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Perpetually Shiny Bodies

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My oiled abs quiver at your voice!

In a lot of comic books, characters that are supposed to have particularly "tight" bodies will be depicted as having a constant high-gloss on their exposed skin, even when they're supposed to be completely dry. This could be to emphasize their smooth skin, or to draw more attention to a woman's bosom or legs.

If done well, it will give the impression of youthful elasticity and sturdiness. If overdone, it might lead to characters looking more like inflatable dolls, which might or might not be the desired effect.

A Chrome Champion, who appears to be made of polished metal, typically has this. Not to be confused Battle Aura.



Anime & Manga

  • An episode of Excel Saga parodied fanservicey anime by turning up the contrast and brightness of the show to achieve this effect.
  • Masamune Shirow (example pictured above) became the absolute master of this trope when he started drawing highlights on his characters with Color Dodge layers in Photoshop. Before he learned that technique, his characters came off with sort of a slightly burnt skin appearance that was still just as sexy. One of his erotic series is called "Galgrease," due to the high levels of shiny.
  • The works of Satoshi Urushihara. Urushi is a sort of Japanese lacquer.
  • Tadayoshi Yamamuro's character designs for various anime, particularly Dragon Ball, employ lots of highlights. This is generally not considered to be a good thing as this makes animating with his designs difficult and time-consuming.

Comic Books

  • Most DC and Marvel characters have undergone this, depending on the artist. Especially the female ones.
  • The Stormy Knight version of Phantom Lady displayed this a lot in the mid-2000s version of Freedom Fighters (DC). This was particularly notable since the artist didn't do this to any other character in the comic, leading to a fan theory that she was actually an Auton.

Video Games

  • Mods for The Elder Scrolls and Bethesda's Fallout games are infamous of this trope.
  • WWE Day of Reckoning for the Nintendo GameCube went too far overboard with this look, leading to criticisms that created wrestlers (and their outfits) looked overly glossy to the point that they resembled action figures more than people. The next game in that series dialed it back and some newer wrestling games have a sliding bar that lets you adjust the oiled-up look yourself, from zero shine to so much gloss that wrestlers seem to give off more light than they reflect.
  • Several monsters in Silent Hill 2 have this look to an intentional, disgusting effect.
  • All the playable characters in the Updated Re-release of Sonic Adventure for the Nintendo GameCube, as well as everybody in Sonic Heroes.
  • While not prevalent in the series overall, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 actually goes out of its way to avert this trope by showing dirt, water, mud, and whatever that gunk filling up Fallen Garden is on the fighter's clothes (or even a specific spot) as they get knocked to the ground. There's even an achievement for getting gunked in Fallen Garden (Doused But Not Out).

Web Animation

  • The Fabulous Custodes in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device are perpetually oiled up, as befits their Macho Camp and Stripperiffic look. The Emperor is less than amused, threatening to toss a match at them. Whammudes in particular has oiled himself up to such extents that he can slide around faster than he can walk.
    "The sensation of friction is all but LOST on me!"

Web Comics

  • The Order of the Stick parodied this in the strip introducing the gladiators.
    You will remain stripped to the waist with your muscles oiled at all times, for no apparent purpose. See the oil steward if your skin becomes dry for any reason.

Western Animation