Anime and manga glossary
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King of Braves GaoGaiGar Glossary
outside of Japan
have adopted many "Japanese words and phrases".
Some of these words have been misinterpreted, reinterpreted
or undergone significant change 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 shared slang or jargon
of the subculture.
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 fans of such media as anime and manga.
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.
- Anime (アニメ?) — Any animation produced in or originating from Japan, or conforming to an "anime style" usually marked by features such as large eyes, long limbs, speed lines and exclamatory typography. In Japan, the term "anime" is typically used to refer to any animation or cartoon, regardless of origin or animation style.
- Anime music video — Often abbreviated AMV, video clips from at least one anime series arranged to fit a musical piece playing in the background. AMVs usually cut out the audio and subtitles from the actual anime episodes, but sometimes sound clips or subtitles may be left in at certain parts to help enhance the video.
(美少年) — Beautiful boy — Japanese
aesthetic concept of the ideally beautiful young
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. These characters often 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 as in the case of the characters of Loveless and Kyo Sohma of Fruits Basket.
- Chibi — Japanese word meaning "shorty" or "little one". Due to Sailor Moon and mistranslation, in America it is sometimes used to mean super deformed.
- CM — Commercial Message - An advert (usually on television).
- Comiket — Comics Market — World's largest comic convention held biannually in Tokyo, Japan for producers and fans of Dōjinshi. (see Comic Party)
- Ecchi — Perverted. — From ‘H’ for Hentai.
- Eyecatch (アイキャッチ) — 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.
fiction — A general story written by fans of
media, including anime. Story or piece of fiction
written by fans of a production.
— fan-subtitled — A version of anime in which fans
have translated and subtitled the dialogue into
another language, most commonly into English.
— A female yaoi
(学ラン) — Uniform for middle
school and high school boys in Japan. The Gakuran
is derived from Prussian army uniforms.
(顔黒) Literally "black face". A 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.
- 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 victim by surprise
or off-guard. Occasionally referred to as a cross
between a running tackle and a bearhug.
— Gothic Lolita — A fashion trend where girls and
young women dress in the style of elaborate porcelain
- 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.
- Huggle - A very affectionate hug used to show joy and/or thanks. It is also somewhat like a 'glomp' but not as violent or surprising. Also a cross between the words "hug" and "cuddle" or "snuggle".
- Hikikomori - Similar to an otaku, but more severe. A Hikikomori is someone who secludes themselves within their home, sometimes refusing to leave their home at all in an effort to isolate themselves from society. It can be viewed as a social phobia similar to Agoraphobia. In Welcome to the N.H.K. the main character Tatsuhiro Satō is a Hikikomori.
- Iinchō — Short for Gakkyū Iinchō, the class representative in a Japanese school.
- Kawaii - cute. Kawaii has been referenced in Gwen Stefani's song "Harajuku Girls".
- 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. Examples include many of the characters of Loveless and the Sohma family of Fruits Basket.
- 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).
- MAD - Resembling an anime music video, but usually with more humorous intent. Stands for "music anime doujinshi".
- Manga (漫画) — book form of anime. Much like a story board.
- Mangaka (漫画家) — Creator of the manga. The mangaka is often the writer and the illustrator of the work.
- Moe (萌え) — the character who changes the most during the storyline of an anime or manga (e.g. tsundere)
- Neko Girl/Boy — Character with cat ears and a
cat tail, but an otherwise human body. These characters
often 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. [See CatGirl] Examples include many
of the characters of Loveless
Sohma of Fruits
- Neko - Japanese word for Cat, or Feline, often
used when referring to a character with cat ears
— Some kind of add-on bonus on an anime DVD, like
a regular 'extra' on western DVDs.
- Orijinaru — Original
— Anime newcomers like to consider themselves "otaku"
when they start liking anime; their definition of
otaku is anime fan. Long-time anime fans,
however, tend to not call themselves otaku
because of its negative Japanese connotation. The
literal translation of the word is your house,
but in Japanese slang the word is used to describe
somebody who is so obsessed with something they
never leave their house. Basically it means "geek",
but is occasionally associated with lolicons and
pedophiles, like in the anime series Hand
— 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.
It can also less frequently be referred to as OAV,
or Original Animated Video.
- Owari — "End" in Japanese, used by some fanfiction
authors at the end of their works. Also used at
the end of many anime series.
(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. Can also be used
as 'pops' or 'old man' (as in father).
(酒) — Commonly called "rice wine" in North
America, sake is an alcoholic beverage made from
(青年) - Intended for an older audience
than shōnen. Content intended for men ages
18 to 40 or older.
(声優) — Japanese voice actor. Not anime
voice actor as seiyū also perform for
radio shows and video games as well as do dubs for
foreign TV shows and movies.
(少女) — "Young woman" is, in western
usage, a style of anime and manga
intended for girls ages 5 to 10 or 10 to 18 depending
on the content.
(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
Aimed for boys ages 5 to 10 or 10 to 18 depending
on the content.
deformed - Miniaturized versions of the characters
integrated into the storyline to add comedy, or
to display exaggerated emotion in a way that might
be out of character. They are usually used when
the character is supposed to be angry, sad, confused,
or startled. More commonly known as a chibi.
- Tsundere - a female character type whose personality is initially combative but eventually becomes loving and emotionally vulnerable.
- See Yandere for the inverse of this trait.
- Visual kei — An art movement characterized by eccentric looks, involving elaborate costumes and make-up.
Nadeshiko — the Japanese ideal for a woman,
being humble and skilled in domestic matters.
— a character whose initially loving personality
eventually becomes an often brutally deranged and
- See Tsundere
for the inverse of this trait.
- Zettai Ryouiki: This term refers to a style of dressing, where a certain amount of skin is exposed between the miniskirt and the thigh high socks.
Published - February 2009
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