Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kono Ore Da! この俺だ!

In Japanese, the phrase kono ore da! この俺だ! translates literally to "it's this me!" But that sounds weird in English. So, in this post, I'll explain what kono ore means and how it works.

Panel from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. 何か用でしょうか?話を今してんのはこのオレだッ!誰が質問していいと言ったッ!?このボケがッ!
Manga: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険

How It Works

To understand how kono ore works, all you have to do is take a look at a different, but similar phrase:
  • ano densetsu no Yamada Tae ga fukkatsu shita dato?!
    あの伝説の山田たえが復活しただと?!
    That legendary Yamada Tae has resurrected, [you] said?!
  • ano Yamada Tae ga?!
    あの山田たえが?!
    That Yamada Tae [has]?!
  • ano Yamada Tae?!
    あの山田たえ?!
    THAT Yamada Tae?!

As you can see, when we use ano あの, "that," this way, we're often talking about how impressive someone or something is. We are saying THAT one? And not another one that happens to have the same name? THAT one?

Similarly, in Japanese you can use kono ore この俺 to refer to yourself, because kono この refers to things close to the speaker and there's nothing closer to the speaker than the speaker himself.

In which case it would be THIS me, and not anyone else. To understand it we'd need more context. Generally, it's only used a way to imply contrast. That is, I have done all this stuff, or I am this way, so it can't, or shouldn't, be that something like this happens to someone like me.
  • kono ore ga kyoufu shiteru dato?!
    この俺が恐怖してるだと?!
    This me is terrified?!
    (i.e. I'm terrified? Impossible! I'm a hero who has fought thousands of battles, bested countless foes, faced death infinite times, AND EMERGED VICTORIOUS. You're telling this me, that is, someone like this which I am, would be terrified?! SONNA BAKA NA!!!11)

Hint of Self-Importance

In manga and anime, kono ore da, kono ore ga, kono ore ni, kono ore wo, and so on are often used by self-important, pompous, or narcissistic characters who're full of themselves, as a way to imply: THIS me is saying it, not just any wimpy, riff-raff, side-character. THIS me is.

Kono Ore, Kono Watashi, Kono Boku

As one would expect, different pronouns can be used (ore, watashi, boku). But in manga each of those pronouns is normally associated with a different type of a character. Basically:
  • kono ore この俺
    Probably some buff dude.
    Thinks he is the strongest.
    Cares about turf.
    Pulls rank.
  • kono watashi この私
    A woman who's full of herself.
    Or some businessman who's also full of himself.
    Or a rich girl who's full of herself, a.k.a. ojousama お嬢様.
  • kono boku この僕
    A rich boy, a.k.a. bocchan 坊っちゃん.

Examples

For reference, a couple of examples of kono ore being used in manga.

Kono Ore Da この俺だ

Panel from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. 何か用でしょうか?話を今してんのはこのオレだッ!誰が質問していいと言ったッ!?このボケがッ!
Manga: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険
  • nanika
    you deshou ka?
    何か 用でしょうか?
    • [You want something?]
    • [Anything you want to discuss?]
    • [What's the matter?]
  • hanashi wo
    ima shiten'nowa kono ore da'!
    話を 今してんのは (space) このオレだ
    • [The one] talking [right] now is this me!
    • I am [the one] talking [right] now!
  • dare ga shitsumon shite ii to itta'!?
    誰が質問していいと言ったッ!?
    Who said it was alright to ask questions!?
  • kono boke ga'!
    このボケがッ!
    • "This idiot!"
    • [You] idiot!

Kono Ore Ga この俺が

Vegeta saying なさけない やつだ……まさか あのカカロットあいてに このオレが わざわざ 動くことに なるとはな…… from manga Dragon Ball.
Manga: Dragon Ball
  • nasakenai
    yatsu da
    なさけない やつだ……
    [What a] pathetic guy.
    (referring to a guy who just lost to Kakarot.)
  • masaka
    ano Kakarotto aite ni
    kono ore ga wazawaza
    ugoku koto ni
    naru towa na......
    まさか あのカカロットあいてに このオレが わざわざ 動くことに なるとはな……
    [It's unbelievable that]
    against that Kakarot
    I (kono ore) would have to [fight.]
    (i.e. Vegeta didn't expect it would need his super-superior powers to beat a small-fry like Kakarot.)

Kono Ore Yori この俺より

Piccolo saying 悟飯 自信をもて… おまえが その気になれば このオレより パワーは上だ…… from manga Dragon Ball.
Manga: Dragon Ball
  • Gohan
    jishin wo mote...

    悟飯 自信をもて…
    Gohan, have confidence.
  • omae ga
    sono ki ni nareba
    おまえが その気になれば
    [If] you [felt like it]
  • kono ore yori
    pawaa wa ue da......

    このオレより パワーは上だ……
    • [Your] power [would] be up from this me......
    • [Your] power [would] be above [mine]......

Kono Ore-sama この俺様

The word ore-sama 俺様 is an even more ridiculously self-important term that nobody would use seriously. It's combines ore with the polite honorific sama.

Normally, you would never use a honorific on yourself, but self-important characters do this because self-important characters don't care. They think they're that important.

Panel saying こっ この オレさまが たいしたこと ないだと……!!!!そうだいまの攻撃で わかった from manga Dragon Ball
Manga: Dragon Ball
  • ko' kono
    ore-sama ga
    taishita koto
    nai dato......!!!!

    こっ この オレさまが たいしたこと ないだと……!!!!
    Th-- this me isn't [a big deal], [you] say......!!!!
  • sou da
    そうだ
    [That's right.]
  • ima no kougeki de
    wakatta

    いまの攻撃で わかった
    With [that] attack [just] now [I] realized.
    (Goku figured Nappa isn't a big deal from how weak his attack was.)

Panel saying 今さら この俺様の 恐ろしさに 気づいても 遅すぎるぜ…? from manga School Rumble.
Manga: School Rumble
  • ima sara
    kono ore-sama no
    osoroshi-sa ni
    kidzuite-mo
    oso-sugiru ze...?

    今さら この俺様の 恐ろしさに 気づいても 遅すぎるぜ…?
  • Even if [you finally] noticed how frightening this me is, it's [already] too late.
    • ima sara 今更
      Only now. After all this time. Finally.
    • osoroshi-sa 恐ろしさ
      Frightening-ness. How frightening.
    • kidzuku 気づく
      To notice.
    • kidzuite-mo 気づいても
      Even if [you] notice.
    • osoi 遅い
      Late.
    • oso-sugiru 遅すぎる
      Too late.

Kono Boku この僕

Ciel saying ファントムハイブ家 当主は ”シエル・ファントムハイブ(この僕)”だ from manga Black Butler, Kuroshitsuji 黒執事
Manga: Black Butler, Kuroshitsuji 黒執事
  • Fantomuhaibu-ke
    toushu wa
    ファントムハイブ家 当主は
    The head of the Phantomhive family...
  • ”Shieru-Fantomuhaibu (kono boku)*” da
    ”シエルファントムハイブ(この僕)”だ
    is "Ciel Phantomhive (this me)*."
    (*a gikun 義訓, different word written as furigana.)

Kono (Insert Name Here)

Besides first person pronouns, sometimes the character's own name is used after the kono. See:

Manga: Dragon Ball
  • temee nanka ga
    kono Nappa-sama ni
    kanau wake ga nai-n-da!!!

    てめえなんかが このナッパさまに かなうわけがないんだ!!!
    [There's no way someone like] you [can defeat] THIS NAPPA-SAMA!!!
    (kanau 叶う can mean "to rival" sometimes, as in, "can defeat," since someone unrivaled is undefeatable.)

And, of course, we can't forget the classic:

kono Dio da! このディオだッ! panel from manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険
Manga: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険

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