Thursday, February 20, 2020

kuroshirome 黒白目

In Japanese, kuro-shirome 黒白目 means "black sclera"—the sclera being the (normally) white part of the eye.

Anime characters with black sclerae are often somehow inhuman. They may demons, cyborgs, androids, or other sort of robot, or have possibly demonic powers which, when activated, change the color of sclerae to black from white, maybe to imply the character has been corrupted.

Genos ジェノス, example of black sclera, kuro-shirome 黒白目.
Character: Genos ジェノス
Anime: One Punch Man, ワンパンマン (Episode 5)


The word kuro-shirome 黒白目 is a bit confusing since it has both colors "black," kuro 黒, and "white," shiro 白, in it.

Basically, shirome 白目, "white eye," is a term for the white part of the eye, the sclera. The opposing term is kurome 黒目, which refers to the iris and pupils, usually of dark colors, in Japan.

Diagram of shirome 白目 and kurome 黒目.

Thus, shiro-kurome means literally a "black white-eye," a "white-eye (sclera)" that is "black." A black sclera.

A similar, but less used term, shiro-kurome 白黒目, "white black-eye," would then refer to having white, or light, pupils and iris. That said, if those are white, but the iris wasn't black, you wouldn't be able to see them anyway, so it ends up being practically synonymous with kuro-shirome.

Kure Karla 呉カルラ, example of black sclerae, kuroshirome 黒白目, shirokureme 白黒目.
Character: Kure Karla 呉カルラ
Anime: Kengan Ashura ケンガンアシュラ (Episode 7)


For reference, some examples of characters with black sclerae.

Genos ジェノス, example of black sclera, kuro-shirome 黒白目.
Character: Genos ジェノス
Anime: One Punch Man, ワンパンマン (Episode 5)
  • Genos is a cyborg, hence the black sclerae.

Do-S 弩S, example of black sclera, kuro-shirome 黒白目.
Character: Do-S 弩S
Anime: One Punch Man (Season 2) (Episode 6)

Ashido Mina 芦戸三奈, example of black sclerae, kuroshirome 黒白目.
Character: Ashido Mina 芦戸三奈
Anime: Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア (2019) (Episode 18, 文化祭)
  • Mina is quirky, hence the black sclerae.

Risotto Nero リゾット・ネエロ, example of character with black sclera, kuro-shirome 黒白目.
Character: Risotto Nero リゾット・ネエロ
Anime: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Part 5: Golden Wind, JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 黄金の風 (Episode 26)
  • Risotto Nero is an Italian, hence the black sclerae.
  • Wait, no, that doesn't make sense.
  • Alright, "nero" means "black" in Italian, hence why the black sclera, and the black clothes.
  • That doesn't make much sense either but whatever.
  • He just looks that way because it's cool, okay?

Usagi 憂城, example of "black sclera," kuroshirome 黒白目, "jagged teeth," gizaba ギザ歯.
Character: Usagi 憂城
Anime: Juuni Taisen 十二大戦 (Episode 1)
  • Usagi is a bunny boy, hence the black sclerae.
  • Or maybe it's because he has jagged teeth, so he's evil, hence the sclera.


For reference, an example of sclerae changing from white to black:

Kirishima Touka 霧嶋董香, example of sclerae turning from white to black, kuroshirome 黒白目.
Character: Kirishima Touka 霧嶋董香
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul, Toukyou Guuru 東京喰種-トーキョーグール (Episode 1)
  • All ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul have eyes that turn from white to black.

Heterochromatic Sclerae

Some characters have sclerae of different colors, in other words, they have eyes of different colors. The reason for that is probably very obvious.

Kaneki Ken 金木研, example of heterochromatic eyes.
Character: Kaneki Ken 金木研
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul, Toukyou Guuru 東京喰種-トーキョーグール (Episode 1)
  • Kaneki is half-ghoul, hence why half of his sclerae are black.

Enedora エネドラ, example of black sclera, kuroshirome 黒白目.
Character: Enedora エネドラ
Anime: World Trigger, ワールドトリガー (Episode 26)
  • The horn implants on Enedora's head have partially messed up with his brain, hence why his sclerae are partially black.


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