anime A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku

Crystal Brackett
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List Rules Vote up the otaku words and terms that you hear on the floor of every anime con.

Ever been in the middle of a heated conversation with an otaku and find yourself stumped over whatever anime terminology they're talking about? Well, you'll never have to scour the web for whatever that otaku jargon meant because you have your anime dictionary right here. Here, you'll find anime terms and common words that you'll hear at every single convention, so be sure to pay attention to the otaku terminology that you need to know in order to survive out in the nerd world. Seriously, get ready to beef up your anime vocabulary.

This repository includes both Japanese and American super-geek-charged terminology, and everything's a necessity for navigating your way around anime fandom. After all, you don't want to be a lost and confused wannabe-weeaboo. 

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Senpai


Senpai is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Production I.G

Japanese terminology used as the title for an upperclassman, usually being someone who is older. This person is typically a mentor of some sort, but is below the rank of sensei. The word can often have a silly or affectionate meaning behind it.

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Manga


Manga is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Aniplex of America

Manga are Japanese comics that are typically read from back to front, and from left to right. When they're localized for the West, they're called graphic novels.

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Otaku


Otaku is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Funimation

Otaku is a Japanese term used for a die-hard fan of anything, not just anime. If you're obsessed with something geeky, then you're an otaku.

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Kawaii


Kawaii is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Synch Point

To put it simply, "kawaii" means cute. Since the Japanese word stems from kanji meaning "to love," whatever you find lovely and charming can be considered kawaii.

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Shōnen


Shōnen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Viz Media

Shōnen, which is a Japanese word meaning "boy," is also a style of anime and manga that's aimed towards a young male audience, usually between the ages of 8 and 18. The most popular fighting and adventure franchises come from this genre, such as Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z.

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Cosplay


Cosplay is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Funimation

Short for "costume play," cosplay is the act of dressing up as a character from media. In this case, that media is anime.

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Chibi


Chibi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Sentai Filmworks

A Japanese word coined from "Chicchanabito" or "Chicchana no Hito," it means "short" or "small" person. When something is chibi, it is usually small and cute, and can often refer to fan art where anime characters are drawn in a bobble-head fashion.

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Filler


Filler is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list A Glossary Of Anime Terms You Really Have To Know To Be An Otaku
Photo:  Funimation

Filler is content that has no point or continuity in the story, and has been put in simply to fill time until the next narratively significant moment in the story. This can last anywhere from a single episode, to entire arcs.