|wSep 30, 2008|
A Glossary of Anime-Related Terms
Because Sandy asked! If there's stuff I missed that you wanted me to address, let me know.
Although, I know there are people on my FL who can define these better than I. So, if you have input, please give it, and I'll edit/credit the post when needed.
I'll start with the popularity of this stuff. Someone once explained the pervasiveness of anime in Japan to me this way: It's like Star Wars is in the U.S. Some people are really freaky obsessed with it. Some people have sampled and enjoyed it, but don't get crazy about it. It's something that everyone has heard of, even if they haven't tried it themselves. Overall, taking part in the anime/manga subculture is a lot more socially acceptable than reading comic books is here in the U.S. Everyone, from CEOs to waitress to little kids, all read manga.
anime - The Japanese word for animation. Outside of Japan, it's used to describe movies and TV series that come from Japan. Avatar: The Last Airbender is not anime, because it comes from the U.S.
The images have to move on a screen of some kind. This term does not refer to the comics. Anime can be anything from a 30-second short to a full-length feature film to a 268-episode TV series. In Japan, anime is regularly broadcasted on TV in primetime slots.
manga - The Japanese word for comics. Manga (which is both the singular and plural form of the word) refers to the comic book. Manga is different from American comic books in that they're almost always printed in black and white.
If it's from Japan, it's manga. If it's from Korea, it's manhwa. If it's from China, it's manhua.
I've already posted extensively on the difference between manga and comics in this post.
shoujo/shojo - Anime/manga directed at girls. Usually, it focuses on emotions and relationships. Examples: Sand Chronicles, NANA, Cardcaptor Sakura
shounen/shonen - Anime/manga directed at boys. Usually, it focuses on action and camaraderie. Examples: Bleach, Naruto, Ranma 1/2
josei - Anime/manga directed at older women (not porn; that's addressed later) Examples: Honey & Clover, Tramps Like Us, Nodame Cantabile
seinen - Anime/manga directed at older men (not porn; that's addressed later) Examples: Hellsing, xxxHolic, Elfen Lied
kodomo - Anime/manga directed at children. Examples: Hamtaro, Doraemon
yaoi - Refers to manga or anime (usually manga) that focuses on a male-male relationship. It need not be sexual in nature to be yaoi, but just a romantic love. A common English phrase to interpret "yaoi" is "boys' love." A relationship doesn't need to be "canon" to be considered "yaoi." You can write yaoi fanfiction, or the original anime/manga series can have a yaoi relationship to begin with. It doesn't describe the relationship's role in canon, but rather the nature of the relationship.
Shonen-ai - From what I can tell, this is the same thing as yaoi. If someone has different info, please let me know.
shotacon - Like yaoi, but featuring underage boys. Stay away!
yuri - Like yaoi, only for female/female relationships.
hentai - The Japanese word for "pervert." The term is usually used to refer to animated porn. People at work ask me all the time if I know of any "good hentai," and I really don't. I'm sure there's lots of stuff out there, though. What I do know, from looking at the DVD covers at Four-Star Video (where the hentai is mixed in with the regular anime), is that there is a lot of weird shit. Tentacle rape, boobs bigger than the rest of a woman's body, and God knows what else. I would recommend staying away, unless someone has specifically recommended something to you. Non-hentai anime can be disturbing enough. I don't think I'll ever foray into this realm of sexual exploration.
doujinshi - Doujinshi is like fanfiction, only in manga form. Sometimes called "doujin" for short, doujinshi is wildly popular in Japan, sold at conventions and in shops. While the making of doujinshi is considered a fan activity, many successful manga-ka (a person who writes/draws manga) get their start through doujinshi, including CLAMP. Doujinshi can sometimes include ridiculous sex, like hentai. It's often used to pair unlikely canon relationships, just like slash fanfiction is here in the U.S. Doujinshi is basically your equivalent community, I think, except that people buy and sell it, and it has pretty pictures.
Doujinshi doesn't necessarily have to use anime or manga as its source material. For example, there is a lot of Harry Potter doujinshi.10:24 PM
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