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Perpetual Frowner / Anime & Manga

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  • Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure hardly ever smiles throughout the series. (In fact, one of the few times he does, it's because he's inches away from losing his mind.)
  • Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z has mostly three default expressions: angry, worried and disappointed/frustrated. He seldom smiles (fortunately, since when he actually does so, it is a very creepy Slasher Smile).
  • Giichi from Blade of the Immortal. Admittedly, he has good reasons to never smile.
  • A well known anime frowner is Ichigo in Bleach, early on revealed to be a result of losing his mother at a young age and trying very hard to cultivate a badass image ever since. (In one episode when Kon runs amok in Ichigo's body, Ichigo bemoans Kon ruining his image that he'd worked so hard on.) The example is particularly interesting considering the fact that he is the main protagonist. Hitsugaya is also a major frowner, probably a result of frequently being the most professional among a group of wackier characters. Kenpachi is usually frowning whenever he's not in the middle of a fight, in which case he'll have a big Slasher Smile.
    • Among the Vizards, Hiyori and Kensei. Hiyori is implied to have led a rough life even before Aizen's experiments, and Kensei is probably perpetually annoyed by Mashiro. Kensei's case is somewhat Lampshaded when he is trying to smile and comfort a young Shuuhei Hisagi - and ends up with an unintentionally evil version of The Unsmile.
  • Naruto
    • Even after rising to become the first Chuunin in his class, achieving the place as team leader of the group, being subjected to considerable Character Development, and getting a potential girlfriend, Shikamaru still doesn't seem to find a reason to wipe that big ugly frown off his face.
    • Sasuke also started out as a frowner due to his tragic past and fervent mission in life to kill his brother. However, following his Face–Heel Turn and the series' timeskip, Sasuke gains a more impassive look, adding to his growing similarity with his Aloof Big Brother.
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    • Gaara, even after accepting his companions, has almost never smiled a non-murderous smile. In the later manga chapters, Gaara smiles once in awhile and generally shows far more emotion than he used to, but it's still pretty rare in comparison to other characters.
    • Shikamaru's son Shikadai has inherited his serious expression in Boruto.
  • Among several others, Tien, Piccolo and Vegeta were the three biggest Perpetual Frowners in Dragon Ball Z. The only things they did with their arms were punching, lifting, push-ups and crossing over the chest. Though Vegeta does crack a smile every now and then in the form of an arrogant smirk (and the occasional evil grin during his scenes as a villain).
    • Piccolo got the occasional grin as well, mainly when interacting with Gohan - even with the eyebrows up at least once (during his death in DBZ.) Vegeta, however, had somehow managed to master scowling even when asleep or unconscious.
    • Launch from the original series always has a frown in her blonde-haired form, opposite to her blue-haired side's Perpetual Smiler.
    • Jiren from Dragon Ball Super also qualifies. Goes with his quiet personality.
  • Mugen from Samurai Champloo always has a nasty, twisted, "don't trust anybody/ya wanna mess with me?" look on his face. Unless presented with food.
  • Kaiser Ryo of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Oddly enough, his Face–Heel Turn to Hell Kaiser caused him to smile... evilly, with a touch of insanity.
    • Kaiba from the original Yu-Gi-Oh!. This was commented on in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, with Yugi remarking "Every time Kaiba smiles, a puppy dies."
    • Could we argue that Yami is one of these too? His face seems to be stuck that way. Even when he's happy he's frowning!
      • The latter's expression does lighten occasionally, but otherwise pulls of the 'stern' expression 90% of the time. Applies to a good number of the cast.
  • Aur from Maou no Hajimekata has this as his default look, properly portraying the kind of man he is; although he sometimes makes gentle expressions towards those he has recruited, mostly women, even flat out manipulating his facial structure with magic to give those who meets him for the first time a false impression that he is a benevolent man.
  • Sesshomaru from InuYasha is characterized by his constant aloof, disdainful frown, though it is said that he is all the more dangerous when he actually does smile; on one occasion when he did smile, Jaken was so freaked out by it that he literally begged Sesshomaru to get angry and beat him instead.
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist has smiled a grand total of three times in the entire anime. He smiles once in the manga, in the Ishbalan refugee camp when he is told that there are many survivors of the genocide in camps all over the country.
  • Kasanoda from Ouran High School Host Club is an unfortunate example. He looks scary as hell, and his default expression is an angry frown... because he's been trained from childhood to take over the position of Yakuza boss of his family. Unfortunate, because he's not such a bad guy, but nearly everyone is too freaked out to notice.
  • Lucy from Elfen Lied combines this with Hidden Eyes.
  • Gwendal in Kyo Kara Maoh! is an extreme example, even other characters comment on his perpetual frowning.
  • Let's see... constantly frowning? Check. Arms often crossed? Check. Tragic backstory? Check. Frowns even when he's sleeping? At least sometimes. Certainly does it when he's coming out of the shower. Yup, Fakir from Princess Tutu is definitely an example of this trope.
  • Tetsuma Jou, receiver for the Seibu Wild Gunmen from Eyeshield 21, has had a permanent serious frown on his face from (at least) the tender age of four. Although he did once adopt an expression of raging, unholy killing intent when Gaou broke Kid's arm, if that counts as a change.
  • Thorfinn from Vinland Saga, when he does smile, those smiles are rather....vicious.
  • Germany and Sweden from Axis Powers Hetalia rarely smile, though not because they're unhappy. Hong Kong may be a straighter example, and Belarus mixes this with Yandere. Germania so much so that he couldn't smile when he tried to.
    • Of the few blood-related siblings, Norway and Iceland both tend to frown, and have only rarely been seen smiling.
    • Japan too. While it's more of a blank expression than a frown and he has smiled once or twice, it's noticeable enough that one manga strip revolved around Italy trying to get Japan to smile and failing.
    • Netherlands has also never been shown smiling yet, always having either a disinterested expression or scowl on his face whenever he appears.
    • Romano is almost always scowling, contrasting with the perpetually-smiling Spain. The few times he has smiled, it's been pretty unsettling.
  • Try to find canonical pictures of Zoro from One Piece where he's just smiling happy and friendly-like as opposed to scowling or just smirking. It's very hard.
    • Especially recently, though. He used to smile and laugh quite frequently in early appearances. It gets rarer after he loses to Mihawk. In the Arlong Arc, Sanji notes that Zoro developed a bad temper after he lost to Mihawk, so this change is very, very intentional on Oda's part.
    • Speaking of Mihawk, the world's greatest swordsman has smirked a few times (when Zoro challenges him, when Zoro accepts his loss and turns around so he won't have a swordman's greatest shame of a wound to the back, and when Luffy states that he'll become Pirate King) and outright laughed when Zoro asks Mihawk to tutor him, but otherwise has a constant dispassionate frown.
    • Similar case with Tashigi. She smiled a lot early on, but after some bad experiences in Alabasta, likely disillusioning her in many important ways, she generally looks either impassive or rather miserable.
      • She smiles again after taking care of the giant children at the end of the punk hazard arc.
    • Jinbei has this as his regular face with him rarely changing it.
    • Trafalgar Law is an interesting example in that, in his first appearance and all other pre-timeskip appearances to a lesser extent, he was established as a Perpetual Smiler instead. Post-timeskip, however, he has become this, being portrayed as a much more serious character.
    • Once his true appearance was actually revealed, contrasting with the Slasher Smile of his unfinished character design, Kaido just seems to be perpetually pissed off at something, never changing his dour grimace. It seems fitting enough, considering he's the sort of Death Seeker that would set the whole world on fire and walk into the flames to see if they could finally kill him (which would be up for debate).
      • Averted in chapter 943 Kaido can smile it just ain't pretty.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
  • Exedore/Exsedol's redesigned version, when seen in Macross 7. The only time he ever smiles is...
  • Kurogane from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-. The only times you see him smiling are when he's fighting... And it's more of a Slasher Smile than everything. He only really smiled in the flashbacks from his childhood... And in chapter 167.
  • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star used to be a happy camper but after his best friend kidnapped his fiancee and left him for dead in the desert, it's understandable that he doesn't smile much.
  • The title character of Golgo 13 fame is one of the trope's fathers.
  • Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!. He is described numerous times to be a very attractive boy... except for the problem that he looks perpetually angry, with his eyebrows slanting down and lips pressed firmly in a grim straight line, giving him a very unapproachable appearance. He's actually pretty well known for never smiling in the story. Here's his attempt at trying to, for the sake of his photo ID. Though more unnervingly, one of the few times he's shown to smile naturally can be seen here. Yikes, Sousuke, you Sociopathic Hero, you.
  • Cowboy Bebop's Vicious is also not a happy camper. The only smiles that he actually gives are Slasher Smiles that live up to his name.
  • Shinobu from Junjou Romantica, when he's not crying. He's even frowning in the opening theme while glomping Miyagi.
  • Kaede Rukawa from Slam Dunk has this expression as a standard. He only gives one smile throughout the entire story, in the second-to-last volume. Doesn't stop girls from fawning over him, though. The fact that he's The Ace of Shohoku certainly helps.
  • Xanxus from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! is in a permanently bad mood and nearly always scowling, but his smile is even more frightening.
    • Tsuna in Dying Will form has been described several times as having "his brows always furrowed".
  • Saionji from Revolutionary Girl Utena fits this trope to a t, given that his life has been a bit... complicated.
  • Gunnm: Gally, in addition to her Perpetual Frown, usually has a Perpetual Pout as well, amply lampshaded. She even got nicknamed "Octopus Lips" in-story, and when Zwoelf has to pose as her she loudly complained that Gally's constantly sullen expression is very boring. Though, given her backstory, it's somewhat justified.
  • Paul in the Pokémon anime, which is probably fitting of his nature as "Stop Having Fun" Guys incarnate.
  • Hitomi Mizumura from the Hentai manga Boys Empire is like this at first. Makoto even lampshades it for us:
    Makoto: Mizumura looks like she's always angry or something.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Along with a certain pose, Gendo Ikari is a reliable owner of one of these. While he is occasionally seen smiling, in the vast majority of the cases it is when he smirks in triumph over something going Just as Planned. His only truly warm smiles only really ever happens around Rei.
  • The number of times L had smiled in Death Note can most likely be counted in less than fifteen panels. Near? Not really.
  • Does Black Butler's William T. Spears ever smile?
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Homura Akemi almost never smiles. It's not like she's got a lot of reason to.
  • Berserk: Guts during his days as the Black Swordsman after the Eclipse. Again, he doesn't have much reason to smile after watching his entire team get slaughtered and eaten by demons, and the love of his life get raped to insanity by his former commander turned demonic god. In fact, when he does smile, it's either a sneer (usually directed toward Puck) or a murderous and bloodthirsty grin (which he reserves for his demonic enemies).
  • Busou Renkin: Tokiko Tsumura's default expression is "I'm about 5 seconds away from disembowelling someone."
  • As mentioned above, Athrun Zala from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss. He actually has a lot to be pissed about; like the fact that his master and best friend Mikage abandoned him twenty years before the start of the story or the fact that he was made an indentured servant to an Ordinary High-School Student. However, he also manages to be pissed at anything and everything.
  • In My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, the anime version of Hachiman Hikigaya nearly always has his eyebrows in a knit. He does smile but usually it's a wry smile.
  • Renge from Non Non Biyori is affixed with a perpetual half-open eyed frown. Though it's not very indicative of her mood, as she's your average Cheerful Child.
  • Satsuki from Kill la Kill often has a scowl on her face. Ryuko once even referred to her as a "perpetually frowning, caterpillar-eyebrow bitch." If she's smiling, it's not so much a smile, it's a smirk.
    • Her friend, Shiro Iori is much the same way, as in all the time we've seen him, he has an annoyed/serious expression. He's only smiled once.
  • Ogami Itto from Lone Wolf and Cub seems to have only two expressions: Grim scowl, or horrified surprise.
  • Kotoura-san: Kumiko Kotoura, paired with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness.
  • Professor Hoot from Happy Happy Clover is mostly seen with a serious expression and pretty strict with the younger animals since he's the teacher and doctor of Crescent Forest. But he does smile a few times when he gets very impressed.
  • Ichimatsu from Osomatsu-san, though he becomes increasingly Not So Stoic as the show goes on.
  • Sgt. Frog: Giroro, presumably, though the Keronian biological structure disguises this a little.
  • In Brave10, Nobuyuki never looks happy.
  • Wagner from Classi9 usually has expressions ranging from "positively annoyed" to "pissed as hell". When Liszt mentions Wagner laughed when he got drunk once, Bach and Mozart immediately dismiss the thought as Nightmare Fuel. He smiled a grand total of two times in the manga and had one chuckle in the last chapter.
  • Constanze from Little Witch Academia is perpetually grumpy and gloomy, and it's implied she suffers from some sort of Ambiguous Disorder. However, at the end of one episode she did give a radiant smile to Akko.
  • Kii the dryad from Daily Life with Monster Girl always looks either bored or vaguely annoyed. Lala also very rarely smiles, but mostly to keep up her "reaper of souls" facade.
  • Sheila from Tweeny Witches wears a stern expression at almost all times.

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