Anime shows are filled with everything from action-adventure to your everyday slice of life. The plot-driven language in anime gives it the energy we love and recognize.
Let’s look at some phrases in the context of anime characters and situations. Here are some interesting anime phrases you can find in just about every anime (in no particular order) with made up anime scenarios.
1. 大丈夫 (Daijōbu): No Problem!; It’s Okay.
Daijoubu is usually said in response to a question or idea. Depending on the context, it can mean either “yes” or “no.”
1. Eren Jaeger is finally getting a haircut, and the hairstylist has finished.
Biyōshi: (Kore de daijōbu desu ka?)
Hairdresser: Will this be fine?
Eren: (Daijōbu desu.)
Eren: It’s all right.
2. Hinata asks Boruto if he’s hungry, but he has already eaten several cheeseburgers and is full.
Hinata: (Gohan taberu no?)
Hinata: Will you have any dinner?
Boruto: (Daijōbu da!)
Boruto: No, I’m fine!
2. 任せて (Makasete): Leave It To Me!
This phrase is said with confidence when you know you can get the job done. It is similar to saying “I’ll take care of it” or “Leave it to me” in English.
1. Sailor Moon is the only sailor warrior left standing. She thinks of all the things she wants to protect and proclaims:
(Minna, makasete ne!)
Everyone, leave it to me!
2. Kyoya Ōtori is responsible for host club preparations at Ōran High School.
(Junbi nara ore ni makasete kure yo.)
You can leave the preparations to me.
3. 負けない (Makenai): I Won’t Lose!
This is a determined phrase usually said by the protagonist in tense situations, ranging from a game, competition, test, or even a monster destroying Tōkyo (again).
(Anna warui hito ni makenai yo!)
We won’t lose to someone bad like that!
(Pinpon de wa dare ni mo maketakunai.)
I don’t want to lose to anyone in ping-pong.
4. 嘘つき (Usotsuki): Liar
This is a very common word used in both serious and comedic situations. Call someone an usotsuki if you suspect they’ve been lying!
Anya Forger is a telepath (エスパーesupā) who knows when her adoptive father is lying about his spy activities.
(Chichi wa usotsuki.)
My dad is a liar.
5. おいで (Oide): Come Here
This kind of “come here” is usually said sweetly to someone younger, an animal, or between couples.
Even though Sakaki tries her best, her kitties will still bite her when she tells them to come.
Sakaki: (Koneko-chan, oide yo.)
Come here, little kitty.
6. 来るな (Kuru Na): Don’t Come
This command is said forcefully to tell people to “stay away” and not to come any closer. Characters with polite personalities are unlikely to say this phrase.
Howl returns to his moving castle and is injured in a beastly form from fighting. Concerned, Sophie tries to check on him. He warns:
(Kocchi ni kuru na!)
Don’t come here!
7. 良かった (Yokatta): Thank Goodness!; How wonderful.
Yokatta is in the past tense of いい (ii), which means “good” or “nice.” Yokatta is used to talk about something good that happened that you view favorably.
1. This is what Nobita’s mother would say if he got an A+ on a test. Usually, Doraemon says it when they get out of risky situations or when he has some dorayaki.
(Sore wa yokatta desu.)
2. Winry always has reason to worry about the Elric brothers. She might say this after a long time without contact when they return, followed by a love tap with her wrench.
(Sentorarushiti kara buji ni kaerete yokotta desu.)
Thank goodness you got back safely from Central City.
8. 行け (Ike): Go!
This phrase is in the command form, so it would only be used for people you are familiar with, have a lower social status than you, or children. Ike can be encouraging (Go go! Go get them!) or frantic (Go! Hurry!).
You might hear both of these phrases in XYZ shōnen anime.
(Dekiru yo! Gakkō ni ike!)
You can do it! Go to school!
(Hayaku ike! Sekai o mamore!)
Hurry, go! Protect the world!
9. 悪いな (Warui Na): Sorry; My Bad.
A strong male or female character* would use this casual phrase to say that something was their fault or as an apology.
*Note: In real life (not in the anime world), this expression is usually only said by males.
Gin is a terrific samurai, but he’s lazy and always behind on his rent.
Otose: (Yachin wa?)
Otose: Where’s your rent?
ぎん: あ、悪いな- [runs away]
Gin: (A, warui na-)
Gin: Oh, sorry-
10. すまん (Suman): Sorry; Excuse me.
Similar to its cousin warui na, すまん comes from the phrase すみません (sumimasen) and has been changed to this casual form. If a character bumps into another character, they are likely to say it. Remember that this is a crude way to apologize, so you would only use it with close friends or family (or people you hate). Check out our 7 natural ways to say sorry in Japanese lesson to learn more.
11. 一緒 (Issho): Together
It means “together” or “with” in Japanese. Issho is a little bit of an intimate phrase in anime. There is the understanding you want to do something with another person, whether they are a friend or a love interest.
1. On the way to school, a younger Cardcaptor Sakura would have loved it if Yukito-san came along saying:
(Issho ni ikō kana?)
Shall we go together?
2. Maybe this is what Taki and Mitsuha said after finding one another.
(Zutto issho dakara ureshii desu.)
I’m glad we’ll always be together.
12. 心配ない (Shinpai Nai): No worries; No concerns
This phrase is perfect for when you are not worried about what will happen. 心配しないで (Shinpai shinaide) is used to tell others, “Don’t worry!”
Eureka trusts Renton implicitly to get them out of trouble.
(Anata ga iru kara shinpai nai desu.)
I don’t have any worries with you here.
13. 問題ない (Mondai Nai): No problem
Just like it sounds, this casual phrase is in response to some upcoming plans or a request.
A: (Doyōbi, toshokan de issho ni benkyō shimasu ka?)
A: Do you want to study at the library together on Saturday?
B: (Mondainai to omoimasu.)
B: I do not think it will be any problem.
14. 時間がない (Jikan Ga Nai): No time; Out of time
This can be said when you’re busy and don’t have enough time, or even in serious situations like a person’s last moments alive.
1. Shōjo girl Ako-chan realizes it’s time to get to school. With a piece of toast in her mouth, she exclaims:
(Jikan ga nai kara, hashire!)
We don’t have any time, so run!
(Kanojō wa tabun amari jikan ga nai desu.)
She probably doesn’t have much time left.
15. むかつく (Mukatsuku): I’m irritated; I’m p*ssed off!
This is one of many Japanese words to express anger and irritation that you’ll often hear.
(Chō mukatsuku, ano hito ga kiteru nante.)
I’m so p*ssed that that guy would even come here.
(Anta maji de mukatsuku!)
You really get on my nerves!
16. 面倒くさい (Mendōkusai) Troublesome; Bothersome
This comes from the noun 面倒 (mendō), which means trouble or bother. Adding the suffix ~くさい (-kusai)** turns it into an adjective used to describe anything that is a “pain in the butt” to do.
**Note: 面倒くさい should be pronounced mendōkusai, but in casual conversations it is often pronounced as めんどくさい (mendokusai).
Shikamaru thinks everything is annoying, so it isn’t a surprise he might say this too.
(Shukudai wa mendōkusai na.)
Homework is such a bother.
17. 急いで (Isoide): Hurry up! Quickly!
Isoide is related to 速く (hayaku), which means to do something “quickly,” whereas 急いで is more like “hurry up!”
Emma and Ray are on the run and always looking over their shoulder.
(Isoide, teki ga kuru zo!)
Hurry, the enemy is coming!
18. わくわく (Wakuwaku): I’m excited!; Getting nervous.
Wakuwaku is an onomatopoeia to describe that trembling, excitement, or nervous feeling we get when we are looking forward to something. You might see it in some manga or in anime scenes that utilize words to emphasize the scene.
(Ashita, tanjōbi dakara, wakuwaku shiteimasu!)
I’m so excited because it’s my birthday tomorrow!
19. 信じて (Shinjite): Believe in~; Trust~
This is an inspiring phrase often heard in romantic or competitive (usually sports) situations. This is used between people that have some kind of ongoing relationship.
(Anata o shinjite ōen suru wa!)
I believe in you and will be cheering you on!
20. 声出して (Koe Dashite): Say It Aloud; Speak up!
This is a common phrase in school settings. However, it is also a phrase for encouragement in moments when a character is given a chance to say something important.
Sensei: (Ōki na koe o dashite yonde kudasai.)
Teacher: Please read it aloud in a loud voice.
21. 何だと (Nandato): What did you say?!; What’s that?
Nanda by itself can mean “What the heck?” or “Oh!” but with the inclusion of the particle と (to), which is used to quote speech, it is specifically about something someone just heard and can’t believe.
Natsu and Gray are rivals who are supposed to be on the same team.
Natsu: (Ikinari, nani sun no yo?! Baka!)
Natsu: What’re you doing all of a sudden?! Idiot!
Gurei: (Nandato?? Dare ga baka, baka!)
Gray: What’d you say?? Who’s an idiot, you idiot!
22. マジ (Maji): Seriously; Really
This slang word expresses disbelief about something in positive and negative situations. ホンマに (honma ni) is a related Kansai-ben phrase meaning “really” or “truly.”
Nana O. and Nana K. are young women who struggle with the men in their life.
Nana O: (Ano hito wa maji ka?!)
Nana O: Is that guy for real?!
なな K.: うん、マジで怒るわ。
Nana K: (Un, maji de okoru wa.)
Nana K: I’m seriously angry.
23. ちょっと (Chotto): Hey!; Wait a minute!; How dare you!
Chotto by itself means something like “a little,” but it is implied the character is thinking more than that. Usually, this is said in a frustrated or exasperated way.
1. Kagome can never quite understand why her rough companion Inuyasha wants to use his sword to solve all their problems.
Inuyasha: (Jā kaze no kizu-)
Inuyasha: Then let’s use Wind Scar to-
Kagome: (Chotto! Inuyasha, osuwari!)
Kagome: Hey now! Inuyasha, sit!
2. Sometimes, Inuyasha visits the modern era, and Kagome is nowhere in sight.
Sōta: (Nē-chan nara kaimono shiteta yo.)
Sōta: My sister? She’s shopping.
[Inuyasha dashes away]
Sōta: Wait a sec-!
24. 仕方ない (Shikatanai)
This is a common response to any situation where the speaker feels they have no control over what happens or how something happened. It’s similar to the expression, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”
Related ways to say this are しょうがない (shou ga nai) and シャーナイ (shānai), which is from the Ōsaka dialect. Anime characters that are lively or rough around the edges often speak like they’re from Ōsaka.
(Okane ga tarinai no wa shikatanai desu.)
It can’t be helped that we don’t have enough money.
25. たしかに (Tashika Ni): Without a Doubt; Certainly
This is a great adverbial phrase that can be used on its own. Anime with a lot of mystery will utilize this word a lot.
Detective Conan is always investigating some new crime.
(Tashika ni hannin ni wa aribai ga nai desu.)
There’s no doubt that the suspect doesn’t have an alibi.
26. とにかく (Tonikaku): Anyway~; At any rate~
とにかく is a very common transition word you’ll hear when characters are having discussions they might be trying to wrap up or when changing the subject.
(Tonikaku, mada tabetenai kara dokokade tabemashō ka?)
Anyway, you haven’t had anything to eat yet, so how about eating somewhere?
27. お願いします (Onegai Shimasu): Please
お願いします is a super helpful phrase used for various situations, such as introducing yourself, asking for a favor, or when you work together with someone.
Kenichi is handing in his university application papers to a receptionist.
Please take [care] of this application.
28. 適当 (Tekitō): Suitable; half-minded.
This useful word can be used when doing some activity like cooking when you don’t measure anything. Adding ingredients in random amounts based on your feeling or experience is 適当. Many loveable, quirky anime characters have tekitō behaviors.
(Bangohan, tekitō ni tsukutte.)
Just make dinner however you like.
29. うざい (Uzai): Annoying; Troublesome.
Uzai is an abbreviation of the word うざったい (uzattai). It shouldn’t be confused for うるさい (urusai) leans more into the “noisy” meaning of annoying.
(Otōto ga sugoku uzai kara, mattaku benkyō dekinai desu.)
My little brother is so annoying that I can’t study at all.
30. もちろん (Mochiron): Of course. Certainly, Definitely.
This expresses no doubt about something and is a very positive expression. It’s often written in hiragana instead of kanji (勿論).
Tamaki would be delighted if Haruhi wanted to go anywhere with him.
Haruhi: (Senpai, jikan ga attara, watashi to issho ni omatsuri ni ikimasen ka?)
Haruhi: Senpai, would you like to go with me to the festival if you have the time?
Tamaki: (Mochiron, yorokonde ikimasu!)
Tamaki: Of course, I’d be happy to go!
31. その通り (Sono Tōri): That’s Right!; You’ve Got It!
This expression is used when someone expresses an opinion you believe to be correct. 通り (tōri) can also mean “avenue” or “street.” Someone could useその通り to say “that avenue/street,” so understanding the context of a conversation is essential when using this phrase.
Light Yagami is listening to a TV drama about the nature of humans.
Terebi: (Kono sekai wa kusatteiru…)
TV: This world is rotten…
Raito: (Sonotōri da!)
Light: Exactly right!
32. 相変わらず (Aikawarazu): As Usual; As Always
This phrase can talk about someone you know well or yourself. It is commonly said in response to someone asking you, “How’s everything been?”
1. Sanji hasn’t seen Luffy in some time, but nothing has changed.
(Aikawarazu kawaranai ne.)
You’re just the same as ever.
2. Jotaro is always on some bizarre adventure, so you might catch him saying:
I’m busy as usual.
33. 良くできた (Yoku Dekita): Well done!
This is the kind of praise you will hear around younger characters or anyone getting approval for their hard work. In real-world conversations, this phrase is usually only said to children. As an adult, saying it to another adult makes it seem like you are looking down on them.
Young Shinosuke loves the attention he gets from his mom when he makes things.
Shinosuke: (Ne, kāsan, teruterubōzu
ga tsukutta yo!)
Shinosuke: Hey, Mom, I made a teruterubōzu!
Okāsan: (Yoku dekita!)
Mother: Well done!
Shinosuke: (Kazoku no e mo kaita yo!)
Shinosuke: I also made a family picture!
Okāsan: (E mo yoku dekita ne.)
Mother: You drew it quite well.
34. 勘弁してくれ (Kanbenshite Kure): Give Me a Break!
This phrase is for characters who are not willing to deal with it when negative happens. The word kanben (勘弁) means “pardon” on its own. Adding the してくれ (shite kure) gives this expression a meaning of “quit it already!” or “enough is enough!”
Tanjiro ran off just as demons surrounded Zenitsu.
(Ā, kanben shite kure mō shinjau yo!)
Ah, give me a break. I’m gonna die!
35. もうダメだ (Mō Dame Da): It’s All Over; I’m Done For
This phrase is for when characters are at their limit or feel hopeless. They may expect to lose a battle, or maybe they didn’t prepare for their high school entrance exam. Mō holds the meaning “already” or “before long.”
(Mō dame da. Konna tsuyoi yatsuni kateru wake ga nai.)
It’s all over. There is no way we can beat such a strong guy.
(Mō dame da. Kondo koso hontō ni kubi ni naru.)
It’s all over. I’ll be fired this time.
36. 正直 (Shōjiki): Honestly; Frankly
While Japanese people are not always the most straightforward in their opinions, anime characters are pretty open and will prepare you for what they are about to say with this phrase.
Haruhi tries out some weird clothing and asks the blunt Kyon about it.
Haruhi: (Kyon-kun, kono doresu wa dō)
Haruhi: Kyon-kun, what do you think about this dress?
Kyon: (Shōjiki, niawanai.)
Kyon: Honestly, it doesn’t suit you.
37. お陰で (Okage De): Thanks to ~; Because of ~
This is a phrase honoring or complimenting someone on their actions that resulted in something positive. Usually, お陰様で (okagesama de) is said by super polite characters.
Background character #4 in any isekai manga or anime:
(Anata no okage de minna ga tasukatta!)
Thanks to you, we could save everyone!
38. 邪魔 (Jama): In the Way; Hindrance
Depending on the context, jama used to describe others rudely by saying they are “in the way.” It is also used as a way to be polite. The phrase, “お邪魔します (ojama shimasu)” is said before entering someone’s personal space (home, office, room, etc.) to be polite. It means “sorry for the intrusion” or “sorry to bother you.”
1. Vegeta, the prince of Saiyans, isn’t known for pleasantries; he’d likely think of anyone this way.
(Kimi wa jama da.)
You’re a hindrance.
2. Alternatively, polite Tōru is entering the Sōma residence for the first time.
Please excuse my intrusion. (I’m coming in!)
39. がき (Gaki): Brat; Kid
This word comes up frequently to describe rambunctious children in anime. Usually, older male characters commonly yell out gaki to kids that are being pests.
Kid Trunks always does pranks at the expense of others.
(Kono gaki, dete ike!)
You brat, get out of here!
40. 痛い (Itai): Ouch!; Ow!; It hurts!
The ubiquitous itai is the sound of pain and saying “it hurts” in Japanese. A shorter version, いて! (ite) is used when a character wants to emphasize that something hurts.
Ow ow ow ow!
(Atama ga sugoku itai kara, kaeritai wa.)
My head hurts so much, so I want to go home.