250+ Anime Words and Phrases to Speak Like a True Aficionado

The language learning community is divisive on whether you can learn Japanese from anime. On one hand it’s an incredibly fun and versatile medium, with tons of options for everyone, and on the other, it uses many stylized forms of conversation, so you risk not learning “real” Japanese like you’d hear on the streets.

Whatever you think about this issue, there’s no doubt that anime has some very fun turns of speech. Whether you’re looking to learn Japanese through anime, or you want to be able to watch Japanese anime without subtitles, this post has you covered.


Anime Genre Names

From a space-adventuring superhero fighter to the wholesome relationship between a boy and the tiny girl who’s replaced his hand, there’s an anime out there for you. Whether you like romance, adventure, horror or something else entirely, here are some of the most common Japanese anime genres, and how to say them in Japanese:

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish Translation
アクション あくしょんAkushonAction
ビーエル びーえるBiieruBL (Boys' Love)
コメディ こめでぃKomediiComedy
現代 げんだいGendaiContemporary/Modern
サイバーパンク さいばーぱんくSaibaa PankuCyberpunk
ダークファンタジー だーくふぁんたじーDaaku FantajiiDark Fantasy
ドラマ どらまDoramaDrama
エッチ えっちEcchiEcchi (Suggestive Content)
空想 くうそうKuusouFantasy
ギャグ ぎゃぐGyaguGag/Comedy
グロ ぐろGuroGore
ハーレム はーれむHaaremuHarem
変態 へんたいHentaiHentai (Pervert/Adult)
歴史 れきしRekishiHistorical
ホラー ほらーHoraaHorror
異世界 いせかいIsekaiIsekai (Otherworld)
時代物 じだいものJidaimonoJidaimono (Period Drama)
女性 じょせいJoseiJosei (Young Woman)
子供向け こどもむけKodomomukeKodomomuke (Child-Oriented)
魔法 まほうMahouMagic
メカ めかMechaMachines/Robots
ミステリー みすてりーMisuteriiMystery
サイコロジカル さいころじかるSaikorojikaruPsychological
ロマンス ろまんすRomansuRomance
SF えすえふEsu EfuScience Fiction
青年 せいねんSeinenSeinen (Young Man)
青春 せいしゅんSeishunSeishun (Youth)
少女 しょうじょShoujoShoujo (Young Girl)
少年 しょうねんShounenShounen (Young Boy)
スライスオブライフ すらいすおぶらいふSuraisu Obu RaifuSlice of Life
宇宙 うちゅうUchuuSpace
スペースオペラ すぺーすおぺらSupeesu OperaSpace Opera
スポーツ すぽーつSupootsuSports
スチームパンク すちーむぱんくSuchiimu PankuSteampunk
超自然 ちょうしぜんChou ShizenSupernatural
サスペンス さすぺんすSasupensuSuspense
スリラー すりらーSuriraaThriller

Honorifics and Titles

Reader-chan, if you watch anime, you’ll soon become very well-versed in honorifics and special titles of status. Here are some of the most common ones you’ll hear:

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish Translation
ちゃん ちゃんChanUsed for girls / Younger female
へいし へいしHeishaSoldier / Military personnel
こうはい こうはいKouhaiJunior (referring to someone younger or less experienced)
くん くんKunUsed for boys / Younger male
牧師 ぼくしKyoukaiReverend / Minister
さまSamaHonorable (used to show respect to someone of higher status)
さん さんSanMr. / Mrs. / Ms.
先輩 せんぱいSenpaiSenior (referring to someone older or more experienced)
師匠 ししょうShishouMaster / Mentor
たん たんTanAffectionate suffix (used for cute characters or by close friends)
店長 てんちょうTenchouStore Manager / Shopkeeper

Pronoun Use in Anime

Japanese pronouns have some unique qualities that set them apart from English. The way you refer to yourself and others can have layers of complexities that you might not expect. Here are important ones to note:

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish Translation
あなた あなたAnataCommonly used for "you" when addressing someone of equal or lower status, or for someone you don't know well.
お前 おまえOmaeInformal and can be rude, used when addressing someone of equal or lower status, often used between friends or rivals.
あんた あんたAntaCasual and familiar form of "you", used between close friends or people with a strong bond.
おたく おたくOtakuReferring to someone else as an "otaku" can be playful or teasing, but it can also be impolite or offensive depending on the context.
ぼくBokuUsed by boys and young men, humble and polite way to say "I".
おれOreUsed by boys and men, more assertive and less formal way to say "I".
わたしWatashiNeutral and polite way to say "I", used by both males and females, appropriate in formal or casual situations.
アタシ あたしAtashiFeminine way to say "I," mostly used by females and feminine males.
わたくしWatakushiA formal and haughty way to say "I," implying a certain level of distance or superiority.
あねAneOlder sister" pronoun, used by girls and young women when referring to their own older sisters.
あにAniOlder brother" pronoun, used by boys and young men when referring to their own older brothers.
いもうとImoutoYounger sister" pronoun, used by boys and young men when referring to their own younger sisters.
おとうとOtoutoYounger brother" pronoun, used by girls and young women when referring to their own younger brothers.
かれKareHe" or "boyfriend" pronoun, used to refer to someone's boyfriend or a male third-person pronoun.
彼女 かのじょKanojoShe" or "girlfriend" pronoun, used to refer to someone's girlfriend or a female third-person pronoun.
彼ら かれらKareraThey" pronoun, used to refer to a group of males or a mixed-gender group.
彼女たち かのじょたちKanojo-tachiThey" pronoun, used to refer to a group of females.
みんな みんなMinnaEveryone" or "you all" pronoun, used to address a group of people in a casual and friendly way.
皆さん みなさんMinasanEveryone" or "ladies and gentlemen" pronoun, used to address a group of people in a polite and respectful way.

Character Type Terms

A dere is a character archetype, describing a character that exhibits contrasting emotions or behavior. So what’s a tsundere? Find out below, along with a number of other character types it would be wise to know before you fall head-over-heels with that sweet-seeming yandere.

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish Translation
クーデレ くーでれKuudereCharacter who is at first cool and unapproachable, but later as he gets to know you well enough, becomes lovey-dovey
デレデレ でれでれDeredereCharacter who is constantly lovey-dovey and affectionate
ダンデレ だんでれDandereCharacter who is dandy and reserved but lovey-dovey to only certain people reserved
オタク おたくOtakuObsessive fan/geek
バカ ばかBakaFool
美少女 びしょうじょBishoujoBeautiful young girl
美少年 びしょうねんBishounenBeautiful young boy
キャラクター きゃらくたーKyarakutaaCharacter
ヒロイン ひろいんHiroinHeroine
ヒーロー ひーろーHiirouHero
悪役 あくやくAkuyakuVillain
腐女子 ふじょしFujoshiFemale fan of boys' love
腐男子 ふだんしFudanshiMale fan of boys' love
シリアス しりあすShiriasuSerious (character or tone)
コメディ こめでぃKomediiComedy (genre or character type)
ロリ ろりRoriLolita (young-looking character)
ショタ しょたShotaShota (young-looking boy character)
バトル ばとるBatoruBattle (genre or character type)
学生 がくせいGakuseiStudent
先輩 せんぱいSenpaiSenior (referring to someone older or more experienced)
後輩 こうはいKouhaiJunior (referring to someone younger or less experienced)
オネエ おねえOneeEffeminate male character
お嬢様 おじょうさまOjousamaRich, refined young lady
ツッコミ つっこみTsukkomiStraight man in a comedy duo
ボケ ぼけBokeFunny man in a comedy duo

Common Anime Words and Phrases

These are words and phrases you’ll almost definitely hear while watching anime!

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish Translation
あだAdaEnemy / Rival
愛してる あいしてるAishiteruI love you
あなたを信じてる あなたをしんじてるAnata o shinjiteruI believe in you
アラアラ あらあらAra ara(Feminine expression of mild scolding or surprise)
あれ? あれ?Are?Huh?
ありがとう ありがとうArigatouThank you
ありがとう、助かった ありがとう、たすかったArigatou, tasukattaThank you, you saved me
びっくり びっくりBikkuriSurprise
ちからChikaraPower / Strength
力を解放する ちからをかいほうするChikara o kaihou suruReleasing my power
大丈夫 だいじょうぶDaijoubuIt's okay
大好き だいすきDaisukiI like it very much
だからさ だからさDakara saThat's why
だめだめ だめだめDame dameNo way
どういたしまして どういたしましてDou itashimashiteYou're welcome
どういう意味? どういういみ?Dou iu imi?What does that mean?
どうしたの? どうしたの?Doushita no?What's wrong?
どうぞ どうぞDouzoHere you go/Please
どうぞお大事に どうぞおだいじにDouzo odaiji niTake care of yourself
えっ えっEHuh
ええと、実は… ええと、じつは...Eeto, jitsu waUm, actually...
二人で頑張ろう ふたりでがんばろうFutari de ganbarouLet's do our best together
がんばれ がんばれGanbareHang in there/Do your best
頑張って がんばってGanbatteDo your best
ごちそうさま ごちそうさまGochisousamaThanks for the meal
ごめんなさい ごめんなさいGomen nasaiI'm sorry
はい はいHaiYes
はい、分かりました はい、わかりましたHai, wakarimashitaYes, I understand
本当に? ほんとうに?Hontou ni?Really?
いいえ いいえIieNo
いいえ、何でもありません いいえ、なんでもありませんIie, nandemo arimasenNo, it's nothing
いただきます いただきますItadakimasuLet's eat (before a meal)
行ってきます いってきますIttekimasuI'm off/See you later (when leaving)
行ってらっしゃい いってらっしゃいItterasshaiTake care (when someone leaves)
かっこいい かっこいいKakkoiiCool
乾杯 かんぱいKanpaiCheers
勝った かったKattaI won
かわいい かわいいKawaiiCute
かわいいですね かわいいですねKawaii desu neIt's cute, isn't it?
気をつけて きをつけてKi o tsuketeStay well
希望 きぼうKibouHope
希望を捨てない きぼうをすてないKibou o sutenaI won't give up hope
嫌い きらいKiraiHate
綺麗 きれいKireiBeautiful
きっと大丈夫 きっとだいじょうぶKitto daijoubuIt'll be alright
こんにちは こんにちはKonnichiwaHello/Good afternoon
これでおしまい これでおしまいKore de oshimaiThat's the end
これからよろしく これからよろしくKore kara yoroshikuI'm counting on you from now on
きゃー! きゃー!Kyaa!Eek! (Squeal)
まあまあ まあまあMaa maaIt's okay
負けた まけたMaketaI lost
また会いましょう またあいましょうMata aimashouLet's meet again
また明日またあしたMata ashitaSee you tomorrow
もう我慢できない もうがまんできないMou gaman dekinaiI can't take it anymore
仲間 なかまNakamaClose friend
何ですか? なんですか?Nan desu ka?What is it?
何だろう なんだろうNandarouI wonder what it is
何で? なんで?Nande?Why?
何でもないよ なんでもないよNandemo nai yoIt's nothing
何これ? なにこれ?Nani kore?What's this?
なるほど なるほどNaruhodoI see
おばあちゃん おばあちゃんObaachanGrandma
おばあさん おばあさんObaasanGrandmother
お坊っちゃま おぼっちゃまObocchamaYoung master
お大事に おだいじにOdaiji niGet well soon
お元気で おげんきでOgenki deTake care
おはよう おはようOhayouGood morning
お姫様 おひめさまOhimesamaPrincess
お祝い おいわいOiwaiCelebration
お邪魔します おじゃましますOjama shimasuExcuse me for disturbing
おじいちゃん おじいちゃんOjiichanGrandpa
おじいさん おじいさんOjiisanGrandfather
お嬢様 おじょうさまOjousamaYoung lady/Miss
おかえりなさい おかえりなさいOkaerinasaiWelcome back
おめでとう おめでとうOmedetouCongratulations
おもしろい おもしろいOmoshiroiFunny/Interesting
お姉ちゃん おねえちゃんOneechan(Familiar) Older sister
お姉さん おねえさんOneesan(Respectful) Older sister
お願い おねがいOnegaiPlease
お願いだから おねがいだからOnegai dakaraPlease, I'm begging you
お願いします おねがいしますOnegaishimasuPlease/Do me a favor
お兄ちゃん おにいちゃんOniichan(Familiar) Older brother
お兄さん おにいさんOniisan(Respectful) Older brother
お誕生日おめでとう おたんじょうびおめでとうOtanjoubi omedetouHappy birthday
お楽しみ おたのしみOtanoshimiLooking forward to it
お手伝いいたしましょう おてつだいいたしましょうOtetsudai itashimashouLet me help you
お疲れ様 おつかれさまOtsukaresamaThank you for your hard work
おっと おっとOttoOops
おやすみ おやすみOyasumiGood night
さようなら さようならSayounaraGoodbye
戦士 せんしSenshiWarrior
戦友 せんゆうSenyuuBattle companion
勝利 しょうりShouriVictory
それは違う それはちがうSore wa chigauThat's not right
それじゃあ、行ってきます それじゃあ、いってきますSorejaa, itte kimasuWell then, I'm off (when leaving)
すごい すごいSugoiAmazing
すごくかっこいい すごくかっこいいSugoku kakkoiiReally cool
すごく楽しかった すごくたのしかったSugoku tanoshikattaIt was really fun
すみません すみませんSumimasenExcuse me
ただいま ただいまTadaimaI'm back
戦い たたかいTatakaiBattle
友達 ともだちTomodachiFriend
友達を守る ともだちをまもるTomodachi o mamoruProtecting my friends
とっても嬉しい とってもうれしいTottemo ureshiiI'm very happy
闘志 とうしToushiFighting spirit
うん、分かった うん、わかったUn, wakattaYes, understood
うるさい うるさいUrusaiAnnoying
うるさいですね うるさいですねUrusai desu neIt's annoying, isn't it?
嘘でしょ うそでしょUso deshoYou must be kidding
うわー! うわー!Uwaa!Wow!
わあ、すごい! わあ、すごい!Waa, sugoi!
Wow, amazing!
わーい、楽しい! わーい、たのしい!Waai, tanoshii!Yay, it's fun!
わーい! わーい!Waai!Hooray!
分かりません わかりませんWakarimasenI don't understand
分かります わかりますWakarimasuI understand
分かった わかったWakattaI got it
よかった よかったYokattaI'm glad
よくやった よくやったYoku yattaWell done
よろしくお願いします よろしくおねがいしますYoroshiku onegaishimasuNice to meet you
勇気 ゆうきYuukiCourage
勇者 ゆうしゃYuushaHero

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Famous Anime Catchphrases

Who said that line? These often meme-d anime catchphrases pop up on the internet pretty often. You might be familiar with them even if you’ve never watched an anime!

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish TranslationAnime
キルしてやる きるしてやるKiru shite yaruI'll kill you!"Black Lagoon"
オレはここだ おれはここだOre wa koko daI am right here."One Punch Man"
私が正義だ! わたしがせいぎだ!Watashi ga seigi da!I am justice!"Kill la Kill"
かめはめ波! かめはめは!Kamehameha!(Special attack name)"Dragon Ball" series
お前はもう死んでいる おまえはもうしんでいるOmae wa mou shindeiruYou are already dead."Fist of the North Star"
だが断る だがことわるDaga kotowaruBut I refuse."JoJo's Bizarre Adventure"
燃えよ、燃えよー! もえよ、もえよー!Moe yo, moe yo!Burn, baby, burn!"Attack on Titan"
オラオラオラオラ! おらおらおらおら!Ora ora ora ora!Hey hey hey hey!"JoJo's Bizarre Adventure"
だってばよ! だってばよ!Dattebayo!Believe it!"Naruto"
アハハ、何てこった あはは、なんてこったAhaha, nante kottaLOL, what a mess"Gurren Lagann"
ゴミくず野郎 ごみくずやろうGomikuzu yarouYou piece of trash"Naruto"
ワクワク わくわくwaku-waku(Expression of excitement)"Spy x Family"
信じてよ しんじてよShinjite yoBelieve in me"Neon Genesis Evangelion"

Anime Battle Cries

Get into the fighting spirit as you learn these anime battle cries. Rah!

Japanese (with audio)FuriganaRomajiEnglish Translation
ばかやろう! ばかやろう!Baka yarou!You fool!
必殺技! ひっさつわざ!Hissatsu waza!Special move!
いざ、勝負! いざ、しょうぶ!Iza, shoubu!Now, the battle begins!
覚悟しろ! かくごしろ!Kakugo shiro!Prepare yourself!
勝つんだ! かつんだ!Katsunda!Win!
斬る! きる!Kiru!Slash!
負ける気がしねぇ! まけるきがしねぇ!Makeru ki ga shinee!I don't feel like losing!
未来を守るため! みらいをまもるため!Mirai o mamoru tame!To protect the future!
見せてやる! みせてやる!Misete yaru!I'll show you!
仲間を守る! なかまをまもる!Nakama o mamoru!I'll protect my friends!
逃がさない! にがさない!Nigasanai!I won't let you escape!
俺の勝ちだ! おれのかちだ!Ore no kachi da!I won!
さあ、やるぞ! さあ、やるぞ!Saa, yaruzo!Come on, let's do it!
それでも俺は… それでもおれは…Sore demo ore wa...Even so, I...
戦え! たたかえ!Tatakae!Fight!
突撃 だー!! とつげきだー!!Totsugeki daa!!Charge!!
闘志を燃やす! とうしをもやす!Toushi o moyasu!Ignite the fighting spirit!
絶対に許さない! ぜったいにゆるさない!Zettai ni yurusanai!I will never forgive!


Whether you’re a seasoned otaku or just starting your anime journey, these anime words and phrases will unlock a deeper understanding of the fun and sometimes insane world of anime Japanese.

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