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Otaku Dictionary A-K

Used with permission of AnimeInfo.org. Originally by Frank Sanchez.

Guide to Definition Legend:

Here is the standard form for the definitions in this dictionary:

[term] [pronuniciation]:
[grammatical context]. - [definition]
[example]
[other forms]
see also: [related]

-"term" is the actual term used.
-"pronunciation" is the phonetic pronunciation of the word. For example, (oh-TAH-koo).
-"grammatical context" is the type of word it is, i.e. n. for noun, v. for verb, etc.
-"definition" is the actual explanation of the term.
-"example" is the use of the word as if it was part of an English sentence (closest possible).
-"other forms" is any plural, adjectival, etc. form of the word
-"related" is a similar or associated word, in meaning, to the term given

A

Abunai
(ah-boo-NAI)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "look out!" or "it's dangerous!".
ex. - That might fall down. Abunai!

Anime (AH-nee-may or AN-nee-may)
n. -Short for "animation". Refers to "Japanese Animation", a genre/medium that has its roots in the 1960's when the Japanese began making television versions of their version of comics (manga). Unlike the "cartoon", America and other culture's counterpart to anime, much of the Japanese animation shown is one of deeper, sometimes more mature themes, including developed storylines, linear plots, and aspects of violence, sex, drama, and comedy (not unlike live-action films in the States). There are different kinds of anime and each kind embraces adifferent age group or group of people. In Japan, the medium is as much respected as the "live-action" genre of movies. In other cultures, anime has achieved a mostly cult following, though with the mainstream acceptance and awareness of such anime as Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Tenchi Muyo, and Perfect Blue, the anime movement continues to gain in strength and visibility.
ex. -  "Did you watch that new Evangelion? It's the epitomy of what anime is.
see also: Japanimation

ADR (AY-dee-ar)
n. - Acronym for "Automated Dialogue Recording", the actual process by which an English language version of the script is fitted to match the mouth movements of characters on a screen. Language translations may not be accurate as a result of this process.
ex. - ADR for the Viz Video series are usually done in their studios in Canada.
see also: Dub

AMV (ay-em-VEE)
n. - Acronym for "Anime Music Video". Not unlike normal music videos, anime music videos feature footage from anime series placed to the background music or songs, which include but are not limited to popular tunes, other Japanese songs or even music from other anime series. Many anime conventions feature anime music video contests, where anime music video creators compete for prizes as well as showcase their work.
ex. - That AMV that was done to that Guns and Roses song was one of the best I've seen.

Anou (ah-NOH)
int. - From the Japanese, meaning "say". However, it could also be translated as the Japanese version of "errr" or "umm" in the English. A more polite, similar-sounding version (anone) can be used which means "excuse me".
ex. - Anou...could you look this way please?
other forms: anone

Arigato (ah-REE-gah-toh)
exp. - Expression from the Japanese, meaning "thank you" or "I am grateful". Used to express gratitude to others. Can also be used in conjunction with adj. "gozaimasu", which makes the meaning of the expression more polite ("thank you very much").
ex. - I got the proofread paper you did for me. Arigato gozaimasu!
other forms: arigatou

B

Bai (BAI)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning just as it sounds ("by" or "bye"). There is another "bai" depicted with a different kanji that means "twice" or "double", but the more common saying of "bai" in anime appears to be the former meaning. The use of "bai" is considered to be pretty informal and mostly used between friends or close acquiantances.
ex. - Dita says 'bai bai'!

Baka (BAH-kah)
n., adj. - From the Japanese, meaning "idiot", "stupid", "foolish", etc.
ex. - You were caught cheating on Akane? Ranma, you baka!

Bakemono (BAH-keh-moh-noh)
n., adj. - From the Japanese, meaning "monster" or "mutant". Some of the demons and other such creatures could possibly be described by people as this, but other forms/words, such as "oni" and "youma" can also be used, depending on the type of creature.
ex. - Our missiles didn't even pierce it? It's a bakemono...

BGM (BEE-gee-em)
n. - Acronym for "Background Music", instrumental soundtracks found in many anime. In Japan, it is common practice to release BGM CD's as well as song CD's of various popular anime.
ex. - I heard the BGM for the Rurouni Kenshin series, it's pretty awesome.

Bento (BEN-toh)
n. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "lunch". Originally, the bento was a picnic-style meal stored in a plastic or lacquered box that was taken from home to be consumed at another location. While this definition still holds today, bento has also taken on an alternate meaning of a quick "take out" or "to go" meal that is sold in a rectangular box.
ex. - Did you remember to bring your bento box today?
other forms - obento

Bishoujo (bih-SHOH-joh)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "beautiful young girl".
ex. - Did you see Miaka from Fushigi Yuugi? She is definitely bishoujo.
other forms - bishojo

Bishounen (bih-SHOH-nehn)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "beautiful young boy". More commonly used than its gender counterpart, bishoujo.
ex. - Ranma, Ryouga, and Tasuki are all bishounen in my book.
other forms - bishonen

Biseinen (bih-SAY-nehn)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "beautiful man". Like "bishounen", only used to refer to older men.
ex. - That Ilpalattzzo has got to be a biseinen.

C

-Chan
(CHAHN)
suf. - From the Japanese, meaning "darling" or "little one". A suffix attached to names, only used with a child, or for women and girls. Animals, females, and children are the most commonly associated things with this suffix in anime, though technically, like most of the Japanese suffixes, it is genderless and can be applied to males and females. Seniors or superiors are never addressed with this suffix.
ex. - Come here, Akane-chan.

Chibi (CHEE-bee)
adj. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "small". Used commonly as a prefix to things to describe them as small or tiny. Some anime characters are sometimes drawn small are are referred to in this manner.
ex. - One of my favorite characters in Sailor Moon is Chibi-Usa.
see also: Super-Deformed, SD

Chikuso (CHEE-kuu-soh)
exp. - From the Japanese, used to express frustration (like saying "damn" or "shit").
ex. - Chikuso! I failed that test.
other forms - chikusho, kuso

Chotto (CHOH-toh)
adv. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "a little". When exclaimed it means "wait!" or "hold on!". Most commonly used when anime characters are being pulled off somewhere.
ex. - Chotto matte ne. Let me tie my shoes.
other forms - chiisai (adj.)

Con (KAHN)
n. - Slang or short for "convention". There are a lot of kinds of conventions. In regards to the anime genre, a convention consists commonly of dealer's rooms full of imported CD's, posters, and other Japanese anime merchandise, video rooms which show different kinds of anime, panels of guests or fans discussing various issues, masquerade/cosplay, artist sketches and drawings, and much more. Cons are a way of gathering large groups of anime fans in one place to have fun and have a good time talking anime. Generally, staff working these cons are anime fans, and can be characterized as funny, hard-working, and a little bit on the crazy/insane side (like talking about evil things you can do with White Castle burgers, for example). One such con is Otakon, held in Baltimore every year.
ex. - I heard that Anime Central was a great con to attend.
other forms - cons (pl.), convention (n.)

Cosplay (KAHS-puhlay)
n., v. - Term short for "costume play" referring to the common practice of dressing up as favorite anime characters at conventions, for participating in the masquerade in skits or just for fun. Some people are known to make their own costumes for "creatures" - Pikachu, Godzilla, and others.
ex. - I think we're going to do a Slayers cosplay this year.
ex. 2 - We might cosplay as Miaka and Tamahome.
other forms - cosplays (pl.), cosplayers (n.)

D

Dare
(DAH-reh)
adv. - From the Japanese, meaning "who" or "who is it?". It is a less polite version than other words and is sometimes used informally.
ex. - I thought I heard something. Dare?

Demo (DEH-moh)
adv. - From the Japanese, meaning "but" or "however". In speech, it always comes at the beginning of a sentence.
ex. - If we do this, it might work. Demo...

Digisub (DIH-gee-suhb)
n. - Similar to a fansub, digisubs (short for "digital sub") are anime episodes or series that are timed, translated, and encoded by anime fans. These are, of course, unofficial and not sanctioned by official companies (again, just like the fansub). The difference between a digisub and a fansub is the format. While digisubs are, technically, fansubs, they are done in video formats that can be read by a computer (such as .avi and .mpg), rather than on VHS tapes. These range in quality, depending on the fansubbers. Because of their easily distributable format, most digital fansubbers will stop translating and encoding an anime series when it has been licensed by a commercial company.
ex. - Did you see that new series Scryed? I have it on digisub.
see also: fansub

Doko (DOH-koh)
adv. - From the Japanese, meaning "where" or "what place/location".
ex. - Shinji! Doko!

Domo (DOH-moh)
adv. - From the Japanese, meaning "very much".
ex. - I've got the things that I'm looking for. Domo arigato (thank you very much).

Doshite (DOH-shih-teh)
adv. - From the Japanese, meaning "why?" or "what do you mean?"
ex. - You killed Vegeta? Doshite?

Doujinshi (doh-JIHN-shee)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "Fan magazine" or "Fan Art". Anime-style art drawn by fans or other unofficial artists. Can also be used to refer to a whole volume or work comprised of this kind of art. Some doujinshi attempt to copy other anime into original unofficial stories, while others are entirely original. Some doujinshi even consist of  "adult" material (for example, Evangelion characters engaging in sexual acts). Some famous anime artists, like Kenichi Sonoda and Chiho Saito, started out drawing doujinshi.
ex. - I purchased a copy of the doujinshi that group of artists did.
other forms - doujin
see also: fanart

Dozi (DOH-zee)
n. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "klutz". Is also attributed to the common action in anime of "falling down" whenever someone does something shocking/stupid/silly.
ex. - That Usagi Tsukino is such a dozi.

Dozo (DOH-zoh)
adv. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "please", "kindly", or "by all means". It can be used in a number of conversational exchanges (such as acknowledgement or the answering of a request), and sometimes in conjunction with other words to give them different meanings. For example, using "dozo" with the word "yoroshiku" when introducing oneself means "pleased to meet you".
ex. - You wish to sit down? Dozo.
other forms: douzo

Dub (DUHB)
n.,v.,adj. - Form of anime which has been translated by non-Japanese into the culture's native language, in order to understand the dialogue. Commonly such translations involve fitting the words of the native language such that when the voice actor says their lines, they match perfectly with the anime character's moving mouth (which is undoubtedly animated to speak in Japanese). As a result, translations may be lost, altered, or otherwise changed from the original Japanese dialogue. Viz Video's "WordFit" system is an example of this. Some anime fans scorn dubs for this very reason, choosing to stay with subtitled versions of the anime in order to get the actual meaning from the dialogue. Others dislike them because the native actors supposedly do not fit the characters they are attempting to voice. However, some do prefer these translations because of ease of watching and to feel more comfortable listening to their native tongue.
ex. - Goldenboy is ok, but they did a horrible dub on it.
ex. 2 - I wish they could have better dub voice actors for Ranma 1/2.
other forms - dubbed (adj., v.), dubbing (n., v.)
see also: fandub, ADR

E

Ecchi (EH-chee)
n., adj. - From the Japanese, meaning "pervert" or "perverted", and the literal pronunciation of the letter "H" (hentai). This particular word has a milder, less powerful context than its much stronger counterpart, "hentai" and refers usually to more accidental instances of a sexual nature (for example, a male walking into the girls' locker room by mistake or accidentally seeing photos of a romantic interest in revealing clothing). Some anime could be defined as "ecchi" because of scenes of a lightly sexual nature.
ex. - You knew I was taking a shower! Ecchi!
other forms - etchi
see also: hentai

ED (EE-dee or EHD)
n.,adj. - Short for "Ending" or "Ending Song" in an anime. Usually played when the credits are rolling after an episode in conjunction with an animation or art sequence. It is not uncommon for an anime company to release these themes on an audio CD for purchase. Not all anime series may carry the same ending theme throughout its run, and may change songs to reflect changes in mood, season, and series.
ex. - I really have that Ah! My Goddess! ED theme in my head.

Eyecatch (AI-cahtch)
n. - Refers to a 5-10 second sequence played at the "halfway" point of a particular anime episode. Since Japanese television typically has only one commercial break in a 30-minute time block, eyecatches are usually played at 15 minutes into the episode. Sometimes there are two eyecatches (one for going to commercial and one for coming from commercial), and they can consist of comedic, cute, or serious sequences, not all of them animated.
ex. - That Ranma eyecatch they played of Akane hitting Ranma was pretty funny.
other forms - eyecatches (pl.)

F

Fanart
(FAN-ahrt)
n. - Fan-drawn anime-style characters and scenes. Most fanart tends to be of existing anime characters, but some of it is original as well. An example of fanart could be seen in the "Envelope Art" submitted to anime magazines each month, in which fans draw favorite anime characters or scenes onto an envelope and send them in.
ex. - Did you see the Sailor Moon fanart she drew?
other forms - fanartists (n.)
see also: doujinshi

Fanboy (FAN-boy)
n. - Term used to describe a male anime fan of near-religious and rabid love for anime, anime characters, and the anime lifestyle. Much of the time in non-Japanese cultures, this term has a derogatory meaning to it, not unlike the context of "otaku" in Japan. In its derogatory meaning, the term can be used to describe someone with no social or personal life outside of anime. A stereotypical fanboy defends and loves anime, or the characters they happen to like in anime, with the fervor of a holy crusader, at the cost of his image as seen by others, his personal appearance and hygiene, and his sociability. Milder definitions of the term can be attributed to someone with an intense love for anime, but one who does so not at the cost of smelling like they've bathed.
ex. - That guy is such an Ukyou fanboy.
other forms - fanboys (pl.)
see also - fangirl

Fandub (FAN-duhb)
n. - Anime in the original Japanese that is dubbed (voiced in native language of translators) by fans for distribution in the anime community. Fandubs are much rarer to find than their more notorious counterpart, the fansub, for many reasons - some of which being: equipment costs, accuracy, and quality/competancy of the voice acting. Some fandubs are parodies, and attempt to make fun of the anime they are attempting to translate.
ex. - The Ranma 1/3 fandub is one of the funniest I ever saw.
other forms - fandubs (pl.), fandubbing (adv.), fandubbed (adj., v.)
see also: fansub

Fanfic (FAN-fihc)
n. - Short for "fanfiction", a term used to describe original works of fiction based off of an existing source or series. These works are unofficial and do not claim ownership of the characters or series from which they are basing their work on. There are many kinds of fanfiction, and many situations that fan authors place anime characters in, some as short as a couple pages, others as long as epics. In general, the anime community has been commended for its creativity in these works.
ex. - There is only one Ryouga fanfic out there, but I heard it was really good.
other forms - fanfics (pl.)

Fangirl (FAN-guhrl)
n. - Term used to describe a female anime fan of near-religious and rabid love for anime, anime characters, and the anime lifestyle. These people are less common than "fanboys", and as a result the term carries less of the derogatory stereotypes that are associated with its more prominent gender counterpart. However, these associations can still carry over into the term if the person meets the "requirements".
ex. - That fangirl keeps following Steve Bennett around.
other forms - fangirls (pl.)
see also: fanboy

Fanservice (FAN-sihr-viss)
n. - Unnecessary scenes, shots, and pictures of anime characters which have nothing to do with the story or anime and exist merely to please the fans and give them what they, on an implicated level, want to see. Most commonly this is seen in the form of female characters in revealing shots and poses which have nothing to do with the story but which serve to show their bodies off, much to the delight of the male fans. Cute creatures and shots of creatures can also be used as a service to fans who have a liking for such things.
ex. - That was most definitely fanservice.
other forms - fan service, fan servicing

Fansub (FAN-suhb)
n. - Anime in the original Japanese, subtitled into the native language of the translators for distribution in the anime community outside of Japan. Much more common than it's lesser known cousin, the fandub, these fan-translated works are usually done at a medium amount of equipment, expense, and effort. Usually such fans work in groups to increase efficiency and reduce individual cost. As a result, many anime series or episodes of a series which have not been picked up for release by a domestic company outside of Japan can be seen before they are "officially" released or licensed (if they are ever released) in non-Japanese countries. Cost is usually minimal to purchase anime done in this manner, and it is not usual for the fan translators to ask that fans not resell their tapes so that they can continue with their work.
ex. - I just ordered the End of Evangelion fansub today.
other forms - fansubs (pl.), fansubbers (n.), fansubbing (adv.), fansubbed (adj., v.)

Fuku (FUU-kuu)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "suit" or "uniform". Fukus are most commonly seen as part of a consistent dress code followed by Japanese schoolchildren and students. Fukus can also be seen in military functions. With regards to anime, the sailor fuku ( of Sailor Moon fame) is the most recognized and famous of fukus.
ex. - Sailor Mars has the best looking sailor fuku of all the senshi.
other forms - fukus (pl.)

Furigana (foo-ree-GAH-nah)
n. - From the Japanese, furigana are a kind of lettering that serves as a way for people to be able to pronounce "kanji", a pictoral Chinese script that is found in many Japanese word depictions. Furigana is usually printed very small and directly underneath or in the immediate area of the kanji to indicate which kanji it is associated with. The "furi" part of the furigana word also literally means "ruby", and the word came about due to the fact that printing presses in the Meiji era of Japan made these letters based on a consistently small size roughly equalling that of the English "ruby" or "agate" type size.
ex. - That kanji does not hae any furigana that it goes with.
see also - hiragana, katakana, kanji

G

Gaijin
(GI-jeen)
n. - From the Chinese kanji, literally meaning "foreign person" or "stranger". Most commonly used to describe a foreigner (non-Japanese) or someone from another country or culture. Has derogatory context in some situations.
ex. - Mr. Smith is not from around here, he is definitely gaijin.

Gambatte (GAHM-baht-teh)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "good luck", "do your best", "keep at it", or anything equivalent. Usually said in order to provide encouragement or motivation to someone.
ex. - It looks like you've got a tough final today! Gambatte!

Glomp (GUHLAHMP)
n., v. - Describes a very strong hug in an anime scene. Usually the one doing this action is usually one who has a strong romantic interest for the person he or she is hugging. Such a hug is done in an attaching, cloying way, such that the person being hugged could drag the hugger around a room and still not loosen their grip.
ex. - Did she have to glomp him so hard?
ex. 2 - She certainly hit him hard after he glomped her.
other forms - glomped (v.) glomping (adv.)

Gomen (goh-MEHN)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "sorry". This is an expression/word that is obviously used when one wishes to convey apologies or humbleness over something that they did wrong. Adding the Japanese word "nasai" to the end intensifies the message of this expression.
ex. - I dropped the vase on the floor and broke it. Gomen!

Gozaimasu (goh-zai-MAH-soo)
v. - From the Japanese, literally meaning a polite version of saying "to be" or "exist". This verb can be used at the end of certain expressions to emphasize politeness or sincere feeling - for example, the word "arigato" (thank you) can be paired with "gozaimasu" to mean "thank you very much" or "I really am thankful" (arigato gozaimasu). The form "gozaru" (goh-ZAH-roo) is sometimes heard from subordinates to superiors (especially in anime series where a servant is addressing a lord or princess, for instance) and is also meant to emphasize politeness and respect in speech.
ex. - Ohayo gozaimasu (a very good morning)! It is good to see you up so early.
other forms - gozaru

Graphic Novel (GRA-fihc NAH-vehl)
n. - Referred to by the Japanese as a "tankoubon", these are compilations of a particular manga artist's series or work. Unlike individual issues, these have 10-12 issues' worth of pages rather than just one. Graphic Novels are usually bound with a harder binding than normal comics, and overall size and length may vary.
ex. - Did the new Gunsmith Cats graphic novel come out yet?
see also - tankoubon

Gumi (GOO-mee)
suf. - From the Japanese, and is a suffix attached to a name or other noun to denote association, affiliation, or group. Has been used by the Yakuza, business firms, and other such people with a group-focused mentality.
ex. - Are you a member of the Kenshin-gumi?

H

Hajimemashite
(HAH-jih-meh-MAHSH-te)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "how are you" or "how do you do". It is an expression most commonly used in introductions and meetings, and is meant in a polite manner.
ex. - Hajimemashite. My name is John.

Hai (HAYE)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "yes". While there are other Japanese words which will convey an affirmative acknowledgement, this is one of the most common and polite, if not the most common, forms of it.
ex. - Hai, master, I will clean the entry plugs for you.

Hara-kiri (HAH-rah kih-RIH)
exp. - From the Japanese. A term used to describe ritual suicide by disembowelment and decapitation. Unlike its more honorable counterpart, seppuku, hara-kiri is considered dishonorable in the way of ending one's life.
ex. - This warrior will commit hara-kiri as atonement for his crimes.

Henshin (HEHN-shin)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "transformation". Is used to refer to transformation sequences in anime, whether they be of a human nature (say, the transformation of a man into a demon or a woman into a Sailor-suit wearing hero) or of a mechanical one (a robot transforming or morphing into another form, for example.
ex. - It's a large gun as well...is it a henshin?

Hentai (HEHN-tai)
n., adj. - From the Japanese, meaning "pervert" or "perverted". Has strong connotations and in a social setting, refers to any individual who has lack of morals when it comes to sexual situations and associations. Such individuals have a heavy interest in things of this nature. In anime terms, hentai refers to anime with strong sexual situations or acts contained in it. "La Blue Girl" and "Ogenki Clinic" are two such examples of this type of anime.
ex. - That one anime character is definitely a hentai.
ex. 2 - I think hentai anime is disgusting.
see also: ecchi

Hiragana (hih-rah-GAH-nah)
n. - One of the three Japanese alphabets, and the most basic one taught to Japanese schoolchildren and to novice Japanese language students. The alphabet is made up of 46 basic syllables and sounds which make up the basis for putting together words. This is the easiest of the three alphabets to learn due to the similar sounds, both in writing and speaking.
ex. - I just started learning hiragana today.
see also: katakana, kanji

I

Ichi (EE-chee)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "one" - as in the number one.
ex. - You have 3 seconds....3, 2, ichi...

Idol (AI-dahl)
n. - Used to refer to hugely popular Japanese entertainers, usually singers, that attain a fanbase so dedicated it could almost be called fanaticism. Typically, these very famous people rise to fame and fortune at an intense, fast pace, and fall from it just as quickly. Most idols are female, few are male, and in the digital age, some are even computer-created facsimiles (virtual idols). Idols are thought of to be both blessed and cursed by their fortune. An equivalent, more tame term in American culture would be "pop icon"
ex. - Mima is all over the place these days - what an idol.

Iie (EE-yeh)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "no". While there are other Japanese words that convey the negative in a similar fashion, this is the most common and most polite. Iie can also be used as a confirmation of a negative spoken by someone else ("You don't like it?" "No, I don't").
ex. - Iie, I don't think that's the case at all - the dub is much better.

Irrashaimase (ihr-RAH-shai-MAH-seh)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "welcome". This expression is used in a variety of situations, but the most common is in restaurants or shops, where the host/hostess or the vendor will say this to the customers entering the establishment.
ex. - Irrashaimase! Welcome to the Item Shop!

Itadakimasu (ee-tah-DAH-kee-MAH-soo)
exp. - From the Japanese, meaning "I will take this" or "I will receive". It is most commonly used before partaking in one's meal, as a sort of pre-meal blessing for the food to be eaten. Another common phrase that it could be translated as would be "thanks for the food".
ex. - Ah, some steak and mashed potatoes. Itadakimasu!

Itai (ee-TAI)
exp. - From the Japanese, and is the English equivalent of saying "ouch". Can also mean "that hurts".
ex. - Itai! You're twisting my arm!

J

J-Pop (JAY-pahp)
n., adj.- Short for "Japanese Pop", used to refer to the genre of popular Japanese music. Like the Western's version of "pop", J-Pop is comprised of well-known or frequently broadcasted tunes sung by equally-well-known artists, most commonly in the dance/R&B/rap sub-genres. While not always directly related to Japanese animation, J-Pop songs either are sung by Japanese voice actors or used as the theme songs/background music of Japanese animation series. Some J-Pop artists will sometimes compose and sing songs of this type exclusively for an anime series.
ex. - The J-Pop songs by Megumi Hayashibara are among the most popular out there today.

Ja (JAH)
exp. - From the Japanese. It means "see you/see ya", and is a less formal way of saying "sore dewa" or "mata ne", which mean "well then/see you later". Using "ja" is most commonly seen between friends or close acquaintances.
ex. - Well, it's time for me to take off....ja...
other forms: ja ne, sore ja

Japanimation (jap-A-neh-MAY-shun)
n. - Combination of the words "Japanese" and "Animation", used to refer to animation from Japan and the industry as a whole. Some fans consider this term outdated (preferring instead to use the word "anime") since this term was more widely used in the 80's and early 90's, when anime was first trickling its way out of Japan to other countries.
ex. - Watching Japanimation is one of my favorite pastimes.
see also: anime

Jiji (JEE-jee)
n. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "old man". The difference between it and other words for "old man" is that it is less polite (even considered rude) than its counterparts. An English equivalent could be "old fart".
ex. - Hey, jiji! Stop being lazy!
see also: oyaji

Juku (JOO-koo)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "academy". Juku are after-hours classes or schools that are used by some Japanese students in order to better understand subjects that they are having trouble comprehending or need more information on. Some juku are also considered as "cram schools", taken during the summer up to three times a week to help students prepare for exams, though this is more the exception than the norm.
ex. - Are you going to juku today?

K

Kanji (KAHN-jee)
n. - One of the three Japanese scripts, and also one of the most difficult to master. This script is Chinese, with characters representing pictoral meanings rather than literary ones, and kanji is usually taught at a higher level to students. There are over 2000 kanji in the script, with more being made, and it is near impossible to know all of them. Kanji is used mostly in writing.
ex. - I know about 500 kanji.
see also: hiragana, katakana

Karaoke (kah-rah-OH-keh)
n., v. - 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. The words are sometimes provided to the singers via a monitor that presents them on the screen. Some nightclubs, bars, and even anime conventions hold karaoke contests.
ex. - Are we going to do some karaoke tonight?

Katakana (KAH-tah-KAHN-nah)
n. - One of the three Japanese alphabets, taught usually in conjunction with hiragana. Like hiragana, katakana is comprised of sounds and syllables that make up words, using different writing and slightly different speaking. Katakana, however, is usually written or spoken with regards to foreign (non-Japanese) terms. Alternatively, it can be used to learn pronounication and to emphasize the meanings of words. 
ex. - We can all write our names in katakana.
see also: hiragana, kanji

Kawaii (kah-wi-EE)
adj. - From the Japanese, meaning "cute" or "adorable", usually attributed to things that deserve the term, like perhaps a bunch of baby chicks or small children. Some Japanese women in particular have a verbal spin on the word, as they sometimes say it in a high-pitched voice.
ex. - That pikachu is so kawaii!

Kisama (kee-SAH-mah)
exp. - From the Japanese. Is an extremely impolite way of addressing someone - in fact, it may be the rudest way to talk to someone, as it carries a meaning of "damn you", or "you" with a condescending or sarcastic tone. Ironically enough, dividing out this word comes up with the parts "ki" (with one of its meanings being honor or esteem) and "sama" (an honorific reserved for those the speaker highly respects or considers their senior).
ex. - Kisama....you killed my father!

Kodomo (KOH-doh-moh)
n., adj. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "child" or "children". Used to refer to anime which aims at little children, similar in content and theme to some American cartoons. Two examples of this type of anime are the more recently popular "Pokemon" series, and Sanrio's "Hello Kitty". Needless to say, some of this anime has found its way to non-Japanese shores easier than anime with more violent and adult-oriented content.
ex. - Digimon is just another kodomo anime.

Kohai (KOH-hi)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "apprentice" or "underclassman". Used in schools or in more fraternal, work-based environments, the term is used in conjunction with "sempai" to illustrate senior/junior member distinctions. The kohai is the one in the background, quietly learning from the sempai, occasionally taking the initiative to do things, but is usually the student or learner of the group.
ex. - This is Ranma. He is my kohai.
see also: sempai

Kokoro (KOH-koh-roh)
n. - From the Japanese, meaning "heart". This can mean the literal "heart" or the figurative "heart" depending on what context it is used in.
ex. - Kokoro. That is what she has.

Konbanwa (KON-bahn-wah)
exp. - From the Japanese meaning "good evening".
ex. - Konbanwa! I over some cake!

Konnichiwa (KOH-nee-chee-WAH)
exp. - From the Japanese, literally meaning "this day". This is an expression that can be used at any time of the day, and can mean "good day" or "hello/hi" to those which it is addressed.
ex. - Konnichiwa! How are you today?

-Kun (KUHN)
suf. - From the Japanese, meaning "friend" or "associate". Is used most commonly between those who are of a close, non-romantic relationship or those of equal status. Is most commonly used for men and boys, and never for a senior or superior, though technically, like most of the Japanese suffixes, it is genderless and can be applied to males and females.
ex. - Ranma-kun! There's someone here to see you.



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