Glossary of anime and manga

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This is a list of terms that are specific to anime and manga.

Note: Words that are used in general (ex: Oniisan, kawaii, senpai) are not included on this list unless a description with a reference for notability can be provided that shows how they relate.

Character traits[edit]

Ahoge (アホ毛?, lit. "stupid hair")
The term refers to a single strand of hair that sticks out of a character's head and usually indicates that a character is stupid. However, this 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.
Bishōjo (美少女?, lit. "pretty girl")
Refers to any young, attractive woman, but also used to imply sexual availability (as in "bishōjo games").
Bishōnen (美少年?, lit. "beautiful boy", sometimes abbreviated "Bishie")
Japanese aesthetic concept of the ideally beautiful young man. Androgynous, effeminate or gender ambiguous.[1] 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.
Catgirl (猫娘 Nekomusume?)
A female character with cat ears and a cat tail, but an otherwise human body. These characters 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.
Dandere (ダンデレ?)
A character that is portrayed as antisocial, but eventually changes to display their sweet, romantic, and loving soft side. (see also Tsundere, Yandere and Kuudere)
Dere Dere (デレデレ?)
To be "lovestruck" and "lovey dovey". (see also Tsundere and Yandere)
Dojikko (ドジっ子?)
A cute girl that tends to be clumsy. They may make mistakes that hurt themselves or others.[2][3] Dojikko character traits are often used for stock characters in anime, and manga series.[4]
Haraguro (腹黒?)
A character who has an outward appearance of being amicable and friendly, but is a facade to hide an evil and sadistic side. The term comes from the Japanese word "Haraguroi (腹黒い)", which means "black-hearted; mean; scheming".
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.
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.
Kūdere (クーデレ?)
A character archetype considered cold-hearted and indifferent, but not showing true colors. See Tsundere.
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.
Seme (攻め?)
"Dominant" partner in Boys Love. See Uke.
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. It is an portmanteau of the Japanese terms "Tsuntsun", meaning to be stern or hostile, and "Deredere" meaning to be "lovey dovey".[5]
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.
Uke (受け?)
"Passive" partner in Boys Love. See Seme.
Yandere (ヤンデレ?)
Commonly pronounced yon-dare-ay[citation needed] A Japanese term for a person who is initially loving and caring to someone they like a lot until their romantic love, admiration, and devotion becomes feisty and mentally destructive in nature through either overprotectiveness, violence, brutality or all three. The term is a portmanteau of 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, incredibly deranged, and use extreme violence and/or brutality as an outlet for their emotions. Yandere are usually, but not always, female characters.
Yangire (ヤンギレ?)
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.


Josei (女性?)
Literally "Woman"; Anime and manga intended for the adult female demographic.[6]
Kodomo or Kodomomuke (子供向け?)
Anime and manga for children of both genders.[6]
Seinen (青年?)
Anime and manga intended for the adult male demographic.[6]
Shōjo (少女?)
Lit. "Young woman". Anime and manga intended for the adolescent to teenage female demographic.[6]
Shōnen (少年?)
Lit. "Young man". Anime and manga intended for the adolescent to teenage male demographic.[6]


Aniparo (アニパロ?)
Literally, "anime parody" – anime characters being used by fans in a parodic way.[7]
Dōjinshi (同人誌?)
A fanmade or amateurly produced work such as a parody, fan fiction or manga.
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.[6]
Fujoshi (腐女子?)
A female yaoi (やおい?) fan; "rotten woman".[8]
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.
Otaku (おたく, オタク, ヲタク?)
The literal translation of the word is your house, but in Japanese slang, this refers to somebody who has an obsession with anime. The person in question is usually assumed to be a neet, or shut-in, and are often characterized by antisocial tendencies, and intense attraction to anime characters, or "2D girls".[original research?]


For a complete list of genres that covers all types of literature, see List of genres.
Bakunyū (爆乳?)
A genre of pornographic media focusing on the depiction of women with large breasts.[9] The word can be literally translated to "exploding breasts".[10] With regards to bra size, bakunyū are said to be above a G75 bra size but below an M70.[11] Bakunyū is a subgenre within the genre of hentai anime.[not in citation given]
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.
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.
Gei comi (ゲイコミ geikomi?)
Manga with male homosexual themes, by men for men. Compare with yaoi, shōnen-ai, June and BL.
Harem (ハーレムもの hāremumono?)
A 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.
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.[6][not in citation given] In Japan it is also a slang term for "pedophile".
Mecha (メカ meka?)
Abbreviation for "mechanical". In Japan, the word is used for all kinds of machines while in Western countries, the word applies to piloted combat robots in anime and manga. Series that feature mecha are divided into two subgenres: "Super robots", where the mecha have unrealistic powers and the focus is more on the fighting and robots themselves, and "Real robots", where the mecha have more realistic powers and there is more drama and focus on the mecha's pilots.
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.[citation needed]
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.
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 denotes ephebophilia.
A subset of Lolicon and Shotacon where toddler characters are depicted in an erotic manner.[12]
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.[6][not in citation given]
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 Japan.[6][not in citation given] It is used like the term "yaoi" for men.


Anime music video (AMV)
Video clips from at least one anime series arranged to fit a musical piece playing in the background.[6]
Comiket (コミケット Komiketto?, lit. Comics Market)
One of the largest trade fairs for dojinshi comics. Held twice a year in Ariake, Tokyo.
Dub (吹き替え fukikae?)
When the voices in an anime are translated into another language.
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. Eroge originated from Galge that added Adult content rated 18+.
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.[13]
Galge (ギャルゲ?)
This is a type of Japanese video game centered around interactions with attractive anime-style girls. These games are a subgenre of dating sims targeted towards a male audience.
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.[original research?]
Henshin (変身 henshin?)
"transformation".[citation needed] A phrase used in anime, manga, and tokusatsu dramas for when a character transforms into a superhero by speaking a phrase or by using a transformation device.[citation needed]
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.
Kabe-Don (壁ドン?)
In Japanese, "kabe" is wall, and "don" is the sound of slapping against a wall. Literally, Kabe-Don describes the act of fiercely slapping a wall. One meaning is slapping a wall as a protest which occurs in collective housing like a condominium when the next room makes noise.[14] Another meaning is when a man forces a woman against a wall with one hand or a man leans against a wall and makes a slapping sound, leaving the woman nowhere to go. This has become popular nowadays as a "clever move of confession".[15][16]
Kyonyū (巨乳?)
Literally, "Giant Breasts". A classification of breast size in casual Japanese. Breasts above an E70 bra size but below a G75 are considered to be "kyonyū", after which point they are called "bakunyū" (縛乳).[11]
Lemon (レモン Remon?)
derived from the hentai anthology series Cream Lemon (くりいむレモン Kurīmu Remon?), the term is used to refer to material with explicit sexual content.
Majokko (魔女っ子?)
Literally "witch girl"; this term does not apply to modern magical girl anime.
Manga (漫画, マンガ?)
Japanese comics.[6] Or conforming to "manga style", usually marked by features such as large eyes, long limbs, speed lines and exclamatory typography.[citation needed]
Mangaka (漫画家, マンガ家?)
Creator of a manga. Mangakas are often the writers and illustrators of the work.
Manga music video
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.
Omake (おまけ, オマケ?)
An 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 (ONA)
An anime production intended to be distributed in the internet via streaming or direct download.
Otome game (乙女ゲーム Otome gēmu?, lit. "maiden game")
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 (OVA)
A type of anime which is intended to be distributed on VHS tapes or DVDs and not shown in movies or on television. It is also less frequently referred to as Original Animated Video (OAV).[6] DVDs are sometimes known as Original Animated Discs (OAD).
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.
Seiyū (声優?)
Japanese voice actor. As well as voicing characters in anime, seiyū do voicing for video games, radio shows, drama CDs, etc.
Shudō (衆道?)
Abbreviation for "wakashudo". The Way of Young Men age structured male homosexuality in samurai society.
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.
Zettai ryōiki (絶対領域?)
Meaning "Absolute Territory". The 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.[original research?] Zettai Ryōiki are often referred to by letter grades, where Grade A is the ideal.[17]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Pflugfelder, Gregory M. (1999). Cartographies of Desire: Male-male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse, 1600-1950 (1st ed.). Berkeley [u.a.]: Univ. of California Press. pp. 221–234. ISBN 0520209095. 
  2. ^ Kyōsuke, Kagami; Kajima, Kawana (2007). Shōjo manga kara manabu ren'aigaku : Kanzen ren'ai hisshō manyuaru. Tokyo: Shinkō Myūjikku Entateimento. p. 67. ISBN 4401630904. 
  3. ^ Kenkyūkai, Otaku Bunka (2006). Otaku yōgo no kiso chishiki = Basic knowledge of otaku term (Shohan. ed.). Tokyo: Magajin Faibu. p. 87. ISBN 4434073966. 
  4. ^ Kazuma, Shinjō (2006). ライトノベル「超」入門 [Light Novel "Chō" Nyūmon] (Chuban. ed.). Tokyo: Soft Bank Creative. p. 150. ISBN 4797333383. 
  5. ^ Galbraith, Patrick W. (2009). The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan (1st ed.). Tokyo: Kodansha International. pp. 226–227. ISBN 9784770031013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Steiff, Josef; Tamplin, Tristan D. (2010). Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder. Chicago, Ill.: Open Court. pp. 313–317. ISBN 978-0-8126-9670-7. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Levi, Antonia; McHarry, Mark; Pagliassotti, Dru (2008). Boys' Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-7864-4195-2. 
  8. ^ "ejcjs - Moe and the Potential of Fantasy in Post-Millennial Japan". Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  9. ^ Moore, Lucy (August 29, 2008). "Internet of hentai". Student Life. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Word Display". WWWJDIC. Retrieved 10 November 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b Koya (2006-02-08). "Nihon Josei no Heikin Size Wa? (Japanese)". Excite Bit. Archived from the original on 2013-03-09. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  12. ^ Daniel, Velasco (May 2014). "Global sexual deviancy: Learning from America's mistakes". European Scientific Journal (European Scientific Institute) (ESJ May 2014 Special Edition): 508. ISSN 1857-7431. Retrieved Feb 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ Barrett, Grant (2006). The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-07-145804-7. 
  14. ^ "Manga Trope Appears in Noodle Commercial, Confuses Some People". Kotaku. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Feeling Exhilaration, Even Through a Mistake: Experiencing the "Kabe-Don" Japanese Girls Love So Much". Tokyo Girls Update. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Would kabe-don work outside Japan?【Video】". RocketNews24. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  17. ^ Ogas, Ogi; Gaddam, Sai (2012). A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire (性欲の科学: なぜ男は「素人」に興奮し、女は「男同士」に萌えるのか). New York: Plume. p. 32. ISBN 9780452297876. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 

External links[edit]