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.
- 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?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In 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.
- Tamagotchi: Love bubbles are often seen when Himespetchi daydreams about her crush, Mametchi.
- Tokyo Mew Mew: Ichigo often sees these around Masaya, and once she and Ryou danced in a field of Love Bubbles.
- The end song of the Transformers Zone OAV shows Cain and Akira running through a field of such bubbles.
- Wandering Son: A variation happened, accompanied by a Luminescent Blush, 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.
- 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.
- CLANNAD: Often happens to Fuuko 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.
- Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten: By recruiting both Adell and Rozalin, 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 Fire Emblem: Awakening, these appear in some of the special Love Confessions involving the Avatar.
- Granblue Fantasy: Receiving chocolates from certain major characters during the Valentine's Day event results in these accompanying special art of the choco-handover.
- 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.
- No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: Kimmy Howell, Loony Fan of Travis Touchdown, weaponizes these.
- Sengoku Basara: They appear whenever Tsuruhime tries to confess to Kotaro. Or just around Tsuruhime in general.
- In 2nd Super Robot Wars: Original Generation, the Combination Attack Royal Heartbreaker involves both Latooni and Shine surrounded by roses and love bubbles.
- The floral variant is used in this El Goonish Shive to drive home Tony's attraction to Tedd, while the bubble version shows up in this one and a few of the subsequent strips.
- Girl Genius has this in That Kissing Scene.
- You can spot these every now and then on Misfile.
- Sleepless Domain: Gwen gets surrounded by shoujo sparkles and flowers when she sees her crush Heartful Punch in the hallway.
Parodies/Examples Played for Laughs:
- 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.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: The title character can summon Love Bubbles, Bishie Sparkle and Dramatic Wind at will to look cool and convince people.
- The Legend of Koizumi: Hitler of all people has this when he first appears and whenever he talks about the Pope.
- Used hilariously in the Maiden Rose OVA omake. Apparently the only reaction possible to neko-Taki surrounded by Love Bubbles is attempting rape.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prétear: Played for laughs. Every time Himeno's stepsister runs into one of the Leafe Knights, she sees them in this way.
- Pretty Cure:
- A very odd example in Episode 8 of Fresh Pretty Cure!: Love gets surrounded by love bubbles... while crying over burning her mouth on some spicy cream puffs.
- 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.
- Soul Eater: Used utterly satirically in one episode after Soul and Black Star attempt to combine their power and fail.
- The Story of Saiunkoku 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 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?
- 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.
- Early in Yo-kai Watch 4, a Mimikin pretending to be Katie fawns over Nate. When "Katie' talks, love bubbles appear.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Played for laughs 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.
- The Alt Text in this Mokepon mentions how silly it is to draw them for candy.
- 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.