Saturday, January 27, 2018

Kabedon 壁ドン

You know how sometimes in anime a guys places his hand on a wall to flirt with someone or to threaten them? Well, did you know that's called a kabedon in Japanese?

More literally, a kabe-don 壁ドン happens when someone puts their hand, arm, elbow, or even legs on a "wall," kabe 壁, with enough force to make a sound of impact, DON! ドン!

An example of kabedon 壁ドン between two guys from the manga Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii ヲタクに恋は難しい
Manga: Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii ヲタクに恋は難しい


As far as the trope goes, the kabedon is the weapon of choice of popular-with-girls characters. It's not limited to just manga and anime, but also to series with real people and even Real Life™. Some even consider the kabedon a romantic way to flirt.

Due to its enormous popularity an recognition worldwide in fiction and reality, the kabedon is also commonly featured sarcastically in parodies, jokes, memes, and something that's probably a mix of these three things at once.

Popuko from the anime Pop Team Epic asking for a kabedon

On the flip side, the kabedon is also the weapon of choice of characters that are not popular with girls, specially gang members, etc. to approach whoever they lay their eyes upon in what you'd imagine they'd imagine is the manliest most badass way of approaching somebody.

As one would expect, when the guy doing the kabedon is ugly, it looks lame, and when he looks violent, it looks menacing. So whether the kabedon is effective or not has nothing to do with the kabedon itself, it depends entirely on who is using it.

Same-Gender Kabedon

It's important to reaffirm that kabedon isn't used exclusively in a flirting attempt by guys trying to get girls. It's also used in a totally not flirting way by bully characters who want to literally pin down their weak-willed victims against the wall to steal their lunch money or whatever.

Basically, if it's a guy and a girl doing it, it's flirting, and if it's two guys, it's threatening. Super simple stuff.

However, some people (fujoshi) might get mixed signals somehow and mistake an obviously threatening kabedon between two guys who hate each-other's guts with some sort of sexual-tension-powered kabedon meant to fuel their fangirling fantasies.

Likewise, you'll see that a lot of times there's some girl-on-girl kabedon going on. For some mysterious reason.

Types of Kabedon

The term kabedon is rather generic. It doesn't even need an actual wall. A vehicle, pillar, etc. also suffices for a kabedon. The point of the move is just that there's a surface and there's a DON! So it's no wonder it has happened so many times people ended up naming a number of its multiple variations.

And here they are, for reference.

(in the examples below, the "guy" is hitting on the "girl.")

Basic Kabedon

The most basic kabedon is just the guy placing one hand against the wall, usually his open palm.

Kabekui 壁クイ

A kabedon with an agokui 顎クイ, which is when the guy lifts the girl's "chin," ago 顎, to look into each other's eyes or for a kiss.

Katsuagedon カツアゲドン

An "extortion," katsuage 喝上げ, kabedon 壁ドン.

This kabedon is less about being romantic and more about extorting or bullying someone. Be it for their lunch money or to invite the girl "play around" for a while. Usually done by an overconfident bad guy with a scummy smile that's going to get beaten by the good guy in a couple of moments, minutes or episodes.

Tekubidon 手首ドン

A "wrist," tekubi 手首, don ドン.

A kabedon where the guy's wrist is pressed against the wall, as opposed to just his palm or fist.

Hijidon 肘ドン

An "elbow," hiji 肘, don ドン.

A kabedon where the guy's elbow is against the wall. Surely a palm kabedon has more impact, more don, in it, but with a hijidon the guy's face is usually very close to the girl's, so there's that.

Ryoute-kabedon 両手壁ドン

A "both hands," ryoute 両手, kabedon 壁ドン. Also called ryoutedon 両手ドン.

A kabedon where the guy places "both hands," on the wall, as opposed to just a "on hand," katate 片手, which would be a katate-don 片手ドン.

Note that technically this term doesn't apply if you have three or more hands because ryoute is "both hands," as in, "two hands," and not "all hands."

(and yes, I know I'm being part of the problem.)

W-kabedon W壁ドン

A W-kabedon W壁ドン is a "double" kabedon. Because the letter W can mean an abbreviation for "double" in Japanese.

A double kabedon could be, for example, two different guys hitting on the same girl, each doing a separate kabedon. So you have two hands on the wall, but it's not one guy's "both hands," so it's not ryoute, it's just a normal kabedon, but double, a double kabedon.

It could also be kabedon'ng two girls at once.

Ryouhijidon 両肘ドン

A "both elbows," ryouhiji 両肘, kabedon 壁ドン. The hijidon version of ryoutedon.

Matadon 股ドン

A "crotch," mata 股, don ドン.

A kabedon where the guy's knee is placed between between the girls legs (under her crotch).

Ashidon 足ドン

A "foot" or "leg," ashi 足, don ドン.

A kabedon where the guy places his foot against the wall.

Yukadon 床ドン

A "floor," yuka 床, don ドン.

A yukadon is the same thing as a kabedon, but the girl is against the floor, not against a wall.

Atsushi "Yukadon" Fujimura

Fun fact: one of the best Street Fighter players, Atsushi Fujimura, used to go by the nickname of "Yukadon." This nickname was based on attacks that hit the "floor," yuka 床, like the Viper's Seismic Hammer.

However, using the term yukadon to refer to the pinning a girl (or guy) to the floor got popular, and people started thinking Fujimura's nickname was about flirting with girls rather than smashing the floor. This led him to stop using the nickname and going by his surname instead.

Chichidon 乳ドン

A "boobs," chichi 乳, kabedon.

This one is when the girl presses the guy against the wall with her oppai, of course.

Note that, if anime is of any reference, boobs never make a don sound. They make "boing" sound. You can't make a don sound by hitting your boobs against the wall. So one may conclude a chichidon doesn't make much sense, as you can't don with chichi.

However, as you may have figured out already, kabedon isn't really about the don sound effect as it's about pressing someone against the wall and placing a limb or another around them so they can't go away so easily.

So a chichidon is about pinning a guy against the wall using your boobs. Which... really doesn't make much sense either, to be honest. I mean, human males are naturally taller than females. So a guy could normally just free himself with the force of his torso alone.

Which is why chichidon usually has a guy shorter than the girl or that has lost balance and isn't standing upright.

Semidon 蝉ドン

A "cicada," semi 蝉, don ドン. Also written semidon セミドン.

This one isn't serious (I hope...?!), and is mostly a meme where the guy has the girl cornered in a corner of the room, with two walls around her, and he places all of his four limbs on the walls all at once. It's like a kabedon on steroids. Tetra-kabedon.

Kamidon 髪ドン

A "hair," kami 髪, don ドン.

There is a point where we needed to stop and we have clearly passed it, but let's keep going and see what happens.

Other Kabedon Types

Of course, the complex world of romantic gestures isn't limited to banging your apparently demon-possessed hair to the wall in order to make your love-interest cry, piss and shit his pants all at once fall in love with you.

A post called "what kind of kabedon do you like?" [「どの壁ドンがお好き?」 まとめ -, 2018-11-18] includes some rather humorous ones that I couldn't find example pictures of. They are:
  • atama ga itai don あたまがいたいドン
    "My head hurts don." (fourth panel, first page.)
    A hijidon where the guy puts his elbow above the girl's head, and then puts his head on his elbow, so it looks like he's got a headache.
  • munaguradon むなぐらドン
    A "(shirt) collar," munagura 胸倉, kabedon. (first panel, second page.)
    A kabedon where the guy grabs the girl by her shirt. (or the girl grabs the guy. Looks like she didn't like all those kabedon's!)
  • ryoukatadon 両肩ドン
    A "both shoulders," ryoukata 両肩, kabedon.
    Where the guy grabs the girl by her both shoulders.
  • atama de don あたまでドン
    A kabedon with the "head," atama 頭, also called atamadon.
    Where the guy places his head against the wall. It's like hugging without embracing.
  • gyuudon ぎゅうドン
    A "tight (hug)," gyuu ぎゅう, kabedon.
  • puteranodon プテラノドン
    "Pteranodon" is a genus of pterosaur.
  • eadon エアドン
    An "air," ea エア, kabedon.
    The girl left, the guy kept his pose, awkwardly, and alone.
  • (last page is an omake おまけ with counter-attacks to protect yourself from a kabedon assailant.)

Some other terms on pixiv include:
  • kabegon 壁ゴン

Further Reading

For further reference, see this Pixiv illustration containing more moves: ❤萌えシチュ40奥義❤

Dictionary Entries


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Comments made in bad faith or containing spoilers or language inappropriate for the post will be removed.

  1. I just realized this stuff is more reflective of the individual artists than the culture. Sounds obvious, but it's too easy to look at something from Japan, and then judge Japan instead of the creator. This romantic don stuff wouldn't even work in the West, let alone the non-confrontational culture of Japan.

    I doubt there's any authentic amateur footage of it failing in real life. It's too easy to interpret it as a crime, which I'm confident it is in my country lol