*terms you’re likely to see me use*
*not an exhaustive dictionary*
*a friend asked for this, so now you have it*
Bishie— Noun. Please see “Bishonen.”
Bishonen— Noun. This term literally means “beautiful boy” or “pretty boy,” and it is used for boys and young men in possession of beauty which, in the term’s Japanese origin, is said to transcend gender. In short, “that bishonen is as pretty as a girl.” However, I contest that portion of the definition, because men can be pretty without being compared to girls. I mean, come one. Does THIS look like a woman to you?
Bishoujo— Noun. Literally, “beautiful girl” or “pretty girl,” this term is used to describe girls or young women who are considered quite lovely.
Boy Love— Noun. A genre of anime focusing on the romantic relationships between boys or men, marketed at a female audience. Often confused with Yaoi by western audiences, but different none the less.
❤ Dandere— Noun. A character who is shy and reserved, perhaps appearing cold or aloof until getting to know someone. This character has feelings but doesn’t feel comfortable expressing them when a situation lacks familiarity.
❤ Deredere— Noun. A character who is easily excitable, overtly sweet, and excessively but genuinely loving, especially toward their romantic interest! An example of a deredere is Tamaki Suoh from “Ouran High School Host Club.”
Danmei– Noun. A genre of BL originating in China made for a straight female audience and idolizing deep (romantic) relationships between men. Their visual depictions rely on intimacy and care to suggest romance due in part to China’s censorship laws. (Written danmei is sometimes explicit, but such content is illegal in China.)
Donghua– Noun. Chinese animation/Chinese anime.
Fujioshi— Noun. A girl/woman who has an undeniable affinity for Boy Love or Yaoi, often obsessing over the genres.
Himedere— Noun. This title, reserved exclusively for female characters, references an individual who insists on being treated like a princess. Traditionally, they are fairly obnoxious. For the male version, please see “Oujidere.”
❤ Ikemen— Noun. A man of indiscriminate age (but clearly a man rather than boy) in possession of cool, masculine looks enough to make women positively swoon. Morioka Hajime from “Collar x Malice” is a fine example.
Josei— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at adult women, it often features realistic romantic situations or general drama. Josei may include comedy as subgenre. One example of a Josei title is “Princess Jellyfish.”
❤ Kuudere— Noun. A character who doesn’t express emotion readily even amongst friends, often appearing cold or uncaring. Characters’ kuudere nature vary; while some kuudere are simply unemotional, others suppress their emotions because they cannot understand or label them, thus having no idea how to proceed but with perceived or true indifference. Some kuudere suppress all emotion; fewer suppress only serious emotion.
Light Novels— A style of Japanese novel primarily targeting a young adult demographic, generally middle- and highschoolers.
Megane— Noun. An attractive male anime character (often a bishonen) with glasses. There are several varieties from “stoic spectacles” to “bespectacled bastard boyfriend.” For more information, please click the link here.
One True Pair— Noun. A One True Pair is a pairing (see Ship) that has become your favorite in a given fandom. The jury is out as to whether or not one may have multiple One True Pairs, or if the name itself suggests its absolute singularity. In example, I ship various characters in “Fullmetal Alchemist” including EdWin and LingFan, but my One True Pair is Royai.
❤ Otome— Noun. Literally a “maiden game,” otome is a story-driven game genre marketed to females; aside from the traditional plot goal, otome often includes the additional directive of developing a romantic relationship with the player’s choice of bishonen selected from among a reverse harem. An example of an otome game is “Mystic Messenger.”
❤ Otoge— Noun. An abbreviated term indicating “otome game.” Please see “Otome.”
OTP— Noun. Please see “One True Pair.”
Oujidere— Noun. This title is reserved exclusively for male characters and references an individual who insists on being treated like a prince. Traditionally, they are fairly pompous. An example of an oujidere is Ciel Phantomhive from “Black Butler.” For the female version, please see “Himedere.”
Seinen— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at older adolescent boys and adult men, it often features complicated or psychological plots. It includes various subgenres such as horror and mystery. An example of a seinen series is “Steins;Gate.”
Ship— Noun. This term refers to the two characters being paired together by a fan during the act of shipping. Often, ships will be given fan names. In example, the ship of Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from “Fullmetal Alchemist” is oft referred to as Royai, while the ship of Hijikata Toshizo and Yukimura Chizuru from “Hakuouki” is referred to as HijiChi. Additionally, puns can be made regarding the term, such as (upon your ship finally becoming cannon), “My ship has sailed!”
Shipping— Adjective. Taken from the word “relationship,” it is the act of a fan pairing two characters together romantically, whether or not that pairing (see ship) is canonical (cannon). In example, many people ship Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from “Fullmetal Alchemist.” Forms are: to ship, have shipped, am shipping.
Shonen— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at a young male audience, shonen titles are often adapted from light novels. “Attack on Titan” is an example of a shonen title.
Shoujo— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at girls and young women, it frequently (abet, not always) features idealized romance and quite often literally sparkles.
Tsundere— Noun. A character who appears cold (or even cruel) on the outside to mask their mashed potato heart. In example, Hijikata Toshizo of “Hakuouki” infamy is a tsundere, as is Taiga of “Toradora.”
Tsun-tsun— Noun. Please see “Tsundere.”
Yandere— Noun. Oh, gosh, someone help you. A character to appears normal (or even endearing/appealing) before suddenly turning into a possessive psychopath over their “true love.” A yandere may resort to locking the object of their obsession in a dog crate or literally killing their romantic competition. *”Amnesia Memories” spoilers* Toma from the anime and otome game “Amnesia Memories” is a classic example of a yandere.
❤ Yaoi— Noun. Often confused with Boy Love by western audiences, this is a genre of anime focusing on the sexual relationships between boys and men, marketed at a female audience.
21 thoughts on “What did Shoujo Say? A Guide to Anime Terminology”
Thanks for the guide!
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You are most welcome!! 😀
Just like you, I ship EdWin!! 🙂
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I don’t know how I just discovered this page, but I appreciate its existence very much.
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Haha, I’m glad!
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