- Tension: pressure
- テンション (tenshon): mood, spirits, energy
As opposed to the negative connotation that tension has in the English language, テンションrefers to the high or low level of energy someone might have.
The explanation seems to come from the music world, where adding tension refers to building excitement and anticipation for what is about to happen next. To liven up their music, Japanese musicians would ask their band members to raise the tension, which usually meant a more lively and excited audience.
In Japanese, having high tension is not being in an apprehensive mood, but being excited about something!
This article is part of the weekly Katakana English series, where we discuss Japanese words borrowed (mostly) from English that have acquired a different meaning. For questions or comments, please click here.