Glossary of anime and manga
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Anime and manga fans outside of Japan have adopted many Japanese words and phrases. Some of these words have been misinterpreted, reinterpreted or undergone significant change in meaning. In addition, a variety of terms relating to anime and manga and the associated fandom have arisen, either by translation/transliteration from Japanese or as part of the shared slang or jargon of the subculture.
Other subcultures have also adopted Japanese loan-words through contact with fans of such media as anime and manga.
In addition, there are a great many Japanese and non-Japanese words and phrases that fans and the curious will come across in relation to anime and manga.
- Ahoge (アホ毛?)
- A single strand of hair that sticks out of a character's head. It literally means "stupid hair" and usually indicates that the character is stupid. However, there are exceptions to this, so it is not an absolute rule. It differs from antenna hair, in which there are two or more locks of hair sticking up as opposed to one. Characters that have an ahoge include the Araragi family from Bakemonogatari, Himeko Katagiri from Pani Poni, Italy from Hetalia: Axis Powers, Konata Izumi from Lucky Star, Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Hikigaya Hachiman from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Saber from Fate/stay night, and Makoto Naegi from Danganronpa.
- Anime (アニメ?)
- A Japanese style of motion picture animation, yet is more commonly used by Westerners to refer to animation produced exclusively in Japan. Otherwise, the term refers to all animation according to the Japanese language.
- Anime music video
- Often abbreviated AMV, video clips from at least one anime series arranged to fit a musical piece playing in the background.
- Aniparo (アニパロ?)
- Literally, "anime parody"—anime characters being used by fans in a parodic way.
- Baka (馬鹿?)
- See Baka (word)
- Bakunyū (爆乳?)
- is a genre of pornographic media focusing on the depiction of women with large breasts. The word can be literally translated to "exploding breasts". Bakunyū is a sub-genre within the genre of hentai anime.
- Bara (薔薇?)
- Literally, "rose". "Bara" refers to a masculine gay men's culture and in manga circles a genre of manga about beefcakey gay men usually by gay men. Compare with the female-created Boys' Love.
- Bishōjo (美少女?)
- Literally, "pretty girl". Often refers to any young, attractive woman, but also used to imply sexual availability (as in "bishōjo games").
- Bishōnen (美少年?)
- "Beautiful boy"—Japanese aesthetic concept of the ideally beautiful young man. Androgynous, effeminate or gender ambiguous. In Japan it refers to youth with such characteristics, but in the west has become a generic term for attractively androgynous males of all ages.
- 1) Bishōnen. 2) slang for an incredibly cute/beautiful guy that mobs of girls like to chase after. For example, the main character in the Taiwanese manhua 1/2 Prince is called a bishie.
- Boys' Love (ボーイズラブ Bōizu Rabu?)
- male homosexual content aimed at women, current, generally used in Japan to cover yaoi and shōnen-ai.
- Catgirl (猫娘 Nekomusume?)
- Character with cat ears and a cat tail, but an otherwise human body. These characters often have feline habits, claw-like nails, and occasionally show fangs. Emotional expressions are also feline in nature, such as an exaggerated fur-standing-on-end when startled. These characteristics are also sometimes used on guys as well as in the case of the characters of Loveless, Kyo Sohma of Fruits Basket, and Ikuto Tsukiyomi of Shugo Chara!.
- Chibi (チビ,ちび?)
- Japanese word meaning "shorty" or "little one". Chibi characters are generally drawn in such a way that they look cute. Due to Sailor Moon and mistranslation, in the U.S. it is sometimes used to mean super deformed.
- Comiket (コミケット Comiketto?)
- Comics Market (コミックマーケット Komikku Māketto?)—World's largest comic convention held semi-annually in Tokyo, Japan for producers and fans of Dōjinshi (see the franchise Comic Party).
- Dandere (ダンデレ?)
- A character who is usually asocial and silent, that eventually changes to display their sweet, romantic, and loving soft side. (see also Tsundere, Yandere and Kuudere)
- Dere Dere (デレデレ?)
- Meaning to become "lovestruck", "lovey dovey" (see also Tsundere and Yandere)
- Dojikko (ドジっ子?)
- Cute girls who tend to be clumsy and sometimes even making mistakes that hurt themselves or others.
- Dōjinshi (同人誌?)
- Any amateurly produced work. A common misconception is that dōjinshi are fanmade (i.e. parody or fan fiction) and manga—this is not necessarily the case.
- Dōseiaisha (同性愛者?)
- Same-sex-loving person (Terminology).
- Dub (吹き替え fukikae?)
- When the voices in an anime are changed into another language from its native language.
- Ecchi (エッチ ecchi?)
- The Japanese pronunciation of the letter "H". It represents the first letter in the word "Hentai" and can refer to anything ranging between mildly erotic manga and anime to unwarranted sexual behavior. In Europe and North America, it is mostly used for soft erotic productions while "hentai" is used for pornographic productions.
- Enjo kōsai (援助交際?)
- "Compensated dating" which may at times border on quasi-legal prostitution. High school girls are paid by older men to take them out for a night on the town, possibly with sex included.
- Eyecatch (アイキャッチ aikyatchi?)
- A scene or illustration used to begin and end a commercial break in a Japanese TV program, similar to how bumpers into/out of commercial breaks are used in the United States.
- Eroge (エロゲー?)
- An eroge (エロゲー erogē?), a portmanteau of erotic game (エロチックゲーム erochikku gēmu?), is a Japanese video or computer game that features erotic content, usually in the form of anime-style artwork. Not to be confused with Galge. Eroge originated from Galge that added Adult content rated 18+.
- Fan fiction (ファン フィクション fan fikushon?)
- A general story written by fans of media, including anime. Story or piece of fiction written by fans of a production.
- Fan service (ファンサービス Fan Sābisu?)
- Elements specifically included to sexually amuse (such as scantily-clad and/or naked males or females, or ecchi content) or titillate the audience that are either necessary or unnecessary to plot development.
- Short for fan-dubbed—A film or video in which fans have translated and voiced over the dialogue into another language.
- Short for fan-subtitled—A film or video in which fans have translated and subtitled the dialogue into another language.
- Fujoshi (腐女子?)
- A female yaoi (やおい?) fan; "rotten woman".
- Futanari (ふたなり?)
- Characters that appear to be women (face, breasts, hips, narrow waist), but have both female and male genitalia.
- Gakuran (学ラン?)
- Uniform for middle school and high school boys in Japan. The gakuran is derived from Prussian army uniforms.
- Galge (ギャルゲ?)
- Girl games. This is "a type of Japanese video game centered around interactions with attractive anime-style girls". These games are a sub-genre of dating sims targeted towards a male audience.
- Ganguro (顔黒, ガングロ?)
- Literally "black face". A fashion trend among Japanese girls. The look consists of bleached hair, a deep tan, both black and white eyeliners, false eyelashes, platform shoes, and brightly colored outfits.
- Gei (ゲイ?)
- Transliteration of gay. Etymology.
- Gei comi (ゲイコミ geikomi?)
- Manga with male homosexual themes, by men for men. Compare with yaoi, shōnen-ai, June and BL.
- Girls with guns
- The term "girls-with-guns" is also used in reference to anime series and works inspired or influenced by it.
- A serenade, with Gothic traits, such as black rose petals/ all attending wearing predominately black.
- A type of anime, manga, or game which includes violence, torture, and sometimes death of the character. The purpose of the violence is to increase pleasure of the audience, reader, or player who like that kind of genre. Sometimes, it's also synonymous with the hentai phrase, Ero guro
- Gothloli (ゴスロリ Gosurori?)
- Gothic Lolita—A fashion trend where girls and young women dress in the style of elaborate porcelain dolls. Usually is a mix of gothic and 19th century dress, but some of them are very colorful, and other do not use 19th century European clothing. For example Kurumi Tokisaki who wears a dress with crimson and black frills, giving her the appearance of an Gothic Lolita. Or like Kuroneko of Oreimo.
- Harem (ハーレムもの hāremumono?)
- an ambiguously-defined subgenre of anime and manga characterized by a protagonist surrounded, usually amorously, by three or more members of the opposing sex and/or love interests. Male-oriented harems are the most common.
- Henshin (変身 henshin?)
- "transformation", literally meaning "to change or transform the body". This word is primarily used in manga, anime, and tokusatsu dramas for when a character transforms into a superhero. Henshin heroes (変身ヒーロー Henshin Hīrō?) usually have a "henshin call", a catchphrase which they recite in order to transform, such as in the Super Sentai series. The word "henshin" is most often used by characters in the Kamen Rider Series, whereas other programs use various words such as souchaku (装着 sōchaku?, meaning "equip"), or will use phrases unique to the story.
- Hentai (変態, ヘンタイ?)
- "Abnormal" or "perverted". Used by Western audiences to refer to sexually explicit or pornographic anime and manga. However, in Japan the term used to refer to the same material is typically Poruno or Ero. Hentai is a popular subject in fan fictions and fan art.
- Hikikomori (引き籠もり, ひきこもり, 引きこもり?)
- A hikikomori is someone who secludes themselves within their home, sometimes refusing to leave their home at all in an effort to isolate themselves from society. It can be viewed as a social phobia similar to agoraphobia. Hikikomori are often associated with otaku but the terms are distinct.
- Iinchō (委員長?)
- Short for gakkyū iinchō (学級委員長?), the class representative in a Japanese school.
- Imōto (妹?)
- younger sister.
- Josei (女性?)
- Lit. "Woman"; Anime and Manga intended for the adult female demographic.
- Juné, also written as June
- a manga or text story with male homosexual themes for women written in an aesthetic (耽美 tanbi?) style, named for the Juné magazine.
- Kemono (獣, けもの, ケモノ?)
- "Beast". A genre of Japanese art and character design that prominently features animal-like fictional characters in human-like settings (Anthropomorphism) and situations. (see The Cat Returns, c.f. Furry fandom)
- Kemonomimi (獣耳, けものミミ, ケモノミミ?)
- Characters with animal features such as ears and a tail, but a human body. Catgirl also falls under this concept. Examples include many of the characters of Loveless, Boris Airay, Peter White, Elliot March, and Pierce Villers of Alice in the Country of Hearts, Ikuto Tsukiyomi and Yoru of Shugo Chara!, and most of the characters of Dog Days.
- Kodomo or Kodomomuke (子供向け?)
- Anime and manga for children of both genders.
- Kogal (コギャル kogyaru?)
- A subculture of girls and young women, the kogal "look" roughly approximates a sun-tanned California Valley girl.
- Komiketto (コミケット?)
- Genericised form of Comiket (Comics Market).
- Kūdere (クーデレ?)
- A character type, mostly of a female character, who is normally cold and unassuming but later reveals a softer and kinder side. See Tsundere.
- Lemon (レモン Remon?)
- derived from the hentai anthology series Cream Lemon (くりいむレモン Kurīmu Remon?). Material with explicit sexual content (not to be confused with the slang term for Lesbian in some English speaking cultures).
- Lolicon (ロリコン rorikon?)
- Portmanteau for "lolita complex". A genre of manga and anime wherein childlike female characters are depicted in an erotic manner. In Japan it is also a slang term for "pedophile".
- Gothloli (ゴスロリ Gosurori?)—Gothic Lolita (ゴシック・ロリータ Goshikku Rorīta?).
- MAD Movie (MAD動画 maddo dōga?)
- A Japanese fan-made video, much like an anime music video (AMV), that generally originates from the Japanese website Nico Nico Douga. MAD can also refer to the Japanese AMV community, although they can be anything from audio clips, edited pictures, to wholly original creations. MADs do not necessarily even need to be related to anime, though the more popular ones typically are.
- Majokko (魔女っ子?)
- literally "witch girl"; this term does not generally apply to modern magical-girl anime.
- Manga (漫画, マンガ?)
- Japanese comics. Or conforming to "manga style", usually marked by features such as large eyes, long limbs, speed lines and exclamatory typography.
- Mangaka (漫画家, マンガ家?)
- Creator of the manga. The mangaka is often the writer and the illustrator of the work.
- Manga music video
- Often abbreviated as MMV, similar to an anime music video (AMV), although instead of clips from anime, panels or pages from at least one manga series are arranged to fit a musical piece playing in the background.
- Mecha (メカ meka?)
- Abbreviation for "mechanical". In Japan, that word is used for all kinds of machines. In Western countries, it applies mainly to anime and manga focusing on piloted combat robots. Divided into two sub-genres: super robots (the mecha have unrealistic powers, and the focus is more on the fighting and robots themselves) and real robots (more realistic, with more drama and focus on the humans). The word "mecha" can also be used to refer the robots themselves.
- Meganekko (眼鏡っ娘?)
- A female character who wears glasses. Male characters sporting glasses are called megane.
- Moe (萌え?)
- Generally used for female characters, though it can refer to effeminate males in some instances. Something or someone that is considered moe is generally considered to be endearing, innocent, and naive, while taking on some of the emotional qualities of adolescence generally meant to invoke a paternal feeling of protectiveness and sympathy within the viewer. The most literal translation of the word into languages other than Japanese is "fetish", though the concept of moe does not necessarily have a direct correlation to sexual preferences, and often refers to works of a non-sexual nature. It can also be used to modify other words or concepts, such as meganekko-moe ( "glasses-girl" moe), referring to a character who both wears glasses and has the qualities of moe.
- Okama (オカマ?)
- Literally cooking pot. A man who crossdresses, wears makeup, talks like a woman, etc. Could be of any sexual orientation. Etymology
- Omake (おまけ, オマケ?)
- Some kind of add-on bonus on an anime DVD, like a regular "extra" on western DVDs. May also be a bonus strip at the end of a manga chapter or volume.
- Original Net Animation, an anime production intended to be distributed in the internet via streaming or direct download.
- Onee-chan (お姉ちゃん?)
- Older sister, with "onee" meaning older sister and "-chan" being an affectionate suffix. The beginning "o" is a respectful honorific.
- Onee-sama (お姉さま?)
- Older sister, with "onee" meaning older sister and "-sama" being a respectful suffix. The beginning "o" is another respectful honorific.
- Onii-chan (お兄ちゃん?)
- Older brother, with "onii" meaning older brother and "-chan" being an affectionate suffix. The beginning "o" is a respectful honorific.
- Onii-sama (お兄さま?)
- Older brother, with "onii" meaning older brother and "-sama" being a respectful suffix. The beginning "o" is another respectful honorific.(similar to Onii-san)
- Osananajimi (幼馴染み?)
- Childhood friend.
- Otaku (おたく, オタク, ヲタク?)
- Anime newcomers like to consider themselves "otaku" when they start liking anime; their definition of otaku is anime fan. The literal translation of the word is your house, but in Japanese slang, this refers to somebody who has an obsessive hobby. Often considered to be a Japanese equivalent to nerd.
- Otenba (おてんば, お転婆?)(kko)
- Otome gēmu (乙女ゲーム?)
- Lit. "maiden games". This is a video game that is targeted towards a female market, where one of the main goals, besides the plot goal, is to develop a romantic relationship between the player character (a female) and one of several male characters.
- Original Video Animation, or OVA is a type of anime, which is intended to be distributed on VHS tapes or DVDs, and not to show in movies, or television. It can also less frequently be referred to as OAV, or Original Animated Video.
- Owari (おわり, オワリ, 終わり, 終?)
- "End" in Japanese, used by some fanfiction authors at the end of their works. Also used at the end of many anime series.
- Oyaji (親父, おやじ, オヤジ?)
- "Daddy"—Older male such as a teacher or other role model. Often slightly perverted, but usually portrayed affectionately. Can also be used as "pops" or "old man" (as in father).
- The English translation for the Chinese term Q版 (pinyin: Kiū bǎn), referring to the cartoonification or infantilization in the artistic renderings of real life or serious human, animal figures or other characters or objects, especially in the styles of Anime. "Q" is a Chinese approximation of the English word "cute".
- Anime episode or manga scans in its original language without editing or subtitles.
- Scanlation (also "scanslation")
- the scanning, translation and editing of comics from one language into another.
- Seinen (青年?)
- Anime and manga intended for the adult male demographic.
- Seiyū (声優?)
- Japanese voice actor. As well as voicing characters in anime, seiyū do the voicing for video games, radio shows, drama CDs, etc.
- Seme (攻め?)
- "Dominant" partner in Boys Love. See uke.
- Shōjo (少女?)
- Lit. "Young woman". Anime and manga intended for the adolescent to teenage female demographic.
- Shōjo-ai (少女愛?)
- coined following the form of shōnen-ai, denoting lesbian content, typically for material without explicit sex. In Japan, the term shōjo-ai is not used with this meaning, and instead tends to denote ephebophilia.
- Shōnen (少年?)
- Lit. "Young man". Anime and manga intended for the adolescent to teenage male demographic.
- Shōnen-ai (少年愛?)
- A term denoting male homosexual content in women's media, although this usage is obsolete in Japan. English-speakers frequently use it for material without explicit sex, in anime, manga, and related fan fiction. In Japan, it denotes ephebophilia.
- Shotacon (ショタコン shotakon?)
- A genre of manga and anime wherein childlike male characters are depicted in an erotic manner.
- Shudō (衆道?)
- Abbreviation for "wakashudo". The Way of Young Men age structured male homosexuality in samurai society.
- Sōhōkō-ai (双方向愛?)
- A term denoting bisexual content, typically for material without explicit sexual content in anime, manga, and related fan fiction. In Japan, the term is not used with this meaning, it denotes ephebophilia.
- Sōsaku June (創作JUNE?)
- dōjinshi with male homosexual themes for women that are original stories and non-parodic of existing series.
- Sub (字幕 jimaku?)
- Origination from subtitle, when an anime is kept in its original language, but has subtitles.
- Tsudzuku (つづく?)
- Literally "it continues". Occasionally used at the end of a chapter of manga or an episode of anime when a continuation is to follow.
- Tsundere (ツンデレ?)
- A character personality who's usually stern, cold and/or hostile to the person they like, while occasionally letting slip their warm and loving feelings they're hiding inside due to being shy, nervous, insecure or just can't help acting badly in front of the person they like. Such as spending a lot of time and effort to make their crush's favorite lunch, but when giving it to them saying something like "I made too much and it'd be a waste to throw it away so here! And it's not because I really like you or wanted to make your favorite meal just to see you smile." For example, Liliana Kranjcar from the manga Campione! tells Godou repeatedly that she's only serving him as his knight yet does or suggest things only a girlfriend would do. Such as making lunches for him, resolving an argument on whether Erica or Yuri should heal him or provide information on a god (through kissing) by saying she'll be the one to do it, and using figurative terms usually used to denote marriage to describe their relationship to others.
- Tsunshun (ツンシュン?)
- Almost the same as tsundere, except the character shows depression in addition to coldness and hostility, usually after the latter.
- Yamato nadeshiko (大和撫子?)
- The Japanese ideal for a woman, being humble and skilled in domestic matters.
- Yandere (ヤンデレ?)
- A Japanese term for a person who is initially very kind, loving, caring, and gentle to someone (or at least innocent) they really, truly like and care about a lot before their purely intense romantic love, admiration, and devotion becomes mentally destructive in nature, often through overprotectiveness, violence or brutality.
The term is a portmanteau from the words yanderu (病んでる?) meaning a mental or emotional illness, and deredere (でれでれ?) meaning to show genuinely strong romantic affection. Yandere characters are mentally unstable, and sometimes are incredibly deranged and are not mentally sane, often using extreme violence and/or brutality as an outlet for their emotions.
The usage of the character type has led to criticism over the amount of violence in works such as School Days, a classic story of a romantic love triangle gone dangerously wrong. Although the character type has been used in anime and manga since Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam in 1985, conscious use of the term only began to be around the turn of the millennium.
A classic (and rather extreme) example of yandere is Yuno Gasai, from the manga/anime Future Diary, who is prone to kill anyone who may interfere with her obsessive passion for the series protagonist Yukiteru Amano (or just even be near him without any romantic contact). In the anime version (not manga) of "Shuffle!", Kaede gets more and more bad tempered and even attacked Asa when it seemed the latter was getting deeper and deeper in a close relationship with Rin as a couple. Another well known yandere character is Shion Sonozaki, from the anime Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, who kills a number of people whom she believes were responsible for the disappearance of her love interest, Satoshi Hojo. She kills her grandmother Oryou Sonozaki, the village headman Kiichirou Kimiyoshi, and Satoshi's younger sister Satoko. She was also responsible for the suicide of Satoko's friend Rika Furude, the head of the Furude house.
Yandere are usually, but not always, female characters, and are usually depicted as villains, but sometimes anti-heroines as well. For example Rolo Lamperouge from the Code Geass series can be considered a yandere for his ruthless devotion to the series protagonist Lelouch (who himself rises in arms against his father and his empire to create a better world for his little sister). As Rolo's affection grows, he reaches the point where he will attempt to kill even those who are close to Lelouch in order to not be replaced.
Other examples of yandere include the character Belarus from Axis Powers Hetalia, Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka in the song "Scissorloid", or Nu-13 from BlazBlue, and Baldr-sama from the anime "Kamigami no Asobi".
Western/non-anime or manga characters that are similar in concept to a Yandere such as Annie Wilkes in Misery fall under the Abhorrent Admirer trope. Sometimes, they can just be played in a comedic, usually exaggerated, context. Also in the Gravity Falls episode, Soos and The Real Girl, it features a yandere named Giffany (It is a combination of the words GIF and Tiffany
- Yankii (ヤンキー?)
- Since the late 1970s, the term Yankī has been used to refer to a type of delinquent youth. Yankī—a subculture popularized in Japan consists of secondary school delinquents who attained notoriety due to violent and reckless behavior. They are characterized by punch perms or pompadours, shaved eyebrows, bleach blonde hair and altered school uniforms. Although a unisex term that can apply to both men and women, it is more commonly applied to men.
- Yangire (ヤンギレ?)
- Originated in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers and refers to a character who is mentally ill and snaps instantly without showing affection for the victim of their outbursts. It is a portmanteau of yandere (see above) and kireru (切れる?) meaning to snap or lose one's temper. One of the best examples of a Yangire is Rena Ryugu from the SN/game/manga/anime series, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Shion Sonozaki, a very well-known Yandere, also comes from this series.
- Yaoi (やおい?)
- Japanese acronym for "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi" (no climax, no point, no meaning). Also known as boys love. Sometimes male-on-male sexual content; usually created by women for women.
- Yōni (ヨーニ?)
- Also known as bisexual; When a male or female character is sexually active with BOTH the opposite sex and the same sex. Either at the same time or at separate times. Apply when it's not just Yaoi/Yuri only.
- Yuri (百合?)
- Lit. "Lily". Jargon term for lesbian content or girl love. In Japan, the term denotes a broad spectrum of attraction between women. It is also used for sexually explicit content outside of Japan. It is used like the term "yaoi" for men.
- Zettai ryōiki (絶対領域?)
- Meaning "Absolute Territory" (a term from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion), this phrase refers to the area of exposed thigh when a girl is wearing a short skirt and thigh high socks. The 'ideal' skirt:thigh:sock above knee ratio is often reported to be 4:1:2.5. Zettai Ryōiki are often referred to by letter grades, where Grade A is the ideal and grade F is ankle socks, another grade, grade S, also exists consisting of Grade A in combination with ponytails and Tsundere personality.
Absolute Territory started in 2001, where an AI based desktop resident chatterbot software called Jinkou Munou was circulating around that time. MIY, the creator of the character Seriko in this software announced his next character called Mayura in his blog. Mayura's costume is designed to have a black turtleneck, a grey checkered miniskirt, black over knee socks and boots. During the announcement, he wrote this comment regarding Mayura:
"The distance between the knee socks and mini skirt is invincible! I can even say that it's God's Absolute Territory."
5 days later, he explained the concept of Absolute Territory even further with the illustrations released on his blog, spreading the term from there.
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