When angry or outraged, a cross- or Y-shaped intersection of veins never fails to appear on an anime character's forehead and/or fist.
Occasionally, if the character gets mad enough, extra popping veins will appear in the air around them. Of late, the veins have begun to turn into a symbol like the Sweat Drop
, and as seen in the illustration to the right, no longer appear to be part of the character's body. Also, there are absolutely no regulations when it comes to the size of it.
It's effective in demonstrating the character is angry despite what other emotion they may be displaying, showing the character is putting on a facade to hide their anger.
Usually limited to comedic anime, but some manga have started putting them in speech bubbles
, and they have also appeared in anime-influenced Western animation
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Anime and Manga
- In one scene in the Fruits Basket anime Shigure claims he's angry, and when no one believes him he grabs one of these and places it on his head, and claims he's angry once more.
Shigure: Well, don't we all look lovely?
Kyo: I can't believe you're laughing.
Shigure: [calmly] Oh, right. [reaches off screen, grabs a cross vein and sticks it to his head] Now I'm mad.
- Also used nearly straight in regards to Ritsu. Poor Ritsu, trying to be nice, brings a couple fruit magazines to the Sohma house, which makes Shigure a tad frustrated. When Ritsu asks if something's wrong, Shigure turns to Ritsu and says "No, it's nothing," in a perfectly calm voice, with a nice genial smile. However, there's a Cross Popping Vein the size of his fist on his forehead. In the Anime version, a giant red arrow is featured, pointing to the vein. Ritsu starts running for dear life... as always.
- Crayon Shin-chan: Parodied in the Gag Dub, in the episode "Happiness Bunny's Revenge", when the Milfers' stuffed bunny comes to life to exact revenge on them for punching him.
Happiness Bunny: You've caused me so much pain, it's made an anger-and-despair mark over my head! Look at it!
- Azumanga Daioh uses this frequently, especially with regards to Yukari-sensei and Tomo-chan.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: When the obsessively neat Chiri sports one, it appears in the exact center of her forehead in an utterly symmetrical way.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: Even robots get these, and they appear sometimes on the hair of human characters. Nagi gains a cross popping vein in the pool game episode and when leaving, it falls off her head. ...?
- Soul Eater: Shinigami-sama seems to get these a lot, despite being a skeleton, and therefore lacking veins.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: This appears regularly on the series' various Tsundere. Most notably, Asakura gets one when faced with Kurt Godel...and it is scary.
- Pokémon: This was lampshaded in a particular episode where Jessie began to rapidly fill the screen with floating Cross Popping Veins, some not even touching her head.
- Trigger from Kurogane Communication is the grandmaster of these, despite being a robot.
- Doraemon: It's rare, but does occur in the manga once or twice. This appears more frequently in the anime adaptation.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Ed Elric has no shortage of these.
- In Nana, Nana K actually draws these on the omelets she makes for Takumi in ketchup.
- Akumetsu has this show up from time to time as part of the Mood Whiplash.
- In Ladies Versus Butlers!... You know you are screwed up if you see this.◊
- Sebastian from Black Butler gets a few when dealing with the incompetent servants of the Phantomhive household.
- Rumiko Takahashi uses them everywhere in her work, especially if its comedic (except in serious fare like The Mermaid Saga or her horror-oriented Rumik World one-shots, naturally.) They're even visible through an animal's fur, scales, or feathers, and sometimes a character visibly brushes them off to represent him or her cooling off and taking things in stride.
- In Ranma ˝ manga, this was the only way to know that Kasumi was angry, which only happened once.
- In Digimon Adventure, Mimi's Cross Popping Vein actually makes a popping sound, it's funny.
- Durarara!! : Shizuo Heiwajima typically has one pop up on his forehead right before he loses his temper and starts another rampage.
- One Piece uses these rather often, usually due to Luffy being exasperating, especially in the eyes of Zoro or Nami.
- In one particular scene in Maid-Sama!, Shizuko sits through a stressful situation looking out the window, completely ignoring everyone... and with a permanent cross popping vein stuck on top of her head.
- Ritsuko is prone to this on the anime version of THE iDOLM@STER. Haruka gets one too on the OVA.
- The Student Council Vice-President in Daily Lives of High School Boys has a constant one, as part of his Face of a Thug image.
- In Sangatsu No Lion, Rei is the most prone to using them, despite being the meekest member of the cast. These show up sometimes on other characters as well. However, Umino restricts their usage to the more light-hearted and humorous moments; she lets the characters' facial expressions and body language convey their anger during dramatic scenes.
- Several characters in Kotoura-san display these occasionally, usually Haruka or Yuriko.
- Subverted by Touko of Servant × Service. She sports a permanent one below her right eye. Chapter 11 of the manga, however, clarifies that it's a stylized birthmark — Touko herself mentions that it's "like a mole".
- In Act 1 of Sailor Moon Crystal, a thick red set show up on angry, temporarily nonverbal cat familiar Luna as she rapidly scratches her human Usagi's face in retaliation for her upsetting apology kiss.
- Characters in Breath of Fire 2 have it. Look for it in Highfort... especially with the Princess of Highfort.
- Using the provoking move, Swagger, in all Pokémon games starting from Pokémon Gold and Silver, causes this animation to appear briefly on the target if it works. Ditto for Rage. And Frustration (at least in Gen III).
- It also occurs in the Safari Zone when the player throws a rock or mud at the Pokémon, angering it.
- Primeape has this on its forehead.
- Mewtwo gains this whenever it launches most of its attacks in the Pokémon Stadium/Pokémon Colosseum games.
- In Super Mario World, when you reach the third phase of the fight with Bowser, his Koopa Clown Car has this expression while he attempts to flatten Mario with it.
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has this with the Arm Muscle minigame. When Bowser's muscle expands the second time, it gets a small Cross Popping Vein. When you max out the muscle (causing Bowser to suddenly heave the ball he was carrying at Fawful Castle, pull out the Giga-Carrot, etc.), it gets a huge one. The effect goes away after the minigame is over.
- In the Izuna games, an excite trap will cause this to appear above your head. Excite traps are actually beneficial, though: they raise your attack power by pissing you off.
- Golden Sun: In the Going Through the Motions sequences, characters sometimes have a picture of cross popping veins on a speech balloon (they do the same thing for The Sweat Drop).
- In The Nameless Mod, Trestkon's default skin has one tattooed (apparently with MSPaint) on his cheek.
- In many of the Disgaea titles, should you see one of these pop up in a speech bubble, it's an early indication that someone's pissed off.
- It appears a couple of times in Mother 3, inside a red circle that appears above an enemy's head.
- It's also lampshaded at one point. At the beginning of Chapter 4, Wess complains about how Tazmily Village changed, and Fassad replies by saying, "You know, if you keep making the veins on your forehead pop out like that, happiness will only escape you."
- The "angry" heart has this in Super Princess Peach.
- In Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F, when interacting with the Vocaloids in their respective diva rooms, they will show this when they get angry after certain undesirable actions by the player.
- In real life, bulging veins are usually a sign of physiological changes, such as aging or diseases. Strong emotion pumps blood faster, thus making it more protrudent.