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Hidden Eyes

A character undergoing emotional stress may be shown from a head-on view or directly from the side with their head bowed and their eyes covered by their bangs or forelocks. (Sometimes the shot starts from one angle and cuts midway to the other.) Even if they have no bangs at all, it's their brow ridge that covers them. Their eyes are not drawn, even when they should be at least partially visible through the shadow, giving the impression of a blank face above the bridge of the nose. This usually symbolizes a person driven by events to a point of unpredictable action; when you see this on a cutie, you know she's been thoroughly broken.

If not temporary and the character's eyes are hidden all the time by the hair, then it is a case of Blinding Bangs.

In some cases, it's simply caused by the character's headwear (such as a baseball cap or helmet) and has nothing to do with emotional stress. For when a hat does this, see Eye-Obscuring Hat. Only emotional moments qualify for Hidden Eyes.

See also The Faceless and Kubrick Stare. Sometimes, the eyes are hidden behind a pair of Scary Shiny Glasses. It's possible to hide them just enough to appear to have Black Eyes of Evil or a Ghostly Gape. When the eyes are hidden because of exposed or hidden character, see Blank Face of Shame. For characters that literally and permanently lack eyes, see Eyeless Face. See also Peek-a-Bangs.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Tower of God - Baam's eyes are only seen twice in the second season after Rachel nearly killed him.
  • In an episode of Digimon Tamers, Juri falls suspect to this during an emotional turmoil Mind Rape time. The funny part is that the English dub ended up drawing eyes for her, not only ruining the effect of the scene, but also causing the animation to clash horribly.
  • Common in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • In the anime of Suzumiya Haruhi, if arranged chronologically, Haruhi is seen stalking out of the clubroom in the 4th episode. If you look carefully, you can see that she's eyeless. The Genre Savvy viewers/the ones that read the novels would guess that something bad involving Haruhi is gonna happen. They're right. 2 episodes later, Haruhi almost destroys and recreates the universe.
  • Extremely common in the Fist of the North Star anime, in a blatant case of Lazy Artist.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Sousuke and Kaname display Hidden Eyes at times.
  • Mirai Nikki: Considering the amount of insanity and Break the Cutie moments among the main cast this happens a lot. Yukiteru and Yuno are huge victims of this in particular.
  • Himeko from Kannazuki no Miko has one of these after a dress, given to her by Chikane for a date with Souma, is destroyed when they were attacked by Tsubasa. It wasn't really her fault, but being Himeko she still thinks it is.
  • Sekai and Kotonoha repeatedly in School Days.
  • Among many characters in Code Geass. Most notably with Rolo, Suzaku, Shirley, and Lelouch.
    • One example of this occurs when Lelouch attends the funeral of his friend Shirley's father - whose death he inadvertently caused.
  • As has Ranma ˝.
  • Kirika, from Noir. More and more as she slowly rediscovers her past.
  • When she's feeling particularly angsty, Nadia from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is shown with her head bowed and her eyes hidden from view.
  • Jittery and depressed Anti-Hero Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion demonstrates this trope quite frequently, along with Blue with Shock.
    • During and after her Mind Rape Asuka gets into this trope as well.
    • Appears in Rebuild 2.0 as well.
      • Asuka gets jealous when she sees Shinji making advances on Rei.
      • Asuka asks Rei about her opinion on Shinji.
      • From Rei's response, Asuka deduces that Rei actually loves him.
      • Therefore, Asuka is on the losing edge of the Love Triangle.
      • Cue Asuka invoking this trope before storming off.
  • Normally cheerful and spastic Sana Kurata from Kodomo no Omocha will sometimes hide her eyes in her bangs when she's thinking about depressing things, usually involving her foil and best friend Akito.
  • Nyuu of Elfen Lied exhibits Hidden Eyes when she switches to her Lucy persona.
    • And Lucy has different eye shapes even. Its a mark of the berserk state, as Nana does this the few times she loses control.
  • Ururu Tsumugiya from Bleach (pictured above) does this when she enters Hollow-killing mode, much to the horror of some of the people she hunts. Gentle Giant Chad from the same series usually has this purely due to the length of his bangs.
    • Ichigo does this in chapter 397.
  • The one time viewers get to see the wrath of Miyazawa Yukino of KareKano, she gets truly frightening. The fit begins with an application of this trope, progresses to a wild chase after the transgressor, Shibahime Tsubasa, and climaxes with Yukino's transformation into a youkai-faced avenger. Never again does a student dare provoke her fury.
  • The villain Legato Bluesummers from Trigun, constantly keeps a Hidden Eyes (or technically eye) expression, though occasionally both eyes are hidden.
  • One Piece does this a hell of a lot. Even when they're in a good mood.
    • The most emotional example was in Luffy vs Usopp. Luffy of course won, but at the cost of a good friend, and walked away with his straw hat on, trying to keep the waterworks from running.
    • Called back later when Luffy and Usopp made up. When Luffy reached out, his hat covered his eyes, seemingly stoic and calm... until he lifted his head and revealed he was weeping tears of joy the entire time
    • Gold Roger is always shown like this. His eyes weren't seen until over 500 chapters into the manga.
  • Used on just about everyone in Naruto at least once.
  • Kuroudo Akabane from Get Backers tends to keep one or both of his psychotic eyes hidden in his bangs or hat.
  • The .hack// series uses this trope in a slightly different way: almost all scenes in the "real world" (as opposed to the cyber-world that is the setting for most of the series) featured characters without eyes. As these scenes were frequently done in monochrome, as well, it was potentially used to make reality seem much more soulless, and much less visceral, than the fake world the characters indulged in.
  • Ueki does it while fuming down a corridor in episode 5 of The Law of Ueki.
  • Kan'u Unchou from Ikki Tousen (especially Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny) displays this (though in a manner similar to Chad's).
  • Used on the Wolkenritters in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha during their final battle against Nanoha and Fate, after the identity of their master had been discovered by the two and they're forced to kill them to prevent the TSAB from finding out.
    • Also Nanoha in StrikerS when releasing Raising Heart, just before her Barehanded Blade Block on Subaru and Teana. This coupled with some Off Model animation in the TV version, caused some viewers to doubt whether she was emotionally sound at the time.
  • Sanzo and Gojyo in Saiyuki.
    • Not just Sanzo and Gojyo. But pretty much the entire cast of the series whenever they are in a moment of badass-ery.
  • Madlax gets these when she falls victim to Enfant's Mind Rape "Elda Taluta" attack.
  • Happened a few times in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, along with just about every other way to convey insanity.
    • It even happened with Rena when Keiichi brought her back and even when she lifted her head, her eyes were closed for a little longer before revealing her eyes were clear again when they had been dull since the end of the episode before.
    • Also happens pretty often in its Spiritual Successor, Umineko no Naku Koro ni (at least, the anime adaptation).
  • Chrono Crusade has this crop up occasionally, in particular with Aion in Chrono's nightmares and flashbacks.
    • In the manga, Chrono himself has this happen for a few panels in the Marionette Train arc.
  • Shizuru from Mai-HiME hides her eyes beneath her hair when confronted by Haruka and Yukino after they believe she may have raped Natsuki in her sleep. Mere seconds later, she turns against them and attacks Yukino, destroying her CHILD in one stroke.
  • Hayate from Prétear has these in the first episode when told that the Knights will have to find the Pretear (which he objects to), and later in the series when he is about to reveal the backstory to Himeno.
    • Sasame also gets this as he questions his motives right before his Heel-Face Turn.
  • Rakka from Haibane Renmei, on at least two occasions.
  • Ascot from Magic Knight Rayearth. He unhides them briefly in the second season when he admits that he loves Umi.
  • Gokudera from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!! does this very frequently, especially in the daily life arc. As does Tsuna.
  • When exposed to extreme cuteness, Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh exhibits this. She also turns into this, for different reasons, when she happens to think of Chiyo-Dad.
  • Fuyuki from Keroro Gunsou is normally a cheerful, polite, weak middle-schooler. When pushed too far, he shows a truly terrifying rage and a fair share of ability to get physical. Normally this is represented by a dark cloud surrounding him and Hidden Eyes — and then a Gilligan Cut to the (comedic) results (usually Keroro looking terrified and Fuyuki looking cheerful).
  • Peacemaker Kurogane: As the main characters Wangst for a good portion of the series, Hidden Eyes are common, as are their eyes widening in shock and their pupils narrowing into tiny pinpricks.
  • Ditto with Fruits Basket.
  • Pokémon does this from time to time, particularly when someone has to give up a Pokemon for one reason or another. Though it's almost exclusively Ash.
    • Sabrina's young half spends most of its time with her eyes hidden. Along with a creepy-looking smile.
    • Just about every main character in Pokémon Special has had their Hidden Eyes moment or two.
  • Konoka from Mahou Sensei Negima! displayed this in sadness after Asuna's death in the first Anime's Gecko Ending.
  • Ryoma Echizen from The Prince of Tennis, when his opponent belittles him or his team or physically hurts him in a match.
  • Happens to Light Yagami from Death Note whenever he's feeling particularly evil. Coupled with his Evil Laugh Perhaps it's to hide those Glowing Eyes of Doom.
    • Not just evil by any means - most of his genuine emotional responses get hidden behind his hair. After all, when Light actually reveals his emotions, it's the stuff that the titles of pivotal chapters are made of.
  • Yusuke Urameshi of YuYu Hakusho manages to pull this off several times in the series, despite having his hair slicked back in such a manner as to make it impossible. Apparently, his eyebrows cast huge shadows.
    • Kurama has such a moment after he's forced to kill a kid.
  • Pretty much every episode of Detective Conan, wherein Kogoro/Richard is rendered unconscious so that Conan can imitate his voice to solve the crime without revealing his secret identity. Apparently, no one minds that Kogoro/Richard stares at his feet and doesn't move during his flashes of insight...
    • ...instead, they decide it's his signature crime-solving pose and dub him "Sleeping Kogoro".
  • Whenever Rozen himself shows up in Rozen Maiden, his hair always seem to cover his eyes. Later stops once Enju is revealed to be Rozen, since we now know his identity. Or not, considering that Enju actually isn't Rozen, but just a jealous apprentice. Rozen himself eventually appears afterwards with his eyes still hidden by his hair.
  • When Fumio's classmates inexplicably charge the blood-drenched heroine who is wielding a chainsaw in Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo, their eyes are rarely visible.
  • Heero and Zechs have both done this in Gundam Wing. Usually, this means some poor mook(s)' about to die...
  • Happens quite often to Minami in Lucky Star.
  • Used on occasion in The Slayers, most notably in NEXT's opening.
  • A somewhat less serious instance of this happens in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou episode five, when Tenma tells Akane how much he cares for her, wants to protect her, doesn't want her to cry... and Akane replies that she won't cry anymore and will do her best... together with everybody — completely failing to realize that Tenma likes her. Cut to the speechless Tenma with Hidden Eyes.
  • Both in manga and anime, Hayate the Combat Butler mastered this. It happens many many times in each chapter/episode. All characters do this, especially Hayate. Though usually there are some vertical lines instead of shadow on their faces.
    • A notable example is Hayate's big brother, whose eyes remain hidden up until little Athena finally reveals the dream she's been refusing to let herself believe - meeting Hayate again.
  • Gankutsuou: Albert does this a lot in the later half of the series.
  • There are various times in Yu-Gi-Oh! where eyes are obscured by hair or by shadow. For example, in the Orichalcos arc, Yami's eyes are first obscured after losing Yugi's soul to Rafael, as well as the darkness inside him. The second time reverses that, where he conquers his darkness and saves Yugi.
  • In Oto X Maho, Kanata's eyes vanish when you hit one of his Berserk Buttons. It generally leads to a laughably one-sided beatdown.
  • Hazumu of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl has these for almost all of episode 1. We don't see them until he gets whacked by a spaceship and becomes a girl.
    • Anytime the show flashes back to her previous gender, his eyes are always hidden.
  • Mikael from Tenshi Ni Narumon has his eyes obscured for a brief moment during the revelation in the rain in episode 23 when he decides to become a demon.
  • Hino of Kiniro No Corda gets these during her Break the Cutie process.
  • THE iDOLM@STER it happens several times, from the most different reasons. Chihaya gets one when she jealous of the other girls bust sizes. Iori, Mami, Ami, Yayoi and the Producer get like this when they found out that the 765Pro hadn't managed to place a single idol in the next auditions, etc.
  • Sesshomaru from Inuyasha goes through one of these when Rin dies a second time, and he can't just revive her again with his sword. Look at this; [1].
    • Honestly, InuYasha could have an entire subpage of this. For example, during The Final Act, Midoriko's eyes are never actually shown.
  • Angemon from Digimon Adventure hides his eyes behind a helmet.
    • The same goes for some of the other humanoid Angel Digimon, such as Angewomon, MagnaAngemon, Ophanimon, and Dominimon.
  • From Kara no Kyoukai, Souren Araya's eyes are never unhidden. Hell, he's the God of this trope.
  • In .hack//SIGN, You only ever see the full faces of any of the characters actually inside "The World" game. The characters' players are sometimes seen in the real world, but their eyes are always intentionally missing to emphasize the dramatic events that happen to them. Deep-Immersion Gaming is used to show that the character avatars look exactly like their real life players's faces anyway. The only time real world people's eyes are shown are for when two of the main characters finally meet each other in real life at the end of the series.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX's protagonist frequently uses a subversion - he briefly does this and appears to be metaphorically or literally hurt by a particularly strong attack, and often seems to be sobbing or trembling, but then is revealed to be laughing in joy from his passion for the game, and enjoying the close match.
  • Used to disturbing effect in MÄR when inside Snow's mind during her Despair Event Horizon. She's also not entirely shaded in this scene which provides a starting contrast to how bright and cheery she usually is. She shows her eyes again when Ginta delivers a Cooldown Hug.
  • In Haiyore! Nyarko-san, Mahiro has to play The Beard for someone, all while Nyarko watches and has typical Clingy Jealous Girl reactions (like mentally wishing for a notebook that kills people). When they go to a restaurant, Nyarko pulls Mahiro aside and begs him to end the charade; rather thoughtlessly, he tells her "If it bugs you that much, just go home." At that point, Nyarko develops Hidden Eyes and doesn't say another word for the rest of the day, making it painfully obvious that we're not supposed to be laughing anymore.
  • Genzo Wakabayashi from Captain Tsubasa, given that he wears a cap which makes this trope occur frequently.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Happens to Sayaka when she goes Laughing Mad in episode 7. She also spends the majority of the scene where she becomes a witch with these.

    Comics 

    Film 
  • Batman's eye-makeup has this effect, especially in the '89 movie and The Dark Knight Saga—his eyes seem to completely disappear behind the cowl. Edward Nygma kinda-sorta gets one in Batman Forever, when he says, "I'll make you understand." Granted, it's not quite carried across visually, but Jim Carrey more than makes up for it with just an ever-so-slight forward tilt of his head, a subtle change in his eyes, and that menacing, determined tone; his eyes might as well be hidden in shadow.
  • Sith Lords in Star Wars create this effect with their hoods. Darth Sidious in particular loves this one.

    Literature 
  • Edenborn: in-universe, Deuce uses this effect while he's confined by Vashti. He covers his face with his mop of hair to disguise his moving lips immediately before he goes ballistic.

    Music 
  • Matt Bellamy pulls a wicked real-life example in Muse's Uprising video.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • You never see Jason's eyes in Foxtrot. The only exception is an early strip where you see his eyes closed when he's asleep. You never see Peter's girlfriend Denise's eyes either, justified because she's blind.
  • Beetle Bailey's eyes are always hidden under his hat or helmet.
    • In one strip, Lt. Fuzz wondered about that, so Sarge shouted "BOO!" behind Beetle to scare him and make his hat fly off so that Fuzz could see his eyes. Unfortunately, Beetle was wearing sunglasses.

    Video Games 
  • Eroge games tends do this in a different light — usually, the protagonist's face is never shown to keep them anonymous. This can serve to create a "blank slate" for the player to project themselves into.
  • In a rare Western case, some Hitman artwork has 47's unrealistically shrouded in shadow.
  • The Masked Hero class in Disgaea 3 and Disgaea 4 has these, the beak-shaped visor of his Prinny-themed costume providing the shadow.
  • The Fire Emblem series loves to do this to its rank-and-file goons, usually 'covering' the eyes with the unit's helmets.
  • Rival Schools' Roberto hides his eyes behind a blue visor. When he's not wearing it, he instead hides it under a hat or some other head covering.
  • Tales of the Abyss: Tear Grants, in a similar fashion like Chad/Kan'u.
  • Mitsumoto from Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja always hides his eyes underneath his ninja hood.
  • Maya when channeling a spirit (actually, Mimi Miney) in the second case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All.
    • Played with in the fourth game, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Were lead to believe the darkened spots on Winfred Kitaki's face are due to his eyes being hidden, but they're actually Big Ol Furry Eyebrows. His eyes are actually small and puppy-like.
  • Happens in Iji between sector completes, usually after something traumatic has happened to Iji: namely, after it's revealed the hostile aliens have actually conquered the Earth, and not the facility, as Iji's brother tells her, and if Iji's brother dies, driving her crazy.
  • Hector the Big Bad from Dept Heaven always keep his eyes hidden with a nice hat. Probably to hide his big cute eyes.
  • The Player's Character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force series constantly wears a red baseball cap, which always shields his eyes. Even when the transition from 3 to 4 (and consequently, GX to 5Ds. The trademark red cap is still there, only with a different logo. The original cap (with the Duel Academy logo) is hanging on a coat rack in the character's house.)
  • The Player Avatar in Pokemon Stadium does pretty much the same thing as above- hide behind a cap. (With a bit of a creepy smile, too. Why so mysterious, little kid?)
  • Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door; her eyes are always hidden under the brim of her hat. (The same is true of her two sisters, in fact.)
  • Almost everybody in Theresia: Dear Emile has something hiding their eyes, ranging from Blinding Bangs to a large-browed cap. A few visual angles reveal that they weren't animated with eyes at all—they have indentations where the sockets would be, but there's smooth flesh covering the area. This seems to be an artistic conceit rather than the literal truth.
  • The cover for the Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force crossover Operate Shooting Star shows Mega Man Geo-Omega (the one from star force, on the left) doing this with his visor solidified (it is normally see through).
  • The Hunter from Left 4 Dead (if you look under it's hood it doesn't even have eyes)
  • In Ghost Trick, Kamila gets these at one point when she is possessed by Yomiel.
  • Several illustrations and renders of Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV give him Hidden Eyes, due to his Dragoon helmet. There are a few exceptions, such as one of Yoshitaka Amano's illustrations of him, a couple of sprite illustrations, and as seen in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, anytime he appears as the Hooded Man or in his Holy Dragoon armor.
  • It depends on the artist, but a distinctive trait of Hugo is that the shading below his large brow ridge is dark enough that his eyes can only vaguely be seen. Sometimes, it's outright pitch-black. However, this trope is quickly averted whenever he's surprised.
  • Aya's mother from Mad Father is seen sporting these while in her ghostly form towards the end of the game. This does a good job at making her seem lifeless and creepy.
  • Used interestingly in the very beginning of Silent Hill 2, when the main character James Sunderland is introduced staring intensely into his own reflection; his actual face is perfectly well-lit and visible, but his reflection's eyes are obscured by shadow. Though he seems, at this point, relatively reasonable and sweet, this shot effectively foreshadows his truly unhinged mental state.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Annie, an amnesiac street urchin that Robin helps out, uses these when she realizes she's actually a part of Clayface.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender , used on Toph in her debut episode when her overprotective parents refuse to let her go along with the gang. She then proceeds to take matters into her own hands and run away from home.
  • Done a few times in Teen Titans, particularly among both Raven and Terra.
  • Out of the five main operatives in Codename: Kids Next Door, 4 usually have their eyes covered through various means. Numbuh 1 wears sunglasses, and Numbuh 2 goggles. Numbuh 4's eyes are covered by his hair, and Numbuh 5's by her hat. Numbuh 3, on the other hand, is an Eyes Always Shut.
  • Flint's dad in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a furrowed unibrow that covers his eyes throughout the movie, save two or three instances it raises to reveal his eyes, usually signifying his surprise or befuddlement.
  • Professor Farnsworth in Futurama has eyes that are perpetually covered by thick green glasses. This becomes a running gag, with people referring to his eye color as "milky white", and him covering his entire face as he takes off his glasses to cry.
  • The Drill Sergeant from the Ren and Stimpy episode "In the Army" had a hat that covered his eyes.
  • The Blue Falcon from Dynomutt Dog Wonder, due to his beak hood. Sometimes, it looks like he has empty eye sockets!


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