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Face fault

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Face fault

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A face fault is an anime-specific property of cartoon physics, usually limited to comedy anime. It can also mean any over-exaggerated facial expression that breaks the normal character design.

List of common face faults

  • Facefault (spelled as one word): A character falling over (usually flat on their face) with a loud thud or crash from another character saying something anticlimatic or stupid. This is one of the most common and best-known variations of the face fault.
  • A super deformed face, which normally includes the disappearance of the nose, the oversimplification of the eyes, and a mouth bearing a simple triangular shape showing either no teeth (red) or all teeth (white). This is often included with other forms of facefaults.
  • Giant sweat drop: May indicate a response to a stupid or inane action or spoken line.
  • Multiple smaller sweatdrops: May indicate nervousness or fear.
  • Nosebleeds: Indicates lust.
  • Blushing of the cheeks or bridge of the nose: Indicates embarrassment, or love.
  • Pulsating crossed forehead veins: Indicates anger, or rage.
    • If viewed from behind, veins can be viewed through hair, no matter how thick.
  • Large, shining eyes: Indicates "cute" excitement.
  • Flames in eyes: Indicates immense passion, usually accompanied by scared characters in background
  • Rivers of tears underneath the eyes indicate comedic anguish or discontent.
  • Eyes shaped like half-moons with very tiny pupils:
    • Indicates a devilish intent, usually accompanied by a toothy grin, a flash on the corner of one of the eyes and sometimes the flat side of the eyes will form a V.
    • Indicates anger, usually the flat side of the eyes will form a V parallel to the eyebrows (if any).
    • The character is totally uninterested in the situation, usually accompanied by a flat small line as his/her mouth or simply having no mouth at all.
  • The sudden appearance of vertical lines on the face, indicates embarrassment or speechlessness in response to some absurdity.
  • Character does a The Scream pose, indicating fear or great anguish.
  • Character turns into a cracked stone statue or a sand pillar (having part of the body being blown away), indicating great emotional shock.
  • Character is frozen by ice can either indicate:
    • Someone just said something out of extreme stupidity.
    • One of the characters told a joke (usually an old pun) that is not funny anymore.
    • Occasionally, one of the characters singing is awfully bad.
  • Character turns much smaller and cartoonish, looking like a doll; this is called "chibi" mode.
    • A body scaled as 4~5 times the height of the head indicates the situation is still similar to normal.
    • A body scaled as about 3 times the height of the head indicates the situation is greatly comical.
    • A body scaled as about 2 times the height of the head (the main body is equal to or smaller than the main body), indicates the situation is only for comical effects.
  • Character becomes monochrome during states of extreme stress or shock.
  • Character becomes a wavy paper doll and undulates, indicating shock or playful bliss.
  • Character shakes his arms with her/his hands closed in fists, and they are shown as multiple flesh-colored balls with motion lines and no arms.
  • When the character hears something very interesting or shocking behind his/her back, his ear instantly becomes much bigger and moves.
  • Character's head becomes giant as it screams its anger at somebody else.
  • Jaw drops all the way down to the floor. Another version of this is when the jaw is detached from the head and falls downs as a separate object after dangling. This is usually accompanied by buggy eyes or eyes falling out.
  • Pupils disappear, indicating shock, anger, or a bad pun.
  • When eating some very spicy food, the character's lips turn swollen and red and occasionally breathes fire.
  • When nervously talking with someone, a character may push his/her index fingertips together.
  • Characters sometimes fly off into the distance and finally disappear as a star in the sky when defeated in a duel.

This list is not comprehensive.

Effects accompanying a face fault

The background may change to suit the mood of the scene, usually disregarding the physical setting of the scene. For instance:

  • The background of a romantic scene or the introduction of a beautiful and attractive character may be a motif of flowers.
  • A scene where one character is in a rage may have a distorted, jagged background showing flames.
  • A sudden gust of wind (and/or a loud crow flying in the background in a very straight line, the sound of the crow is a pun to its sounding like a-ho which means stupid) accompanying a bad joke or embarrassment.
  • An expression of disbelief is commonly accompanied by a single-color background with prominent vertical black lines at the top of the frame.
  • A lone spotlight shining on a character comically dramatizes despair.
  • A Kyokujitsu-ki war flag appears behind the character when he feels extremely and unreasonably proud or determined.
    • Alternatively, he might be standing near a sea with giant powerful waves.
  • Hitodama appear floating near the character when he feels depressed or scares other characters with his dark attitude.
  • Very anguished character falls down in a very dark void with other objects circling him.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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