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The website ニコニコ marks manga with sexual content with the letter H and with excessive depiction of violence with the letter G. If you really feel the need to see an example, this manga is marked with both. In the desktop version, there is an explanatory text beside them, reading 性的な描写 and 過激な暴力描写 respectively, but on the mobile version there is no such explanation, only the letters.

I understand why "H" is used for sexual content, but I don't know why they chose "G" for "excessive depiction of violence". 暴力 bōryoku "violence" starts with "B", 過激 kageki "excessive" with "K" and there is also no English word that I can think of. The only thing with "G" would be the 激 of 過激. This could be a shift "excessive => excessive violence", just like for the English words "explicit" and "graphic". I have only seen "G" as euphemism for ゴキブリ cockroach, and searches for "G"+暴力 or "G"+"過激" yield no relevant results.

This leads me to two related questions: Firstly, would a Japanese speaker recognize what "G" as a warning meant without the explanation? And secondly, why did niconico chose "G"? I am kind of hoping for an interesting story like behind the "H", but maybe it was just an arbitrary choice with not much thought behind it.

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  • I just want to point out that "Guro" is also used with similar meaning in english websites, it is a widely recognized term in the community by now.
    – Alubeixu
    Jan 31, 2023 at 11:57
  • In English you have "Gore".
    – Cœur
    Feb 1, 2023 at 9:28
  • "I understand why "H" is used for sexual content" I did, too, but I feel the need to point out that 性的 seiteki doesn't start with H. It's a little strange to me that someone who is interested in looking up such works, would never have encountered the term グロ. Feb 1, 2023 at 10:48
  • @Karl Knechtel I just forgot about グロ ( I thought it was onomatopoeia and it is only part of my passive vocabulary), and I am not a fan of グロ... H / エッチ is used exactly as the letter, and much more common than グロ.
    – Dodezv
    Feb 1, 2023 at 12:21

3 Answers 3

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When I saw the mark of G, I didn't understand why G is used.
I thought of ゴキブリ and gravity.
But after several seconds, I got an idea.

I think G means グロ(グロテスク).
This is a common word used like グロ画像, エログロ, グロ注意, グロい.
グロい means disgusting or gross, though it's not used only for violence but also for worms, injuries, excretas and as an internet slang so miserable scenes.

Now I found this page. (There are no disgusting images or videos)
Some people on the Internet seem to use G as グロテスク.
https://dic.pixiv.net/a/R-18G

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  • 3
    This is supported by the HTML source code of the page, which labels the icon with the class icon_gro
    – muru
    Jan 31, 2023 at 6:31
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    Just a note that grotesque is also an English word.
    – Andrew T.
    Jan 31, 2023 at 8:26
  • @AndrewT. yes, the Japanese is a loanword from English. Feb 1, 2023 at 10:49
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It's almost certainly グロ, an abbreviation of グロテスク.

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It's for Guro which means grotesque. That tag is used to mark stuff like heavy violence, body damage, body horror, bodymods, but also things like man-animal hybrids, scat, etc.

There's also ero-guro which includes all of the above but with explicit sexual context.

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