Fan Wording

As you are getting into the anime fandom you will discover that many fans seem to be calling some part of the fandom or merchandise by something you haven’t heard before. Here is a small list of some wording that is used in the fandom, if you know of more I’ll be happy to add it, but please not if there is an actual Japanese word check the my dictionary first I’m sure it will be there.

ADR [Automated Dialogue Recording] – The process of making an English language soundtrack which fits the mouth movements on the screen. This can sometimes involve re-timing or ‘stretching’ some lines, either mechanically or simply by the actor re-dubbing them, or rewriting to replace a set of words that don’t fit with ones that do.

AMV – Anime Music Video, just your basic Music Video, just using Anime footage.

Anime [annie-may] – ‘Anime can range from the very silly to the very serious, and is not necessarily intended for children or any specific age group.’- Michael Kim Animation as an industry is much bigger in Japan than it is in North America, being of the same order of magnitude as the ‘live-action’ film industry there. All genres are supported through three separate mediums: TV episodes, Original Video Animation (OVA), and full length feature films. While anime varies in quality according to both production techniques and artistic merit, the level of sophistication is, in general, far superior to it’s counterpart outside Japan, the ‘cartoon’.

Aniparo – ANIme PAROdy, a popular manga genre in which anime charas and situations are used in comic stories or skits.

BGM [Background Music] – Music featured in an anime soundtrack and played during the anime itself in the background of course.

Cel – Layer of an illustration. Instead of having to draw every frame of animation individually, animators superimpose transparent sheets allowing them to keep the same background while moving characters around. Authentic cels are often made available for purchase.

CGI or CG [Computer Generated Imagery] – Use of computers to produce different effects, backgrounds or entire sequences in anime.

Chibi Or CB [chee-bee] – Short, tiny. A chibi character may naturally resemble a super-deformed character, where the entire body has a smaller, squashed, cuter appearance.

Con [Convention] – A gathering of people sharing the same interests. There are many conventions all around the world.

Cosplay [Costume Play] – A very popular activity during anime conventions, also referred to as masquerading. It consists of dressing up up as an anime or video game character to participate in contests or simply for fun.

Digisub – Basicly a fan-sub but in digital format for computers.

Doujinshi [doh-jeen-shee] – Generally fan stories pertaining to a specific series. Could also be any series specific fan art.

Dub [Dubbed Anime] – As opposed to a subtitled anime, dubs have voice tracks in languages differing from the original Japanese voice actors.

ED – Short for Ending. Mostly used for songs but can be used for videos.

Eye Catch – Prolonged frames of art used midway into an anime and often display its name along with a quick tune. It is used as a transition before and after commercials of anime series airing in Japan. Most distributors leave eye catches in VHS and DVD releases.

Fan Art – Drawings made by fans of anime, manga, game characters. The style can be the same as the character or the own style of the artist themselves. This also can refer to drawings of original characters in the anime/manga style.

Fanboy – A guy who is completely and totally lives anime. Also, part of being a fanboy includes making a shrine or worshiping any female anime character and following cosplayers dressed up as that character.

Fandom – A group of individuals having the same obsession on a particular subject, anime for one.

Fandub – Very similar to fan sub, the difference being the video has fans dub voices dubbed over the original Japanese.

Fan Fic [Fan Fiction] – An unoffical writing using characters from an existing anime, manga or game.

Fangirl – A girl who is completely and totally lives anime. Also, part of being a fangirl includes making a shrine or worshiping any male anime character and following cosplayers dressed up as that character.

Fan Service – Scenes or situations serving little purpose to the story but designed to arouse the viewer, whether male or female, with bare skin or offbeat action. The ever-so-popular shower scene is a good example of fan service.

Fan-sub: – Anime that is subtitled by fans. The anime is imported from Japan, translated, subtitled and then distributed. This is all done by people on their own time, as an act of (near religious) devotion. And those of us on the receiving end are truly grateful. Once fansubs are produced they can be copied freely, and to relive the strain on the few main sources, most people get second or later generation copies from the huge network of people involved in copying and trading them.

Garage Kit – Model kit produced by fans working from home (hence the term) in small quantities and very basic packaging. Garage kits have now become an industry in their own right and some producers have become large and well-organized companies.

Glomp – When someone in the anime/real world gives another a really big, strong, hug. Often signs seen around female and sometimes male convention goers.

Henshin – Transformation. Used to describe the sub-genre of special-effects shows featuring super-hero transformations (Kamen Rider or Metal Heroes). Also used to describe transforming mecha (Henshin Robo).

Idol – (a) Certain people and characters transcend being something that you’re a fan of. When you start worshiping them, adorning yourself in their image, collecting dolls, images or cards of the character, they’ve become your idol. (b) Singers with a major role in a series (Minmei from Macross for example).

Image Album – A CD regrouping music made to set the mood for a particular manga, novel or video game. Hundreds of image albums are released every year. In anime, image albums are collections of songs sang by it’s voice actors.

Japanimation – American slang for for Japanese animation. Similar to other less than ideal contractions like “blaxsploitation” and “teensploitation.” It’s best to either to use the full “Japanese animation” or shorter “anime.” Don’t talk about “Japanimation” to an otaku.

J-Pop [Japanese Pop Music] – A current trend in Japanese music, often featured in anime.

Karaoke – Refers to the practice of, or an event in which people attempt to sing their favorite songs by singing along with CD’s which contain only the instrumentals – or alternatively, using karaoke machines with the capabilities to mute vocals.

Key Frame – Key frames are drawn by the best artist available among the production staff of an anime. They are blatantly more detailed and often consist of close-ups of main characters.

Kimono [kee-mo-no] – A traditional Japanese robe or clothing worn by men and women. Styles for each gender differ because women’s kimonos usually have more elegant, detailed, and colorful designs and overall more feminine.

Lemon – Refered to Fan Fiction having hentai (adult) content written.

Manga: [mahg-gah] – Sometimes confused with anime, manga is the Japanese word for comic book (or Graphic Novel, if you prefer) and is used in English to mean Japanese comic books. Manga and anime are very closely related, as artists frequently crossover, as do the characters they create. Usually the manga is created first, and if it becomes really popular then the market it deemed capable of supporting a much more costly animation based on it.

Mecha, or Mech. – Whether in the loving detail of Reiji Matsumoto’s WWII fighter aircraft, or the perfectly fluid Valkyrie transformation sequences in Macross, the Japanese fascination of all things mechanical finds its way into a lot of anime. Mecha is the Japanese derivation of ‘mechanical’, and loosely refers to any and all cool pieces of technology. The term mech, though, is largely reserved for the large humanoid robots that battle it out in a myriad of science fiction anime.

Mobile Suit/Mobile Armour – A humanoid fighting machine cum protective shell; not a true robot, in that it requires on eor more operators to function. Sometimes abbreviated to MS.

OAV/OVA – Original Video Animation: an anime direct to video release, anime made only for the video market. Direct to video releases are common in Japan, while still a rarity in America. Unlike the US, where Direct to video movies are still often seen as a reprieve from what would’ve been a disasterous theatrical release, OVA’s in Japan can be big events unto themselves.

Omake [o-mah-keh] – Bonus footage for interviews or comedic relief. Sometimes hidden in anime DVDs.

OP – Short for Opening, mostly used for songs, but can be used for videos.

OST [Original Sound Track] – Compact disc release of songs played during an anime.

Otaku [oh-tac-koo]: – In Japanese, a derogatory form of ‘you’ which also has the meaning of, roughly, ‘no-life geek who spends all his time building GUNDAM models…’Be that as it may, in certain circles its meaning has evolved into a less perjorative term, namely, ‘huge anime fan who is respected because he spends all his time building GUNDAM models…’

OVA/OAV [Original Video Animation] – A direct to video release often divided into a handful of 30-minutes episodes.

Pocky [po-kee] – Popular biscuit-like Japanese snack covered with a wide variety of flavors. There are many pocky references in anime and some pocky brands even sport anime characters on their boxes.

Ramen [rah-men] – Japanese noodles. Standard college meal of choice because it’s cheap and easy to make.

RPG – Role Playing Game. A board-based RPG is usually called a ‘tabletalk’ RPG; there are also console RPGs.

RAW – This is used for anime that is pure Japanese language and has no dubbed voices in English and subtitles.

Sake [sah-keh] – Alcoholic beverage typical to Japan. Made of fermented rice and brewed much like beer. Made to be served cold or warm.

SD – Super Deformed, another version of CB or -chan, but usually more mischievous.

Seiyuu: [say-yoo] – This is also a Japanese term means voice actor/actress. The voices in the anime are actually their voices.

Sentai-Task-Force – Used to describe the task-force genre of live action TV series, including Zyuranger/MMPowerRangers and DaiRanger. Some American fans have been known to use this as a synonym for special-effects shows when they really mean to use tokusatsu.

Settei – The line art which is made up at the start of a project, used by the animators for reference, and often sent to magazines for advance publicity use.

Side Story – A story set in the same universe as a well known group of characters, but focusing on other, perhaps minor, charas, or introducing new ones, showing another ‘side’ of the title.

Sub [Subtitled Anime] – Subs consist of an anime including a written translation of the ongoing dialogue on the bottom of the screen.

Tokusatsu-Special-Effects – As one might use it in English, tokusatsu is used to describe a super-categeory of live action super-hero shows (Kamen Rider/Masked Rider or Zyuranger/MMPowerRangers)and giant monster movies (Godzilla or Mothra).

UFO Catcher Doll – Refers to the plush dolls that are used as prizes in Japan’s “UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) Catcher” game, which is the equivalent of the “Crane” game vending machines which allow you to try and win prizes by putting in money and attempting to control a gripping “crane” (or in this case, a gripping UFO) item to grab them and drop them into the prize retrieval bin. The plush dolls can be of most anything, but many of them are of Anime characters.

V [Vee] – Not so much a word (though it can be said as such) as it is a gesture, the “V” is symbolic of “victory” or as a way of saying “I did it!” or “Here I am!”. Similar to the peace sign/or is the peace sign type.