For eg, consider Ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul, Naruto Sharingan, Shinji vs Zureal in Eva 2.0, Code Geass when Lelouch activates his power etc etc.

Why in all these shows is it taken that getting red eyes mean one activates power?


1 Answer 1


Red is known to be a strong/intense color and so when the character power upgrades, the eye color changes to red meaning implying them having a strong characteristic in the form of bravery and not fearing anything. It follows the character going into a berserk-state and display of huge burst of power.

Let's take the example of Sharingan. Sharingan activates when a characters goes through a sense of overpowering hatred or rage on the loss of their dearest person and the most obvious color for indicating it is red (the most fitting display is Obito Uchiha activating Mangekyo Sharingan). It is also noted that fire-wielders or the person who can control fire should have red eyes, matching their destructive ability and Uchiha clan have a natural affinity for the fire nature transformation. Uchiha are not truly considered adults until they can successfully perform the Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique strong enough to overcome Water Release.

Not only red indicates a fictional powerbuildup, but a normal human being can sometimes rage and the animators change the eye color to red. E.g. Levi from Attack on Titan was fighting the Female Titan. Canonically his eyes are a dull gray color, but the directors had him change his eye color for that specific scene to highlight his mental and physical state he was in.

Reference: Anime And Manga Eye Color By Hrvoje Milakovic

  • 1
    Your comment is further corroborated when you consider that Akira Toriyama originally drew Super Saiyan's eyes to be red in very early versions in order to reflect the sheer anger and intense emotions that trigger the transformation Jan 12, 2023 at 18:21

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