If you’re stumped, ask a gearhead for help.

Given their by-definition obsessive nature, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Japan’s otaku can be very particular about semantics. For example, while laymen might look at virtual idol Hatsune Miku and say she has a pair of ponytails, or perhaps pigtails, the truly pop-culturally versed know that the preferred term is “twin tails.”

As numerous as twin tail supporters may be, though, it’s not anime’s only iconic hairstyle. Watch enough anime, or play enough video games from Japan, and you’ll repeatedly come across characters with triangular tufts of hair rising above their bangs.

Compared to twin tails, this look is much harder to pull off in real life, and that lack of direct contact means that as distinct as the hairstyle is, many people are at a loss as to what to call it. It turns out that there is an accepted name for it, though one that comes from the world of engineering instead of fashion.

Japanese fans call it the “air intake hairstyle,” after the openings on a car’s hood that channel air into the engine.

▼ “Dummy! It’s…it’s not like I competed in the World Rally Championship for you or anything!”

As a matter of fact, the term has gained so much acceptance that a Google image search for inteku kamigata (“intake hairstyle”) spits back hundreds of examples.

IH 3

Granted, much like twin tails, intake hair isn’t a set-in-stone technical term. Still, work it into your conversation when the opportunity presents itself, and you’ll win the respect of anyone in earshot who has a fanatical love of both anime and cars.

Speaking of people with a fanatical love of both anime and cars, you can follow Casey on Twitter at @NatsuKazeOtoko

Source: Jin, Twitter/@p__hone
Insert images:
Wikipedia/Naocchi, Google