Literally means "pretty boy," as in an attractive member of the male gender. Also spelled "bishonen," and sometimes shortened to "bish" and "bishie/bishy." It is a Japanese word, adopted by female anime fans in the rest of the world to denote any male anime
, or video game
character they happen to find good looking. Strictly speaking, "bishounen" should only refer to boys under age 20, since a "pretty man" would be "biseinen." However, most people prefer to use bishounen for men and boys of all ages, as it is so widely used.
Opinions on which males are bishounen and which are not vary according to personal tastes. The stereotypical bishounen generally has long hair, a slender, graceful figure, and lacks facial hair. Bishounen tend to appear androgynous or feminine. They are also likely to have certain personality traits, like sensitivity, secretiveness, moodiness, refinement, and a dark, tormented past.
This word is a noun, but is sometimes used as an adjective, as in the sentence "That guy is so bishounen." As an adjective, the word means "having or displaying the traits of a bishounen."
"You can tell Vincent is a bishounen because he's thin, he has long hair, and he's really angsty."