Gabriel Dropout Episode 2 Notes

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Eating lunch alone (in school) is strongly associated with “bocchi” characters: people with no friends (or at least no friends at school). I’m sure that’s true outside Japan as well, to varying degrees, but it’s worth noting for its mimetic nature in modern anime/manga/etc.

Friendless characters as an archetype—specifically those who want friends (whether they admit it or not) but are unable to make any—have seen a big boom in popularity over the last several years*, and this “eating alone” trope has risen along with it. There are several terms used to refer to it:
-Benjo-meshi (toilet meal): eating lunch in a bathroom stall (so people won’t see you eating alone).
-Hitori-meshi (one-person meal): general term for eating alone.
-Bocchi-meshi (“bocchi” meal): like a student slang version of hitori-meshi, but especially for “bocchi.”

Aside from the bathroom, the roof or the landing of the stairwell leading to the roof are popular anime/manga locations for bocchi characters to eat their lonely lunches.

*See series like Haganai, Watamote, or Sanova B**chi for stuff that deals with it directly.

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This says “Hitori-meshi Set.” Note the non-lunch box shaped bag. That’s why it’s part of the set: it doesn’t look like a traditional lunch (the ubiquitous bento box), but more like the bag you keep your gym clothes in, so people don’t realize she’s taking her lunch off to go eat alone. (I might be reading too much into this part.)

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An example of a real life (Disney-themed) bag designed for carrying school gym clothes.

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Melon bread is an incredibly common snack food item in Japan; it can be found in any store that sells bread, from 7-Elevens to fancy bakeries—there are even specialty stores that sell only it. Basically it’s a hunk of white bread with a layer of cookie baked on top of it. It generally is not melon flavored; the name is widely accepted to come from how the shape looks like certain varieties of melons that are common in Japan (think cantaloupe). There are many varieties though, such as chocolate chip, various fruit flavors, various fillings, etc.

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Some real melon breads. And a demonstration of concept.

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I didn’t notice this until going back through to take screenshots, but I think this shot is intended to show “normally an anime character would be eating up on the roof or landing, but Satanko’s a good girl who obeyed the ‘no entry’ sign.”

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This exchange, and several others throughout the show, was basically rewritten by the translator or editor. Not that that’s a bad thing necessarily; instead of trying to force a joke that doesn’t translate well they just wrote a new one. I don’t plan on pointing out every instance because frankly you’re not missing much, so here’s just a couple of examples:

The original joke above is that the words she used, keitai (“framework” here) and shouaku (the “grasp” bit) are the wrong words for what she’s actually trying to say. Instead of “I completely understand everything about how the school works” it turns out something like “I completely control how the school is organized.” Gabe and Vinnie then just repeat the incorrect words back at her confusedly. Note all the hand metaphors immediately before and after this exchange were added in translation as well.

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In this one, she just says more or less:
“I’d like our group to get started cooking too, but…”
This is who I have to work with…”

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And here’s it’s basically just “Your job is to not get in the way.”

So yeah like I said you don’t really miss out much on these and really most of the changes make it more interesting (good on the TL), so I’m not going to bring them up in the future unless it’s something big or of particular interest.

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These machines are super common in certain types of Japanese restaurants: ramen shops, “set meal (teishoku)” style places, katsu places, beef bowl places, etc. Basically they automated most of the “taking your order” part of the experience; you get your ticket from the machine, hand it to the employee, and wait for your food. There are buttons for stuff like “extra rice” or whatever options as well.

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Udon is usually sold as “X udon,” where X is the main topping. Curry udon, tempura udon, etc. “Kitsune” refers to a slice of tofu prepared by deep frying it twice (so called because in folklore kitsune love to eat fried tofu). “Tanuki” refers to bits of fried tempura batter (tenkasu). There are several theories as to where the “tanuki” came from, but my favorite is that people would order tempura udon without (nuki) the [thing in the tempura, usually prawn or vegetables] (tane), i.e. “tane-nuki.” Which sounds like tanuki, and tanuki are similar animals to kitsune sort of, and we say kitsune udon, so hey why not?

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You usually get a little tenkasu even when just plain udon, which is what’s in the anime picture. The pink and white thing is kamaboko, slices of loaves of steamed pureed fish. It’s good! The deep fried tofu on the right (aburaage) is also very good, and a lot sweeter than it might look.

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Shichimi is an extremely common condiment in restaurants in Japan, you can find it pretty much anywhere. It’s up there with soy sauce or salt. It’s great if you like a bit (or a lot) of a spicy kick to your food. However, if you’ve not been exposed to how the kanji are read before, it’s easy to read them the wrong way—I see this a lot with foreigners who have some level of Japanese knowledge (like college courses) but are in Japan for the first time. Usually if someone gets it wrong they say “nanami,” not “nana-aji,” though. “Tougarashi,” the other three kanji there and the word for (spicy) peppers, is also easy to misread if you’re not familiar.

In both cases, someone in a Japanese high school should be familiar already.

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The word translated here as “husband-hunting” is “konkatsu.” Konkatsu is a fairly new word: coined in 2007, it won the national annual “trending new word/slang” contest in 2009. It’s a play on the phrase for “job-hunting,” shuukatsu. Instead of looking for a job, you’re looking to get married. There’s a bit of added nuance though: shuukatsu is especially common when referring to the period of job hunting by a college student before their graduation. Due mostly to the strong (though fading fast) tradition of lifetime employment in Japan, if you don’t have a job lined up before you graduate college, you’re going to find it much harder to find one later, even moreso than in somewhere like the US—most college students basically spend a huge chunk of time skipping classes to attend job interviews at dozens, sometimes even over a hundred, companies. (The difficulty level of just passing a
college course in Japan, on average, relatively low, and GPA doesn’t matter much.)

So there’s more than a hint of desperation and racing-the-clock to konkatsu. “I need to find someone to marry my ass ASAP, before I’m too old to get anybody.”

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She actually uses “chuuni” here, if you’re familiar with that term (I know you are). More specifically, the line is more like “a chuuni despite being in high school already.” The “…at your age?” nuance kind of got lost in the translation.

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Food break.

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The phrase Leonardo uses here, yokkyuufuman, has a strong nuance of being sexually frustrated, hence the reaction by Her Highness.

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She actually says “that would be tiring,” not that she’s already tired.

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Maybe worth pointing out here that Our-Future-Lord-and-Antisavior’s style of apartment is much newer and nicer than the one Gaber and Vigs are living in. The benefits of being born into an important family, I guess.

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That Cafe au Lait has mochi (rice cake) in it for some reason. Also the milk brand in the back means like “Hella Milk.”