16 Subtle Anime Tattoos That Cleverly Reference Anime Series

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Vote up the tattoos only true otaku will notice.

Suppose you want to get a cool anime tattoo, but you also want to keep your nerd status on the down-low. Not to worry, for plenty of subtle anime tattoos exist out there to choose from, letting your geekiness be known without making it obvious. You see, when anime fans take it too far, it harms not only themselves but the community at hand. Many of the best tattoos inspired by anime rely on their obscurity to be that much more impactful; if someone manages to not only catch but understand your Sailor Moon symbols, you know you've found a kindred spirit worth trusting.

Some low-key anime anime tattoos get to be so small you can barely see them, while others depict obscure symbols unrecognizable to anyone unfamiliar with a certain series. If you need tattoo ideas from anime, but desire something a little more subtle, take some inspiration from the below pieces. Everything from adorable Studio Ghibli-themed ink to hauntingly beautiful art from Tokyo Ghoul shows just how actually cool small anime tattoos utilize less to make something much more rewarding.

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  • 1. These Soot Sprites Are A Quiet Nod To 'Spirited Away'

    These Soot Sprites Are A Quiet Nod To 'Spirited Away'
    Photo: Pinterest
  • 2. Only The Full Fans Recognize This As A 'Fullmetal Alchemist' Piece

    Only The Full Fans Recognize This As A 'Fullmetal Alchemist' Piece
    Photo: u/hipstervenser / Reddit
  • 3. These Nondescript Berries Mean A Lot To 'One Piece' Viewers

    These Nondescript Berries Mean A Lot To 'One Piece' Viewers
    Photo: Pinterest
  • 4. Ponyo, Ponyo, Little Tattoo By The Sea

    Ponyo, Ponyo, Little Tattoo By The Sea
    Photo: Pinterest
  • 5. No Body Needed For No-Face Of 'Spirited Away'

  • 6. Unless You Saw 'Tokyo Ghoul,' This Is Just A Pretty Flower

    Unless You Saw 'Tokyo Ghoul,' This Is Just A Pretty Flower
    Photo: Pinterest