Created By: Arha on March 20, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 19, 2014

Serious Sparkle

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Trope
Needs More Examples. Will be launched in a few days if more examples cannot be found so that the trope isn't forgotten.

The Serious Sparkle is a visual effect common to anime and manga where a character says something either ridiculous or incredibly obvious in an entirely serious manner, which is emphasized by a small sparkle which appears next to them. This is frequently lampshaded when another character notes the absurdity. As a comedic effect, it is of course more common to either the stranger characters or to less serious shows entirely, but it can be seen even during serious events as a moment of brevity.

Subtrope of Everything's Better with Sparkles. Not to be confused with the Bishie Sparkle.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Fairly common in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Even the serious 'ex' mercenary Mana gets to make one when lampshading the Sorting Algorithm of Evil in regards to the ominous tower they're storming. Though it ends up not working like that.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler employs this in many scenes, such as Nagi's sudden decision that she's going to skip school for a trivial reason to avoid having to compete in the sports festival.
  • Keima gets to monopolize these in The World God Only Knows whenever explaining that whatever plan he concocted is based off mimicking something he saw in a dating sim. Despite the sparkle, other characters are less than impressed.
  • Pretty much anything Might Guy or Rock Lee says from Naruto. Whatever they promise or declare is taken entirely seriously by them, but it's usually ridiculous or over-dramatic.
  • Vash in Trigun tends to be a lecherous idiot except when he's not. Whenever he starts hitting on women, the little sparkle appears and he starts hamming it up, keeping him from ever being taken seriously by the girl in question.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. This trope has been passed down the Armstrong family line for generations!

Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • March 21, 2011
    Arha
    No one has more examples to add? Pretty common visual effect, I thought.
  • March 22, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    I haven't seen enough shows to add examples. Just noting this would be another Sub Trope to Everythings Better With Sparkles.
  • March 24, 2011
    whereismytea
    Pictures might help too, to distinguish this case from the other sparkle tropes.
  • March 24, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Pretty much anything Maito Guy or Rock Lee says from Naruto. Whatever they promise or declare is taken entirely seriously by them, but it's usually ridiculous or over-dramatic.
  • March 25, 2011
    Anarchy
    It's so common that I can't remember any specific examples. It's one of my favorite comedic effects, actually. I'll keep a look out for them when reading manga and add them as I go.
  • March 25, 2011
    Arha
    I was about to go use the Mana example as the page image, but I think that people might assume the image was about the ranking of bad guys according to strength. If anyone can find an image that's less misleading than that, let me know. Otherwise... I guess I'll go look through Hayate The Combat Butler. Or one of Keima while Haqua lampshades the silliness in the background.
  • March 25, 2011
    Shnakepup
    I think this happens in Trigun. The main character, Vash, is normally very goofy and friendly, but he's a severe womanizer, so whenever he's trying to impress a woman he acts super serious. I'm pretty sure the sparkle thing happens as well, in addition to him literally being animated differently (drawn more masculine).
  • March 25, 2011
    dotchan
    I think it's a Glittering/Blinding Smile?
  • March 25, 2011
    Arha
    Do you mean what Vash does, or this trope?
  • March 26, 2011
    RodrigoVega
    This tropes has passed down the Armstrong line for generations.
  • March 26, 2011
    MorganWick
    I almost feel like it needs a rename. Sparkles are as much a victim of Twilight as vampires are. This title sounds to me like it's a "serious" counterpart to the Bishie Sparkle, and considering this is a staple of comedy, that's the exact opposite connotation than it should have. Of course, "funny sparkle" would work even less, but...
  • March 27, 2011
    Arha
  • March 27, 2011
    whereismytea
    Hammy Sparkle? Generally the characters doing this a being melodramatic when it's uncalled for, right?
  • March 27, 2011
    Kaoy
    How about 'Sparkles Mean Serious Business'?

    Also: ^^^Not really. Since its very clearly an anime/manga trope, it's connotations are pretty obvious.
  • March 27, 2011
    Arha
    Can we get any more examples? I think we need some more for the trope to really be able to grow.
  • March 30, 2011
    MorganWick
    ^^ Being an animanga trope isn't obvious from the title alone, so neither are the connotations. If someone reads the description enough to figure out it's an animanga trope, they'd probably figure out what the trope was regardless of whether they figured it was media-specific.
  • March 30, 2011
    Kaoy
    ^Hmm, I can sort of see what your getting at. How about something like Armstrong Family Specialty?
  • March 30, 2011
    Arha
    That's kind of opaque. I might change it to Seriously Silly Sparkle since it gets the point across that it's supposed to be silly, but treated as serious. Plus triple s and Adverbly Adjective Noun!
  • March 30, 2011
    Kaoy
    But that still doesn't address Morgan's concerns, which I can somewhat understand.
  • March 30, 2011
    Arha
    Er, the word 'silly' is a bit of a giveaway, isn't it?
  • January 18, 2014
    XFllo
    Bumping... Iis this going anywhere?
  • January 18, 2014
    Lakija
    Is this trope like... when they say something like "I've got it!" and a little flash/flare/sparkle appears next to them? Don't rush this one out. See if you can find an image to put in this trope. I think you'd get more examples, maybe. If it were clearer.
  • January 18, 2014
    DAN004
    PICTURE PLZ.
  • January 19, 2014
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work titles and de-Pot Holed the Full Metal Alchemist example as per How To Write An Example - State the source.

    The Full Metal Alchemist entry is a Zero Context Example because it doesn't actually have any examples of the trope.
  • January 19, 2014
    xanderiskander
    "Will be launched in a few days if more examples cannot be found so that the trope isn't forgotten."

    Not without five hats. Launching prematurely will just cause problems for the wiki. Don't disregard the YKTTW process just because you're impatient.

    And isn't this basically the parodied version of Twinkle Smile and/or Bishie Sparkle? Both pages note that it's often done ironically after a character does something comical.
  • January 19, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ Ironically, this was already forgotten. see date.

    also, no, this is more "Gleam Of Interest". where a character is so serious about something so mundane she glitters for no discernible reason.

    this is so common you'd be hard pressed to find examples.
  • January 19, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    eh, found one in my screenshot collection.

    https://db.tt/DwzSoUI4
  • January 19, 2014
    Shinr
    ^ That particular image is more of an exaggerated Twinkle In The Eye, with its YKTTW discussed here.
  • January 19, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ ... it's usage fits here though, and not Twinkle In The Eye: Tropes Are Flexible.

    another

    just read the descriptions of the two tropes.

    Twinkle In The Eye is more "Twinkle preceeds awesomeness"

    Serious Spakle is "I'm saying something so stupid in a serious way i sparkle" which probably explains Twilight

    "This is the body of a killer."
    proceeds to sparkle
    Edward Cullen
  • January 19, 2014
    xanderiskander
    ^Yes, but like Twinkle Smile and Bishie Sparkle say, the twinkling on those types of pages is often done ironically for comedy. And often times when it's done ironically the character is saying/doing something stupid or hammy (and he's not awesome), but it plays out the same as the awesome variant, and that makes it funny.

    Also Tropes Are Flexible is about tropes not being rigid. That would imply that this could happen within those tropes not that they should be restricted and not include parodied/ironic examples.
  • January 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Sir Shanghai Slave, I should mention that Twinkle In The Eye is wider than you think. :P

    And the "another" link would cross into Wingding Eyes
  • January 19, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ ^^ then the description should reflect that. I expected the so called "reboot" to limit the trope.

    also i called TAF on this one. meaning this one is flexible enough to cover "serious sparkle eyes".

    though turns out i'm wrong. but what of this one then?
  • January 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Now I'm waiting for the fricking OP.
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