Kabe Don: Common Shoujo Manga Tropes

Recently Dessert shoujo manga magazine had a contest for readers to draw a kabe don art piece and submit it on pixiv. The winners were announced in the March issue of Dessert. The winning result was very funny, and this got me thinking about the very common trope of kabe don in shoujo manga.

The Winning Entry and Runner Ups for the Dessert Contest

The Winning Entry and Runner Ups for the Dessert Contest

What is kabe don? Well kabe – 壁 means “wall” in Japanese and don – どん is an onomatopoeic word that stands for a “bang” or thump sound. I’ve seen it translated to English as a “wall bang”, but that has other connotations in the English language. It more or less has to do with someone banging a body part against a wall and trapping someone there.

While a wall (kabe) is where it gets its name, it’s not always a wall that gets the treatment. I’ve seen it occur against bookcases, cars, doors, a train window, even a tree. There’s even a series running in Dessert right now, Watashitachi ni wa Kabe ga Aru, that makes fun of this trope every chance it gets – there’s a kabe don almost every chapter. Of course, this is why the contest occurred in the first place.

Kabe don has become such a common trope in shoujo manga that I see it more and more in recent series. I thought it would be fun to collect some examples here and see if you could identify the series they come from.


So how did you do? I thought some of the later ones might be a little tougher but wanted to challenge some of our Japanese readers as well. 🙂 Tell me which ones you recognize in the comments and I’ll post a key later on so you can check. Have fun!

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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  • #15 Kedamono Kareshi?

    • Yes. It’s a little hard to tell from that picture. 🙂

  • Isn’t #14 “Kiss Him, Not Me”?

    • Yep! Thanks for participating! 🙂

  • Lol, I love this! There are so many Vines from Japan about this!

  • My guesses:
    1 – Skip Beat!
    2 – Strobe Edge
    4 – I recognize Mayu Shinjo’s art, I’d guess “Sensual Phrase”
    5 – Mission of Love
    6 – Hana Kimi
    7 – Marmalade Boy
    8 – Dawn of Arcana
    9 – After School Nightmare
    10 – Ouran High Host Club
    11 – Marmalade Boy
    12 – Wolf Girl and Black Prince
    13 – Ao Haru Ride

    A side note, Banri Hidaka wrote/drew a blog about this topic a while ago, and the Twins translators reposted here with translations (

    • The Banri Hidaka sketches are really cute. Thanks for sharing that!
      No guesses for 14 & 15?
      Here are some hints:
      Number 14 is actually a title we have digitally in English, but I only had the Japanese magazine.
      Number 15 runs in Margaret magazine.

      • No, no guesses for either. #14 is available on Crunchyroll? I haven’t had time to read the manga there yet. I think #14 art looks familiar. #15 is a bit tough since I can see neither charaters’ faces 🙂
        I don’t know #3, either.
        I’m glad you enjoy Banri Hidaka sketches. I wish more of her works are available in English or French.

  • #2. is Strobe Edge and #6 is Hana Kimi

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