Retro RPG: Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM)
Big Eyes, Small Mouth is a tabletop role-playing game that was designed to simulate the action of anime and manga. It is frequently referred to by the acronym BESM. The title alludes to the common anime drawing style of characters with huge, expressive eyes and comparatively small mouths.
The initial edition, designed by Mark C. MacKinnon, was released by Guardians of Order in 1997. Soon after that, RPG writer David L. Pulver began writing supplements for what was essentially a fairly simple game, adding a detailed system for the creation of mecha with his book Big Robots, Cool Starships. Skills were added with the next supplement, a genre book called Hot Rods & Gun Bunnies. At the same time MacKinnon and his colleagues were using BESM's system (now referred to as "the Tri-Stat System") as the basis for licensed games based on anime properties such as Sailor Moon, Dominion: Tank Police, Demon City Shinjuku and Tenchi Muyo! All of these innovations were incorporated into a second edition, which was released in 2001 to a very strong reception.