And kanji with manga
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NG

In Japanese, "NG" means something "is not permitted," that it "is not okay," that it is "censored," or that someone "can't handle" something.

It's pronounced enu-jii エヌジー.

See also: Alphabet Letters in Katakana.

法律違反すると止められるんだ マネしちゃうからって NG
Manga: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun 月刊少女野崎くん (Volume 1, Chapter 2, Page 20, 言ったもん勝ち)

Meaning

The acronym NG stands for the English words "Not Good." However, note that the way NG is used in Japanese is different from how "not good" is used in English, making it a sort of wasei-eigo 和製英語.

NG doesn't mean "not good" in general, which would be yokunai 良くない. It means "not good" only in the same sense as dame 駄目, used when something shouldn't be done or said.

  • sore wa dame
    それはダメ
    That's no good.
  • sore wa enu-jii
    それはNG
    (same meaning.)

Compare:

  • koora wa dame
    コーラはダメ
    Cola is "no good."
    [You] shouldn't [drink] carbonated drinks.
    [I] can't [drink] carbonated drinks. (because I'm on a diet.)
    [I] can't [drink] carbonated drinks. (I physically can't, because of health issues.)
  • koora wa enu-jii
    コーラはNG
    (same meaning.)

Examples

Examples of NG things include:

  • Slurs, racist words are NG in newspapers and TV.
  • Uncensored gore and sexual imagery is NG in TV anime.
  • Directors acting on their own without consent of the production committee is NG.
  • Things you can't handle, like if you can't bear watching horror movies, that's NG for you, if you can't drink alcohol, that's NG for you.
行動が読めない虫の次は行動が読めない燃堂まで・・・ G(ジー)◎キモイ N(エヌ)◎キモイ 勘弁してくれ僕はNもGもNGなんだ
Manga: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難 (Chapter 15, 留守番のΨ難)
  • Context: Saiki Kusuo 斉木楠雄 can't handle two things, cockroaches and Nendou, who appear before him one after the other.
  • {{koudou ga yomenai} mushi no} tsugi wa {koudou ga yomenai} Nendou made...
    行動が読めない虫の次は行動が読めない燃堂まで・・・
    After {a bug [whose] {actions [I] can't read}} is Nendou [whose] {actions [I] can't read}...
  • jii kimoi
    G(ジー)◎キモイ
    G. Gross.
    • G commonly stands for:
    • gokiburi
      ゴキブリ
      Cockroach.
  • enu kimoi
    N(エヌ)◎キモイ
    N. Gross.
    • N is for Nendou.
  • kanben shite kure, boku wa enu mo jii mo enu-jii nanda
    勘弁してくれ僕はNもGもNGなんだ
    [Give me a break], for me N and G are no good.
    • I can't handle neither Nendou nor cockroaches.
法律違反すると止められるんだ マネしちゃうからって NG
Manga: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun 月刊少女野崎くん (Volume 1, Chapter 2, Page 20, 言ったもん勝ち)
  • Context: Nozaki Umetarou 野崎梅太郎, a mangaka 漫画家, explains why he can't add delinquent characters in his manga that actually do illegal things.
  • houritsu ihan suru to tomerareru-n-da
    法律違反する止められるんだ
    If [they] break the law [the publishes will] stop [the manga].
  • mane shichau kara tte
    マネしちゃうからって
    [They say] [it's] because [the readers, who are kids,] will copy [it].
  • enu-jii
    NG
    No good.

NGワード

An enu-jii waado NGワード, literally "not-good word," is a "taboo word." Basically:

  • sore wo iccha dame!
    それを言っちゃだめ!
    Saying that is no good!
    [You] shouldn't say that!
弱ってなければ本当勝てる相手でもないんだがな 何があったか知らんが髪に感謝しよう あ それ 神はNGワード 何?
Manga: Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon 小林さんちのメイドラゴン (Chapter 38, 小林さんとイルル)
  • Context: bad guy triggers protagonist by saying taboo word.
  • yowattenakereba hontou {kateru} aite demonai-n-daga na
    弱ってなければ本当勝てる相手でもないんだが
    If [she] weren't weakened in reality [she] wouldn't be an opponent [that] {[I] could defeat}.
  • {nani ga atta ka} shiran ga kami ni kansha shiyou
    何があったか知らんが髪に感謝しよう
    [I] don't know {what happened} but [I] thank God [for it].
  • a, sore, kami wa enu-jii waado
     それ 神はNGワード
    Ah, that, god is an NG word.
  • nani?
    何?
    What?

Note that waado ワード is a katakanization of the English word "word." It's not how you normally say "word" in Japanese, but it's used in slangs, like:

  • pawaa waado
    パワーワード
    Power word. (literally.)
    A word or phrase of impact, powerful in the sense of how shocked you would be to hear it uttered.
    • {chikara no aru} kotoba
      力のある言葉
      A word [that] {has power}.

顔出しNG

The phrase kao-dashi enu-jii 顔出しNG, means that "showing [one's] face," kao wo dasu 顔を出す, is no good. That is, they won't take photos or appear in videos that show their faces, for the purpose of remaining anonymous and protecting their privacy.

不特定多数が目にするメディアに顔写真を掲載してはならない決まりでして オゥ~顔出しNGトイウやつデスか
Manga: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai ~Tensai-Tachi no Ren'ai Zunousen~ かぐや様は告らせたい~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Chapter 100, 生徒会は撮られたい)
  • Context: Shinomiya Kaguya 四宮かぐや tells Adolphe Pescarolo アドルフ・ペスカロロ why she can't take photos.
  • {{futokutei-tasuu ga me ni suru} medhia ni kao-jashin wo keisai shite wa naranai} kimari deshite
    不特定多数が目にするメディアに顔写真を掲載してはならない決まりでして
    [My family made] a decision [that] {[I] shouldn't publish face-photos on media [which] {a large number of unspecified people see}}.
    • ~jashin
      ~じゃしん
      (rendaku 連濁.)
    • shashin
      写真(しゃしん)
      Photo.
  • ou~~ {kaodashi enu-jii toiu} yatsu desu ka
    オゥ~顔出しNGトイウやつデスか
    Ooh~~ is [this that thing] {called kaodashi NG}?

There are singers and other sorts of artists that won't show their faces in public. This is similar to how some writers write under pseudonyms, called pen names.

Some don't want to be personally associate with their work due to stigma.

Notably, sex industry workers who wouldn't want their parents and family to know their line of work.

There are also manga artists who wouldn't want their parents and family to know their line of work, and LN writers, doujinshi 同人誌 artists, virtual youtubers, voice actors, etc.

僕 マンガ家になる 駄目 すっげー即答
Manga: Bakuman. バクマン。 (Chapter 2, 馬鹿と利口)
  • Context: the protagonist confesses to his mother his aspirations.
  • boku, mangaka ni naru
     マンガ家になる
    I'll become a manga author.
  • dame
    駄目
    No.
  • suggee sokutou
    すっげー即答
    [That was] an extremely fast answer.
    • She didn't even think twice.

There are exceptions; Daft Punk wears helmets for artistic reasons, for example.

“We’re not performers, we’re not models – it would not be enjoyable for humanity to see our features,” de Homem-Christo says wryly, “but the robots are exciting to people.”

Why Daft Punk Wear Helmets - rollingstone.com, accessed 2020-06-28.

Love Live! School Idol ALL STARS characters.
  • In Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS, Ten'nouji Rina 天王寺璃奈 is an idol who won't show her face, covering it with the "Rina-chan board," Rina-chan boodo 璃奈ちゃんボード, a notebook with a face drawn on it.

For the record, sugao 素顔 refers to someone's "bare face." Normally this means without makeup, but in this case it could mean without a mask, too.

The easiest way to hide one's face is to simply not appear in front of cameras at all.

However, sometimes someone who wants to stay anonymous nevertheless takes selfies and posts them on the internet, in which case they'd be smarter not to include their head on the selfie.

Other times, an artist has to appear in front of the media for promotional reasons. Then they may wear a mask or something like that.

Photos and videos sometimes use black censor bars over people's eyes to hide their identity. This is mostly associated with satire, when a character is supposed to be being interviewed under anonymity, or they appear in the same photo as someone accused of a crime.

Example of black censor bars covering eyes, kuro-mesen 黒目線, "black eye-lines."
Anime: Shinryaku! Ika Musume 侵略!イカ娘 (Episode 3)
  • kuro-mesen
    黒目線
    Black eye-line. Censor bars covering a person's eyes.

Naturally, it doesn't need to be a black bar.

Example of "mosaic" censorship, mozaiku モザイク, pixelization.
Character: Matsuya Misaki 松屋美咲
Anime: Excel♥Saga, エクセル♥サーガ (Episode 6)
  • mosaiku
    モザイク
    Mosaic.

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