A form of drawing in Japanese comics (manga) that is reportedly inspired by the first reactions of the Japanese to seeing westerners. Also the limited palette of facial expressions allows artists to draw vast quantities of work to keep up with the demands of the Japanese thirst for comics.

Big Eyes, Small Mouth has done quite well for itself, and, in the summer of 2000, managed to print up a full-color second edition. BESM 2e condensed and improved almost every aspect of the first edition rulebook. Thankfully, they managed to combine nearly all of their generic sourcebooks (those not tied to a specific anime title, such as Sailor Moon or Tenchi Muyo!) into this single reference, making it one of the rare role-playing games that can be played entirely out of one book.

One of the best things about BESM is that the character generation system is balanced, which is often hard to do in multi-genre games. A game where mecha pilots team up with magical girls and streetwise gumshoes is entirely within the realm of mechanical possibility.

Guardians of Order proved that their system can extend beyond anime simulation when they released an rpg based on the movie Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Hong Kong Action Theater!, based on the ultra-action films of John Woo and others. There are also gamers out there who have constructed a Buffy the Vampire Slayer rpg using BESM rules.

If BESM has a fault, it is that, being a multi-genre game, the GM has to do a little bookkeeping before a game can start. Questions like the nature of magic, what a basic mecha is, &c. must be worked out personally in advance. This means that BESM isn't the best thing for a quick pick-up game between campaigns of your group's regular setting, but it can be a nice departure from the run-of-the-mill D&D or World of Darkness game.

B => Big
E => Eyes
S => Small
M => Mouth

One of many RPG's out there, BESM is one that follows the new anime trend rapidly growing throughout the world, but which started in Japan. The name of the game is quite representive of the classic anime character, which always has big eyes and a small mouth.

Quite simple, for a RPG, the rules to BESM are pretty basic. Using only six sided die there are few character traits. The big theme being the fact that you can play anything at all, from a mecha pilot who's saving the universe, to an unlucky school girl who's biggest interest is to go out with the football jock. Mainly you create your persona by giving it special skills which cost points, which are distributed at the beginning. (eg: 3rd arm, flying, giant mecha, charm). Once your character is created it's up the the gamemaster to decide of the quest. The game itself is actually basic and mostly focused on roleplay. Your character is what makes the game.

Created by Guardians of Order, this game has one rule book you can play with but also many expansion books.

  • BESM fast play rules = describes itself
  • Big Ears, Small Mouse = if you wanna play a rodent or other bugsize creature.
  • Cute and Fuzzy Seizure Monsters = If you want a pokemon like pet or want to be a pokemon like thing.
  • Cute and Fuzzy "Cockfighting" Seizure Monsters = Same as above but different cover
  • Hot Rods and Gun Bunnies = Cars and Guns
  • Big Robots Cool Starships = well... big robots and starships.
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth Character Diary = Keep up to date with you character
  • Centauri Knights = A campaign gamemaster book
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth Game Master's Screen = Usefull rules for gameplay, while hiding info not intended for players
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth Fantasy Bestiary = Rules for playing High elves, orks, goblins, minataurs and more
  • BESM Fantasy Calender = just a calendar :)

This game also has anime specific rules for animes like: Hellsing, Trigun, Serial Experiments Lain, Dual, Tenchi Muyo, Fushigi Yuugi and El Hazard.Some of these aren't out yet but soon will be.

Also there are some upcomming books for the near 2003 year:

  • Uresia: Grave of Heaven = A fantasy setting for playing == Comming January 2003
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth: Dungeon = A setting for a quest == Spring 2003
  • Big Eyes, Small Mouth: Cold Hands, Dark Heart = A setting to play mummies, sorcerers, oni and more == March 2003
Good for anyone this game is great for rainy days.
References :
  1. http://www.guardiansorder.com
  2. My own experience :)

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