And kanji with manga
Thursday, April 23, 2020

Anime Fang

In manga and anime, some characters have a single triangular fang-like tooth normally visibly drawn sticking out of their mouths. This "anime fang" is part of the character's design, and is considered to be cute by some people.

Sakura Hibiki 紗倉ひびき, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Sakura Hibiki 紗倉ひびき
Anime: Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? ダンベル何キロ持てる? (Episode 1)

Usage

In general, the anime fang doesn't carry any deeper meanings or connotations. It's simply a feature added to make characters cuter.

Series focused on cute characters (moe 萌え) with simplified designs are more likely to have anime fangs, while more serious, realistic series won't have them.

In some cases the anime fang is based on actual fangs, which means the character is a demon, vampire, monster girl, or some other fanged creature, including cat girls, or that they're wild and feral for some reason.

Lastly, in some cases the anime fang means the characters teeth are physically protruding, which means the character's bite is misaligned.

Non-symbolic usage is rare: generally a series won't acknowledge in-universe the shape of a character's teeth—nobody ever comments on it, and it doesn't affect anything at all—so it really ends up not meaning anything at all.

In Japanese

The word for the "anime fang" in Japanese is yaeba 八重歯, which is when a person's tooth is misaligned to the point it ends up in front of another tooth, i.e. an "overlapped tooth."

A diagram of yaeba 八重歯, illustrating how canine teeth become misaligned

The word for "fang" in Japanese is kiba, like the fangs of a wolf, snake, or ratel.

Some characters with anime fangs have perfectly human overlapped teeth, others have animalistic or demonic fangs. They're both rendered the same way, though, so it's impossible to tell one apart from the other, and everybody just calls them yaeba either way.

Okumura Rin 奥村燐, example of fangs.
Character: Okumura Rin 奥村燐
Anime: Ao no Exorcist, 青の祓魔師 (Episode 5)
  • Not these, though, these are definitely fangs.

Also, in case you think something like: "why does this character have yaeba? Why haven't their parents sent them to the dentist already?" Let me say again that anime fangs are just there because they're cute and don't mean anything at all, in particular, they don't mean the character's parents are bad, or that their financial situation is so dire they can't afford dental care.

Matsuoka Rin 松岡凛, example of anime fang, yaeba, and jagged teeth, gizaba ギザ歯.
Character: Matsuoka Rin 松岡凛
Anime: Free!, フリー! (Various Episodes)

Rendering

The way the anime fang is rendered varies depending on the character, series, and style. There are cases when:
  • The fang is drawn when the mouth is closed.
    • The fang is always drawn.
    • The fang is only sometimes drawn with the mouth closed.
  • The fang is only drawn with an open mouth.
    • The fang is always drawn when the mouth is open.
    • The fang is normally not drawn, even when the mouth is open, and it's only drawn in rare cases when the character is angry or shouting or in close-up shoots.
  • The typically white upper teeth...
    • ...are all visible, and the fang is rendered as a pointy indentation.
    • ...are not visible except for the fang, which is drawn as a triangle under the upper lip.
    • ...are not visible at all, and the fang is rendered as a skin-colored indentation on the upper lip.
  • There's always only one fang.
    • It's always on the left side, or always on the right side, which means that the character physically only has one fang-like tooth in only one side of his mouth.
    • It's sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right, and that depends on the camera angle, which means that the character might have two misaligned teeth, but that doesn't matter, what matters is that its design features always one fang drawn.
  • There's sometimes one fang, sometimes two.
  • There's always two fangs, in which case those are probably actual fang-sized canines and not just two normal teeth that just coincidentally misaligned symmetrically.
    • Besides the two fangs at the top, there's another pair at the bottom.

Examples

For reference, some examples of characters with anime fangs.

Endou Saya 遠藤サヤ, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Endou Saya 遠藤サヤ
Anime: Dagashikashi だがしかし (Episode 2)

Kashiwazaki Sena 柏崎星奈, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Kashiwazaki Sena 柏崎星奈
Anime: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai 僕は友達が少ない (Episode 2)

Milim Nava ミリム・ナーヴァ, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Milim Nava ミリム・ナーヴァ
Anime: Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken, 転生したらスライムだった件 (Episode 16)

Aasu Itsue 我々守いつえ, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Aasu Itsue 我々守いつえ
Anime: Puni Puni☆Poemii ぷにぷに☆ぽえみぃ (OVA, Episode 1)

Skin-Colored

Also known as lip fang.

Astolfo アストルフォ, blinking, example of skin-colored anime fang, hadairo no yaeba 肌色の八重歯.
Character: Astolfo アストルフォ
Anime: Fate/Apocrypha (Episode 16)

Senpai 先輩, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯, and swirling eyes, guruguru-me ぐるぐる目.
Character: Senpai 先輩
Anime: Tejina-senpai 手品先輩 (Episode 1)

Mouth Closed

Excel エクセル, example of cute anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Excel エクセル
Anime: Excel♥Saga, エクセル♥サーガ (Episode 1)
  • utsuro-me
    虚ろ目
    Vacant eyes. (drawn without sparkle.)

Inuyama Aoi 犬山あおい, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Inuyama Aoi 犬山あおい
Anime: Yuru Camp△, ゆるキャン△ (Episode 1, Collage)

Double

Kurahashi Riko 倉橋莉子, example of double anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Kurahashi Riko 倉橋莉子
Anime: Love Lab, Ren'ai Rabo 恋愛ラボ (Episode 1)
  • han-me
    半目
    Half-[closed] eyes. (or half-open eyes, if you're an optimist.)

Sakura Kyouko 佐倉杏子, example of double anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Sakura Kyouko 佐倉杏子
Anime: Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, 魔法少女まどか★マギカ (Episode 6)

Minamoto Kou 源光, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Minamoto Kou 源光
Anime: Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun 地縛少年花子くん (Episode 7)
  • nikoo'
    にこーっ
    *smile*

Yui ユイ, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯, and sparkling eyes, shiitake-me しいたけ目.
Character: Yui ユイ
Anime: Angel Beats! (Episode 4)

Feral

Momomiya Ichigo 桃宮いちご, a magical girl transformed into the cat girl Mew Mew Strawberry ミュウミュウストロベリー.
Character: Momomiya Ichigo 桃宮いちご
Anime: Tokyo Mew Mew, 東京ミュウミュウ (Episode 2)

Ibaraki-douji 茨木童子, example of cat girl with heterochromia, kin-me-gin-me 金目銀目, "gold eye, silver eye."
Character: Ibaraki-douji 茨木童子
Anime: Onigiri 鬼斬 (Episode 3)

Demonic

Etna エトナ, Laharl ラハール, examples of anime fang.
Left: Etna エトナ
Right: Laharl ラハール
Anime: Makai Senki Disgaea, 魔界戦記ディスガイア (Episode 2, Collage)
  • erufu-mimi
    エルフ耳
    "Elf ears." Long, pointed ears.

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)

Kurumizawa Satanichia McDowell 胡桃沢=サタニキア=マクドウェル, example of nekoguchi 猫口, kazari-me かざり目.
Character: Kurumizawa Satanichia McDowell 胡桃沢=サタニキア=マクドウェル
Anime: Gabriel DropOut, ガヴリールドロップアウト (Episode 4)

Jin 陣, example of anime fang.
Character: Jin
Anime: Yū☆Yū☆Hakusho 幽☆遊☆白書 (Episode 39)
  • oni

    A type of Japanese youkai 妖怪 apparition typically depicted with "horns," tsuno 角.

Monstrous

Takanashi Hikari 小鳥遊ひかり, Kusakabe Yuki 日下部雪, example of anime fang, yaeba 八重歯.
Left: Takanashi Hikari 小鳥遊ひかり
Right: Kusakabe Yuki 日下部雪
Anime: Demi-chan wa Kataritai, 亜人ちゃんは語りたい (Episode 4)
  • kyuuketsuki
    吸血鬼
    Vampire.

Anosillus the 2nd アノシラス(2代目), example of yaeba 八重歯.
Character: Anosillus (the 2nd) アノシラス(2代目)
Anime: SSSS.GRIDMAN (Episode 6)
  • kaijuu
    怪獣
    Monster. (typically used toward Godzilla-like monsters in fiction.)

References

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