Top-view ranchu (TVR)
In ancient China, people kept goldfish in large jars made of pottery or porcelain; therefore the only way people could see the fish was from the top. For this reason, people selected those goldfish, generations by generations, with big belly, big wen, and dragon eyes genes for the purpose of top view. Therefore, the top view ranchu is considered better aesthetically in Japan and China. The TVR should have a rectangle shape, short tail, and big wen on the head. When swimming, their appearance should resemble a worm moving in water, which gives the ranchu its name (in Chinese "ruan chong" means "egg shape worm"). 
Side-view ranchu (SVR)
A ranchu's back (seen from the side) is compared to a traditional Japanese comb, which comes in two shapes. The first comb-shape (the nagate or long style) is long with rounded corners and is similar to the koban coin. While the second comb-shape (the marute or the round style) is shorter, round and is similar to a round coin viewed from the side, but still not as round as any modern-day circular coins. Both comb shapes are acceptable in ranchu exhibitions and competitions.
The tremendous hood or headgrowth and fat cheeks of lionheads give them a facial appearance similar to canine puppies. The "wen" (Chinese term for headgrowth) fully covers the head, cheeks and gill plates of the fish.Furthermore, lionheads have short but deep bodies, and relatively straight or evenly arched backs without dorsal fins. The finnage, in general, is short. Breeding standards require that the lionhead’s anal fins are paired, the double tail fin should not droop, and its upper edges should be held away from the body. The tail of a traditional lionhead can be fully separated, partially separated, or webbed. The tail should also meet the caudal peduncle (the area where the body joins the tail) in a fashion that is almost perpendicular to the body. The caudal peduncle is ideally broad, allowing the tail to open when the fish swims. The back of the proper lionhead is quite broad to support the placement of the raspberry-like hood. Hood development may vary but is more pronounced in males. The hood normally takes a year to develop in young fry. Mature male lionheads periodically shed patches of their headgrowths.
Lionheads can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length (including finnage) and may have metallic, nacreous or matte scales. They are available in orange, red, white, red-and-white, blue, black, black-and-white, black-and-red, natural, and chocolate coloration.
The Western criteria for lionchus combine the traditional characteristic side-view profiles of the ranchu and the lionhead. The ranchu's deep body, broad and curved back, and tail placement has been merged with the large headgrowth of the lionhead. Lionchus do not have dorsal fins, a trait inherited from both parent breeds.
Origins and evolution
Although at first, the lionchus were considered merely as mongrels, being hybrids of the lionheads and ranchus, the lionhead actually have an ancestor from Japan in the 1800s; it is then known as the shishigashira ranchu or lion-headed ranchu. The shishigashira ranchu is a ranchu-like goldfish with small amounts of headgrowth and some having small knobs and bumps on the back (a suggestion that the absence of the dorsal fin had not yet been stabilized at the time). But the modern-day lionchu is considered to have originated from Thailand, and was popularized by a group of goldfish hobbyists in Singapore through RafflesGold.com, an internet-based goldfish forum site. The lionchu was officially recognized as a unique class of fancy goldfish during the "My Fancy Goldfish Competition 2006", which was held in Singapore from May 26–28, 2006.
- Lionheads have more head growth than Ranchus.
- Ranchus’ back is curved upwards, whereas Lionheads are flatter.
- Ranchu’s caudal fin has a 45-degree angle, whereas Lionheads are lower and larger.
- Lionheads’ peduncle (main body) is longer and thinner, whereas Ranchus are thick and stubby.
Pattern names in Japanese and English and their descriptions:
1. Shoujou or Orangutan - all red
2. Sarasa-aka or Red Mottled with White
3. Hara-shiro or White Belly - red with white abdomen
4. Moto-aka or Red Base Tail - base portion of a tail is red
5. Koshi-shiro or White Lumbar - lower back and tail peduncle is white
6. Tsutsu-shiro or White Tail Peduncle
7. Men-shiro or White Mask - white head
8. Diamond - sizable white rectangle on top of red head
9. Komado or Small Window - small rectangle on top of red head
10. Tsura-shiro or White Cheeks - red head with funtan and sides of the head white
11. Kabuki - white head with funtan and sides of the head red
12. Ichimonji-shiro or Straight White Line, red head
13. Ichimonji-aka or Red Straight Line, white head
14. Kougai or Hairpin - one funtan is red
15. Kuchibeni or Lipstick - red outlined mouth on the white head
16. Sarasa-shiro or White Mottled with Red
17. Azuki or Adzuki Red Beans - isolated red scales on white body
18. Men-kaburi or Headdress - red head with white body
19. Tonchou or Japanese Crane - red spot in the middle of the white head
20. Hinomaru or Japanese Flag - red spot on the white back
21. Rocuuroko or Six Fins - red pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins with white body
22. Shiro or White
23. Ki-gashira or Yellow Head
24. Kiniro or Golden - golden color body, parts of the head and fins