The term Ikemen appears frequently on Netflix’s new romantic comedy series, Romantic Killer. Ikemen basically just means an extremely handsome guy. However, this term dates back to the early 2000s and was actually used even before the rise of the 21st century! Here’s your simple trip back to the past.
The phrase ikemen (イケメン ) is a neologism created by combining the Japanese terms ikeru (いける) or iketeru and menzu (メンズ). Ikeru and iketeru signify “cool,” “excellent,” and “interesting,” respectively, whereas menzu is the Japanese word for “man.” This word has been used to refer to attractive males in Japanese pop culture.
It is thought that the concept of ikemen and older, masculine men arose from a stylized transformation of the wakashu aesthetic of a beautiful boy-like nobleman in kabuki plays during the Edo period.
Ikemen are generally described as smartly dressed individuals with slanted, intelligent eyes, husky voices, slender wrists and fingers, a manly frame, an unruffled demeanor, pale skin, and a sense of mystery around them. Ikemen are often reticent people who can grow passionate about their subjects and give the appearance that they are literary geniuses. Honestly, the whole description of an Ikemen is every girl’s 3D Anime crush.
In contrast to popular men in American culture, who are popular owing to their excellent physical and personal features, ikemen frequently emphasize “feminine” aspects that balance out the male qualities of a good-looking man. Ikemen are portrayed in Korean and Japanese dramas as possessing patience, tenderness, and the ability to self-sacrifice for the lady they love while expressing a wide spectrum of human emotions.
In modern-day terms, Ikemen are like men who are “written by women” in the sense that they are gentle and are able to portray characteristics that women like. Ikemen are most commonly found in simulation or otome games. Because Romantic Killer is an anime that portrays an otome-game-like plot, the term Ikemen is used frequently to describe the male protagonist of the show.