What Does Nani Mean In Anime And Japanese? Introduction and explanation

What Does Nani Mean In Anime And Japanese

What does Nani mean in anime? What is Nani meaning in Japanese? You might hear the word “Nani” in almost every anime episode, even in normal Japanese conversations. Then you might think, what does Nani mean?

Whether you’re talking about anime or the Japanese language, Nani will have the exact definition. However, even I would suggest that you must watch anime if you want to understand the Japanese language or popular Japanese words.

To understand the meaning of nani more closely, let’s begin our topic on what Nani means in anime. Also, read What Does Nya Mean In Anime?

What Does Nani Mean In Anime? Nani Meaning In Japanese

What Does Nani Mean In Anime?

The word Nani means “What” in Japanese and can be used in the same context as does ‘What‘ in English. Nani is highly popular in western culture, especially among the weebs people who are huge fans of Japanese culture.

The phrase nani can be used alone or with sentences depending on the conveyed message. For example, if your friend asks you something, but you don’t hear properly, then you can say “Nani,” which means what.

Another example of Nani–> Suppose you are doing secret work and suddenly someone came there, you can say, “Anata wa koko de ‘Nani’ o shite iru no?” which means ‘What are you doing here?’

Irrespective of the anime genre/category or anime episodes you are going to watch, you will frequently come across the word Nani.

Similarly, words like Nani, Baka, nya, etc., which we already discussed, not only skill up your Japanese language but also explain you the Japanese culture. So let’s explore more about what does nani mean in anime?

What Does Nani Mean In Anime And Japanese? Why It Popular

What Does Nani Mean In Anime

The meaning of the word Nani in Japanese is “What” in formal and informal ways. But this word was not as popular as it is today; though the internet played a significant role yet, there are other factors too.

The word Nani was first glimpsed and popular when the anime titled Fist Of North Star premiered in 1983. In this anime, the main protagonist Kenshiro says the phrase ‘omae wa mou shindeiru,‘ which English means ‘You are already dead.’

He said this phrase when he did a pressure attack on the opponent. After listening to these words from Kenshiro, the opponent shockingly (or like he didn’t hear properly) said, “Nani,” which means What?

You can watch this conversation between Kenshiro and the opponent in the Youtube video below by Taescuro.

Later in this conversation, the villain or opponent said, “You must be joking,” and got the pressure punches as seen in the above video.

However, this anime series completed 38 years, but the word ‘Nani‘ get popular forever, and anime lovers love to use this word in real life too.

How To Write Nani In Japanese And English?

Even though this term is normally expressed in kanji, you will occasionally encounter it transcribed in one of the two Japanese scripts: hiragana or katakana.

In hiragana, nani is written as なに while in Katakana, it is written as ナニ The katakana version, which is ナニ, appears to be much different from anything we’ve seen thus far.

However, the meaning of Nani in both scripts is the same “What.” Let’s see how to use nani in real life with examples.

How To Use Nani? Nani Mean In Japanese

So, what does Nani mean in anime and Japanese? Its meaning is What. You can use this word in real life in situations of shock, exclaims, fear, happiness, or when you don’t hear what the other person is saying.

nani meaning in anime

The term Nani is not confined to the Japanese language; anime fans from all around the planet use it frequently. Depending on the intensity of the sentence, the word Nani can be used with little modifications.

As already discussed, Nani is written in two Japanese scripts: hiragana and katakana. Originally, Nani is written as ‘なに’ in Hiragana, while in Katakana, it is written as ナニ. However, the hiragana script is more popular and prevalent in the manga.

In general, the other ways to write nani are as follows:

  1. What? –> なぁに? (naani?)
  2. Whattt! –> なにい! (nanii!)

Also, when you speak in excitement or surprise by watching any scene, you can use Nani twice like Nani, nani?! which means, What, what is it?! Similarly, Nani can be used in different phrases with different contexts.

Also, in real life, you can ask your partner or beloved: 何(なに)が好きですか? Nani ga suki desu ka? Which means “What do you like?”.

Another example is: Nani wo suru tsumori desu ka?
What do you intend to do?

Nani wo suru tsumori desu ka? – What are you about to do?

Therefore, as you can see, the word Nani has no set boundaries on when, where, and how to use it.

Final Thoughts

So, How do you like this article on what does nani mean in anime and Japanese? Nani mean What in Japanese and anime. I’m assured that the next time you watch anime episodes, you’ll remember what Nani means.

Nani get popularized after the anime series “Fist Of The North Star” and is still frequently used by anime fans and the general public. How do you want to use the word nani in your life? Share your valuable comment with us.

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