Anime’s Latest Catchphrase Leads To Superior Trolling

Anime’s Latest Catchphrase Leads To Superior Trolling
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

This is not an endorsement or recommendation for trolling. If anything, it’s simply an explainer to let you know what’s going on. Because trolling is bad poi.

Picture: MontySan

What’s “poi”?

In Japanese, “poi” (っぽい) means “apparently”, “supposedly”, “seems like” or even “-ish”. It’s a pretty common and basic word. But many fans are using it without knowing what it actually means, and you know what, that’s OK!

Picture: hi_im_Roxas

Then, there’s this.

Picture: yunamon


The hell does “poi” have to do with anything?

I’m glad you asked. The word has quickly become a catchphrase among anime fans outside Japan.

How did this happen?

In the Kantai Collection (or, if you prefer, Kancolle) anime, which began this past January, the character Yuudachi says the word. A lot. The first time she appeared on screen, she said “poi”.

Like this.

Picture: codenamestrike

The character also uses “poi” in the game. A bunch. And it’s been something she’s continued to use throughout the show. It’s her thing.

Picture: Jayshun

Picture: BloodNinja057

Picture: jaye_sun

Some even created “poi counter” for each time Yuudachi says the word in each episode.

[Photo via graphure

Is there a reason she keeps saying “poi”?

Excellent question. Kotaku‘s in-house nautical anime girl expert Toshi Nakamura, who wrote about Kancolle way back in 2013 (2013!), explains that her use of vague language is due the differences between the way many Japanese and Westerners view history.


OK. A little context. In Kancolle, the characters are personifications of Japanese battleships (though, there are a few German ships). So Yuudachi is the Shiyatsuyu class destroyer, Yuudachi. In the Japanese account of the ship’s final battle, which is far more heroic, the ship went straight through the enemy fleet and flanked them, sinking two American vessels and disabling three more before being disabled. In the Western account, the Yuudachi torpedoed one ship and then was seriously damaged by U.S. gunfire. It was a night battle, and perhaps there was confusion. It seems the character’s creators have used this uncertainty to create the “poi” catchphrase.

Sounds serious.

Well, it is war. But the anime is a far more lighthearted fare and not some mopey show. Ditto for this catchphrase, which the anime community has embraced.

Picture: mug_ee

As evident by the fan art.

Picture: Mikosaj

Picture: canisviridis

Picture: tac_tis

You mentioned something about trolling?

Yes, yes I did. And the trolling, so far, has been harmless, I guess. But perhaps super annoying? It really depends on what your tolerance for this kinda stuff is. According to Twitter users and online forum members, some World of Warships players have been spamming chats with “poi” to the irritation — and confusion — of other players.

Picture: shiba_yuu

Picture: saki_white

Picture: MinamiFukui510

[Photo via Animesuki

Since World of Warships is about, well, warships, and Kancolle is about personifications of said ships, then this fits — whether it’s wanted is another matter altogether. If you don’t like the anime and you’re not in on the gag, it sure seems annoying.

[via aae_TKN0121

[via SakuyaP_robo, Ryohei_Kancolle

[via Luxuryseo, Acalmz, kakurenbo0909

Really fucking annoying.

It seems that way.

But, the —

There’s more?

Hush, you.


But the most extreme use of “poi” so far has been the insanity Swiss otaku Melonpan unleashed in this restroom.

Pictures: Melonpan

Melonpan, if you don’t remember, once jumped out of an aeroplane with a hug pillow.

How could anyone forget that?

I know! It’s impossible poi.

Picture: loligurolove


Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!