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'Super Deformed' is a specific form of Japanese caricature, in which characters are drawn in a highly exaggerated manner. Those characters are typically small and chubby with stubby limbs and oversized heads. It is sometimes called chibi by some anime fans, though chibi is a different concept that refers more to a person's stature rather than the art style. It is part of the Japanese culture, and is seen everywhere in Japan, from subway signs and advertising to anime and manga. It is often also used on anime and manga 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 of a super deformed character is normally anywhere between one third and one half the character's height, often a golden ratio, with the eyes taking up much of the space on the head. Some artists may use alternate proportions. Recent trends in anime have shifted away from super-deformed character designs, yet the traditional anime character designs remain. In life, heads are usually one eighth of a person's height. There are other exaggerated proportions (such as the 1/5th proportion, as used by Tales of Eternia, etc) that are popular in anime, but are not considered SD.

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