Thursday, March 12, 2020

💢, Anger Mark

In anime, the "anger mark," or ikari maaku 怒りマーク in Japanese, is a symbol used when a character is angry, mad, or irritated. It's shaped as a concave triangle or quadrilateral drawn with red lines that don't connect, symbolizing the contour of a popped vein.

Basically, the anger symbol pops up when a character pops a vein.

Edward Elric エドワード・エルリック, example of "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク.
Character: Edward Elric エドワード・エルリック
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Episode 1)


The anger mark symbolizes a popped vein.

In English "to pop" means "to burst," "to explode," but the expression "popped vein" only means that the vein is bulging from being full of blood. It doesn't mean it has literally burst and someone is hemorrhaging, spilling blood everywhere.

Kamado Nezuko 竈門禰豆子, angry and veiny.
Character: Kamado Nezuko 竈門禰豆子
Anime: Kimetsu no Yaiba 鬼滅の刃 (Episode 1)
  • Context: oni 鬼 are veiny in Kimetsu no Yaiba.

The reason for veins to bulge like this is high blood pressure, which can happen for various reasons, including but not limited to anger.

  • iraira suru
    To feel irritated. (psychomime as suru-verb.)
  • muka-tsuku
    To get annoyed.
  • hara ga tatsu
    To feel annoyed. To feel offended.
  • okoru
    To get angry.

For example, a high heart rate may increase your blood pressure, physical exercise, stress, adrenaline, anxiety, fear all may increase your blood pressure. And I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure your lifestyle may increase your blood pressure.

Regardless, the anger symbol is basically only used when a character is angry—hence the name—and, in rare cases, when they're putting tremendous physical effort into something. In other high-pressure cases, the symbol isn't really used.

今しか・・・今しかねーーーーッ!!! ドッドッドッドッドッドッ
Manga: To LOVE-Ru, To LOVEる (Chapter 1, 舞い降りた少女)
  • Context: Yuuki Rito 結城リト realizes this is the best chance to confess his love.
  • ima shika... ima shika nee'!!!
    There's... there's no better time than now!!!
    • Literally: "there's no time other than now," as in "now is the only time," it's his only chance, there won't be another..
  • do' do' do' do' do' do'
    *heart thumping sounds*
  • Here, Rito's heart is thumping so hard that it popped a vein.


The anger mark is usually rendered as thick red lines floating over a character. They aren't drawn as if they were under the character's skin, like actual veins.

In most cases the anger mark is placed on the forehead or cheeks. If the character is turned away from the camera, the anger mark is placed on their hair. Naturally, the hair would cover a popped vein if it was on their skin, but the anger mark just floats over it being perfectly visible.

Similarly, anger marks are sometimes placed hats and other headwear, on glasses, on characters that have fur covering their bodies, or even on robots, which don't even have veins to begin with.

Tohru トール, example of "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク.
Anime: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon, 小林さんちのメイドラゴン (Episode 2)
  • Emanata is the term for symbols that represent emotions in comics.

Since angry characters sometimes shake a fist in anger at something, sometimes the angry mark is placed on the fist instead.

Angrily shaking a fist at a dog, with an "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク, on it.
Anime: CØDE:BREAKER (Episode 1)

In general, veins bifurcate, they don't trifurcate.

When popped veins are drawn realistically, you'll see that they're drawn triangularly, bifurcated.

Moffle モッフル, with a popped vein.
Character: Moffle モッフル
Anime: Amagi Brilliant Park, 甘城ブリリアントパーク (Episode 11)

However, the anger mark is commonly drawn quadrilaterally, as a trifurcated vein.

Shigure シグレ, example of "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク.
Character: Shigure シグレ
Anime: Hataage! Kemono Michi 旗揚!!けものみち (Episode 4)

Other Symbols

There are other symbols that symbolize anger in comics.

A common symbol is smoke coming out of a character's head when they're angry.

Kumai Natsu クマ井ナツ, Amayadori Machi 雨宿まち, example of smoke coming out of a character's head.
Left: Kumai Natsu クマ井ナツ
Right: Amayadori Machi 雨宿まち
Anime: Kuma Miko くまみこ (Episode 1)

In western comics, the emanata for anger and frustration is usually a tornado-shaped twirl—probably supposed to be dark smoke—above a character's head, rather than the bulging vein common in Japanese manga.

This swirl is also found in some manga, but it's not as common as the bulging vein.

Hiruzen Sarutobi 猿飛ヒルゼン, example of smoke swirling over an angry, annoyed character's head.
Character: Hiruzen Sarutobi 猿飛ヒルゼン
Manga: Naruto ナルト (Chapter 2, 木ノ葉丸)

Sometimes a character from a western kids' comic will say profanity, and the content will be censored with random symbols like $#@&! This is called a grawlix.

Grawlixes aren't used in Japanese manga. Instead, a circle in manga, or a beep in anime, censors part of the profane word.


For reference, some other examples of the anger mark.

Fujioka Haruhi 藤岡ハルヒ, example of "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク.
Character: Fujioka Haruhi 藤岡ハルヒ
Anime: Ouran High School Host Club, Ouran Koukou Hosuto-Bu 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Episode 10)
Shinigami-sama 死神様, example of "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク.
Character: Shinigami-sama 死神様
Anime: Soul Eater (Episode 1)
The Great will of the Macrocosm, Dai-Uchuu no Oinaru Ishi 大宇宙の大いなる意思, example of "anger mark," ikari maaku 怒りマーク.
Left: Excel エクセル
Middle: The Author
Right: The Great will of the Macrocosm, Dai-Uchuu no Oinaru Ishi 大宇宙の大いなる意思
Anime: Excel♥Saga, エクセル♥サーガ (Episode 1)

Faces & Expressions Marks & Symbols

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