In a world where large breasts are generally more popular amongst men, girls who are less-developed (either having particularly small breasts or being completely flat) often feel concerned about their small size. In some cases, though, women are proud of their petite frame, for several reasons, one of which often being that some men prefer a petite woman to one with particularly big boobs.
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It should be noted that not all small-breasted females are Pettanko characters, as they must also harbour strong feelings of either resentment or pride regarding their bust.
There are two basic types of Pettanko:
- A-Cup Angst - The negative Pettanko. Her worry generally concerns the fact that other characters (usually of around the same age) are more developed. This usually leads to Breast Envy.
- Petite Pride - The positive Pettanko. She is proud of her small bust and may even boast about it from time to time. She will usually argue that having small breasts is better because it gives her a more youthful appearance, or because smaller breasts will never sag. She will often state that there are many men who prefer small breasts or even hate large ones.
Sometimes characters switch mind-sets on the subject. Usually when a type 1 Pettanko finds out that a male character dislikes big breasts, they suddenly become proud of their bust and will likely try to draw extra attention towards it.
Fans who prefer flat-chested anime characters sometimes refer to them as "Delicious Flat Chests" or DFCs.
- In The Familiar of Zero, Louise is a typical Pettanko. Her nickname early in the series is "Louise the Zero" referring to both her success rate in magic and her bust size.
- In Samurai Girls, Yukimura generally exudes Petite Pride. In an omake she even upsets the busty Jubei, laughing and saying her big breasts will eventually sag.