Attempts on Dissecting a Booru-style Image Board

Art by 廿楽きのこ

Art by 廿楽きのこ

The concept of a booru-style image board has always fascinated me. What would normally be just a regular image gallery is now suddenly one of the hubs for anime/manga-esque images (high-quality resolutions at that too) as well as what seems to me as an instigator to a whole new subculture formed by the marriage of animango and the internets (more specifically, the web’s underlying technologies).

I can talk to you all day about how uber-awesome boorus are, but what exactly makes a booru-style distinctive from all the image galleries/boards available across the web?

Wikipedia has the following to say

…Danbooru and derivatives aim for a non-hierarchical semantic structure in which users are able to post content and add tags, annotations, translations, and comment.

Seems legitimate. It’s a comprehensive summary of how it functions but….not really helpful if you’re trying to build a booru-style image board from scratch. If anything, I would probably start by enumerating the important (at least the ones that I deem importabt)  microfunctions of the site.

Let’s start with the original booru-style image board, Danbooru.

Note that this list is not complete. Some features are omitted, others have yet to be identified. I will be adding to this list over time.


  1. Search Bar – can search all classications of tags
  2. Tag list – list of all tags associated to images that are currently visible
  3. Tag classications – tags of a certain classication are of one color
  4. Tag-specific links – links to wiki pages that explain what the tag is used for
  5. Thumbnails – resized/cropped/edited versions of the full image
  6. Grid format – a grid of thumbnails
  7. Pagination


  1. Search bar block
  2. Copyright tag block – block which holds one type of tag classification
  3. Characters tag block – block which holds another kind  of tag classification, self explanatory
  4. Artist tag blog – similar to above
  5. Related tag blog – block which holds the last kind of tag classification
  6. Information block – contains data about the image
    1. ID – numerical ID of the post
    2. Uploader – self explanatory
    3. Date – self explanatory
    4. Source – where the image originated
    5. Rating – contains the values: safe, questionable, explicit
  7. Comments block – self explanatory


  1. File Upload
  2. Source – where the image originated
  3. Rating – degree of explicitness
  4. Parent ID – field to tie into a parent post
  5. Tag field – self explanatory
    1. Related tags – general tags related to this image
    2. Artist tags – name of artists associated to the image
    3. Copyright tags – tags pertaining to name of series, company, etc

If you have not guessed yet, I plan to build a booru-style image board using CMS platform. The list above will be my guidelines. I will be elaborating more on this project but I shall save that for another post.

Do feel free to add if you feel like I’ve missed something.

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