The Fascination with Large and Expressive Eyes in Japanese Animation

Anime fans can’t get enough of the distinctive feature that sets Japanese animation apart from other cartoons: those huge and expressive anime eyes.

These eyes are a key element in defining a character’s personality, mood, and emotions. Showcasing such a vast array of emotions, from joy to sadness, curiosity to fear, allows creators to produce relatable and dynamic characters that resonate with audiences and can help make a connection with viewers.

In Japanese culture, having big eyes is also seen as a symbol of innocence, youthfulness, and cuteness. Such a feature has been traced back to the mid-20th century and its connection with Western cartoon styles, particularly from Disney. Creators of anime were fascinated with the way Disney characters’ eyes conveyed sentiment and feeling. As a result, the anime style we see today has large, exaggerated eyes to emphasize emotions and create emotional responses in viewers as well.

Despite the popularity of this eye style, critics argue that such exaggerated features create unrealistic beauty standards that can have damaging effects in real life. Nevertheless, anime eyes have become an important aspect of Japanese culture and media. These exaggerated features have even inspired some to undergo plastic surgery to make their eyes bigger.

It is clear that anime eyes will continue to be a central part of Japanese culture and serve as an iconic feature of Japanese animation for years to come.