Anime Glossary

Anime Glossary
This is a glossary of some of the most commonly used terms in anime.

Anime: a Japanese word for animation; it is used by Western fans to refer to animation produced in Japan

Baka: a term that is heard often in anime as an insult. It can be used to mean "stupid," "fool," or "idiot"

BGM: Background music

Bishojo: beautiful girl

Bishonen: beautiful boy

Catgirl: a female cat-human hybrid character; this is generally a cute girl with catlike ears and sometimes a tail

Chibi: a commonly used alternate term for super deformed; however, this technically is not correct. "Chibi" is a Japanese word meaning "small child" or "dwarf"

Con: short for convention, and usually applies to anime conventions

Cosplay: this is short for "Costume Play"; a practice of dressing up as one’s favorite anime character

Ecchi or Etchi: humorously indecent, and usually involves gratuitous nudity or sexual innuendo; ecchi/etchi is milder than hentai

Eyecatch: the visual in anime that comes before and after an advertising break; it visually summarizes the show's nature and features the main characters

Face fault: an exaggeration of facial features to convey extreme shock or surprise

Fan service: this usually refers to unnecessary things thrown into a story to capture the interest of adolescent male fans; it can also refer to anything unrelated to a story but included to please fans (such as fancy outfits and cute animals)

Fansub: a fan-subtitled production, the term is usually used for those properties where these are the only translations of less popular anime titles

Hammerspace: when an angry woman summons a mallet from nowhere and strikes someone with it

Henshin: a transformation scene, most often seen in Magical Girl anime

Hentai: Japanese word meaning "perverted"

Hime: princess

Josei: anime that is targeted at young women

Kawaii: a Japanese word meaning "cute," it also refers to character designs

Kodomo: anime that is targeted at all children, regardless of gender

Magical Girl: this term refers to a specific genre featuring young girls with some sort of magical power

Mahou Shoujo: Japanese for "Magical Girl"

Manga: is usually used to mean Japanese comic books

Mecha: short for mechanical, and refers to technology ranging from guns to vehicles to giant robots

Mobile Suit: powered armor, and is a human-piloted robotic flying machine; this is a subset of mecha

Neko: cat

OAV / OVA: short for Original Animation Video / Original Video Animation; this refers to anime made specifically for direct-to-video release

OST: Original soundtrack

Otaku: in anime, it refers to someone obsessed with a particular hobby

Sakura: Japanese word for "cherry blossoms." In anime, cherry blossoms are a symbol of death.

Seinen: anime that is targeted at teenage boys and young adult males

Seiyuu: a Japanese term for voice actor or actress

Sensei: a term often heard in anime when a student is addressing a teacher, or when an underclassman is addressing an upperclassman at school

Settei: the preparatory line work used by animators as a design reference at the beginning of an anime project

Shojo: anime that is targeted at young girls

Shonen: anime that is targeted at young boys

Super deformed: a style of anime where characters are drawn in an exaggerated fashion

Sweat drop: a visual stylization used in anime; when a character feels embarrassed, perplexed, or self-conscious, a large tear-shaped drop will appear near their face or head

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You Should Also Read:
What is Anime?
Children and Anime
Anime History: The Beginning

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