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Super deformed

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Super deformed

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Cloud Strife in SD style, from the Playstation game Final Fantasy VII Cloud Strife in SD style, from the Playstation game Final Fantasy VII

In anime and manga, characters which are drawn in a highly exaggerated manner are said to be super deformed (SD) or chibi. Super deformed characters are typically small and chubby with stubby limbs and oversized heads, and may be used in brief interjections in order to show extreme or exaggerated emotion, especially in the cases of anger or surprise, that would be difficult to portray, or would seem out of character if expressed on the more realistic visage. They are meant to be cute and are often used in humorous diversions from the storyline.

Many amateur anime artists enjoy drawing super deformed characters because the style is considered cute and is relatively easy to draw. The head-to-body ratio of a super deformed character is normally anywhere between one half and one quarter, with the eyes taking up a majority of the space on the head. Some artists may use alternate proportions.

Examples

Some series are animated completely in the SD style such as The Adventures of Mini-Goddess, featuring characters from the well known Oh! My Goddess manga.

Other anime series have entire SD parody series running alongside the main series, such as Super Deformed Gundam, Maria-sama ga Miteru, and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. These parody series are often packaged as DVD-only specials.

A western example of SD character usage can be seen in the American Teen Titans animated series.

Appearances in other media

The Capcom fighting games Puzzle Fighter and Pocket Fighter featured characters from various Capcom fighting games, all portrayed in the SD style.
Mortal Kombat: Deception's Puzzle Kombat copies the concept introduced by Puzzle Fighter, including the super deformed characters.
Sega's Virtua Fighter Kids is Virtua Fighter 2 with the characters in the SD style.
Final Fantasy VII was the first in the Final Fantasy series to implement three-dimensional super deformed character models. However, in the battle mode and in the pre-rendered cinematic sequences, the characters were much more realistic. It is argued, though, that the use of SD animation in the game was not intentional, but instead necessary because of technological constraints on the polygon count.
The not-so-popular Nintendo 64 fighting game, Flying Dragon, created by Natsume and Culture Brain, features two playing modes, one of them being the "SD Mode", where all the fighters are super deformed, showing happiness when they win or land a super move successfully, and showing pain when they are hit.

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


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