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Click here to go to Japanese and YYH Words DefinedGo to Japanese and Yu*Yu*Hakusho Words Defined

 

FX: Guide to Common Sound Effects

 

Special thanks to those who helped us create this guide:
M.J. Johnson, Masae, K-san, and W-san.

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Go to Sound FX Questions

Hey, we discovered another valuable resource!  Flip, Slither, & Bang: Japanese Sound and Action Words, by Fudaka Hiroko. While it's aimed at conversational Japanese rather than sound effects as used in manga, it has many helpful examples of onomatopoeia and mimesis.

A blue diamond  Click here to go to a story page with the sound  means a link to a page which uses that sound effect.

A

a = general interjection: oh, uh, ah

a! = exclamation of surprise, alarm, amazement, relief, frustration, fury: Oh! Ack!  Agh! Ah! Argh! Also inarticulate sound of pain or passion: Ah! Oh!

aaaa! = same as above, but more so

aa = yes, okay, sure

aa(aaa)n = opening the mouth wide, as in "Say ah!" Used when feeding or being fed by someone.  Click here to go to a story page with the sound  

aan, an = cry of passion (see a!)

acha = remorse  Click here to go to a story page with the sound  

Hiei's fangs go 'agi agi' agi agi = bite bite, gnaw, sink your cute little fangs into  (see also agu agu, kaji)

agu agu = bite bite (see also agi agi, kaji)

ahaha = laughter (see also ha ha ha for masculine laughter, and ho ho ho for refined feminine laughter)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

arayotto, hoisatto = K-san: "These are used when one is doing some physical task and finishing it easily. One uses either or both of them at a time." Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

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B

ba = sudden impact. English equivalents would be: bam, bang, crash, ka-boom, thump, thud, wham, whomp, etc. (See also bagu, baki, ban, bashi, bata, batan, bokan, bun, dan, doka, don, doshin, dote, ga, ka, kon, paka, pan, pashi, patan, poka, pon, to, ton, among others.)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bachi = crackle (see also bari, biri)

bagu = impact  Click here to go to a story page with the sound  

baki = impact (one of the most common impact sounds) or other very loud sound  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

ban = bang! bam!

ban = sometimes added to a scene for dramatic effect, to show that something astonishing or important has happened (see also don)

bara bara = rattle rattle (see also chara chara, gara gara)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bari bari = crunch, as in eating. K-san: "Pori pori is the quietest crunching. Pori pori is for cookies; bari bari is for chips. Kori kori is for broccoli and asparagus."  (see also kori, pari, pori)

bari bari = scratch scratch (see also giri giri, kiri kiri)

bari bari = rip rip (see also biri biri)

bari bari = crackle, crackle? Anyway, energy or electricity, just like biri biri. Pari pari is a quieter crackle, just as pori is a quieter crunch than bari. (see also bachi) Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

basa = rustling, e.g. cloth sliding, paper moving (see also pasa)

bashan = medium splash (see also zabun for a very big splash)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bashi, bashito = impact (see also nashi, pashi)

bata, batan = impact, often used for falling down

batan = door slamming (see also patan)

batchiri = precise, proper, accurate

becho = dropping something. K-san says it means dropping something sticky (and see beto beto), but we've seen it used for Yuusuke dropping Kuwabara.  Click here to go to a story page with the sound  Maybe Kuwabara was sticky at the moment.

bee, bee da = rudeness, what you say when you stick out your tongue and pull down your eyelid at someone. From 'Bero bero akkan-bee (or akanbei).' Like the mocking Western 'nya nya!'

bero = peeling back

bero bero = licking over and over, stronger than pero

betari = people or objects that stick together (physically or metaphorically)

beto beto = sticky, gummy

bi, biiii = highpitched sound: shriek, wail (see also kiiii)

bicha bicha = small splash (see also bashan for medium splash, zabun for big splash)

bichi bichi = flopping, smacking

biku, bikun, bikkun = surprise (see also piku)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

biri = electricity, energy   

biri biri = tearing, as in ripping cloth, opening a potato chip bag (see also bari, piri) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

biron = tongue hanging out  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bishi = whip, slap, smack, depending on the degree of power

bo = flame, fire (see also gooo, guooo, po). W-san: "'Bo' is like the 'whoosh' of a gas range turned on."  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

bo = sluggish and exhausted (see also doyon)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bochan = kerplunk (see also pochan)

bochi bochi = something happening steadily, as in water dripping

bokan = sudden impact

boketto = gazing vacantly

boko = boiling, bubbling. Can also be any 'pop' or bursting sound. (see also buku)

bon = sound of magical transformation or appearance, often seen with a puff of smoke (see also pon/pom, dororonpa)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bosa bosa = unkempt, also sitting around lazily

boso boso = muttering, speaking in a hushed, unclear voice. M.J. says of boso, busu, and musu: "All of them what muttered sulky Japanese sounds like--'bananas bananas' said through the nose, so to speak; because you don't complain out loud." (see also busu, guzu, gyaa, musu)

bota = dripping, possibly something thick dripping, like blood.  Click here to go to a story page with the sound   Compare to pi, picha, po, pota. (see also dara dara for thick liquid dripping)

boto boto, bote = falling  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

botsu = whoosh

buchi = snap. Can be used metaphorically, such as when Hiei snaps under the pressure of learning he's a father.  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

buchi buchi = ripping, tearing

buchu = kiss (see also chu, nchu, uchu)

buku, bukubuku = swelling, something swollen (see also puku)

buku, bukubuku = boiling, bubbles  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bui = 'V' for victory. Sound of fingers making the V-sign. Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

bunchchacha = music. Yes, really. Bun is a slow beat and cha cha quick beats. (see also runtata) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

bun, buun = swish  

 BUUUN: A fly annoys Hiei.  From 'The Jagan-Master's Boredom' by Toba Iori buun = buzz, whir, as of an insect

buran = hanging, dangling

burororo = sound of a loud motor, as of an automobile (see also oooo)

busu busu = the sound of something smoldering or smoking. Used for the embers after Hiei's fire attacks. (see also pusu pusu)  

busu, busu busu, usuto, butsu = muttered complaining (see boso, guzu, gyaa, musu) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

buwa = explosion   Click here to go to a story page with the sound

buyo buyo = squishy and swollen, waterlogged

bwahaha = evil laugh, same as fwahaha, gahaha, gwahaha

byu = quick movement, such as the leaps Hiei makes (see also hyu, gyu, pyu)

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C

chapon, chapu = plunk (water sound) (see also shapu)

chara chara = rattle, clatter, jingle (see also bara bara, gara gara)

chi, ch' = Various translators: "I think of it as a tongue-clicking noise." "It means 'shit.'" "I think it's better translated as 'damn' since it's about the equivalent in vulgarity." "Probably a--mm, vocal referent, would you call it?--to chikushou, another of the 'oh shit' words." You can see why we decided to leave it as ch'. ^_^

chichichi = how you call a cat Click here to go to a story page with the sound

chi chi = high shrill noise

chira, chirari, chiron = quick sideways glance

chiri chiri = curly, frizzy

chiri chiri = tingle of heat, shiver of cold (see also zoku for shiver)

chirin = chime

chiyahoya = fuss over, butter up

choki choki = cutting, as with knives or scissors

chokon = small and quiet

chu = kiss (see also nchu, uchu)

chu = suck (as through a straw)

chun chun = chirp chirp (see also pii pii for peep peep)

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D

da da da, daaaaaaaa = running away  Click here to go to a story page with the sound   (see also do do do, ta, ta ta ta)

dan = bang, boom, sudden impact

dara dara = continuous dripping of thick liquid, like blood, sweat, saliva drool (see also jo, jururu, zururu)

dere dere = sloppy, loose. Also to go goofy over someone, to fawn.

do = big impact

do = heartbeat, the loudest kind! (see also doki doki, dokun, tokun)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

do do do do = footsteps, especially heavy footsteps, running (see also da)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

do do do do = quick punches

doka = impact

doki doki = heartbeat (see also dokun, tokun)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

dokun = harder heartbeat (see also doki, tokun)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

don = BIG impact  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

don = sometimes added to a scene for dramatic effect, to show that something astonishing or important has happened (see also ban)

dondon = continuous action

 Yuusuke's blood spurts: dopyu!  dopyu = spurting (as in blood) K-san: "The 'pyu' is the spurting (quick action, just like 'pyu' on its own), and the 'do' emphasizes it, just as in 'dosu.'"
    

doron, dororonpa = the sound of magical transformation (see also bon, pon, pom)

dorya = what to yell as you attack; a fighting taunt or war cry. (see also ora, orya, sorya, uraa)

dosa = thud of something heavy (often a person or body) hitting the floor Click here to go to a story page with the sound

doshin = impact

dosu = spurting. K-san: "The 'su' is the spurting, and the 'do' emphasizes it, just as in 'dopyu.'" Click here to go to a story page with the sound

dotabata = running around wildly, as in panic or confusion (compare to jitabata for flailing)

dote = impact, falling. W-san: "This sound is often used in reference to the frequent, usually comical falls toddler are always taking. With adults it means a careless, slapstick fall."

doyon = sluggish and exhausted, depressed (see also bo)   Click here to go to a story page with the sound

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E

e! e? = what! huh? We usually translate this as 'eh?' although the Japanese 'e?' is less colloquial and informal than the Western 'eh?'

e, eeee = cry, wail (see also hu-e, miiii)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

ee = yes, okay, sure

eeto = (said by a character) um, er, uh. What you say while you're thinking of what to say. Click here to go to a story page with the sound

ehen = we've had this translated as both 'ahem!' and 'haha!'  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

ei = shriek Click here to go to a story page with the sound

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F

fua, fuwa, fa = yawn

fu, fua (hu hua) = sigh, blowing breath out (as in blowing out a candle)

fu fu fu (hu hu hu) = a strange laugh. M.J.: "The evil chuckle in the back of the throat." (see also ku ku ku, pu pu pu)

Yuusuke's towel goes 'fuki fuki'   fuki fuki = wiping

fumi = step, stomp  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

fumu (humu) = hmmph, hmm, uh-huh (see also umu)

funka funka (hunka hunka) = sniff sniff, inhale (see also nku, kunka)

fura = yawn (see also fua) Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

fura = drift

fura = dizziness (see also kura)

fura, fura fura = wobble, totter

fura, furi, furu = tremble, quiver (see also puru) Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

fusa = abundant, soft hair. (Or, in these stories, somebody touching it.)

fuwa, fuwato = gentle movement, lifting or floating Click here to go to a story page with the sound

fuwari, funwara = even gentler, calmer movement than fuwato

fwahaha = evil laugh, same as bwahaha, gahaha, gwahaha

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 G

ga = yet another impact word

gaba = grab (see also gashi, gu, gui, gya, gyu, ku, kyu) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gaba gaba = gurgling

gaba gaba = too big (as of clothes)

gacha, gachari = the click of something opening, such as a latch, a door, or even a belt (see also kacha)

gahaha = evil laugh, same as bwahaha, fwahaha, gwahaha

gakin = clash Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gaku = shaking, wobbling (see also kaku, kakun)

gakun, gakunto, gakuri = to collapse, fall

gapu = big bite, chomp (see also paku)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

gan = revelation, usually horrible

GAAA-N = BIG revelation, always horrible

gangan = strong or violent action

gara gara, garan = clatter, rattle (see also bara bara, chara chara) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gasa, goso = rustle, stealthy movement

gashan = crash, impact (see also gashin, gochin) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gashi = grab (see also gaba, gyu) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gashin = crash, impact (see also gashan, gochin)

gasshiri = solid

gata, gatan = to reel in shock from a revelation

gata, gatan = to fall or collapse  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

gatsu gatsu/gatu gatu = gobble food (see also hau hau, paku) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gaya = excited crowd sound

gebo = throwing up

gefu = belch, burp Click here to go to a story page with the sound

geho = cough (see also goho, kehen, kon, koho)

gennari = exhausted

geshi geshi = not sure about this. At times it seems to be a wiping sound like goshi Click here to go to a story page with the sound; at others either a squashing or rustling sound.  Click here to go to a story page with the sound  Maybe a general cloth sound? 

gi gi, giiee = sounds Kurama's plants (and other evil plants) make. (for other menacing sounds see go go go and uzo uzo)

giku, gikuri = surprise (see also biku, piku) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gin = glare, stare at (see also giro) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gira = twinkle, shine, glint (see also kira, kiran)

giri giri = scratching, grinding, more vigorous than kiri (see also bari bari)

giri giri = at the limit, to have no time or space to spare

giro = glare, stare at (see also gin)

gishi = creaking (see also kishi)

Gitai-go = not a sound effect, but the Japanese word for onomatopoeia, or sound effects.

go go go go = general menace, a threatening atmosphere. (for other menacing sounds, see gi gi and uzo uzo)

gochin = impact. W-san: "Another comical collision sound." (see also gashan, gashin)

gofu = cough

goho, gohon = a deep, wet cough, also vomiting up water (see also geho, gofu, kehen, kon, koho)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

goku, gokun = gulp, swallow (see also kokun)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

goooo = a roar. Can be a fire sound, often used for Hiei's fire attacks (see also bo, guooo, po)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

goro goro = purr purr Click here to go to a story page with the sound

Little tiiny Hiei goes 'goron' goro, goron = rolling over. It's supposed to be something heavy rolling over, but we've seen it used for tiny little Hiei rolling. Maybe it means he's rolling heavily.

goshi = scrubbing, rubbing, wiping (see also koshi)

goso = rummage, rustle

goun = the sound of a washing machine. Really. At least, we've seen it used for that specifically by two different djka. The sound of a dryer, however, is guon (see the difference?)

gowa gowa = stiff, rigid

gu = grabbing, pulling (see also gaba, gui, gyu)

gu = what you sound like when you're sleeping (see also supigu, ku, suka, suya, gussuri.) Gu and ku are similar to zzzzz. Supigu is peaceful sleep. K-san says "it's sort of a whistling sound."  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gu = stomach growling (see also ku, kyururu)

gucha = smashing, crushing (see also gusha)

guchi guchi = wet sound? twisting sound? We're not sure.  Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gui = grab (see also gaba, gu, gyu) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gui = gulp

guon = the sound of a dryer. For the sound of a washing machine, see goun

guooo = a roar. Can be a fire sound, often used for Hiei's fire attacks (Cf. bo, goooo, po)  Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

gura = stagger, move shakily (see also zuru) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

guri = to give noogies Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gusha = squeeze, grab, crush (see also gucha) Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

gussuri = deep sleep (see also gu, ku, suka, supigu, suya)

gutta, guttari = droopy, wilted, limp. Used to describe people or plants. (see also kuta)

gutto, guutto = extreme concentration, also strong emotion

guzu = whine, grumble (see also boso, busu, gyaa)

gwahaha = evil laugh, same as bwahaha, fwahaha, gahaha

gya = shriek (see also kya)

gya = grab (see also gaba, gyu)

gyaa gyaa = whine, grumble (see also boso, busu, guzu)

gyo = shock Click here to go to a story page with the sound 

gyu, kyu = grab, squeeze, twist (see also gaba, gya) Click here to go to a story page with the sound

gyuu, gyuun = fast motion (see also byu, hyu, pyu)

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Go on to FX: Guide to Common Sound Effects H - O


 

Sound FX Questions'Kyoro': Yukina looks around from Welcome, Newlyweds 3 by Seono Shou

Q: How come there are spaces between some of the words (e.g. kyoro kyoro instead of kyorokyoro)?

A: Because these are sound effects and they don't always appear as words do. For instance, in a manga panel you might see 'kyoro kyoro kyoro' in three widely separated positions around a character's head, or even a single 'kyoro' used on its own. Although this is clearly a reference to the term 'kyorokyoro' (to look this way and that) it's not the word itself.

Q: How come you left the sounds in romaji?

A: This probably should have been the first question, but we didn't even think of the issue until a (non-anime) friend wandered over to Po's computer and asked about those funny words on the cartoons. And we actually don't have an answer. It just seemed obvious. The wonderful sounds are part of the story, and the story is Japanese and the Japanese have so many wonderful sounds. Circular reasoning, but it makes sense to us, and undoubtedly to you, too, since you're here spending time on a Japanese djs site.

Q: Do the sounds really mean what you say they do?

A: Yes! Very probably. That is to say, yes and no. Or perhaps just plain no...

No, really, we've done our best to make sure all the definitions have a basis in fact. They were all provided to us by our translators, and whenever possible we had them checked by a second native speaker. The catch is that sometimes even the native speakers had to say, "Well, I think it means this..."

On the brighter side, once we sat down and wrote out the definitions we began to see a delightful consistency in the manga and dj stories. That's partly because some of these sound effects are actual words in Japanese, but even those that aren't words seem to be used in the same ways by many mangaka. Windows open with 'gara,' doors open with 'kacha' and slam with 'patan.' Hiei leaps with 'hyu' or 'pyu,' Kurama sleeps with 'ku' or 'gu,' everybody slurps with 'zu.' 'Dosa' means somebody's fallen to the floor, 'goooo' means Hiei's attacking with fire and everybody's about to be incinerated. And so on. You can probably find much better examples if you look through these stories and it's not 2:00 in the morning. <squint, blink>

Anyway, the sound effects have actually helped us figure out what was happening in some of the stories. Oh...'paku'...that means the tentacle plant that's strangling Hiei has closed its 'mouth' before his sword could pierce the vulnerable inside. Like that.

Possibly if we paid more attention to our Japanese lessons we wouldn't need to have all the sound effects explained and we would know what was happening in the stories anyway. But that's a whole different issue.

Q: How come you're not always consistent in handling long vowels? What system are you using?

A: <through gritted teeth> Between us and all our translators, we have no system! NO SYSTEM!!! Okay?

When we can identify a long vowel, we try to render it. In our opinion, the ideal way to do this would be with macrons (those little lines over a vowel), but since some of our programs can't use special characters, this isn't possible. So instead we've just doubled the vowels, using 'ou' for a long 'o.' That's supposed to be the system. But sometimes it breaks down, mostly due to our own stupidity.  ^_^

 

 Had enough of sound effects? Have a question about a Japanese word we've left untranslated? Or a word that seems peculiar to Yu*Yu*Hakusho?
Try here:

Japanese and Yu*Yu*Hakusho Words Defined

 

If you can correct any mistakes we've made with these fx or words, or fill in info we're missing, please let us know! Or if you have a question, feel free to ask; we'll try to get it answered.


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