Friday, February 14, 2020

tagan 多眼

In Japanese, tagan 多眼, "many eyes," refers to having three eyes or more.

Warning: if you have trypophobia, you probably don't want to read this article.

Otoha 音翅, example of four-eyed character.
Character: Otoha 音翅
Anime: Sousei no Aquarion, 創聖のアクエリオン (Episode 1)


Literally, tagan 多眼 means:

  • me ga ooi
    The eyes are many.

For the record, normally people have two eyes, so having more than two eyes is having too many eyes. For characters that have too few eyes, see one-eyed.

The term tagan isn't a biology term. It's simply used toward illustrations and characters, and you it's probably not even in the a Japanese dictionary.

The closest biology term is fukugan 複眼, "compound eye," like the eyes of a fly, the insect.

Beel Bub ベル゠ブブ, example of insect "compound eyes," fukugan 複眼.
Character: Beel Bub ベル゠ブブ
Anime: Shinchou Yuusha 慎重勇者 (Episode 8, Stitch)

That said, tagan and fukugan aren't the same thing at all.

Another similar thing is "polycoria," ta-doukou-shou 多瞳孔症, in which a single eye features multiple pupils.

Kaburagi Shisei 鏑木肆星, example of character with double pupils.
Character: Kaburagi Shisei 鏑木肆星
Anime: Shinsekai yori 新世界より (Episode 18)


Most examples of tagan characters are three-eyed characters, and there's already a separate article about three-eyed characters, so I won't include them here.


A number of monsters, apparitions, youkai 妖怪, and so on have eyes pretty much everywhere on their bodies.

Dodomeki 百々目鬼, a kind of youkai 妖怪 with eyes covering its body.
Character: Dodomeki 百々目鬼
Anime: Gegege no Kitarou ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 (2007) (Episode 8)
  • Dodomeki 百々目鬼, spelled as hundred-hundred-eye-demon, is a youkai with eyes all over its body.

Hiei 飛影, transformed, example of character with eyes on his body.
Character: Hiei 飛影
Anime: Yū☆Yū☆Hakusho 幽☆遊☆白書 (Episode 8, Stitch)


Anime characters with more than two eyes on their faces are few. With more than three eyes, extremely few.

Dan Blood ダン・ブラッド, example of four-eyed character.
Character: Dan Blood ダン・ブラッド
Anime: Space Cobra, スペースコブラ (Episode 19)
  • Blood is an alien, hence why he has four eyes.
Rachnera Arachnera ラクネラ・アラクネラ, example of six-eyed character.
Character: Rachnera Arachnera ラクネラ・アラクネラ
Anime: Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou: Hobo Mainichi ____! Namappoi Douga, 「モンスター娘のいる日常」ほぼ毎日○○!生っぽい動画 (ONA)
  • Rachnera is a spider, hence why she has six eyes.

For reference, some illustration featuring characters with too many eyes:

Literal Numbers

For completeness, something different, a character with "four" 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!?
Faces & Expressions

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