In anime, attractive men and women walk around in a cloud of sparkles. Maybe they're just so pretty that light, like members of the opposite sex (and occasionallythe same sex), behaves strangely around them. Maybe Animeland pheromones take the form of glowing, colorful diamonds of light. Nobody really knows.
Or maybe it's just the fact that Generic Cuteness makes it hard to visually show the really beautiful people. Furthermore, this is usually shown when it's the point of view of the person looking at a Bishie, so this is likely to visually convey their inner feelings.
This trope has been used so often that some examples will even employ the Bishie Sparkle out of an intense commitment to irony, or humorously.
Most Western examples have been references to Japanese examples, but with the popularity of Twilight, that might be beginning to change.
The effect also applies to cute couples, including Schoolgirl Lesbians but especiallyYaoi Guys. Order Bishie Sparkle today and get a free helping of Love Bubbles.
A Sub-Trope of Everything's Better with Sparkles.
Related to Gaussian Girl and Informed Attractiveness.
Parodied, like most other elements of shojo, in Ouran High School Host Club. Tamaki is by far the worst offender of this trope. Even Haruhi does it when interacting with the girls that come to see her at the club, though she's not doing it intentionally, much to Tamaki's annoyance/pride. To be honest, there's so much sparkle in the story that you'd think the entire cast was related to Edward Cullen in some way.
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge is all about the Bishie Sparkle! The four main male characters do it all the time. Sunako (the horror-obsessed, darkness-loving ghost-resembling Sadako-Samara-esque-girl) calls them "creatures of the light" and avoids them at all costs or gets a Nosebleed. The four boys are incredibly attractive to men and women alike, and boy, do they know it. They sparkle all the time, sometimes unconsciously, sometimes because they can purposefully turn on the charm. Noi, a really popular girl and Takenaga's girlfriend, also sparkles a lot, because she's so pretty and perfect.
Yuuichi of Kanon purposely unleashes a Bishie Sparkle at one point to see how it feels to be a bishie, and he decides it just isn't his thing. Ironically, many would consider him to be a bishonen, just not excessively so.
Maity-Sensei from Lovely Complex has a truly awesome Bishie Sparkle that he seems to be able to control (He often wraps it around his fingers and writes in the air with it when he is proud of himself) One time he even claims that he can use magic, then using the sparkle to demonstrate this.
Erica Hartmann did this in Strike Witches as part of a Show Some Leg to attract the attention of a passing truck. Even with all the sparkles, it still failed.
Used by Ian, the movie star who temporarily lures Layla away from the stage in Kaleido Star. Layla does it quite a bit, as well, in Episode 13.
Hendrick K. Strawberryfield in Kamen no Maid Guy projects sparkles when he removes his glasses. Which is quite often. He also hypnotizes women with them.
Possibly the strangest, most incredibly out-of-place use of this trope EVER was in one of the later episodes of Gundam Wing, in which Quatre, the already ambiguously-gay character, crouches over a wounded Heero and extends his hand, from which shines a sudden, brief, and totally unexpected shower of gold sparkles. Like, seriously. Totally came outta left field.
It is implied that the gold sparkles are a manifestation of Quatre using his not-quite-explained-but-somewhat-implied psychic powers on Heero. He gathers the sparkles from across Heero's body and brings them to his chest, remarking that he agreed that the Earth had been kind to both of them, and so they should go back.
In D.Gray-Man, Allen is shown to be able to exude Bishie Sparkles to get what he wants, most noticeably in this instance where he manages to manipulate the robot Komurin into falling for him and doing what he asks.
Tokidoki from Amatsuki displays a similar ability, using his sparkling beauty to fool the police into believing some sad story and therefore evading arrest. He also wears them when he's happy.
Baccano!! gives a very brief flash of bishie sparkle to Ladd Russo, of all people. He's not really bishonen or anything; he's just being veryhammy at the moment. ** Also, he's punching some poor bastard's face in.
Parodied in Natsume Yuujinchou with actor and part time exterminator Natori - who seems to accumulate fangirls wherever he goes.
Semi-averted in Slayers, where Zelgadis tends to shimmer under the scarves, especially in his first two or three appearances — but it's because he's made of shiny stone. But unaverted when he gets over some of his spazz, and the shimmer starts to combine with his graceful hand gestures and his personal bishie breeze.
Every character in Axis Powers Hetalia gets this at some point, but lately Estonia seems to be constantly sparkling. Some have started to call him Sparklestonia because of this. It even seems to spread to those around him in Chibi sketches.
Yatterman came out in 1978 but already lampshaded and spoofed this, for example when the Terrible Trio started mocking the heroes for their shiny eyes and teeth, or when the Yattermen started irradiating sparkles from random parts of their bodies.
In Kyo Kara Maoh!, Wolfram's sparkles can cure and heal the sick and dying. Gunter tends to get sparkles a lot.
At one point in Skip Beat!, Ren sparkles so hard that it's actually painful for Kyoko to look directly at him ("The sparkling! It burns!").
Ren is actually a pretty interesting subversion of this trope most of the time. While people who don't know him well tend to fall for him when the Bishie Sparkle comes out, Kyoko and other people who know him get scared. This is mostly because when Ren turns up the bishie sparkle, it's usually an indicator that he's being fake as hell and in actuality is pretty pissed off. When he's actually feeling happy or romantic, he tends to break out the Love Bubbles instead.
In the first Beach Episode of Keroro Gunsou, Momoka tries to confess her love to Fuyuki, who gets a bishie sparkle that grows brighter and brighter the more nervous Momoka gets.
Played for laughs in Fairy Tail. They mainly pop up in Juvia's over the top fantasies about Gray. When they show up outside of her imagination they accompany Ichiya, a man with typical bishounen hair but a very hideous face and short stature who doesn't seem to realize that he's the single least attractive character in the series.
Ookininushi from Kamisama Kiss. Every time he shows up it looks like a disco ball just exploded.
Tono To Issho: Naoe Kanetsugu is followed everywhere by a cloud of purple sparkles.
Angel Crush: Michael Finch AKA Michael the Archangel has long golden locks of blond hair that sparkle. All the time. Even at night.
The main male cast from Free! does this when swimming, even on the official poster. This is justified since the sparkles are mostly from pool water.
In Half Prince, Prince sparkled before fighting Hell's Murderers in the tournament.
Fujiko: (confused) "What’s with all these sparkles?"
Lupin: (as the ship crashes) "I think those are sparks..."
Jareth from Labyrinth is a rare live action example. The scene in which he first appears in Sarah's bedroom is a good example, where he is surrounded by sparkles. He also wears sparkly eye makeup.
The vampires in Twilight sparkle in direct sunlight, which they avoid by either being nocturnal or living in places with near-constant rainfall (such as Forks, WA). Prettiness is apparently a vampire trait. This has been the subject of much Squee-ing from the Fandom and much ridicule from the Hatedom. Possibly justified, since Twilight vampires' skin is like a diamond, both in toughness and in appearance.
With the announcement of a Twilight manhwa, the series may reach an unprecedented level of sparkle.
Happens to pretty much every one of J.D.'s girlfriends on Scrubs though there's also usually a fan blowing in her hair and a music riff too. In one of the commentaries they joke that these are moments made for the commercial, cause sex sells.
Delicious Gakuin does this with Rin and almost everything he touches. Lampshaded for comic effect as he can literally switch it on and off whenever he likes.
In Warehouse 13, the former football player has aged well, contrary to Myka's expectations, and is surrounded by Bishie Sparkle when she sees him for the first time.
In printed media, the title character of the comic strip "Brenda Starr Reporter" is always drawn with a very subdued version of this effect, even when not in the foreground. It manifests as between one and four six-pointed stars, and is subdued since the stars appear on the character's face and hair rather than in the air around her.
In The Sims 2, an option is to scan the room looking for people your Sim is attracted to. This is indicated by certain people being surrounded by a glowing light, complete with sparkles.
In The Sims 3, you can get a lifetime happiness reward called "Eye Candy", which surrounds your sim in red sparkles and gives a moodlet to other sims nearby.
The Sims 3 Supernatural gives us Vampire Sunscreen.
No More Heroes does this in Harvey Moseiwitschii Volodarksii's boss fight to a comedic extent, with sparkles constantly radiating off him. However, his 'bishonen' appearance is rather damaged when he gets cut in half.
Raiden occasionally generates this in the pre-Metal Gear Solid 4 joke trailers and the Snake Eraser bonus movie. At one point he and Snake race for the "Main Character" chair, Snake trailing dramatic red and white flower petals, and Raiden trailing white and pink sparkles.
Big Boss gets a helping of this, too, after telling Ocelot he's 'pretty good'. Ocelot, losing consciousness, perceives Big Boss as looking soft focus and sparkly.
Prince Peasley needs only flip his hair to create a blinding blast of Bishie Sparkle in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. He does this a lot, sometimes several times in the same scene.
In the MMO Lord of the Rings Online when a character receives "inspiration" (a buff which turns the character into an absolute Badass so he can solo a quest designed for a group), he's surrounded by a rather heavenly-looking glow and little sparkles emanate from him.
Yo-Jin-Bo has a couple of scenes in which the very pretty men of the game sparkle.
In Blazblue this came from the absolutely most unlikley source EVUHR, namely Arakune in his "Help me, Proffesor Kokonoe" segment. The good Professor Kokonoe herself proceeded with commenting that he was actually kind of cute.
Terumi of all people gets some in his gag ending. While taking a bath....
Handsome Lech incarnate Olivier Lenheim does this from time to time in Trails in the Sky, complete with a dramatic Hair Flip. Considering Olivier's personality and general silliness, this isn't surprising in the slightest.
Played with in Cafe Anime, with Jules (in the "How to Bishi" non-continuity series) spraying a jar of "Bishi Glitter" on Lexx. Which, later in the same series, causes him to blind onlookers when exposed to direct sunlight.
Highschool womaniser, Hiroshi Aizaku, of Red String displays it here. The girls flock to him till they notice the nearby Eiji Hayashihara, who they say has cleaned up nicely, who isn't sparkling likely because he isn't turning on the charm like Hiroshi is.
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron uses this trope more then once. First time is a pretty hilarious moment when Cindy sees Jimmy in a tux, she gets hearts in her eyes, the camera zooms in on him making a pose with sparkles surrounding him (plus some appropriate music) , and she dreamily stares at him as he walks in the church ("Hunk muffin..."). The second time is reversed, when Jimmy sees Cindy in her space suit, she has sparkles floating around her.
On Fred's Head these are used whenever anyone sees something or someone they like. It even goes as far as to whenever an animal sees something they like. As you can imagine, this happens just about every episode.
In Dexter's Laboratory, when Mandark first sees Dee Dee, he sees her passing by in slo-mo, a trail of sparkles in her wake. He grasps at them in a zonked-out state of bliss.
Vanessa gets a Bishie Sparkle too, when Ferb sees her the first and the second time, although it was used more to indicate his Precocious Crush on her rather than her beauty.
Jeremy Johnson, the subject of Candace's crush, occasionally gets this.
Private, one of the Badass Adorable title group in The Penguins of Madagascar, once learned to reach 132% Cuteness which caused people to pass out upon seeing it. When he activated it, it spontaneously generated glitter and rainbows.