Monday, July 22, 2019

で Particle

In Japanese, the de で particle has various functions.
Sunday, July 21, 2019


In Japanese, ra-nuki kotoba ら抜き言葉, "ら-removed speech," refers to a way of talking that omits the ra ら in the potential form of ichidan 一段 verbs, conjugating them like godan 五段 verbs that end in ru る.

For example: tabereru 食べれる is taberareru 食べれる, "able to eat," with the ra ら removed.
Saturday, July 20, 2019


In Japanese, i-nuki kotoba い抜き言葉, "い-removed speech," refers to a way of talking that omits the i い at the start of auxiliary verbs attached to te-form, contracting te-iru ている into te-ru てる, te-iku ていく into te-ku てく, de-iru でいる into de-ru でる, and de-iku でいく into de-ku でく, and so on.

For example: miteru 見てる is a contraction of mite-iru 見てる, "to be seeing."
Friday, July 19, 2019

youkoso ようこそ

In Japanese, youkoso ようこそ means "welcome." It's an expression used when welcoming a guest to a new place, like "welcome to city X" or "welcome to organization Y," and so on.

Manga: Mahou Sensei Negima! 魔法先生 ネギま! (Chapter 1)
  • youkoso ❤
    Welcome ❤
  • Negi-sensei'
    (character name.)

Above, for example, a teacher is welcomed into a classroom with youkoso.
Thursday, July 18, 2019

へ vs. に

In Japanese, the e へ particle and the ni に particle are similar in that they can be both used to mark a place for a movement verb.
  • gakkou ni iku
    To go to school.
  • gakkou e iku
    (same meaning.)

However, there are differences between e へ and ni に that can be noted.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

へ Particle

In Japanese, the eparticle marks the direction "toward" which an action occurs, or simply means "toward." It's spelled as he へ, but pronounced like e.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

naku wa nai なくはない

In Japanese, naku wa nai なくはない is the i-adjective or auxiliary adjective nai ない in the adverbial form, plus the wa は particle, plus the auxiliary nai ない again.

If the first nai is an auxiliary, ~naku wa nai ~なくはない means something "is indeed" somehow. If the first nai isn't an auxiliary, then it depends on what the phrase is saying. The exact grammar has been explained in the article about ~ku wa ~くは.

nakunai なくない

In Japanese, nakunai なくない means "is not not" or "there is not no" or "[I] don't have no." It's a double negative, so it translates to the positives "is," "there is," and "[I] have."

Grammatically, it'a the i-adjective or negative auxiliary nai ない, inflected to the adverbial form, naku なく, plus the negative auxiliary nai ない. So it's nai twice.

~ku wa nai ~くはない

In Japanese, ~ku wa nai ~くはない is the adverbial form of an i-adjective, plus the wa は particle, plus the negative auxiliary nai ない. Or it might be kuwanai 食わない, "won't eat."

Basically, ~ku wa nai is used to affirm something "is not" a given adjective.
  • warui?

    Is [it] bad?
  • waruku wa nai kedo..
    Bad, [it] is not but...

See ~ku wa ~くは for details about the grammar.

~ku wa ~くは

In Japanese, ~ku wa ~くは is the adverbial form of an i-adjective plus the wa は particle. This can work just like ~te wa ては, separating the adjective and an auxiliary into topic-focus, or just mark the adverb as topic.
Monday, July 15, 2019

nakya なきゃ

In Japanese, nakya なきゃ is often used to say you "must" do something. It can also be used to say "if not something, something else."
  • ganbaranakya
    [I] must work hard. Try my best. Put effort.
    • ganbaru 頑張る
      To work hard. Try your best. Etc.
  • yasukunakya urenai
    If [it's] not cheap, [it] can't be sold.
    • yasui 安い

Grammatically, it's either a contraction of nakereba なければ, the conditional ba-form of the i-adjective nai ない, "nonexistent," which can be suffixed to verbs and adjectives to create their negative forms.

This nakya なきゃ is almost synonymous with nakucha なくちゃ, which contracts nakute wa なくては instead.

~kya ~きゃ

In Japanese, ~kya ~きゃ is a contraction of ~kereba ~ければ, the conditional ba-form of i-adjectives. Or some sort of fangirling shriek: kyaa! きゃー!

nakucha なくちゃ

In Japanese, nakucha なくちゃ is normally used to say that you "must" do something. For example:
  • ganbaranakucha
    [I] must word hard. Try my best. Put effort.
    • ganbaru 頑張る
      To work hard. Try your best. Etc.
  • nigenakucha
    [I] must run away.
    • nigeru 逃げる
      To run away.

Grammatically, it's a contraction of nakute wa なくては, which is the te-form of the i-adjective nai ない, "nonexistent," plus the wa は particle. See the article about ~te wa ~ては for details.

~cha ~ちゃ

In Japanese, ~cha ~ちゃ is a contraction of ~te wa ~ては. Although sometimes it means "tea," ocha お茶.

~te wa ~ては

In Japanese, ~te wa ては is the te-form of a verb plus the wa は particle. This can have two different functions.


Just like how in English "I am" is contracted to "I'm," "is not" to "isn't," "will not" to "won't," and "don't know" to "dunno," Japanese has contractions, too. For reference, in this article I'll list the Japanese contractions.
Sunday, July 14, 2019

Null Particle

In Japanese, the "null particle," "zero particle," is an invisible, unpronounced, and basically imaginary particle that often replaces the particles wa, ga, wo, and ni, in all sorts of phrases. Literally, it's using "no particle," mu-joshi 無助詞, or just omitting the particle.

For example, in kankei ga aru 関係がある, kankei is marked as the subject by the ga が particle. However, the phrase is often just: kankei aru 関係ある. Since a particle is supposed to come after kankei, but isn't there, we call that the null particle.

Symbolically, the empty set symbol ∅ or the similar-looking Greek letter phi φ is used to refer to the null particle during analysis: kankei φ aru 関係φある, the null particle φ marks kankei.

Contrastive は

In Japanese, the contrastive wa は refers to the wa は particle when it marks the contrastive topic. Normally, the wa は particle just marks the (non-contrastive) topic, hence why this distinction is important.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

は vs. が

In this article, I'll explain the difference between wa は and ga が, the two most confusing particles in all Japanese.
Sunday, June 30, 2019

わ Particle

In Japanese, the waparticle is a sentence-ending particle used to affirm one's conclusion, decision, opinion, to clarify something, or to exclaim an emotion such as surprise. In a way, it's predominantly used by women, categorizing it as female language.

Not to be confused with the wa は topic-marker, which is spelled with ha は but read wa.
Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sentence-Ending Particles 終助詞

In Japanese, "sentence-ending particles," or shuujoshi 終助詞, "final particles," are particles that come at the end of a phrase and express emotion, emphasis, determination, surprise, doubt, the speaker's will, calls for attention, and other ridiculously hard to explain effects.
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Female Language

In Japanese, "female language," or joseigo 女性語, refers to words and manner of speech predominantly used by women in Japan, that, consequently, would sound weird if used by men.

It's also called "women's language," and onna-kotoba 女言葉, "women's words."
Friday, June 7, 2019

sou そう

In Japanese, sou そう means "like that," "that's right," "it seems," or "I heard from someone that" depending on what function of the word is being used in a given sentence.
Thursday, June 6, 2019


In grammar, a noun is a word that refers to a thing, like a "cat." It isn't a verb: "John cats Mary." Or an adjective: "the caty person." Or an adverb: "he spoke catly." It's a noun.

Japanese has nouns too, like neko 猫, which means "cat," and turns out a lot of grammar depends on how nouns work, so that's what I'm going to explain in this article.

Subject and Object

In grammar, the subject, the direct object, and the indirect object are types of arguments a verb can have. The concept applies to both English and Japanese, but there are differences between how the two languages express and interpret verb arguments in a sentence.
Sunday, June 2, 2019

は Particle

In Japanese, the wa は particle has multiple functions. Note that it's spelled as ha は, but pronounced like wa わ.

は particle.
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア (Chapter 46)
Saturday, May 18, 2019

を Particle

In Japanese, the wo を particle has one function: it marks the direct object of the sentence. Which should make it the simplest particle in all Japanese. However, just because it's the simplest one, that doesn't mean it's going to be simple.

To begin with, the wo を particle is also romanized o を. This happens because the wo を particle is pronounced like o お in Japanese.

In this article, as well as in the rest of this blog, it's romanized wo. In other blogs, resources, it may be romanized o. There's no difference: it's the same Japanese, different romaji.
Friday, May 17, 2019

が Particle

In Japanese, the ga が particle has several functions.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

に Particle

In Japanese, the ni に particle has several functions.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

な Particle

In Japanese, the na な particle has several functions.
Monday, May 13, 2019

の Subject Marker

In Japanese, the no の particle can sometimes replace the ga が particle as subject marker in a relative clause. Since this is something that's a bit confusing, I thought I'd better make a separate article to talk about it.
Sunday, May 12, 2019

の Particle

In Japanese, the no の particle has several functions.
Friday, May 3, 2019


In Japanese, __ to ii __ to ii ~といい~といい is a pattern used when citing two things about a situation before concluding something the situation.

  • nedan to ii, shitsu to ii, manzoku desu
    (citing) the price, the quality, (conclusion) [I'm] satisfied.
    • Given the price and the quality, I'm satisfied with this.

They're also spelled to ii と言い, from to iu と言う, "to say." Not to be confused with the other to ii といい, which's from "good," ii 良い.

The pattern can repeat for more than two things, but it's usually just two things.

otoko 男, 漢

In Japanese, otoko 男 means a "man," and otoko 漢 means a "MAN." A man among men. Whose pride, bravery, and dignity is unrivaled.

This, of course, isn't an actual word. It's a meme. It shows up in manga and anime from time to time.

Normally, "man" in Japanese is spelled otoko 男, as seen in words like otoko no ko, "male child," "boy."

The manga slang otoko 漢 is an ateji, that is, we're spelling with a certain kanji a word that doesn't have kanji or is normally spelled with different kanji. In this case, 漢 is the kanji for "man" in Chinese. Normally, it can only be read as kan 漢 in Japanese, like in chikan 痴漢, "foolish man," "molester." (another manga ateji is otokonoko 男の娘, "trap.")
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

koto aru ことある

In Japanese, koto aru ことある means something "exists" or "happens," or can happen, might happen, or that it has "happened," or that someone "has done" something before, as opposed to have never done it. Variants include koto ga aru ことがある and koto wa aru ことはある.

Literally, it's the combination of the light noun koto こと plus the verb aru ある, "to exist." Grammatically, koto is qualified by an adjective, such as relative clause, so it can abstractly refer to "a kind of something," and then the aru says that kind of something exists or happens.

The opposite is koto nai ことない: "doesn't exist," "doesn't happen," "never done it."

Depending on the adjective qualifying koto, the meaning changes.

koto nai ことない

In Japanese, koto nai ことない means someone has "never done something," or that something has "never happened," or that something "doesn't exist," or "doesn't happen." Variants include koto ga nai ことがない and koto wa nai ことはない.

Literally, it's the combination of the light noun koto こと plus the i い adjective nai ない, "non-existent." Grammatically, koto is qualified by an adjective, such as relative clause, so it can abstractly refer to "a kind of something," and then the nai says that kind of something doesn't exist or happen.

The opposite is koto aru ことある, "exists," "happens," "I've done it."

Depending on the adjective qualifying koto, the meaning changes.

yaru やる

In Japanese, yaru やる means a bunch of things. It can mean "to do" in a dozen ways. It can mean "to give [something]," or be used as an auxiliary verb to say "to do [something] for [someone]," just like ageru 上げる. It can mean "to work [a profession]." It can mean "to murder [someone]". And it can mean "to have sex with [someone]."

Depending on its meaning, it's sometimes written with different kanji.

Example of yaru やる in Japanese.
Manga: One Punch Man (Chapter 48)

guruguru-me ぐるぐる目

In Japanese, guruguru-me ぐるぐる目 means "spiraling eyes." In anime, this is those spiral-shaped eyes characters make when they're puzzled or dazed.

It comes from guruguru ぐるぐる, a mimetic word meaning "spiraling," and me 目, "eyes."

Sarazanmai さらざんまい

The anime Sarazanmai さらざんまい airing this season has so many puns and cultural Japanese references that I thought it'd be a good idea to list them here for further reference. This way you'll finally be able to unders... to understan...


Okay you won't be able to understand the anime, but you'll be able to understand the Japanese part of the anime, and that's one step, at least, so let's content ourselves with that. Anyway.

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! The first part of the article assumes you have already watched at least the first episode. After that, there's a second spoiler warning, and sections spoiling each and every episode. So scroll with caution!

egao 笑顔

In Japanese, egao 笑顔 means "smiling face," or "smiling expression." That is, the face someone makes while they're smiling.

An example of egao.
Anime: SSSS.Gridman (Episode 12)

Literally, it's warau 笑う, "to laugh," or "to smile," plus kao 顔, "face," which becomes gao because of rendaku.

Note, however, that the way the word is used in Japanese is closer to just "smile." For example:
  • sono egao wo mamoritai
    [I] want to protect that "smiling face."
    [I] want to protect that smile.
  • kanojo no egao
    Her smile.

negao 寝顔

In Japanese, negao 寝顔 means "sleeping face," or "sleeping expression." That is, the face someone makes while they're sleeping.

An example of negao.
Anime: Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge 田中くんはいつもけだるげ (Episode 1)

Literally, it's neru 寝る, "to sleep," and kao 顔, "face," which becomes gao because of rendaku.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

torogao トロ顔

In Japanese, torogao トロ顔 means more or less "dozy face," in the sense of an expression of (often sexual) pleasure that makes someone feel relaxed enough to look dozy, with eyes half-closed, etc.

Example of torogao
Anime: 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~ (Episode 11)
  • Context: food is delicious.
  • kan'in 完飲
    Drinking it all. (in this case, ramen.)

It comes from torotoro トロトロ , a mimetic word which means, among other things, "dozing off." Plus the word kao 顔, "face," that becomes gao 顔 because of rendaku.

Sex-Related Terms

A lot of manga and anime feature sex-related jokes, or dirty jokes, "low jokes," shimoneta 下ネタ, besides those that are simply sexual in nature, like of the ecchi and hentai genres. So, for reference, a list of sex-related Japanese vocabulary.

yaranaika? やらないか?

In Japanese, yaranaika? やらないか? means "won't [you] have sex with [me]?" The meme comes from a gay pornographic manga of the bara バラ genre.

Literally, it means "won't [you] do [it]?" It's the verb yaru やる, "to do," plus the negative -nai ~ない suffix, plus the doubtful ka か particle. However, yaru has various secondary meanings, like "to give," and, used as a slang, "to kill," and "to have sex with."

そう思っていると突然その男は僕の見ている目の前でツナギのホックをはずしはじめたのだ・・・! やらないか
Adult Manga: Kuso Miso Technique くそみそテクニック
  • sou omotteiru to
    totsuzen sono otoko wa
    {boku no miteiru} me no mae de
    tsunagi no hokku wo
    hazushi-hajimeta no da...!

    While [I] was thinking like that, that man, in front of [my] eyes [while] {I was seeing [him]}, started undoing the hook of [his] jumpsuit.
  • yaranaika
    Won't [you] do [it]?

reipu-me レイプ目

In Japanese, reipu-me レイプ目, "rape eyes," also called utsuro-me 虚ろ目, "vacant eyes," or maguro-me マグロ目, "tuna eyes," refer to the vacant, spark-less, dead eyes often drawn in traumatized characters in anime.

Anime: Goblin Slayer, Goburin Sureyaa ゴブリンスレイヤー (Episode 1)

In spite of the name, a character with "rape eyes" doesn't necessarily have to have been raped. They could've been traumatized for some other reason.

nakadashi 中出し

In Japanese, nakadashi 中出し means literally "releasing inside," but it's often used as a sexual term: "ejaculating inside," or "internal ejaculation."

chikan 痴漢

In Japanese, chikan 痴漢 means the act of "molestation," which's a crime, or, more literally, it refers to a "molester," or a "pervert," or, even more literally, it means a "foolish man."

Sunday, April 28, 2019

onanii オナニー

In Japanese, onanii オナニー, also spelled onanie, is a slang for "masturbation." Its verb form, "to masturbate," would be onanii suru オナニーする.

Onanie Master Kurosawa
Manga: Onanii Masutaa Kurosawa, オナニーマスター黒沢 (Volume 1)

manko マンコ

In Japanese, manko マンコ means "vagina," but it's a vulgar word, so it's closer to "pussy" instead. It can also mean "to have sex." Like some other terms for body parts, it can get the o- お~ polite prefix attached to it: omanko おマンコ. It's also spelled まんこ, おまんこ.

The technical term for "vagina (the internal canal only)" is chitsu 膣, and joseiki 女性器 is "female genitalia."

The male counterpart would be chinko チンコ.

chinko チンコ

In Japanese, chinko チンコ means "penis," but it's a vulgar word, so its closer to "dick" instead. Like some other terms for body parts, it can get the o- お~ polite prefix attached to it: ochinko おチンコ. It's also spelled ちんこ, おちんこ.

A less vulgar, childish variant is chinchin ちんちん, or ochinchin おちんちん, and the technical term for "penis" is inkei 陰茎.

The female counterpart would be manko マンコ.
Thursday, April 18, 2019

ochinchin おちんちん

In Japanese, ochinchin おちんちん is a childish way to say "penis," like "wiener," "pee pee," "wee wee," etc. It's literally the word chinchin plus the polite o- お~ prefix. It's also spelled おチンチン, オチンチン, and also romanized otintin.

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 27)

Note that ochinchin only has one meaning, while chinchin ちんちん has other meanings. For example, chinchin can refer to a kind of dog trick, but ochinchin can not.

This happens because terms for body parts sometimes get the o- お~ prefix attached to them. For example: te 手, "hand," becomes ote お手. Since a dog trick isn't a body part, it doesn't get the prefix, so it's chinchin but not ochinchin.

chinchin ちんちん

In Japanese, chinchin ちんちん means a dozen different things: it's a childish way to say "penis." it can refer to a kind of dog trick; or to hopping on one leg; to a sound bells and microwave ovens make; to a different sound that kettles and boiling water make; it can mean jealousy; or that a couple has a good relationship; it's a term for the fry (young fish) of a black porgy; in soccer it means to win one-sidedly; and it can refer to a numbing feeling from cold.

It's also spelled chinchin チンチン, and also romanized tintin.

Chinchin dog.
Anime: 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~ (Episode 7)
Thursday, April 4, 2019

"Piercing" in Japanese

There are various ways to say "piercing" in Japanese.

The word piasu ピアス means "piercing" in the jewelry kind. It's the katakanization of the English verb to "pierce," but it's synonymous with the one for the noun "piercing," piashingu ピアシング. It's abbreviated pi ピ.

It comes after body part words for whatever body part you're piercing. For example:
  • shita piasu 舌ピアス
    shita pi 舌ピ
    Tongue piercing.
  • mimi piasu 耳ピアス
    mimi pi 耳ピ
    Ear piercing.
    • mimikazari 耳飾り
      Earring. "Ear decoration."
    • iaringu イヤリング

The word kantsuu 貫通 means "piercing" in the sense of perforation, "opening a hole."

inmon 淫紋

In hentai pornography, a "womb tattoo," or inmon 淫紋, "lewd crest" in Japanese, is usually a crotch tattoo or lower stomach tattoo that looks like some sort of crest, or magical rune, and might or might not carry some sexual meaning.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

manba マンバ

In Japanese, manba マンバ is a type of gyaru ギャル with a makeup that stands out, characterized by artificial dark skin color, or black face, called ganguro ガングロ, white lip gloss, white mascara, highlighter (on nose), white greasepaint, drawn downturned eyes, stickers (decoration) above the cheek, and colored hair.

Character: Sumiyoshi Kanako 住吉加奈子
Anime: Nyan Koi! にゃんこい! (Episode 2)

ganguro ガングロ

In Japanese, ganguro ガングロ refers to the artificial "dark skin" that's basis of various makeup styles in gyaru ギャル fashion, like manba マンバ and yamanba ヤマンバ. It can also refer to a girl that wears ganguro.

The ganguro makeup makes use of the dark skin color to be contrastive. It tends to have light colors for the lip and eyes, with the hair colored orange, blonde, or white.

Monday, April 1, 2019

kouhai 後輩

In Japanese, kouhai 後輩 means "junior," in the sense they've been in a workplace, organization, school, or school club, for less time than you have. It can also refer to someone who has been doing an activity, like a sport, for less time than you.

The word kouhai is also romanized kōhai. It's the antonym of senpai 先輩, "senior," as one might guess from the meaning of the kanji of the words: saki 先 means "early," while ato 後 means "later." A senior is the one who joined earlier, before, the junior who joined later.
Saturday, March 30, 2019

hizamakura 膝枕

In Japanese, hizamakura 膝枕 means "lap pillow." This is when someone offers their lap as a pillow to someone else, so they lay their head on there.

Lap pillow, Emilia and Subaru
Anime: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 (Episode 8)

Literally, hiza 膝 means "knee," the body part, so hizamakura sounds like a "knee pillow." The area above the knee is what you'd call the "lap" in English.

gesugao ゲス顔

In Japanese, gesugao ゲス顔 means "scum face." In anime, it normally refers to the twisted, grinning expressions characters that are scum, vulgar lowlifes, make when they're enjoying a situation. Savoring the fact they won, often mocking the loser. Or are scheming some evil plan. Or even just throwing slurs at someone they hate.

Generally, gesugao is depicted with the following features:
  • Looking down at the "loser."
  • Grinning, laughing, or putting their tongue out mockingly.
  • One eye slight closed.
  • Pupils drawn smaller than usual.
  • Shadow drawn around the forehead.

Gesugao of and Saotome Mary and Jabami Yumeko.
Anime: Kakegurui 賭ケグルイ (Episode 1)

gyaru ギャル

In Japanese, gyaru ギャル are generally sociable young women of flashy, showy appearance, specially those following certain fashion trends, wearing gaudy accessories and makeup.

In anime, gyaru characters are normally portrayed as having unnatural dark skin and blond hair, and are associated with a number of tropes.

Characters: Aiura Mikoto 相ト命
Anime: Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan 2 斉木楠雄のΨ難 2 (Episode 8)

gyaku 逆

In Japanese, gyaku 逆 means "reverse" or "opposite." Besides being used as a noun sometimes, it's also used as a prefix for things that are reverse. Its kanji can also be read as saka 逆, the meaning remaining the same.

For example, when someone says something, but:
  • sono gyaku da
    It's the opposite of that.
    • Literally "that's opposite," but the "'s" is in the possessive sense.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Reverse Harem, gyaku-harem 逆ハーレム

In the fandom, "reverse harem" is a genre of manga and anime about one girl surrounded by a cast a male characters who are her potential romantic interests. Essentially, it's the harem genre, but with genders in reverse.

One question many people have is why the term sounds so stupid in English. A "reverse" harem? What's up with that? Why not call it a male harem? Reverse sounds weird.

That's because the English term comes the Japanese term for the same genre: gyaku-harem, or gyaku-hareemu 逆ハーレム.

This gyaku prefix can be translated as either "reverse" or "opposite." So it was a choice between "reverse harem" and "opposite harem."
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

harem ハーレム

In anime, harem is a genre that deals with one male protagonist surrounded by a cast of mostly girls and potential romantic interests. This comes the Japanese word hareemu ハーレム, referring to the same genre, which itself comes from the Arabic word ḥarīm.

A harem which is the opposite: one girl surrounded by guys, is called a gyaku-hareemu 逆ハーレム, or "reverse-harem."

It's a well known fact in harem anime the protagonist doesn't matter. People watch this stuff because of the girls, not because of the guy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

majo 魔女

In Japanese, majo 魔女 means "witch." In other words: a mahou-tsukai 魔法使い, "magic user," who is a "woman," onna 女.

The term majo implies an adult "woman." For a "girl-witch," the term majokko 魔女っ子 is used instead. A "witch's apprentice" would be a majo no minarai 魔女の見習い.

The term mahou shoujo 魔法少女, "magic girl," refers to a "magical girl," and the genre of anime that features magical girls. It's not the same thing as majo or majokko, although some mahou shoujo are also majokko.

The term majo can also be used to refer to a real, non-fictitious woman who can't use magic, but has some strange, mysterious power: she can achieve some amazing things, like she does magic.

mahou shoujo 魔法少女

In Japanese, mahou shoujo 魔法少女 means "magical girl," or more literally, "magic girl," in the sense of a "girl," shoujo 少女, who can use "magic," mahou 魔法.

In anime, this specifically refers to a genre that deals with girls becoming able to use magic, generally by forming a pact, "contract," keiyaku 契約, with some bizarre magical being, and then transforming into all sorts of cute outfits, to battle in order to save the world and fill it with love, peace, hope, sugar, spice, and everything nice!

The most classic example of it being Sailor Moon, which is a shoujo manga, which means it's targeted at young girls, which means it also has a lot of romance and dokidoki and stuff that shoujo manga has.

mahou-tsukai 魔法使い

In Japanese, a mahou-tsukai 魔法使い is a "magic-user," literally, "someone who can use magic," mahou wo tsukaeru hito 魔法を使える人. Generally, however, mahou-tsukai is translated as "wizard."

A madoushi 魔道士 is pretty much the same thing, but since it's a different word, "sorcerer," I guess, who uses "sorcery," madou 魔道.

The term mahou-tsukai also refers to a virgin who's at least 30 years old. Or 25, in some cases.

"Virgin" in Japanese

There are various ways to say "virgin" in Japanese, unlike English.

First, the word shojo 処女 means a "virgin" woman. This sounds like shoujo 少女, "girl," which, confusingly, is also romanized shōjo, but note the difference: shojo しょじょ, versus shoujo/shōjo しょうじょ, and the relaxed pronunciation shōjo/shoojo しょーじょ.

The word doutei 童貞 means just "virgin." It's technically a gender-less word. However, since there's a word that refers specifically to virgin women, shojo, the word doutei ends up being normally used toward virgin men. Just like nikushokukei 肉食系 and soushokukei 草食系. It's also relaxed dōtē どーてー,
  • shojo to doutei 処女と童貞
    Virgins and virgins. (female and male.)
Monday, March 25, 2019


In anime and manga, CGDCT stands for Cute Girls Doing Cute Things. That is, a series where all or most characters are cute girls, and all they do are cute things.

A CGDCT SOL anime would be a CGDCT slice of life anime. Not all CGDCT are SOL. Some CGDCT are comedy, for example.

There's no Japanese term for CGDCT, that's something west made up on its own. You could try to translate it as a phrase, but then you'd get:
  • kawaii onna-no-ko-tachi ga kawaii koto wo suru
    Cute girls do cute things.

And people would think you're an idiot for saying something like that.

Slice of Life

In anime and manga, slice of life, abbreviated SoL, is a genre where the series focus on the daily, mundane lives of the characters. What this means exactly depends on what those characters are and what in the world are they doing daily.

Often, a slice of life series will feature a tranquil atmosphere, since most characters will be friends, or classmates, or colleagues working for the same company, and all they'll do is just do mundane stuff like joke around, study for the finals, and prank each other.

The term for "slice of life" in Japanese would be nichijoukei 日常系, which translates to "daily life-class." See the -kei ~系 suffix for reference.

Funnily enough, the manga and anime Nichijou 日常, "Daily Lives," is one such slice of life, nichijoukei, series. It's also a comedy, or rather, joke, "gag," gyagu ギャグ, series, and a CGDCT series.

-kei ~系 - Suffix

In Japanese, -kei ~系 means "class" in what's probably the hardest to understand way possible. It's better translated as "type," "sort," "kind," or even "category." It's a suffix, going after whatever sort of sort you're talking about.

Although complicated to understand literally, the way kei 系 is generally used is to what "kind" of thing you like. For example, nichijou 日常 means "daily life." So nichijou-kei 日常系 means "daily life kind." A nichijou-kei anime is a slice of life anime, an anime categorized by dealing with the daily lives of characters, their nichijou.

The term "visual-kei band," or vijuaru-kei bando ヴィジュアル系バンド, is band classified by their focus on the visual: clothes, style, etc. rather than their music.

The terms nikushoku-kei 肉食系 and soushoku-kei 草食系 are "carnivore-class" and "herbivore-class," but it doesn't refer to animals, those are romantic personality types based on carnivores and herbivores, predators and preys. Although gender-less terms, the former generally refers to a girl who assertively goes after guys, and the latter generally a guy that's too timid to go after girls.

The word gyaru-kei ギャル系 would be literally "gal-class." This gal, gyaru ギャル, is a kind of look. So we can assume gyaru-kei refers to clothes "classified as gal," clothes a gyaru wears, that makes you look like a gyaru, of the gyaru kind, and so on.

soushokukei 草食系

In Japanese, soushokukei 草食系 means a kind of person that's passive in romantic or sexual relationships. Generally, it means a guy that's too shy or weak-willed to ask out and date a girl he's interested in.

It comes from soushoku 草食, literally "grass-eating," which is the term for "herbivore" animals, the prey that the predators go after. Plus the -kei ~系 suffix, "class," so soushoku-kei, "herbivore-class."

Although soushokukei is gender-neutral and can qualify a woman too, traditionally, it's women that are asked out by guys, so they're assumed to be soushokukei by default. It'd be redundant to call a woman soushokukei, so it tends to be a guy who's soushokukei instead.

Conversely, the term nikushokukei 肉食系, from "carnivore," refers to someone who's romantically assertive, that is, what guys are assumed to be, so it tends to refer to romantically assertive women.

nikushokukei 肉食系

In Japanese, nikusokukei 肉食系 means a kind of person that assertively, aggressively or even predatorily seeks romantic or sexual relationships.

It comes from nikushoku 肉食, literally "meat-eating," which is the term for "carnivore" animals, predators that go after prey. Plus the -kei ~系 suffix, "class," so nikushoku-kei, "carnivore-class."

Normally, society assumes guys chase girls. Guys chase skirt. And girls are the ones being chased. They're the pure "maidens," otome 乙女. And, in fact, some want to be chased. They don't want to be proactive, take the first step, and confess to the guy they like. They want the guy they like to confess to them, so they can feel their worth recognized.

So guys are assumed to be nikushokukei by default. In which case, it becomes redundant to call a guy nikushokukei. When nikushokukei is used, it tends to mean women that take the first step instead of men. Women that do go after the guys they want. Women that make the cheesy pick-up lines and so on. This is despite nikushokukei being technically gender-neutral.