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

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

に Particle

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

な Particle

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

の Subject Marker

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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

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

~といい~といい

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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
    値段といい、質といい、満足です
    (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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

guruguru-me ぐるぐる目

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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

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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
    その笑顔を守りたい
    [I] want to protect that "smiling face."
    [I] want to protect that smile.
  • kanojo no egao
    彼女の笑顔
    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

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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.

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.

レイプ目
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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

ちんちん
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

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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
      Earring.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
    その逆だ
    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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

CGDCT

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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
    可愛い女のが可愛いことをする
    Cute girls do cute things.

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

Slice of Life

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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

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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

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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

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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.

mesu メス

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In Japanese, mesu メス means "female" or "scalpel," "shiv." Not to be confused with masu ます, the polite suffix.

When mesu メス means "female," it's also spelled mesu 雌, mesu, and it's only used toward animals. The "male" counterpart would be osu オス, osu 雄, osu 牡.

Calling a woman mesu is like calling her an animal, which is degrading, derogatory. Which is why it does in fact happen, specially in anime where a character is throwing slurs at a woman, like "slut," bitch ビッチ.

In manga with surgeries, mesu メス also means the "scalpel" a surgeon uses to operate a patient.

Because a scalpel is a blade that opens people up, in manga with gangs, a mesu メス also refers to a shiv brandished in a fight. You know when two guys are fighting and then one guy—the bad guy, we know it's the bad guy—pulls out a shiv out of his pocket and brings a knife to a fist fight like some prideless cheater with no dignity? That's a mesu メス.

bitch ビッチ

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In Japanese, bicchi ビッチ means "slut," someone's who sexually promiscuous. It's derogatory. Don't confuse bicchiチ with biichiチ, which means "beach," like next to a "sea," umi 海.

This word is interesting because it's a katakanization of the English word "bitch." But bicchi ビッチ in Japanese doesn't mean the same thing as "bitch" in English. Not at all.

To begin with, a "bitch" can be a female dog, but in Japanese a "female dog" is a mesu inu メス犬. The word bicchi ビッチ is only used toward women.

riajuu リア充

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In Japanese, riajuu リア充 means "normie," basically. In the same sense weebs would call people normies. It's a word use by losers otaku オタク to refer to someone who, unlike them, is leading a fulfilling life: they have friends, a girlfriend, good grades, a good job, money, social skills, they go the beach, travel, and so on.

Literally, riajuu リア充 is the abbreviation of riaru リアル, which means "real," as in not the virtual, internet world, or the fantasy 2D anime-land, In Real Life, or Outside™, and the word juujitsu 充実, which means to be "full" or "complete," as opposed of lacking somehow.
  • riaru ga juujitsu shiteiru
    リアルが充実している
    Real is being full. Complete.
    • Someone feels fulfillment for their real life.
  • riajuu me リア充め!
    [You damn] riajuu!
    [You damn] normie!
    • Used when a someone is envious of a riajuu.
Sunday, March 24, 2019

teppeki skirt 鉄壁スカート

In the Japanese anime fandom, teppeki skirt, also romanized teppeki sukaato 鉄壁スカート, literally "iron-wall skirt," or less literally "impregnable skirt," refers to a skirt that doesn't let panties be seen, doesn't let panchira happen, by folding in ways inexplicable by current science and going as far as to ignore gravity and other laws of physics to cover the panties hidden within.

panchira パンチラ

In Japanese, panchira パンチラ refers to an accidental glimpse of panties, which is a common type of fanservice in anime. Although it's often a "panty shot," panchira doesn't mean panty shot, and there are panty shots that aren't panchira.

haitenai はいてない

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In the Japanese anime fandom, haitenai はいてない, literally "to not be wearing," refers to a situation in which panties should be visible, and yet you aren't seeing them, making you question whether a character is wearing panties or not.

This mysterious phenomena occurring in anime has also been called in English by the names of  "Schrodinger's panties" or "quantum panties," due to the indeterminacy of its plausible existence and lack of counter-evidence.

It's also called pantsu haitenai ぱんつはいてない, "not wearing panties."

And I'm writing this article, of course, because a KonoSuba sequel was announced. Aqua, one of the KonoSuba characters, wears one such Schrodinger's panties—or... doesn't—that will make you say: wait a second... she's not wearing any, haitenai!

Chiralism

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In Japanese, "chiralism," or chirarizumu チラリズム, is, pretty much, accidental or natural "flashing," as in the exposition of skin or underwear.

This term is used in contrast to deliberate flashing, which is considered inferior to chiralism, by the warped logic that seeing skin or underwear is good, but showing it off deliberately is obscene, and obscenities are degrading, and degrading means it loses value.

Thus, somehow, it's more valuable to catch a glimpse of something you want to but shouldn't see than being shown it right away.

otome 乙女

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In Japanese, otome 乙女 means "maiden" or "damsel." Specially in the sense of a "pure maiden," as in, an innocent young girl, beacon of purity, who's probably the main heroine of a dokidoki-filled romance manga about her "first love," hatsukoi 初恋.

The miko 巫女, traditionally unmarried virgins who assist priests in shrines, are generally called "shrine maidens" in this sense.

The term otome can also refer to someone who features exuberant otome-like attributes: they look very feminine and very pure: they're shy, they've fallen in love with someone, they want to be confessed to, they fuss over love letters, they make the guy's bentou 弁当, "lunch-box," and bring it to school, and they want the guy to eat the lunch they made, just like a wife making a husband's lunch, and they want to eat lunch together, and all that extremely cliche stuff.

iru いる

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In Japanese, iru いる means one of the following homonyms:
  • iru 居る
    To exist. To be.
    To exist in possession of someone. (to have.)
    The animate counterpart of aru ある.
  • iru 要る
    To be necessary. (to need.)
  • iru 入る
    To enter. To go in.
    Often used in set phrases.
  • iru 射る
    To shoot. (e.g. an arrow.)

iru いる, 要る - To Need

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In Japanese, iru いる, also spelled iru 要る, means "to need," or rather, it means "to be necessary" for something or by someone.

This iru to be confused with the iru いる that means "to exist." Or with the other iru いる.

An example of its usage:
  • kane ga iru 金がいる
    Money is necessary.
    • I need money, to buy things and pay bills.
    • To make a spaceship, you'd need a lot of money.

iru いる, 居る - To Exist

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In Japanese, iru いる, also spelled iru 居る, means "to be" or "to exist" somewhere. It doesn't mean "to be" something, for that, see the copula desu です.

Not to be confused with the iru いる that means "to need." Or with the other iru いる.

When iru comes after the te form of verbs, it becomes the te-iru ている form, which is not what this article is about.

Note that aru ある is the inanimate counterpart of iru いる. Since aru can mean "to have" sometimes, iru can mean "to have" sometimes too.

The verb iru often used with the location pronouns koko, soko, asoko, doko ここ, そこ, あそこ, どこ. For example:
  • watashi wa koko ni iru
    私はここにいる
    I exist here.
    I'm here.
  • kare wa doko ni iru?!
    彼はどこにいる?!
    He exists where?!
    Where he exists?!
    Where he is?!
    Where is he?!

aru ある, 有る, 在る

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In Japanese, aru ある means either "to exist" or "to have." It's also spelled aru 有る and aru 在る, one meaning only "to have" and the other only "to exist."

Sometimes, aru can be translated as "to be," "is," "are," and so on, too, because something that "exists" somewhere could also be said "to be" there. It can also be translated as "there is" or "there are" in some phrases.

Note that this article is mostly about phrases that end in ga aru がある. If you're looking for de aru である, go check the article about Desu です instead.

Let's start with the existential meaning:
  • kanousei ga aru
    可能性がある
    A possibility exists.
    • There is a possibility.
  • kanousei ga atta
    可能性があった
    A possibility existed.
    • There was a possibility.

koto こと, 事

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In Japanese, koto こと, also spelled koto 事, means literally "thing," and less literally a "something," and even less literally a "what." It's an extremely vague word that bears almost no meaning of its own. It's a light noun and nominalizer.

Basically, although koto こと means "thing," it doesn't mean "thing" the same way "thing" means "thing" in English. For example, in English we can say "we found a thing," but we can't say that in Japanese with koto, we can only say it with nanika.
  • *koto wo mistuketa
    ことを見つけた
    (wrong.)
  • nanika wo mitsuketa
    何かを見つけた
    Found something.
    • Found a thing.
Saturday, March 23, 2019

Nominalizers

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In linguistics, a nominalizer is a word whose purpose is to turn something into a noun. See nominalization for how it works.

In Japanese, there are a few words you can call nominalizers: the no の particle would be the purest nominalizer, followed by the slightly nuanced koto こと and mono もの, which are also light nouns.

The no の nominalizer is sometimes contracted to n ん. And mono もの is sometimes contracted to mon もん.

Nominalization

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Nominalization is the process of turning into nouns words that aren't nouns. In this article, I'll explain why it happens, how nominalization works in Japanese, and some ways it's used.

Light Nouns

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In linguistics, a light noun refers to one extremely meaningless noun, which is so abstract it's not normally used by itself, only gaining meaning when it's qualified by an adjective or relative clause.

Such light nouns normally perform grammatical functions rather than referring to tangible things, which makes them different from other, more normal nouns. Another name for light noun is weak noun, because it's semantically weak: weak in meaning.

Note that a nominalizer is a word whose only function is nominalization: turning something into a noun, and has no tangible meaning itself besides the nuance in its usage. Some light nouns are also nominalizers.

In Japanese, light nouns include koto こと, tokoro ところ, toko とこ and mono もの. The biggest problem with these words is that, because they're more about grammar than vocabulary, you'll find dictionary definitions of them absolutely misleading.

This happens because they don't have concrete meaning by themselves. The word "car" refers to the thing which is a car, just like a kuruma 車 refers to a kuruma. But a koto, a toko, and a mono, are all too vague to define.

kawaisou 可哀想

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In Japanese, kawaisou 可哀想 means "oh, that poor thing!" It's a phrase used when you feel pity for something.

More literally, kawaisou 可哀想 is an ateji for kawaisou 可愛そう, which means "it seems pitiable." And that kawaisou comes from the i-adjective kawaii 可愛い, which means "cute," but can also mean "pitiable," combined with the suffix -sou ~そう, which means "it seems."

The way it's used, though, is really to express pity or sympathy for someone or something, specially right before going help them. For example:

  • kawaisou da
    可哀想だ
    [It] seems pitiable.
  • kare ga kawaisou da
    彼が可哀想だ
    He seems pitiable.
    He seems [miserable.]
    [I feel sorry for him.]
  • kawaisou dakara tasukeyou
    可哀想だから助けよう
    Let's help [him] because [he seems miserable].
  • hitori bocchi de kawaisou
    一人ぼっちで可哀想
    [He] seems [miserable] by being alone.
    [I feel bad for him, because he's all by himself.].

Same Word Spelled in Multiple Ways

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In Japanese, words can be spelled in multiple ways, for multiple reasons.

A same Japanese word can be romanized in various ways. For example, ローマ字 can be romanized as roomaji, rōmaji, or romaji.

There are three Japanese "alphabets": hiragana, katakana, and kanji. The hiragana and katakana are both kana, they're interchangeable, like lower-case letters and UPPER-CASE LETTERS. Thus, anything that can be written with hiragana can be written with katakana and vice-versa.

The kana comprise all sounds of the Japanese language, so any Japanese word can be written with either hiragana or katakana.

The kanji are assigned to words and morphemes. Words that have kanji assigned to them can also be, and often are, spelled with kanji, but not everything has a kanji assigned to it; some words do not have kanji.

Relaxed Pronunciation

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The term "relaxed pronunciation" refers to words that are pronounced differently from the standard, prescribed forms, found in the dictionary. This is done casually, by abbreviating words, contracting, merging them together, distorting syllables, and so on. For example, "gotta" is the relaxed pronunciation of "got to."

In manga, relaxed pronunciation occurs literally all the time. It occurs so much that it warranted me to write an article about it.

The biggest problem about this "relaxed pronunciation" thing is that, like I just said, you're saying a word in a way that it's not in the dictionary. In way that's not standard. For someone learning Japanese, this basically means you won't be able to find the word in the dictionary, BECAUSE IT'S NOT SPELLED RIGHT!!!

A notorious example: kowai 怖い. That's an i-adjective. You can look that up in the dictionary quite easily, and you'll see it means "scary." But when people are scared, they tend to scream up words improperly, instead of calmly saying them properly. So you end up with koeeee こえぇぇぇ instead.

If you look up koe こえ you'll find the word koe 声, which means "voice." AND HAS LITERALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT WE WANTED. This is totally misleading. What's "voice" supposed to mean in this context??? IT MAKES NO SENSE!!! No matter how you think about it!!!

Another example: warii ワリぃ. Is this supposed to mean a wari 割, a "percentage"? Nope. That's the relaxed pronunciation of warui 悪い, which means literally "bad," and also: "sorry, my bad, that's my fault."

-sou ~そう - Suffix

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In Japanese, -sou ~そう means what something "seems" to be. It's a suffix that can be attached to verbs and adjectives, and can be inflected like a na-adjective: sou na そうな, sou ni そうに.

This article is about the sou suffix. If the sou you're looking for isn't a suffix, then it must be sou そう, "that way," the kosoado pronoun.
  • futsuu 普通
    Normal. (no-adjective.)
  • futsuu sou 普通そう
    [It] seems normal. Seemingly normal.
  • kirei 綺麗
    Pretty. (na-adjective.)
  • kirei sou 綺麗そう
    [It] seems pretty.

kawaii 可愛い

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In Japanese, kawaii 可愛い means "cute," and, sometimes, "pitiable." It's also spelled kawaii かわいい, without kanji.

It's an i-adjective and can be used toward people, animals, drawings, etc. pretty much like "cute" in English. Also like "cute" in English, kawaii isn't the exactly same thing as "pretty," kirei 綺麗, or "beautiful," utsukushii 美しい. But most "beautiful girls," bishoujo 美少女, are also kawaii anyway.
Friday, March 22, 2019

良い, 善い, 好い, 佳い, 吉い, 宜い

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In Japanese, 良い, 善い, 好い, 佳い, 吉い and 宜い are different ways to spell with kanji the synonymous i-adjectives ii いい and yoi よい, both of which mean "good."

Because Japanese hates you.

Fortunately these words are normally spelled with hiragana instead, and, although all these different ways technically exist, pretty much only the first few have any real use nowadays. Most of time only 良い is used and that's it.

好い is "good" in the sense the speaker likes it, would prefer it. 善い is "good" as in virtuous, not evil.

The adverbial inflection, yoku 良く, is special in that it can also be spelled as yoku 能く and yoku 克く. The first has a potential nuance: it's "good" you were capable of such feat, while the latter has an endurance nuance: you did "good" overcoming a hardship.

yoi よい

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In Japanese, yoi よい, also spelled yoi 良い, means "good," making it both synonymous and homonymous with the also i-adjective ii 良い.

Basically all the ways ii いい can be used, yoi よい can be used too. Except that using ii いい is more common that yoi よい.

Which is kind of awkward, because the inflections of ii いい, like ikunai いくない, ikatta いかった, are practically never used, while the inflections of yoi よい: yokunai よくない, yokatta よかった, are normally used.

So if you were to say "good" in Japanese, you would say ii いい, not yoi よい. But to say "not good," you would say yokunai よくない, not ikunai いくない.

ii いい

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In Japanese, ii いい means "good." Except when it doesn't. Which is most of the time.

Depending on context, ii can mean "alright," or "fine," or "okay," or "better."

For example:
  • sono hou ga ii
    その方がいい
    That way is better
  • kaette ii?
    帰っていい?
    Is it okay to return?
    • Can I go home?
  • kore de ii
    これでいい
    With this, it's alright.
  • ame ga furu to ii na
    雨が降るといい
    If rain rains: good.
    • It'd be good if it rained.
    • I wish it rained. I hope it rains.
  • yomeba ii
    読めばいい
    It's good if [you] read [it].
    • You should just read it.

(笑)

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In Japanese, kakko-warai (笑) means "lol." It's an internet slang used to laugh. Just like wwww and kusa.

To breakdown how it works: warau 笑う is the verb "to laugh." The conjugation warai 笑い is the noun form: "laughing." Although it's not done normally, you can remove the okurigana of such form for stylistic reasons, which is how it gets spelled warai 笑 instead.

It can also be spelled kakko-warai (笑い), though. Since the another reading of the kanji is shou 笑 some people read it kakko-shou カッコショウ instead. It's also read warai ワライ, shou ショウ, and even wara ワラ sometimes. There are also SOME BAKA who type it (笑, forgetting to CLOSE THE PARENTHESES. And of course, there's also()笑. And there's the lazier(w, which is how we got wwww to begin with.

The kakko カッコ part of kakko-warai カッコワライ refers to the parentheses. In Japanese, the parentheses and quotation marks are called kakko. The parentheses are maru-kakko 丸括弧, "round brackets," while 「」 would be kagi-kakko 鉤括弧, "hook brackets."

W - Prefix

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In Japanese, W means "double." Yes, you read that right. W. It's pronounced daburyuu ダブリュー in Japanese. (see katakanized alphabet letters.)

Not to be confused with wwww, which means "lol" instead. (just like kusa.)

This W is used as a prefix and a cool-looking slang to say you have a "double something." It means "double" because the name of the letter W is literally "double U."
  • daburyuu deeto
    Wデート
    Double date.

kusa 草 - Slang

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In Japanese, kusa 草 means "grass," but it's also a Japanese internet slang for "lol," used when you're laughing at something (someone's joke, maybe.)

If you're wondering why kusa 草 means "lol," that's because of another internet slang: wwww at the end of phrases, which also means "lol." That sequence of w's close to each other looks like a drawing of grass blades, so kusa, "grass," is now also used in place of them.w

aite 相手

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In Japanese, aite 相手 means the "other party" of given action. Whenever you're doing something, with someone, that someone is your aite. This can be your "partner" if you're cooperating the action, or "opponent" if the action is a competition.

Note that "party" is a "party" is the same sense that kocchi, socchi, acchi, or kochira, sochira, achira, mean "my party," "your party," "that party." They're sides of an action: I, you, them.

The word aite isn't the same thing as sochira, though, since sochira is the party of the listener, translating to "you" most of the time, while aite is the opposing party, so it can be someone besides the listener.
  • aite no kimochi
    相手の気持
    The feelings of the aite.
    • Usually, this phrase means the feelings of someone whom you're dealing with.
    • Understanding their feelings is important so that the action (dealing with) works out.

serifu 台詞

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In Japanese, serifu 台詞, also spelled serifu セリフ, refers to one's "lines" of dialogue. That is, the stuff that they say.

Everything that's inside a speech balloon in a manga is a serifu, because it's what the characters say. The "lines" a voice actors speaks in anime are their serifu.

The word serifu is also used to say "that's my line!" in Japanese, that's my serifu. In the sense of "it's me who should be saying that."
  • sore wa ore no serifu da!
    それは俺のセリフだ!
    That's my line!

Although koso こそ can also mean something along those lines, koso tends to be used in a good way: it's I who should be thanking you, it's I who should be saying sorry, while serifu tends to be used in a bad way: you stole my line, why are you telling me this? It's I who should be telling you that.

koso こそ

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In Japanese, koso こそ has various meanings, and it's a rather tricky adverb. Its most common usage is to say whatever precedes it is the suitable, the real, true, or best, compared to others, unsuitable ones, fakes, or unfits. The closest thing is English would be the word "rather."

(not to be confused with kozou 小僧, which means "boy" or "brat." See bocchan for origin.)

It's usually seen in the following two phrases:

Which generally translate to "I'm the one who should be saying it," or "doing it." Because kocchi and kochira can be used to say "I," or "my side," "my party," and so on.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

o kawaii koto お可愛いこと

In case you're wondering what o kawaii koto お可愛いこと actually means in Japanese, it's a bit complicated. The catch phrase from the manga and anime Kaguya-sama often gets translated as "how cute." That's not what it literally means, but it's pretty much the best translation you can get.

If you're out of the loop: o kawaii koto is a phrase often said often imagined to be said by Kaguya in a condescending way. The character imagining her saying it is too proud to allow it to happen. If he did something that gave her the chance to say it, that would hurt his pride immensely, so it must be avoided at all costs.

お可愛いこと・・・
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 7)

The phrase o kawaii koto お可愛いこと can be divided into three parts:
  1. o- お~ (prefix.)
  2. kawaii 可愛い (adjective.)
  3. koto こと (noun.)

Jump to TL;DR if you aren't really that interested in Japanese.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

ii kanji いい感じ

In Japanese, ii kanji いい感じ means literally "good feeling," but it's normally used to express your impression that something is favorable. That it looks good, that it feels good, that it seems good, or that it feels like it's going well, and so on.

It's the combination of the i-adjective ii いい, "good, " plus a noun form of the verb "to feel," kanjiru 感じる. This has nothing to do with the homonym kanji 漢字, "Chinese characters." And while kimochi ii 気持ちいい, "feeling good," sounds about the same it's used in a completely different way.

Example of ii kanji いい感じ usage in Japanese.
Manga: Killing Bites, Kiringu Baitsu キリングバイツ (Chapter 2)
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

mou ii もういい

In Japanese, mou ii もういい means literally "[it's] good/fine/alright/okay now/already," and it's used in a few of peculiar ways, like to say "I don't need that anymore," "forget it," "you've done enough," or "can I do that now."

This happens because both the adverb mou もう and the i-adjective ii いい can be used in a few peculiar ways.

Example of mou ii もういい usage in Japanese.
Manga: Gintama 銀魂 (Chapter 1)
Sunday, March 17, 2019

mou もう

In Japanese, mou もう means various things. It can mean something "already" happened; that "by now" it's somehow; we'll do it "just" a little more; we're "about" to do it "soon;" we'll do something "again;" or never "anymore;" or there's "another" of something; or it can interjection used to express frustration when you've had enough; or even to express confidence on how things are going.

An example of mou もう in Japanese.
Manga: Hikaru no Go ヒカルの碁 (Chapter 4)
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

madao マダオ

In Japanese, madao マダオ is an abbreviation of marude dame na ossan るでダメッさん, meaning "completely useless old man." It's not a Japanese word, actually, but a running joke used in the manga and anime Gintama 銀魂, said by Kagura 神楽 about Hasegawa Taizou 長谷川 泰三.

じゃーね まるでダメなオッさん 略してマダオ!
Manga: Gintama 銀魂 (Chapter 16)
  • jaa ne
    じゃーね
    [See ya later].
  • marude dame na ossan
    るでメなッさん
    Completely useless old man.
  • ryaku shite, madao!
    略して マダオ!
    Abbreviate it: MADAO!

For people who know nothing about Japanese, but watch too much anime, the exchange above may be difficult to understand linguistically for a number of reasons. Fortunately, this is a blog about explaining those reasons.
Monday, March 11, 2019

Omae wa Mou Shindeiru

If you're in an anime community, you might have seen the following meme already: omae wa mou shindeiru, or omae wa mou shinderu, followed by someone saying nani?! So, in case you're wondering what the hell are these weebs memeing about, it's a line from the manga and anime Fist of the North Star, Hokuto no Ken 北斗の拳.

Here's the translation:

おまえはもう死んでる・・・・・・・・・なにィ~~!?
Manga: Fist of the North Star, Hokuto no Ken 北斗の拳 (Chapter 1)
  • omae wa mou shinderu.........
    おまえはもう死んでる・・・・・・・・・
    You're already dead.
  • nanii~~!?
    なに~~!?
    Whattt!?

Note that shinderu しんでる is an abbreviation of shinde-iru しんでいる, the te-iru form of shinu 死ぬ, "to die," which is why some people say omae wa mou shindeiru お前はもうしんでいる instead.

Also note that there are differences between the magazine version, the complete edition, and the anime version. So it's likely the phrase has appeared as both shinderu and shindeiru sometime, making both perfectly correct.