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.
Bishōnen (美少年, lit. "beautiful boy", sometimes abbreviated bishie)
Japanese aesthetic concept of the ideally beautiful young man: androgynous, effeminate or gender-ambiguous. In Japan, it refers to youth with such characteristics, while in Europe and the Americas, it has become a generic term for attractively androgynous males of all ages.
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.
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.
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 (でれでれ), meaning to be "lovey dovey".
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, "lovey dovey"), 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.
A Japanese fan-made video, much like an anime music video (AMV), that generally originates from the Japanese website NicoNico. 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.
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. In 1989, the word "otaku" was shunned in relation to anime and manga after Tsutomu Miyazaki (dubbed "The Otaku Murderer") brutally killed underage girls. Since then, the word has become less negative in Japan with more people identifying themselves as some type of an otaku.
Waifu / Husbando
A fictional character from non-live-action visual media (typically an anime, manga or video game) to whom one is attracted or considers their significant other. The slang-term originates from Azumanga Daioh character Kimura's heavily accented English phrasing of "my wife" to sound like "mai waifu", but is also how a Japanese native speaker would pronounce the English word for "wife". "Husbando" is the corresponding male term.
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.
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.
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.
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). Male-on-male sexual content; usually created by women for women.
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.Eroge originated from galge that added adult content rated 18+.
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.
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 term adopted by more serious Japanese cartoonists, who did not want their work to be known as manga or "whimsical pictures". It is akin to English speakers who prefer the term "graphic novel", as opposed to "comic book".
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.
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 likes that kind of genre. Sometimes it's also synonymous with the hentai phrase, ero guro.[original research?]
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. 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".
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 (爆乳).
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.
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). DVDs are sometimes known as Original Animated DVD (OAD).
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.
^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. ISBN9780786441952.
^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. JSTORj.ctt13x1spg.