,Anime has its own rules about everything, including using words that don’t make sense to people who don’t watch it. So to help you both understand and enjoy it, here are 10 anime words every fan needs to know.

1) Otaku

Usually, a fan of anime who simply loves the art form. Kind of like “geek” or “nerd” in English, but, when used in the West, the term focuses specifically on liking anime and manga, doing cosplay, talking about it on the internet, debating it at clubs, making dates with strangers to watch anime, leaving your BF/GF because they don’t watch anime....

2) Weeabo

When “otaku” just doesn’t cut it. Someone who obsesses about anime or manga and, unfortunately, learns everything they know about Japan from anime and therefore has a very immature view of the country. Usually cannot take part in a civil discussion without flipping over a desk, and routinely belittles Japanese culture by doing something ridiculous (like making a Japanese flag lunchbox).

3) Ecchi

[Censor ninjas have deleted this description]

4) Senpai

An upperclassman or senior. The term is best known, though, when used as “Notice me, Senpai,” a call from an admirer towards someone they love to notice them. “Senpai noticed me” is when that love happens (or when someone you like just looks at you without running away). The opposite is “kohai,” meaning “junior.” No one wants kohai to notice them, though.

5) Tsundere

When someone is originally cold towards another person, but eventually warms up to them. This is kind of what all the “Senpai notice me” users hope will happen someday. So never give up on love; they may not be uninterested; they may just be tsundere.

6) Kawaii

So cute! Basically anyone who is so Hello Kitty awesome that you can’t help wanting to squeeze their cheeks. Often involving dressing like a doll and blushing faces, kawaii can refer to anything--even objects that are made to look cute. Sometimes anime characters (and everyone’s baby siblings) make fake kawaii faces to get what they want.

7) Omake

“Extra.” Can be anything that can be considered a bonus, like behind-the-scenes footage or cast interviews are often omake found on DVD collections. So the next time you buy a collectible box set of your favorite series, make sure there’s plenty of omake.

8) Hikikomori

Someone who doesn’t want to/can’t go outside and lives in absolute isolation. Agoraphobia, autism and financial crises all play a part, although some have tried to start a “hikikomori movement,” rejecting modern society and staying indoors as much as possible to protest the world they perceive as cruel.

9) Tonari

“Neighbor.” Can also be used to describe someone sitting next to you in class. Has been the inspiration of many anime storylines and titles. And like pro wrestling referees, the teacher never notices what happens between you and your tonari.

10) No

Describing ownership. So “Kuroko’s Basketball” is actually written “Kuroko No Basuke” and “Hikaru no Go” means “Hikaru’s Go.” So, the weird title “The Basketball That Kuroko Plays” now makes a lot more sense, right? Right? Note: in the GIF above, it used to be Mio No Strawberry and it became Mugi No Strawberry.


So what other words do you think all anime fans need to know that don’t really make sense without context? Sound off in the comments below! And for all your otaku needs, be sure to follow DramaFever on Twitter and Facebook!

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Beautiful Gong Shim

Starring Namgoong Min and Bang Min Ah

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