Akanbe - Facial gesture with eyes


Golden Week Week has started! An event full of free Japanese classes! Click here and watch now!

Akanbe or akkanbee (あかんべえ) is a Japanese facial gesture that indicates crazy sarcasm, also known in France as ceil mon and in Korea for 메롱 (melong).

This gesture is performed by pulling down the lower eyelid exposing the red part to someone. It is considered an immature provocation gesture and is usually performed with the tongue out.

In France, this gesture is an expression of disdain, disbelief or something that does not match anything. It is common to use expressions related to the eye to express disbelief or to see something unnecessary.

Exposing the lower and inner lids with a finger can also be an expression of contempt and rejection.

Akanbe Origin

The term first appeared in a 1909 story written by Katai Tayama entitled Inaka Kyoshi (rural teacher). The gesture is used by male students in history. The author gives the etymology of the word 赤い目 which means red eyes.

Currently this expression is used in several anime and manga, mainly by female characters tsundere.


Although the word Akanbe originally refers to putting the inner part of the eye out, it is even used today when someone just sticks out the tongue.

References and mentions

In the Pretty Cure anime! Akanbe are monsters with an appearance similar to the gesture, they have a red-cut eye and a frightening smile with the tongue out.

The number of famous characters who made this gesture is quite large. It is easy to find images of Suzumiya Haruhi, Naruto, Bleach, Hatsune Miku and thousands of other famous anime practicing this gesture.

Did you know this gesture? Did he ever do it with anyone? Do you know any anime where you have seen akanbe? We appreciate the possible comments and shares.