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Hexagonal Speech Balloon

Light-hearted moments in Anime are frequently set up by showing a Long Shot of the wider area around a group of characters (or a shot of a map of the area), with the characters appearing as talking heads within wobbly multi-colored hexagonal comic strip-style speech balloons. This frequently emphasizes the space that the characters must deal with: wilderness that they must cross, an entire neighbourhood that they must search, or so forth. It can also be used as a lower-budget way to show a group of people having conversations all at once.

This is, of course, a hold over from comic book panels, particularly Odd-Shaped Panel.

Examples

  • Ranma 1/2
  • Ouran High School Host Club has played with it, including a scene where Kyouya punctures one of the speech balloons with a pen.
  • Twice in Love Hina
  • Used in a humorous Breather Episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is also the only time a Super-Deformed character has appeared in the series proper.
  • Digimon Adventure used it once.
  • In Fruits Basket, members of the Zodiac may be represented by a Super-Deformed animal head of the appropriate species when speaking from offscreen. Other characters may be represented by other avatars, such as Tohru's rice ball.
  • In a filler episode of Fullmetal Alchemist centering on days at the military headquarters, this trope is used when Lt. Havoc finds out his girlfriend is cheating with him with his superior officer, Mustang, with comments from his co-workers while he freaks out completely.
  • Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou uses these as a Censor Box.
  • Pokémon delves into this, be it with characters getting lost, arguing with one another, etc.
  • SHUFFLE! frequently uses arrow-shaped boxes when someone is talking, both when they're too far away to be seen, and when they're off-screen.

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