Terminology 101 Anime & Manga Addition

Are you new to the world of anime, and manga? Not sure what some of these wacky terms like, otaku, moe, waifu, and baka mean! Fear not my new friend for your senpai is here to help guide you with anime, and manga terminology 101.  I am going to compile a list of common terms that I think every anime, and manga fan should. These common terms I list will be based off my opinion of what is common. Meaning you may not think that a certain word is a common term, but my friend it is okay. Why? Because we all have different opinions, and views.

Common Anime and Manga Terminology

Otaku (Noun)

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Definition:  a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills. ( Source Dictionary)

Origins: Japanese, literally ‘your house’, in formal speech also meaning ‘you’, used by some anime and manga fans as an affectedly formal way of addressing others with similar interests. ( Source Dictionary)

Moe (Slang)

Image result for moe anime

Definition: a Japanese slang loanword that refers to feelings of strong affection mainly towards characters (usually female) in anime, manga, video games, and other media directed at the otaku market. Often a moe character is viewed as cute, or huggable! (Source Wiki)

Origins: The word moe originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Japan and is of uncertain origin, although there are several theories on how it came into use. Moe characters have expanded through Japanese media, and have contributed positively to the Japanese economy. (Source Wiki)

Waifu (Slang)

Image result for waifu meme

Definition:  A fictional female character from non-live-action visual media (typically an anime, manga or video game) to whom one is attracted. (Source Wiki)

Origins: From Japanese  (waifu, “wife”), from English wife. (Source Wiki)

Baka (Noun)

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Definition: “Baka” is the most common Japanese swear word. The baka meaning usually translates to foolish or stupid. But it can take on a whole range of meanings depending on context, relationship, and other factors. (Source Tofugu)

Origins: Although the origins of baka are uncertain, Japanese scholars have proposed various etymologies and folk etymologies. The two most widely cited are a Classical Chinese idiom and a loanword from Sanskrit. (Source Wiki)


Image result for DOUJINSHI

Definition: is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines, manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the work of amateurs, though some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular industry. (Source Wiki)

Origins: The term dōjinshi is derived from dōjin (literally “same person”, used to refer to a person or people with whom one shares a common goal or interest) and shi ( a suffix generally meaning “periodical publication”). (Source Wiki)


Image result for ecchi

Definition: an often used slang term in the Japanese language for playfully sexual actions. As an adjective, it is used with the meaning of “sexy”, “dirty” or “naughty”; as a verb, ecchi wo suru , with the meaning to have sex; or as a noun, to describe someone of lascivious behavior. It is perhaps softer than the Japanese word ero (from Eros), and does not imply perversion in the way hentai does. (Source wiki)

Origins: The word ecchi has been adopted by fans of Japanese media to describe works with sexual overtones. In Japanese, the word ecchi is often used to describe a person’s conduct, but in fandom, it has come to be used to refer to softcore or playful sexuality, as distinct from the word hentai, which connotes perversion or fetishism. Works described as ecchi do not show sexual intercourse or genitalia, but sexual themes are referenced. Ecchi themes are a type of fan service, and can be found in most comedy shōnen and seinen manga and harem anime. (Source Wiki)

Fan Service 

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Definition: is material in a work of fiction or in a fictional series which is intentionally added to please the audience. The term originated in Japanese, in the anime and manga fandom, but has been used in other languages and media. ( Source Wiki)

Origins: a term originating from anime and manga fandom for material in a series which is intentionally added to please the audience. It is about “servicing” the fan – giving the fans “exactly what they want”. Fan service usually refers to “gratuitous titillation”, but can also refer to intertextual references to other series (Source Wiki)


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Definition: s a mostly derogatory slang term for a Western person who is obsessed with Japanese culture, especially anime, often regarding it as superior to all other cultures. (Source Dictionary)

Origins: The word weeaboo came about as a alternative for the term Wapanese, a blend of white or wannabe with Japanese. Wapanese was used extensively on the website 4chan in the early 2000s to insult white people who were deemed overly fond of and biased towards Japanese culture, particularly popular exports like anime, manga, and hentai. The abusive term was added to the online Racial Slur Database in 2004. (Source Dictionary)


Image result for nani ?!

Definition: The word nani in Japanese literally means “what.”

Origins: Nan is used before particles. A particle is a word that shows the relationship of a word, phrase, or clause to the rest of the sentence. Particles are added to the end of sentences to express the speaker or writer’s emotions, such as doubt, emphasis, caution, hesitation, wonder, or admiration. You might use nan with a phrase such as /の, /で (which means “of the” and is pronounced no de) and verb da/desu (打/です ), meaning “it is hitting” or “it is striking.”

Nani is used before: /か (meaning “or” and pronounced as ka) and /に (meaning “into a” and pronounced as ni).

Be careful when you use nan because, for example, if you use nan before ka (/か), which means “or,” it would sound like the word nanka (なんか), which means “things like.” Another example would be if you were to use nan with ni (/に), it would be nanni (なんに), meaning “why,” but this sounds very much like nannimo (なんにも), which translates as “nothing at all.” ( Source Thoughco)


Image result for KAWAII anime

Definition: is the culture of cuteness in Japan. It can refer to items, humans and nonhumans that are charming, vulnerable, shy and childlike. Examples include cute handwriting, certain genres of manga, and Hello Kitty. (Source Wiki)

Origins: The word kawaii originally derives from the phrase kao hayushi, which literally means “(one’s) face (is) aglow,” commonly used to refer to flushing or blushing of the face (Source Wiki)

Image result for cute anime header

Disclaimer: I did not write out any of the definitions, or origins for I wanted to provide as accurate information as possible! Plus I  was to lazy to summarize ! However, it isn’t cool to take credit for something you didn’t write. That is why i made sure to source out the above information! 

I could list out more words, but I do not want to overload your brain! I hope this helps those new, and old to the anime and manga world. It helps when understand terms you constantly hear. Thank you  for reading!


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