Notes On Japan

Due to language differences that can't be translated well, this may be useful.

The naming principle on this wiki functions by this logic : since many

Japanese Pronouns and Honorifics

Western languages tend to have only one words for I and you, but Japanese knows several, and every variant says a lot about the user's personality. Ditto for suffixes, of the lack thereof. So here's a brief explanation on them :

An informal variant, used by more humble men and young boys. Sometimes, girls will also use it, usually if they are a tomboy.
Mondo uses this.

Only used by men, and indicates toughness.
Zaha uses this.

Formally can be used by both males and females, but informally tends to be used by females only. Young boys never use this.
Ciel uses this.

Technically female only, formal and informal.
Count Collection and Rokuna use this.

An incredibly arrogant form.
Is seen in the title of the Cat King, which is a reference to Wagahai wa neko de aru.

Similarly, there is more than one word for you, each with a different level of politeness, and some are gender specific.

Standard for of you, may also be an affectionate term when used by wife to husband.
Mondo, Rokuna, Utahime, Ciel and many others use this.

Informal, somewhat condescending version of anata.
Count Collection uses this to Reda.

Informal, but polite, usually used by older men to equals and inferiors.
The episode titles of Utahime's first two episodes use this.

Informal, used by men to their friends. When used with strangers, it is insulting.
Zaha uses this when he is not actively annoyed with someone. Reda also uses it.

Informal and rude, and in fiction often used as equivalent of bastard/bitch.
Zaha uses this to everyone he ever spoke with/about, save Ciel. Reda also uses it, but more sparingly.

A massively insulting word that has no English equivalent.
Used by Reda to Zaha and Ciel, and by Ichirobei to Count Collection

Suffixes are the equivalent of our mister and miss, sir, etc. A lack of suffix indicates familiarity of casual interaction.

Mister or miss, polite and generally used to denote people of the same station.
It's easier to list whom the heroes don't use this for, this being Zaha and Reda.

This is either a great sign of respect, or may indicate a girl had a crush on a boy.
Utahime uses this to Mondo, Reda uses it to Oroboros.

Used for boys to show familiarity, or when addressing someone of lower station.
Ichirobei uses this to Mondo, and Rokuna to Kenta. Batchii uses this to Count Collection, which shows she doesn't think highly of him despite being her boss.

A cutesy honorific used usually for and by girls, but also for pets, younger boys and love interests.
Beginner is given this suffix by everyone (and even addresses herself as Beginner-chan, instead of using a pronoun), and Mondo uses it to Rokuna (Rokuna-chan) and she to him (Mon-chan).

Often used for teachers and other professionals.
Namiko is referred to like this.

Masculinity & Feminity

Geert Hofstede's masculinity index refers to Japan as the single most "masculine" country to be rated. This means there is an overtone to a culture defined by aggressiveness, achievement, expansion, with the ideal icon being the successful entrepreneur and the soldier. Females and femininity and that which they are associated with, arts and healing. Rules are strict and society is rigid. Anime in general may depict looser views, but this relates more to knowing what sells than adhering to any norm.

Mon Colle Knights likes to spoof this masculinity ideal most profoundly in the form of Chuzaemon Takenaka, whose goal in life is to cure Count Collection of being a sissy and become a Proud Japanese Man. Count Collection is quick to point that he is in fact German, which falls on deaf ears. Likewise, Chuzaemon also subjects Batchii to the training, a girl who is more masculine than Count Collection, heck, more than Mondo and Luke. The Yamato Nadeshiko type Guuko however he leaves alone. Somehow, this is not a contradiction in his head.

Chuzaemon is depicted as a nuisance pursuing a futile goal. See Count Cures for all his failures.

Good Wives And Wise Mothers is the counterpart ideal.

[ more to come ]

Both these characters share a passionate love for cats.


The Promotional Art Rule

One may or may not have heard that the Japanese are very withdrawn when it comes to physical contact. Unlike the gender issue, this is something that anime is behind with in regards to real life, building on a slowly fading norm. In anime it holds true that physical contact will be more sparse, and Mon Colle Knights is pretty old fashioned in this regard too.

[ more to come ]