[Trigger warnings: rape, rape culture]
Among the controversies du jour is one troublesome line from the recently-aired Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. The original line, 「動くな。騒ぐと犯す」, was rendered in Crunchyroll’s translation as “No funny moves. Make one peep and I rape you.” If, in fact, that is what he said, this is a very shocking line indeed. But here’s the thing.
That is what he said.
This is not open for interpretation.
The primary male love interest in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun threatened the protagonist with sexual violence.
The average anime fan with a dog in this fight tends to vastly over-rate either their Japanese literacy, their understanding of how language works, or both, so I’ll take this from the very top.
Digital Roses atop the Anisphere
Names, quite simply, are the labels by which we refer to objects. Though these objects might be inanimate, or non-sentient life such as a flower, they are mostly associated with people. These names can be arbitrary, or descriptive. The latter obvious in English surnames; inspired by the bearer’s profession or personal characteristics, alternatively patronymic or matronymic, or even an indication of one’s estate. As such, a surname will hold as much importance as the family and individual that bears it.
Then what of pseudonyms? Noms de plume are often created to be worn as masks for the internet. They act as a defence, or as a shield, but also impart presence, and perhaps existence itself, online. Yet, can they be said to hold as much weight, bestow as much meaning, or bear as much importance as those we use, shuffling along this mortal coil?
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