Many Japanese anime have characters with unique and diverse appearances. Those include glasses, short tufts springing up from hair surface here and there, furry beast-like ears, thick eyebrows, and jaggy teeth. Among those appearances, this article zeroed in on characters exposing their forehead. Those characters are called “Ode-Ko” (Odeko means forehead in Japanese).
This blog will introduce several types of “Ode-Ko”, including one with a headband, one that has straight across bangs, and one with a hairstyle called one-length.
Ritsu Tainaka from “K-ON!”
“K-ON!” is an anime series produced by Kyoto Animation. Its original work is a four-panel comic written by Kakifly. This anime introduces the daily lives of high school girls who join the light music club. The first season of the TV anime had aired in 2009, the second season in 2010, and an animated film had been released in Japanese theaters in 2011.
When first broadcasted, “K-ON!” became a phenomenon that not only the novelty goods became such a smash hit, but the instruments played by the characters also flew off the shelves.
The “Ode-Ko” of this anime is Ritsu Tainaka, the president of the light music club. She also plays the drums in a girl’s band called “Ho-kago Tea Time”. Usually, her hair is short, and she fully exposes her forehead with a headband. She is a very energetic and active girl, just as she looks.
However, in episode 13 of the first season titled “Fuyu no Hi” Ritsu acted very feminine with her bangs down, which hooked countless fans. It might seem paradoxical that a character with a charming forehead gets more fans when she hides it with her bangs. However, this is the same logic as “Megane-Ko” which is a name for female characters who usually wear glasses. While people love to see “Megane-Ko” sometimes without glasses, they also enjoy the rare situation of “Ode-Ko” with her bangs down.
“Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!” Sanae Dekomori
“Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!” is an anime series based on the first series of “KA Esuma Bunko” novels, a paperback label published by Kyoto Animation.
The story is a romantic comedy set in a high school between Yuuta Togashi, who once contracted “Chunibyo (eighth-grader syndrome)” and Rikka Takanashi, who is currently affected by it. Rikka believes that she is a sorceress who possesses the “Tyrant’s Eye”. The first season of the TV anime was aired in 2012, and the second season in 2014. It also released an anime film rebuilding season one from the viewpoint of Rikka in 2013 and the latest film with a completely new story in 2018.
The “Ode-Ko” of this anime is Dekomori Sanae, the user of “Mighty Mjolnir Maul”. Others call her “Deko-chan”, which emphasizes her appearance as an “Ode-Ko”. She looks very charming with her straight across bangs and her short eyebrows. However, her most outstanding appearance is her long twin-tails with buns on the tip of her hair that look like weighted bags. Despite her short height, Sanae energetically swings her twin-tails around, calling it “Mjolnir Tornade”, which gives the impression of her as pretty.
However, same as Ritsu, Yuuta and the viewers were shocked when she unleashed her twin-tails and had her bangs down in the last episode of season one called “Eternal Engage”.
By the way, we have introduced two characters from the past anime of Kyoto Animation. However, this summer, another anime from Kyoto Animation will be broadcasted. The title is “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid” and this also has a cute “Ode-Ko” called Riko Saikawa.
“Teasing Master Takagi-san” Takagi-san
“Teasing Master Takagi-san” is a romantic comedy about the springtime of life. This anime is based on a comic of the same name by Souichirou Yamamoto, which is currently serialized at “MONTHLY SHONEN SUNDAY、GET THE SUN!”. The story is about Nishikata, a junior high school boy who always gets teased by Takagi-san, a girl who sits next to him in the classroom. Every day, Nishikata struggles to take revenge on Takagi-san by making her feel embarrassed. The first season of the TV anime was broadcasted in 2018, and the second season in 2019.
The “Ode-Ko” of this anime is the heroine, Takagi-san. Her hairstyle is called one-length, which means that the bangs and the rest are the same lengths.
In the first place, other than Takagi-san, Mr.Yamamoto often creates characters with comparably big foreheads, whether they have bangs or not. Also, many illustrations Mr.Yamamoto posts on Twitter expose their forehead. Therefore, Mr.Yamamoto is well known as a “forehead lover”. If you love “Ode-Ko” why don’t you check Twitter or other manga written by him?
“THE IDOLM@STER” Iori Minase
“THE IDOLM@STER” is a serialized media mix featuring a girl band. First, in 2005, “THE IDOLM@STER” was born as an arcade game that players can foster the members of a girl band who belong to “765 PRO”. Then, in 2007, a robotic anime titled “IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA” was produced by SUNRISE INC., and in 2009, a game called “THE IDOLM@STER DearlyStars” was born, which featured three members of the girl band who belong to “876 PRO”. The voice actors of the three characters were Kana Hanazawa, Haruka Tomatsu, and Yuuko Sanpei. The anime “THE IDOLM@STER” was born in 2011, which followed the worldview of a game called “THE IDOLM@STER 2”.
This series keeps increasing related content and continues to be popular until today.
The “Ode-Ko” of this series is Iori Minase, a member of the girl band well known for her long hair with her bangs held up with a headband.
She is from a super-rich family, and she was able to join the girl band because of her parents. Viewers might first get irritated by her selfish and high-handed attitude but soon realize that she is a hard worker who cares about her colleagues.
In the first version of the game, Iori almost fully exposed her forehead. However, she has half of her bangs down in “THE IDOLM@STER 2” which introduces the world one and a half years after the first version, and in the TV anime titled “THE IDOLM@STER” which made her look more like an adult.
By the way, Miki Hoshino, another member who also belongs to “765 PRO” calls Iori “Deko-chan”.
“Pani Poni Dash!” Miyako Uehara
“Pani Poni Dash!” is a gag anime broadcasted in 2005. Based on the gag manga “Pani Poni” produced by Hekiru Hikawa, the story is a slapstick comedy depicting the noisy daily lives of a child genius homeroom teacher Rebecca Miyamoto and her students.
Akiyuki Shinbo directed this anime with SHAFT INC. and GANSIS, INC. Mr. Shinbo later produced the famous “Monogatari Series” and “Goodbye, Mr.despair”.
This anime was experimental for the director and the production company. It widely arranged the original work, added parodies of other anime, and “blackboard gag” which is what anime produced by SHAFT INC. have in common. Therefore, although the anime was broadcasted 15 years ago, many fans still admire the combination of Director Shinbo and SHAFT INC.
The “Ode-Ko” of this anime is Miyako Uehara. She is a high school student who is a “nerd” with glasses. Her bangs are blocked neatly in 7:3 with a hairpin.
Miyako exposes her forehead in the original comic. However, in the anime, her forehead is actively used to make the viewers laugh. It flashes, it sends out a beam, and it works as a mirror. The number of her forehead used as a joke material is incomparable from other characters introduced in this article!
Although Miyako is a nerd, her grades are not outstanding. Every time the classmates tease her and call her “study bug” her forehead shines as she expresses her anger. Her facial expressions, such as anger, are very understandable. It might be because we can see her face clearly because she is an “Ode-Ko”.