An art style alternative to the tall, skinny design that is so common in Bishoujo Series
. Puni Plush avoids straight lines, emphasizing a character's curves, especially the face and hips, that can give to the cast an overall short, young look. Most common in romantic or slice-of-life anime
, but sometimes used in less obvious ways
. Often leads to Artistic Age
of the "looks younger" variety.
Take this trope to its extreme and you get Super-Deformed
. Contrast Noodle People
. See also Thick-Line Animation
, both styles are not complete opposites by definition, but Puni Plush
favors soft, thin lines while the later tend to add emphasize in angles and points and it generally looks very flat and sharp in comparison, but there's no rule that says that something can't have bold lines and a rounded design. Not to be confused with the species from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
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Anime and Manga
- Axis Powers Hetalia, at least 90% of the countries are this.
- Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
- Bottle Fairy
- Denki-gai no Honya-san uses this style, which can feel jarring as some of the cast are implied to be in their twenties.
- Dragon Ball had traces of this style before it was even considered a "type" of style (there are almost no angles anyway), but it was gradually abandoned by the time of the Tienshinhan saga, and afterward it gets increasingly angular.
- Toriyama actually uses this style a lot more often. It's even more pronounced in Dr Slump than in Dragon Ball.
- Figure17, albeit very restrainedly, and with attention to proper representation of characters' ages.
- GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class
- Grrl Power! (the OVA, not the webcomic)
- Anything whose character designs are done by artist Hanaharu Naruko (Kamichu!, Shojo Material, Suisei no Gargantia).
- All of the students in Hanamaru Kindergarten. These are some of the smallest and roundest toddlers anywhere in fiction.
- Hayate the Combat Butler is verging on this because of its heavy Art Evolution.
- HeartCatch Pretty Cure!
- Hen Zemi, which brings great graphical dissonance with the horribly squicky fetishes discussed and practiced therein.
- Hidamari Sketch
- The younger characters of Higurashi: When They Cry, such as Satoko and Rika. Rena strikes a variable medium between this and Mion's leaner, more angular form; depending on the scene she could fall more toward or away from Puni Plush.
- Kamichama Karin
- Actually everything authored by Koge-Donbo.
- Kemeko Deluxe
- Kokoro Library
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, with humans but especially with animal characters.
- K-On!, being the Moe series that it is, loves this.
- Lucky Star is probably the most notable example, which is even mentioned in the theme song.
- The manga tends to have a character even more Puni Plush at the beginning and end of each chapter. The beginning is more notable than the ending sketches, due to the character sketches still having them in a Plush-like state.
- Lyrical Nanoha, particularly the manga.
- Magician's Academy
- Mahoraba was influential in first developing the Puni Plush style.
- Majokko Tsukune Chan is an absurdly adorable example of this style, which makes the show's Crosses the Line Twice humor all the more amusingly jarring.
- Pictured above: Manabi Straight. Especially jarring when it's removed to accommodate a Beach Episode and the girls suddenly look much older.
- They're supposed to be 15-16 years old at the start of the series, and after a four year Time Skip, they still look the same.
- Mon Colle Knights. While most of the more mature characters aren't this trope at all, the child characters' designs are a lot less angular than those from any season of Digimon.
- Ninin Ga Shinobuden
- Nurse Witch Komugi
- Ojamajo Doremi
- Otasuke Miko Miko-chan
- Pani Poni Dash!, except for certain characters like Tsurugi Inugami
- Popotan - "Puni-Puni!"
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica for Art-Style Dissonance.
- Read or Dream, in comparison to the more "realistic" character designs of the Read or Die manga.
- Rumiko Takahashi's character designs are this to a T.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei used this in an Art Shift during a Magical Girl anime parody.
- Strawberry Marshmallow
- Yozakura Quartet second anime, in contrast to the 2008 anime.
- Anything by artist Yuichi Hasegawa (Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, Maps); this may be the reason why Crossbone, despite being immensely popular, never got a Western release.
- Taral Wayne's art style is a western, anime (and Cats Don't Dance) influenced, version of this.
Live Action TV
- The Korean soap opera I Love You featured as its protagonist a struggling cartoonist who drew his friends and family members in this style, which led to his successful I Love You serialized manga.
- While Akira Toriyama may have moved away from this style in his print and animated works, it's still quite evident in the game series with his character designs, such as Blue Dragon and Dragon Quest.
- Battle Arena Nitoshinden, featuring certain fighters from the main franchise (and a few exclusive to this game) as kids.
- Most of the heroes of the EarthBound series are 13 years old, but it's very hard to notice. There's a reason why the likes of Ness and Lucas may be classified as adorable children. (Lucas's woobiness in the Subspace Emissary doesn't quite help either.) The American version of the figurines has them aged up. This is especially visible on the Ness figurine (Super Smash Bros. uses the original Japanese version world-wide)
- Yggdra Union poses an interesting example in that even the items get some puni. Perhaps not surprisingly, the game (and the entire Dept Heaven series, since its release) was art-directed by the creator of GA and Kuro above; Kiyudzuki is famous for her puni-moe characters (though she doesn't always draw this way).
- Early Harvest Moon games had art like this. It's mostly been dropped since Island of Happiness in favor of Bishōnen and Bishojo. If you didn't know any better, you'd think the protagonists were preteens at most. Yet, they're supposed to be in their 20s and up. The hint drops when you're expected to get married. It's especially jarring in games like Harvest Moon 64 and Magical Melody.
- A similar problem occurs in Animal Crossing. The player doesn't even look pubescent but can move out, drink coffee, pay taxes, and is heavily implied to be an adult. Averted in New Leaf, where everyone more resembles Noodle People, but due to their face stays the saame as ever, so to some this isn't totally a good thing.
- Etrian Odyssey has this too. Quite jarring given the scenario, but very charming too.
- Eternal Sonata
- Most of the character art in the original Panel de Pon is done in this style. It's toned down for the 2-Player and Vs. mode portraits, though.
- Final Fantasy IX. Exceptions seem to be limited to named characters (civilians exhibit this on a massive scale, even the furry ones.)
- All Touhou characters, at least in the official art. Fanart depictions vary considerably.
- Senran Kagura uses a very curvy puni plush art style, which fits nicely for the Slice of Life parts of the story... and creates some interesting Art-Style Dissonance during the dramatic parts.
- The Princess and the Frog was deliberately given a rounded style, more reminiscent of older Disney movies, such as Lady And The Tramp and 101 Dalmations. The excuse for this is that the director believed those movies were the pinnacle of Disney's style.
- Lilo & Stitch. This is because the art is style used is the director's style. This makes the movie very unique; almost no straight lines are used, and even pointed objects are dull. This also tend to seep into other movies he has storyboarded/directed, such as The Croods, and Beauty and the Beast.
- Magi-Nation, at least in its original incarnation. Even the fierce Hyrens were kind of cute and chubby.
- Fionna from Adventure Time has a lot more curves than the typical Noodle People in that show. Her designer says she's meant to look 'chubby cute.' Considering she's the Distaff Counterpart of Finn, it makes sense. He's kind of a chunky kid (?) and women hold their weight in different places.
- Class of 3000 use a style that favors curves above straight lines, especially noticeable in the character desing as everybody looks super rounded.
- All the child characters in the Madeline Animated Adaptation.
- The ChalkZone episodes done by Sunwoo Entertainment (which animated episodes of seasons two and three) gave Rudy and Penny a more rounded look by making their limbs a little wider than usual and overall gave the two a more softer, rounder look (which was a sharp contrast to the first season's Noodle People look to the two that Galaxy Digimation gave them). While there are a few fans who loved Sunwoo's episodes due to them managing to make Rudy and Penny even cuter with the more puni plush art style, they also qualify as Off Model, as none of the other studios utilized this look.