In the series I Am a Hero by Hanazawa Kengo, the designation for zombies was previously translated as "zombfags," presumably as an adaptation of the word for "normalfag," which if I'm not mistaken is 「リア[充]{じゅう}」.

However, the designation is currently translated (though it may have also remained unchanged from the original) as "ZQN," with no explanation given for the sudden change (I'm fairly certain I've come across an amalgamation of the work from at least two different translation groups).

My question is, does the designation "ZQN" have roots in Japanese internet slang words, à la 「リア[充]{じゅう}」, or did earlier translations just take artistic liberty given the context?

  • 2
    There is a similar-looking piece of internet slang "DQN" / ドキュン dokyun that means "someone who does dumb shit". I strongly suspect it is related (but I have no knowledge about I Am A Hero).
    – senshin
    Feb 19, 2017 at 23:47
  • In context the name came from 2ch posts (the only surviving form of communication), so that seems pretty likely Feb 19, 2017 at 23:53
  • Of course, as soon as I ask the question, the story explains it >_> Feb 20, 2017 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


In chapter 220, it is explained that, officially, "ZQN" is an acronym made up by the US military that means "Zero Qualified Nucleus," though it is almost certainly a backronymic pun on the Japanese internet slang word "DQN" (pronounced dokyun):

[DQN]{ドキュン} (Noun)

  1. dumb-ass (slang, derogatory)
  2. delinquent; violent person; rough-looking person (slang, derogatory)

-adapted from jisho.org

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