Saturday, January 27, 2018

kabedon 壁ドン

In Japanese, kabedon 壁ドン is when a guy flirts with a girl by putting his hand, arm, elbow, or even legs on a wall, or when a girl flirts with a guy, or doesn't flirt, but threatens instead, or anything like that, plus dozens of other variations.

Literally, kabedon is the sound of impact, DON! ドン! on a "wall," kabe 壁.

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

Trope

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.

Although those that swear on the technique's effectiveness also exist.

俺と付き合え・・・・・・ ・・・・・・と 突然 壁に追い詰められ 女は不安になるが 耳元で愛を囁いた途端 不安はトキメキへと変わり 告白の成功率が上がる
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 6, 白銀御行は隠したい)
  • Context: the student council president explains the power of kabedon.
  • ore to
    tsukiae......

    俺と付き合え・・・・・・
    [Go out with] me......
    • tsukiau 付き合う
      To do an activity with someone.
      To hang with.
      To go out with.
      To date with.
  • ......to
    ・・・・・・と
    (quoting particle, implies the phrase before is a quote.)
    [......you say something like that.]
  • totsuzen kabe ni
    oitsumerare
    突然 壁に追い詰められ
    Suddenly being cornered into a wall.
  • onna wa fuan ni naru ga
    女は不安になるが
    The woman becomes uneasy but
  • mimimoto de ai wo sasayaita totan
    耳元で愛を囁いた途端
    The moment [you] whisper love close [to her] ear
    • mimimoto de 耳元で
      At ear's base. (literally.)
      Close to the ear. (adverb.)
  • fuan wa tokimeki e to
    kawari
    不安はトキメキへと変わり
    Uneasiness turns into fluttering, [and]
  • kokuhaku no seikouritsu ga agaru
    告白の成功率が上がる
    The success rate of the confession increases.

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.


  • *futari no kashitsu no tokki ninmu
    二人の科室の特機任務
    (beware: the artist isn't Japanese, she's Chinese. This phrase doesn't make a lot of sense to me but I'm writing what I think it means anyway. Honestly it's better if you just ignore it altogether.)
    The special (tokki) mission (ninmu) of the department (room? kashitsu) of [them] two (futari).

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.


  • Youjo Senki 幼女戦記
    (title of the anime.)

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.


  • Ka, kano? カ、カノ?
    (character name)
  • nandayo ikinari...
    なんだよいきなり・・・
    What's it all of sudden...
  • ......
  • e' nande mugon nano
    えっ なんで無言なの
    Eh, why are you silent?
  • tteka chikai chikai
    ってか近い近い
    [Also you're too] close, close, c
    (the text is cropped, doesn't fit the balloon.)
  • hiiiii ひいいいい
    *shriek*
  • nani kono joukyou...
    何この状況・・・
    [What's up with] this situation...?
  • zuru zuru ずるずる
    *sliding down against the wall*
  • shuuuuu しゅうううう
    *hissing sound of smoke coming out of punched wall or fist*
  • Labels on heads:
    • ikemen イケメン
      Hottie.
    • otome 乙女
      Maiden.
  • Aribaba-san アリババさん
    Alibaba-san. (character name.)
  • hai'!! はいっ!!
    Yes?!
  • nani kore ikemen
    何これイケメン
    What's this, a hottie?
  • kyuun きゅーん
    *heart throb*

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).


  • nee ねぇ
    Hey
  • Homura atashi no koto
    saketeru desho

    ほむらアタシのこと
    避けてるでしょ
    Homura, [you're] avoiding me, [aren't you]?
  • sa... saketenai yo...?
    さ・・・ 避けてないよ・・・?
    [I... I'm] not avoiding [you]...?
  • honto ni? ほんとに?
    Really?
  • atashi no koto
    kirattenai?

    アタシのこと
    嫌ってない?
    [You] don't hate [me]?
  • un... うん・・・
    No...
  • kirai janai
    ...desu

    嫌いじゃない・・・です
    [I] don't hate... [you]
  • uso janai yo ne?
    嘘じゃないよね?
    [That's] not a lie, [right]?
  • atashi wa Homura to
    nakayoku shitai-n-da

    アタシはほむらと
    仲良くしたいんだ
    I want to [have a good relationship] with [you], Homura.
  • ......! ・・・・・・!
  • wa... watashi mo
    わ・・・私も
    M... me too
  • Miki-san to...
    美樹さんと・・・
    With Miki-san...

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.


  • ore ga kowai ka? 俺が怖いか?
    Am I scary?

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 - pixiv.net, 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

3 comments:

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  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

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  2. LOL! HAHAHAHAHAHA!! NOW I CAN USE THIS TERM WHEN I'M WRITING STORIES HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    ReplyDelete