Pop Culture dictionary

anime kiss

[an-uh-mey kis]

What does anime kiss mean?

An anime kiss is exactly that: a still or moving image of two characters making out in Japanese anime cartoons or movies. 

Related words:

Where does anime kiss come from?


The anime kiss is a trope of romance anime, one of the many genres of the very popular Japanese style of animation.

Emerging after WWII with the work of artist Osamu Tezuka, anime was introduced to the US in 1963. Subsequent anime cartoons over the decades, particularly in the 1990s with shows like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and Pokémon, have made the genre a massive hitand an extensive subcultureamong Western viewers.

The anime kiss has appeared in romance anime since at least the 1970s. An early example is from Toei Animation’s 1975 anime adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

By 2008, forum threads on Crunchyrolla US-based website streaming East Asian content, especially animewere sharing nominations for best anime kiss, though some folks complained they are often too tame. Apparently, those folks have never seen this steamy number (or ever heard of hentai):

In 2013, the topic of “no one ever kissing” in mainstream anime came up in a Crunchyroll thread. One commenter noted that open displays of affection, like kissing, are not the norm in the Japanese culture. The anime kiss, however, soon after became a more prominent feature of romance anime, with producers increasingly appealing to Western adults interested in erotic content. 

By fall 2014, anime kiss peaked as a Google search term. That September, an episode of Glasslip (Gurasurippu) featured a long-awaited lip-lock between protagonists Touko and Kakeru.

Fall 2014 also saw the release of an installment of the series Kissxsis, an erotic anime about a boy named Keita whose twin step-sisters, Ako and Riko, love to kiss him and vie for his attentions.

For fans of romance anime, a very popular expression of enthusiasm online is a top countdown of “best,” “hottest,” and “most passionate” anime kisses “of all time.”

Examples of anime kiss

Hitomi from Escaflowne was probably my first anime kiss. I can’t recall if she kissed Van or Allen first. Been too long.

@affinity4anime, July, 2017

pet peeve: anime kiss where both their mouths just disappear into the sunset never to be seen again and they look like two mannequins clunking their faces together

@sammserve, January, 2018

I wanna see the best anime kiss. Yeah might sound weird and all but meh, I’m in the mood for cutesy lovey dovey bullshit. Suggest a romance, preferably something with a good splash of comedy that has the best kiss scene imaginable. Something that’ll make even the most manly of men saw “awwh.” Be it between boy and girl, girl and girl or guy and guy; whatever, I don’t discriminate.

Rectal_Splash, Reddit, 2015


Who uses anime kiss?

Anime fans, East and West, often discuss and post about anime kisses on anime forums on sites like Crunchyroll. Threads include the likes of “Best Anime Kisses?” and “Do you like when couples in anime kiss?” They especially enjoy, however, making and sharing GIFs, image macros, and YouTube compilations showcasing their favorites.

The website Giphy offers quite a few anime kiss GIFs that make the rounds on Tumblr as well …

Many examples of anime kisses come from YouTube montages like “Top Greatest and Most Epic Anime Kiss Scenes of All Times.”

One more fetishistic sub-genre of the anime kiss is the anime kiss with saliva, which finishes with strings of saliva between the characters’ mouths. Hot.

Just Added

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of anime kiss like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of anime kiss that will help our users expand their word mastery.