4Chan Is For Anime Where Do You Think You Are Japanese Glossary For Image Board Users

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Japanese Glossary For Image Board Users

Image boards have become a popular online pastime in recent years. If you’ve been to places like 4chan, 7chan, and the like, you’ve seen a unique culture that combines illustrated and photographic art from Western and Japanese culture. After browsing these places for a while, it starts to become clear that Japanese and English are mixed so much that you need a foot in each culture to understand what’s going on.

So here’s a guide to the most common Japanese words you’ll find in the world of image boards. Keep in mind that these countries are mostly populated by fans of anime, manga and video games, so most of the terms are related to this culture.

tilt – Japanese animation. All animated cartoons originating from Japan.

baka – A fool, or art representing folly. Disney’s character Goofy would be considered baka.

Bancho – A delinquent or rebellious boy.

burden – A gay man, or art that attracts or depicts gay men.

beast – A beautiful young woman, older than adolescence but younger than university age.

Bukkake – A fetish for disordered sex, and art depicting this fetish.

buriko – An adult pretending to be a child. Features in art depicting age play.

-chan – A suffix meaning “regarding;” also a Japanese honor.

chibi – A short, small person or a very small child. Also a specific anime/manga drawing style, making a character look dwarfed or distorted. Western cartoon elves can be considered chibi.

cosplay – Dress up activity as your favorite anime/mange character. It is often done at comic book conventions and other fan events.

desu – A short Japanese word connecting a noun and verb, literally translated as “is”. Imageboards have taken this on as a meme, often repeating “desu desu desu”, for various reasons, including to tease newbies or stubbornly continue an argument.

doujinshi – Self-published work. The desktop self-publishing equivalent for manga.

ecchi – General term for sexual material.

futanari – Hermaphrodites, or art depicting hermaphrodites. Half male half female.

gaiden – Side or supplementary material. On image boards, gaiden would be several four-panel cartoons of manga characters, depicting events not accounted for in the manga itself. A side story or spin-off.

stone – Very crude pornography depicting extreme injury, maiming or death. The manga equivalent of “sniffing porn”.

hentai – Erotic bondage manga. Most Japanese erotica illustrations fall into this category.

hikikomori – An otaku taken to the next level: a loner and outsider whose only interest is anime/manga fandom. The equivalent of a Western “cellar chest”, suggesting only a neurotic, unhealthy degree of obsession and isolation.

it was – The subculture of decorating a vehicle with drawings of manga/anime characters.

josei – An attractive manga genre for adult women. The equivalent of Western soap operas.

kaitou – A mysterious one. the elusive thief. Also someone with ghost-like aspects. A secretive person who lives in the shadows. The equivalent of the western rogue or hobbit.

whopper – A Japanese sword. About 99% of the time you see ninjas and samurai with swords, they appear using katanas.

kawaii – Meeting the Japanese standard for “cute”.

kawaii – A cute kid.

you have – Originally a style of sculpture used to depict the Buddha. Unlike the more popular (to the West) vision of the Buddha as a cheerful, smiling fellow, Japanese Buddhas are thin and serious.

lolicon – A slang term shared between Japanese and Western culture, for the preference for child-like depictions of women.

manga – Japanese comic books. All graphic, printed media of a cartoon nature originating in Japan.

Mangaka – A manga creator. Japanese for “cartoonist”.

Manzai – A style of humor involving a comic duo of a “straight man” and a “funny man”. In Western culture, Abbot and Costello would be considered manzai.

mechanisms – Anime or manga involving large, armored, warrior robots, usually piloted by a human inside.

meganekko – Attraction to girls who wear glasses. Anime or manga depicting “geeky” girls.

miko – A female servant in the temple. Equivalent to a western nun.

moe – A slang term for an anime or manga fan, or attraction to anime and manga characters.

something – A kitten or a cat, especially when shown as cute. Also applies to depicting a woman in a cat costume, or half-human-half-cat.

oekaki – Scribbles and scribbles. Amateur fan art.

ooo – A high class or wealthy woman.

omorashi – A urination fetish. The equivalent of western “water sports”.

they – A demon or evil spirit.

orange – A man who is on the other hand aggressive and restrained, and sweet and charming.

otaku – A very strong fan of manga, anime or video games. More serious than moe, not as serious as hikikomori.

pokemon – Japan’s most famous anime/manga/video game franchise.

sakura – A cherry blossom. A very common artistic subject in Japan.

seine – An attractive manga genre for grown men. The male equivalent of josei.

sense – A teacher or master.

sentai – Japanese superheroes. It also refers to military heroes; in the West, Hercules and GI Joe would both fall under the sentai category.

shibari – Japanese slavery, which involves rope slavery raised into a complicated and specialized art form.

shinigami – A Japanese angel of death, in mythology. The western equivalent of the “grim reaper”, although shinigami are a whole class of entities rather than just one.

see – An attractive manga genre for young women and girls. The younger equivalent of josei.

shine – An attractive manga genre for young people and boys. Usually action and adventure stories.

shotacon – Japanese version of “boy love”, depicting young boys in an erotic context. The male version of lolicon.

sukeban – A delinquent or rebellious girl.

now – A suffix meaning a character used as a mascot for a product. For example, the characters used to represent different computer operating systems are “OS-tans”.

tsundere – A woman who is on the other hand aggressive and restrained, and sweet and charming.

yakuza – Japanese gangs and gangsters. Organized crime. The equivalent of the western mafia.

yandere – A psychotic stalker. A genre of Japanese manga/anime that depicts shy, quiet people who become smitten to the point of obsessing over someone, eventually becoming violent and abusive, possibly even murderous.

yaoi – Japanese manga/anime depicting male homosexuals but intended for females. In the West, if you made fiction specifically about “fags,” it would be called yaoi.

the jury – A lesbian, or art that attracts or depicts gay women.

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