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Love Bubbles

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Momoko: Shojo bubbles? This can only mean that he's a good guy.
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.

See also Cherry Blossoms and Flower Motifs.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh, when Kaorin is daydreaming about Sakaki.
  • Blast of Tempest's Hakaze does this every time she has an internal monologue about what attracts her to Yoshino.
  • Case Closed: Used once in a while, 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, of all places, Death Note. They appear once, when Misa plays Ring Around the Rosie with Light and L.
    L: [deadpan] Yay, fun.
  • 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...
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Either the bubble or flower version, or possibly a combination, occurs whenever Winry waxes poetic about automail.
  • Fushigi Yuugi uses love bubbles and sparkles, flowers, colorful backgrounds, etc.
  • GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class: Nodamiki and Kisaragi make them appear while sharing a rather intimate moment.
  • Genesis of Aquarion: Tsugumi gets this for Reika.
  • Gunbuster uses a floral background pattern when Noriko first meets Kazumi.
    • Diebuster also does this during the first meeting of the main two characters.
      • This is done as a reference to Aim for the Ace!. Hiromi sees bursting floral patterns and bubbles when Reika does any especially awesome tennis moves, only adding to the unintentional Les Yay.
  • 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.
  • Achakura and Yuki in Haruhi-chan, after Yuki rescues her from a cat.
  • I.O.N: So overdone that the mangaka later said she was embarrassed of it and she'd get rid of them if she could.
  • Kanamemo: Yume and Yuuki are grandmasters in evoking these.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: In chapter 423, 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.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Appears frequently, 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.
  • 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.
  • MÄR: Happens 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.
  • Nanbaka: Used in regards to Momoko, 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.
  • Naruto: Occurs in a Filler episode when Naruto dreams that he and Sakura are about to kiss.
    • Love bubbles accompany Karin's audible reaction when Sasuke bites her arm.
  • Ouran High School Host Club — both straight and subverted.
  • 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.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane: Soji and Tetsu share a bubble moment during the Poetry fluff episode. This is never explained or referred to again.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Any time Brock imagines himself wooing the local beauty.
  • Ranma ˝: The "love flowers" variant is shown in a flashback 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.
  • 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.
  • Skip Beat!: Tsuruga Ren 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.

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Parodies/Examples Played for Laughs:

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  • DC Super Hero Girls (2019): Steve Trevor is surrounded by these each time Wonder Woman looks at him.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Happens when Benson sees his crush, Troy.
  • Miraculous Ladybug frequently used these. The most often when Marinette looks at Adrien. But it can sometimes involve others characters. More rarely, it can be the vision of a third party seeing what he or she interprets as a couple.
  • Steven Universe: In the 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.

Alternative Title(s): Love Flowers


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