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Opaque Lenses

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Five bucks says she can't see a thing.
Glasses generally allow people to see out of and into the eyes of the wearer. The subjects of this trope, however, have glasses that are reminiscent of the mirror windows of crime-show examination rooms - they can see you, but you can't see them. This is not a threatening gesture like Scary Shiny Glasses. It may be permanent, but it isn't silly Nerd Glasses.

Perhaps the artist was lazy, but that's not what this is about. Characters with Opaque Lenses are usually hiding something. Maybe they're just emotionless - their hidden eyes, the so-called "window to the soul," hammering home the fact that you have no idea what they are thinking. Maybe they are hiding Glowing Eyes or Red Eyes, Take Warning. Maybe they are disguising themselves. But regardless of the reason, when you look at them you get the feeling like you're missing something.

Often, it's done for Rule of Cool or because in animation, it's a time saving shortcut. In many cases, the glasses are only opaque when necessary for dramatic effect. In reality, the opaque effect is due to reflection and refraction of light off the lenses at just the right angle. Quite frequently, this shows up in instances where the lighting of the scene does not plausibly allow for this.

See also: Opaque Nerd Glasses, Scary Shiny Glasses. Compare Sinister Shades, which have the same effect, but you expect it because, well, they're actually supposed to hide the character's eyes.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Umino and Princess Diamond of Sailor Moon both have opaque glasses. Ami gets them when she's wearing her glasses and is either overconfident or excited.
  • Paul Wan from Get Backers, as seen above, is a bizarre example, if only because his sunglasses are actually opaque. He is hiding his stigma, but Kazuki used contact lenses for the same purpose, so who knows? Oddly enough, Ban has a pair just like Paul's, but they're normal.
  • From Loveless, Ritsu's eyes are occasionally visible in the manga behind his Stoic Spectacles. In the anime, however, they're only hidden when Ritsu is in Scary Shiny Glasses mode.
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • Yomi's glasses go from transparent to opaque (a light blue) for a few different reasons: annoyance, dumbfoundedness, sneaky idea, uh, that "Limiter override!" thing, y'know.
    • Mr. Kimura's glasses are always opaque. But given that he's a Dirty Old Man (and not shy about it), you can be pretty sure what he's looking at anyway.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Yuki Nagato has glasses that do this... at least, until she breaks them defending Kyon from Asakura Ryoko, and he tells her he "doesn't really have a glasses fetish". Thus, she decides to stop wearing them. Haruhi and the Muggles in the story assume she started wearing contact lenses.
  • Hazuki in Ojamajo Doremi, usually when she's upset or embarrassed.
  • Stein from Soul Eater, most of the time.
  • Between this and Scary Shiny Glasses, you very rarely see Kobayashi's eyes in The Law of Ueki. After he gets sent to Hell as punishment for saving Ueki from being killed by Robert, he isn't wearing glasses for a while, and when he starts wearing them again, you can see his eyes more often. Not that that's necessarily a good thing...
  • Rider in Fate/stay night apparently has no trouble seeing through purple blinders that are roughly an inch thick and cover about 40% of her face. At one point she's asked to take them off... so that people can see her face, not the other way around.
  • Inui of The Prince of Tennis, to the point where it becomes a Running Gag that no one ever sees his eyes. The height of the gag comes when he breaks his glasses during a match, so we're expecting to finally see his eyes— and then it turns out he has a large case full of pairs of spare glasses. Rikkaidai's Yagyuu also qualifies for this trope.
  • Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion is subject to having opaque lenses half the time, usually to emphasize his meekness. They do clear up when they need to be seen.
  • Inverted by Koyo Aoba in Reborn! (2004). Everyone can see his eyes through his glasses perfectly fine, but they're made opaque on the inside in order to block Koyo's Killer Point Vision.
  • Cho Hakkai of Saiyuki is an interesting half-example; his monocle is usually—though not always—drawn as opaque. As Hakkai is a Stepford Smiler of the first order, this provides a helpful visual distinction between his outward pleasantry and his inner secrets.
  • Tsubomi (when she wears her glasses) and Yuri of HeartCatch Pretty Cure! tend to have this effect to their glasses. Usually when Erika's doing something involving them.
  • Miki Yoshikawa is really fond of this trope in both of her works - Flunk Punk Rumble and Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches - to the point that it appears many times in every scene that involves characters with glasses. Usually when the character(s) acts weird or comedic, but also when they are seen from a distance, in which case it's probably just a case of Lazy Artist.
  • Reiko Azuma of Pupipo! usually has opaque lenses with lines over them. Unlike the swirly lines common to this trope in anime, Azuma's are straight lines that match up with her square lenses.
  • I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying: Hajime's glasses, with the exception of close-ups and the really romantic moments with Kaoru (and in one case, a parodied Friendship Moment with Nozomu). Tanaka's glasses on the other hand are always see-through.
  • One Piece: Bartholomew Kuma wears glasses which obscure his eyes all the time in the present day. This represents that he's a cyborg who is eventually losing his humanity and they also hide the fact that his eyes are cybernetic. By the time of the Marineford arc, he's lost all of his human will. During the Egghead arc, throughout the flashbacks revolving around Kuma, his eyes are visible through his glasses several times, showing the humanity that he had in the past.
  • In Strider, Matic wears a set of opaque round glasses at all times. We never get to see his eyes.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Banzi's Secret Diary, Eungsim wears a pair of yellow, square-framed glasses with lenses that are completely opaque, obscuring her eyes.
  • Happy Heroes: In episode 32, as Mr. Lightbulb shows the heroes around the hot spring, Smart S. wears sunglasses with lenses that completely cover his eyes.
  • The thief from the Lamput episode "Thief" wears a pair of glasses with lenses that completely obscure his eyes.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Mr. Slowy's eyes cannot be seen through the lenses of his glasses.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • A rare literary example in With Strings Attached. Because Ringo is walking around with his eyes closed all the time, he has black obsidian glasses made for himself to hide that little fact. However, he loses the glasses when they're turned into living creatures by Brox's life spell.

  • Zaphod Beeblebrox has a variation in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where his glasses are opaque, period, when they sense danger. If you can't see it, it can't frighten you, after all.
  • Crowley from Good Omens hides the fact that he's a demon with reptilian eyes with a pair of sunglasses.
  • In Neuromancer, razorgirl Molly Millions seems to be wearing mirrored sunglasses, but they are really surgically implanted lenses which offer her various enhancements.
  • A minor character in the X-Wing Series wears an Eyepatch of Power that Wedge Antilles suspects operates in this way over a cybernetic (replacement) eye.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Darryl from Baby Blues goes back-and-forth on this. Sometimes he's drawn so you can't see his eyes. Usually, he's drawn with eyes. His eyes (which is the same as Wanda's) are usually seen when he's asleep or when he gets hit by something.
  • Daddy in The Family Circus.
  • Spanish graphic humorist and social critic Forges (Antonio Fraguas), bespectacled himself and active in newspapers 1973-2018, gave glasses to almost all of his characters (except for the rural "Blasillos", who appared with closed eyelids). Forges admitted that this was because opaque glases are easier to draw than eyes.

  • Flick-to-Stick Bungees: Elkas/Skael from Bionic Bungees wears a pair of glasses whose lenses aren't transparent.
  • In the Tamagotchi series, Professor Banzo, the scientist who discovered Tamagotchis, wears a pair of glasses with light blue lenses that have no eyes visible in them.

    Video Games 
  • In Monster Rancher 1, at first the man you talk with to book training for your monster has opaque glasses and a distant, impersonal air. Once you pass the milestone of getting a monster to class B, his glasses lose the opaque look and he seems friendlier. Get to class S, and he starts to greet you with a deferential bow of the head.
  • Some of the scientists in the original Half-Life have theses due to the limitations of the GoldSrc engine.
  • Happens from time to time with Persona 5's protagonist; he's Clark Kenting, so it ties into him obscuring his identity.
  • Kenji's glasses in Katawa Shoujo. Except for one scene, he's never seen without them. Hisao estimates the lenses are about an inch thick.

  • Everyone who wears glasses in A Miracle of Science has blank white lenses, although the most prominent example, Dr. Haas, simply has Scary Shiny Glasses.
  • Maria in Angel Down wears a pair of opaque sunglasses at all times (even indoors, and at night). The only time she is seen without her glasses is at Ward's funeral.
  • Parodied in the webcomic Real Life Comics: When Cliff is introduced, he has see-through glasses despite the fact that the only other character in the strip wearing glasses, Dave, had opaque lenses. The very next strip had Cliff asking Dave about this, prompting Dave to reveal that they aren't just glasses, but rather something akin to Geordi La Forge's VISOR.
  • Dave in Narbonic, symbolising his blindness to his own true nature.
  • Everyone who wears sunglasses in Homestuck - Dave, Dirk, their guardian counterparts, Redglare, Terezi, Sollux, and Equius - makes use of this trope. Characters who just wear normal glasses have visible eyes, unless they're using a computer display function.
  • Ichabod in Far Out There wears a HUGE pair of glasses like this. For some reason, his are the only regular glasses like this. Opaque goggles or sunglasses aren't uncommon, but everyone else who wears normal glasses has clearly visible eyes.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Tedd has a justified example, with a pair of high-tech glasses from his father's government job that have features like video recording and a (since removed) X-Ray Vision mode. He originally wore them everywhere because he was insecure about his face, but he eventually stopped wearing them after becoming more comfortable with his appearance. Also averted when he gets actual prescription glasses, which are not opaque.note 
    • Mr. Verres' eyes have never been seen since he's always shown wearing these type of glasses. The reason for the opaqueness has never been explicitly explained, but they're possibly also high tech glasses since he is Tedd's dad.
    • Arthur's assistant Sybil has a pair of unexplained opaque glasses that she always wears. It helps maintain her role as The Stoic.
  • The koalas from Blue Moon Blossom all wear glasses with solid white lenses that completely obscure their eyes from all angles and in all lighting conditions. In the koalas' first appearance, the glasses even shine in the dark like Scary Shiny Glasses, adding to their apparently Ambiguously Evil nature, but once the bunny and dino make friends with a koala, the koalas' glasses end up coming across as Opaque Nerd Glasses instead.
  • Lotta Sv√§rd: Women of War: Tyyne's father is always seen with rectangular glasses with solid white lenses, which both complements his daughter's bangs and fits his slightly impersonal attitude toward the rest of the characters (including his own family).
  • Rain: Rain's abusive father Marcus is drawn with glasses that obscure his eyes in order to emphasize just how much of a monster he is.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied on South Park with Cartman's police officer outfit. It includes a pair of shades which ALWAYS reflect a mountain sunset, no matter what he is actually looking at.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Muriel & Eustace have glasses that obscure their eyes, as well as Eustace's whole family. Similarly, all of the recurring normal, non-villainous human characters except the General had their eyes obscured. This seems to emphasize Courage's status as a Cassandra type, as nobody else sees what's obvious to him. Subverted in the Hothead episode (though it's fairly surreal looking).
  • Zig-zagged in VBirds with Bling's sunglasses; while they are see-through most of the time, they are opaque in some shots and art.
  • Robin (both of them) of Young Justice wears dark sunglasses when in civies to hide his secret identity from his teammates.