Relegated mainly to lighter anime, the visible sigh is a little white cloud that appears near and moves away from the mouth or nose of a person sighing. It's used to symbolize heavy breathing after exertion and some cases where the onomatopoeia "phew!" is used in English. It also tends to emit from someone's mouth when they eat or swallow something, and when coming from the nose, it sometimes expresses a smug feeling. The cloud itself is usually circular with a small "stem" that points toward the character emitting it.
Possibly based on the phenomenon of visible breath encountered in weather of sufficiently low temperature and high humidity.
In many works, the cloud will be compacted, resembling a mushroom.
May be present as Cathartic Exhalation.
- Sailor Moon Luna especially is fond of doing this when Serena/Usagi has a facepalm -worthy moment.
- Fullmetal Alchemist (pictured above). Travis Willingham, Roy Mustang's voice actor, once made a comment on this at a convention ("Ed just burped out a mushroom!").
- Kirby does this when he lands after floating, and can hit enemies with it.
- He also gets one in an episode of the anime series, shaped like an apple.
- Pokémon, including by Pokémon, mostly Pikachu when he's forced to play Team Dad to younger Pokémon.
- Rukawa Kaede in Slam Dunk does this all the time, especially when confronted by rival Sakuragi Hanamichi.
- There she is!!, when Nabi sees that Doki's cake is unscratched.
- Lucky Star uses this, but there it's more like a speech "bubble" cloud.
- In Pita-Ten, Misha sees Takashi sighing complete with a little cloud. She then mentions the Japanese saying that some of your "happiness" escapes whenever you sigh. When this causes Takashi to sigh again, Misha grabs the cloud saying she can see the happiness getting away.
- In Soul Eater NOT, any time a character is full of his or herself, they might sigh a cloud through their nose.
- Done by a few villagers in the Animal Crossing series. Starting with Wild World, you can learn to do it yourself from Doctor Shrunk.
- Kirby exhales after he's been using his flight abilities, and the cloud can hurt enemies. Whispy Woods, Gooey, and King Dedede do this, too.
- The original Bubble Bobble arcade game while the player character gets incinerated by an electric bolt by a Space Invader.
- Gunnerkrigg Court, Kat in Chapter 35, then Annie in Chapter 36 when discovering she didn't mess up the rest of Red's life by accident. For extra expression, supplied with the closed eyes and a weak smile.
- Toki No Tanaka: Himiko gives one of these in page 12.
- Friday 4 Koma: Orange gives a visual sigh in the third panel.
- El Goonish Shive: Nanase lets out one as a Cathartic Exhalation.