And kanji with manga
Friday, October 5, 2018

ora ora ora オラオラオラ

If you've ever watched JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specially Stardust Crusaders, you've probably already heard Kujō Jotarō 空条 承太郎 and his stand, Star Platinum, screaming ora ora ora オラオラオラ at everyone they punched.

And you might have asked yourself: what does this ora ora ora mean in Japanese?

オラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラ!!! ドドドドドド
Anime: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 - Part 3: Stardust Crusaders (Chapter 123, 奇虫襲撃!の巻)
  • ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora!!!
    オラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラ!!!
    (twelve ora's.)
  • dodododododo
    ドドドドドド
    *sound effect for punches*
    (onomatopoeia.)

The answer is: not much.

Single Ora オラ

In Japanese, a single ora オラ is a way to call for somebody's attention. A yell, like "oi!" or "ayy!" or "hey!" or whatever.

It gets used toward children or animals when they're doing something improper. You could translate it as "watch out" or "stop that!" depending on the situation. Sometimes it's used to make people look at stuff, so you can translate it as "look (at that)!" in such cases.

  • ora, miro
    オラ、見ろ
    Hey, look [at that.]
    Oy, check that out.
    I told you that was gonna happen, look!

Sometimes, ora オラ is used as a kakegoe 掛け声, something you said while doing something, like "heave-ho!" or "one, two, three!" Except in this case is something you say while punching someone.

In English, this could be translated as "take this!" for example.

オラァ!! ドカッ
Manga: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難 (Chapter 114, Ψ閥の御曹司現る!)
  • oraa!!
    オラ!!
    [Take this]!
  • doka'
    ドカ
    *strike sound effect*

The word kora コラ is similar, but is used more to scold than to tell people to look at things.

The word hora ホラ, too, is similar, but it's used only to show people things, like "look," or "see."

ほら ・・・ さっぱりさっぱり しっぱい
Manga: Mahoujin Guruguru 魔法陣グルグル (Chapter 4, ジェム平原)
  • Context: Kukuri ククリ correctly drew a "magic circle," mahoujin 魔法陣, but only after countless failures. She shows the failed magic circles to Nike ニケ.
  • hora
    ほら
    See.
  • ...
  • (the face in one of the circles is called a henohenomoheji へのへのもへじ.)
  • sappari sappari
    さっぱりさっぱり
    (in this series, the sappari fairy is summoned whenever something silly happens.)
    • sappari
      さっぱり
      Completely. Specially in the sense of completely clean. (mimetic word.)
      (typically used as an abbreviation of)
    • sappari wakaranai
      さっぱりわからない
      To completely not know.
      To have absolutely no idea.
  • shippai
    しっぱい
    Failure.

In JoJo

The way it's used in the oraoraoraoraora of JoJo is kind of like "take this! And this! And this! And this! And this! And this! And this!" and so on as he goes on punching.

More literally, you could think of it as Jotarō telling his punching bag, err, victim, I mean, target to "look" at the punches, a call of attention, or something like that. It just boils down to Jotarō screaming something with each punch.

To make it clear: oraoraoraora doesn't really mean anything in Japanese.

Similarly, muda muda muda muda 無駄無駄無駄無駄 is used by another character and also doesn't mean much either.

Some Japanese words gain different meanings when they're said twice (reduplication), but this isn't the case here, this is merely repetition.

2 comments:

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  1. Kyatto Ninden Teyandee (1990) did this before ;)

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    Replies
    1. The first instance of ora ora ora being used in JoJo I could find was in the Insect Attack! chapter, Kichuu Shuugeki! 奇虫襲撃! It was published in 1989, January, in the Weekly Shounen Jump, and then again in December. So it seems JoJo did this before ;)

      jojo.fandom.com/wiki/Chapter_123

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