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Anime and manga terminology


Anime and manga terminology

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Anime and Manga fandom in the west (especially the U.S.) has adopted many Japanese words and phrases. Some of these words have been misinterpreted, reinterpreted or undergone significant drift 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 subcultures shared slang or jargon.

In some cases English and Japanese have contributed in complex ways to the formation of new words in either or both languages. (e.g. Hentai - ‘H’ - Ecchi)

Other subcultures have also adopted Japanese loan-words through contact with Anime and Manga media and fans.

In addition there are a great many Japanese words and phrases that fans and the curious will come across in relation to Anime and Manga.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z — See also


  • Ai (愛) — love
  • Anime (アニメ) — Animation originating in Japan. Not a genre and contrary to popular misconceptions widely varying in style.


  • beddo shiin — /bed scene/
  • bishie (bishi or bish) — fan term for androgynous and/or effeminate males of all ages derived from bishōnen, also applied to similar (beautiful but somewhat butch) females.
  • 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.


  • Catgirl — character with cat ears and a cat tail, but an otherwise human body.
  • Chapatsu — "brown hair" The once-rebellious & trendy, now mainstream, style of bleaching (and occasionally dying) hair, found among Japanese teens.
  • CM — Comics Market (see Comiket)
  • Comiket — Comics Market — world's largest comic convention held biannually in Tokyo, Japan for producers and fans of Dōjinshi. (see Comic Party)


  • Dōjinshi — amateur comic/zine
  • dōseiaisha — same-sex-loving person


  • ecchi — perverted — from ‘H’ for Hentai
  • enjo kōsai — "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.


  • Fuku — (セーラー服 sērā-fuku) — "sailorsuit" style Japanese girls school uniform.


  • gakuran (学ラン) — Uniform for middle school and high school boys in Japan. The Gakuran is derived from Prussian army uniforms.
  • Ganguro (顔黒) literally "black face" — 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.
  • Ganbare - good luck or "you can do it"
  • gei — transliteration of gay
  • glomp — a hug in the manner of a small child, similar to a bearhug but often including one or both legs as well as arms. Also* A hug in which the hugger jumps and catches the *victem* by surprise or off gaurd.
  • Gothloli — Gothic Lolita — A fashion trend where girls and young women dress in the style of elaborate porcelain dolls.


  • Hentai — "abnormal" or "perverted" — Used by Western Audiences to refer to pornographic anime or erotica. However, in Japan the term used to refer to the same material is typically Poruno or Ero.


  • Iinchō - Short for Gakkyū Iinchō, the class representative in a Japanese school.


  • Lemon — material with explicit sexual content (not to be confused with the slang term for Lesbian in some English speaking cultures)
  • Loli-Goth — Gothloli — Gothic Lolita


  • Karawayo — phrase a Japanese girl utters before entering sexual intimacy (shall I take my clothes off?)
  • Kemono (獣 or けもの) — "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)
  • Kemonomimi — characters with animal features such as ears and a tails, but have a human body. Catgirl also falls under this concept.
  • 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 — genericised form of Comiket (Comics Market)


  • OAV — Original Animated Video, see OVA.
  • okama — (pejorative) homosexual — (literally cooking pot)
  • omake — Some kind of add-on bonus on an anime DVD, like a regular 'extra' on western DVDs.
  • orijinaru — /original/
  • otaku — A big fan of something, in most cases anime/manga. The word is Japanese, and has a negative meaning associated with it in Japan. However, in other countries, anime fans likes to refer themselves as otaku.
  • OVA — 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.
  • owari — "End" in Japanese, used by some fanfiction authors at the end of their works.
  • 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.


  • parodi — /parody/


  • nanshoku — male love — a deprecated term for homosexuality


  • rezu / rezubian — transliteration of lesbian


  • shōjo (少女) — "young woman" is, in western usage, a style of anime and manga intended for girls
  • shōjo-ai — Otaku neologism coined following the form of shōnen-ai, denoting lesbian content, typically for material without explicit sex, in anime, manga, and related fan fiction. (q.v. yuri)
  • shōnen (少年) — "young boy" is, in western usage, a style of anime and manga intended for boys. These works are characterized by high-action, often humorous plots featuring male protagonists, and unrealistically endowed female characters providing fanservice.
  • shota -
  • shudo — abbreviation for wakashudo — The Way of Young Men age structured homosexuality in Samurai society
  • suki — "to love" in Japanese


  • Visual Kei — a Japanese form of rock music defined by bands featuring performers in elaborate costumes but whose musical style varies.


  • wakashudo — The Way of Young Men age structured homosexuality in Samurai society


  • yaoi — Japanese acronym from '‘No climax, no point, no meaning’' (Yama nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi) — Male-on-male sexual content. Sometimes used for all male/male romantic and sexual content.
  • Yuri — Otaku jargon term for lesbian content, typically used to denote only the most sexually explicit end of the spectrum, in anime, manga, and related fan fiction. (q.v. shōjo-ai)


  • Zettai Ryoiki

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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