There’s “small eye anime,” and then there’s SMALL eye anime

Some people refer to manly shows like LoGH and Cobra as “small eyes anime,” or “small eye anime” because they pre-date the tendency to moe-ify adult characters. Obviously Betty Boop and cartoons of her generation had big eyes, and Japanese animators picked up on that.

However, Japanese illustrators were also capable of learning from standard Western adventure comics, as well as from the Japanese art of earlier centuries.

For example, check out this chick: she’s pretty, but is she moe?


I would say she’s definitely not done in 20th or 21st century moe style.

Similarly, male faces can be drawn to suggest strength by showing how darn big the male jaw and chin can be:

In that context, the eyes on the man below look reasonable.


His eyebrows are bushier than the average Japanese guy’s, but I guess he’s got a lot of testosterone.

Now let’s look at something that most modern fans would probably call “moe” – even though it probably pre-dates the wide use of the term “moe.”


Now, of course, the moe style is easy to forgive when it’s done for 12-year-old girls like the one shown here. Her eyes are probably unreasonable, but the art is so pretty that I can allow my critical mind to relax for just long enough to enjoy the picture.

(For similar pretty girls see the year 2000 version of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust – that’s a movie whose art style deserves serious analysis.)


And if a similar amount of skill had gone into drawing this guy’s eyelids, I would enjoy this picture too:

The problem is that some people have big EYELIDS. Their eyes are normal, but the lids of skin outside the eyes take up a lot of space.

The cartoony way to do this is to depict them with normal faces and closed eyes, but that’s not anatomically accurate!

Faces with big eyelids look different! It’s not just a squint, it’s muscle and skin and flesh!