Pluie: OMG, that ring is fabulous! It must be mine!
Momoko: What? The bubbles... lied to me?
A romantic moment in anime is often accompanied by a pastel background with lots of bubbles. Nobody knows who wanders into all these series with an invisible bubble machine, but maybe they should stop before they get soap in somebody's eye...
This is a technique taken directly from manga, and often accompanied by a Bishie Sparkle for one or both of the characters involved.
Alternately, the background may have a floral pattern rather than a bubble pattern. In yuri manga, the flowers may be lilies, because yuri literally means "lily". Roses are common otherwise, although any kind of flowers may be used, at the artist's whim, including odd things like passionflowers and clematis.
The origins of this are fairly obscure; as some of the examples below illustrate, it's been around for at least half a century and examples can be found dating back to Osamu Tezuka's post-war contemporaries, making it nearly as old as World War II. Examples in older Japanese popular art, though, tend to be harder to find, not aided by the significant destruction of such works, particularly potential immediate predecessors, in the war. The inspiration for the idea seems to come from the concept of one's vision blurring when you see someone you care deeply for and the human tendency to focus only on them - though who "invented" the trope is a fact probably lost to history.
- Nodamiki and Kisaragi from GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class make them appear while sharing a rather intimate moment.
- Occurs in a Filler episode of Naruto when he dreams that he and Sakura are about to kiss.
- Ouran High School Host Club — both straight and subverted.
- Zone of the Enders Dolores i — if a humongous pink mecha with god-like power isn't enough, it also has a preteen romantic personality prone to love bubble moments.
- Azumanga Daioh, when Kaorin is daydreaming about Sakaki.
- In Peacemaker Kurogane, Soji and Tetsu share a bubble moment during the Poetry fluff episode. This is never explained or referred to again.
- Digimon Adventure 02, when Daisuke is daydreaming over Hikari-chaaan. It's also done for laughs in the following season:
Leomon: [twitches] Would you please stop doing that?
- Digimon Frontier also have this moment. Funnier that the scene flashes between a pair of male identical twins. And the one imagining the bubbles was the villain. Hilarity Ensues.
Kouichi: Thank you, Kouji.Kouji: Brother, you're okay, right?Lordknightmon: Beautiful.Izumi: What a freak...
- Gunbuster uses a floral background pattern when Noriko first meets Kazumi.
- Paradise Kiss uses a floral background pattern when Yukari first meets George. In this case, it is made to look like an embroidered floral pattern on fabric, which matches the subject matter (clothing designing) of the series.
- Fushigi Yuugi uses love bubbles and sparkles, flowers, colorful backgrounds, etc.
- The end song of the Transformers Zone OAV shows Cain and Akira running through a field of such bubbles.
- Yume and Yuuki from Kanamemo are grandmasters in evoking these.
- Achakura and Yuki in Haruhi-chan, after Yuki rescues her from a cat.
- Used in, of all places, Death Note. They appear once, when Misa plays Ring Around the Rosie with Light and L.
L: [deadpan] Yay, fun.
- Either the bubble or flower version, or possibly a combination, occurs in Fullmetal Alchemist whenever Winry waxes poetic about automail.
- In the Gundam Wing doujin "Ground Zero" (not to be confused with "Episode Zero") these were used in some particularly tender scenes with Heero and Relena.
- In Genesis of Aquarion, Tsugumi gets this for Reika.
- So overdone in Ion that the mangaka later said she was embarrassed of it and she'd get rid of them if she could.
- Appears frequently in Kimi ni Todoke, so frequently in fact, that it would be rare to see a chapter (or an episode) that wouldn't have at least two scenes made of it.
- In the chapter 423 of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, in the scene where Kenichi and Miu hold hands for one whole minute, they stare wide-eyed at each other standing inside a whirlpool of Love Bubbles.
- Pokémon: Any time Brock imagines himself wooing the local beauty.
- A variation happened, accompanied by a Luminescent Blush, in Wandering Son when Nitori asked Anna to go on a date with him.
- The same thing happens when Takatsuki confesses that she has a crush on Nitori. No blushing though, and there's no sign that the crush is requited.
- Maid-Sama! uses a lot of both bubbles and flowers. Maid Latte's manager practically has it as a skill, which occasionally goes out of hand.
- Tsuruga Ren from Skip Beat! uses the love bubbles when he is feeling genuinely happy or loving. Contrast to when he's faking as hell and can come off as intimidating to those who know that he's faking, when he uses the Bishie Sparkle.
- Ichigo from Tokyo Mew Mew often sees these around Masaya, and once she and Ryou danced in a field of Love Bubbles.
- Blast of Tempest's Hakaze does this every time she has an internal monologue about what attracts her to Yoshino.
- Happens in MÄR after Ginta accidentally kisses Snow the first time. Interestingly, this is pretty much the only time it happens, outside of someone's dreams. Though there's plenty of other Ship Tease later.
- Sailor Moon Crystal:
- In Act 1, flat, prismatic bubbles appear in frame with Usagi along with a Gaussian filter as she and Mamoru share a sudden, lengthy Held Gaze on first meeting. After awkwardly breaking eye contact, she mentally notes her heart is still pounding.
- Again in Act 1, as Sailor Moon, she sees many Love Bubbles and Bishie Sparkle framing Tuxedo Mask, as he introduces himself while making his exit...but does not make the connection to her prior encounter with a boy in white-tie and tails.
- Used once in a while in Detective Conan, and mostly involving Ship Tease moments. Two good examples are the first part of The Big Damn Kiss of Satou and Takagi and Shiratori's Declaration of Protection to his soon-to-be girlfriend Sumiko; in the anime, when either moment takes place, the screen is drenched in sparkles and bubbles.
- Used in regards to Momoko in Nanbaka, who drenches Hajime in these...and then it's revealed Hajime thinks this love vision is a Death Glare. Made even funnier by how Hajime somewhat looks like he's a certain "hero for fun" while Momoko is an intimidating woman.
- In Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ, when Hibiki is told by Chris that the Alchemists are planning to attack Lydian Academy, Hibiki's thoughts immediately go to Miku. Viewers are then treated to a short shot of Hibiki viewing Miku with bubbles and sparkles around her◊, showing that Hibiki views Miku in a romantic manner.
- In Tamagotchi, love bubbles are often seen when Himespetchi daydreams about her crush, Mametchi.
- The "love flowers" variant is shown in a flashback in Ranma ½ when Ranma received his first kiss from Shampoo, with the anime emphasizing it by making Ranma's blush much more evident. Unfortunately for Ranma, it turned out that what Shampoo had given "her" was the Kiss of Death. In the manga version, when Ranma receives his "Kiss of Marriage", flowers are shown spontaneously blooming around the newly lovestruck Chinese Amazon and her startled new beau again.
- Kimmy Howell, Loony Fan of Travis Touchdown in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, weaponizes these.
- They appear in Sengoku Basara whenever Tsuruhime tries to confess to Kotaro. Or just around Tsuruhime in general.
- Often happens to Fuuko in CLANNAD whenever she gets overwhelmed by the cuteness of something (usually starfish). The scene often pulls back and shows everything looking as normal, but with (starfish-shaped) bubbles appearing only around Fuuko.
- The worst case Fuuko has though is when Nagisa hugs her, causing her to be out for several minutes. Of course, Tomoya won't let that chance pass by...
- Also used with Kyou in an extreme deredere moment during the "Trapped in a Room" scene, while misconstruing Tomoya's intentions towards her.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, these appear in some of the special Love Confessions involving the Avatar.
- In the opening of J-Stars Victory VS, after Medaka Kurokami calmly pushes Lala Satalin Deviluke out of harms way from a Getsuga Tenshounote , Lala lands on Chitoge while holding her face tenderly. Love Bubbles ensue.
- In 2nd Super Robot Wars Original Generation, the Combination Attack Royal Heartbreaker involves both Latooni and Shine surrounded by roses and love bubbles.
- By recruiting both Adell and Rozalin in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten you get a scene between the two that eventually devolves into them both staring longinly at each other in silence while the background behind them turns into bubbles and glitter. The regular party begins commenting on it.
- In Granblue Fantasy, receiving chocolates from certain major characters during the Valentine's Day event results in these accompanying special art of the choco-handover.
Parodies/Examples Played for Laughs:
- In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Mikoshiba draws love flower effects for Let's Love!, since they're the only thing he can draw. They also appear in-universe, usually around him or Kashima or when Sakura is imagining something romantic about Nozaki.
- Spoofed a lot in the Pretty Sammy series.
- Used utterly satirically in one episode of Soul Eater after Soul and Black Star attempt to combine their power and fail.
- Saiunkoku Monogatari occasionally plays these for comedy, as when Shuurei suspects that Ryuuki and Shuuei, or Ryuuki and Seiran, are in love. Ryuuki himself has a fierce case of Love Bubbles at the beginning of the first episode of season two, also mostly played for humor.
- Parodied in an early episode of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
- Played for laughs in Prétear—every time Himeno's stepsister runs into one of the Leafe Knights, she sees them in this way.
- Used hilariously in the Maiden Rose OVA omake. Apparently the only reaction possible to neko-Taki surrounded by Love Bubbles is attempting rape.
- The title character of Hayate the Combat Butler can summon Love Bubbles, Bishie Sparkle and Dramatic Wind at will to look cool and convince people.
- In The Legend of Koizumi Hitler of all people has this when he first appears and whenever he talks about the Pope.
- Bleach: The anime plays this for laughs at the end of Episode 142. Renji gets more than he bargained for when he asks if Kenpachi and Byakuya were waiting long when timing their dramatic entrance - Kenpachi pulling a Bishie Sparkle while surrounded by love bubbles◊ as Byakuya lays on the innuendo is as terrifying as it's hilarious.
- One Piece: Boa Hancock always sees Luffy like this, even if he's picking his nose, eating like an animal or completely ignoring her or her advances. He also appears cooler or more romantic before her eyes.
- Played for Laughs with HeartCatch Pretty Cure!'s Itsuki Myoudouin in Episode 7. Tsubomi Hanasaki was absolutely shocked and flabbergasted just moments later; and her partner, Erika Kurumi (of all people!), just sat back and calmly sipped her tea like it wasn't a big deal as she cued I Warned You.
- Parodied in Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, where the bubbles appear as Ryu, to his distaste, is about to be kissed by Miyamura:
Ryu: Hey! Hold on a minute! Where'd this mood lighting come from?
- Early in Yo-kai Watch 4, a Mimikin pretending to be Katie fawns over Nate. When "Katie' talks, love bubbles appear.
- In the Video Game Remake of Mario And Luigi Super Star Saga, Prince Peasley's Bishie Sparkle-inducing Hair Flip, which simply bathed the screen in blinding white light in the original version, also conjures love bubbles.
- The Alt Text in this Mokepon mentions how silly it is to draw them for candy.
- Played for laughs in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja when the Doc gets them merely from being complimented by the Ultimate Diplomat. Link.
- Played for Laughs in Bittersweet Candy Bowl. Paulo and the (inanimate doll) Alegria; it still makes the girls giggle. Lampshaded with McCain getting a headache from the bubbles as he stares at Sue.
- Girl Genius: When Agatha gives Gil a big goodbye smooch the background is filled with roses and bubbles.
- In the Steven Universe episode "Too Short To Ride", Peridot receiving the alien doll she'd wanted has these in the scene, which is made to look like Peridot and the doll were lovers dramatically coming together.