In episode 4 of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), Kaori says a prayer "Elohim, Essaim... Elohim, Essaim I implore you" before the performance. What does it mean?

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Both of the words "Elohim" and "Essaim" could be meaning a variety of things. But my speculation goes as follows:

From this Reddit thread:

A similar phrase occurs in the Book of Black Magic and in the Italian Il Grand Grimoire. A couple translations and transcriptions later, we end up with this.

"Eloim" is "God" or "Powers", "Essaim" might be "Locusts" or "Swarm".
I'm thinking that she's offering her soul to the devil/the angels/god in exchange for being able to captivate her audience.

This isn't Faust; it's not a serious treatment of pacts. The Japanese adore Christian mythology, similar to how the West adores Eastern mythology. In effect, she's doing the same thing as someone in a Western work invoking his "chi" or whatever. (It's shōnen; teenage boys love foreign mysticism.)

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    @seijitsu I did, it's called the "Book of Black Magic" and the "Il Grand Grimoire". – Hashirama Senju Nov 1 '14 at 1:50
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    @seijitsu BTW I'm from israel, so I think it's fair to say that I'm positive to recognize this as a synonym. – Hashirama Senju Nov 1 '14 at 1:57
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    Okay, can you point me to a dictionary entry that explains this as being a synonym? – seijitsu Nov 1 '14 at 3:52
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    @seijitsu This is one example: hebrew-streams.org/works/monotheism/context-elohim.html "The oldest Semitic word meaning "God" is El. Linguists believe its base meaning is strength or power." – Hashirama Senju Nov 1 '14 at 10:15
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    Oh, that's the same site I linked to, but for linguists to say that they believe that the base of the oldest word is "power" doesn't equate to the derived word "Elohim" being a synonym for "powers" or "power." Is there another place on that page which gives "powers" as a current definition rather than as the background root? – seijitsu Nov 1 '14 at 12:26

It's a chant common in anime and manga (For example, it occurs in Gugure! Kokkuri-san ep12 this season), if recited 3 times can give good luck or summon demons. Its origin comes from The Grand Grimoire, it's "The secret of the Black hen, a secret without which one can not count on the success of any cabala". Elohim as mentioned is Hebrew for God, Essaim could be french for swarm, or a way of writing Jesse; Jesse -> Esse + im (hebrew plural). You can read more here: http://moto-neta.com/anime/eloim-essaim/ (Japanese)

  • Is it really that common? Can you site a few examples before "Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso" aired? – ton.yeung Mar 1 '16 at 20:49
  • @ton.yeung Well, here's one after that: I found this question because it's shown up in the closing music to Gabriel DropOut. The angel lyrics and demon lyrics play off each other and at one point when the singers merge they say "Hallelujah Essaim" – Izkata Mar 17 '17 at 4:10
  • The full line appears at around 16:20 in episode 8 of Hinako Note. Contextually, a reference to KimiUso is implausible here, so it is likely that there is indeed some alternative source from which all of these shows draw. Would be nice if somebody did some digging into the putative sources linked from moto-neta ("The Black Pullet" and "The Red Dragon", and the line "frugativi et appelavi") to see if this is for real or just citogenesis. – senshin Jun 25 '17 at 4:04
  • @ton.yeung Hayate no Gotoku! (which aired >7 years before Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) used the phrase at around 24:16 in episode 8, in the next episode preview, as the title of episode 9 is "Eloim Essaim. Mr. Cow, Mr. Cow! What is It, Mr. Frog?". – Aleksi Torhamo Dec 9 '17 at 18:42

Elohim(אֱלֹהִים) is a Hebrew word that means either 1) "gods" in the plural, or 2) "God." "El" (אֵלִי) and "Eloi" (אֶלֹהִי) are "God," and the "-him" suffix (הִים) makes it plural. So it would literally mean "gods" in the plural; however, it is also used in the specific case of referring to the monotheistic Judeo-Christian God. It is found 2602 times in the Hebrew Bible.

It does not mean "powers" as Hashirama Senju wrote.

"Essaim" is French for "swarm." This word does not occur in Hebrew.

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    gods in plural would be Elim (אלים), not Elohim. As for "Power", the word Elohim itself probably doesn't directly mean Power, but it can be implied that the meaning in this context relates to "Power". – Madara Uchiha Nov 2 '14 at 23:09
  • "Elohim" (אֱלֹהִים) as a plural for Gods is generally accepted by Hebrew scholars. Please see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohim#Notes Could you give a citation that rejects it as a plural for gods? – seijitsu Nov 3 '14 at 12:57
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    I'm a native Hebrew speaker, I've heard the word Elohim many times, never as "gods", always as "God". – Madara Uchiha Nov 3 '14 at 13:10
  • For what it counts, I've seen sejitsu's comment here mentioned on the Christianity SE in reference to Genesis, but I don't know Hebrew and so won't comment further. Perhaps this might be a modern/Biblical usage difference? – Maroon Nov 3 '14 at 16:53
  • @Maroon, thanks for the link! I definitely agree that Elohim is used for a singular "God," as I noted in my answer, but I haven't come across a refutation of it also bearing the meaning of "gods." – seijitsu Nov 4 '14 at 4:10

As mentioned in other answers, Elohim is Hebrew for gods and Essaim is for swarm. I believe it could be interpreted to mean that she believes the swarm of music notes should be as powerful as gods and that she is asking that they listen to her plea.

protected by nhahtdh Jan 8 '15 at 15:56

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