long, dark straight hairs

  27. 27 albert_2mb 13 comments

    blaarrgh I forgot to give the link to my current wallpaper =__=

    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g100/albert_2mb/Walls/08-05-10.jpg

  28. 28 Soshi 44 comments

    Hoho, realized that I forgot to include my wallpaper. Everyone seems to be doing so.

    http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/offkilterr/currentwallpaper.jpg

  29. 29 Sasa 68 comments

    Wow, that’s one hell of a good post. Have you broken up with the princess or something?

    No seriously, your example are great and it makes me wonder why you didn’t include a zip file or something containing these pictures. Or to be clearer:

    PS. There is no way I am going to include my current wallpaper *hrr* (And no, it’s not ecchi or anything, just embarrassing.) But nobody ever looks at my wallpaper anyways.

  30. 30 Sasa 68 comments

    Stupid enter key. Well: I want those wallpapers!

    That’s all ;)

  31. 31 feng 18 comments

    Wonderfully practical topic. The Chise one is great.

    This here is my current one:
    http://img403.imageshack.us/my.php?image=32mgw0.png

    Here one of those I rarely use, but seems like good wallpaper material,
    from the archives of そして明日の世界より──:
    http://img376.imageshack.us/my.php?image=anotherduskgl8.png

  32. 32 feng 18 comments

    You could really extend this to handphone wallpapers.
    The real estate on those are way too rare, and I see overload every single time.

  33. 33 tj_han 1090 comments

    Sasa: WOW that’s quite brilliant. Yeah, you can tell it’s quite my old-style. I mean, I haven’t used pictures in ages! But yeah, smart. Not broke up though, she’s angry and refuses to speak to me for a while so I have time on my hands.

  34. 34 Zeroblade 138 comments

    My principle is more or less the same, though I usually go for ones that are worksafe (sometimes not though), pleasing to the eye, and well-composed. For some reason, I changed the wallpaper after I read this entry - a picture of Aya (from Touhou) by Studio S.D.T.

    Current desktop: here
    With icons: here
    Wallpaper: here

  35. 35 MegaVolt 10 comments

    For years now I’ve had a clean desktop (i.e. very few icons), and a bunch (i.e. now more than 2000) wallpapers switching on a 30 minute rotation so I never have to choose. Works well, IMO.

    I’ve made it simple enough to turn off the rotation and keep it fixed on a relatively neutral picture if I carry my computer anywhere. Wouldn’t want naked Shana popping up unexpectedly.

  36. 36 Sasaki 22 comments

    Icons ftl. Rocketdock is the way to go. Then again having no icons is not an excuse for you to stick Shana or Clannaids all over the screen.

    I am proud of my not-as-otaku-as-abstract-stylish wallpaper:
    http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w302/Magister_Junus2/1205087103506copy.png

  37. 37 edogawaconan 42 comments

    Bliss.bmp FTW

    I don’t have any desktop icon btw (besides recycle bin) since it’s like twice in a session I’ll be looking at desktop (that is, after startup and before shutdown)

  38. 38 edogawaconan 42 comments

    Oh, and if I (or bored enough to change it), I just use some wallpapers from Makoto Shinkai’s background like this (that I found recently - kind of official)
    http://edogawaconan.ath.cx/1042.png

  39. 39 Asoukai 79 comments

    Yeah. umm… so what’s your wallpaper again tj?

    I seem to remember vividly that it’s nothing like any of the wallpapers you’ve put so far. In the very least case, u’ve also violated the 1/3 rule.

    Oh wait, it does look like one of the wallpapers you posted, the ‘bad’ Kanon wallpaper. rofl.

  40. 40 Silencers 22 comments

    I don’t use desktop icons, and I don’t bother customising them either. Though recently I’ve been addicted to Zetsubou Sensei wallpapers. Some of the scenes look absolutely stunning when vectored, and they make awesome wallpapers!

    http://www.thesilentroom.com/img/desktop-may08.jpg

  41. 41 Swatch 1 comment

    @ albert_2mb: may i know what rainmeter skin you are using for your current desktop? it looks dam good… lol

  42. 42 SnooSnoo 20 comments

    Would the great tj_han appraise these two wallapapers to see if they are worthy for “Life”. Lol
    http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/2537/desktopyj5.jpg
    http://img119.imageshack.us/img119/851/anotheronenw4.jpg

  43. 43 Ballista 1 comment

    canone know who is the artist who drew this gal? been searching like crazy but to no avail… i like his art style very much:
    http://s54.photobucket.com/albums/g100/albert_2mb/Walls/?action=view&current=untitled2.jpg
    ty

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