Graphic Glossary

The world of graphic novels, manga, and anime have a language all of its own.  Use this a guide to help you better understand these formats.

Anime - any animated series or movie that comes from Japan.  Formerly Japanimation.

Bishojo - Beautiful girl.

Bishonen - Beautiful boy.

Dojinishi - Someone who publishes their own work.  Also a term to describe fan fiction.

Fan Service - Scantily clad characters or sexual innuendo for the enjoyment of the intended audience.

Graphic Novel - In some cases they are simply comics bound in book format, while others are a story represented in the sequential art format. An important thing to remember about graphic novels is that they are a format, not a genre.

Hentai - Manga and anime with sexual content.

Josei - Manga for older teen girls and women.

Kodomo - Manga for younger children.

Mangaka (Manga-ka) - A manga artist or creator.

Manhwa - Korean manga.

Mech/Mecha - Manga that includes mechanical items, specifically robots.

OEL - Original English Language.  This refers to manga that is created by English speaking person but done int he Japanese format.

Otaku - A fan or enthusiast of manga, anime, and video games.

OVA (OAV) - Original Video Animation.  Anime that is released directly on video without a theatrical release.

Seinen - Manga for adult men.

Shonen - Manga for teen boys (between 10 and 18 years).

Shonen-ai - "Boys love."  Refers to non-explicit romance between male characters.  (See Yaoi.)

Tankobon - A trade paperback series collection.  Also refers to a story told in one volume.

Yaoi - Manga that includes romance between male characters (intended for a female audience)>  In the US, it refers to explicit sexual content.

Yuri - Manga that includes romance between two female characters (not necessarily a sexual relationship).