The oboro in Oborozuka is the kanji for dragon plus the moon radical. It means something like hazy (as in memories, or sky)ーoften when being used by itself it’s used describing a spring night’s sky (it’s kind of poetic and not very common).
月 + 龍 → 朧
It can also mean minced fish meat. ￣\_(ツ)_/￣
This stood out to me as very self-aware coming from Kyoani, given their history.
Shiro (白) is white, and shiro (城) is also castle (the word she uses here). :doofyface:
Subtle reference in the background there. The blue sign says basically “Suits Store Mountain.” There’s a very large clothing chain in Japan that focuses on suits named Aoyama…which is written with the kanji for blue mountain.
This Tatsu also means dragon. Specifically the dragon of the chinese zodiac, so it’s the word you’d use when talking about the year of the dragon and such.
The specific way she puts this is “the dragon has higher komyuryoku that me?” Komyuryoku (コミュ力) is short for “communication (kyomyunikeｰshon) + ability (nouryoku).” It’s the current hip word to describe people who are good at making friends and talking to/getting along with strangers—which is often considered an impressive feat, especially in certain circles. It’s a word that’s gained a lot of popularity in nerd-dom in recent years, in large part due to an associated word: komyu-shou (コミュ障), which is short for communication disorder. In reality it refers to a variety of serious issues, from having a stutter to autism spectrum stuff, but in meme-y usage it’s typically refers to the inability of (often) nerds to talk to people, basically extreme shyness. In this way it’s associated with NEETs and hikikomori (though given Japan’s poor track record for diagnosing or acknowledging mental issues, it’s likely a lot of those people irl are affected by it in the non-meme-y way).
The sign, Salamandra, is of course referring to “salamander,” which in Japanese basically always refers to the reptilian fire elemental aspect of the wordーthey have their own word for the adorable amphibian animal.
It’s often used as a name for fiery dragons.
Shiritori is a word game where each person tries to come up with a word that starts with the last mora (like a syllable) of the previous word. This makes a lot more sense/is easier to do in Japanese than English, as Japanese “letters” (kana) represent mora, instead of sounds used to create syllables like in a language such as English. For example, ”Kobayashi” in kana is こばやし (ko ba ya shi).
In English we have say we have a 26 letter alphabet; in Japanese they say they have 50 sounds; each is a mora and each is represented by a kana. Every “sound” is one of 5 vowels plus a consonant in front (or just the vowel by itself), e.g. “ka” “ni” “u” “re” “yo” etc. The one exception is “ん (n/m)” (as in senpai/sempai), which is unique in that it does not have a vowel and is never found at the beginning of a word (excluding foreign words, slang, and a few in regional dialects)ーwhich is why “ending your word with an ん (n/m)” in shiritori means you lose: you’ve ended the chain since there are no words the next person can use.
The name “Shiritori” basically means “taking the butt.”
Random kanafact: The ツ from the shrug face is the kana for “tsu.”
Tsuru no Ongaeshi (The Crane Returns a Favor) is a hella well-known Japanese folk tale in which a magical crane is saved by an old couple from a hunter’s trap, and to repay her debt of gratitude the crane disguises herself as a human and helps take care of the elderly couple. One way in which she does so is by weaving beautiful cloth that sells at a high price, but to make it she requires the couple never look into the room while she is weaving. Eventually their curiosity gets the better of them and they look anywayーthis reveals her secret, as she had to transform back into a crane to use her feathers in the weave. Secret discovered, she leaves forever. The moral (imo) is basically some combination of “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” + “sometimes you should listen to people when they tell you not to do something” + “respect people’s privacy.”
There’s a popular variant of the story, the Crane Wife, where instead of an old couple it’s a young man, who she marries, but otherwise it’s basically the same.
The joke of course is that despite all the similarities between the folk tale and Kobayashi and Tohru’s situation Kobayashi gives zero fucks and peeks into the kitchen immediately.
“Vehicle inspections” here refers to shaken (車検). It’s a system in place in Japan where cars/trucks/etc. must be certified as road-safe (properly maintained, no illegal modifications, etc.) by a professional every 1-3 years. It’s fairly expensive, usually costing upwards of 100,000 yen (so like 800-1000+ US bux). You can in theory do it yourself and save a bunch of money, but I don’t know how you go about doing that and it doesn’t seem to be very common. Often when buying a used car you’ll want to confirm whether it needs a new shaken and/or how long is left on it’s current one.
The “tribe” (she actually uses the word 民族 minzoku, which is more like “ethnic group” than “tribe”) she’s referring to the Ainu, whose fashion Kanna’s look somewhat vaguely resembles. The Ainu are an indigenous people from the northern areas of Japan/nearby areas of Russia. They were treated by the Japanese about as well as the US or Canada treated the Native Americans, which is to say really fucking bad.
Kanna’s full name, Kanna Kamuy, refers to a powerful god (kamuy; like Japan kami) in Ainu folklore.
Golden Kamuy is a great manga that talks a lot about Ainu culture, definitely worth a read.
The word they are talking about here is “yabai.” It’s another word that’s gotten popular over the last several years, especially among the youth. It’s basically like a non-vulgar “fuck” or “shit” in English, in that you can use that shit for fucking everything. It’s the fucking shit. It’s also fucking shit. Depends on who you ask.
The word here is “yaoyorozu.” It’s literally a fancy way of saying eight million, but is actually used to refer to “a huge and basically uncountable number.” The most common useage of it you’re likely to see in modern Japanese is in reference to the gods/spirits (kami) of Shinto, an animist religion of Japan that teaches there are kami in basically all things.