Glossary of anime and manga

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

Note: Japanese words that are used in general (e.g. oniisan, kawaii and 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]

Bishōjo (美少女?, lit. "pretty girl")
Refers to any young, attractive woman, but also used to imply sexual availability (as in bishōjo games).[citation needed]
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, while 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 male characters as well.
Chūnibyō (中二病?, lit. "second year middle school student disease" or "eighth grader syndrome")
The tendency of a character to pretend to be a made-up character from fantasy such as a vampire, demon, angel, wizard, alien, warrior or person with special bloodline, often imagining themselves to possess magical powers, super powers or cursed items. Characters with chūnibyō tend to have a unique manner of speech, dress in gothic clothing, and sometimes wear objects such as bandages or eyepatches to represent their persona. The term refers to children 12–14 years old, but can also be used to describe characters who exhibit these traits regardless of their actual age. The term is believed to have been coined by Hikaru Ijūin in 1999, and was originally intended to describe people who are pretending to be "grown-ups" in their second year of middle school.[2]
Dojikko (ドジっ子?)
A cute girl who tends to be clumsy. They may make mistakes that hurt themselves or others.[3][4] Dojikko character traits are often used for stock characters in anime and manga series.[5]
Kemono (獣, けもの, ケモノ?, lit. "beast")
A genre of Japanese art and character design that prominently features anthropomorphism: animal-like fictional characters in human-like settings and situations.[citation needed]
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.[6]
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.[citation needed]
Tsundere (ツンデレ?)
A character personality which is usually stern, cold or hostile to the person they like, while occasionally letting slip the warm and loving feelings hidden inside due to being shy, nervous, insecure or simply unable to help acting badly in front of the person they like. It is an portmanteau of the Japanese terms tsuntsun (ツンツン?), meaning to be stern or hostile, and deredere (デレデレ?), meaning to be "lovey dovey".[7]
Yandere (ヤンデレ?)
A 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 (mentally or emotionally) ill, and deredere (でれでれ?), meaning to show genuinely strong romantic affection. Yandere characters are mentally unstable, incredibly deranged and use extreme violence or brutality as an outlet for their emotions. Yandere are usually, but not always, female characters.[7]


Josei (女性?, lit. "woman")
Anime and manga intended for the adult female demographic.[8]
Kodomo (子供?) or Kodomomuke (子供向け?)
Anime and manga for children of both genders.[8]
Seinen (青年?)
Anime and manga intended for the adult male demographic.[8]
Shōjo (少女?, lit. "young woman")
Anime and manga intended for the adolescent female demographic.[8]
Shōnen (少年?, lit. "young man")
Anime and manga intended for the adolescent male demographic.[8]


Aniparo (アニパロ?)
A slang term for the parodic use of anime characters by fans, a portmanteau of anime and parody.[9]
Comiket (コミケット Komiketto?, lit. "comics market")
One of the largest trade fairs for dōjinshi comics,[citation needed] held twice a year in Ariake, Tokyo.
Dōjinshi (同人誌?)
A fan-made or amateurly produced work such as a parody, fan fiction or manga.
Short for fan-dubbed, describing a film or video in which fans have translated and voiced over the dialogue into another language.[citation needed]
Short for fan-subtitled, describing a film or video in which fans have translated and subtitled the dialogue into another language.[8]
Fudanshi (腐男子?, lit. "rotten boy")
A male fan of yaoi (やおい?).[10]
Fujoshi (腐女子?, lit. "rotten woman")
A female fan of yaoi (やおい?).[11]
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 NicoNico.[citation needed] 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.
Odagiri effect
A television phenomenon in which a program attracts a larger than expected number of women viewers because the program stars attractive male actors or characters.[12][13]
Otaku (おたく, オタク, ヲタク?)
The literal translation of the word is another person's house or family (お宅, otaku). In Japanese slang, otaku is mostly equivalent to "geek" or "nerd", but in a more derogatory manner than used in the West.[14] In 1989, the word "otaku" was shunned in relation to anime and manga after Tsutomu Miyazaki (dubbed "The Otaku Murderer") brutally killed underage girls.[15] Since then, the word has become less negative in Japan with more people identifying themselves as some type of an otaku.[16]


For a complete list of genres that covers all types of literature, see List of genres.
Bakunyū (爆乳?, lit. "exploding breasts"[17])
A genre of pornographic media focusing on the depiction of women with large breasts.[18] With regards to bra size, bakunyū are said to be above a G75 bra size but below an M70.[19] Bakunyū is a subgenre of hentai anime.[citation needed]
Bara (薔薇?, lit. "rose")
A masculine gay men's culture and, in manga circles, a genre of manga about beefcakey gay men usually by gay men.[citation needed] Compare with the female-created Boys' Love.
Boys' Love (ボーイズラブ Bōizu Rabu?)
Male homosexual content aimed at women, currently in general use in Japan to cover yaoi and shōnen-ai'.[20]
Gei comi (ゲイコミ geikomi?)
Manga with male homosexual themes, by men for men. Compare with yaoi, shōnen-ai, June and Boys' Love.[citation needed]
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 as potential love interests. A female harem around a male protagonist is most common, while a male harem surrounding a female protagonist may be called a reverse-harem.[citation needed]
Lolicon (ロリコン rorikon?)
Portmanteau for "lolita complex". A genre of manga and anime in which childlike female characters are depicted in an erotic manner.[8]
Mecha (メカ meka?, abbr. 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.[citation needed] 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?)
Manga or anime that focus on lesbian relationships.
Shōnen-ai (少年愛?)
A term denoting male homosexual content in women's media, although this usage is obsolete in Japan.[citation needed] English-speakers frequently use it for material without explicit sex, in anime, manga and related fan fiction. In Japan, it denotes ephebophilia.[citation needed]
Shotacon (ショタコン shotakon?)
A genre of manga and anime wherein childlike male characters are depicted in an erotic manner.[citation needed]
A subset of Lolicon and Shotacon where toddler characters are depicted in an erotic manner.[21][22]
Yaoi (やおい?)
Anime or manga with a focus on homosexual male relationships. Also known as Boys Love. Japanese acronym for "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi" (no climax, no point, no meaning).[citation needed] Male-on-male sexual content; usually created by women for women.[8]
Yuri (百合?, lit. "Lily")
Anime or manga with a focus on lesbian relationships. In Japan, the term denotes a broad spectrum of attraction between women. It is also used for sexually explicit content outside Japan.[8]


Anime music video (AMV)
Video clips from at least one anime series arranged to fit a musical piece playing in the background.[8]
Buchinuki (ブチヌキ?)
In manga, buchinuki refers to a page where a character was drawn while ignoring or overlapping the panels for emphasis.[citation needed]
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 commercial bumpers in the United States.
Eroge (エロゲー erogē?)
An eroge, 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.[citation needed] Eroge originated from galge that added adult content rated 18+.[citation needed]
Fan service (ファンサービス fan sābisu?)
Elements specifically included to sexually amuse (such as scantily-clad or naked males or females, or ecchi content) or titillate the audience, which may or may not be necessary to plot development.[23]
Galge (ギャルゲ garuge?)
This is a type of Japanese video game centered around interactions with attractive anime-style girls.[citation needed] These games are a subgenre of dating sims targeted towards a male audience.[citation needed]
Gensakusha (原作者?, lit. "original author")
A term used by derivative works to credit the original creator of a series; it is also used to refer to the writer of a manga, as opposed to its illustrator.[citation needed]
A type of anime, manga or game which includes violence, torture and sometimes death of the character.[citation needed] The purpose of the violence is to increase pleasure of the audience, reader or player who likes that kind of genre. Sometimes it's also synonymous with the hentai phrase, ero guro.[original research?]
Hentai (変態?)
A term used outside of Japan to describe erotic or pornographic manga and anime, derived from the word for "pervert". In Japan, terms such as eromanga and eroanime are used instead.[citation needed]
Juné, also written as June
A manga or text story with male homosexual themes written for women in an aesthetic (耽美 tanbi?) style, named for the Juné magazine.[citation needed]
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.[24] 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".[25][26]
Kyonyū (巨乳?, lit. "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).[19]
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.[27]
Manga (漫画, マンガ?)
Japanese comics,[8] 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?)
A creator of manga; this can refer to both the writer and illustrator of the work.
Mihiraki (見開き?)
A manga scene, usually one single image, spread to cover two opposing pages.[citation needed]
Name (ネーム Nēmu?)
A rough storyboard of a proposed manga.[citation needed]
Omake (おまけ, オマケ?)
An add-on bonus on an anime DVD, like a regular "extra" on western DVDs; or a bonus strip at the end of a manga chapter or volume.[citation needed]
Original net animation (ONA)
An anime production intended to be distributed through 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).[8] DVDs are sometimes known as Original Animated DVD (OAD).[28][29]
The English translation for the Chinese term Q版 (pinyin: Kiū bǎn), referring to cartoonification or infantilization in the artistic renderings of real life or serious human figures, animal figures or other characters or objects, especially in the styles of anime.[citation needed] "Q" is a Chinese approximation of the English word "cute".[citation needed]
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.[30]
Seiyū (声優?)
A Japanese voice actor. As well as voicing characters in anime, seiyū do voicing for video games, radio shows, drama CDs, etc.
Shudō (衆道?, abbr. of wakashūdo, lit. "the way of young men")[citation needed]
Age-structured male homosexuality in samurai society. (see also: Wakashū)
Zettai ryōiki (絶対領域?, lit. "absolute territory")
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.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pflugfelder, Gregory M. (1999). Cartographies of Desire: Male-male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse, 1600–1950 (1st ed.). Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 221–234. ISBN 0520209095. 
  2. ^ "Chuunibyou is... 【pixiv Encyclopedia】". Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  3. ^ Kyōsuke, Kagami; Kajima, Kawana (2007). Shōjo manga kara manabu ren'aigaku : Kanzen ren'ai hisshō manyuaru. Tokyo: Shinkō Myūjikku Entateimento. p. 67. ISBN 4401630904. 
  4. ^ Kenkyūkai, Otaku Bunka (2006). Otaku yōgo no kiso chishiki = Basic knowledge of otaku term (Shohan ed.). Tokyo: Magajin Faibu. p. 87. ISBN 4434073966. 
  5. ^ Kazuma, Shinjō (2006). Light Novel "Chō" Nyūmon (Chuban ed.). Tokyo: Soft Bank Creative. p. 150. ISBN 4797333383. 
  6. ^ de Lavigne, Guillaume (2015-02-16). LES CHIENS CELEBRES, Réels et Fictifs, dans l'Art, la Culture et l'Histoire (in French). p. 124. ISBN 9781326035655. 
  7. ^ a b 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. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Steiff, Josef; Tamplin, Tristan D. (2010). Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder. New York: Open Court. p. 313-317. ISBN 9780812697131. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Levi, Antonia; McHarry, Mark; Pagliassotti, Dru (2008). Boys' Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-cultural Fandom of the Genre. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 257. ISBN 9780786441952. 
  10. ^ NAGAIKE, KAZUMI (2015). Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan. DO HETEROSEXUAL MEN DREAM OF HOMOSEXUAL MEN?: BL Fudanshi and Discourse on Male Feminization: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 189–209. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Galbraith, Patrick W. (31 October 2009). "Moe and the Potential of Fantasy in Post-Millennial Japan". electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  12. ^ Clements, Jonathan; Tamamuro, Motoko (2003). The Dorama Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese TV Drama Since 1953. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. p. 182. ISBN 1880656817. 
  13. ^ Clements, Jonathan (2013). Anime: A History. London: British Film Institute. p. 142. ISBN 9781844573905. 
  14. ^ Morikawa, Kaichirō (20 April 2012). "おたく/ Otaku / Geek". Center for Japanese Studies UC Berkeley. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Oliviera, James (2010-01-03). "The Otaku Killer: Miyazaki Tsutomu". Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  16. ^ "自分のことを「オタク」と認識してる人10代は62%、70代は23% | キャリア". Mynavi News. 2013-04-27. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  17. ^ "Word Display". WWWJDIC. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  18. ^ Moore, Lucy (August 29, 2008). "Internet of hentai". Student Life. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ McLelland, Mark (2016). The End of Cool Japan: Ethical, Legal, and Cultural Challenges to Japanese Popular Culture. Routledge. p. 14. ISBN 9781317269366. yaoi [an eroitic genre of BL manga] 
  21. ^ Daniel, Velasco (May 2014). "Global sexual deviancy: Learning from America's mistakes" (PDF). European Scientific Journal. European Scientific Institute (ESJ May 2014 Special Edition): 508. ISSN 1857-7431. Retrieved Feb 3, 2016. 
  22. ^ "VII Congress of the Portuguese Sociological Association, PAP0144 - Social Representations of Nippon Eroticism: Domination, Consumption and Influences on BD's Production" (PDF). Associação Portuguesa de Sociologia. Portuguese Sociological Association. 19–22 June 2012. p. 8. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  23. ^ Barrett, Grant (2006). The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English: A Crunk Omnibus for Thrillionaires and Bampots for the Ecozoic Age. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 112. ISBN 9780071458047. 
  24. ^ "Manga Trope Appears in Noodle Commercial, Confuses Some People". Kotaku. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Feeling Exhilaration, Even Through a Mistake: Experiencing the "Kabe-Don" Japanese Girls Love So Much". Tokyo Girls Update. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Would kabe-don work outside Japan?【Video】". RocketNews24. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  27. ^ Houck, Janet. (March 8, 2007). "Scratching Your H-Itch". Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  28. ^ "魔法先生ネギま!~もうひとつの世界~公式HP" [Negima! Magister Negi Magi!: Another World Official HP] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  29. ^ 今日の5の2 初回限定版コミック ~公式サイト~ [Kyō no Go no Ni Limited Edition Comic Official Site] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved April 8, 2011. 
  30. ^ Hollingworth, William (March 10, 2009). "'Scanlators' freely translating 'manga,' 'anime'". The Japan Times. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  31. ^ Ogas, Ogi; Gaddam, Sai (2012). A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us about Sexual Relationships (in Japanese). New York: Plume. p. 32. ISBN 9780452297876. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]