Big Anime Eyes YKTTW Discussion

Big Anime Eyes
Anime and manga commonly emphasise the eyes by drawing them unrealisticly large.
Needs Examples Up For Grabs
(permanent link) added: 2012-05-26 06:15:45 sponsor: Sackett edited by: peccantis (last reply: 2012-12-24 14:27:01)

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Exaggeratedly large eyes are one of the most famous and recognisable elements of anime and manga. Large eyes are ubiquitous in shonen and especially shoujo, which also happen to be the two best known demographics outside of Japan. Chibi style, again common in manga and anime aimed at kids and teens, exaggerates the eye size even further.

With "anime eyes" not only the size increases, but also the shape is exaggerated (and usually gives a hint whether the character is generally active or passive), the iris and the pupil grow in proportion and change shape to compliment the general eye shape, and especially in the romantic genre, the reflections are greatly exaggerated. Horizontal lines above the eyes represent the folds of the upper lid and are not necessarily realistic for Asian characters, but serve as a visual anchor that makes for a lightning-fast distinction between a narrow eye and a half-closed eye. The range and flexibility of the eyebrows is also exaggerated.

Large eyes emphasise the youthfulness and cuteness of a character. They also make it easier to convey complex and nuanced emotions. Eyes are an important tool for emotional communication for humans; the difference between Japanese and occidental smileys (which focus the information on eye and mouth shapes, respectively) would suggest that the importance of eyes is even higher in East Asia.

Thus big eyes are very very popular for characters intended to be cute and endearing, and in genres which rely greatly on emotion and melodrama. Even in works that employ more realistic proportions use eyes as a major tool. Only in the gag genre and some more experimental styles are eyes downplayed.

On the other hand, characters with small and possibly oversimplified eyes are usually intended to be incredibly ugly, and are used more as tools for gags rather than fully-fledged characters. Characters with no eyes at all are the faceless mass, part of the background, moving standies, or perhaps intended to be as emotionally distant from the other characters and the reader as possible.


No straight examples please.

Also no general aversions please. Aversions from uniformly large-eyed genres are ok. (Good luck finding those).

Playing with a Trope examples are welcome from all media.

Info on YKTTW:

Up for Grabs

The image linked is from who draws anime caricatures for pay. For the YKTTW it serves as a good example, but if we want to use it for the actual page we'll need to ask permission.

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