For Some Folks, 'Side Mouth' Ruins Anime Faces

For Some Folks,

You know how sometimes anime characters have mouths on the side of their faces? Does that bother you? Or are you totally cool with that?

Recently on 2ch, Japan's largest internet forum, a thread disc popped up on how this anime mouth style is "upsettingly gross". Below, you can see the drawing the original commenter used to illustrate the point:

For Some Folks,

On the left it reads "normal" (普通 or futsuu), and on the right it says, "irritatingly creepy" or "upsettingly gross" (むかつくキモイ or mukasuku kimoi).

Some commenters thought this style of mouth illustration was OK if it was cute. Like so:

For Some Folks,

Others thought the side mouth made them feel discomfort, and pointed to examples where normal mouth was used instead.

For Some Folks,
For Some Folks,

Here is a realistic portrayal of the mouth showed from a three-quarters angle. I guess this is the "correct" way to portray side mouth?

For Some Folks,

"Man, it's anime," wrote one commenter. "Let this slide." I kinda agree! So does Sonic:

For Some Folks,

See, Sonic agrees.

Showing characters' mouths like this is not new and has existed for a long, long time in both anime and manga.

This is anime, so whatever, right? As long as it's not real-life side mouth. That is utterly terrifying.

For Some Folks,

こういう作画のアニメむかつくよな [2ch]


    You can see the curves of the lips on the side of their face.

    Urgh, Japan really needs to watch Avatar.

      THAT is what gets me, they've taken the time to do the lip outline in profile, but then completely ignore it and do a side mouth that flaps on its own, while the lip outline stays still. So weird.

      I remember Evangelion used it heaps as a cost cutting exercise, and while that was ok back then as they were rushed for time and money, it shouldn't become the norm now just because someone is lazy or they want to rush a substandard series out the door.

      iirc, most japanese animation is actually done in Korea. So yeah get Korea

    Depends on the studio, art style and actual implementation. Nothing wrong with a little distortion whether in practice or artistic style. It's what makes physical exaggeration in cartoons and anime so conventional in some aspects.

    Gah, I like K-On! but I cant watch it ever again thanks to this. I didnt notice it until you guys pointed it out!

    Cheaper to animate it that way. Character is side-on but if you animate the mouth moving you have to do a whole bunch of key animation, but by side-mouthing it like that they can animate mouth movements without needing to re-draw the whole frame.

    TV anime is all about maximum effectiveness from minimal budget.

      EDIT - Never mind, that's just going to result in flame wars.

      I'll just think it instead.

      Last edited 01/07/14 11:08 pm

    Does it really matter where the mouths are when they aren't lip-synced anyway? Well, in Japanese they might be, but they certainly aren't in English.

    Last edited 01/07/14 11:10 pm

      nope, Japanese actors also have to match lip flaps (except in the more expensive productions where they can afford to do the animation after), though they also tend to do recordings in single sessions rather than actor by actor.

    Anime is, in part, a stylistic medium. It's an artistic shortcut to highlight expressions that might otherwise be hidden or unclear.

    I don't regard it as anything more of a negative than sweat drops or motion lines. Now, if you want gross, look at the bloody nose trope...

    Side mouth is nothing compared to the terrible animation that is Western children's cartoons. A lot of those Warner Bros superhero cartoons are really hard to watch.

    It doesn't bother me when it's subtle. The opening image is a perfect example of this. The girl on the right side looks alright (it only looks weird when you realise that the contour of her lips is actually on the front of her face), while the girl with the huge, gaping mouth looks terrible.

    God damn it. I never had an issue with this before because i just never took any notice of it.
    Anime has been destroyed for me
    *insert glass shattering sound here*

    I think it's one of those "Dont really mind until someone points it out" >_>

    Showing characters’ mouths like this is not new and has existed for a long, long time in both anime and manga.Considering that there were quite a few examples of it in emaki, ezoshi and ukiyo-e (All older art styles from across the centuries, starting in the 13th century) I'd say yes. I have to agree though, when the mouth is so far removed from where it should be with respect to the turn of the head, it really bugs me.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now