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「In the manga, Misogi Kumagawa talks with his words inside quotation marks, just like this.」

「Here's a typical example:」

Kumagawa

「Why is this? Is there a specific reason he has this notation while talking?」

  • I believe it has to do with his "All Fiction", which allows him to deny reality. 「So basically, what he says is not real, hence the quotation marks.」 Maybe? – Nolonar Aug 13 '15 at 18:33
  • @Nolonar I thought that, but he still has that notation when he swaps "All-Fiction" for "Bookmaker", so I don't think it's that. I know he still technically has it, but it's sorta locked away until that specific incident later in the story. – Matt Aug 13 '15 at 18:37
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    I guess it's to indicate a different style of talking? Like how Yotsuba in Mahou Sensei Negima speaks without text bubble. – nhahtdh Aug 13 '15 at 22:26
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The reason why Kumagawa's "speaks" in brackets is a bit of a pun (see 『カギカッコ』). The context here implies literally [括弧]{かっこ}つける (kakko tsukeru), meaning "to add brackets/parenthesis (to something, e.g., a sentence)." The pun involves a well-known expression [格好]{かっこ}つける (kakko tsukeru), meaning "to show off or try to look cool." Kumagawa speaks in the way he does because he is trying to sound cool.

One thing to note about 格好 is it's a kanji with irregular kana usage. おう (ou) like えい (ei) is what's called a "long vowel." The おう (ou) is essentially a long "oo" sound. Historically [格好]{かっこう} (kakkou) is the correct spelling, however in certain, more colloquial contexts the う is omitted for purposed such as brevity.

In chapter 88 of the manga, when Kumagawa returns to the dream classroom and ask Ajimu for his original Minus back. Ajimu asks him to express himself sincerely, without brackets if he wants it back.

第88話

He replies w/o square brackets.

二重かぎかっこ

It should be noted that he speaks using "double square brackets" (二重鉤括弧 『 』) used to mark quotes within quotes. In Japanese fiction this type of square bracket is often used to denote something heard through another device. It's implied in the case of Kumagawa that what we are seeing is essentially subtitles. We're hearing the literal meaning being his cool words.

More 二重かぎかっこ

  • I haven't read the manga (only watched the anime), but I have heard this explanation, and I've always found it a little dubious. 格好 is pronounced かっこう, whereas 括弧 is pronounced かっこ. Similar, but not quite the same. – senshin Aug 14 '15 at 0:01
  • @senshin While the kanji 括弧 is pronounced かっこう, it seems that the non-kanji form often drops the -う. (additional ref: weblio) – Killua Aug 14 '15 at 2:39
  • 格好 has irregular kana usage, so you see both in various places and in various capacities. A lot of time the う is omitted, usually for brevity, since the "-ou" is basically a long "-oo". – кяαzєя Aug 14 '15 at 3:19

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