Do you love watching anime, but hate reading subtitles or listening to terribly dubbed voice overs? Same here! But learning Japanese to the point of fluency can take a long time and a lot of work. And often, formal Japanese lessons won’t teach you a lot of the slang you’ll find in anime. So what if you just want to understand a few anime phrases to make watching your favorite shows more fun? What if you want to pick up some Japanese slang to use with your friends? Well then you’ve come to right place.
What are common anime phrases?
Lots of anime characters will use the same phrases again and again, so once you learn them you can recognize them every time! Don’t forget that there are differences in Japan depending on if a male or female is speaking, so when that’s relevant, we’ve added both versions here for you!
Usually this is the verb to describe something being different, but when shouted it can mean, “No way!” “You’re wrong!” or “Don’t be ridiculous!” depending on the context.
Really? This is a word you will hear not only all over anime, but also all over the streets of Japan. In this video, however, the word honto is being used in a different context…do you know how she is using it here?
Baka literally means stupid, but is also used in anime to show つんでれ (tsundere), when a girl likes a boy and tries to hide it by treating him like a jerk. Like here:
Here’s another great example of つんでれ:
Baka can be used anywhere from sheepishly and jokingly, to very seriously as well. Just as ‘stupid’ can be in English!
“Don’t say such stupid things!”
ばかなことをいうな！(馬鹿なことを言うな!), baka na koto o iu na! – male
ばかなことをいわないで！（馬鹿なことを言わないで）baka na koto o iwanaide!– female
tasukete kure! -male
“Wait a minute!”
Can also mean “Wait Up!” or “Wait a second!” used casually between friends.
This slang term is just as popular as it is in America! In this clip, she uses it like she didn’t really mean the bad joke she told. Haha, just kidding! I would never tell a joke that stupid!
ikou! – unisex
Here is a hilarious compilation of clips…that happens to have a phrase in there later, but maybe just watch it because it’s funny.
We’re going to start doing this as a regular segment, so feel free to submit your favorite clips of sayings you hear all the time in anime! Know some common anime phrases but not sure what they mean? Submit a clip and we’ll do the translation for you!