Here's some Japanese words that you'll come across in this site and others. I've really tried to limit how many foreign words I've used, but a few of the basics couldn't be avoided.

I would like girls of all ages to be able to visit this website. Many internet users have protection software that prohibits them from accessing sites with certain content. Some of these programs filter by searching for keywords on the Web. To avoid being mistakenly added to such a program's list of taboo sites, I have spelled out some words phonetically. Just sound them out to read.

anime (ah-nee-meh)
In Japan, this is the nickname for the English word "animation" which, in Japanese, would be pronounced "ah-nee-meh-shown". The Japanese use this word for all animation. In the English-speaking world, anime has been adapted to refer to only Japanese animation.
manga (mahn-gah)
Literally reads "irresponsible pictures", but has come to mean Japanese comics.
shoujo (shoh-oo-joh)
"Young girl". In the context shoujo manga, it means "girl's comics", of course!
josei (joh-seh-ee)
"Lady". In the manga/anime realm, it refers to stories that are made for young women.
bishoujo (bee-shoh-oo-joh)
"Beautiful girl". In anime, manga, and gaming, any female character who is very pretty. Anime series based on boy's video games may focus on bishoujo characters.
bishounen (bee-shoh-oo-nehn)
"Beautiful boy". (1) In anime, manga, and gaming, any male character who has what could be considered feminine features - such as long hair, long eyelashes, a finely-sculpted face, or delicate body build. There is not a specific definition of which characters are bishounen and which are not. It's generally up to the interpretation of the viewer. (2) A genre of shoujo series that focuses on bishounen characters or has many of them in the supporting roles.
bidanshi (bee-dahn-shee)
"Beautiful man". In anime, manga, and gaming, male characters who have what could be considered feminine features are usually referred to as bishounen by Western fans. However, in Japan people only use the word bishounen for young men such as those in their teens. Characters who are too old to be called boys are referred to as bidanshi or, less often, bikei (bee-keh-ee).
mahou shoujo (mah-hoh-oo shoh-oo-joh)
"Magic girl", or "magical girl". (1) Any female character who has magical powers while living in a non-magical environment; she is in her teens or childhood. (2) The genre of stories about such girls.
In Japan famous and popular singers, voice actors, and actors are called "aidoru", written as "idol". Obviously, this term is taken from the meaning of something one worships. The fans are saying they really adore the artists.
kaitou (kah-ee-toh-oo)
"Mysterious theif". A character that is a theif who works covertly, often seen as very mysterious to the general public.
hentai (hen-tah-ee)
Literally "pehr-vehr-tehd", but has also come to describe series that contain sehk-shew-al content. Both meanings are somewhat interchangeable.
ecchi (eh-chee)
Literally, the Japanese pronunciation of the English letter "H", which was used to stand for the word hentai. Now it has come into its own meaning of series that contain sehk-shew-al in-new-ehn-doh or new-dih-tee.
shounen ai (shoh-oo-nehn ah-ee)
"Boy love", or "boy's love". A genre within shoujo, it refers to series that focus on male-male relationships or feelings.
yaoi (yah-oh-ee)
An acronym for "yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi", or "no mountain (climax), no point, no meaning". A genre within shounen ai, it refers to series that focus on male-male sehk-shew-al relationships.
yuri (yuu-ree)
Literally, "lily". Refers to series that focus on female-female relationships and feelings. This used to always be a hentai genre within boy's series (not under the name yuri), but there are stories in shoujo nowadays.

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This page was updated on November 1, 2001 by Stephanie
This page was created on September 6, 1999 by Stephanie