It’s fun to look up odd place names, like Intercourse, Pennsylvania, Climax, Michigan, or Le Tampon, France. Naturally, there’s a large body of place names that sound naughty to the Japanese, too. Places like Nampa, Idaho, which is funny because 軟派 nampa happens to be a common slang term that roughly means “girl hunting,” boys asking random girls they encounter to go to karaoke or out for drinks with them. Boyne City, Michigan holds a special place in the hearts of Japanese men, since “Boyne” becomes ボイン boin in Japanese, the “boing” sound of boobs moving. There’s a mountain in Malaysia called Mt. Panty (Gunung Panti), one in Indonesia called Mt. Baka (Bukit Baka), and good old Scheveningen in the Netherlands, which sounds like スケベ人間 sukebe ningen, meaning “perverted human being.” (I’m sure they could use some of our T-shirts there.) But the grand-daddy of funny-sounding place names is Eromanga, a mining town in Queensland, Australia, with a name that sounds like ecchi manga comics.
A lot of time has gone into studying how language flows and changes across different regions, and one famous example of this is the research about what each part of the U.S. calls carbonated beverages, usually “soda” in California and the East Coast, “pop” in the middle and northern states and “Coke” in the South. (Personally I always called them “soft drinks.”) Recently I’ve noticed a shift in the labels some fans use to refer to Japanese animation. I posted a gif from Totoro the other day, listing the anime name, and one person asked me how I could call Totoro an “anime” when it was an animated film, not an episodic series, and I realized the word had shifted slightly in meaning for that fan. I’ve seen other fans who seem to draw a strong distinction between “hentai” (meaning 18+ animation from Japan), “ecchi” (anime with sexy fanservice), and anime itself, as if they were three unrelated categories. Fun fact: the word “anime” only dates from the 1970s, and everyone over the age of 40 here refers to animation on TV as “manga.” They also regularly call Disney productions “anime,” which would cause most fans I know to go into conniption fits.
J-List is getting ready for a great Anime Expo, and if you’re going to be at the show, make sure to come by our booth (#2624) and check out the thousands of awesome products we’ll have there. We’ll be putting on a big panel, too, with new game announcements and a special original gift for everyone who attends. If you can’t make the show for some reason, we’ve got a great consolation for you: a sitewide Pre-AX Sale starting now, with 5% any order of $75 or more using code AX2016. Get shopping!