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Glossary

Posted by Nathan, 08 May 2013 · 2,466 views

There are several terms in Japanese (like most languages) that don't really have a direct English equivalent and instead need to be explained a bit more. So instead of explaining the full thing every time I want to use such a word in my blog entries I'll just use that word an then have a list of all those words and what they mean here. I would recommend just using this to refer to words that you might not understand rather than reading the whole thing.

Anime and Manga

A lot of people who aren't very familiar with anime and manga probably don't know the difference so I thought it was worth mentioning here. Put simply manga are Japanese comics whilst Anime refers to the same style but with moving images, including but not limited to cartoons.


Fillers Although fillers exist in Western media they aren't really known about as much as they are in Anime and Manga. A filler is an episode, or story arc that is not part of the original manga and are generally not considered as part of the "official" story line or "canon".
Demographics
Manga (and sometimes anime) is broken into several different demographics which target different audiences. This is useful for manga because various titles will all be published within a single issue of a magazine (such as Shonen Jump) and basically makes it quite clear how appropriate it is for different age groups.

The demographics include:
  • Kodomomuke: (or Kodomo) is aimed towards children, and are often very moralistic and teach children how to behave. Popular examples include Digimon, Hamtaro and Pokemon.
  • Shonen: (or Shounen, Shōnen) Which arguably is the most popular demographic is targeted towards young males (roughly between the ages of 10 and 18) but tends to be enjoyed by a lot more people outside of that age and gender group. It is categorized by high-action and often humourous plots and attractive female characters. It also often has a main character who has an ongoing desire to better themselves (or become stronger). Popular examples include Dragonball, Naruto and One Piece.
  • Shojo: (or Shoujo, Shōjo) is basically the oppopsite of Shonen and is aimed at young females (roughly between the ages of 10 and 18). They are often categorized by a strong focus on human and romantic relationships and emotions. Popular examples include Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket and Vampire Knight.
  • Seinen: The word Seinen means "young man" and its target audience is males roughly between 18 and 30 (though there are some Seinen manga aimed at businessman well into their 40's). In my opinion this demographic shows the most variation between different titles with subject matter ranging from expiremental, to the mundane, to pornographic. Because it generally focuses on storyline and character development rather than action it is often confused with Shojo. Popular examples include Vagabond, Hellsing and Elfen Lied
  • Josei: The word Josei means "woman","female" or "womanhood" and the demographic is generally written and targeted at women, and is essentially the female equivalent to Seinen. It tends to be written about adult women and is similar to a restrained and more realistic version of Shojo.
To keep this as simple as possible I will add to it when I use new Japanese words in my blog.




Very helpful. I didn't realize I didn't actually know what some of these meant until I read your definitions.

Very helpful. I didn't realize I didn't actually know what some of these meant until I read your definitions.

glad to hear it was useful :)

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