From Academic Kids

Missing image
A group image of the OS-tans

A small Internet phenomenon on Futaba Channel, the OS-tan (OS for operating system, and the Japanese "-tan" (たん) which is an overly cute mispronounciation (specifically, a child's slurring) of "-chan" (ちゃん), a diminutive honorific for a person) or simply OS Girls are the personification of several OSes, most famously Windows, by various amateur Japanese artists. A pure fan creation, the appearance of each character is generally consistent across artists. OSes are almost always portrayed as women, the Windows girls usually as sisters, despite sometimes seeming the same age.

On Futaba-derived image boards, "tan" is sometimes used as a generic term for any such personification.



The concept is reported to have begun as a personification of the common perception of Windows Me as unstable and prone to frequent crashes. Discussions on Futaba Channel likened this to the stereotype of a fickle, troublesome girl. The personification became expanded, with the creation of Me-tan (dated to August 6 2003) followed by the other characters.

A large collection of these images can be found here ( Some of the comics have been translated by readers on 4chan and idlechan. They have been archived at Trouble Windows Translations (, along with the japanese counterparts. There are still many raw comics left and new translations or corrections of previous ones are always welcome.

A crossover ( with characters from the TV animation Ghost in the Shell also exists, along with a small ending video.

A large archive containing over a thousand OS-Tan images can be found here ( Including wallpapers, stand alone color images, and the original black and white drawings.

There also exists a Macromedia Flash Animation showing a possible intro to a hypothetical, but highly unlikely, anime show, Troubled Windows ( (とらぶる.ういんどうず). It features interactivity, where the viewer can click to cause different visuals in the animation. A fansub of this has been created, and can be found here ( The fansub, however, is a video file, and is not interactive. The music is Sakuranbo Kiss (さくらんぼキッス ~爆発だも~ん~), by KOTOKO, which was originally the opening theme from a romance simulation game known as Colorful Kiss (カラフルキッス~12コの胸キュン!~), released by GIGA. An ending theme called OS-Pittan also exists. The music is Futari no Xenopittan(ふたりのぜのぴったん), a remix version of Futari no Mojipittan, a song from the PS2 word puzzle game Mojipittan. The song was made for a game based on Mojipittan called Xenopittan, which features characters and terminology from the Playstation 2 game Xenosaga. It is found on a fan disc for Xenosaga, known as Xenosaga Freaks ( It can be heard at the end of the medley found here ( The song was sung by voice actresses Maeda Ai (who voiced Shion Uzuki in Xenosaga), Suzuki Mariko (who voiced KOS-MOS in the same game), and Shishido Rumi (who voiced MOMO in the same game). Both flash files can be viewed here ( Also, as a satire, Bill Gates was mentioned in the credit of this hypothetical anime (after about 50 seconds). There also exists a Photoshop-modified picture, mimicking news of a new animation release in a Japanese magazine.

Mac OS X, Linux, and Linspire girls have also shown up on the internet, although some non-OS male characters exist for programs and hardware. Norton Antivirus is usually portrayed as a creepy looking, possibly lecherous old doctor. Predating all of this is Toy's iMac Girl (, the feature of a series of wallpapers first appearing between August 1998 and March 1999.

References and in-jokes


Often the Windows girls are seen carrying scallions. This is a pun: a popular Japanese firewall program (NEGiES) sounds like their word for "scallion" (negi) so the OS-tan carry scallions around as shields or weapons.

Breast Size, Hunger, and Memory

It has been suggested from time to time, that the breast sizes of the individual OS-tans represent their RAM size. Because Windows XP is considered a memory hog due to its increased resource consumption, XP-tan is incredibly well endowed (and she has no qualms for getting "upgraded" from time to time). 2K-tan normally rates as a close second, whereas the DOS pair are at the distant end of the spectrum.

Another theory states that the breast size of an OS Tan represents the overall "fanciness" of their graphical user interface. Since XP was designed with bells and whistles, she has the largest breasts, but DOS, being no more than a command prompt, is at the other extreme.

An alternate method of displaying memory or resource requirements in general is through the character's appetite. XP is often seen eating ridiculous amounts of food (yet never gaining an inch except perhaps on her bust) because of her heftier demands on hardware.

Movement against Netrunner

Netrunner (, a monthly computer magazine in Japan, introduced an image board browsing software named "Berry" in one issue. "Berry" created a surge of traffic to Futaba, as well as many inexperienced users who knew nothing about the rules and decorum of Futaba. This troubled, but did not entirely anger, Futaba users.

However, the May 2004 issue of Netrunner was bundled with a set of trading cards, depicting (among others) many original characters from Futaba-including ME-tan. As this was done without permission from the original designer of ME-tan (, many people became angry with Netrunner, and the designer of ME-tan announced that it will never grant permission to use any of its work to anyone related to Netrunner.

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Example of an anti-Netrunner banner

Furthermore, users from Futaba produced a series of banners and images, indicating that it doesn't welcome anyone related to Netrunner. Several OS-tans were also included in these banners.

In one OS-tan manga, 2K-tan and XP-tan break into Netoran's office (or literally "Netrun", an abbreviation of Netrunner) to rescue the abducted ME-tan, only to find that ME-tan has already killed everybody there using a knife with the name "B. Gate" (as in Bill Gates) on it. 2K-tan and XP-tan refer to "B. Gate" as "father".

Dispute between Futaba Society and Deja Vu

(As this topic is still under discussion in Futaba with over 4000 replies, please expect upcoming update and further discussion in discussion page. Any information from Futaba users are also welcome.)

Deja Vu Art Works ( is a doujin group in Japan, which has published doujinshi of the OS-tan called "共有フォルDA!"(Literal translation: Shared Fol-DA!). However, it has clashed with Futaba society on several points:

  1. Deja Vu's manga use its own design of NT-tan (Windows NT 4.0 SP6) instead of Futaba's design.
    • Futaba users claimed this is disrespectful to original creators of OS-tan, hence so called "stealing" OS-tan from them.
    • Deja Vu claimed it has rights to create new characters.
  2. Deja Vu published a 2K-tan manga with "Deja vu" on it.
    • Futaba users claimed the copyright mark showed that Deja Vu ignored the original creator of OS-tan and claimed themselves as the original creators, and are intentionally misleading others (to think so). They also showed a screenshot on the Internet, showing some other doujin group mistaken Deja Vu and "共有フォルDA!" as original creator.
    • Deja Vu claimed it was only a careless mistake.
  3. A cosplay photo of XP-tan (by MALINO, a member of Deja Vu) was posted on Futaba, while the costume's tailor only permitted the photo to be posted in a membership-based cosplay site.
    • Futaba users claimed that Deja Vu posted those photos, hence violating the agreement.
    • Deja Vu claimed that it only posted the photo in the members-only cosplay site, but soon somebody posted those photos on Futaba with an insult.
      • Later, a Futaba user found a link (hidden by using text in the same color as the background) which later was deleted.
        • Futaba users claimed this as proof that Deja Vu actually violated the agreement.
        • Deja Vu claimed its post was only a counter measure against the post in Futaba, and had no intention of violating the agreement. Later they deleted the link as it received complaints from the XP-tan costume's tailor.
  4. Originally in Deja Vu's homepage, one only claimed its manga was being published on Netrunner, but after the start of the dispute one changed its homepage and claimed that its manga on Netrunner was published without its permission.
    • Futaba users claim this is a fact showing Deja Vu had been working for Netrunner.
    • Deja Vu claimed the change in its homepage only reflects the facts.
  5. There are some other minor disputes.
Missing image
Example of an anti-Deja Vu banner

To the date of this edit (September 24 2004), it seems that the dispute still can't be resolved, or at least that the parties involved have no intention of resolving it. Generally, Futaba Society considers Deja Vu as another enemy (just like Netrunner), Deja Vu declared it would continue to publish its manga, and other people either remain neutral (e.g. the creators of ME-tan and XP-tan) or ignorant of the dispute.

See also

External links

Posting is possible only from Japanese IP address ranges, however anyone can read regardless of location.
No longer actively maintained.
It is the second original OS-tan image archive; only accessible from some IP address ranges.
This imageboard's community allows contributed images and descriptions in English, however all following discussion must be in Japanese.
A page containing the imaginary "Trouble Windows" TV show intro and closing credits (OsPittan) in Flash format. (Korean text)
Contains adult-oriented sections; only accessible from some IP address ranges.
A new site that collects anything related to OS-tans
OS-Tan Image Archive. Thousands of colour and original black and white images of the OS-Tan girls. Also linking to OS-Tan Imageboard. (

fr:OS-tan ja:OSたん


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