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In Jujutsu Kaisen, the cursed spirit Hanami is seen to have developed her own language system, which is still somehow comprehensible to those who hear it. Those who hear it describe the experience as being quite creepy, whether they be human (like Fushiguro Megumi) or a cursed spirit (like Jogo).

To show this, the first few times that Hanami speaks, her words are deliberately made incomprehensible. I think this is done by reversing the audio—that is, I think the Japanese voice actor for Hanami, Tanaka Atsuko, recorded actual lines which were then played backwards. Also, the subtitles for these parts are left blank (at least, that is how it is on Netflix in my region).

This makes me quite curious: do we know what Hanami speaks in the first few instances? Her words are delivered normally after a certain point in episode 18 "Sage" (Transcription: "Kenja"; Japanese: 賢者), certainly to make it easier for the viewers to follow. Before this, there are three instances when the audio is played in reverse:

  • In episode 5 "Curse Womb Must Die—II—" (Transcription: "Jutai Taiten—Ni—"; Japanese: 呪胎戴天—弐—): Hanami speaks to Jogo (and perhaps a few others present there) at around 12:40.
  • In episode 7 "Assault" (Transcription: "Kyūshū"; Japanese: 急襲): Hanami speaks to Suguru Geto at around 16:30.
  • In episode 18: Hanami speaks at around 7:33, either to herself or to Inumaki Toge who is nearby.
  • Later in the same episode, at around 19:20, Hanami speaks to Megumi, Inumaki, and Kamo Noritoshi. Initially, the audio is reversed, and then (if I'm not mistaken) the same audio is played the right way, so it seems that here Hanami says, "Stop it, foolish children." After this point, Hanami's words are never reversed.

What does Hanami say in the first three instances? Has anyone tried un-reversing the audio to find out?

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    There seems to be a video youtube.com/watch?v=z7BB9tk2X9Y. According to here, #3 in your list is 「あら、ひとりですか」 (oh, you're alone?).
    – sundowner
    Oct 20 at 5:24
  • @sundowner That's a nice find, thank you! Please consider expanding it into an answer, too? :)
    – Namaskaram
    Oct 20 at 7:44
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Here is what I gather from the web (source 1; source 2). Note I don't know the manga/anime, so I might be missing some contexts. Translations are more or less literal. Let me know if they don't make sense.

Episode 5

さすが呪いの王ですね

I knew you were the king of curse!

(さすが is used when someone does as the speaker expected)

Episode 7

私達こそ人間ですから、ありますよ。

It is us that are humans, so we have the feeling

(The sentence refers to the preceding comment said to Hanami)

Episode 18

あら、1人ですか

Oh, you're alone?

As for the last one you mentioned, apparently the 'reverse' thing is used to describe Hanami speaking to them without normal speech, and the 'proper' version follows immediately. Neither source mentions it, so I suppose you can look at the subtitle.

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  • This is great, thank you very much! :) Possibly the first one could also be translated as, "As expected of the king of curses!" based on the context, since the characters in that scene are discussing about Ryomen Sukuna (known as "the king of curses"), but Sukuna himself is not present in that scene.
    – Namaskaram
    Oct 21 at 11:32

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