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Sideways Smile

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And no, despite what you may think, it's not: :-)

This is another artistic convention seen in anime and manga, and most commonly in comedy material.

Even when a character is facing away from the viewer and only a narrow part of the side of the face is visible, facial expressions are still apparent, especially a sneaky smile that crawls up the cheek and almost reaches the ear. Real flesh-and-blood humans are anatomically incapable of this but drawn characters suffer no such limitations.

Can be used to hide a Psychotic Smirk. Not to be confused with the even-more-anatomically-impossible Cheeky Mouth.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Early in Inuyasha, Sesshomaru smiles like this... and the smile keeps going, becoming a fanged muzzle as Sesshomaru takes on his true dog-demon form.
  • Haruko in FLCL does this a lot.
    • Kamon as well.
  • The OVA version of Hellsing does this a lot with the "face splitting smiles" of the original manga.
  • Many characters in Crayon Shin-chan do this, though Shin and Hima do it the most. For those two the smile isn't just visible from the side but directly behind them.
  • Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind. Kurotowa seems to have one perpetually plastered on his face. Ironically, Chris Sarandon seems to share that trait.
  • Lust does this early on in Fullmetal Alchemist. Combined with Psychotic Smirk.
  • Plenty of characters in Soul Eater get this, particularly Soul himself when the little demon gets in on the action.
  • Both Kamina and Simon both do this the course of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, especially when they each both first get in their own mecha.
  • Tora's default expression in Ushio and Tora, both happy and angry.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The semi-animated opening credits to the 1960s TV series Batman (1966).

  • The cover of The Rolling Stones spin-off album Jamming With Edward (yes, that's where Cowboy Bebop got one of its episode titles from) features a cartoon strip by Nicky Hopkins, in which a sideways smile literally splits a character's face in two causing the top of his head to fall off.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius does this all the time, especially with the Jägermonsters.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): The Sideways Smile