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Anime characters with their eyes closed.


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Fermi



Joined: 05 Nov 2008
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:44 pm Reply with quote
I've always wondered how some anime characters are able get around with their eyes completely shut. If anybody notices in almost every other anime show out there, there will always be at least one character drawn eyes-shut (Brock from Pokemon being a quintessential example of this). Perhaps once in a while we might get a rare glimpse of such characters with their eyes open, but for the most part it seems like they are asleep throughout the series.

Does anybody here know why the animators/artists do this? Is it used as a way of emphasizing a specific character trait, one that relies on hiding their pupils?

And on that note, does anybody find that characters with their eyes closed have sort of mysterious aura about them?

I guess I'm partial to seeing any character drawn like that, mainly because they stick out so darn much. 'Media' from Pani Poni Dash! is one character that I enjoy in particular because her cuteness is attributed to the fact that she's always seen smiling with her eyes closed. And the bunny (Mesousa) from the same series never opens his eyes as well, which I suppose suits his depressive personality and general outlook on life. Wink
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:13 pm Reply with quote
For reference: TVTropes: Eyes Always Shut

TVTropes wrote:
This is an old device to imply wisdom; more recently, it's been subverted as a device to show "wise guys."

I'm not sure they're always wise guys though, and not all such characters have closed/squinty eyes.

Media is a lovely character. CardCaptor Sakura's Takashi Yamazaki is another one. I loved his weird stories, especially when Eriol Hiiragizawa joined in. You're right that the closed eyes give these characters a sort of affable charm.


Last edited by Kimiko_0 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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IchigoK90



Joined: 13 Aug 2005
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Location: Scarborough, Ontario
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:15 pm Reply with quote
Well in some cases where characters go about with their eyes closed its to give off the impression that the character is deceptive, cunning and sly. A good example would be foxes since they are typically given those characteristics and so they are drawn with slits for eyes and as such human characters with similar qualities have their eyes drawn the same way.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 2568
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:37 am Reply with quote
My dad always wondered how Brock managed to find his way around when he "had no eyes." Very Happy I always figured it was just to make him stand out a bit.
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ChronoBall X



Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 387
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:23 am Reply with quote
I've always find that weird on how some anime character's are able to see with they're eyes closed,but occationally some anime characters or mascots tend to break the rule on a few occassions like Makona from Tsubasa Chronicles,while most of the time he has his eyes closes and is still able to see,but when he's about to summon some weird spell,he has these freaky eyes that open up.

as for brock,maybe either he was just born that way,or maybe he has tiny hidden pupils hard to see,kind of like with the 2003 TMNT series,the turtles did'nt have pupils but still could see,ok,see brock's not like that,but he might have hard to see tiny pupils. Very Happy
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Murasakisuishou



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
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Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:40 am Reply with quote
Sometimes it's done just to make a character look cute - Yukino-chan from Real Drive nearly always has her eyes closed, and she's supposed to be the super-girly cutie-pie friend of Minamo's. I think Mokona falls into this category as well - the closed eyes make the character look like they're perpetually smiling.

You also see it a lot on older male characters, when they're supposed to look like they're constantly squinting to see better.
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Emerje



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 6607
Location: Maine
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:22 am Reply with quote
IchigoK90 wrote:
Well in some cases where characters go about with their eyes closed its to give off the impression that the character is deceptive, cunning and sly. A good example would be foxes since they are typically given those characteristics and so they are drawn with slits for eyes and as such human characters with similar qualities have their eyes drawn the same way.


That's one. The number one example of this would be Xellos from Slayers.

Usually when it's used show wisdom it's also used in tandem with showing age.

Murasakisuishou is also correct in that it's often used for "cute" characters, but at the same time it usually implies that a character is perhaps careless and carefree as well as shy or carefree.

It's also a popular way of showing happiness. Often anime characters will close their eyes when they smile. Anime smile

You might also notice that in some cases it's used to imply that a character is of an Asian country other than Japanese. It seems to be a popular trait with Chinese characters, that or a more exaggerated "squint" than with Japanese characters.

I'm not so sure there's a definitive origin for the closed eyes look, but rather born from necessity. There's only so many ways you can draw eyes on a character and what's more memorable than a character that seems to be walking around with closed eyes?

Emerje
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:26 am Reply with quote
It does seem like a strange trope. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to wonder how people can see when their eyes are firmly shut. Even if done for cuteness, it looks weird. Who - and I am referring to real people here - closes their eyes when smiling?

Another related occurrence we see in Anime is female characters (well, mostly female) smiling with one eye closed. That's even stranger. No real person looks normal smiling with one eye firmly closed and the other wide open. I tried doing it in a mirror, and came out looking like some freakish pirate with an intellectual disability.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:25 am Reply with quote
I dunno. My eyes do squint a little when smiling (more when intenser). If you had East-Asian eyelids to begin with, smiling could make them almost close altogether. I suppose this drawing style is just a simplification of that.
Of course, it kinda contradicts anime eyes usually being very large/open, but cuteness trumps realism.
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TheVok



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: North York, Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:12 pm Reply with quote
I think some of you are taking it too literally. Just because they're drawn that way, doesn't mean their eyes are closed.
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commsky



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Riverside, CA
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:32 am Reply with quote
TheVok wrote:
I think some of you are taking it too literally. Just because they're drawn that way, doesn't mean their eyes are closed.

I concur, their eyes are just meant to look that way, some characters wouldn't look good with regular eyes.

Simply for the looks Cool
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:31 am Reply with quote
TheVok wrote:
I think some of you are taking it too literally. Just because they're drawn that way, doesn't mean their eyes are closed.

Who said any of us were serious? We'd just like to know why characters like Brock appear as though they're trapped in a permanent game of Marco Polo. Razz
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Da Games Elite



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:37 am Reply with quote
I thought maybe it was a way of showing a character whose more Asian perhaps. Just a thought. Rolling Eyes
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frodonk



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:03 am Reply with quote
I had always thought that it had something to do with how serious the character is, i mean when the character who always had their eyes closed (and almost always not taken seriously when their eyes are closed) suddenly opens them, that would mean that they are serious this time around.

i can only think of three characters that illustrates this point. one is xellos from slayers, another is chichiri from fushigi yuugi/mysterious play and Emerje's avatar, the cat guy from rental magica.

as for brock, i haven't seem him open his eyes in any way, maybe a geodude got into his eye and he wasn't able to open them because its too painful Laughing
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1733
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:37 am Reply with quote
I seem to recall some characters in CardCaptor Sakura theorizing that you could tell if Takashi Yamazaki was fabricating one of his elaborate lies by his eyes being closed (as usual) or open (rarely).
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