Anime Know-How: What Is Omake?

If you are new to the anime fandom, then you have likely discovered a simple fact: there is a specific name for everything. Just like any other community, anime fans have adopted their own lexicon of Japanese-English words, but newcomers can get a bit lost in translation.

Here at ComicBook, we are about to explore one of the most common phrase which makes newbies want to scratch their heads. So, if you need to know more about omake and its roots, then you have come to the right place.

When translated literally, the word omake in Japan means 'extra' in English. In its most popular context, omake refers to extra or bonus content produced by an anime titles for home releases. These special features can include anything like art booklets, deleted scenes, cast interview, bloopers, and more.

In the anime fandom, omake can be used for a wide variety of things. You can refer to a simple re-dubbed scene of a show, or it can turn into something more involved. Some anime titles create omake shorts which function as non-canon comedy sketches. Series such as Naruto have rolled out dozens of these shorts, and the show main characters acting out-of-character or even breaking the fourth wall with fans. Some omakes just have voice actors re-dub scenes with atypical dialogue, but bigger franchises like One Piece will go to the effort of making entirely new shorts with crude animation.

Outside of the anime fandom, omake has a popular usage in Japan. Western fans almost exclusively use the phrase to reference anime-specific bonus items, but Japan uses omake to refer to anything extra. For instance, fast food restaurants give out omake toys with meals similar to how McDonalds gives toys in the U.S. Other food items come with omake gifts in the same way Cracker Jacks used to have a toy inside its packages.

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