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In Ichigo Mashimaro, Ana is embarrassed by her surname "Coppola". It's implied that it has some meaning (or perhaps sounds like something) in Japanese, but I couldn't figure out what. What does Ana's name sound like, and why is it embarrassing to her?

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According to the Japanese Wikipedia article for the series:

Because she has almost completely forgotten how to speak English, she has a complex about her last name "Coppola". When she changed schools, she hid her last name "Coppola" along with the fact that she couldn't speak English and could speak Japanese. However, she was quickly exposed by Itou and her friends.

So it seems like she's embarrassed because she has a foreign last name but can't speak English.

Also, on an English blog, someone asked the same question, and a Japanese viewer provided their insight via comments (comment #15, don't think there's a way to permalink it):

Kappore was a joke show in the Japanese feudal age. Coppola has a similar pronunciation to Kappore (especially in japanese’sound). now almost Japanese don’t know the meaning of Kappore, but we feel funny when we listen the word like kappore.

There don't seem to be many English resources on kappore, but you can also search on Youtube for some modern examples.

On the same blog's comments, another Japanese viewer comments (comment #17):

The reason why koppora sounds weird to the Japanese has something to do with the accents of the 19th century peasants in northeastern Japan. They used to pronounce “kon-na koto” as “koddara godo”, “chotto” as “chokkura”, “bikkuri” as “beggura” and so on, which is not considered very elegant among the white-collar class. And, the family name Coppola doesn’t sound like British but reminds us of Italian immigrants, which further highlights the awkwardness of Ana’s phony “British Style.” That’s probably why Miu always mentions “koppora” whenever Ana gets a bout of British chauvinism (as in drama CD’s) or her facade is wearing off.

So there are three different theories for you. Seems like even the Japanese aren't 100% why it sounds so funny.

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There's a really no deeper meaning behind the name, beside that it sounds silly when you say it.

She is given the "nickname" 穴骨洞(あなこっほら, Anakohora, using the kanji for "hole" and "bone cave") by Miu, partially because it suits her proper Japanese personality (reflected by her polite and feminine use of Japanese). There's no deeper meaning behind this aside from the irony and that it just sounds funny when you say it in Japanese and associate it with kanji.

It's just like if there was someone named Will Power, Anita Man, or Joy Ryder in English.

  • This nickname only appears in the anime so I don't it is the reason. Other kanji with different meanings could have been chosen as well, and I don't think the chosen ones (穴骨洞) would be an extremely certain first guess. – atlantiza Apr 28 '13 at 23:08
  • I'm staying that ppl probably make fun of her name (perhaps at her last school, because kids can childish and immature) for how it sounds than the fact that she is a foreigner who can't speak English. The manga doesn't get into the details, but the anime does give an example. – кяαzєя Apr 28 '13 at 23:24
  • The name is a (bad?) joke on her real name アナ・コッポラ, where there is only a small difference in dakuten on ho/po. This leads me to think that the other gives her the kanji name that sounds similar to her real name, to "remedy" the fact that she can't speak English while her name is foreign. – nhahtdh Apr 29 '13 at 6:12

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