Chibi (term)

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For other uses, see Chibi.
Example for a character drawn in chibi style

Chibi (-小人 or ちび or チビ?) is a Japanese slang word meaning "short person" or "small person" - it originally derived from "Chitchanabito" or "Chitchana no Hito"; although is used at times for children. The word has gained currency among fans of manga and anime. It means someone or some animal that is smaller in stature compared to the majority. It can be translated as "little", but is not used the same way as chiisana [小さな] (tiny, small, little in Japanese) but rather cute. A prototypical example of the former usage in the original Japanese which brought the term to the attention of Western fans is Chibiusa, a pet name for the diminutive daughter of Sailor Moon formed from Chibi Usagi ("Little Rabbit").[1]

In English-speaking anime and manga fandom (otaku), the term chibi has mostly been conflated with the "super deformed" style of drawing characters with oversized heads or it can be used to describe child versions of characters.

Chibi style is usually used in depicting scenes which are cute and/or humorous, and it is extremely rare for it to be used for an entire anime series. It is often used at OVAs, ONAs and manga, such as the Chibi Maruko-chan series.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sailor Moon volume 3 translation". Retrieved 2008-05-23. 

External links[edit]

  • Chibi Land Sailor Moon site devoted to Chibis and Super deformed