The anime fandom and otakus around the world share more than just a passion for this type of content. They use anime-specific vocabulary and terms, which is very confusing for those who are new to anime. For this reason we wanted to show you the 50 most important and essential Japanese anime terms that newcomers should know.

These are the 50 Japanese Anime Terms for Newbies! 😉
Japanese Anime Vocabulary and Terms for Newbies

1. What is Waifu and Husbando

“Waifu” and “Husbando” are terms that refer to a fictional character, usually anime, having great affection for another (Romance). Waifu comes from wife, wife in English, and husbando comes from husband, husband in English.


What does kawaii Japanese term mean?

“Kawaii” is a Japanese word meaning pretty, cute, or sweet. On certain occasions you will also see the word “Kakkoii”, which means the same as kawaii but in the masculine and with a somewhat more formal use.


“Senpai” could be translated as teacher. It is a Japanese honorific word used when someone is older than you or has more experience than you in a particular field.

4. What is a Yandere person

“Yandere” is a Japanese term for a person who seems sweet and nice at first glance, but acts toxic and aggressive when romantic interest is involved.

5. What is Ahegao

“Ahegao” is another Japanese term that describes a person’s face when they show pleasure. This face is usually with crossed eyes, tongue out, and flushed cheeks. It is a word widely used in manga and anime hentai, ecchi or even video games.

6. Otaku

Today it is used to represent the anime community, describing a hardcore fan of anime.


A Japanese word that represents perverse sexual desire. Outside of Japan it is used to differentiate between anime and manga pornography.

8. Onii-chan or Onee-chan

“Onii-chan” is another Japanese word meaning older brother, whereas “Onee-chan” is used for older sister.

9. Tsundere

It is a term that describes a person who is cold and strong-willed at first, then over time shows a more pleasant and friendly person.

10. Himedere

A Japanese term to describe a person who requires to be treated like a princess by her loved ones.

11. Deredere

A Japanese word that describes a person who is sweet, energetic, and carefree.

12. What does Loli mean?

It refers to girls with a pre-adolescent appearance.


A Japanese word that identifies the author of the manga.

14.Fan service

Intentionally adding something to the anime or manga to please the audience, such as certain characters wearing sexy clothing.


It is short for Anime Music Video. Normally these videos are edited and shared by anime fans. They add images from the anime and a good soundtrack.

16. Otome Game

Video game with a plot with boys and that is aimed at the female audience.

17. What does Baka mean?

A Japanese word that defines an idiot or useless person, depending on the context in which it is used.

18. oh

love words in japanese anime

A Japanese word meaning love.

19. Bishounen or Bishoujo

“Bishounen” is a Japanese term that refers to a handsome boy, and “Bishoujo” is the equivalent for a beautiful girl.

20. Dattebayo

It is a term used a lot in the Naruto anime. It does not have a specific meaning or a literal translation, but it usually refers to the fact that the person speaking is uneducated, rude and immature.


21. Weeb or weaboo

It is a term used jokingly to describe a person who is too blinded by Japanese culture and really wants to be Japanese.

22. Abunai

You will see this word a lot in the manga, it means dangerous, but in the manga it would be translated as Beware! For example, Abunai Goku!

23. Yameru

It is a Japanese term used to say enough or stop.

24. What does Use mean?

It’s a curious Japanese word, because its literal translation is a lie, but actually in anime it’s used to say colloquial phrases like “I don’t believe you!” or “You’re kidding!”

25. Gambaru

“Gambaru” means to be tenacious about something.

26. Bijin

The literal translation of “Bijin” is beautiful woman.

27. Doki Doki

It is an expression used when you see the person you like and your heart starts beating very fast.

28. Itadakimasu

It is a word widely used in Japan, let’s say that it is like blessing the table in the accidental world. “Itadakimasu” is said just before starting to eat, and its translation would be “I receive these foods with humility”.

29. Oishi

Continuing with food, “Oiishi” means delicious, exquisite or that something is very good.

30. Gaijin

Term used to say that someone is a foreigner or stranger with little education.

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