Wednesday, April 28, 2021

hara-pan (Belly Punch)

In Japanese, hara-pan 腹パン means "belly punch." The word hara means "stomach," "belly," the body part, and pan is an abbreviation of panchi パンチ, "punch."

Alternatively, it means you're full after eating, ohara panpan お腹パンパン, "stomach bursting."

This is a sort of pan パン, "bread," that you can't eat, some others being furai-pan フライパン, "fry pan," and pantsu パンツ, "panties."

Nikaidou Saki 二階堂サキ attacking Tatsumi Koutarou 巽幸太郎 with a "belly punch," hara-pan 腹パン.
Attacker: Nikaidou Saki 二階堂サキ
Receiver: Tatsumi Koutarou 巽幸太郎
Anime: Zombieland Saga, ゾンビランドサガ (Episode 4)

Warning: examples in this article feature violence and audio.


The word hara-pan means just "belly punch," regardless of what technique or situation it occurs. The only thing that doesn't count as a belly punch would be a "belly kick," hara-keri 腹蹴り.

Attacker: Amano Miu 天野美雨
Receiver: Kanzaki Hideri 神崎ひでり
Anime: Blend S, ブレンド・S (Episode 8)
  • Context: Hideri says something stupid, triggering Miu's wrath.
  • a' , cho', {sofuto ni} hara-pan φ yamete kudasai
    あっ ちょっ ソフトに腹パンやまえてください
    Agh, wai-, please stop belly punching [me] {softly}.

The solar plexus is a complex network of nerves located in the upper abdomen. It's said that powerful strike in this region is enough to incapacitate someone. I don't know if this is true or not, but that doesn't matter.

What matters is that the reason why belly punches is a common technique in anime is that it puts anyone down in a single punch, which looks pretty badass to be honest.

Attacker: Yamaguchi Kumiko 山口久美子
Anime: Gokusen ごくせん (Episode 1)

It's unlikely for an average character to receive this technique and be left standing.

Attacker: Konoe Subaru 近衛スバル
Receiver: Sakamachi Kinjirou 坂町近次郎
Anime: Mayo Chiki! まよチキ! (Episode 1)
  • Context: Kinjirou knows too much.
  • mohaya omae ni jinken wa nai zo
    You don't have human rights anymore!
    (double subject construction.)
    • i.e. shut up and die.
  • odoroita
    [That] surprised [me].
  • ima no wa {{{saitei demo kizetsu suru} hazu no} ichigeki datta} noni yoku taeta na
    Even though [this] was a strike {supposed {to at least make [you] faint}}, [you've managed] to endure [it]. [I'm impressed].
    • ima no
      The one right now. This one.
    • ichigeki
      A single strike.
    • yoku X na
      I'm impress you did X. That you've managed to do X. That you do X. (sometimes used sarcastically.)
    • In the manga version, Subaru says the punch could've made him "vomit blood," toketsu 血吐, if hit badly.

The term hara-pan is sometimes considered NSFW, presumably due to its occurrence in ryona リョナ and belly fetish-related artwork.


For reference, some examples of hara-pan in anime:

Attacker: Kotoha 琴葉
Receiver: Sasaki Nonoka 笹木ののか
Anime: Mitsuboshi Colors, 三ツ星カラーズ (Episode 11)
  • Context: Kotoha attempts to cure Nonoka's sneezing with a belly punch.

In general, the typical hara-pan example goes like this:

  • A cut of the attacker preparing to punch.
  • A close-up of the punch on the stomach.
  • A cut of the receiver gasping for air or spitting.
  • A cut of the receiver falling on the floor.

Although I've never seen a disclaimer that no voice actor has been harmed in the production of an anime, I guess it's safe to assume that nobody is actually getting punched in real life to record all this grunting, and they're just, you know, acting.

Attacker: Mayonaka Matome 万世架まとめ
Anime: Akiba's Trip The Animation (Episode 1)
  • Context: the animation adaptation of a fighting game about making characters strip: Akiba Strip.
Receiver: Asamiya Saki 麻宮サキ
Anime: Sukeban Deka スケバン刑事 (Episode 1)
  • Context: Saki fights a group of delinquents known as the four heavenly kings. All four at once.
Counter-attacker: Maraich, マライヒ
Attacker: Jack Barbarossa Bancoran, ジャック・バルバロッサ・バンコラン
Anime: Patalliro!, パタリロ! (Episode 5)
  • Context: Maraich attempts to assassinate Bancoran, who counters with a belly punch.

Some characters get recurrently hara-pan'd in series.

Attacker: Hanazono Yurine 花園ゆりね
Receiver: Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん
Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick, 邪神ちゃんドロップキック (Episode 3)
  • Context: after training her abs, Jashin-chan asks Yurine to try punching her new, stronger belly.
Attacker: Hanazono Yurine 花園ゆりね
Receiver: Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん
Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick, 邪神ちゃんドロップキック (Episode 12, OVA)
  • Context: Jashin-chan brutally punches Yurine's pet dog, and Yurine returns the favor.
Poses & Gestures

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