The gif below shows Noriko from minute 11 of GunBuster's episode 3.

Noriko grinning

This is the dialogue directly preceding it:

Noriko: I should at least memorize basic space manoeuvring patterns. [...]

Smith: All that stuff is useless in real combat.

Noriko: Why do you have to keep patronizing me?

Smith: 'cause your such a cute little freshman.

Noriko: I'll have you know that Onee-sama and I are the best team in the entire Top Squadron! A "solo" like you with no partner couldn't possibly appreciate everything we've been through together as a team. So long!

In terms of usage it seems somewhat interchangeable with the Eyelid pull taunt. I assumed it is meant to show defiance, kind of like baring one's teeth but in a more cheeky way?

The sound she makes is "bi-" I would say, but her action doesn't really fit any of the common uses of that onomatopoeia which I'm aware of.

I feel I've seen this before but I couldn't find it among any of the teeth and smile realated tropes on tvtropes.

So, TL;DR, does this have a name, is it repeated throughout anime and signifies something particular or is it just Noriko being random and I'm overthinking it?

  • Kiznaiver happened to have a recent example of this. Guess I'm not imagining things then but Chidori makes a different sound (i-da?).
    – mivilar
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 20:54
  • That's not a grin, though I'm not sure what to call it. I'm pretty sure that this is a feature of Japanese gestural communication in general (and not just anime in particular).
    – senshin
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 17:08
  • @senshin Hmm, may well be, but japanese.SE is too language specific for this I think. I'll try some more Google myself. If nothing comes up here soonish I'll delete it.
    – mivilar
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 18:00
  • Right, I'm not saying we should move it to Japanese.SE. The question is fine here; just adding some information.
    – senshin
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


My understanding of it is basically that they are making a face, except it's different to how we usually know it. These are how they do it nowadays:

enter image description here enter image description here

They are all making a face and saying "bi~". It is exactly the same as how we make a face, but Japanese style. I don't have research evidence to support this, but I have consulted quite a few Japanese people who lived in Japan for quite a while and they all agreed to my statement, so I do think it's very reliable.

  • Thanks for your answer, however I don't think this applies here. Your images all show akanbe which is somewhat similar, but clearly not what the characters in my two examples are doing. I'm also not sure I understand the last part: Are you saying you showed some people that lived in Japan my example? What were their answers exactly?
    – mivilar
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 9:07
  • 1
    i sorry for the wrong answer, i understand how the image doesn't apply but Noriko in the gif is still undoubtedly making a face. what the Japanese people(a few are my friends) said was that it was simply making a face in disapproval of the grey haired guy on the train. when i put the images up i didn't know there was the term akanbe for those paces specifically, i just thought that they were making a face that's commonly used and i am sincerely sorry for my misleading idea. however the face is rarely used in anime and manga, it's just making a face. i can't find it's name however, i'm sorry.
    – Dragon
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 10:21
  • please excuse my poor English if there is anything hard to understand
    – Dragon
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 10:22
  • While even assuming that is the case, the movie in question predates your examples and "common" examples. Something can become commonplace over time, especially in this case, with a span of nearly 30 years ! (28) For example, when smart phones came out, it was not common, yet it has become rather commonplace now (and in less time than here!). What you need is an example of something that has been in place before the movie and thus can be referred to as a real life example. If unsure reread the question and specifically refer to the eye-pull taunt link for a good example.
    – Tyhja
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 8:14
  • @Tyhja Thank you for letting me know my mistake, i'll make sure i get it right next time.
    – Dragon
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 10:44

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