A pattern emerges in how creators pick characters’ birthday dates, with one day in particular being a major cluster.

A key characteristic of designing an anime character is not jut the amount of detail that goes into their appearance, but their backstory as well. For pretty much every significant figure in a series, you can expect there to be an official profile that lists their birthday, even if that special day is never mentioned or depicted during the anime itself.

This got Japanese Twitter user and virtual YouTuber Mitama Sakumaru (@MitamaSakumaru) wondering: which day has the most anime character birthdays? To find out, he mined data from website Character Tanjobi 366 for 39,000 anime characters, then arranged the results in a heat map, marking days with a high number of birthdays in red, and those with a low number in blue (don’t worry, we’ll save you the eyestrain with a summary below).


▼ January-June

▼ July-February

Once all the data was mapped, July 7 had the overwhelmingly highest number of anime birthdays, with 888 characters blowing out the candles that day, including Chirico Cuvie (Armored Trooper Votoms), Lala Satalin Deviluke (To LOVE Ru), Durham (Beastars), Litchi Faye-Ling (Blazblue Alter Memory), Kagami and Tsukasa Hiragi (Lucky Star), Maiya Hisau (Fate/Zero), Ruri Hoshino (Martian Successor Nadesico), Nanao Ise (Bleach), Ryokan Kurita (Eyeshield 21, Yusuke Makishima (Yowamushi Pedal), Shintaro Midorima (Kuroko’s Basketball), Azuki Momoi (The Idolmaster), Aoi Sakuraba (Ai Yori Aoshi), Kagari Shiina (Steins;Gate), Yuta Togashi (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions), Haruno Yukinoshita (My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected), and Killua Zoldyck (Hunter×Hunter)

▼ …we’re gonna need more cake.

So why are there so many birthdays on July 7? That being the day of Tanabata, a.k.a. the Star Festival, when people in Japan make ardent, often romantic, wishes lends it a special atmosphere. The bigger reason, though, might be that that it’s a mnemonic device. Aside from 7-7, January 1 (389 birthdays), March 3 (552), May 5 (439), June 6 (322), August 8 (301), September 9 (214), October 10 (332) and November 11 (290) were all in the top 13, with repeating month and day numerals making them easy to remember and also iconic for that particular part of the year. Having characters with birthdays that are easy to remember can even be a way of boosting hype for a series, since in the modern, character-driven anime era its become common for fans to hold online celebrations for characters, sharing snapshots of merch shrines built in their favorites’ honor. Notable exceptions to this high-birthday-number phenomenon were April 4 (likely since “4” can be pronounced as shi, in Japanese, a homonym for “death”) and December 12 (probably because there are two other dates that are even more “December-y”).

Also in the top 13 were February 14 (307 birthdays), December 24 (325), and December 25 (235), likely chosen because of the romantic connotations for Valentine’s Day and, in Japan, Christmas. Rounding out the top end was April 1 (307), often considered a time for fresh beginnings since April marks the start of the Japanese school and business years.

▼ It also gives the character an association with cherry blossoms.

So what day has the fewest anime birthdays? Tossing out a few odd data points for the nonexistent dates February 30, April 31, and November 31, it’s May 26, with only 42 characters born that day, Iruka Umino (Naruto), Akira Ohkouchi (Negima), and Kohza (One Piece) among them. Joining May 26 at the bottom of the actually possible birthday list are December 11 (43 birthdays) and January 26 (49).

Somewhat surprisingly, February 29, Leap Day, and October 31, Halloween, both had pretty average numbers (128 and 149, respectively), although in the case of the latter, that could have something to do with Halloween’s booming popularity in Japan being a fairly recent thing.

▼ Mitama Sakumaru presenting his data on his YouTube channel

Oh, and if all this talk of anime birthdays has you wondering which ones you share yours with, we’ve got a way to check on that right here.

Sources: Twitter/@MitamaSakumaru via IT Media, Character Tanjobi 366, Kyaratan
Top image ©SoraNews24
Insert images: Twitter/@MitamaSakumaru, Pakutaso (1, 2)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s thinking he really should rewatch Martian Successor Nadesico.