Anime and the Eyes Closed trend

There’s things only happen in anime or we learned of them when watching anime, for example probably everyone at some point wondered about those characters who don’t open their eyes. Ah, those pure devilish and mischievous in nature of those with eyes closed all the time that makes non-anime fans simply powerfully scratch their heads in disbelief of the conflicting reasons why a 20/20 (mind you or a bit less) person to remained 24/7 with his eyes shut doesn’t get old.

All the time or partially eyes closed in anime and manga for everyone else already well familiar with the medium such traits speak greatly of the character’s personality and what they’re all about in a single trait – eyes closed and with few intentions of opening them.

It’s an interesting and usually asked question, why a character in anime have their eyes closed and  be able to see and also why do they look like that in the first place? Probably for the emphasis and give that feeling of calmness and that mischievous aura for the type. When we look someone in great majority of the time we count on the facial expressions and the eyes. For characters who don’t keep them open in the first place is like viewing a book with no title, index and we don’t get it that much unless we start reading a few pages into it. For those fervent believers in the saying “the eyes don’t lie”  and even those who trust eye movement would be in a disadvantage if such thing were possible IRL.

From an extensive list of characters here’s a bit that get the point across comes Koizumi from TMOHS better known as “Mr. perfect smile” or as the one possessing a  “million dollar smile” enough to make toothpaste commercials for the rest of his life and make a good living out of it. Characters such as Koizumi are so often in a “good mood” that is hard to tell when they’re really happy about something or just looks that way. Nothing really that serious get out of this observation but the fact that none of us can be that sure what’s this guy up to.  Still, the notion of keeping those eyes closed in addition to a convincing smile does the trick. Koizumi seems like a master of it. He is the type of character that has his eyes open a decent amount of time, but his always cool and seemingly cheerful attitude that goes with his eyes closed is even more common.

Moving on there’s other list of characters are just “nice” with no hidden agenda as far as we know. No matter what they do or what they’re involved in we get the feeling they must be nice and there’s no arguing about it.  A soft voice and kindhearted nature to go with a calm attitude in addition to these calm and serene characters with no apparent flaw to them as if we could interpret their eyes closed as someone obviously coming in peace. In anime is like a greater exaggerated version of a happy expression or even those peaceful aura that elder people in anime have on. You can basically point out who they are from their first appearance in a show so this is like telling you this character quiet as a mouse, well, a good mouse.

On the other hand, we have the blood thirsty character that just look happy but there’s  nothing positive coming out of that as we see on the first pic. On the other other hand, there’s character that look calm and civilized with their eyes closed no matter how angry they may be getting they don’t show it much, like the Fuhrer. Talk about self control right there. When we see someone has such peaceful face on is hard to image what is really going on. To whoever is in front of them it’s more like  the calm before the storm waiting to happen. If you ask me, it’s worse to be against someone who is so furious that he doesn’t look mad in the first place.

Anime can work go from characters that simply are good  their keeping their cool all the time. Others who are mad but look clam no matter what happens and lastly there’s the mischievous fox eyes characters who just won’t open them – probably there’s a good reason for that! Keep them shut!

So this trend of not drawing the eyes and making characters keep them shut for good is always an interesting concept albeit well defined by now. I rather like characters with these traits because you don’t know what they’re actually thinking. It’s hard to tell, huh? It’s all niceness about them until you set them off, which I doubt it’d get any pretty from that point. Hmm.. points finger to someone else. And there’s those no matter how many times it happens when they open their eyes it feels like the earth is shattering of the shock..


4 thoughts on “Anime and the Eyes Closed trend

  1. Interesting thoughts. I’ve always thought of characters with the “eyes closed” look to always have some sort of insight or knowledge that the others don’t, whether it’s something along the lines of villainy or mischief, like with Gin and Bradley, or wisdom or calmness, like Koizumi and Shino. Brock from Pokemon is probably one of the most well known examples. Even though he’s not calm around pretty girls, he’s the most mature of the group and has advanced knowledge of pokemon that the others don’t.

    • A certain level of maturity does follow characters with eyes closed whose thoughts escape anyone but them. No idea when exactly it originated but it’s amusing how they always manage to get *one* character with such trait in most anime.

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  3. I’ve seen plenty of anime without the trick, but it seems a good one for projecting that whole “cards close to the vest” thing. I haven’t properly researched this, but I have a suspicion that there’s a bunch of Buddha (or related) statues out there with a similar look that this is supposed to evoke.

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