Big eyes + tiny mouths = terrifyingly large teeth?
If you ask just about anyone in the West what the most distinctive characteristic of anime-style artwork is, the answer you’re most likely to get is “big eyes,” or maybe “big breasts.” But while it’s true that eyes and breasts in Japanese animation are generally much larger than their real-life counterparts, they aren’t the only uniquely sized things about anime anatomy.
For example, anime characters tend to have very small mouths (at least when they’re closed), with thin, practically non-existent lips. Also, most artists tend to draw noses in as unobtrusive a manner as possible, to the extent that when the character is looking straight at the viewer, his or her nose is often little more than a dot or line. Likewise, the teeth are often stylized as a dainty white strip that’s less prominent than an actual set of choppers would be when a person smiles.
All of these elements contribute to the clean, sharp look that’s a critical part of the overall anime aesthetic. But as Japanese Twitter user @keirenkun points out, having a tiny mouth and a tiny nose can leave a lot of space in a character’s facial structure, and if we peeled back those tiny lips, we might find…
痙君(門別) (@keirenkun) July 01, 2017
…a set of monstrously large teeth.
“I stopped to think about just what’s going on in those illustrations you often see of cute girls with their front teeth showing as they smile,” @keirenkun tweeted, “and now I can’t sleep, even during the day.”
It’s unclear why @keirenkun has specifically had his afternoon naps ruined, but then again, what with the bone-chilling illustration he created from his realization, maybe it goes without saying that he’s too terrified to turn out the lights and try to get any sleep at night. In any case, this is yet another reason why if something already looks cute, maybe you should just appreciate its charms as is and not go staring into its mouth of madness.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where yes, he realizes that “Anime isn’t like reality: Terrifying odontology edition” would have been the more technically correct title.