Words Every Anime Fan Needs to Know…or at least should

If you’re watching anime or reading manga, you might come across some words and terms that you’re unfamiliar with. If you’re new to the anime fandom, this list might help you understand it a little bit more.

Words Every Anime Fan Needs to Know

OTP

OTP Stands for One True Pairing or OH THE PAIN. Really, it’s the first one but there’s not much difference in them. Generally, you pick two characters that you like and want them to be together or “ship” them together. They become your OTP.

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Canon

Canon is what the author and creator of the show has actually shown or written. Us fans like to come up with head-canon’s all day but they haven’t been confirmed by the creator. Usually, a canon will be if someone stays alive or not in a series or if a couple ends up together.

Weeaboo/Weeaboos

Weeaboos, known back in the day as Wapanese or “wannabe Japanese,” are anime fans who aren’t just in it for the anime. They’re in it for what they’ve decided is Japanese culture. They wear kimonos incorrectly, call everything “kawaii!” or “sugoi!” and seem to think that Japanese cuisine consists exclusively of Pocky and ramen. They definitely want to move to Japan, because it’s just like real life anime, right?

Senpai

senpai is an upperclassman who mentors an underclassman. This term is used most often in English in reference to anime and manga. Used more broadly to mean “teacher” or “master.”

words every anime fan should know. Haruhi ouran high school host club funny

Otaku

The term “otaku” meaning probably “venerable house,” refers to someone who has a devotion to a subject or hobby (not necessarily anime) to the point of not leaving home. For instance, an otaku fan of a particular movie star could quite possibly know all of the films s/he has been in, their birth date, time of birth, shoe size, favorite toothpaste, etc.

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Generally speaking, calling someone an otaku in Japan is an insult.  

More Words Every Anime Fan Should Know

Kawaii

An adjective in Japanese meaning ” pretty; cute; lovely; charming; dear; darling; pet” It is commonly used by anime and manga fans.
Horrendously overused by fangirls on anything chibi. ANYTHING. Because they feel the need to repeat the three Japanese words they know OVER AND OVER.

Tsundere

Tsundere  is a Japanese term for a character development process that describes a person who is initially cold (and sometimes even hostile) before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time

Yandere

Yandere  is defined as strongly and deeply exhausted, infatuated, head-over-heels, or lovestruck.

Chibi

Chibi is a Japanese slang word describing something short (a thing, an animal or a person).

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Words every anime fan needs to know. Ceil black butler

Shōnen

a genre of Japanese comics and animated films aimed primarily at a young male audience, typically characterized by action-filled plots.

OVA

Short for Original Video Animation. 
OVA’s often contain special extra episodes, marketed to fans who may have seen an entire series but are hungry for more. 

Sugoi

Japanese equivalent of either “awesome” or “awful”. Most frequently used to mean the former, at least among westerners.

Ecchi

Ecchi is 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”.

Loli

Loli refers to the Japanese media pertaining to the attraction of young looking cute girls that blend slightly erotic characteristics.

Hentai

a subgenre of the Japanese genres of manga and anime, characterized by overtly sexualized characters and sexually explicit images and plots.

Moe

(in the context of Japanese popular culture) the quality in a fictional female character of being youthfully innocent and vulnerable in an idealized way, perceived as eliciting feelings of affection.

Yaoi


Yaoi, also known as Boys’ Love, is a narrative featuring a romance or relationship between two or more males.

Yuri

A narrative or visual work featuring a romance or sexual relationship between two or more females

You Might Like: Homosexuality and LGBT Relationships in Yuri on Ice

Fan Service

is material in a work of fiction or in a fictional series which is intentionally added to please the audience. It is about “servicing” the fan – giving the fans “exactly what they want.

AMV

An anime music video (AMV), typically is a fan-made music video consisting of clips from one or more Japanese animated shows set to songs.

Doujinshi

Dōjinshi is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually manga or novels. They are often the work of amateurs.

Bishie

Short for bishounen, translated roughly meaning “pretty boy.” Used for attractive male anime characters, and sometimes real life. Generally, they are sort of girlish looking.

What did you think? Did you already know some or most of these words? Let us know your favorite words to use as an anime fan!

As always,

Keep Smiling!

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thenerdygirlnews
SEO Marketing Analyst who spends her time watching anime and reading anything she can get her hands on. Passionate about Disney, Harry Potter and helping those with depression and anxiety.

2 Comments

  1. […] All Hail Haruhi  Yomu  That Random Editor (who I think I owe one of these to.) Le Fenette  The Traditional Catholic Weeb  TheNerdyGirlNews  […]

  2. David Boone (moonhawk81)
    David Boone (moonhawk81)

    Oni–demonic being your wife turns into when she finds you watching anime instead of working on that “Honey-do” list she gave you.

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