Sunday, February 16, 2020

3 Eyes

In anime, sometimes characters' "eyes become 3's," me ga san ni naru 目が3になる. As in, they become drawn as the number 3, the Arabic numeral.

This article is about "3-shaped eyes." Not to be confused with having three eyes instead of two, or having a 3-shaped cat mouth (・ω・).

Nobi Nobita 野比のび太, taking off his glasses to reveal a face with eyes that are 3's, me ga san 目が3.
Character: Nobi Nobita 野比のび太
Anime: Doraemon ドラえもん (2005) (Episode 149, ねむりの天才のび太)


The 3's symbolize squinting eyes. The upper part of the 3 numeral is the upper eyelid, while the lower part is the lower eyelid.


In general, these 3-shaped eyes are used in anime when a character that wears glasses takes off their glasses.

Kuurubiyuutei Gankyou 空琉美遊亭丸京, taking off her "glasses," megane メガネ, to reveal 3-shaped eyes, me ga san 目が3.
Character: Kuurubiyuutei Gankyou 空琉美遊亭丸京
Anime: Joshiraku じょしらく (Episode 4)

By the way, sometimes the mouth is drawn as a 3, too, but that represents something like pouting.

Kuga Yuuma 空閑遊真, example of 3-eyes, me ga san 目が3
Anime: World Trigger, ワールドトリガー (Episode 16)

Glasses characters constantly and semi-permanently wear glasses. A common time they take off their glasses, and consequently may get 3-shaped eyes, is when they go to sleep.

Aizawa Junichi 相沢順一, example of eyes that are 3's, me ga san 目が3.
Character: Aizawa Junichi 相沢順一
Anime: Handa-kun はんだくん (Episode 8)
Nanase Yui 七瀬ゆい, example of eyes that are 3's, me ga san 目が3.
Character: Nanase Yui 七瀬ゆい
Anime: Go! Princess Precure (Episode 3)

Another case is if they lose they glasses.

  • megane megane
    Glasses, glasses. (as in: where are my glasses?)

Note that even characters that don't wear glasses can be drawn like this.

Reina レーナ, and Mile マイル, Adele von Ascham アデル・フォン・アスカム, example of snot bubble, 3 eyes.
Left: Reina レーナ
Right: Mile マイル
Anime: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! 私、能力は平均値でって言ったよね! (Episode 10)
  • A snot bubble is another symbol used when characters are sleeping.

4 Eyes

Since drawing eyes like 3's is alright, why we stop there? Here, have some number 4 eyes:

オイ~~眼鏡返してよ~ 我慢してくれちょっと目が「3」になるだけだろ 眼鏡がないとほとんど見えないんだよ~ 4!?
Manga: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難 (Chapter 72, さわぐ!PK学園文化Ψ(後編))
  • Context: Saiki borrows his father's glasses without permission.
  • oi~~ megane kaeshite yo~~
    Heey, give [my] glasses back~~
  • gaman shite kure chotto me ga "san" ni naru dake daro
    Please endure [it], [all that will happen is that] [your] eyes will become "threes."
  • megane ga nai to hotondo mienai-n-da yo~~
    Without [my] glasses [I] almost can't see.
  • yon!?

Again, not to be confused with having four eyes.

Faces & Expressions


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  1. heh you should add that one gag from Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan where Saiki borrows his dad's glasses and comments that his eyes will look like the number 3 but then looks at his dad and instead of 3, his eyes are literally the number 4 LOL. good stuff.