Anime / Manga
Mecha is a genre of anime that uses combat suits and giant robots within the storyline. The term may also refer directly to the combat suits or robots.
Sentai translates to “battle team.” The term refers to team action series that includes super heroes in costumes.
AMVs stands for anime music videos. AMVs are usually non-professional combinations of anime clips with songs that do not relate to one another. AMVs may be done in fun and lightheartedness, and others are quite serious. In either case, they are an enjoyed feature at conventions revolving around anime.
Pronounced a-nee-may, anime refers to any of the various forms of animation in the country of Japan. Outside the country, anime relates strictly to Japanese animation. Sometimes anime is called “Japanimation.”
In anime, baka is a term that may be heard when one watches a sub-titled anime film. It translates to “idiot,” “stupid,” or “fool.”
Chan is an honorific term used in anime that signifies a level of closeness or affection for a particular person (usually a female). The term may also be used in relation to a pet or a child.
Chibi in Japan signifies little or small and has the negative connotation of being translated as “puny.” Anime American watchers usually understand the word to signify that a character is very deformed, tiny or cute.
In anime, cosplay is a term that is shorthand for “costume play.” The term originated from the custom of anime watchers to put on the outfits of anime characters and playing out scenes from anime films. Cosplay is a big part of the anime conventions that happen all over the world.
In anime, dating sim is shorthand for dating simulation. Dating sim is a kind of interactive first-person computer game. In dating sim, a character tries to generate romantic interests in a variety of possible story lines. They usually do not contain any animation. Once in awhile dating sim may include hidden characters. Often they are used for source material in anime series.
The term refers to fans of anime that take favorite characters from anime series and make them in their own fiction stories. The practice is heavily done and enjoyed in Japan despite the fact that it is technically illegal under Japanese copyright laws.
Dono is an archaic honorific term used in anime that translated means “honorable.” In other countries its equivalent is “Lord” or “Sir.”
Dubtitles is a term that refers to subtitles for an anime that are identical to the English script (as opposed to a straight translation of the original Japanese content).
Ecchi refers in anime to something that is perverted, such as Playboy pictorial in the United States.
A version of a dating sim that is adults-only because of its erotic content. The game revolves around having sexual intercourse with potential characters. Dark themes and erotic visuals are frequently used. S&M content, rape, and bondage may be included in a game.
An eye catch is a title screen, scene or illustration within an animation episode that signifies the exit to or the return from a commercial break. An eye catch is often viewed during Japanese TV programming; it is not animated.
Fan service may refer to shots of a woman’s undergarments or body solely for the sake of visual pleasure. The term may also refer to any items included within manga or anime for the sake of pleasing the fans.
Fanboy and fangirl are rather negative terms used to refer to an obsessive anime fan from the United States. The term “trekkie” is its equivalent.
Fansub is an anime that is subtitled by non-professionals. It is frequently done as a result of no dubbing being yet available for a particular anime. Frequently anime releases can be accessed in fansub form several months in advance of when a professional version is completed. One can obtain fansub forms through the internet, in college anime groups or at anime conventions. Though illegal, fansub forms are often allowed because of marketing purposes. Once the official anime release is in circulation in the United States, many internet sources pull out the illegal versions.
A graphic novel is simply the collected issues of manga or comic books into one book. The term may also refer to a novel adaptation or original story that is told in comic book form but bound in a book format. Because of their visual content, manga graphic novels are often presented in a wider version of a paperback novel.
Harem series is a will-liked subgenre of romantic comedy; they focus on a young man who cohabitates with several young women. There exist basically two ways the story may go. In one form, the young man likes a particular young woman, but is lured by the other woman. Or, the young man cannot decide which woman he wants and the story revolves around the women trying to get his favor. Frequently the young man is a nice, rather gentle sort of person, whereas the women are strong, talented and aggressive.
Hentai is translated as being perverted when it refers to adult-only anime; it contains erotic, highly visual sexual content.
The Hepburn system is a frequently used technique of transliterating Japanese written content into English writing.
Hikikomori is an anti-social behavioral pattern happening in Japan. It involves individuals removing themselves from society and demonstrating hermit-like behavior; they stay in their rooms and shut the door to the rest of the world as they surround themselves with anime, whether it be watching anime, playing games or reading manga.
In Japan, honorifics are put at the end of a name in order to display a degree of formality and familiarity that a speaker uses when referring to a particular individual. Not using honorific signifies disdain for a person or it may signify that the speaker and addressed person as being very close. Recently the use of honorifics has become more frequent in subtitling and English dubs. Various forms of honorifics in anime include: chan, dono, kun, nii/nee, sama, san, senpai, and sensei.
Josei is a category of manga and anime created for woman over eighteen; the stories are filled with adult women and focus on daily experiences and romance that is more practical and less idealistic. The term may sometimes relate to a sexual preference for older women in manga and anime.
Kana is the Japanese phonetic version of the written language. Kana comes in two forms – katakana and hiragana. Katakana may be used to stress a certain aspect of a word (similar to putting the word in bold print or in italics). It may also be used to write names and words that come from other languages (with the exception of Chinese). Hiragana is normally used to change kanji and write Chinese and Japanese words phonetically. Both katakana and hiragana use forty-six basic characters that in turn can be made into one hundred syllables.
Kanji is made up of Chinese characters that create one of the three main scripts utilized for Japanese writing; the other two basic scripts are katakana and hiragana. Kanji characters may be a whole word or the stem of the word depending upon the context. Frequently the meaning of the symbols communicate better than the phonetically-written versions of the same word. However, they are also more intricate and complex, and not useful to phonetic writing. Thus, they are not useful for words that are taken from languages other than Chinese.
A common word in the original Japanese vocal tracks for United States fans not familiar with the Japanese language. Kawaii means “It is so cute!” It is a phrase most often used by female characters.
Kun is an honorific term used in anime in order to refer to students or men colleagues. It is not usually a term to be used to address women.
Lolicon is an English transliteration of the Japanese shorthand version of “Lolita Complex.” Lolicon involves explicit sexual visuals of young girls in anime and manga.
Mahou shojo translates to “magical girl.” The term refers to a genre that is directed at young girls – whether they be teens or soon-to-be teens.
Moe is a weak tendency of a female character in manga or anime that elicits an affectionate response from viewers. Usually the female characters are innocent or physically young. The characters have an obvious weakness they try hard to fix in themselves. Moe is not related to any sexual content directly.
Nii or nee are honorific terms used in anime that translates as big brother or big sister.
Omake is the bonus animation content that is put on a DVD or videotape. Frequently this additional animation contains super-deformed characters.
Otaku is a term that refers to a loyal fan. In the United States, the term is devoid of any negative connotation and is used as a badge of honor by dedicated anime fans. In Japan the term otaku contains within it implications of someone being too attached and involved with a particular hobby.
Ronin is a term referring to a samurai that has no mater. Nowadays it may also refer to college students who have yet to pass college entrance exams and so they attend cram schools to catch up.
Sama is an honorific term used in anime that translated means Mrs. or Mr. They are used to signify respect. They are not normally used in conversion.
San is an honorific term used in anime that translated means Mrs. or Mr. San is used when a person of equal social status is being addressed and the person wishes to be more formal.
Seinen is a category of anime and manga that is directed towards men. It may involve pornographic material. In the United States the equivalent of seinen is mature audiences.
Senpai is an honorific term in anime that is used to signify that a person is an elder, senior or upperclassmen. Senpai is used to address a person who holds a higher position than a person of the same social class.
The term refers to a title addressed to an upperclassman or an individual who is senior to the person speaking.
The term refers to anime that focuses on manga stemming from girls’ magazines. However, in the United States the term refers to manga and anime that is directed at girls.
Shojo Ai translates to “girl love.” The term references to plots involving girl couples that focus on their growing romantic relationship as opposed to erotic sexual behavior. It is not often shown in the United States.
The term translates to “boy love.” The term references to plots involving male couples. Currently, it is not fashionable in Japan. However, the term is used in United States to refer to storylines regarding the relationship between homosexuals. However, rather than revolve around any erotic sexual behavior, the term refers to their relationship that is built on a growing romance.
A special edition is manga printed in an individual issue or older graphic novel in the original Japanese format (bound on the right side and one reads it from right to left). However, it should be noted that for the most part, manga is released nowadays “unflipped” in the United States; thus, the term is falling out of usage as it relates to these types of printings.
Superdeformed refers to a very small caricature rendition of an anime character. Usually they are visible in comedy and omake anime. Animation from the United States does not contain these types of characters.
Tsundere refers to a personality that is at first defensive and aggressive, but as time goes by becomes affectionate and emotionally open. One good example of tsundere is Asuka Langley Soryu of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
A visual novel is a partially interactive Japanese computer game that relates a storyline by means of still visuals and words positioned at the lower half of the screen. Visual novels do not give many choices like dating sims. Occasionally a visual novel may be adapted into anime.
Yaoi is an acronym in Japanese that gives a negative viewpoint of gay relationships. Yaoi may relate to storylines that revolve around homosexual relationships between men, or to art made by anime fans and storylines that couple male characters from popular series. Yaoi in the United States brings with it bigger references to homoerotic behavior.