Created By: Momochi on September 9, 2017 Last Edited By: Momochi on October 27, 2017
Troped

Reflectionless Useless Eyes

Their eyes lack highlights - they're unconscious/blind/inhuman.

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Are your eyes reflecting the light? Lower your head or eyelids until the light is concealed. Voila, you've got yourself Reflectionless Useless Eyes.

Although often overlapped with "Uh-Oh" Eyes, these eyes are not inherently sinister. The primary meaning is in relation to the lowered head or eyelids due to fainting or death, and by extension, the unused eyes of a blind man (literally or figuratively). Or they are utilized in a way ours are not because they belong to someone who is notably different.

Subtropes include Empty Eyes (post-traumatic flat eyes) and Dull Eyes of Unhappiness (which can be cured by taking a level in cheerfulness). A frequent feature of Mind-Control Eyes.

Indexes: Eye Tropes, Japanese Visual Arts Tropes, This Index Is Useless


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Unconscious, Dead, and Inanimate 
  • Etrian Odyssey: Word of God states that the playable characters are drawn in this style to signify that they are waiting for you to breathe life into them.
  • Kemono Friends: Little Bit Beastly Friends born from endangered or extinct animal species like Crested Ibis or Aurochs don't have eye highlights. Also, Kaban's eyes go dim upon hearing her species' alleged extinction.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Bruno/Dark Glass has these naturally. It is a hint to the fact that he's actually a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: The robotic eyes of Chachamaru and Chachazero.
  • Maria, the robot girl in Ghost Sweeper Mikami.
  • Chobits (anime only): In the title sequence, a robot girl opens her eyes which are quite human, complete with gleam and detailed pupils. Then the Art Shifts so that they fade into her usual flatter brown irises with little glare. After that everyone's eyes are depicted this way. In the last episode, every robot gets normal-looking eyes during a worldwide upgrade.
  • Black Butler: Victims of Drocell's Puppet Permutation.
  • Bleach: When the protagonist has a near-death experience, his eyes become dull and lifeless as he lay incapcitated.
  • Yu, the Silly Spook from Puyo Puyo.
  • Fantasy Kaleidoscope: Yuyuko is the only character who doesn't have white reflections in her eyes, by virtue of being a Cute Ghost Girl.

    Visually Impaired 
  • Sket Dance: Sasuke Tsubaki's eyes lack highlights, signifying his poor vision.
  • Marin in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan after literally going Blind Without 'Em, though her eyes return to normal as long as she wears 'em.
  • InuYasha
    • After Inuyasha gets his right eye gouged out, he regenerates this eye until it becomes fully functional.
    • Inuyasha again, when blinded by the poison from Sesshomaru's claws.
  • Hunter × Hunter
    • Komugi keeps her blind Eyes Always Shut, except when she plays chess with these eyes.
    • Pairo has these eyes, indicating his visual impairment.
  • Misaki Kawana, a blind upperclassman from One Kagayaku Kisetsu E.
  • Katawa Shoujo: Lilly Satou has blue eyes that are slightly clouded.
  • Amagi Brilliant Park: Latifa Fleuranza is originally blind, though the anime doesn't state it nor is this trope in effect.
  • Madoka Otowa, the Blind Musician from Get Backers.
  • The titular character of Cutey Honey, when blinded by scales of a butterfly monster.
  • Future Diary
    • Minene Uryu's injured left eye is depicted as having a lusterless, crumpled iris.
    • Tsubaki Kasugano has poor eyesight, being unable to see more than a few meters.
  • When Laguna Granscenic in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS finally removes her eye patch (after having been accidentally shot in the left eye), we see that the eye under it is dull and unfocused. It is never indicated explicitly, however, whether this means that even the advanced medicine on Midchilda cannot restore lost vision, or that she has, in fact, received a cybernetic replacement eye.
  • Toph from Avatar The Last Air Bender has these eyes to show she's blind.
  • Armed Girl's Machiavellism: Tsukuyo Inaba's eyes are a dim brownish-red due to her blindness.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy Mustang has these (combined with Milky White Eyes in the manga) after a forced Equivalent Exchange costs his eyesight.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2es: Late into Season 1, Gene loses her eyesight as the result of slowly losing her material form, giving her these.
  • Asura Cryin': Rikka Kurasawa loses her vision in one eye near the end of the series, and it becomes dull-colored and non-reflective.
  • In Another World with My Smartphone: Ellen, the wife of the Duke of Belfast, had been blind ever since contracting an illness five years in the past. Her eyes are dull and non-reflective at first, until the protagonist uses magic to restore her vision, and they gradually return to normal.
  • Stella Bonnaro from Cowboy Bebop.
  • The Prince of Tennis: This signifies that Yukimura has taken away the opponent's sense of sight.
  • A Game Of Chance: Matthias Cline's eyes are blank and unmoving.

    Inhuman and Nonhuman 
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: People surpassing their physical and mental limits ("SEED mode") exhibit dull, expanded irises and constricted pupils.
  • Monsuno: Master Ey has flat green eyes, indicating his otherworldly knowledge.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro
    • When Neuro, a demon, takes human form his swirly eyes have no highlights; though he frequently pretends he's an ordinary man with ordinary eyes.
    • Sasazuka is a rather serious and lifeless person who almost never shows any expression.
  • Pokémon Black and White: N is the leader of Team Plasma who embodies Pure Is Not Good.
  • Vestals from Bakugan are different from humans by their eyes, because they have a colored pupil and no shine.
  • The Buff Clan in Space Runaway Ideon look identical to humans, with the exception of their eyes.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: The demonic eyes of Zazie Rainyday and her sister.
  • Mayu Morita, the titular Quiet One of Morita-san Wa Mukuchi has "the eyes of frozen squid".
  • In Phi Brain: Puzzle of God, the Friendly Enemy Rook frequently lacks highlights in his eyes. The Mood Whiplash comes after he and the hero spend an episode hanging out together, when he thanks his friend for the day with the highlights fading as the sun sets, and challenges him to the final battle. Averted after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Yondemasu Yo Azazelsan: Akutabe, a devil summoner with cold eyes who even devils are afraid of.
  • Mahoraba: The Occult Research Club President's irises are entirely black.
  • InuYasha: Half of Naraku's incarnations have glazed eyes.
  • Assassination Classroom
    • Looking closely, Blood Knight Karma's eyes lack the shine his classmates have. Also, his eyes are drawn a little wider, making him appear just a bit... off compared to the others.
    • Asano Sr. and Jr. lack any glimmer in their eyes, presumably to make them look more focused and ruthless.
  • Turn A Gundam: The Moonrace's eye reflects light less often than the Earthrace's. This serves as a way for the audience to distinguish Dianna and Kihel when they switch places.
  • The Prince of Tennis: When doubles players "synchronize" with each other and play as one, their eyes turn gold with no pupils.
  • El Cazador de la Bruja
  • Freezing: The Pandoras in Nova Form.
  • Black Jack: When a patient notices that doctors, nurses and his mother are acting strangely, he starts seeing them as having these eyes. Instead of alien possession as he's convinced, it turns out his disease is so serious that everyone is hiding this information from him. Ironically, the attempted aversion of Lethal Diagnosis makes him become paranoid, almost killing him. Once the secret is disclosed, their eyes return to normal.
  • Jeri Katou in Digimon Tamers has these while she is behaving oddly. However, this "Jeri" is actually a clone constructed from data.
  • Ichijou, the Cloudcuckoolander from Pani Poni Dash!.
  • Several Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann characters get spiral-shaped eyes at various points when they're utilizing massive amounts of Spiral Power.
  • In Pokémon X and Y, Hex Maniacs have, well, maniacal eyes.

Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • September 9, 2017
    Koveras
    • When Laguna Granscenic in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers finally removes her eye patch (after having been accidentally shot in the left eye), we see that the eye under it is dull and unfocused. It is never indicated explicitly, however, whether this means that even the advanced medicine on Midchilda cannot restore lost vision, or that she has, in fact, received a cybernetic replacement eye.
  • September 9, 2017
    LegitimateIdiot
    Why the "useless" part in the title? Wouldn't "Reflectionless Eyes" suffice?
  • September 9, 2017
    Koveras
    ^ Because that wouldn't indicate how a certain characterization trait (lack of reflections in the eyes) is used in fiction, and runs a high risk of attracting misuse.
  • September 9, 2017
    Omeganian
    See also Eye Lights Out
  • September 9, 2017
    tyrekecorrea
    Why lump people with all those different characteristics into one group?
  • September 9, 2017
    tyrekecorrea
    Besides, none of those characteristics guarantee that a person who has them is unhappy.
  • September 9, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Wouldn't "insane" count as Dull Eyes Of Unhappiness?
  • September 9, 2017
    Momochi
    ^^^ Because they are all summarized into "not seeing". ^^ Actually, this is Empty Eyes and Dull Eyes Of Unhappiness but NOT unhappy. For the lack of this super trope they're misused to mean reflectionless eyes, worst being:
    • Dull Eyes Of Unhappiness: Bruno has these naturally, despite being quite happy most of the time, but his eyes are the same as Dark Glass's. It is a hint to the fact that he's actually a robot.
    ^ That easily overlaps. Consider it as "not thinking conventionally", e.g. if these eyes are applied to a sage it's this trope. (laconic editted)
  • September 10, 2017
    Skylite
    Sometimes the lack of reflection indicates the character is mind controlled or brainwashed. I'm not sure which of the dull eyes tropes this would go under.
  • September 11, 2017
    Momochi
    ^ Strictly speaking, Empty Eyes if it lacks pupils too; this trope otherwise.
  • September 24, 2017
    Snowy66
    Not sure if this one counts.

  • October 4, 2017
    Momochi
  • October 4, 2017
    NubianSatyress
    • Asura Cryin: Rikka Kurasawa loses her vision in one eye near the end of the series, and it becomes dull-colored and non-reflective.

    • ''Bleach: When the protagonist has a near-death experience, his eyes become dull and lifeless as he lay incapcitated.

    • In Another World With My Smartphone: Ellen, the wife of the Duke of Belfast, had been blind ever since contracting an illness five years in the past. Her eyes are dull and non-reflective at first, until the protagonist uses magic to restore her vision, and they gradually return to normal.
  • October 9, 2017
    darkemyst
    I'm not sure how the "inhuman" of the laconic fits, shouldn't it just say something like Their eyes lack highlights to indicate they are unseeing, or substitute blind/unconscious/dead for the current unconscious/blind/inhuman?
  • October 11, 2017
    Momochi
    Thanks for your input.

    The "inhuman" represents the third folder "Inhuman and Nonhuman". As well as literal uselessness, these eyes often indicate that they think differently. As this blog put it, it ranges from "otherworldly" to "mad".
  • October 21, 2017
    Momochi
    I greatly appreciate your contributions and hats. But I'm kinda reluctant to launch this right away because of the discard votes. I'd like to wait for more hats, or another couple of weeks.

    I assume it's because it hasn't been differentiated enough from its subtropes?
    • Empty Eyes
      • appearance: lack of pupils, and customary light reflection; iris shading goes from the usual radial to gradient; eyelids drop
      • meaning: dying, dead, distracted, shocked, traumatized, mind-controlled, broken, in a state of Tranquil Fury, completely insane, or some combination of the above
    • Dull Eyes Of Unhappiness
      • appearance: eyes losing their luster
      • meaning: feeling sad, very tired, depressed, or about to snap
    • this
      • appearance: the same as ^
      • meaning: unconscious/blind/inhuman, not necessarily uh-oh
    • Mind Control Eyes is sometimes misused to describe this appearance. Trope Talk'd.
  • October 22, 2017
    Argon2
    • In Fruits Basket, one of the Girl Posse goes into a fit of paranoia and screams that Saki is "mocking [them] with those lightless eyes!"
  • October 23, 2017
    Momochi
    ^ I don't quite get it. From what I googled she has reflective eyes, and "mocking" is not in the definitions.
  • October 27, 2017
    Momochi
    Launching this weekend.
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