Messed up anime names



  • I've been wanting to do a thread like this for a while, but there never seems to be enough time to do a comprehensive list. The whole point was to be to point out how a lot of character names indicate character traits. For example, most Dragonball characters are named after various things you would find in the kitchen (whether it be food or appliances). Natsu, from Fairy Tail, actually means Summer.

    Those are only the tip of the iceberg, and even more fun comes in when you actually see how some of the character names are written out with kanji. Some names which may seem completely harmless use kanji which have their own inherent meaning, and are rather descriptive. This is exactly the case which prompted me to write this post.

    One of the anime which I've enjoyed this season is Hajimete no Gyaru, the bad English title translation (provided by Japan, so can't blame the anime translators) is My First Girlfriend is a Gal. Anyway, just finished watching the final episode, and saw Kana's family name written in kanji on the phone. The reading for her name is Yame. However, names are odd in that they often make use of different readings for kanji characters which, although potentially correct, don't always follow the same rules as other readings. In this case, it is printed as 入女 and can be read as Yame. However, and I'm not trying to be crude here, there is a much more "descriptive" way to decipher this. The first of the two characters, in nearly all circumstances where it is used, is referring to the verb ireru (入れる) which means to place something inside of something. The second character, and please don't blame me for simply explaining what the kanji says, is most normally used for the noun onna (女) and is refers to a female. I'm not sure how to go about explaining this in much more depth without risking getting kicked from the forum, so I'll leave it for the members to figure out the rest.

    Sometimes, these alternate readings/meanings are a lot more than is immediately obvious. For this one, I think the creators owe me a drink to replace the one I choked on when I saw the spelling of her name.



  • Thanks for the in depth analysis.....



  • I haven't gone as far as to look for the actual meaning of the kanji in the characters' names but I remember noticing some names that had a meaning in line with the personality of its character. I'm not surprised about it though as japanese people seem to be quite fond of puns based on the different meanings and spellings of kanji.



  • @pleco_breeder said in Messed up anime names:

    Those are only the tip of the iceberg, and even more fun comes in when you actually see how some of the character names are written out with kanji. Some names which may seem completely harmless use kanji which have their own inherent meaning, and are rather descriptive. This is exactly the case which prompted me to write this post.

    See this is why I wish English had something similar to kanji. So we could do puns like what you posted (and 春、夏、秋、冬 are quicker to write than Spring, Summer, Fall/Autumn, Winter). I've seen someone who is scared easily named Yuuki and use 勇気 but I don't pay a lot of attention to the Kanji of names. Maybe I should.



  • It's pretty common to see obscure readings of kanji used in actual family names. It's kind of like the made up names which have become more popular in Western culture over the last couple decades. It's intended to be "original/unique". However, the Japanese have made an art form of thinking up unusual ways to name fictitious characters with these descriptive names. I specifically look them out whenever reading a manga or watching an anime because a lot of them are so funny when you actually read them. I would have never thought of using this reading, and the uniqueness caught me off guard even though I've heard the name several times throughout the season. Looking back to when I was trying to learn to understand kanji I'd have never believed it, but it can actually be fun.



  • Not trying to derail my own thread here, but just noticed an error in the kanji interpretation in one of the shows, and felt this is probably the best place to mention in since it's the only place I've really discussed kanji on the site. Nothing to do with names, but is kanji.

    In episode 9 of "Chronos Ruler", Blaze has a sign stuck to his back. The sign, the Japanese provided subtitle, and the US translation are ALL different phrases. Not making a big deal of it because they're all derogatory statements, but things like this are what really turns me off subtitles.

    The accurate translation for the Japanese subtitle (bottom of the screen with the weird cross in front of it) is asshole chicken. The derogatory first word, yarou, could be translated to mean several things, but asshole or bastard are likely the most closely that can be translated into English. It's just a derogatory adjective/noun with strong emotion.

    The actual sign on his back translates as weak chicken, yowai niwa tori. Literally this means weak "yard bird", but it's what live chickens are called.

    I don't think I need to translate the English translators note. BTW, if I were going to call someone "chickenshit" as was used for this translation, the correct term would be either "niwa tori kuso" or just "tori kuso". Either would be understood.

    Sorry if this steps on any forum rules, but when discussing derogatory statements in anime, I don't know of any other means to make my point than to accurately state what is represented in the show.

    These are the differences that make translated shows annoying. This is not a complaint, but simply blowing off steam because reading three different statements (supposedly from the same sign) is beyond frustrating for me. I understand the localization aspect, and needing to fit the intended audience, but sometimes things are so annoying that something has to be said just to keep from brooding on them.

    OK, rant over... now back to watching my shows.


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