Saturday, January 18, 2020

konsento-me コンセント目

In manga and anime, when a character's eyes are drawn simply as vertical lines (I__I), the term for that in Japanese is konsento-me コンセント目.

Hinata Yukari 日向縁, example of konsento-me コンセント目.
Anime: Yuyushiki ゆゆ式 (Episode 11)

Examples

The konsento-me are eyes that are very simple and easy to draw. Due to this, they're used in a variety of situations where simplicity is needed.

For example, they can be used in background characters, for no reason other than to make them look like simple characters.

Example of konsento-me コンセント目 in background characters.
Anime: Nichijou 日常 (Episode 1)
  • mobu-kyara
    モブキャラ
    Mob character. Background character. (because they often come in mobs.)

They're also used when a character is about to say something silly and cute. When a character is being silly, as in they don't understand what is going on, they're absent-minded.

Or when they're thinking about something silly.

Sakuragi Hinako 桜木ひな子, example of konsento-me コンセント目.
Anime: Hinako Note, ひなこのーと (Episode 8)

In summary: they're silly, they're simple, they're cute. They certainly aren't used in serious situations, but they're often used in situations when the character isn't tense or anxious at all.

Naganohara Mio 長野原みお, example of konsento-me コンセント目.
Anime: Nichijou no Zero-wa 日常の0話 (Episode 0, OVA)

Of course, there are also other situations where these eyes may be used. For example, there are characters whose eyes are konsento-me by default.

Kitakohama Lulu 北小浜ルル, example of konsento-me コンセント目.
Manga: Lulumate (Volume 1)

Note that konsento-me are supposed to be simple eyes drawn as vertical lines. As we've seen above, depending on the style of the series, the eyes can be thicker, thinner, rounder, or more angled.

There are also cases where in principle it's the same sort of eye as konsento-me, but geometrically it's too short to say they're vertical lines, more like vertical ellipses, so maybe you wouldn't call these konsento-me.

Example of short konsento-me コンセント目.
Anime: Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun 地縛少年花子くん (Episode 1)

Terminology

The term konsento コンセント is a wasei-eigo 和製英語 that comes from "concentric plug." It refers to the electrical outlets, wall sockets into which you plug power plugs.

Example of electrical outlet, or wall socket, called konsento コンセント in Japanese.
Anime: Yuru Yuri ゆるゆり♪♪ (Season 2) (Episode 4)

In other words, konsento-me means "power socket eyes" or something like that.


Note that different regions of the world have different types of power sockets, in all sorts of different shapes, and sometimes the standard socket shape changes over time.

However, konsento-me refers specifically to the vertical-line shaped eyes, and not just to eyes that look like a random electrical outlet.

If the lines are horizontal, they're ito-me 糸目 instead.

By the way, when you look at an electrical outlet and you think it looks like a face, that's a phenomenon called "pareidolia," katakanized pareidoria パレイドリア in Japanese.

References

2 comments:

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  1. Replies
    1. That's a good question. They seem to be used in a variety of situations, but I guess it's mostly when the character is saying or thinking something silly, given it looks so simple.

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