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File:Danbooru 2190.png

The Danbooru catgirls.

An Image Booru is a new breed of Image Boards and is essentially a tag-based image archive. Most are based loosely around anime. Because the idea is still relatively new there are not that many of them around compared to, say, forums or more traditional imageboards. The name is derived from Danbooru, the first booru. These sites cater to those who want the Pixiv experience, but don't feel like sifting through Japanese or inconsistent tagging. A very large majority of the images you see on boorus came from Pixiv first.

Danbooru got its name from the Japanese word Danbo-ru, meaning 'cardboard box.' It was originally coded and administrated by rq. The site got more and more popular, in large part due to rq's lenient policy on mature content, until eventually the site couldn't take the strain anymore and rq pulled the plug.

Danbooru has since revived under Albert, with stricter quality/content guidelines. Users are divided into nine levels. "Members", "Privileged", and "Builder" have their submissions sent to a moderation queue, where they are deleted if no one in the moderation staff ("Test Janitor" and above) approves them in three days. "Members" are prevented from viewing Loli and Shota images because advertisers aren't comfortable with the content; higher user levels don't see ads. "Members" can become "Privileged" for a one-time $20 fee; all other levels are by invitation only.

While Danbooru was down, many new boorus sprung up. Some use the original Danbooru code (or a modded/hacked version, at least), but because the original Danbooru runs on Ruby on Rails, most of the new ones use Shimmie, a version of Danbooru rewritten in PHP. Most non-specialized boorus, like Gelbooru, automatically import all images uploaded to Danbooru. Sankaku Complex has a booru, as well. Regardless of which site you frequent, though, the general consensus is that if they didn't exist, finding that cute anime girl picture that you saw that one time would be much harder.

Images can even be looked up in reverse, using SauceNAO or IQDB.

Danbooru provides examples of the following tropes:

Tropes that apply to the site include

  • Brain Bleach: Browsing Danbooru and Gelbooru? Bring a few gallons. They even have special pools titled "Nightmare Fuel", and "CANNOT UNSEE!".
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Artist tags are red, character tags are green, copyright tags are purple, and general tags (tags that don't fit in any of the above, as well as the default color) are blue.
  • Fan Service with a Smile: A great deal of the content for obvious reasons; it's not restricted to waitresses and maids of course.
  • Grandfather Clause: Users were discouraged from flagging old images posted before the stricter guidelines—which included ordinary photos of Asian women and a pool dedicated to stuff that didn't belong—until Albert finally explicitly revoked the Grandfather Clause in forum #14967. A purge commenced.
  • Fundamentally Female Cast: It's easy to go through several pages without seeing a single guy.
    • Of course, some of this is likely due to the fact that the most common art on the site is Touhou art, which constitutes nearly a quarter of all content...
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: Albert once gave the Contributor-level near-full post moderation powers without warning, throwing much of the site into an absolute panic before it was reverted.
  • Media Classifications: There are three ratings for images: Safe, Questionable (the default), and Explicit. What those actually mean is a little more tricky:

Ratings only apply to sexual content. Violence, gore, or cursing does not factor into an images' rating. Note also that ratings do not say how "family friendly" or "kid safe" a picture is, this is explicitly not a goal. Danbooru users are assumed to be responsible adults and the ratings are there only to help them choose the content they wish to see.

  • Name Order Confusion: With character tags, Danbooru goes by the original name order from the source material the character is from. Generally, this means Western names are "[Given name] [Surname]" and Eastern names are "[Surname] [Given name]." Of course, there are exceptions, such as the Japanese name "Subaru Nakajima" ("[Given name] [Surname]") being the correct order, not "Nakajima Subaru."
  • Not Safe for Work: Naturally. Even if you're viewing clean images, you still have the ads to watch out for. Danbooru used to host a "Safebooru" mirror that only contained images rated "Safe"; that name was later taken up by an independent booru ( Safebooru automatically imports all "Safe"-rated Danbooru uploads, however, which as described above in the classifications does not mean safe for work.
  • Spin-Off: Gelbooru (essentially Danbooru without the quality controls), Safebooru... even a Ponibooru.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Actively defied with Danbooru's mod queue, where Test Janitors and up review the uploads of Privileged and below. The queue ensures that the worst offenders of Sturgeon's Law get winnowed and keeps the art quality on the site at least above average.

Tags dedicated to particular tropes include

Image pools dedicated to particular tropes include:[1]

  1. Incidentally, take note of how many of these are named after said tropes...