Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glossary Term: Onsen

Change of pace this time around. Today's term is onsen, the Japanese term for hot spring. Since Japan is situated in a volcanically active area, there are A LOT of hotsprings in the country. There are several types of onsen, ranging from "public bath" types to being part of an inn/hotel. They play a major role in domestic tourism, with people commonly vacationing at onsen to relax. Consequently, they show up quite often in manga/anime, most commonly in romance-comedies (for obvious reasons), though they can really be featured in any genre. Strategically placed towels or steam usually blocks out any nudity.

As an example, the majority of the series Love Hina (shown above) takes place in a girl's dormitory which features an onsen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Glossary Term: Yankee

Continuing on with definitions... today's term is yankee, which fortunately has nothing to do with yandere. And no, it's not a term for Americans either. Rather, in Japan, yankee refers to a delinquent or trouble-making youth. Stereotypical traits include bleaching their hair blond (or otherwise styling it in an odd fashion), wearing surgical masks,  carrying bats or pipes, and just acting aggressively in general.


These types of characters typically get into a lot of fights, don't care about school rules, and just generally cause trouble. That's not to say that they're always the "bad guys" per se; some of them simply want to be seen as "tough" or as "somebody you shouldn't mess with". Others may have changes of heart as the story progresses and reform their ways.

Some examples of such characters include Mitsuhasi and Ito of Kyou Kare Ore Wa!! (pictured above), Harima Kenji of School Rumble, and Hibino Hareluya of Harelyua II Boy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Glossary Term: Yandere

Today's term is Yandere. If you remember the last lesson, "dere" comes from deredere, meaning lovestruck. But what does the "Yan" in this word mean? Well... in this case, it comes from yanderu, meaning mental/emotional illness. Uh oh.

Hell hath no wrath like a woman scorned

These are the characters that go BERSERK when something or someone gets between them and their love. This isn't a tsundere's "violent beatdown of the love interest", this is more like "axe-murderer rampage". It should also be noted that many yandere characters are not obvious at first; they can seem to be sweet and affectionate at first but when they snap...

For obvious reasons, this character type is a source of criticism by many. A few examples of manga/anime that have yandere characters are Mirai Nikki (pictured above) and (semi-spoiler alert) School Days.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Glossary Term: Tsundere

Alright, we're pretty much reaching the final stretch for our lessons now. At this point, I'll be defining certain terms that I feel that anybody who reads manga or watch anime should know.

Today's term is tsundere, which refers to a character (usually female) who tends to alternate between two moods with regards to another character (the love interest). These moods are "tsuntsun" (irritable/cold) and "deredere" (love-struck) respectively, hence the term. The ways in which a tsundere acts can vary wildly; for example, "tsuntsun" behavior can range from simply ignoring the love interest to beating the guy up.

Indifference -> Shy Embarrassment

Tsunderes are most commonly found in romantic comedies as the conflicting personalities can be easily utilized to progress the story. It can be nice to see a character progress from being "tsuntsun" most of the time to being "deredere", though most tsunderes will always have both aspects of their personality.

Some examples of tsundere characters are: Shana of Shakugan no Shana (pictured above), Aisaka Taiga of Toradora!, and Asuka Langley Soryu of Neon Genesis Evangelion.