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General Information

With the availabilty of video downloads, and sellers' ability to advertise internationally, there is now easy access to these wonderful series. See our recommended links for download sites, and shopping for recommendations on where to buy or rent anime. Check out your local libraries for manga and videos to borrow. You can even join an anime club, often on college campuses (see our links page for sources).

Find out why adults are obsessed with animation as much or more than children! As a crash course in anime 101, the following is a chart of Japanese and general terms.




Forms of Address: added to end of the name to indicate respect or familiarity
-chan familiar title for either gender but usually something you'd call a child or someone younger, or a term a child would use for a family member, also for close female friends
-dono formal, usually refers to a lord
-kun informal, male friend or someone of lower social status
-hime formal, princess or young lady of noble birth
-sama formal, male/female
-san semi-formal, general use
-sensei teacher, doctor, a professional, etc.
-sempai elder, senior in rank
Ecchi Means perverted and refers to animes with sexual content or innuendo
Hentai Erotic, x-rated anime
Magic Girl Fantasy where the main character is a young girl with special powers.
Mecha Giant robots, robotic suits
Shoujo Anime geared toward girls
Shoujo-ai lesbian implications
Shounen Anime geared toward boys
Shounen-ai homosexual implications
Yaoi Male homosexual themes, more explicit
Yuri Lesbian themes, more explicit
General Terms:  
Baka Stupid, idiot, etc. You'll hear this a lot in anime!
Bishoujo Pretty girl style of drawing
Bishounen Pretty boy style of drawing
Doujinshi Manga /artwork created by fans and is often published and for sale, which is legal in Japan. Can't do that in the US because of copyright laws.
Dubs English voice over
Fan Art Art drawn by fans based on published work (book, anime, movies)
Fan Fiction Stories written by fans based on published work (book, anime, movies)
Fan Service Pointless scene just added in to titillate the viewer
Fan Subs Videos are subtitled by non-profit groups and distributed over the internet for free. Legalities are questionable, but as long as the anime has not been licensed it's not a problem.
Manga Graphic novel, sort of like a comic book but often for adults and not just super heroes
Mangaka Manga creator
Otaku Anime fan
Seiyuu Voice actor
Subs Subtitled in English with original Japanese voices
Media Terms:  
AVI Type of compressed video file. Players are available for free download
Bit Torrent File swarming program similar to Nabster used to download video files
CGI Computer generated graphics
DIVX Newer, more popular form of AVI files. Players are available for free download
Direct Download Download directly from a server. Usually faster than bit torrent.
OAV Original Animated Video - a direct to video release
OST Original Soundtrack
OVA Original Video Animation see OAV