Seiyuu Subculture Term Glossary

[Use the search bar at the top or the term index (also located on the sidebar). Some Japanese romaji readings will be used in place of their English counterparts for convenience, such as seiyuu and afureko. References are found here.]

[Last updated: January 11, 2024]

Image Source

The seiyuu fandom, niche it may be, is one of the easiest ways to get deep into Japanese entertainment culture. There are as many gateways as the kinds of jobs a seiyuu does, and it attracts people from all sorts of backgrounds and interests because there’s always something to appreciate. That makes for quite a slippery slope and before you know it, you’re on a plane trip to Japan just to see them.

I imagine a lot of you picked up tons of Japanese words and concepts the more you got into it. Maybe it even inspired you to explore other genres or even learn the language. That’s great! Please continue doing so. But as you may have realized, there are a lot of words to remember on top of figuring out how the industry works. It can get frustrating because information is hard to come by. If anything, we stumble into them but it may be outdated or too specialized and understanding them requires a certain kind of Japanese (or fandom) proficiency. Communities, while extremely helpful and informative, tend to be scattered, their accumlated knowledge staying within them and asking comes with the anxiety of having to repeat something “everyone knows” or being alienatated. This is my way to help out.

Sources are from mine and my sister’s personal experiences and observations, translation research for Wake Up, Girls!, and what has been shared out there in EN and JP that I can find. I might go into certain topics (such as afureko and recording practices) for clarity’s sake but the purpose is to present as many commonly-used terms as possible with acceptable English counterparts (if appropriate) so you have an idea of what they mean in context. To that effect, I also included seiyuu-adjacent entries because it is very likely one’s interest in seiyuu extends to or from other fields as well. Those entries are in the latter half.

With the exception of seiyuu because of how prevalent it is, entries are romanized in modified Hepburn [macrons for long vowels (ā, ē, ō, ū except i which is doubled), ん uniformly written as n, ambiguous syllable sequences broken up by apostrophe]. Proper names are presented as First name – Last name. Direct literal translations are marked with “lit.”

If there is something you feel needs to be added or edited for any reason, feel free to poke me (@jbtenmatay on twitter) and I’ll be happy to go over it and update since it could be something I’m not familiar with or uncomfortable adding because I lack sufficient information. I’m by no means an expert and I’m always open for new information so I’ll appreciate it as well as those who will be reading this.

On this page
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9