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The international anime fan community has adopted a number of Japanese loanwords for concepts that originated in Japan and don’t have succinct, ideal vocabulary equivalents in other languages. English-language discussions between foreign fans are peppered with terms like otaku (fans whose enthusiasm for their hobby is so strong it affects their life balance), tsundere (a person whose expressions of emotion towards an object of affection run hot and cold), and moe (a feeling of devotion and protectiveness, often in response to a display of innocence or purity), just to name a few.

Now, though, the shoe’s on the other foot, as one woman in Japan with a soft spot for anime showing deep, emotional bonds between male characters is calling for the popularization of an English loanword to help her avoid being mistaken for a fan of homoerotic anime and fan fiction.

@emiko038 has a bit of a problem. See, she loves it when anime shows a close, devoted relationship between a pair of its male leads, as illustrated in this short comic she’s drawn.

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“I get so pumped up by hot-blooded friendship and love between comrades!” she shouts, which immediately triggers the response “You’re a fujoshi.”

Fujoshi is a Japanese word that literally means “rotten girl,” but refers to female anime and manga fans who’re entranced by the male homoerotic genre called Boys’ Love (see what we meant about lots of Japanese phrases making their ways into English anime discussions?). Lacking any better term, @emiko038 did indeed used to refer to herself as a fujoshi, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that somehow it wasn’t the most accurate label for her particular brand of fandom.

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“I’m happy when Boy A and Boy B are together, but it’s definitely not a romantic feeling, so I don’t think you’d call it Boys’ Love. But it just feels so good seeing that solid relationship they have with each other!”

“They’re more than friends, but less than lovers.”

“I want Boy A to get married with a woman…but I also want him to always be connected to Boy B…Hmm…”

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“I mean, it’s not a romantic or sexual relationship I want them to have, so it’s really not Boys’ Love, right!?”

But while the sort of stories that hit @emiko038’s personal anime bull’s-eye have slipped through the cracks of Japanese linguistics, she’s found the perfect way to describe them in English, which is why she’s encouraging similarly minded fans to start using the term buromansu.

▼ Which is just the Japanese pronunciation of “bromance.”

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Pedants may argue that “bromance” is actually a contraction of “bro romance,” not “brother romance,” and that “bro” carries a different nuance than “brother.” Still, @emiko038’s comic has racked up more than 20,000 retweets, and it’s nice to see so many fans find a new, more precise way to express themselves, as well as to see the cultural exchanges and influences of anime come full circle and cycle back from the international fan community to the Japanese one.

Sources: Twitter/@emiko038 (1, 2) via Jin
Images: Twitter/@emiko038