If you watch a lot of anime (and since you’re here, it’s safe to assume you do, you cultured connoisseur), you may have noticed a trend of certain characters sporting a prominent, pointy tooth. Known commonly as the cute little fang, the tsundere fang or the moe fang, it is an indicator that this particular person is mischievous, sneaky, adorable or even a bit wicked.
It can really run the gamut of personality types, and it parallels a fascination for prominent canines known as yaeba. This is, of course different to monsters, demons or beasts with actual fangs; they’re more likely to put those to work on your neck, should you give them the opportunity.
Still not quite sure what we’re talking about? Fear not, fledgling cuspid enthusiast, for we’ve assembled a batch of characters with incisors so sizeable, you’ll delight in every bite. You could even say that they put the max in maxillofacial!…
Sorry, it’s so rare that one gets an opportunity to make tooth jokes. Maybe next time I’ll chews something better.
Hana Uzaki | Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!
It wasn’t a matter of if Uzaki would be on this list, but when. Though there was an urge to delay her arrival in the interest of suspense, she simply refused to wait long enough, demanding that she be #1. It’s Uzaki-chan, senpai! And she wants to hang out!!
This flighty, impetuous firecracker is effectively the cute little fang’s cute little mascot, resembling a jack o’lantern with her dental prowess. If the size of the yaeba is proportionate to the puckish nature of its owner, you can already tell that Uzaki will wreak havoc for anyone within a ten metre radius.
Her oblivious compulsion to say whatever is on her mind or eat whatever is within her reach is part of her charm, and as exhausting as she may be sometimes, she’s also a lot of fun. You’ll just have to have a thick skin, and preferably, a thick wallet to accommodate her impulse buys, because she’s found this cool new thing, senpai, but then she also found this other cool new thing that makes the first thing look lame in comparison — better buy both just to be safe!!
Killua Zoldyck | Hunter x Hunter
At a glance, you may think that Killua is out of place on this list. Most of the time, his smile is devoid of any particular ivory display, however when he’s feeling playful, his yaeba will emerge.
It’s one of the many marvellous aspects of this character; his harsh upbringing created a ruthless killing machine, but underneath that, he’s still just a kid, and his interactions with Gon give him a sense of hope that there is more to life than murder. After all, what could be more fun than murder with a friend?
This side of Killua often manifests in a catlike manner, which is quite well suited to his personality. He is somewhat fickle, after all, and liable to whack you when you least suspect it. It’s quite endearing, unless that whack was actually applied with deadly intent. In which case, well darn, Killua’s probably trying to assassinate you. Best run.
Kotaro Hayama | Kuroko’s Basketball
Basketball is a game of egos and intimidation. If you can get into your opponent’s head with your agility and dominating presence, it can be nearly impossible for them to launch a counteroffensive. Predominantly, the way to do this would be by mean mugging all over the place, frowning with surly malcontent after every dunk, block or screen (screening obviously being the least impressive of the three, but someone’s gotta do it).
What happens, then, when the player across from you won’t stop smiling? It would arguably be much worse, especially if they drop a triple double on you while flashing the most pleasant grin you’ve ever seen.
This is the M.O. of Rakuzan’s Kotaro Hayama. As one of the Uncrowned Kings, you know that he’s not to be taken lightly, and yet, his jolly, immature demeanour is enough to lull anyone into a false sense of security. He’s quite the adept dribbler, and more than eager to show this fact off, much to the annoyance of his teammates.
Do you want to defeat him? Or just give him the biggest hug? It’s a Muggsy Bogues dilemma for the modern era.
Kou Minamoto | Toilet-bound Hanako-kun
This well-intentioned, somewhat irascible wannabe exorcist has an overbite that can be described as comparatively understated — don’t be fooled, his temperament is anything but. For one thing, you’ll note that he has not one but two cute little fangs, most readily seen whenever he is shouting or snarling. Luckily, he does a lot of both.
That said, he’s a diligent young man, fighting hard to protect the weak and banish evil spirits back to the darkness from whence they came. Though he may not think everything through, he always takes the path he feels is right, in a manner so devout it is borderline admirable. It’s up for interpretation what his yaeba could imply, whether it suggests he’s pesky and reckless, adventurous and whimsical, or just straight up kawaii.
As it is with most cases, the most obvious answer is likely the correct one, because Kou is clearly all of the above, wrapped up into one combustible little package.
Hibiki Sakura | How Heavy are the Dumbbells You Lift?
Hibiki Sakura is a vibe.
There is no better way to describe this character, as she is the conduit for every person who cannot help but give into their vices. In her case, it’s a combination of binge eating and a sedentary lifestyle that have rendered her somewhat paunchy.
We’ve all been there, and many of us steadfastly remain there. We can take solace in the fact that there is someone willing to carry the mantle, one awkward workout at a time, whose self image frequently comes secondary to the unbridled bliss of takoyaki.
Hers is perhaps the most relatable fang of all, representative of the earnest, ambitious desires within us all. Hibiki is a champion of the people, and once unleashed, a formidable foe whose raw power leaves competitors dumbstruck in her wake.
This is all a super fancy way of saying that our girl Hibiki be into them snacks, and also still kinda buff. It’s a mad flex we should all aspire towards.
Make sure to explore the full AnimeLab library to find more cute little fangs, and sound off in the comments with your faves. If you’re wondering where to start, the moe and slice of life genres are great options to sink your teeth into!
So this Easter long weekend, remember to brush vigorously, floss with purpose and then load your weekend up with delectable anime. It won’t necessarily improve your dental hygiene, but golly, it’s certain to bring a smile to your face.