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In Kara no Kyoukai, Araya comments to Lio saying that he just needed one character to be called a lion.

English-wise, this would be very correct, but given that these characters are talking in Japanese, I doubt that Lio needed an , and according to the Wikia, Shirazumi Lio's name in Japanese is 白純里緒 not シラズミ リ゜オ.

So in his Japanese name, what character is Araya saying Lio is missing to be called Lion?

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Weirdly enough, Araya must, in fact, be referring to the fact that "Lio" is one English letter away from "lion". This has to be the case because "lion" in Japanese is 獅子 shishi, which bears no resemblance whatsoever to Shirazumi's name.

Of course, Araya should be fluent in English, having lived at the Clock Tower in London for some years, so it's not that weird. And Nasu (the author) clearly knows enough English to give us silly phrases like "blue blue glass moon" and "heavens feel", so I wouldn't put it past him to put a touch of English wordplay into Kara no Kyoukai

(Some guy on chiebukuro claims that it's actually that リオ "Lio" is one Japanese character away from レオ "Leo" as in the zodiac lion, but I think that guy's claim is dumb.)

(Side note about Japanese: English "lion" is pronounced ライオン raion, so you can't actually get Japanese raion from "Lio" with a single character in either English or Japanese. But you can get English "lion", which is why I say that that's what Araya must've been going for.)

  • リオ (Lio) could be one character away depending on how you order Kana but to my understanding the order is always a, i, u, e, o. so レ (Le) is 2 characters away from リ(Li) – Memor-X Dec 9 '15 at 23:42
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    @Memor-X The way Araya phrases it does not suggest that the character in question is one position away on the gojuuon chart. He only says something to the effect of "if your name were one character different". – senshin Dec 9 '15 at 23:44

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