Evolution of Ami

Mizuno Ami-chan is a constant. She's very shy, very gentle and quiet (except when you're challenging her in schoolwork... <grin>), and almost never deviates from that. And that's what makes her so fascinating to study; after all, how do you depict constant gentleness?

She's also a background character; it was very hard to find closeups of her. She's always present, but almost never in clear, detailed focus. I finally had to revert to the acts where she was the main character to find these images.

Ami, act 2 This is Ami's very first appearance, in Act 2. Luna called this picture up on the computer. You can almost see the friendly gentleness that emanates from this picture. Note also the cut and shape of the hair; it's very round and short, and stays very close to the sides of her head. This is very disciplined hair.

As always, you can find the most expression in the eyes. Take a look at the top eyelash stripe - see how it slants demurely down to the corner? Even though Ami's eyes are pretty wide, they're made demure by the fact that the eyeball is hiding behind the corner of the eye - it makes her eyes into less of a stare and more of a gaze. Also, the tiny eyebrow that arches together with the top eyelash softens the general look of the eye.

Here, Ami is considering taking up Beruche's chess challenge (act 15). Hmm, the part in Ami's hair is getting smaller - and the bangs now go all the way down to the top eyelash stripe instead of barely touching the eyebrows. Ami-chan, haven't you had the time to get a haircut? The rest of her hair's also a bit longer and less disciplined, with tendrils escaping to frame her ears and curl over her chin.

Notice that Takeuchi-san's starting to incorporate more shadow; the darker area along Ami's left cheek emphasizes the curve of her face. Ami's eyebrows are slanted in concentration, making her expression fiercer than usual. However, her mild personality is still evident in the eyes - the thickness of her eyelashes soften her expression. Also, the almost circular eyeball makes the eyes gentle.

Ami, act 15

Ami, act 27 This is act 27, and they're trying to figure out who Uranus and Neptune are; Sailormercury is asserting her analytical opinion. Now these are fierce eyes. Takeuchi-san's made the eyeball much more ellipsoid, and the new oval shape combined with the definite slant of the top eyelash makes Ami look almost angry. The eyebrows accentuate the expression by slanting upwards at a sharp angle; these eybrows are also much longer than the short little ones in the beginning.

Ami's hair has stopped being round and sticking to the sides of her head; her hair now puffs out around the sides of her face in graceful waves, and has gotten so long in back that the ends curl around her neck now. The bangs are also much thicker. Notice how the increase of shadow on her face also hints at the shape of the eye.

The final picture I chose is quiet Ami at her wistful best. In act 35, she's thinking about her parents' divorce. The deep, soulful eyes are characteristic of the Dream arc, where Takeuchi-san decided to put a lot of depth and shadow into the eyeball itself. The eyeball is almost circular once more, making the eye soft and mild. Although the top eyelash is long and slanted, it doesn't curve much, gentling the line of the eye. The eyebrows are very long, but the angle they create with the eye accentuates Ami's sad expression.

Ami's hair has gotten really long. The rest of her hair curls pretty far down the back of her neck. Since Ami's a senshi and has more to worry about than just her schoolwork and studies, I guess she's stopped trimming her hair and just let it loose. She's got other things to take up her time, and the lack of discipline in her hair makes her look more relaxed.

Ami, act 35

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