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, manga, 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."
by Stephanie M. July 01, 2003
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A hot anime/manga guy that catches the eyes of the female readers or watches. But is mistaked to much by parents & non-anime/manga people to be female charaters. Usually the charater is either a sad one or has a hidden past which draws people to them. Also known as a charater they the watches or reader will never forget.
Vincent Final Fantasy VII was found in a weird place yet when seen he has long black hair, smoth face, and unknown past which makes him so bishounen.

Howl Howl's Moving Castle is seen with fairly long hair with a girlish face that dresses in fancy clothes.
by Redsun April 11, 2006
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An also femininely beautiful man. Usually appears in manga or anime, but can rarely be seen in real life (see Gackt).
Bishoooouuuunen.... *drool*
by umeko November 02, 2003
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In anime, a young boy who is very cute and can be mistaken for a girl. Literal translation is Beautiful Boy.
"This manga is full of hot bishounen!"
by WildSpirit April 18, 2003
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One of the 3 stages of male beauty most men will never achieve, esp. if they're 3 dimensional & non-asian.

Bisyouta/Bishota: Cute little boy. (usually around 13, wich in Japan, is the age of concent)

Bishounen (commonly mispelled as bishonen); A boy around 14-19 who has femanine qualities & youthfullness that enhance his physical appearence.

Biseinen; A man who has retained androgynous beauty after becoming an adult.
The more manly looking or handsome a man is, the LESS bishounen he is. For example; FF7 & Bakuretsu hunters;
Marron/Vincent; Bishounen/Biseinen.
Cid/Gateau; not biseinen.
by Allaiyah January 15, 2004
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A hot anime/manga guy that catches the eyes of the female readers or watches. But is mistaked to much by parents & non-anime/manga people to be female charaters. Usually the charater is either a sad one or has a hidden past which draws people to them. Also known as a charater they the watches or reader will never forget.
Vincent Final Fantasy VII was found in a weird place yet when seen he has long black hair, smoth face, and unknown past which makes him so bishounen.

Howl Howl's Moving Castle is seen with fairly long hair with a girlish face that dresses in fancy clothes.
by Redsun April 29, 2006
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The art of bishounen will never die. While they were a key role in Shounenai & all of it's predecessors, it's much less common in modern BL, especially anything Be X Boy produces.

Of course, bishounen is a loosely used term in America used for a pretty boy of any age. Bisyouta or Bishouta is a cute little boy & Biseinen is an attractive man while bishounen really refurs to teen boys with effeminate beauty.

For you men out there, most chicks in Japan PREFUR girly looking men. Look at Gackt & Izam, they had & still have girls crawling all over them.
Eroica Yori Ai wo Komette started off Biseinen; the men had femmish faces & they were tall, thin, & had tight flamboyant clothing. These days they look more masculine, have grown shorter & more muscely & their hands aren't nearly as slender.
by Allaiyah June 25, 2004
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