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Useful Notes / Anime Fanspeak

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Terms used by anime fandom (not all of which are real Japanese words). The links on the left lead to definitions of the term. The links to the right go to the more general term, which is where the examples go.

See also: Japanese Media Tropes and Visual Novel Fanspeak


Anime Demographics

Anime Genres

For a more comprehensive list, see the page Anime Genres.

Character Types

Fandom Terms

  • Ahegao → The Immodest Orgasm, more specifically, a close-up of someone's 'O face'. While the term originated among viewers of Hentai, it abruptly experienced Memetic Mutation in the mid-2010s through a large number of Image Macros based on clips or stills from Hentai and Ecchi anime and manga. These began to go mainstream as image macros from non-ecchi series started showing up in similar context depicting them as Accidental Innuendo, which fed back into itself as references to the meme started to show up in ecchi series themselves. This has led to a mixture of tittering and eye-rolling from various fans.
  • Baka → Just the Japanese word for "dummy" or "idiot".
  • Boys' Love Notes → Contains a list of fanspeak terms commonly used in Yaoi.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl → A girl who really likes to play dress-up.
  • Dark History (Kuro Rekishi) → An embarrassing time in someone's past which they would rather forget, or a collection of works they created in that time. Originates from ∀ Gundam, where "The Dark History" referred to The Beforetimes and investigating it was considered taboo.
  • Densha Otaku → A major fan of trains.
  • Doujin → Amateur works created by a "doujin circle" and distributed through Fan Conventions, most famously Comiket. Are often, but not always, Fan Works based on an existing property. Doujin are a popular medium for novice creative types to gain experience, as well as for professionals to produce works that they couldn't release commercially. Many are published only once, though a number of specialist reseller shops have sprung up which cater to collectors.
  • Fujoshi → The stereotypical female yaoi fan. Literally means "rotten woman".note  Male yaoi fans are sometimes referred to as fudanshi ("rotten man"). The yuri counterparts are himejoshi ("princess girl") and himedanshi ("princess boy").
  • Fuku Fic → A fanfic of Ranma ½ that features Ranma wearing a Sailor Fuku akin to those in Sailor Moon, possibly including a Crossover between the two series.
  • Gaijin → "Foreigner", i.e. a non-Japanese person. Currently gaikokujin ("foreign national") is considered the more politically correct term within Japan, but foreign anime fans freely apply it to themselves due to N-Word Privileges.
  • Kawaisa → Japanese cuteness
  • Lolicon and Shotacon (Lolita Complex and Shotarou Complex) → An adult romantically or sexually attracted to "lolis" (young or young-looking girls) or "shotas" (the same for boys), respectively. English usage is usually restricted to people who like fictional characters (even In-Universe); in Japanese they sometimes include attraction to real children as well, but as slang terms they have less bite than "pedophile" and are more likely to be flung around as a joke. As for the terms loli and shota themselves, reactions vary on applying them to fictional characters, but applying them to real-life children is generally considered creepy just about anywhere (for simplicity, TVTropes requests tropers to avoid using them regardless of situation). Not to be confused with Lolita Fashion and derived terms such as goth-loli, or with guys actually named things like Shouta or Shotarou.
  • Menhera → "Mental healther", i.e. a person with mental health problems. Generally implies that someone is hard to deal with but also sympathetic. Does not refer to any condition in particular, but is most strongly associated with acute stress, avoidant personality disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.
  • Nakama → In anime speak, a group of mostly unrelated people that have bonded into something like a family. Not used that way in actual Japanese, where it typically just denotes allies or teammates.
  • "Notice Me, Senpai!" → a character wanting the approval and affection of an older or more experienced character; can apply to either a "Well Done, Son" Guy or someone who is suffering from Unrequited Love (or even Mad Love). Often describes someone who is a Yandere, especially the Stalker with a Crush typenote . Generally used derisively, as it implies that they are acting mainly out of insecurity rather than love.
  • Occidental OtakuAffectionate Parody of non-Japanese fans of Japanese stuff.
  • Otaku → Hardcore nerd. English anime fans adopted the term to refer to themselves, but it is not a compliment in Japan — over there, the word carries the connotation of someone who's let their love for something go to unhealthy and obsessive extremes.
  • Otaku O'Clock → the Watershed
  • Pettanko → Flat-chested character, normally always that of a girl's chest. A Fan Nickname is DFC (Delicious Flat Chest) on imageboards.
  • Sakuga → Literally just "animation", but used by English speakers to mean a scene in anime with especially detailed and high-effort animation, possibly through conflation with positive uses of sasuga ("just what I'd expect").
  • Takahashi CoupleBelligerent Sexual Tension
  • Tenchi SolutionMarry Them All, in which the protagonist of a Harem Series, instead of choosing one girl, chooses all of them.
  • Tensei → "Reincarnation"; appears frequently in the titles of isekai stories. Due to the genre's tendency towards Overly Long Names "<blank> Tensei" is also a common template for Fan Nicknames for such series.
  • Zettai Ryouiki → The area between the hem of a mini-skirt/hot pants and socks; also graded depending on socks length. Only considered "true" if it's thigh-high or overknee socks (grades A and B, respectively). Rank Inflation to Grade S happens by combining Grade A with Girlish Pigtails and Tsundere.

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