Thursday, April 16, 2020

Money Eyes

In manga and anime, sometimes a character's "eyes become money," me ga okane ni naru 目がお金になる. This happens when they've set their eyes on money, thinking about money, trying to get a huge sum of money, dreaming of becoming rich, and so on.

Sometimes this symbol is animated as eyes spinning vertically like a slot machine and stopping on a money symbol as if they hit a jackpot.

Kaminashi Nozomi 神無のぞみ, example of dollar sign eyes.
Character: Kaminashi Nozomi 神無のぞみ
Anime: Keijo!!!!!!!! 競女!!!!!!!! (Episode 3)


For reference, some examples of characters' eyes turning into money.

$ - Dollar Sign

The dollar sign ($) is a sign used with a number of currencies, including the U.S. dollar.

Double Stroke Dollar Sign

Kaminashi Nozomi 神無のぞみ, example of dollar sign eyes.
Character: Kaminashi Nozomi 神無のぞみ
Anime: Keijo!!!!!!!! 競女!!!!!!!! (Episode 3)
  • Context: Nozomi fantasizes about being a top sports player and earning the wages of one.
  • me ga doru maaku ni naru
    The eyes become dollar signs.
Riho Flavinリホ・フラビン, Selen Hemein セレン・ヘムアエン, and Phyllo Quinone フィロ・キノン, each with a different symbol for eyes: money eyes, heart eyes, and fire eyes.
Left: Riho Flavin リホ・フラビン
Middle: Selen Hemein セレン・ヘムアエン
Right: Phyllo Quinone フィロ・キノン
Anime: Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu You na Monogatari, たとえばラストダンジョン前の村の少年が序盤の街で暮らすような物語 (Episode 10)
  • Context: three different characters have three different objectives.
  • The one with money eyes seeks money.
  • The one with heart eyes seeks love.
  • The one with fire eyes seeks battle.

Single Stroke Dollar Sign

Midorikawa Mana 緑川末那, example of money eyes in the shape of a single-stroke dollar sign.
Character: Midorikawa Mana 緑川末那
Anime: Action Heroine Cheer Fruits, アクションヒロイン チアフルーツ (Episode 9)

¥ - Yen Sign

The yen sign (¥) is a sign used the Japanese currency, the yen, and with the Chinese yuan.

Mizushima Sayori 水嶋沙依理, example of money eyes in the shape of yen signs.
Character: Mizushima Sayori 水嶋沙依理
Anime: Love Lab, Ren'ai Rabo 恋愛ラボ (Episode 2)
  • Context: Sayori sees an opportunity to touch money.
  • me ga en maaku ni naru
    The eyes become yen signs.
Matsuno Todomatsu 松野トド松, example of money eyes in the yen sign shape.
Character: Matsuno Todomatsu 松野トド松
Anime: Osomatsu-san おそ松さん (Episode 6)
  • Context: Todomatsu drools over a huge pile of money.
Kaguya Madoka 香久矢まどか, Amamiya Elena 天宮えれな, Hoshina Hikaru 星奈ひかる, example of money eyes in the shape of the yen sign.
Left: Kaguya Madoka 香久矢まどか
Middle: Amamiya Elena 天宮えれな
Right: Hoshina Hikaru 星奈ひかる
Anime: Star☆Twinkle Precure, スター☆トゥインクルプリキュア (Episode 10)
  • Context: gems, gems everywhere.

A hybrid example:

Ichimatsu Kohina 市松こひな, Shigaraki 信楽, example of money eyes in the shape of the dollar sign and the yen sign.
Left: Ichimatsu Kohina 市松こひな
Right: Shigaraki 信楽
Anime: Gugure! Kokkuri-san 繰繰れ!コックリさん (Episode 6)


Sometimes, the kanji for kane 金, "money," is used instead. This word typically gets the o お honorific prefix: okane お金, "money." This kanji also spells the homonym "gold," kin 金.

Anzu アンズ, example of "money" eyes, kane 金.
Character: Anzu アンズ
Anime: Hinamatsuri ヒナまつり (Episode 7)
  • Context: Anzu opens a cash register, sees the cash inside.


Sometimes, 円, the kanji for the "yen" currency, read en 円 in Japanese, is used instead, together with the actual value of the sum of money.

Anime: Kochira Katsushikaku Kameari Kouenmae Hashutsujo こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所 (Episode 268)
  • Context: Ryoutsu Kankichi 両津勘吉 hears how much a company is willing to pay for the last piece of land they need in order to build a whole edifice.
  • juu oku en
    Ten hundred-million yen.
    One billion yen.
    • A note about numbers in Japanese:
    • ichi-man 1万 is 10000, ten thousand.
    • ichi-oku 1億 is 10000×10000, or one hundred million.

Fantasy Currency

Fantasy series often don't have dollars or yens as currency, so, sometimes, whatever currency exists in the fantasy setting is used for the eyes instead.

Shigure シグレ, example of money eyes turning into coins.
Character: Shigure シグレ
Anime: Hataage! Kemono Michi 旗揚!!けものみち (Episode 10)
  • Context: Shigure's eyes turn into gold coins minted featuring the image of Princess Edgardo Latis Altena エドガルド・ラティス・アルテナ, who rules over the town where Shigure lives.
Nami ナミ, example of money eyes, in this case, shaped like the "berry" sign, berii ベリー.
Character: Nami ナミ
Anime: One Piece (Episode 570)
  • Context: Nami's eyes turn into "berries," a fantasy currency in One Piece.
  • me ga berii ni naru
    [Her] eyes turn into berries.

Money on Eyes

In every example so far, eyes turned into money symbolically to represent greed. In some cases, there's no symbolism, it has nothing to do with greed, it's just money physically placed over eyes:

Nike ニケ, Kukuri ククリ, equipping money.
Left: Nike ニケ
Right: Kukuri ククリ
Anime: Mahoujin Guruguru 魔法陣グルグル (2017) (Episode 1)
  • happyaku rin de soubi wo...
    Equipping eight hundred rin.
Sacchan さっちゃん, example of money on eyes.
Character: Sacchan さっちゃん
Anime: Mitsuboshi Colors, 三ツ星カラーズ (Episode 9)

See Also

Hachikuji Mayoi 八九寺真宵, making a money sign.
Character: Hachikuji Mayoi 八九寺真宵
Anime: Nisemonogatari 偽物語 (Episode 1)
  • Money Gesture: a Japanese hand gesture that's similar to the American OK sign, but that signifies money instead.
Faces & Expressions

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