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Anime Glossary

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

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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Content copyright © 2014 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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