Mae May 29, 2016
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.
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!