What is chibi or Super Deformed (SD)?

Definition of a Chibi (in anime & manga context)

The word Chibi has a Japanese origin to mean 'small' or 'child'. In various anime and manga (not only Sailor moon), chibi characters are normally used to convey humour, extreme emotion or cuteness. It is a style of drawing where the characters are more child-like, since their proportions are closer to those of a child. Another commonly used term for these types of characters is 'Super Deformed' (SD). Although Chibis are found in most anime, this term was popularized by Sailor Moon, especially the well-known characters; Chibiusa and later Chibichibi.

Usage in Japanese

The word chibi used by the Japanese is simply a way to describe a short person, equivalent to a dwarf or runt.

What is Super Deformed (SD)?

It is a form of Japanese caricature whereby the character's proportions and features are deformed in an exaggerated manner. Their heads, along with their eyes are often enlarged to a size that is proportionally more than the body. This makes it easier to show the emotion of the character. An example would be if a character's head suddenly gets really large, and expresses anger.