As a once-avid fan of Spongebob, and one curious about Spongebob’s overseas popularity, this amuses me to no end.
(Also, take this to be my “not dead” post! Many things happened since October. I may begin occasionally posting things that are simpler to write about, like Japanese video games or conventions. Not often, just sometimes — and always with a theme.)
From the very onset of my discovery of anime, I’ve noticed one of its staples amidst Western fans and critics alike have been the “huge, sparkly eyes”. It can’t be denied — it’s become such a staple that there are now contacts to simulate the look of them, and also stuff like this.
It’s especially striking since in a lot of more common anime (and art in general) large eyes are used to define the looks of children, but adults (women especially) retain very large and child-like eyes as well. This may derive from a common inability to distinguish adults from children in art (something which bothers me a lot, as I prefer adults to be cute, but in a grown-up way, if they’re going to be cute at all)…or it may just be a “stylistic choice” to have adults resemble children, which at any other time would be creepy.
“Big”, however, should not be a catchall term for “detailed,” “elaborate,” or “shiny”, all of which anime eyes can also be. And it never stuck with me in correlation — lots of cartoon characters have big eyes, and other things out of proportion to the rest of their bodies. Lots of Western cartoon characters are also not intended to be as “realistic” as lots of anime characters, too, but they’re all still cartoons, many still subject to the ridiculousness that cartoons entail.
So, I give to you, a very random post of huge-eyed characters who aren’t from anime. You probably already knew they had huge eyes but you never thought “whoa, that guy has friggin’ huge eyes,” did you?
5. Tom (and Jerry)
Forever a great cartoon. The eyes aren’t elaborate at all, but they were very emotive, like lots of animation from that era.