Characters in anime tend to sneeze when someone else is talking trash
them behind their back. This running joke
occurs a lot, and has a very short explanation.
There is a Japanese superstition about
sneezing. Supposedly when someone
sneezes, it means that others have been talking about them.
I have been told that negative remarks are not part of the superstition, even though it usually turns out that way in anime.
Some quick examples:
- Bubblegum Crisis #8: Lisa is asking Naoko about Nene,
and Naoko says, "She's a pretty girl, but no boyfriends.. maybe I should
fix her up." "Never mind," says Lisa. Quick cut to Nene, who promptly
- Bubblegum Crash #3: (yes, I am a BGC fan) The Knight Sabers notice
an AD Police helicopter, and start talking sarcastically. "Oh, look, Leon's here."
"Eh, he's never around when you need him." "Yeah." Cut to Leon, who
- Rurouni Kenshin: (I forgot which episode) Some samurai are conspiring against a politician. Cut to the politician, who is far, far away, and he promptly sneezes. An aide asks the politician if he is OK, and he says he is fine, except that he thinks someone is plotting against him.
Now, maybe take another look at your favorite anime
and see if there's an extra joke you missed. e.g. I'm guessing, but I can almost guarantee that Tenchi
ends up sneezing a lot.
See also: anime cliches