An Explanation of Japanese and Other Cultural Terms

Weaboo to English Dictionary

  • Weaboo: a derisive term for a non-Japanese fan of anime who uses excessive amounts of Japanese words, phrases or mannerisms and understands Japanese culture almost wholly through the lens of anime.

Episode 1

  • Bishie: short for Bishōnen (beautiful boy).
  • Shonen: boy, but in our podcast refers to anime and manga targeted at boys. The term specifically refers to the target demographic, but shonen works typically share many characteristics such as being action-oriented and focused on conflict. Examples include One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto.
  • Shojo: girl, but in our podcast refers to anime and manga targeted at girls. The term also refers specifically to the demographic being targeted, but shojo works frequently share many characteristics such as focusing on romance and character over plot. Examples include Sailor Moon, His and Her Circumstances, and Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • Seinen: male youth, but in our podcast refers to anime targeted at men older than high school age. Typically deals with more complex subject matter than shonen works and can have more profanity and sexual content. Examples include Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, and Black Lagoon.
  • Fujoshi: rotten girl. A self-mocking pejorative term for female fans of manga, anime, and novels that feature romantic relationships between men.
  • Gainax-ing: a term created by English-speaking anime fans referring to the large breasts thought to be prevalent in anime from the studio Gainax. Specifically refers to bouncing breasts in anime. This is not a joke.
  • Best girl: slang used by anime and manga fans to describe a favourite character.

Episode 3

  • Otome: Literally maiden; in this context story games (typically romantic in nature) marketed towards women.
  • Tsundere: an anime character archetype where a female character will hide their attraction to a romantic interest by treating their crush with disdain.
  • Harem anime: a subgenre of anime where the male protagonist is the sole object of desire for a group of female characters vying for his affection.
  • Reverse harem: a harem anime where the female protagonist is the one surrounded by male suitors.
  • Shouta:  Literally boy, but in this context male equivalent of Loli (or Lolicon; usually Shotacon.) See also reverse loli.
  • Loli: short for Lolita, which is to say an underage female character.
  • Reverse loli: Male equivalent of Loli. See also Shouta.
  • Self-insert character: a genre of fanfiction in which the writer literally inserts themself into the story; typically it is an idealized version of the writer but otherwise the character has the same name, appearance, and background.
  • -chan: Japanese honorific typically used as a term of endearment, but can be taken as disrespectful when used to indicate an inappropriate familiarity with the addressee.

Episode 4

  • Seinen: see above.

Episode 5

  • Moe: refers to the fetishization of feminine innocence in anime characters by fans of anime.

Episode 6

  • OVA: Original Video Animation, also known as OAV (Original Animated Video). Anime made directly for home video. This meant the work was not under constraints required of it to be released on TV or theatres, so there are graphically violent OVA (like Ninja Scroll) OVA are usually shorter than a TV anime series, though there are exceptions – most notably, the 110 episode Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
  • Twink: a term from gay subculture referring to a boyishly attractive young gay man.

Episode 9

  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Originally defined by Nathan Rabin as as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”

Episode 11

  • Shaggy dog story: a story with a long and rambling plot characterized by meaningless scenes and randomly appearing characters and which is revealed to be ultimately pointless.
  • Off model: a term in animation for instances in which a character’s appearance is accidentally different from what it is supposed to be (e.g, different hair colour, wrong jaw shape, too many fingers, missing eyes).
  • Frank Frazetta: a science fiction and fantasy artist known particularly for defining the classic look of sword and sorcery as muscular men fighting with swords while scantily clad women look on.
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