Kuma 253 – And only one more.

Chapter 253, TLed by Aikawa and Aki, and edited and proofread by a bunch more people! Also, you only need to click next ONCE.

Random musings: I wonder if there’s anything weeb-y to do in Spain… or where I get spanish weeb material. Might make for something interesting to do after visiting all the normal tourist stuff…

Notes for 253: Goldibear and the Three Girls. One was too young, one was too noble, and the last one was just right. (Tasty)

Notes for 254: Hope you know your card games. Google ’em. Might wanna add the “card game” key word to all the searches though.

And now, for a theory, made by someone who has not watched the relevant show. Last time I did one was on how OPMCs are actually black holes. This time, I’ll come up with another theory: The origin of SAO’s Kirito’s name.

I’m sure you are all no strangers to SAO. Contrary to popular belief, Kirito’s name is not derived from Kirigaya Kazuto. The real name actually comes from the author’s desire to make a pun on the gaming term “Critical Hit”, which is often shortened to “Crit”. There are additional layers of pun hidden the author decided on his central pun, which I will expand on later.

But first, I shall explain why it makes sense that Kirito is derived from “crit”. As I am sure anybody who has worked with localizing japanese katakana names knows, Japanese vowels are fluid. You know the rules, and so do I. Sometimes, vowel sounds are omitted when rendering foreign words into katakana. This is a necessary limitation due to the moraic nature of Japanese phonetics, where every mora has one vowel sound. So between every consonant, there has to be one vowel sound. For example: キリスト(Kirisuto) – Christ. As you can see, the ‘i’ in the ‘ki’ mora and the ‘u’ in the su mora are omitted. Additionally, this example also shows that terminal vowel sounds are also something that can be omitted in localizing.

Name translation side note: Sometimes, names don’t even sound the same as the original raws. A full commitment to accuracy may be what you were thinking of, but sometimes, the names are stupid. An example: there is a character in a series I like named ルフレ(Rufure) in the raws, which the translator could easly have named something like Rufflet or Lufre or something weird, but instead, they chose to translate the name as Robin. It’s a nice choice to make the character seem more familiar, rather than have a weird name. And the best thing of all, nobody would ever know, until they decide to become bilingual and check the original source material.

But phonetics aside, Kirito’s character is essentially supposed to be an amazing gamer. And naturally, as an amazing MMO gamer, he must be able to pull off a lot of critical hits. That is the basis of the author’s name choice. And then, the author had to expand the name into a convincing real life name for his new fantasy game character: (桐ヶ谷 和人)Kirigaya Kazuto. The surname is a typical Japanese surname style: Using characters that invoke nature. The “kiri” part is a species of tree, and the “ya” part is valley. A valley of trees. This gives us a rather normal name scheme.

But now, his given name is a way to insert even more normalcy. The “kazu” part is written with this character: 和. This character is also seen in other more common words that represent Japan or the Japanese-ness of something. Like Wagyu beef: (和牛 – Literally means japanese beef. As long as the beef comes from japan, it’s technically Wagyu) or maybe Wanokuni, a nickname for japan (btw, also something that appears in Kuma and One Piece as thinly veiled Japan clones). Well, I guess 和 doesn’t literally mean japan(ese). It also has the original meaning of “peace” or “harmony”. But anyways, context is important here, so we take a look at the other character in his given name. The second character is 人, which means person.

Therefore, if we put the two kanji together: Kirto’s given name, in addition to fulfilling the central pun, is also a way to mean that Kazuto is a way to represent a “Japanese person”. A reader might think that “you wouldn’t get this sort of gameplay from any other guy”. But the author reminds the Japanese reader of one fact: “this could be you!” This may have contributed to the popularity of the series.

Anyways, thanks for reading through my conspiracy theory. I pretty much brain-dumped this essay, so I haven’t actually given it too much thought. I just wanted to tell you how I’m feeling, and so I felt like I gotta make you understand. Now, I never wanna give you up without telling you about the easter eggs, so I won’t let you down. If you haven’t figured it out, I’ve run around and hidden song lyrics into the essay. They may not be an exact fit, but well, that’s the point.

4 thoughts on “Kuma 253 – And only one more.

  1. So the author invokes the subconscious fantasy, that any japanese person can be the super amazing OP main character kicking ass and taking girls, just by using a clever name? No wonder that weird novel is popular.


  2. Demi-human

    After all those year with many trolls and trap you give me, I know I will not be scared to hit next multi time

    Later…. Scram in regrad again maybe lol


  3. teh 1

    In sum, the author fuels the edgy teen hormones of his readers (and anime audience) in pursuit of profit.

    Thank you sensei, very cool.


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