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The Otome Gaming Jargon

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 25/04/13, 04:39 am

Just thought of another influx of fairly commonly-encountered terminology. Sorry, Makise-san. I'm probably the reason why the first post has been edited a few hundred times. ;P I'm getting the impression that there's some appreciation for fandom terms, so here's some more~ [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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Ahoge (アホ毛)
Literally means "idiot hair". "Ahoge" refers to a single strand (sometimes two or even three) of hair that sticks out like an antenna. Similar to the way that typically in Japanese media, red hair indicates a "fiery" personality, and blue hair indicates a "subdued" one, ahoge is another expressive hairstyle. Characters with ahoge tend to be absentminded, carefree, clumsy and foolish. More common on female characters than male, and it is considered a "moe" trait. Sometimes, even the strand itself is expressive (and this is usually played for laughs). Here's a pictorial example:
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Left: Standard ahoge. Right: "Expressive" ahoge.

Chuunibyou (中二病; 中2病)
Credit to AnimangaWiki's page for helping me with sources.
Like moe, chuunibyou is a hard one to explain precisely. While the word itself roughly translates to "Second Year Middle (for Australians, this is equivalent to Year 9. For Americans, this is 8th Grade) School Illness", its meaning is along the lines of "delusions of adolescent grandeur". It's a pejorative slang that is used to refer to individuals whom act overimportant; particularly, in regards to having "special abilities" that only they (supposedly) possess. The phrase was coined by Ijuin Hikaru, whom further defines the phrase to incorporate "the things people normally do during their 2nd year in middle school."

The "Chuunibyou User Manual" by Kotobukiya provides definitions of three "types" of chuunibyou people:

Chuunibyou User Manual, taken from AnimangaWiki's summaries: wrote:
1) The DQN-kei (DQN系): The "DQN" is pronounced "dokyun". Pretends to be anti-social or acts like a delinquent when in fact he or she is not or cannot become like either one. Tells made up stories about gang fights or crimes, or boasts and pretends to know about that subculture. "DQN" is slang for "antisocial person" or "annoying delinquent".

2) The Sabukaru-kei (サブカル系): Translates to the "Subculture type". Equivalent to being a "Hipster". Often avoids everything mainstream and has a heavy preference to "things that few people like" and establishes themselves as being special. People of this type do not really love the subculture itself but rather strive to obtain the "cool" factor by not having the same interests as others.

3) The Jakigan-kei (邪気眼系): Translates to the "Evil Eye type". Admires mystical powers and thinks that he or she has a hidden power within them as well. It is this trait that they create an alias specifically for said power. This is also known as the delusional type.

Gijinka (擬人化)
Gijinkka means "anthropomorphication; personification". The original type of gijinka is giving a humanised form (anthropormophic) to an inanimate object or entity. A "classic" gijinka example would be the characters of Hetalia, who are personifications of countries with appearances and personalities centered around national stereotypes. A more recent, secondary definition of gijinka is giving a humanised form to non-human characters that aren't inanimate. An example of this would be Damekko Doubutsu, which is a childrens' show about anthropomorphic animals that behave opposite to how their species are typically expected to.
Spoiler:
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Left: Hetalia. Right: Damekko Doubutsu.


Gyaku-gire (逆切れ;
逆ギレ)
A term that is commonly associated with modern Japanese comedy ("owarai"), it describes a situation in which the person who is supposed to be on the receiving end of anger get angry themselves. A simple example would be the jock bullying a nerd, but the nerd gets angry and beats up the jock. "Gyaku" means "opposite; reverse" and "gire" means "to cut; get angry; use up".

Hikikomori (引籠もり; 引き籠り; ひきこもり)
Literally meaning, "confining oneself; pulling towards oneself", hikikomori describes an individual that chooses to stay in their homes/rooms and rarely leave, if ever. It's becoming better-known around the world, due to Japan's prevalence of them and the spread of "otaku culture". According to The Japan Times Online, there are around 700,000 hikikomori (estimated in 2010 by the Japanese government). Japan is known for its high-pressure society, be it in education, employment and social interactions. As a result, some individuals react by withdrawing themselves from society; seeking extreme levels of isolation.

Hosome (細目)
Meaning "narrow eyes", the word is also used to describe a "realistic" eye shape. This typically consists of thinner and smaller eyes than the typical big and round types in anime. If the hosome in question isn't trying to depict "realism" to a certain extent, it may be used for villains or "meaner" characters to evoke something of an unpleasant, "scary" gaze. In general usage, it makes characters look maturer and older. Sometimes qualifies as tsurime as well, but "true" hosome are defined by being on the "narrower and smaller" side. Examples:
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Left: Hibari Kyouya from Katekyo Hitamn Reborn. Right: Aoba from DRAMAtical Murder.

Imouto (妹; いもうと)
Means "younger sister".

Kamige (神ゲー; 神ゲ)
The direct opposite of "kusoge". Kamige is a mashup of the words for "god ()" and "game (ゲーム)". When somebody calls a game a "kamige", they're trying to say that they thought it was near-perfect (if not perfect) and that they greatly enjoyed it. It's fine to use kamige subjectively, however, some games are considered by a large amount of people to be more "kamige" than others. An otome game example would be Black Wolves Saga: Bloody Nightmare, which is considered one of the best created in recent times.

Kusoge (クソゲー; クソゲ)
The direct opposite of "kamige". Kusoge is a mashup of the words for "crap; shit; shitty (クソ)" and "game (ゲーム)". If somebody refers to a game as being a "kusoge", they're trying to emphasise how poor the quality of the game was, and/or how much they disliked it. Unlike kamige, kusoge is used in a more objective sense. Of course, opinions will ultimately be subjective, but by "more objective", I mean to refer to games that is widely considered to be horrible. Here is a site that lists traits required of a game to be a candidate for the "kusoge" title. Whether or not it hits "so bad, it's good" territory can also be subjective, but in general, a kusoge is a game that can pretty much derive no enjoyment. An example would be Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.

Lolicon (ロリコン)
A lolicon is a term that describes media that feature themes about attraction to younger girls (or at least, older ladies that look much more like younger girls), or targets those that are attracted towards such female characters. It is also used as an adjective to describe somebody whom is a fan of lolicon material. The term is a shortened mashup coming from a its original name, "Lolita Complex". The term originated from Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel called "Lolita", which is about a middle-aged man that becomes sexually obsessed with a 12-year-old girl. Please note that "Lolita/loli" is the correct term to use to describe a character whom fits the "lolicon look".

Nakige (泣きゲー; 泣きゲ)
Translating to "crying game", the term is a portmanteau of the Japanese words for "crying (泣き)" and "game (ゲーム)". It is a subgenre of games (particularly visual novels) that are aimed to make the players cry- be it in happiness or sadness. Failing crying, the aim is to at least greatly move the players. Key, the company that created Air, Clannad and Kanon, are popular producers of nakige and have defined the genre.

NEET (sometimes written as ニート)
NEET stands for "Not in Education, Employment or Training". While the term is popular in Japan, it actually originated in England. While the finer details of who would be considered a NEET varies from country-to-country, the general consensus is that the person in question must meet all of these criteria:
* Unemployed
* Not undertaking education or training
* Not a housewife or househusband
* Not seeking employment

Nukige (抜きゲー; 抜きゲ)
Literally meaning "pulling game", the term is derived from the Japanese words "抜き (pulling, which is also a slang in Japan for masturbation)" and "ゲーム (game)". Nukige emphasises pornographic content over its plot. Given that in eroge, the erotic content is obvious important, the distinction is confusing for some. A first method of discerning is taking a look at the cover art. Sexually explicit cover art is a common sign. Others include websites previewing more "H" CGs and the trials covering erotic content over plot. Eroge places importance on plot over porn.

Onee-san (お姉さん; おねえさん)
A polite way to refer to your own or somebody else's older sister.

Onii-san (お兄さん; おにいさん)
A polite way to refer to your own or somebody else's older brother. For usage as a character archetype (common in otome games), it refers to a male character who's (usually) older than the protagonist. An onii-san character is commonly portrayed to be gentle, kind, (over)protective, reliable and responsible. He usually has a soft voice and a gentle method of speech.

Otouto (弟; おとうと)
Means "younger brother".

Tareme (垂れ目)
Tareme means "drooping eyes" in Japanese. Tareme is a style of anime eyes that are typically applied to cute, immature, innocent and/or young characters. Tareme is considred a "moe" trait, especially when applied on females. Characters with tareme are rarely antagonistic, and also are known to be quiet and shy. The opposite of tsurime. Examples:
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Left: Asahina Mikuru from the Suzumiya Haruhi series. Right: Hiiragi Tsukasa from Lucky Star. Before, I had Sawada Tsunayoshi here, but thanks to a certain user, I was corrected.

Tsurime (攣り目; 吊り目)
Tsurime means "almond-shaped; slanted; upturned eyes" in Japanese. Tsurime is a style of anime eyes that are often applied to arrogant, confident, hot-blooded and proud characters. Tsurime tend to be a common choice for use on tsundere characters. They can sometimes overlap with hosome- particularly when used on older characters- but are distinguished by their typically larger size. Also, tsurime is a more neutral choice, whereas hosome tend to be significantly more applied to antagonistic, "mean" and/or older characters. The opposite of tareme. Examples:
Spoiler:
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Left: Nanami Kanata from Starry☆Sky. His also skirts on hosome territory. Right: Sakura Kyouko from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.

Utsuge (欝/鬱ゲー; 欝/鬱ゲ)
Utsuge translates to "depressing game". It's a mashup of the Japanese words for "depression (/)" and "game (ゲーム)". As the word suggests, utsuge are games that are designed to evoke a low-spirited feel and/or have no happy ends. Themes in utsuge are doubt, hopelessness, futility, meaninglessness, etc. Due to the key elements of utsuge associating with endings, I won't provide any examples. However, VNDb has a list of utsuge here. Spoilers are hidden, but still, read at your own risk.

Yangire (病ん切れ) (A.K.A. "Cute and Psycho" due to the popularity of TV Tropes)
Yangire is a Japanese term, which is a portmanteau of "病んでる (meaning to fall or be ill) and "切れる (meaning to cut and is the slang for "snapping" in anger). Yangire characters are cute (or otherwise pleasant-looking), harmless-looking and innocent characters that have a criminally and violently insane side. Very easily confused with yandere, as both could (arguably) be each other. However, a yangire character's trigger is not associated with an obsession or possessiveness of a lover or friend.

As to why they go crazy is varied, and has no "one-size-fits-all" answer. Similar to the way a haraguro characters hides his "dark" side by using a "nice girl/guy" front, a yangire character may or may not be consciously hiding his/her insanity. Some are so unstable that it takes very little to "snap" them; often ending in bloodshed.


Last edited by Laramie Castiel on 06/05/13, 09:33 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Damn formatting!)

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Post by Sakimichi on 25/04/13, 04:47 am

I'm loving this list ;A;
my wapanisu vocab is expandingu ;u;
Thank you Laramie and the people who contribs..cheerios xD

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 25/04/13, 04:53 am

No problem! Consider this my repayment for your wicked LP.

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Post by Makise Sunao on 29/04/13, 01:46 am

Thank you Laramie :)
/updated\

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 29/04/13, 02:34 am

No worries! =D

If people still want me to post any more that I can think of, I will.

It's very possible that I will, anyway, haha.

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Post by Hype on 01/05/13, 01:59 am

KawaiiMess has been mentioning about "Bara" i think it refers to muscular yaoi pairings?

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 01/05/13, 03:49 am

Basically, yeah:

Bara (薔薇)
Bara refers to male-on-male media
typically made by and for homosexual men. In bara works, the artistic
designs of the men tend to be muscular and their personalities more
traditionally masculine. The word itself literally means "rose" in
Japanese.

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 06/05/13, 01:22 pm

A few more terms!

Hanme (半目)
Literally means "half eyes" in Japanese. Hanme are eyes that are drawn in such a way that the top lid is flat and straight, and commonly, irises are coloured lighter to produce a "tired, half-conscious" look. Like jitome, hanme can be "permanent" or "temporary". Permanent hanme are common in characters that are aloof, gloomy, kuudere, lazy and/or always tired. Sometimes can be found in carefree and laidback types. Common causes of temporary hanme include, but aren't limited to:
~ Drowsiness
~ Tiredness
~ Being close to losing consciousness
~ When looking down upon somebody, both figuratively and literally.

Often confused with "jitome", especially since the two can overlap. However, hanme don't have the characteristic "frown" that jitome tend to. Also, the personality types the permanent varities tend to have are different. Examples:
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Both are examples of "permanent" hanme. Left: Spanner from Katekyo Hitman Rebon. Right: Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate.
Jitome (ジト目)
A character with jitome is one who is glaring or staring with disgust, reproach and/or scorn. Jitome is characterised by the top lid being drawn on a flat, straight angle to produce a "blunt" look, and often accompanied with a frown of varying degrees of "sharpness". From what I've been reading and seeing, jitome tend to be temporary as it is a form of expression. However, some characters seem to have this expression all the time, and/or has personality types that make them prone to giving somebody jitome. Commonly applied to frosty characters, such as kuudere types.

Can get confused with "hanme", because it's possible for a character to have both. Jitome are nearly always accompanied by a frown, and usually an icy and abrasive personality. Jitome has a "being glared at" kind of feel, whereas hanme are often blank and "hollow" looking. The word is thought to have originated from the portmanteau of the Japanese words, "じと~ (the "onomatopoeia" of somebody glaring intently) and " (eyes)". Examples:
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Both are examples of "temporary" jitome. Left: Orifushi Mafuyu from Kanojo x Kanojo x Kanojo. Her usual expression is that of an "aloof, emotionless" type. Right: Ibara Mayaka from Hyouka. This is not her usual expression, but she is prone to jitome because of her personality.
Nikushoku-kei (肉食系)
The opposite of "Soushoku-kei danshi". "Nikushoku" means "carnivorous", and "-kei" means "type". "Nikushoku-kei" refers to men that are aggressive, competitive and forward in their pursuit of women, sex and money. A good English equivalent is "a man's man". In fiction, the Nikushoku-kei overlaps with the Ore-sama type often.

Sanpaku-gan (三白眼)
Literally means "three white eyes" in Japanese. Commonly referred to as just "Sanpaku" or "Sanpaku eyes". Those with Sanpaku-gan have smaller irises, which results in a look where the sclera (the white part) makes up for a greater portion of their eyes. Wikipedia's definition is more detailed, which also serves to explain the origin of the term:
Wikipedia's article wrote:The term refers to the iris being rather small, so that it only covers about two-thirds or less of the vertical axis of the eye; e.g. delineate an eye into four portions; the iris would only occupy one portion of the divided four sections; thus leaving the other three in white, hence "three whites".
Because Sanpaku-gan produces a more "piercing and sharp" look that lacks cuteness, Japanese fiction tends to apply it to aggressive, delinquents, and/or violent characters. If not necessarily antagonistic and villainous, they're just "rough-around-the-edges". Can also be used to make an older character look more mature, in which it becomes especially more noticeable in a cast with predominantly "cuter-looking" characters. Examples
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Left: Takasu Ryuuji from Toradora! Right: L from Death Note.

Soushoku-kei danshi (草食系 男子)

The opposite of "Nikushoku-kei". Soushoku" means "herbivorous", "-kei" means "type" and "danshi" means "man." The term was coined by Fukasawa Maki, in which "herbivore" was used for types of men that don't have aggressive desires for "flesh", unlike the standard "carnivorous" men. Soushoku-kei danshi, often referred to as just "Soushoku danshi", are (typically) young men that are more peaceable in their pursuit of women, sex and money, unlike the typical male stereotype of being competitive and aggressive. These types of men are typically kind, cooperative and family-oriented. It can also be used as an insult, referring to "spineless" guys that pretend to not be interested in women and sex for fear of rejection, and do not make any moves themselves. According to Wikipedia, it also refers to a phenomenon in Japan where men are shunning relationships and marriage. This has caused a decline in the nation's birth rates, and is projected to become an issue in the future.


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Post by Sakimichi on 10/09/13, 09:01 am

I updated it Laramie smile
I'm just a bit disappointed someone copy pasted your hard work without properly crediting, but I am now asking the poster to credit properly. Hopefully she'd comply.

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 20/09/13, 05:29 pm

Thanks, Sakimichi! 

Actually, I have no idea when and where this happened... Would you be able to tell me? I'm just curious.

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Post by Sakimichi on 21/09/13, 03:55 am

Someone personally sent me an e-mail about a certain facebook page copy pasting articles.

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Particularly this note:
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Note: [x]

So I went ahead and signed up secretly for her download website and found out it was more than just that. It was full of stolen upload links from AS as well as my blog posts being copy and pasted.

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The admin was careless for not hiding her profile from the public so I personally sent her a PM to credit the articles she copy pasted question. I didn't touch the part about the links she stole because that was none of my business. Neutral 

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 Then a few days after, this happened.
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The links she posted on her site weren't even hers to begin with, and she's calling my friendly PM as a "complaint". Maybe I was not the only one who PMed her, maybe some individuals did for pissing off Ataraxia (a  very known otome game uploader).

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 21/09/13, 11:29 am

Wow, what a crazy ride... Thanks for the detailed info, and sorry to hear your stuff got plagiarised, too. Not to mention her rudeness towards you!

Yeah, I would imagine a lot of angry people would PM her for pissing off Ataraxia. Ataraxia is a huge help to many otome gamers, so making her remove links would be a loss for many.

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Post by Sakimichi on 21/09/13, 02:44 pm

Laramie Castiel wrote:Wow, what a crazy ride... Thanks for the detailed info, and sorry to hear your stuff got plagiarised, too. Not to mention her rudeness towards you!

Yeah, I would imagine a lot of angry people would PM her for pissing off Ataraxia. Ataraxia is a huge help to many otome gamers, so making her remove links would be a loss for many.
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Update: My suspicions were confirmed, another user did express her concerns about her site. I know the facebook page admin was just trying to promote otome games for google-newbies, but stealing and copy pasting was too much.

Hello You don't seem angry Laramie about the whole thing Laramie, I wish i have more tolerance about this matter.

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 21/09/13, 05:10 pm

While I'm annoyed by her copying my posts, I'm more unhappy with how the admin's plagiarism is affecting our forum members. I would hate for people to stop posting helpful things, because of the fear of thieves.

I'll keep an eye on that Facebook page as well. If you need any help with dealing with her, please let me know.

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Post by Blue_Sargent on 21/09/13, 09:42 pm

I hate it when stuff like this happens :I

Anyways, thank you Laramie for the list! I'm not much of an otome gamer, so it was a very interesting read smile

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 22/09/13, 02:53 am

No problem, Blue!

Also, as an aside, it seems like I've been banned from commenting on that Otome Game page. I've reported it for multiple infringements, such as harrassment and copyright infringement, and also sent a warning to her personally via PM. I'm done being nice!

So hopefully ANY link to a download will be yanked. Of course, I also hope that any plagiarised post will be credited or deleted completely.

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Post by Sakimichi on 22/09/13, 04:57 am

Laramie Castiel wrote:No problem, Blue!

Also, as an aside, it seems like I've been banned from commenting on that Otome Game page. I've reported it for multiple infringements, such as harrassment and copyright infringement, and also sent a warning to her personally via PM. I'm done being nice!

So hopefully ANY link to a download will be yanked. Of course, I also hope that any plagiarised post will be credited or deleted completely.
I feel bad for the otome and bl gaming blogs she plagiarized. She's not deleting them any sooner too; I just checked. Facebook is making it hard to report pages, this is troublesome. Anyway, I helped in reporting for harassment. The comment was deleted, ..was it yours Laramie?
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Post by Laramie Castiel on 22/09/13, 06:49 am

Yeah, that was me. It's almost impossible to get Facebook to care about most illegal pages. I'll try reporting regularly, and see if that works. If not, we may have to give up. :(It's really unfair, though!

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Post by Aiwethryne on 22/01/14, 10:30 am

This list is amaaaazing~~ OMG I'm learning so much. I've always typed "OEL otoge/otome games," but OELVN is really less tiresome to keep typing. I usually include some of these terms in the walkthroughs and FAQs I write because super-newbs constantly ask the same questions. *looks at my lists to compare*

While most people I see use MC for main character, I also see some people use other things, which makes me have to sit back and contemplate what they are referring to in the visual novel context.

    MP = Main Protagonist/Player
    PC = Player Character

Confusing for the obvious reasons, being that some games use MP as magic points and PC for personal computer. Then other terms...

    NPC = Non-Player Character
    SFX = Sound Effects

Though there are probably not many otome games that actually have sprites that move across field maps. I can only recall a couple and some OEL ones.

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 22/01/14, 05:13 pm

In most cases, I prefer to refer to the protagonist as "the protagonist" or "the heroine" when not using their name or describing their role in the story. I think "main character" alone is too vague. Of course, most of us understand what the writer's context is, so semantics is pretty much a non-issue unless butchered.

Technically, "main character" is inadequate in describing a protag/heroine's role, as it is a general term encompassing characters such as (in additon to protagonsits) love interests, key villains, key friends, etc. E.g., Naruto is a protagonist, and Sakura and Sasuke are main characters. Describing Naruto as a "main character" connotes that Naruto is significant, but doesn't accurately get across that he's the principal character.

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Post by Guest on 23/01/14, 02:00 am

yayy,I just learned a few new things. 
thanks for taking time to make this! smile
i also love all that organisation skills 
gee you're talented~ (no sarcasm) 

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Post by Laramie Castiel on 23/01/14, 05:59 am

Thanks very much, and I'm glad you learned a few new things! :)Of course, I'm just speaking for the parts I wrote.

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Post by Aiwethryne on 23/01/14, 11:35 am

When I shorthand for otoge heroines, I just use MC. Mainly if I'm writing something more formal would I use "protagonist" or "heroine," primarily the former for the sake of gender neutrality. My mind has already compartmentalized "MC" as being an otome gaming term, so it sounds odd to use it for any other type of game. I suppose that it is due to the general broadness of "main character" that makes some people want to use PC, given NPC exists.

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Post by kyuuichii on 11/04/14, 08:48 am

woah.. it's really great, it help me a lot xD thank you >w<

about main character, I usually use MC or FeMC (p3p)... but for Otome game, I use heroine xD

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Post by Akitsuki on 11/04/14, 08:33 pm

Thank you for the post! I didn't know there are many words, I mean, THAT many LOL I have heard some of them which are more popular but I still learned more things. Thanks!

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