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Chibi Chibi, from Sailor Moon is a popular example of Chibi
Chibi (pronounced with E sounds) as an English word is slang used in some circles (for example otaku). It has its origin in Japanese language. In the context of anime or manga, is used to describe a style of drawing a character in a highly stylized way, with stubby bodies that are about the same size as the head, much like super deformed style. A chibi rendition of a character is usually done for comedic purposes. Sometimes, in the Western fandom, it is used as a modifier with a name to denote a child version of a character, (e.g Chibi Vegeta, Chibi Genji, Chibi Marik or Chibi Sailor Moon) this phraseology is used most often for anime or manga characters. Chibi are typically known to be super-cute, speak in childlike voices, have large puppy-dog eyes, and often a mischievous or indignant personality. Chibi-style characters are often also lacking in detailed anatomy such as fingers; their hands closely resemble those of the Powerpuff Girls (which postdates the influence of anime on Western animation) or look as if they are wearing mittens. When they do have fingers, they are often shaped like baby hands. Chibi also do not often have feet, instead have v-shaped "nubs" rather like pointed ballerina feet (though as with hands there are exceptions depending on the artist). Often, the eyes take up a large portion of the head, also like the Powerpuff Girls.
They sometimes express the true nature of the character. The person may lie, but a chibi may say the truth within the individual's mind. A chibi could also express a nature, like massive anger hiding under a cool, calm exterior. For example; the character Hiei, from the popular anime/manga Yu Yu Hakusho, is often quite calm, hiding his true bloodlust and love of fighting which show themselves only through his chibi form, as seen in the 7th book of the manga. This is also used in the popular anime Naruto with Sakura's true form. It is an easy way to show sides of a characters personality that might come across as awkward or overly serious without this use of comedy.
Recreational anime artists sometimes use the term super deformed interchangeably with chibi and some use it to describe a child or baby version of an anime or manga character.
The term Chibi was popularized by the anime Sailor Moon in the character Chibiusa/Chibi-Moon, who is the daughter of Sailor Moon/Usagi ("Chibi-Usa" as in "Chibi Usagi"). An even tinier character in the same anime was named Chibi Chibi (approximately 3 years old).
Recently, the main character of Chibi-Robo (Nintendo Gamecube video game) has been coined with the term chibi, due to its small proportions as a domestic robot.

Usage in Japanese

In Japanese, chibi is used to describe a short person or child. It may also connote a derogatory meaning when addressing a minor. It is comparable to the English terms runt, dwarf, or shrimp.

Latest page update: made by Tagasaki , Nov 11 2006, 5:40 AM EST (about this update About This Update Tagasaki Edited by Tagasaki

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Keyword tags: Chibi Usage in Japanese
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