To anyone who knows anything about Japan it will probably come as little surprise that they have specific words for actions that no other nation has ever been nerdy or obsessive enough to identify and name. Obviously manga are the best place to see these insanely specialised onomatopoeia, but they also inform the otherwise unaccountable things that sometimes occur in Japan’s moving image media: films, anime and video games. There are many more than I’ve mentioned here; I’ve just cherry picked the ones that seem to particularly lack Western counterparts. You will also perhaps be unsurprised to learn that our magnificently perverted cousins from the land of the rising sun have loads of sound effects that have to do with inappropriate sexual interference and weirdly specific fetishes.
BASA バサ is the sound of thin materials sliding or rustling against themselves, such as paper or the thin fabric of a summer kimono. BERO BERO ベロベロ is somebody licking something repeatedly. A lovely ice cream, perhaps. What were you thinking of?
SURARI スラリ is the sound of being slender, like many young Japanese women who look like a tangle of wire coathangers with clothes thrown randomly in their general direction by a colourblind shoplifter. BOTA ボタ is something thick dripping, like melted ice cream from a crazily attired but beautiful Japanese girl’s cone.
To get macho for a moment, DOBI ドビ is the sound of trying to kick something, but missing. DOSSHU ドッシュ is heard when slicing straight through a bone, which doesn’t happen very often in reality. It happens all the time in anime, manga and Japanese films, though. Nobody ever gets slashed with a sword or knife, reels away complaining about how much it hurts, then slumps in a corner where they slowly bleed to death… no, your head or arm is coming right off. Or you’ll be sliced in half, either vertically or horizontally.
FUSA フサ is the noise made by touching abundant, soft hair and GOWA GOWA ゴワゴワ is the sound of something being stiff and rigid. JIIIII ジーーーー is the sound (from the Western point of view, a non-sound) of staring at someone or something, usually because you’re dumbstruck or in awe. You could make a coherent sentence with these three, but I’m not going to.
KARA カラ is the sound (again, arguably a non-sound) of something empty. If a tree falls in the forest with nobody to hear it, etc. KON コん is a small cough; this one possibly does have a Western counterpart to some degree, the sound that’s sometimes transcribed as something like “ahem.” You might perceive a gentle KON when one of Japan’s many uniformed functionaries hears ZA ZA ZA ザザザ- the sound of you walking on the grass or through the bushes, which is forbidden unless you’re homeless in Tokyo, in which case nobody will even be able to see or hear you at all.
KYAPI KYAPI キャピキャピ is the sound of many girls chattering. MUNYU ムニュ is the sound of groping, and it’s no coincidence that I’ve put these two together, for in Japan wherever the former goes on there will probably be one or more chikan (perverts) there to try adding the latter sound effect to the proceedings. PUUUU プーーー is the sound of silent anger, such as that of a woman on a crowded metro train in Tokyo being groped surreptitiously by a chikan because he knows she can’t move away and most people just ignore women being groped on the metro. SHIZU シズ is the sound of a train conductor moving solemnly through the carriages, also ignoring the deafening chorus of MUNYU around him.
TOPPURI トップリ is the sound of night falling and UNI ウニ is the noise your mouth makes when you’re waking up the next morning. I think my mouth does make a noise when I wake up, though I don’t think it’s UNI. More research needed.