I have been itching to write about this ever since seeing the panel below in DigoPuri, translated as The Princess of the Hell, by Shimoku Kio. Unfortunately it’s still not available in English and Hobo-1, who was scanlating it, has dropped off the face of the Earth.
I may have been reading the wrong manga and watching the wrong anime up until now, but this is unusually realistic. Most times when I get to see a baby, it’s a wide-eyed bundle of joy with rosy cheeks and no nose to speak of.
On the other hand Yumeko Okiura, the newborn star of DigoPuri, might have an enormous appetite and a powerful scream, but in the cuteness category she loses to every single baby I’ve ever seen in manga/anime. Have the mangaka and animators never seen an infant? Are all Japanese babies cute as a button? Is it an industry-wide conspiration to inspire young Japanese men and women to procreate? (Side note: Fertility rate in Japan hit an all time low – 1.26 – in 2005, but has since risen to 1.4 children per woman.)
As for crying faces, the story is very similar. No human looks beautiful when crying, but anime characters can pull it off. As a human who turns into a sniveling tomato herself, I sincerely appreciate the rare realism.
Although in Rabura’s case, caricature might be a better term…