Top 10 Japanese phrases from Anime you should NOT use

Anime is a great way to learn Japanese! It helps you familiarize yourself with daily conversations in Japanese… It lets you grasp what life in Japan is like… And most importantly, it’s fun!

However, some of the phrases used in anime are very informal, rude, or impolite. Here are the top 10 Japanese phrases you should avoid using when speaking in public.

1. あいつ・こいつ・そいつ・どいつ

You might have heard of anime characters use these words as pronouns when referring to someone else. They stem from the word やつ (yatsu), which is an informal way to call someone and is also often used in Anime.

  • こいつ (koitsu) – “this person”
  • あいつ (aitsu) – “that person”
  • そいつ (soitsu) – “that person”
  • どいつ (doitsu) – “who

These phrases are very impolite and aggressive! People sometimes use these phrases to signify their closeness of relationship with someone, but Anime characters commonly use them when violently referring to someone they see as a rival or subject of hate. The phrases may give off a sense that you’re looking down on the person you’re referring to, so you must never use them in formal situations.

2. ばか (baka)

Anime characters love to use this word… So almost everyone knows the meaning. It’s one of the most common Japanese swear words people know.

It translates to “stupid,” “dumb,” or “idiot” and commonly used in the form ばかやろう (baka-yarou).

ばか (baka) may be used in a playful manner to tease a friend, but it may also be used simply as a way to offend someone and call him/her stupid. Unless it’s to someone you’re close to who knows you are joking, you should not use this phrase.

3. ダサい (dasai)

This phrase from anime means “uncool” or “unfashionable,” and the opposite of かっこいい (kakkoii).

If someone is dressing tacky or falls down a flight of stairs, people may use this word to offend them and call them uncool. Don’t use it in front of your friends or colleagues, unless you really want to upset someone.

4. キモい (kimoi)

A shortened version of 気持ち悪い (kimochi-warui), キモい means “gross” and “disgusting.”

This phrase is used a lot by younger people and is therefore used a lot in Anime as well. It is common for people to describe creepy, ugly, or weird objects or people with this word. You should never call someone キモい to their faces.

5. うるさい! (urusai!)

This is also one of the most common phrases you hear from Anime, especially when someone is being annoying or loud. It literally translates to “loud” or “noisy” and can be used as a normal adjective…

  • 犬の鳴き声がうるさい – The dog is loud.

… But it also can be a phrase with the same connotation as “Shut up!” or “Leave me alone!” so you should avoid using this to someone who is talking to you. Saying this to your mother is probably not a good idea.

6. だまれ! (damare!)

Like うるさい, this phrase means “Shut up,” but more straight-forward.

Again, you should definitely avoid using it to your mother.

7. じじい・ばばあ (jijii・babaa)

じじい refers to an “old man,” and ばばあ refers to an “old woman.”

However, these phrases are very rude and impolite ways to refer to the elderly and are regarded as insults. You should never use them in front of their faces.

There are also very similar words, じいじ (jiiji) and ばあば (baaba), which means “grandfather” and “grandmother,” respectively. These words are not offensive at all! Many people use them to call their grandparents (in addition to おじいちゃん and おばあちゃん).

8. ガキ (gaki)

This term is used to call someone who is younger than you “a brat.”

Obviously, it does not have a positive meaning and suggests that you are looking down on the person you are referring to. Although kids may not care if you call them ガキ, it paints a bad image on you.

9. くそ (kuso)

The literal meaning of this word is “poop,” but it is used in a variety of ways.

First, the phrase is used when a character is put into an unpleasant situation… Like when your character misses a shot in a basketball game. In this case, the phrase means something similar to “Dang it!” Although you may experience unpleasant situations frequently, you should try to not say this word out loud.

Second, it is used in combination of other words like じじい・ばばあ・ガキ as くそじじい・クソガキ. Combining them makes the words even more aggressive than they already were alone… so you definitely should not use them if you want to be seen as a polite, nice person.

10. くらえ! (kurae!)

You might have heard of this phrase in action animes with a lot of battle scenes. It means something similar to “Eat this!” and is used after a character uses a strong fighting technique.

You should avoid using this phrase because almost no one in real life uses it… Just like almost no one in real life has their own unique combat technique (but if you do, that’s great).