And kanji with manga
Sunday, March 22, 2020

Laughter Lines

In manga and anime, a segmented arc crossed by perpendicular lines drawn over a character's head means they're having fun, laughing, or just being cheerful and lively in general.

In Japanese, these are called niko-sen ニコ線, "smile lines."

Hiraga Saito 平賀才人, example of laughter lines.
Character: Hiraga Saito 平賀才人
Anime: The Familiar of Zero, Zero no Tsukaima ゼロの使い魔 (Episode 3)

Examples

For reference, some examples:

Yotsuba よつば having fun drawing, with lines symbolizing her fun.
Manga: Yotsuba to! よつばと! (Chapter 8, よつばとおえかき)
  • Yotsuba よつば has fun drawing.
  • tanoshii
    楽しい
    Entertaining. Fun.

Yoshida Yuuko 吉田優子, Shamiko シャミ子, example of cute anime fang.
Character: Yoshida Yuuko 吉田優子, Shamiko シャミ子
Anime: Machikado Mazoku まちカドまぞく (Episode 1)

Excel エクセル, Pedro ペドロ, example of laughter lines.
Left: Excel エクセル
Right: Pedro ペドロ
Anime: Excel♥Saga, エクセル♥サーガ (Episode 1)
  • gayagaya
    ガヤガヤ
    For a group of people to be noisy by talking loudly. For example, for a classroom to be noisy because the students are talking to each other loudly. (mimetic word)
    • urusai
      煩い
      Loud. Noisy. Annoying.
  • geragera
    ゲラゲラ
    Laughing heartily.

References

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