Saturday, November 18, 2017

Juuni Taisen: Warrior Taglines

This season we have Juuni Taisen 十二大戦, "the great battle of twelve [warriors]," and one cool thing about this anime is that every warrior has a different way of killing, and that way of killing gets an immense tagline on screen.

Each tagline tells what a character is about, but some subtitles' translations have taken some huge liberties in translating the taglines from Japanese, so watchers end up associating phrases to characters that the original author didn't intend for people to associate.

In this post, I'll write the original Japanese taglines and some very literal translations, and explain how the Japanese works and their actual meanings in English like chewing and putting in mouth in a way easy to understand.

Rat - Ox - Tiger - Rabbit
Dragon - SnakeHorse - Sheep
Monkey - Chicken - Dog - Boar
And an image chart at the end.

Rat

ujauja korosu うじゃうじゃ殺す
To kill tediously.
To kill swarming.

The rat just sort of doesn't feel like doing anything. You can see how bored he is. He naps instead of listening, plays video-games during a battle royale, etc.

This adverb also has another meaning: nezumi ga ujauja iru ネズミがうじゃうじゃいる means "rats are [here] swarming." The English word "swarm" is used more toward insects flying, but this ujauja swarm is used more toward swarms of worms and small animals on the ground.

Ox

tada korosu ただ殺す
To kill simply.

Unlike other warriors, the Ox warrior "just kills," tada korosu. He has no quirks. He just kills. That's why he's the best at killing: he just kills, simply like that, he doesn't waste time and effort with weird gimmicks or whatever.

Tiger

yotta ikioi de korosu 酔った勢いで殺す
To kill with drunk vigor.

The particle de marks a modifier for an action. The word ikioi means "force," "vigor." The "momentum" to go at things (in this case, to go killing). The word yotta comes from the verb you 酔う, meaning "to get drunk." In other words, to kill with the vigor of someone who's drunk.

An added joke: tora 虎, "tiger," is also a slang for "drunkard" in Japanese.

Rabbit

ijouni korosu 異常に殺す
To kill abnormally.

The word ijouni is the adverb version of ijou 異常, which is written with the kanji for "different" and "normal." What's different than normal? Abnormal. He kills in an abnormal way, he kills "abnormally."

I mean he's an almost naked, muscular guy, dual-wielding machetes, jumping around in high-heels, there's hardly something more abnormal than this.

By the way, this is the same i 異 found in the infamous word isekai 異世界. And note that ijouni 異常に, "abnormally," isn't ijouni 以上に, "exceedingly."

Dragon & Snake

asobu kane hoshisani korosu 遊ぶ金欲しさに殺す
To kill for the wantedness of money to play.

The word kane means "money." The verb asobu, "to play." When a verb is behind a noun like in asobu kane it becomes adjective clause: asobu kane, "money to play" or "playing money," money that is playing.

The word hoshisa is a bit more complicated. It comes from the adjective hoshii 欲しい, which means "wanted [by me]." In Japanese, a phrase like X ga hoshii means literally "X [is] wanted [by me]," but that very sounds stupid in English, so instead we normally just translate it as "[I] want X."

The sa suffix would turn something like kanashii 悲しい, "sad," into kanashisa 悲しさ, "sadness." Or nagai 長い, "long," into nagasa 長さ, "longness," "length." So "wanted," would become "wantedness." (see, it's in the dictionary: wantedness (noun), "the fact or condition of being wanted," origin: late 19th century. I didn't make this word up! Someone made it up before me!)

Anyway, it basically means they kill for money, and want money to play around. (and yes, both characters have the same tagline).

Horse

mugon de korosu 無言で殺す
To kill mutely.

The word mugon is written with the kanji for nothingness (無) and speech (言), that is, "no speech." Literally. You may find it translated as "silently" somewhere else, but that sort of gives the impression he doesn't make any sound at all. This isn't the case. He just doesn't speak.

The character is kind of non-verbal. Apparently doesn't speak much, and few people have heard his voice (according to his character profile). Hence the tagline.

Sheep

damashite korosu 騙して殺す
To kill deceiving.

The word damashite is the te-form of the verb damasu 騙す, meaning "to trick," "to deceive."

As a bomb user, this warrior has always killed people by tricking them into stepping in the blast radius. (But in this case, who's really sheep?)

Monkey

heiwarini korosu 平和裏に殺す
To kill while in peace.

The word heiwa means "peace." The word ri 裏 is rather rare, it means "while in the condition or state of." So hewari means "the state of being in peace" as a noun, and heiwarini is the adverb version of it, to do "while in peace."

(thanks to sarutahiko52-san for explaining it: “裏”ってどういう意味ですか?)

The reason this word was chosen for this character is probably because of the phrase heiwarini kaiketsu suru 平和裏に解決する, "to settle [a diplomatic problem] while in peace," that is, without going to war to settle it.

Chicken

tsuibande korosu 啄んで殺す
To kill pecking.

The word tsuibande is the te-form of the verb tsuibamu 啄む, "to peck."

I don't really have anything else to say about this.

Dog

kande fukumeru youni korosu 噛んで含めるように殺す
To kill like chewing and putting in mouth.
To kill explaining in an easy-to-understand way.

This one is tricky because it's about an idiom. The word kande is the te-form of the verb kamu 噛む, meaning "to bite" or "to chew." The verb fukumeru means a number of things, one of them being "putting [something] in mouth." And youni means "like" or "as if" or "in similar way," etc.

So, the first idea, most literal, is that you chew something and then put it in someone else's mouth. Since it's already in your mouth, there'd be no point of the verb fukumeru there if it was supposed to go into your mouth again, so it's really in someone else's mouth. Why would anyone do this? Is this some sort of sick fetish people have? Are they playing birds? Yeah, no, sort of.

The second meaning, based on the above, means to explain something to someone else in a very detailed, easy-to-understand way. Why? Because parents taking (complicated) food and chewing it (making it simpler) then feeding (explaining) it to their children is what the phrase is about.

This warriors bites. And seems to like overexplaining things.

Boar

yutakani korosu 豊かに殺す
To kill abundantly.

The word yutaka means to have something in abundance. Most of the time, it means to be wealthy, rich, since there's an abundance of money, but it can also means abundances of other things. Since in the phrase it's being used as an adverb, yutakani, it's "abundantly."

The boar is both rich and carries two Gatling guns to make sure everything she kills she kills so abundantly killed even their ghost is killed. Her targets are burdened with an overabundance of death.

Chart

Anime Juuni Taisen: chart with the characters' taglines in Japanese and their literal translations.

4 comments:

  1. By the way, to add up to the Dog tagline "explaining in an easy to understand way", in the novels he works as a kindergarten teacher so, that's the reason behind the tagline and why he seems to over-explain things. I think that title is mostly there to be a pun on both meanings you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i have a question concerning sheep's line. Why is it だましてころす and not だましているころす?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Japanese, when a verb modifies another verb, the -te form is used. The non-past (る), and even the non-past te-iru form are used when a verb modifies a noun.

      だまして殺す = to kill (verb) deceiving (adverb)
      だましている人 = person (noun) who's deceiving (adjective)

      As you can see, the problem is that in English we use a same word for both cases.

      Another example:
      飛んでくる = to come (verb) flying (adverb)
      飛んでいる飛行機 = aircraft (noun) that's flying (adjective)

      Delete
    2. thank you! this helped a lot :)

      Delete

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!