Anime Terminology

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A


Ai:
Japanese for „love“.

Aniki:
Japanese word for „big brother“.

Anime:
Animes are Japanese cartoons. They used to be hand-drawn, but today most series are computer-generated (CG). Anime authors often base their works on the stories of popular manga, H-Games, novels and computer games. A typical anime television episode is 24 minutes long. A series usually consists of 12, 24, 52 or more than 100 episodes (look at “Seasons” for more information). Licensed anime is modified by distributors through dubbing into their language and is distributed all over the world. Anime-fans complain that distributors censor and edit anime because of cultural references, violence and nudity. There are many Fan-groups who release their own via subtitles (Fansubs) translated unlicensed (and sometimes even licensed) anime for free on the internet. Original Japanese episodes with English subtitles is the common format of fansubs on the internet, even though there are still a few Fan-groups who release fansubs in different languages like German, French or Italian (for more information look at my Downloadguide). There are heated discussions about the legality of fansubs. Because there is no other way for some anime shows other than fansubbing to reach an international audience, fansubs can be seen as free advertisement and promotion for and anime series. English distributors however, are of course opposed to the idea of free English releases of their licensed anime on the internet, while fansubs of unlicensed anime are much rarer to be effected by copyright issues. Small manga authors are even happy to see their works having fans all over the world.

Anime Music Video:
Anime Music Videos (AMVs) are fan-made vidoes from cut and edited scenes from 1 or more animes with background music added. AMVs can function as a nice collection of fighting performances, a trailer, a review, a preview, a parody and more. Music artists and labels rarely do anything against or even know anything of their music being taken for these videos. There are also lots of competitions, in which professional AMV authors compete with each other making the best AMVs. The biggest and most popular homepage to download AMVs and upload your own ones is www.animemusicvideos.org.

Anime Seasons:
In Japan, episodes of an anime series air weekly. However, the amount of episodes a series will last is not chosen liberally. Each quarter of a year around a certain date, several anime will end and several new anime will start. Therefore those quarters are called seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) and the amount of episodes is based on the amount of weeks a season lasts. Still, anime series can have different length. There are 3 common lengths: Anime with the length of 1 season can vary from 12 to 14 episodes; anime with the length of 2 seasons can vary from 24 to 26 episodes; anime with the length of 4 seasons usually consist of 52 episodes. Anime with the length of half a season (6 episodes) are rather rare, but another common format for anime are series with far more than 100 episodes. Those series usually are mainstream family shows like Pokemon, DBZ or Naruto, have a bigger audience and are the main targets of foreign licensing and distribution. They will last as long as the viewers and the author are still interested in this series. The Japanese term for this definition of seasons is “kur” and simply means 3 month of airing time. (For a list of the new series of the following/current season and for their reviews, look at the animeph navigation)

Ano:
„Ano…“ is often said in anime before saying something, or when you are not sure what to say. It is translated to something like “erm..” or “ehh..” or “excuse me”.

Arigatoo gozaimasu:
Arigatou is Japanese for „thank you“. Gozaimasu adds politeness or simply means “thank you very much”.

B


Baka:
Japanese for fool or idiot. Very often used in anime. It can be used as a single word (baka!!!).

Bento:
Bentos are Japanese lunch boxes, which are prepared for school or picnic. It often contains rice and many other things like sausages, eggs, vegetables and fish. Girlfriends often prepare bentos for their male partner.

Bishoujo:
Anime/manga genre. Literally means “beautiful girl”. Bishoujo series usually are targeted at men and this subgenre is present in almost all genres where there are attractive female character designs, like for example in harem series or eroge.

Bishounen:
Anime/manga genre. It is literally translated to “beautiful boy”. Bishounen anime/manga usually deal with homosexuality or are romances with a female protagonist.

Bittorrent:
Bittorrent is the most popular software fan-groups are using to release their anime fansubs and manga scanlations, same as fans are using it to download them. You add a file to your download list by clicking on a link. Your download speed for a certain file depends on your upload speed for this file and the amount of other people downloading it. Those people are divided into leechers (people who are downloading and uploading it) and seeders (people who are finished and upload the completed file). There are several different bittorrent softwares that support bittorrent downloads.

Bunkobon:
Bunkobon is a popular Japanese A6 book format. They are designed to be affordable and portable. Not only novels but also many manga are released in bunkobon format. It is often the cheaper edition of works that have already been published as hardbacks.

C


Chibi:
Chibi literally means child, while chibi character are a certain style of drawing characters in a cute and deformed way with big heads and small bodies.

Chigau:
Japanese term used to say „you are wrong“ or „this is wrong“.

Cosplay:
Female and male anime fans dress up as one of their favourite anime/manga characters. Those fans often make their costumes themselves. Cosplay is very popular and it is practised especially at anime conventions.

D


Daijoubu:
Japanese for „It is allright“. Also often used as a question (daijobu? = are you allright?).

Desu:
Desu is the most common form of „to be“. Some characters also add desu at the end of most of their sentences without it having any real meaning. It adds a unique characteristic to the characters speech and personality (for example cuteness). Other words that are also added at the end of sentences for that propose are for example dattebayo, ne, degazoru…

Doujinshi:
Usually short One-shot mangas drawn by amateurs and fans, which are then sold and traded in big and popular manga conventions in Japan. But even some popular professional mangaka participate in those events and create doujinshi. Doujinshi are based on popular manga and anime and often function as comedy, parody and erotica. The copyright owner of these series sometimes do not wish to see any violation in their rights by doujinshi, but often it is commonly accepted anyhow and can be rather seen as promotion. Doujinshi scans and translations are also available on the internet.

Doushite:
Japanese for why/how. This word is used when an anime/manga character does not understand the reason for someone else’s action.

E


Ecchi:
Ecchi is the Japanese letter for „H“, which is short for hentai. Still ecchi is different from hentai. Ecchi as a genre stands for series with lots of fanservice, sexual hints/thoughts and skin showing, often in a comical manner or creating a funny situation. There is no pornography involved. Anime characters either say hentai or ecchi to call someone else a pervert, while hentai is stronger than ecchi.

ED:
ED is short for ending. An ending is the sequence shown at the end of each anime episode and is always supported by a song or music.

Enjo kosai:
Enjo kosai or compensated/assisted dating is a practice in Japan where high school-aged girls are paid by older men to accompany them on dates and sometimes even to render sexual services. While in some cases it is a form of child prostitution, in most cases enjo kosai does not even involve kissing or holding hands. Enjo k?sai is linked with the consumerist ko-gal subculture and many observers believe that it serves as a way for young girls to preserve an expensive lifestyle, despite their families’ more difficult financial situations.

Eroge:
In Japan eroge is the commonly used term for a certain kind of games that feature erotic content in form of anime-style artwork. Those games are also appropriately called dating simulations or visual novels, while the terms hentai-games or h-games are not that common in Japan. The common form of those games show a background image, one or more characters in front (in case you are talking to someone) and a text bar that shows the dialogues, monologues, answers and decisions you can choose. Depending on the decisions you make the story will take a different direction and have a different outcome. While those games usually only consist of pictures, sound and text, there is a trend of adding some smooth moving animations and today there are even fully animated eroge. While people unfamiliar with eroge might think they are just cheap sex games, this is not quite true. In fact, most eroge feature an awesome, deep and professional storyline, which is why so many of them are taken for anime adaptations. Those stories are naturally of the harem genre, but still can vary a lot as they can be drama, fantasy, action, material arts, horror and many more genre in additional.

F


Fanservice:
Fanservice in anime/manga refers to sexual hints like breasts showing or panty shots. There is a very large variety in fanservice. Shower scenes, sexy clothes, swimsuits, close-ups, wet see-throughs and many more things count as fanservice. It is basically all sorts of sexual eye candy and it is shown in almost every Anime/manga series to a certain extend.

Fansubs:
Fansubs are anime translated by fan-groups via subtitles. They are released on the internet for free. Each episode usually is 170-250mb large. Most fansubs are hard subs, which means the subs are “branded” onto the video/file. Soft sub indicate the possibility to switch between no sub and 1 or more sub lines (like with original DVDs). Soft subs sometimes come with a separate file. Original Japanese episodes with English subtitles is the common format of fansubs on the internet, even though there are still a few Fan-groups who release fansubs in different languages like German, French or Italian (for more information look at my Downloadguide). A fansub-group can consists of translators, timers, encoders, quality checkers, typesetters, translation checkers and distributors. There are heated discussions about the legality of fansubs. There is no loss of revenue for Japanese anime studios because there is no demand for untranslated Japanese anime outside of Japan anyway; rather fansubs can be seen as free advertisement and promotion. It is known that American licensors even chose anime shows for official American release based on the success they had in the fansub-community. Because of that Japanese anime/manga studios and authors rarely intend to carry out legal steps to prevent fansubbing. English distributors however, are opposed to the idea of free English releases of their licensed anime on the internet, while anime fansubs of shows that are not licensed for official American DVD or TV release are often accepted by everyone, even though distributing TV shows on the internet still is a copyright violation. The result of a certain anime-distributor who has requested their anime removed from webpages for download (2004), say fansub supporters, is a reduced interest in their anime and a loss of revenue for the studio.

Fujoshi:
Fujoshi is what fan-girls of the yaoi genre call themselves. It is a pun on the terms for “rotten girl” and “respectable woman”, which are homophonous but slightly different in Japanese writing.

Futanari:
Futanari is an anime/manga erotica genre. Futanari often implies a sexual act between females, while at least one of them has got a male sex organ. Often it is also called hermaphrodite or dickgirl.

G


Gaijin:
Gaijin is short for gaikokujin and means „foreigner“. It refers to nationality and ethnicity. Sometimes it is also used to insult Japanese peoples for being outsiders.

Ganbatte:
Ganbatte is a commonly used term to cheer on someone. It means something like “good luck” or “go for it”.

Gomen nasai:
Gomen is Japanese for „sorry“. Nasai adds politeness. It is the most used apology in anime.

H


Hai:
Japanese for „yes“.

Hajimemashite:
Japanese for „how are you“ or „how do you do“.

Harem:
Anime/manga genre. The term is a creation of Western anime fans. Harem animes are love comedy shows that feature 3 or more girls who are or fall in love with the male protagonist. The concept of these shows is for the viewer to identify himself with the often average type protagonist and find a girl among the large female cast appealing to his taste. These series are often adaptations of famous Japanese dating simulation games or designed to appeal to a similar audience.

Haru:
Japanese word for „Spring“.

Hashi:
Hashi is the Japanese term for chopsticks. Chopsticks were invented about 3000-5000 years ago in china and even today most Japanese people use them to eat their meals. Even soups are eaten with chopsticks.

Hentai:
Literally means pervert. Hentai are pornographic anime. There is also hentai-manga, hentai-doujinshi and hentai-games. Because of a certain very old law in Japan, it is forbidden to sell erotica that clearly shows genitals. Therefore male and female genitals (if shown) have to be censored in every piece of adult material on the Japanese market. However, there is Japanese adult material licensed by foreign companies and produced for foreign companies, which are therefore available uncensored in foreign counties.

Hikikomori:
Literally means “pulling away, being confined”. The term hikikomori refers not only to the sociological phenomenon but also to individuals belonging to that group. Hikikomori are people who feel uncomfortable in public and lock themselves away from society in their apartment or their parent’s home. They rarely leave their dumped down room and often kill time by playing computer games all day or watching anime and the likes.

Himitsu:
Japanese noun meaning „secret“.

Hiragana:
Hiragana is a Japanese syllabary, one of the four Japanese writing systems, along with katakana, kanji and romanji.

I


ichigo:
Japanese noun meaning „strawberries“.

Iie:
Japanese for „no“.

Iku:
Japanese for „to go“. In conjugated form it can mean „lets go“, but also „go away!“.

Imouto:
Japanese for „youger sister“.

Itai:
Itai is the Japanese term for „ouch!“. It is often translated to “it hurts”.

Itouko:
Japanese to address your cousin.

Ittadakimasu:
Ittadakimasu is always said before eating. Even though it does not really have an English equivalent, it is often translated to “lets eat”.

Ittekimasu:
Ittekimasu is said when leaving the house for work or for school meaning “I’ll go and come back”.

Itterasshai:
Itterasshai is said when someone else is leaving the house for work or for school meaning “Please go and come back”.

J


Josei:
Anime/manga genre. Josei literally means woman and is targeted at woman and older teens. It is one of the rather rare genres and feature realistic romance stories about adulthood, growing up, collage, complicated relationships and other post-modern realistic topics with female protagonists. Josei is something like a rather mature shoujo. Examples for Josei are Paradise Kiss and Nana.

J-Pop:
J-Pop is short for Japanese Pop or Japanese popular music. This term covers several Western-influenced music genres like pop, rock, dance, hip hop and soul, while there are even more explicit terms like J-Rock. J-Pop is getting more and more popular all over the world and is very popular among anime fans of course.

K


Kakkoi:
Japanese word for „cool“.

Kami-sama:
Japanese term for „god“.

Kanji:
Kanji are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana, katakana and romanji.

Kanpai:
Japanese toast before drinking. It s equivalent to the English „cheers“.

Karaoke:
Karaoke is singing popular song with the original music without text played in the background. In Japan Karaoke bars are very popular for dates and meetings with friends; so popular that they are shown in almost every romance anime.

Katakana:
Katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one of the four Japanese writing systems, along with hiragana, kanji and romanji. Katakana are characterized by short straight strokes and angular corners, and are the simplest of the Japanese scripts.

Kawaii:
Japanese for „cute“. This word is very very often used in anime. Often even as a single word (Kawaii!!).

Kemonomimi:
Kemonomimi (literally means “animal ears”) is the term to describe anime and manga characters that posses animal-like features like ears and tails. Common animals for human/animal combinations are cats (catgirl/nekomimi), rabbits, dogs, foxes, wolfs and others.

Kendo:
Japanese material art with a typical wooden sword. In anime there is always a kendo club at school.

Kimochi
Japanese for “it feels good” or “what a nice feeling”.

Komoi
Japanese for “disgusting”.

Kimono:
Literally means „something to wear“. Kimonos are traditional Japanese clothing and are worn even today especially by women going to festivals, on holydays or those who just lead a traditional life style. A kimono looks like a robe with very wide sleeves around the wrist and with big fancy belts or ropes tied together at the back.

Ko-gal:
“Ko” is short for “kokosei” (high school student) and “gal” originates from the English term “girl”. Ko-gals belong to a new materialistic subculture. Even while wearing school uniforms in school, they are known for skirts pinned very high, loose socks (large baggy socks that go up to the knee), artificial suntans, expensive designer accessories, colored hair and large amounts of makeup. Some ko-gals support their lifestyle with allowances from wealthy parents, others by practicing enjo kosai (compensated dating), which may at times border on quasi-legal prostitution.

Konbanwa:
Japanese for „good evening“.

Konnichiwa:
Japanese for „good afternoon“. This word is known all over the world.

Kouhai:
Kouhai means underclassman or younger co-worker. It is the counterpart to senpai, which means upperclassman.

Kur:
Kur is the Japanese term used to describe a Japanese TV season, which consists of 4 month=12-14 episodes.

Kuso:
Japanease slang for damn/damnit.

L


Lolicon:
Erotica anime, anime pictures and manga that feature young girls. While erotica involving minors is illegal of course, lolicon is still legal in most countries because of the artistic freedom. This genre even has a surprisingly large fandom in Japan.
This word is also used to describe, insult or mock people for being interested in this kind of material.

M


Mahou Shoujo:
Anime/manga genre. Literally means magical girl. Mahou shoujo are stories about witches or sorceress with magical powers. They are usually rather young and depend on transformations to activate their powers. A very famous example for mahou shoujo is Sailor Moon.

Manga:
Manga are Japanese comic books. Manga series are usually released in weekly magazines (for example Shounen Jump), which contain several different series of the same genre. Later on each of those series will be released as box-sets. Depending on the series one volume of a certain manga can contain from 2 up till more than 12 chapters, but in the end, no matter in how many chapter a volume is divided in, it almost always consists of roughly 200 pages. The amount of volumes a manga series lasts depends not only on the mangaka`s (the author`s) intentions, but also on the popularity of the manga. Weekly manga magazines also contain one-shots, which are short stories that consist of only one chapter. Most Manga are black and white and are read from right to left, which might be a bit confusing for foreign readers at first. In economic terms, weekly sales of comics in Japan exceed the entire annual output of the American comic industry. Manga series get licensed, translated and released all over the world. International manga-fans complain about edited and censored manga. Editing happens due to cultural references, voilence and nudity. A lot of Fan-groups also release their own translated scanlations of unlicensed (and sometimes even licensed) manga and release them for free on the internet (For further information on this topic look at my Download-Guide).

Mangaka:
Mangaka are professional manga authors. Successful mangaka are treated like big celebrities in Japan.

Mecha:
Anime/manga genre. These storie`s main theme involves mechanical things. Mostly about fighting giant robots piloted by a single human.

Meganekko:
Literally means „Glasses (-wearing) Girl“. Meganekko refers to female anime and manga characters who wear glasses, especially when it is considered their most attractive trait. They sometimes feature geekish or bookish behavior, but always in a positive fashion.

Minna:
Japanese word meaning “everyone/everybody”.

Moe:
Moe is a Japanese slang word and would be best translated to „cute“. But it is not simply cute. There is a big moe fandom. Anime and manga characters that are described as moe are often young, naïve, cute and innocent.

N


Nani:
Japanese for „what“. This word is often used when an anime/manga character did not understand what someone else did just say.

Neko:
Japanese for „cat“.

O


Obaasan:
Japanese to address you grandmother. Young children often use it on any older woman. Also used to insult or make fun of middle aged women for being old.

Ohayou gozaimasu:
Ohayou gozaimasu is Japanese for „good morning“. Ohayou can also be said alone. Gozaimasu adds politeness and the “u” at the end is not pronounced.

Ojiisan:
Japanese to address you grandfather or uncle. Young children often use it on any older man. Also used to insult or make fun of middle aged men for being old.

Okaasan:
Japanese to address your mother.

Okaerinasai:
Okaerinasai is said when someone else comes home meaning “welcome home”.

Okinawa:
Okinawa-ken is a group of islands in the south of Japan. The most popular island is the Okinawa Island, which is also one of the most popular places for Japanese to spend their vacations.

Omake:
Omake means extra or bonus. An omake can be a short bonus chapter of a manga series or special features on an anime DVD. In the past omakes used to be small toys or character figurines sold with soft drinks and candy.

Onee-chan:
Japanese term used to address your sister or older sister. Young children also use it to address older females. A short version with the same meaning is Nee-chan. The suffix “-chan” can be replaced with any other suffix depending on the situation.

Onegai shimasu:
Onegai literally means „please“. Shimasu adds politeness.

One-Shot:
One-Shots are manga that consists of only 1 chapter. They can be compared to short stories.

Onii-chan:
Japanese term used to address your brother. Young children also use it to address older males. A short version with the same meaning is Nii-chan. The suffix “-chan” can be replaced with any other suffix depending on the situation.

OP:
OP is short for opening. An opening is the sequence shown at the beginning of each anime episode and is always supported by a song.

OST:
OST is short for original sound track. OST CDs of a certain anime series are sold and contain background music, opening and ending songs of this anime series.

Otaku:
Literally means fanatic. Otaku are obsessed Japanese anime and manga fans. Certain merchandise and anime that air late at night are exclusively targeted at otaku. While it has negative connotations in Japan to be called otaku, in America and the international anime community this term is more flexible. Some call themselves otaku with pride for their detailed knowledge of anime, manga and the Japanese culture, others think it is negative and implies being a freak and even others think it is only appropriate for Japanese people to be called otaku.

Otousan:
Japanese to address your father.

OVA:
OVAs (original video animation) or its synonym OAVs (original anime video) are Japanese anime exclusively sold as DVD and do not air in Japanese television. The length of OVA episodes and the length of an OVA series is therefore not bound to the standards of Japanese seasons (Navigation>Anime-Seasons for more info). Unlike Japanese television anime, which are 24 minutes long, OVAs usually are around 30 minutes long. They can have any length from only 1 episode (comparable to short stories) to more than 8 episodes. OVAs also usually have superior animation quality in contrast to common contemporary TV anime series because of the superior financial means that come with DVD-release-only distribution. All hentai series are of OVA format, simply because there is no way they would air in Japanese television.

Oyasuminasai:
Japanese for „good night“.

P


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Q


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R


Raw:
Raw is the term to describe original untouched and unedited media, for example an unedited and untranslated anime episode recorded from Japanese television or an unedited and untranslated scan of Japanese manga.

Romanji:
Romanization of Japanese words; may be seen on street signs for foreigners, transcription of names, and in dictionaries and textbooks for learners of the Japanese language. All Japanese words used in this homepage are also written in romanji. Still there are a number of different Romanization systems.

Ronin:
A ronin (literally wave man) used to be a masterless samurai during the feudal period of Japan. A samurai became masterless from the ruin or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master’s favor or privilege. In modern Japan and/or in anime, a ronin is someone who has failed the college or university entrance exam. In order to gain a passing mark next year they often attend cram school.

S


-san, -sama, -kun…:
You can find out a lot about the relationship characters have with each other by the way they add name suffixes to the other’s name (example: Ranma-san).
-san : General propose.

-sama : Very polite, comparable to Lord, Lady, or Sir.
-kun : More often used with boys’ names.
-chan : Cutesy, more often used with girls’ names.
-sensei : Teacher, doctor, master. Often used without adding the name.
-senpai : Used to address upperclassmen, or older co-workers. Often used without adding the name.
donno : Polite and respectful. Similar to –sama, but rather archaic and old suffix.
tan : Very cute. Extension of –chan.
hime : Princess or female royalty.
Japanese people usually call each other by their last names adding suffixes. Calling someone by his/her first name without adding any suffix implies a very close relationship like with best friends or girlfriend/boyfriend. Inappropriately using no or wrong suffixes causes confusion and is sometimes done in order to make fun of or annoy someone. Japanese people also love to shorten people’s names (example: Ranma-chan=Ran-chan, or even =Ra-chan)

Sakura:
Sakura is the Japanese term for pink cherry blossoms. In anime you will see sakura very often. It symbolizes spring, but it also often has an even greater meaning to the plot. Sakura is also a very popular girls’ name, while Asakura is a very popular boys’ name.

Sayoonara:
Japanese for „good bye“ or „farewell“. It indicates you will not see the other person anymore for a long time.

Scanlation:
Scanlation is the term used for original Japanese manga scanned and translated by fans. Scanlations are distributed on the internet for free and the situation is similar to fansubs. Theoretically scanlation are a violation of copyrights, but scanlation are free promotion and advertisement for Japanese and international companies. Companies even choose manga they license by the success of their scanlations. As a result companies rarely take any steps to stop scanlating unlicensed manga. Some fans even prefer scanlations over official releases because they are not censored or edited by foreign distributors. The process of scanlating can be divided into multiple steps: Scanning, translating, editing, proofreading, cleaning, distribution.

Seinen:
Anime/manga genre. Literally means young adult. Seinen is targeted at men and older male teens. It is sometimes similar to shounen but deals with darker, deeper and more realistic themes and characters, but most often it deals with issues of university students, adulthood and the working world. Can also contain sexual hints.

Seiyuu:
Seiyuu is the Japanese term for „voice actor“. Because of the popularity of anime in Japan, Japanese anime seiyuu can become popular, successful and reach cult status.

Senpai:
Used to address upperclassmen, older co-workers and so on. You can also use it as a suffix and add his/her name to it (example: Sakura-senpai).

Sensei:
Used to address teachers, doctors, trainers, masters, professors and so on. You can also use it as a suffix and add his/her name to it (example: Sakura-sensei).

Shinigami:
Shinigami used to be translated to „personification of death”. Today this term appears in many Japanese works of fiction and means “Death god” or any god associated with death.

Shotacon:
Erotica anime, anime pictures and manga that feature young boys. While erotica involving minors is illegal of course, shotacon is still legal in almost every country because of the artistic freedom. This genre even has a surprisingly large fandom among Japanese women.

Shoujo:
Anime/manga genre. Literally means girl. Shoujo is targeted at young female audience and usually features a romance story with a female protagonist. The most common setting is 2 or more beautiful boys from school fall in love with the protagonist, while she herself is unsure about her feeling.

Shoujo-ai:
Anime/manga genre. It literally means girls` love. Shoujo-ai series deal with homosexual relationships between females. Shoujo-ai is synonymous with yuri, while yuri usually is more graphical. This genre is very popular among male readers and viewers.

Shounen:
Anime/manga genre. Literally means boy. Shounen is targeted at young male audience. Most common shounen settings are action adventures of the male protagonist in a fantasy world that features fighters and super powers.

Shounen-ai:
Anime/manga genre. Literally means boys` love. Series of this genre deal with homosexual relationships between men. Shounen-ai is synonymous with yaoi, while yaoi is usually more graphical. This genre is very popular among Japanese girls and women.

Smut:
Anime/manga genre. Smut very often comes along with shoujo or josei titles. It simply means that this title also feature some sex scenes. While these scene can be pretty detailed, they are never as detailed as to call them hentai. It is more like adding some fanservice, matureness and sexual aspects to the story.

Sou da ne:
It is often used in anime and the most common form in anime to say „I see…“, or „Is that so…?”, or “I guess…”. There are a lot of slightly different phrases meaning almost the same. Just saying “sou” or “sou desu ka” for example has the same meaning. Saying sou da means “right” or “exactly”. Sou da yo ne is a stronger version of sou da ne. There are many more phrases like that.

Sugoii:
Japanese for „awesome/amazing“. Very often used in anime.

Suki:
Japanese for „to love“. (Daisuki= I love you).

Sumimasen:
Japanese for “excuse me” or “I’m sorry”.

Super Power:
Anime/manga genre. Those storie`s characters have powers beyond normal humans. Those powers might either look like magic, or might also be just an exaggerated form of material arts. The super power genre often comes along with the shounen genre.

T


Tadaima:
Tadaima is said when entering one’s own house meaning “I’m home”.

Tankoubon:
Tankoubons are box sets of complete manga or novel volumes. Usually manga are first published in weekly or monthly anthology manga magazines, which contain several different chapters of different manga. They are printed on low quality paper and are considered disposable. Later the complete volumes of manga series will be released in tankoubons in higher quality paper.

Tasukete:
Tasukete is Japanese for „help me“ or „save me“.

Tomodachi:
Tomodachi is the Japanese word for „friend“, but literally translates to “those who you go with”. The usage of this word is a little different to the English “friend”. In school, for example, it refers to everyone of the same age.

Tsundere:
Tsundere is a term used to describe an often used character profile in anime and manga. It is a mix of the Japanese tsuntsun (meaning something like “disgusted”) and deredere (meaning something like “loving affection”). Tsundere are those girls who are cold and strict at first, but become all cute, shy and loving later on. But switching from hate to love over time isn’t all there is to a typical tsundere character. What makes them distinctive and popular is the way they use their cold words and strict composure to clumsily hide their growing affection and kind deeds, while being too shy or too proud to admit to themselves and others that they are in love. Popular examples are Naru from Love Hina, Shana from Shakugan no Shana and Louise from Zero no Tsukaima.

U


Ureshii:
Ureshii literally means happy and can be used as an exclamation. It is often translated to something like “I am happy” or “whee”.

Urusai:
One way to say „shut up“ in Japanese. Also urusei.

Usotsuki:
Usotsuki literally means liar. It is often used as an exclamation in anime.

V


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W


Watashi:
Japanese for „I“. There are a lot of ways to say „I“ in Japanese, but watashi is the most common one used by males and females and therefore you will find it in most textbooks and dictionaries.

White Day:
In Japan on Valentine’s Day the girls give self-made or purchased chocolate the boys they love or respect. The White Day is celebrated on March 14th, one month after Valentine’s Day and it is the day the boys give the girls chocolate in return.

X


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Y


Yakusoku:
Japanese for promise or oath.

Yandere:
Yandere is a term used to describe a special character profile in anime and manga. It is a mix of the Japanese yanderu (meaning something like “being sick”) and deredere (meaning something like “loving affection”). Yandere characters are often girls with a strong if not obsessive affection for the main character, which through jealousy or frustration later on leads to psychotic and violent outbursts, sometimes to the extend of murder. Popular anime shows with yandere characters are School Days and Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni.

Yaoi:
Anime/manga genre. Series of this genre deal with homosexual relationships between men. Yaoi is synonymous with shounen-ai, while shounen-ai is usually not as graphic as yaoi. This genre is very popular among Japanese girls and women.

Yashigani:
Literally means „coconut crab“, but in anime lingo it referes to episodes or whole anime that are so obviously low, bad and sub-standard in quality that it’s too painful to watch and not worthy of a TV release. The term yashigani comes from the fourth aired episode of “Lost Universe” in April of 1998, which was titled “Yashigani Hofuru”. The Korean animation studio was plagued from major lack of time and communication. When episode one aired, the opening wasn’t even completed yet and it actually had SD characters with signs holding up “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”. Episode two and three, you can see signs that the Japanese key animators did their best in making refinements. But by episode four, all hell broke loose. Almost every scene had to be redone for the market release.

Yatta:
Yatta is a common Japanese expression meaning “I did it!” or “hurray!” or “yes!”. It is said after accomplishing something or after something lucky happened to you.

Yokatta:
Yokatta is a common Japanese expression meaning „what a relief“ or „thank god“.

Yuri:
Anime/manga genre. Series of this genre deal with female homosexual relationships. Yuri is synonymous with shoujo-ai, while yuri is usually more graphical. This genre is very popular among male readers and viewers.

Z


Zettai Ryouiki:
Literally means „absolute territory“. The Zettai Ryouiki is the section of skin that is exposed between the bottom of a woman’s miniskirt and the top of her knee-socks. The ideal ratio should be 4:1:2.5 (length of mini-skirt : absolute territory : length of knee-socks above the knee).

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    Last modified on Thursday 3rd March, 2011 at 2:30am.

     

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