An Image Booru (pronounced "BOE-roo") is a new breed of ImageBoard and is essentially a tag-based image archive. The name is derived from Danbooru (which means "cardboard"), which was the first site of this type. Most of the current boorus are based loosely around anime. Because the idea is still relatively new, there are not that many of them around compared to standard forums or more traditional imageboards. These sites cater to those who want the Pixiv experience, but don't feel like sifting through Japanese; fittingly, a very large majority of the images you see on boorus came from Pixiv first.
These sites often have a tagging system in which users sort the images into categories while uploading: e.g. [X character], [X show], [X artist]. They also have pools where certain images that are related to each other in a way that the tag system doesn't allow for can be collected for viewing, and is the primary means for works hosted on the boorus to be compiled. Most boorus have standardized tagging...but each might have slight differences in how they're standardized, which is something to be aware of when going from one booru to another.
Image Boorus often differ from Image Boards— but are still closely related— by nature of simply viewing many images and occasionally commenting on them as opposed to starting a comment thread with an image and continuing in the same thread with more images. The main advantage over Image Boards is that the images remain in place indefinitely unless deleted by moderators, whereas on an Image Board this is rarely the case. Because Image Boorus also have much the same attitude regarding censorship that other Image Boards have, the content of many boorus is Not Safe for Work. You Have Been Warned.
Notable Image Boorus
- Danbooru: The very first booru, dedicated to anime and video game images, whose name comes from the Japanese word for "cardboard" (段ボール); fittingly, its logo is a minimalist depiction of a cardboard box. It was created in 2005 by Albert "Master" Yi. Many of the site's images in question come from Pixiv, including many Doujinshi. Site content is given four major ratings, ranging from General note , Sensitivenote , Questionable note , and Explicit note . When doujin pages are hosted on the booru, people are usually on hand to translate the Japanese or other language for better reading by English-speakers. The most objectionable content is such that users have to pay for the privilege of viewing it, or who were invited by the staff (which is distinctly less common now than in Danbooru's early years). The main rule the site follows in regards to images is no live-action or real-life explicit content. Not Safe for Work. Danbooru has a multi-tiered membership system, with various levels above basic membership but below moderators and administrators coming either by paying or because the staff likes you. The latter type of upgrade is sometimes granted simply to the staff's friends, but mainly as a reward for helping out the site (i.e. a history of consistently uploading good images, fixing tags and/or translating doujins and 4koma).
- Safebooru (two sites by that name):
- Safebooru.donmai.us: Effectively a filter over Danbooru, this booru hosts only images that have been rated General on the parent site and are not marked with certain blacklisted tags.
- There is also a separate, standalone booru at Safebooru.org, which imports most of its content from Gelbooru (see below) or Danbooru.
- Gelbooru: Hosts much of the same stuff as Danbooru (in fact, the site automatically grabs everything that gets uploaded to Danbooru, with the exception of Flash and webm), but has no qualms about letting users choose to see more objectionable content. Also has no qualms about more objectionably bad content, as images rejected by Danbooru as crap may be acceptable to Gelbooru.note Doujinshi and artbook scans are prohibited. Artists must write a DMCA removal request should they require their artwork taken down. In addition to artwork, also features photos of Japanese cosplayers and pornstars. Had a strict Japan-only policy at some point until members of site staff talked the owner into allowing it. Now accepts Japanese-themed artwork from Western artists. Very much Not Safe for Work due to the blatantly pornographic pop-up ads and banners on the site, though they can be turned off in account settings (or hidden through the use of adblockers).
- Blackbooru: A subsection of Gelbooru dedicated to NSFW race play porn usually involving Scary Black Men.
- The Big Image Board (TBIB): AKA, that Big Booru, so called because of its immense size (well over 3,000,000 images and counting!), possibly the largest image site in existence. TBIB is kind of like Gelbooru in that the content controls present on Danbooru are simply nonexistent (in fact its content is all automatically imported from a plethora of other boards, including Gelbooru: the site doesn't accept manual uploads), but goes even farther than Gelbooru in that it actually allows Doujinshi and Artbook scans and even direct scans of some manga (particularly Hentai). To get away with this, it employs Not Safe For Work Ads. As such, linking this booru should be avoided here.
- XBooru: An booru explicitly for, as the name hints, content rated X, i.e. porn in general, hentai in particular (at least in most cases).
- Ponibooru: A booru, and one of the first fan-based websites, dedicated to fanart of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The site has since been shut down due to a Creator Breakdown.
- Derpibooru is taking up the torch of Ponibooru with most of the images and fans moving there. It is considerably close to Equestria Daily in terms of fandom popularity. Currently one of the most feature-laden pony 'boorus, it features both Image spoilering and hiding for filtering purposes, tag watchlists, and the ability to directly retrieve and upload images from some websites like DeviantArt. Unlike the latter pony boorus, neither Derpibooru or original Ponibooru hosted Shockwave Flash files and both are also known for (over)allowing meta posts. Derpibooru eventually added forums (to phase-out aforementioned meta posts) and embedded livestreams to its list of features.
- The booru had several mirror sites, such as pbooru (NSFW), created before its death. They seem to retain little to no of the user activity the others were known for, however. Pbooru has no image filtering (but has a tag blacklist), and retains a Gelbooru clone look.
- Octabooru, their direct competition from /mlp/ on 4chan launched in November. Has many unique additions such as Sweetie Bot, who identifies ponies automatically and tags for you (currently only the main cast, but planned to do all the most popular bg ponies eventually), and its own synctube. However, as of March 25, 2017, it appears to no longer exist.
- Fluffybooru is notable for not only being a repository for fluffy pony stories and art, but for being the main hub of the fluffy pony fandom. Died some time ago.
- 20 Percent Cooler is another pony 'booru archive, which also features some image filtering and image pools. Dead for some time.
- Bronibooru, a work-safe-only and quality-controlled pony archive unaffiliated with any of the above. Uploads are screened by moderators. As of March, 2021, the site has shut down, leaving the option of a torrent link for the archive.
- Rainbooru, with a somewhat bare-bones interface booru and minimalist posting policies.
- The MiShimmie, an imageboard with an active community based entirely around the Western doujin game Katawa Shoujo and its universe. Has been dead for a while.
- /tg/booru: A repository for images found on the 4chan imageboard /tg/.
- MSPABooru, formerly Ib.Skaia.net: An image board for Homestuck fanart. In contrast to most other booru's, there's a strict non-porn policy (the banner above the site even mentions it). There are three ratings (safe, questionable and explicit— the latter is always put under a 'deleteme' tag) as well as a dubcon tag.
- Paheal.net: An infamous booru dedicated to Rule 34—and to a lesser extent; cosplay and Rule 63. Even lower quality standards than Gelbooru, with the only real rules being not to post anything outright illegal and not to post anything from the site's blacklist. Aside from that, if it's pornographic or even just shows breasts, there's virtually no chance of it being rejected, even if it involves outright NSFL material. Consequently, it remains the biggest, most popular, and most notorious porn booru to this day, acting as a measuring stick for a series or character's popularity based on how much material they get on the site and how quickly it shows up. Sometimes renames tags to Bland-Name Product variants if the relevant IP holders take action against content on the site (e.g. renaming the Pokémon tag to "Porkyman" and the Overwatch tag to "Overlook").
- rule34.xxx: A blatantly NSFW booru that uses the .XXX NSFW domain address. Closely related to Paheal's archives with a danbooru-style formatting.
- e621.net, and its official safe-for-work database mirror domain e926.net, both used for Furry Fandom art and (to a lesser extent) general Fandom works. These sites also include a rating system for both art and comments, with comments that have negative downvotes being hidden by default, and works can be sorted according to rating. They previously used their own fork of the Danbooru code called "Ouroboros", although when that fork became dated over the years, the site launched a new version of e621 that's based on the current version of Danbooru. They type tags by species alongside the more standard artists, characters, copyright, and general tags. From 2015 onward, they also curate all artwork that get posted there, implementing relatively strict "minimum quality standards" that all relevant content* must meet in order to be accepted. Both this and the site's (albeit, very effective) "tag-what-you-see" policy (especially with regards to tagging genders) have been met with much criticism by ex-users and artists. After a major site update on March 2020, they now also have categories for "meta" tags (for technical details about the post's file itself, such as its resolution) and "lore" tags (for things that cannot be covered by tag-what-you-see and correct information that TWYS otherwise provides wrongly, such as relations between characters and especially a character's canonical gender or gender identity).note They also both have strangely close-knit communities, with plenty of in-jokes within them both; hell, the boorus' names are in-jokes in of themselves.
- Sankaku Channel: The booru section of anime tabloid site Sankaku Complex. Allows practically anything anime, manga or game-related, including doujinshi and artbook scans, and has a massive catalogue of images; around the same number as TBIB, if not more. By default, Channel allows all users to continually scroll down, steadily loading all the images in the tag until they reach the very first one, instead of requiring them to change pages. However, this may make the site slower on low-end machines. Not suitable for direct linking due to NSFW images and ads.note
- Idol Complex: Sankaku Complex's second booru. Features the same system as Channel, but it exclusively hosts AV idols and erotic cosplays. Of course, it's not suitable for direct linking either.
- Konachan: Repository of Anime wallpapers powered by the Moebooru software. Uses both an unfiltered (NSFW) .com domain and a filtered safe for work .net domain.
- Draw Friends, a booru for art by drawfags from 4chan's /a/ board.
- The /co/llection, a booru for art by drawfags from 4chan's /co/ board.
- IIChan.ru Archive is a booru for art of all kinds from the Russian-language imageboard IIChan. Ads very NSFW and so are some of the images, so you should probably not link there. It's also currently dead.
- Sakugabooru, a booru for notable moments of Animation Bump from numerous Japanese and western productions. Relies heavily more on video clips than it does images, but follows a similar mindset.
- Vinebooru, a booru dedicated to fanart for the video game streaming site/team Vinesauce, generally SFW, due to rules being in place prohibiting users from uploading NSFW content (as the Vinesauce streamers typically show off art from the booru at the end of each stream). However, this rule only really covers hard NSFW content, i.e. sexually explicit material, graphic violence, and racist content; soft NSFW material such as heavy swearing and non-explicit sexual references pops up on the site here and there, though the rules had to get stricter during the late 2010's to crack down on bad behavior on the site (most significantly enforcing a focus on more recent streams— though art based on older material is allowed if it's only done on rare occasions— and against submissions that could make the streamers and/or viewers uncomfortable).
- Soft Pork Booru: An image board (complete with a Punny Name) exclusively dedicated to South Park fanart. Needless to say, it has some heavy NSFW stuff. It was eventually deleted in 2021 by the staff for being inactive for more than 4 years.
- Etrianbooru, a booru which hosts exclusively fanarts of the Dungeon Crawling franchise Etrian Odyssey.
- Temmie Village, a booru dedicated to fanart of Undertale. Dead for some time.
- ProtonJon has the Protonbooru, which is featured on his streams in segments known as the Art Block. Since the art posted is showed on stream, NSFW is discouraged in order to comply with Twitch policy. The art would either reference the games played and/or feature antics from residents of the Jonaverse.
- booru.soy, a booru for soyjak memes (caricatures of people generally characterized by being Deliberately Monochrome, having wide open mouths, stubbles, glasses, and baldness). Some pics are NSFW and tagged appropriately, but not always, and often contain other 4chan-level content some may find objectionable.