Here’s a basic glossary of the terms (in alphabetical order) I have used in my posts (and extra) that some might people might not be familiar with. Many of the definitions are from Wikipedia and other sources. If you think I’ve gotten any of them wrong or would like me to add any words, please tell me. I’ll be sure to correct or add it in.
Please note that even though the dictionary and standard meaning of each individual word and term might be the same, the meaning and standard at which people understand the word or term might be different. For e.g. An ‘Otaku’ is a derogatory term to a lot of Japanese, but other people are fine with it.
Anime, アニメ – Japanese Animation. Avatar the Last Airbender is NOT an anime.
Aniblog – A general term for blogs that post anime reviews. Aniblogger is a term used to address the bloggers themselves.
Anthology – A published collection of works from different authors and/or artists.
Bishounen, 美少年 – A Japanese term that literally translates into “Beautiful youth (boy)”.
Bunkobon, 文庫本 – Small-format paperback books, designed to be affordable and portable. A majority of bukobon are A6 in size, often illustrated and usually have a dust wrapper over a plain cover.
Cosplay – Short for Costume Play, is a performance art in which participants wear costumes and dress up in relevant accessories to represent a specific character (or sometimes fashion style). These people are known as Cosplayers.
Coscard – Short for Cosplay Card. These cards work like Name Cards for Cosplayers with photos of themselves in costume and social media + contact details so that they can be found online/credited accurately.
Cour – One of the four conventional three-month periods of television broadcasting in Japan based on season: Jan – Mar, Apr – Jun, Jul – Sep, Oct – Dec. For e.g. Jan – Mar is the First Cour of the year, Apr – Jun is the Second Cour, so on and so forth. Can also be used to describe a portion of a TV program aired over the course of 1 three-month season. For e.g. The first season of Hero Academia lasted one cour (13 episodes) while the first season of Gundam Iron-blooded Orphans lasted 2 cours (25 episodes).
Doujinshi, 同人誌 – A.k.a ‘Doujin’ or ‘DJ’. Fan made comics not published by an official publishing house.
Drama CD – Audio dramas
Ecchi, エッチ – A slang term used for ‘lewd’ or lascivious conduct. Commonly used to describe works with sexual overtones. In the Japanese language, it describes a person’s conduct. But when used in fandom, it refers to softcore or playful sexuality. ‘Ecchi’ works don’t show sexual intercourse or genitalia. Instead, sexual themes are hinted at, and much is left up to the imagination of the viewer. Ecchi themes are a type of fan service, and can be found often in comedy Shounen, Seinen and harem genres.
Fanfiction – A mix of the word ‘Fan’ and ‘Fiction’. Fictional stories written by fans of a particular series/trend/etc.
Fan Service – Material in a series which is intentionally added to please audiences. i.e. “Servicing” the fans and giving them “what they want”. Fan service usually refers to gratuitous titillation, for e.g Scantily-clad outfits, cleavage shots, panty shots, nude scenes (shower scenes), etc. It can sometimes also refer to references to other series and explosions etc. Basically stuff that make the viewer take notice, but usually suggestive images.
Fandom – The state of condition of being a fan of someone/something. Can also be defined as the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series and etc. regarded collectively as a community or subculture.
Fujoshi, 腐女子 – Translated to ‘Rotton girl’, is a Japanese slang for female fans who read/watch manga, anime or novels featuring relationships between two men. ‘Fudanshi, is the slang for Male fans.
Fudanshi, 腐男子 – Translated to ‘Rotton boy’, is a Japanese slang for Male fans who read/watch manga, anime or novels featuring relationships between two men. ‘Fujoshi’ is the more-commonly-known slang for Female fans.
Harem, ハーレム – A genre of anime/manga that defines a protagonist surrounded, usually amorously, by three or more members of love interests (whether of opposing sex or not). For opposing sexes, Harem commonly refers to a male-oriented harem, where the protagonist/male is surrounded by a group of females. When it is a female oriented harem, where the protagonist/girl is surrounded a group of males it is informally referred to as a Reverse Harem.
Josei, 女性 – Means ‘woman’. A genre mainly marketed towards older women aged 18 – 30 and portray more realistic romances and/or stories as compared to a more idealised romance/story portrayed by Shoujo manga. The male equivalent of Josei manga is Seinen manga.
Kaiju, 怪獣 – ‘Strange beast’ in Japanese. Kaiju is a film genre that features monsters, usually attacking a major Japanese city or engaging other monsters in battle. An example would be Godzilla. It is a subgenre of Tokusatsu entertainment.
Light Novel, ライトノベル – A style of Japanese novel primarily targeting the teenage to young adult demographic. They are typically not more than 40,000-50,000 words long, rarely more than a few hundred pages, often have dense publishing schedules, are usually published in small-format paperback form (Bunkobon size) and often illustrated. Chapters are sometimes serialised in anthology magazines or online before collection in book form. Sometimes referred to as Ranobe, ラノベ in the West.
Manga, 漫画 – Comics created in Japan, or by Japanese creators in the Japanese language. In this blog, the term ‘Manga’ is used to refer to Japanese comics.
Mangaka, 漫画家 – The author/artist of a manga
Manga Taisho, マンガ大賞 – An annual Japanese Manga award limited to series with 8 or less collected volumes, in order to promote newer titles. The official English name for the award is the ‘Cartoon Grand Prize’.
Manhua, 漫画 – Comics created by Chinese creators in the Chinese language or a dialect related to the language. In this blog, the term ‘Manhua’ is used to refer to Chinese comics.
Manhwa, 만화 – The general Korean term for comics and print cartoons. In this blog, the term ‘Manhwa’ is used to refer to Korean comics.
Mecha – Can refer to both scientific ideas and science fiction genres that center on robots or machines in general, whether manned or not. Mecha can be a genre described for Tokusatsu entertainment, Anime, Manga, and Games.
NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month – The blogging counterpart to the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). A month-long writing exercise where bloggers are challenged to publish a post every day of the month. No restrictions, entirely unenforceable, most often done in November.
Normie – A term sometimes used to describe someone whose life is not taken over by an obsession with manga, anime, games, comics or the like. This is dependant on who is saying it and who it refers to. For e.g. I would say my sister is a ‘Normie’, but that’s because she’s not obsessed with Manga or Anime. However, she’s pretty obsessed with K-pop. Thus, in her eyes, I’d probably be considered a ‘Normie’ outside of her fandom.
Oricon – Oricon is a holding company in Japan that supplies statistics and information on the music industry in Japan. The company also monitors and reports on sales of CDs, DVDs, video games, and entertainment content in several other formats; manga and book sales were also formerly covered. See Wikipedia.
Otaku, オタク – A person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills. Manga/Anime fans use this word in the context of being a well-established fan who knows much about anime and manga. Japanese see this term as derogatory representing a person who is a lifeless nerd and in extreme cases, a menace to society.
OVA – Original Video Animation. Can be interchangeable with OAV which stands for Original Animation Video. Used to refer to animation that is released directly to the video market without first going through a theatrical release or television broadcast.
Reverse Harem – (from ‘Harem‘) A genre of anime/manga that defines a protagonist surrounded, usually amorously, by three or more members of love interests (whether of opposing sex or not). When it is a female oriented harem, where the protagonist/girl is surrounded a group of males, it is informally referred to as a Reverse Harem. Harem, refers to a male-oriented harem, where the protagonist/male is surrounded by a group of females.
Shounen, 少年 – Means “boy” or “youth”. This genre is generally aimed towards a wide range of male audience, aged 10 to 42, with its primary target being from 10 to 18 year-olds. It is probably the most popular genre of manga and can include all sorts of genres ranging from action, slice of life, horror, and romance etc. The female equivalent of Shounen manga is Shoujo manga.
Shoujo, 少女 – Means “girl”. A genre marketed towards a female audience roughly aged between 10 – 18 years old, often with a strong focus on romantic emotions and relationships. A more idealised version of romance is portrayed as compared to it’s counterpart, Josei, that is aimed towards older women. The male equivalent of Shoujo manga is Shounen manga.
Seinen, 青年 – Means “young man/men”. A genre marketed towards an older male audience, roughly aged between 18 – 30 years old. Seinen have a wide variety of art styles and subject matter ranging from sports, games, business or action/adventure on to the erotic. Its content is for more mature audiences as compared to the Shounen genre. The female equivalent of Seinen manga is Josei manga.
Seiyuu, 声優 – A Japanese voice actor
Serialise – To publish in regular installments. Many manga are published in different magazines in Japan. These manga magazines contain several different series that are all running at the same time and can come out weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or even in much longer intervals. An example of a weekly manga magazine in Japan is Weekly Shounen Jump (WSJ).
Tankobon, 単行本 – Translated to “independent/standalone book”. The Japanese term for a book that is complete in itself and not part of a series or collection. In this case, it is used to refer to individual volumes of a single manga.
Tokusatsu, 特撮 – ‘Special filming’ in Japanese. Tokusatsu is a Japanese term that applies to any live-action film or television drama that features considerable use of special effects. Tokusatsu entertainment often deals with science fiction, fantasy or horror, but movies and television shows in other genres can sometimes count as Tokusatsu as well. An example of Tokusatsu entertainment would be Godzilla (which falls under the sub-genre of Kaiju), superhero TV serials like Kamen Rider, Mecha dramas like Giant Robo as well as Ultraman and Super Sentai.
Webcomic/Webtoon – A comic/cartoon posted on the World Wide Web (Internet)
Weeaboo – Short for Wapanese, a wannabe Japanese. Just like the term ‘otaku’ in Japan, this is a considered by many as a pretty derogatory term for fans of anime, manga, and Japanese games.