Basic Anime Expressions


Probably you have already noticed that anime stories have a specific language of emotions. It is amazing how manga can create so much empathy using just a few simple graphic techniques. Generally speaking, the manga is a combination of specific graphic styles that have been elaborated through thousands of years and managed to come up with a range of graphic symbols for expressing facial emotions of manga or anime characters. We have gathered the most basic graphic devices that show a character’s emotions. It will help young animators to create better manga animations.

Basic Anime ExpressionsdrunkBasic Anime Expressions
Beads of sweat — embarrassment, nerves, discomfortBubbles above head — drunkMushroom cloud — sigh of relief
Basic Anime ExpressionsBasic Anime ExpressionsBasic Anime Expressions
Vertical lines — shockedBubble from the nose — sleepingGhost leaving nose — dead
angryBasic Anime ExpressionsBasic Anime Expressions
Pounding vein — angrySparkles — extreme happiness in romantic situationsScribble cloud — very angry
Basic Anime ExpressionsBasic Anime ExpressionsBasic Anime Expressions
Chick on head — innocenceSpiral/helix — dizzyHearts — romance, in love

It is quite easy to use these graphic elements to make a character in your animation more emotional. In order to apply these emotions in the CLILK animation, you may prepare your own unique stickers with emotion symbols and then apply them to faces of your characters. On the other hand, you can use the ready-made facial emotions from CLILK albums. You can also learn about some other techniques of creating a character in CLILK from our previous article.

How to make a comic animation

The comedy focus goes to the very roots of manga, so it has evolved to allow for ever more outrageous ways to present humour. One of the ways to do this is through exaggerating the style and understanding of manga’s visual grammar. Here are some tools and techniques that could be helpful in illustrating funny situations and characters without relying on dialogue.

Zombie Gaze


This exaggerated gaze emphasizes the character’s emotional state. Showing the mouth extending beyond the bottom of the face gives the impression of the mouth being open much wider than it ought to be. This is the manga equivalent of the technique used in American cartoons where someone’s jaw stretches downwards to an impossible extent. In the case of manga the visual portrayal is far less literal and plays on the two-dimensional nature of the artwork.

Wobbling Limbs


This technique is to give characters’ arms and legs an almost jelly like quality. This is often used to create the impression of a character dancing or moving in a stupid manner — usually with a blank and blissful expression — suggesting the character is oblivious to what others think of him or her.

Happy Floating Cheeks


Using a similar technique to the mouth dropping off the face, this character has cheeks drawn so that they appear to hover away from the skin – an exaggeration or hyperstylization, indicating a moment of extreme happiness. In CLILK you can animate these cheeks and make them move by manipulating the time of the shot. More information about time manipulation in CLILK you can find in our tutorial article (see step seven).

We hope that this information was helpful and now you will come up with new ideas about how to make your CLILK animations more dynamic and cool. Don’t wait to make a new wonderful animation. Open the editor right now.

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