How tall should a character be? Our best advice is to not nail down a number; a qualitative description of the impression people should get from their height ('tall', 'towering', 'average', 'short', 'tiny') is probably more useful for people when they're reading about your character in order to write their poses. However, if you're interested in getting down to brass tacks, it's important to recognize that average heights in Japan, though on the rise in recent decades, are still significantly shorter than heights in the West, with average adult men at 5'7", and average adult women at 5'2".
There is some actual 'Average Height of Japanese Students in Tokyo' data from 2013 available here. These tables suggest that girls tend to achieve their full height, or close to it, by the 8th grade; boys, by the 9th. Bear in mind that the standard deviations are in centimeters.
Here are some benchmarks provided by characters whose height is remarked upon socially:
- Nanoha Takamachi and Fate Testarossa: 4'3" as third-graders; a little on the short side, but not by much.
- Chibi-Usa Tsukino: 4'5" as a fourth-grader. Slightly petite for her age.
- Sakura Kinomoto: 4'8" (and a half! she might argue) as a fairly tall fourth-grader.
- Hikaru Shidou: 4'9". As a running gag, nobody actually believes she's an eighth-grader, everyone assumes she's still in elementary school.
- Madoka Kaname and Usagi Tsukino: 4'11". Embarrassed that they haven't hit five feet yet as eighth-graders; they're shrimp.
- Anthy Himemiya: 5'0". Very petite, but not embarrassingly short, for an 8th-grader.
- Naru Osaka, Fuu Hououji, Wakaba Shinohara: 5'1". A perfectly normal height for 8th-grade girls.
- Ami Mizuno, Minako Aino, Love Momozono, Sayaka Miki, Umi Ryuuzaki, Nanami Kiryuu: 5'2". Achieving average adult height in the 8th grade might have them a little ahead of the curve for their age (except for Nanami, who's a taller 7th-grader), but they're all seen as pretty typical.
- Michiru Kaioh, Shizuru Fujino, Rei Hino: 5'3" (and a half, in Michiru's case). Shizuru and Michiru are in high school, Rei's in middle school, all are considered exceptional beauties whose slight height advantage works in their favor. Miki Kaoru, a 7th grade boy, is on the shorter side for his age.
- Utena Tenjou: 5'4". Very tall for an 8th-grader, but since she's a proud tomboy, it doesn't seem to detract from her image.
- Makoto Kino: 5'6". Bullied by other middle schoolers for being an extraordinarily tall young woman compared to those around her.
- Juri Arisugawa: 5'7". A notoriously glamorous high school girl who sometimes does some modeling. Incredibly imposing.
- Haruka Tenoh: 5'9". A high school student who often passes as a man. Her enormous height undoubtedly plays a role in how easily she pulls this off. She and Mamoru Chiba, considered a tall and handsome fellow, are the same height.
- Touga Kiryuu and Kyouichi Saionji: 6'0". Absurdly tall high school boys. The exaggerated proportions of their theme's art style are a little out of control here, but six feet captures the impact of them being towering presences, men among boys (or at least that's how they'd like to think of themselves).
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