Questions tagged [japanese-language]

For questions which are likely to require knowledge of the Japanese language to answer. Note that generic questions about the Japanese language are off-topic here. Questions with this tag must still be primarily about anime or manga.

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62
votes
3answers
66k views

What does 'moe' mean?

I've now watched quite a few anime and I'm still at a loss as to what the term moe represents. Is there an agreed upon definition for it? If a character is moe, what does that mean?
55
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3answers
15k views

Why is Edward Newgate called Whitebeard?

Why do they call him "Whitebeard"? He doesn't even have a beard!
44
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3answers
8k views

Why is “I won't forgive you” a commonly used threat?

In a number of shows, "I won't forgive you" or some variation is used as a threat. Rukia uses it when she is trying to keep Ichigo to follow her into the Soul Society, saying, "If you follow me, I ...
29
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3answers
3k views

Has the “It's over 9000!” meme spread back to Japan?

Has the "It's over 9000!" meme from DBZ spread back into Japan? Is it referenced in other manga or anime? If it is, do they use 9000 (which is, depending on who you ask, a translation error or an ...
24
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2answers
52k views

Where does the word “Nyanpasu” come from?

Renge usually greets people with "Nyanpasu". The sub says "Meowning" which probably comes from "Morning" as a greeting. But "Morning" as a greeting in Japanese is Ohayo which is quite different than "...
23
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1answer
21k views

How can Sebastian use “I am a butler and a devil” so casually?

To my ears, the Japanese means: I am an akuma (demon), and a shitsuji (butler). I guess it must have a pun meaning, too. On one occasion, a bad guy cried out "a-a-akuma?", but that's the exception:...
21
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2answers
36k views

Why does Himura Kenshin say ~ござる (~gozaru) at end of every sentence?

Why does Himura always end almost every sentence with gozaru in this show? Is this normal for people in that time period?
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does Mayoi get embarrassed about this tongue twister?

In Bakemonogatari, Mayoi says a tongue-twister that goes 「生ムミ、生モメ、生ママモ」 ("namamumi, namamome, namamamamo") then gets embarrassed because they sound like another word. What's the reference they're ...
19
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3answers
2k views

What is the proper romanization of the wolf-girl's name?

There is a debate between fans as to the romanization of the name of the wolf-girl character in Spice and Wolf. Some claim it should be romanized as Holo, whilst others say Horo. Is there official ...
18
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2answers
7k views

What is the opposite of “seme” according to otakus?

I don't understand the joke behind "opposite of seme" scene. Can you please explain it to me?
18
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4answers
15k views

What is the proper pluralization of “anime” and “manga”?

The words "anime" and "manga" both originate from Japanese, and have no English roots (though "anime" comes from French). To me, it doesn't make sense for an "s" to be attached ("animes" and "mangas")....
18
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1answer
57k views

What does the symbol 油 on Jiraiya's headband mean?

Jiraiya is shown wearing a headband with 油【あぶら】 drawn onto it. I know that 油 is the symbol for abura, and that it means "oil". But how is it related to him? Does it have anything to do with the fact ...
18
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4answers
189k views

What does “padoru padoru” mean?

In the short Nero in a Santa outfit sings a "Jingle Bells" with some rather casual lyrics. Hashire sori yo, kaze no you ni, tsukimihara wo, padoru padoru The lyric is a song of this clip (for the ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Why does Satsuki address everyone using “kisama”?

I'm rewatching Kill La Kill and I've noticed that the word "kisama" is used by every one of the bad guys (Student Council, Satsuki Kiryuin, Ragyo, and so on) to address basically every good character (...
17
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3answers
3k views

What does this symbol represent on this payphone?

In the sixth episode of the second season of Darker than Black, Hei hung up a payphone. On this payphone there is some symbol. They’re supposedly in Russia; however, the Russian currency symbol is ₽. ...
17
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2answers
4k views

Why does text in anime read horizontally?

It is my understanding that Japanese text is written top-to-bottom. I think the Japanese manga also follow this format: That was a quick Google search so not even sure it is real. However, watching ...
16
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6answers
55k views

What does 'Akame ga Kill' mean and why is it called that?

Just what the title says, why is the show called Akame ga Kill! and what does it even mean? Akame was just an ordinary member of Night Raid, yet the show is named after her. She wasn't the main ...
16
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6answers
46k views

Can anyone explain the ending of “Koe no Katachi” one-shot?

In Koe no Katachi (OOIMA Yoshitoki) (one-shot version), at the end of the story, My question is about the exchange in sign language between them in the last 3 pages of the story. What do the signs ...
16
votes
1answer
64k views

What is the original text of Black Hanekawa's tongue twister?

Bakemonogatari episode 14 has a fairly famous tongue-twister in it, which Black Hanekawa recites with her cat voice. It was translated as: "Can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining ...
16
votes
1answer
27k views

Why all the “Re” in titles?

There have been quite a number of series whose English titles use peculiar forms of Re. I don't mean normal usages like Rebirth or Requiem. Here's some I chose from an alphabetical listing at MAL: Re ...
15
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1answer
42k views

How does Hiyori figure out Yato's real name?

Hiyori manages to save Yato from the underworld by discovering that his true name was Yaboku. How did she come to this conclusion?
13
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2answers
96k views

Where did “dattebayo” come from?

In Naruto, at least in the early show, he uses the catchphrase "dattebayo" in the Japanese. This question answered on a canon-level where it came from (his mother), but I was wondering where (if ...
13
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2answers
8k views

“The World Will Turn To Ash” - How did this differ in the original Japanese?

In Pokemon: The Movie 2000, part of the legend that tells of the balance of nature being wrecked goes "The World Will turn to Ash". This is the sort of pun-legend I'd expect from Japanese writing......
13
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2answers
9k views

Doujin, doujinshi, doujinshika and doujinka. What's the difference?

In a world of self-published manga/anime/other related stuff, there are doujin, doujinshi, doujinshika and doujinka. What's the difference between those four? Also, are these term used exclusively ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Why is Ana embarrassed by her surname?

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
359 views

What's significant about a full moon on the fifteenth?

In Joshiraku, Marii enters the room dressed as a Yankee, proclaiming that she's gonna break a load of windows since it's a full moon. Tetora responds with: What's the significance of the 15th and why ...
13
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1answer
15k views

What is the true meaning of “I want to eat your pancreas”?

Ok, I think that most people have heard of this strange title of the anime movie which is due to come out... I've read the novel and the manga. But I just don't understand what the title actually ...
13
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2answers
396 views

Why is it that some anime use language exclusive to the Yakuza?

I was reading an article on language-learning hacks recently, and #13 of that list states (emphasis mine), Some popular anime (popular in America at least, and mostly reserved for little boys in ...
12
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1answer
39k views

What's a himouto?

I'm guessing himouto (干物妹) is some kind of pun on imouto since Umaru lives with her brother. But what's the joke? Googling the term in either kanji or romaji just returns results about the series.
12
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2answers
39k views

What does the phrase “Rokkon Shojo” mean?

In one of the most popular anime of this season, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri, before, in the middle or after a battle, the human combatants yell "Rokkon Shojo" or the Princess says it after a battle. I ...
12
votes
2answers
21k views

Why does Trafalgar D. Law use 'Ya-や(屋)' suffix while addressing others?

Using ~-san, ~-kun, ~-sama while addressing other people is common in Japanese culture.But Law uses ya as suffix while addressing people, like in the nicknames Strawhat-ya for Luffy and Blackleg-ya ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

Why does Kumagawa talk in Japanese quotation marks?

「In the manga, Misogi Kumagawa talks with his words inside quotation marks, just like this.」 「Here's a typical example:」 「Why is this? Is there a specific reason he has this notation while talking?」
12
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1answer
4k views

Does the theme song “Inochi no Namae” have any meaningful connection to the story of “Spirited Away”?

The theme song いのちの名前 (Inochi no Namae) is the lyricized version of あの日の川へ (Ano Hi no Kawa e), but it was never sung during the film, and therefore it is only included in Kimura Yumi's first single ...
11
votes
2answers
450 views

What is the significance of the lottery box in Yuru Yuri Nachuyachumi! OVA? And why are some of the words crossed out?

In Yuru Yuri Nachuyachumi!, in the scene where the girls draw lots from the lottery box, the lottery box is shown with some characters crossed out: Searching for めだちた leads me to the dictionary entry ...
10
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3answers
4k views

What did Light write before killing Shibuimaru Takuo?

So I decided to rewatch Death Note. In the first episode, there's a motorcyclist called Shibuimaru Takuo - Light's second victim. In the scene where he is about to kill him, according to my subtitles, ...
10
votes
2answers
23k views

What does “tsukkomi” mean?

Once, I read a manga with the following description: A perverted President who likes girls, a tsukkomi Vice-President, an over-zealous Treasurer and a quiet, brooding Secretary. This unlikely ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How does Yuuki talk like a boy?

In Sword Art Offline 2 episode 7, Asuna comments that Yuuki not only is a rare tomboy female player but also talks like a boy. Now, I watched the English dub and didn't pick that up so I guess it is ...
10
votes
1answer
447 views

Is Nishikyougoku Ramuko a word play of Toushinou Kyouko?

When writing doujinshi, Toushinou Kyouko goes by the pseudonym Nishikyougoku Ramuko. Now, her name Toushinou Kyouko is written as 歳納京子. I'm not sure how her pseudonym is written since I wasn't able to ...
10
votes
2answers
677 views

Is there a name for the abbreviated (usually three syllable) title?

Surely the act of abbreviating an anime title to three syllables has a name...? And what is that name? (some of these will show my age) ╔═════════════════════════════════════════════╦═══════════╗ ║ ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the “Angels” called in the original Japanese version?

The entities attacking Nerv and attempting to reach Lilith are universally referred to as "Angels" in the English dubs, subs and translations of the NGE manga. In Japanese, the opening song ("Cruel ...
10
votes
1answer
416 views

What does it mean by 大地を見る in Kotomi's essay?

At the start of Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA episode 19, there is this scene where it shows Kotomi's essay: In text: 「家族」…。その中でも兄妹とは…禁断の一線を超えさせない理性の言葉。私の家は両親は仕事の事情などで留守に成りがちでよく兄とは二人きりになる。特に休日や平日の夜。...
9
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1answer
2k views

Why does Bakemonogatari exclusively use katakana?

I noticed that in all of the typography (except for the episode titles), the anime Bakemonogatari exclusively uses kanji and katakana, instead of the usual combination of kanji and hiragana. For ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any Japanese words for “deport” and “incest” that sound similar enough for a bird brain to confuse?

In monster musume, Papi the Harpy confuses the word "deport" for "incest" a couple of times in the English subtitles. I could see "arrest" and "incest", but I am aware the work is not natively English,...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the meaning behind Mana Ryougi's name?

During the Type-Moon Fes 10th Anniversary, there was this question: Q: Who named Ryougi Mana? Was it Shiki, or Kokuto? Or was it someone else? A: The one who named Mana was Mikiya. Mikiya ...
8
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2answers
3k views

The pun worked in English, but what was it in Japanese?

The series Kamigami no Asobi is a reverse harem involving a mortal girl, Yui Kusanagi, who is tasked with teaching six of the ancient gods about the meaning of love. Episode 4 focuses on Hades. He ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the actual meaning of “denpa”?

After watching a lot of "Ryuusei no Rockman", I've come to know the word "denpa" as meaning "wave", or "EM wave". Though I have heard it used in Katekyo Hitman Reborn as well. Is the rough translation ...
8
votes
1answer
546 views

Did Sakamoto really write in cursive?

At the end of the translated version of the first chapter of Sakamoto Desu Ga?, Sakamoto agrees to write a report, provided he can write it "in cursive": Given that the manga is set in Japan, I ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the difference between “arc”, “hen” and “season” when categorizing anime series sub-stories?

I always see that different stories in the same anime series are usually called with either "hen", "arc" or "season" as seen in the examples below. Hen (編) JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken - Stardust ...
8
votes
1answer
419 views

At the start of 6th Spice and Wolf light novel, what's up with the discrepancy between “like” and “love”?

Note: Please no spoilers beyond the start of the 6th novel. At the very end of the 5th Spice and Wolf novel, Lawrence says "I like you". Love is never once used by Lawrence toward Holo so far in ...
8
votes
1answer
24k views

What does Ni no Kuni mean exactly?

The full title of the PS3 game is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Google Translate fails when I try to use the kanji, and the closest I can get is by writing the whole phrase in hiragana, which ...

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