Wednesday, May 1, 2019

guruguru-me ぐるぐる目

In Japanese, guruguru-me ぐるぐる目 means "spiraling eyes," "spinning eyes," or "swirling eyes." In anime, it's those spiral-shaped eyes characters make when they're dizzy, puzzled, dazed, flustered, and so on.

The term comes from guruguru ぐるぐる, a mimetic word meaning "swirling," and me 目, "eyes."

Kukuri ククリ, example of spinning eyes.
Anime: Mahoujin Guruguru 魔法陣グルグル (2017) (Episode 2)


In anime, the spiral eyes are generally used when a character is stunned and unable to think.

Often, when there's the situation is too much for them to handle, when it's too much information to process, when there's too much pressure to act, and stuff like that, the character becomes unable to think and act for a moment, and the eyes turn into spirals.

Sweat drops often accompany the spiral eyes when the character is trying really hard to understand something or process the situation, putting tons of effort and strain into thinking.

The eyes are also used when a character is stunned in general, like when they've just fallen on the floor, someone just jumped on them, or something else puts them into disarray and unable to act.

Spinning Eyes

In anime, the guruguru-me are sometimes animated so the eyes look like they're swirling.

Kururi ククリ, example of spinning eyes, animated.
Anime: Mahoujin Guruguru 魔法陣グルグル (2017) (Episode 2, Altered)

Spiral Eyes

Most of the time, however, the guruguru-me are static. They're just two spirals drawn instead of eyes.

Mill Varna ミル・ヴァルナ swirling eyes.
Anime: Meizu Bakunetsu Jikuu MAZE☆爆熱時空 (Episode 2)

These can be drawn in various styles. For example, using more angular, hexagon-like spirals like in the image above, or rounder ones like the image below.

Sonokawa Momoka 園川モモカ swirling eyes.
Anime: Sabage-bu'! さばげぶっ! (Episode 2)

Most of the time, the spirals are drawn with thick lines, but there are also instances of thin lines being used instead.

Yuuki Miaka 夕城美朱 swirling eyes.
Anime: Fushigi Yuugi ふしぎ遊戯 (Episode 1)

Spiral Pupils

Although it's more common to draw the entire eye into a spiral, using a simpler style, in some cases the white of the eye (sclera) is kept, and only the "pupils," hitomi 瞳, or "iris," kousai 虹彩, are drawn as spirals.

Nishikata 西片, example of spinning pupils.
Anime: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん (Episode 1)


In emoji 絵文字, the "at" sign (@) can represent the spinning eyes. [顔文字のかんたん入力 -, accessed 2020-01-03]
  • (@_@)
  • (@﹏@)
  • (இ﹏இ`。)

Mind Control

In some cases, spiral eyes are drawn on a character that's being mind-controlled somehow, like through hypnosis or brainwashing.

  • anata wa dandan~
    You're increasingly~
    • Increasingly what?!
  • fura fura
    *moving unsteadily, aimlessly. In this case, swinging.*
  • doki'

Often, however, vacant eyes are used in this case instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

Comments containing spam, links to illegal websites, or deemed inappropriate will be removed.