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Ten Japanese Words Ten Anime Will Teach You

Updated on September 22, 2014

Even if you never planned on learning a word these ten english-subbed anime left you with a hidden knowledge of Japanese. Perfect for impressing all those who said watching anime was a waste of time!

Even the manga writer does it!
Even the manga writer does it!

1. BLEACH Taught us Ichigo

If you have seen BLEACH then you better know who Ichigo is. The whole manga revolves around this human who fate turned shinigami. Newcomers may see it mainly as an intense action driven anime but those who have experienced a bit more to BLEACH know it can be as hilarious as a**-kicking. One of the most humorous? The translation of Ichigo's name as strawberry. Characters can't help but enjoy teasing the heroic teen over being called 'strawberry.' True. His name has other translations which he tries to share but the translation we will forever remember is strawberry.

2. Angel Beats Taught us Tenshi

Angel Beats is an anime telling the story of an afterlife where teens with unfair lives have been sent to find what they could not while in this world. Though the main character is Otonashi the anime could not exist without Angel known in the English sub (of course) as tenshi. Like most Japanese words several translations exist but the must-have translation for tenshi here is angel. After all, the anime's name is Angel Beats.

Angel Beats

Angel Beats! Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Angel Beats! Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

Angel Beats is an anime which has a great deal of humour, drama, and heart. Each character lived an unfair life and now have the chance to find joy all over again. Except nothing ever goes as planned...

 

3. Bungaku Shoujo Taught us Bungaku

One of my favorite anime overlooked far to often, Bungaku Shoujo is the story of the 'literature girl, a being who devours books like food, and the one person capable of healing Konoha from his past. Bungaku is not the easiest word to remember. If it were just the title then I would not have included it. However, bungaku is completely key for those who watch. Tohko is the 'literature girl.' Meaning she literally eats books because she is the 'literature girl.' Kinda like how Sebastian (kuroshitsuji)is a demon. So the word bungaku is translated from Japanese as literature.

4. Xxxholic Taught us Hitsuzen

If you are reading this then it is no coincidence. There is only hitsuzen. If you immediately recognize the word then you have seen Xxxholic. This is Yuuko, the time dimensional space witch, words to live by. "There are no coincidences in this world. There is only the inevitable." Although it can be translated as necessary inevitable provides the most dramatic backdrop for Xxxholic fans.

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Allen fights akuma with crown clownThe making of an akumaAkuma come in different styles but they all appear evilA very high level akuma who makes a devastating attack on the Black OrderKanda, a fellow exorcist, destroys the akumaOne of my favorite, if not the favorite, chapter from the manga D.Gray-Man
Allen fights akuma with crown clown
Allen fights akuma with crown clown
The making of an akuma
The making of an akuma
Akuma come in different styles but they all appear evil
Akuma come in different styles but they all appear evil
A very high level akuma who makes a devastating attack on the Black Order
A very high level akuma who makes a devastating attack on the Black Order
Kanda, a fellow exorcist, destroys the akuma
Kanda, a fellow exorcist, destroys the akuma
One of my favorite, if not the favorite, chapter from the manga D.Gray-Man
One of my favorite, if not the favorite, chapter from the manga D.Gray-Man
D. Gray-Man, Vol. 1
D. Gray-Man, Vol. 1

The anime is well-done but the manga is the best way to appreciate the world of D. Gray Man. Unfortunately it is on hold for now but definitely worth a read!

 

5. D. Gray-Man Taught us Akuma

For those who strictly English dub there are the occasional animes which don't care either way. You will be getting a bit of Japanese whether you recognize it or not. D. Gray-Man is the classic example. If you watch the English-sub I'm sure you picked up a bit of other words (mainly Kanda's insults) but the one word we all know is akuma. The whole premise of D.Gray Man is the battle between the akuma and Exorcists. Looking at an akuma you have a darn good idea what it means. The translation I believe describes it best would be 'evil spirit.'

6. Stein's Gate Taught us Hentai

Stein;s Gate is one of the most intriguing of all time-travel anime not just because the machine is actually a souped up microwave. There are some awesome characters and then the necessary intelligent yet awkwardly sexual one. Itaru 'Daru' is known for his hacking skills and comments bordering on sexual harrassment. He's no stranger to being called hentai. The Japanese translation of hentai for Daru being pervert. If you have seen the English sub of Stein;s Gate then you know precisely why Daru is labeled ''hentai' and usually followed by some form of physical violence from the lady in question.

7. Kuroshitsuji Taught us Kuro

You don't need to know the main character of an anime to learn Japanese. The very title will teach you!

Kuroshitsuji is one of the most famous examples because it is so commonly referred to by lovers through its English translation. Black Butler. The story of a young earl whose butler is a demon employed to take revenge. Perfect description for a demon butler as the word kuro is best translated as black or dark.

Black Butler: Complete First Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Black Butler: Complete First Season (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

I have seen Kuroshitsuji in both sub and dub. Both are well-done but I prefer the sub because the voices really fit the characters best. This is a perfect anime for those who love the dramatic, supernatural, and a bit of dark humor.

 

8. Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro Taught us Tantei

If the title does not teach you what Tantei means then the anime is sure to. Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro is the story of a demon who joins with a human (more like enslaves her) to run a detective business to sate his hunger for mysteries. Surprisingly the anime is not well-known in the U.S. but must be overseas as it even was made into a NintendoDS game. Thank you Neuro for showing us a tantei need not be human to be amazing.

Haruhi's Senpai of Ouran High School Host Club

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9. Ouran High School Host Club Taught us Senpai

Ouran High School Host Club is the humourous tale of Haruhi, the poor scholarship student who accidentally gets mistaken for a boy and is blackmailed into joining the Ouran's host club. In the anime, Haruhi and the other students her age or younger refer to the elder students as senpai. Sometimes with their name like Tamaki Senpai or as a solo term. In the case of Ouran High School Host Club the translation is more along the lines of an honorific used for students in a higher grade by those in a lower one.

10. Beware! Baka is Everywhere in Anime

Baka just seems to pop up all over. Anime films, all types of series, heck I have even been know to use it in the real world from time to time. Baka can mean a fool, trivial matter, or foolish. Those are nice but translation I find fitting the situation has always been idiot. Next time you feel someone is acting like an idiot remember the word anime taught you for such occasions, baka. To be really advanced in insults with the word baka borrow from Kanda (D.Gray Man): baka usagi or idiot rabbit.

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