If you have ever read manga, or even watched anime - where this is less common - you will probably come across something described as 'Japanese Sound Symbols'. They are also known as 'sound symbolic', mimetic, ideophones and Japanese onomatopoeia. You can view much of the dynamics of sound symbols on the Wikipedia Page.

Some of the listed examples were:

  • じろじろ - jirojiro - Stare intently
  • きらきら - kirakira - Sparkle
  • どきどき - dokidoki - Heart beat
  • ぴんぴん - pinpin - Lively
  • しいんと - shi~nto - Silence

So, I thought that because it's mostly used in Anime & Manga, it may be on-topic here. However because it's in relation to expressions in Japanese, therefore - wouldn't those topics belong in the Japanese Language & Usage?

Remember that the sound symbols are in Japanese, used in Japanese, for the Japanese and to express Japanese terms. The only thing it has to do with Anime and Manga is that it is used in the books/episodes!

You can see this question about whether questions about the Japanese language should be on-topic, but the answer has suggested that it 'relates the the personality of the character' - however these expressions only express the being/situation/feelings of the character. Another example is this question about the classic blood-nose symbol. However, because this is in special relation to anime (obviously because real people probably do not get a blood nose when 'excited' :P).

I'd like some opinions on this, thanks in advance.

  • 2
    Can it/is it used outside of anime/manga? If so, it's offtopic here. Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 10:25
  • 1
    So therefore, no-one should be asking "What does gerogero mean?" here? Thanks ;)
    – Grace
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


These can probably be used outside of mangas, to other forms of media (TV shows, magazines, etc).

Even if it were manga unique, it would still be walking the line there, off-topic in my opinion.

They have a perfectly functional JLU site, that's where Japanese language questions belong.


I'm not exactly sure what the question we're discussing is here.

If it's something like "What are all the japanese sound symbols?". That's a non-answerable list question and should be closed.

If it's "What does 'gerogero' mean?" That's either a general reference question, or more appropriate on JLU. Note that JLU is not particularly welcoming of questions that could be answered with a search of any of the dictionaries listed in their Resources FAQ (for example on jisho).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .