Konosuba Episode 5 Notes

Her line here is watashi no okage de monster ga yoritsukanai hazu yo 私のおかげでモンスターが寄り付かないはずよ, which is more “monsters shouldn’t be able to approach that dungeon [anymore] thanks to me.”

I mention it because the sub line doesn’t quite justify Kazuma’s reaction; of course there are fewer monsters in there, she “purified” a bunch. That doesn’t imply that monsters would be leaving the dungeon and causing trouble. But if she did something that made it so monsters couldn’t stay close to the dungeon, it would imply the ones still there may have been forced out, and potentially causing the trouble in question.

The word he uses for “I” is wagahai 吾輩, a very old-fashioned, pompous way of saying it. Typically if you hear it in anime it will be old men or characters who are supposed to sound like old men.

His speech patterns in general are pretty formal (though not polite; dearu, not desu) and old-fashioned.

There’s an oyakusoku here that we will collect later.

That said, he breaks that serious old-fashioned-ness to use pretty modern and/or silly-sounding phrases for comedic effect several times. In this line, for example, he calls himself a nanchatte なんちゃって commander. That basically means a commander in name only, but it’s a pretty…non-serious way of saying it. You’ll hear nanchatte a lot in conversational language between young people—it’s a pretty versatile phrase, but in many ways it’s like “just kidding.” If you’ve ever seen one of those shows where a character semi-indirectly confesses their love and then goes “uh, just kidding~!” it’s probably a variation on nanchatte, for example.

“Demonkin” is akumazoku 悪魔族. The word for demon, akuma, is the kanji for “bad/evil” and the kanji for both “monster/demon/devil” and “magic.” The zoku is like tribe, clan, or group, and is used in words like family (kazoku 家族) or ethnic group (minzoku 民族).

I bring this one up because the ma 魔 kanji being both demon and magic is an interesting translation issue a lot of the time. Here, it’s specifically akuma, so you know it’s “demon,” but other times it’s often just mazoku, which can be anything from literally-from-hell demons to “monstrous” people to “a people with a connection to magic.”

For example, the Crimson Demons, Megumin’s clan, are the koumazoku 紅魔族; also mazoku, but the kanji for “red/crimson/scarlet” in front (instead of “evil” like akuma)So another translation, which would be more accurate to their origins but also less in line with their chuuni tendencies, might be just “red magic clan.”

This is another line where he mixes old/formal  language with non-serious phrasing. “You” here is nanji 汝, a very old-school version of it. It’s the kind of word you’ll see authors use for magic incantations; one example that springs to mind immediately is the summoning ritual in the Fate series. So basically like “thou” or whatever.

Then the way he says “ashamed of” is iya da na to omou 嫌だなと思う, which is like barely two steps above “feelings that make you go eww.”

The words he uses for death/die here are hametsu 破滅 and horobu 滅ぶ, which are usually reserved more for destruction/ruin (like fall of the Roman empire, or the blowing up of a politician’s career), though in practical terms can also mean “death/die.”

The word for “you lose” here is suka, which, among other things, is the text that would pop up in Dragon Quest games when you opened a treasure chest that had nothing in it—not in a “you already opened it” kind of way, a “the devs put an empty chest there to fuck with you” kind of way.

There’s actually a whole lot going on in this line, let’s see if I can break it all down.

For reference, the Japanese line is “その男との賭けで負け「すんごい要求」とやらが気になり先程から色々と持て余しずっとモジモジしている娘よ!”

First, he references the “name” of the demand; basically whenever they refer to the “demand” (that Kazuma won from Darkness in ep 4) this episode, they call it the sungoi youkyuu すんごい要求. Youkyuu is demand, and sungoi is just a way to say sugoi with lots of emphasis (kind of like dragging out the “f” on ffffffffffuck or whatever).

Specifically he says sungoi youkyuu to yara. That to particle here implies whatever came immediately before it is a quote—basically he’s reading her mind and calling it what she calls it in her head. The yara is like a more formal “or whatever.”

Squirming” is mojimoji, another sound effect word, and is typically used to describe someone fidgeting in a bashful/embarrassed sort of way. Since it’s Valentine’s Day as of this post, a good example is a girl talking to her crush and trying to work up the courage to give them the chocolate they made—that’s a very mojimoji situation. It doesn’t always have to be so innocent, though.

Next, the “overwhelmed” and “curious(ity),” while connected in the English, are separate in the Japanese. The curious part comes from ki ni nari 気になり, a verb phrase meaning to be curious in/interested in/paying attention to something. Very standard.

The “overwhelmed” part is the interesting bit; he actually says iroiro to moteamashi 色々と持て余し. Iroiro to is a common phrase for “various [things],” but can also be used as a euphemism for when you don’t want to say exactly what the “thing(s)” are.

Moteamasu is a verb for basically being overwhelmed, or more literally having too much of something to hold (usually metaphorically). Also relevant: it’s yet another common euphemism for being horny/sexually frustrated.

So you could bring it all together to something like “You’ve gotten so hot and bothered wondering what that guy you lost to is cooking up for his ‘crazy demand’ or whatever that you haven’t been able to sit still!” (it wouldn’t be exactly that in context, but to give you an idea).

“Nervous” here is yet another sound effect word, sowasowa. It’s actually pretty similar to mojimoji, but less cute and more restless.

Not important really, but just fyi: he says fukkin 腹筋, or “abs,” not just muscles generally.

“Demon’s temptation” is akuma no sasayaki 悪魔のささやき, “a demon’s whispers,” a common idiom for temptation. So the joke is “oh lol literally a demon, ha.”

The word he uses for “break” is go-kyuukei ご休憩. Kyuukei is a normal word for rest/break, but when you attach the “honorable o” (or “go,” rather, as it is here; same thing), it turns into a euphemism for sex—it’s the word used for short-term (i.e. not overnight) stays at a love hotel. Hence:

The “but she’s still Darkness” part is nakami wa ano Darkness 中身はあのダクネス, which is a little more like “but it’s still that Darkness on the inside.”

That suka word from before comes up again in both of these lines; he really likes that word. For clarity it’s basically a sound effect word for, broadly, “miss”—broad enough that it spills over into stuff like “lose/fail” or “empty/hollow.”

This follows the “______と思った? 残念! _____でした!” / “You thought ______? Too bad! It was _____!” pattern, which is a biggish meme on the Japanese internet. Probably the most well known example of it is that Sayaka meme.

All of these are the same word, yakamashii, an adjective for, basically, someone or something that is annoying, loud, and won’t shut up. It’s a lot like urusai, which you may be more familiar with. Sometimes he adds a bit to it, like the emphasis “wa” sentence ender.

While English tends to use commands, like “shut up” or whatever, to tell people to be quiet, it’s a little more common in Japanese to just call them loud/annoying and leave the command part implied. There are of course still command verb ways to say it too though, e.g. damare 黙れ.

The word translated as “stanky” here is engacho エンガチョ, which is a word used by children in a similar way to “cootie shield,” but without the gender component. Basically one kid gets dirty somehow (maybe stepping in dog poop), and the others would cross fingers and say “engacho!” It’s kind of old-fashioned though, and I think nowadays the equivalent is the English “barrier bariyaー バリヤー.

Engacho famously is used in the movie Spirited Away. Between this and the Princess Mononoke reference earlier, one might think Aqua is a Ghibli fan.

There’s that laugh again. 

This pose/beam seem to be a reference to Ultra Seven, one of the older Ultraman franchises:

The guy says “ichiban matomo 一番まとも,” which is like “most normal” more so than “only sane.”

For “easy” here, he says “choroi, o-tegoro チョロいお手頃.”  Choroi has been covered; o-tegoro is a common-ish word for “reasonably priced (i.e. cheap),” “convenient,” or “easy to handle.” It’s not actually that common of a word to describe a person, though another word for “cheap” (yasui 安い) is—and means basically the same as “easy” like you see in the sub.

Here she says “hero-poku,” meaning “like a hero,” with a connotation of “you’re not a hero, but try to seem one.”

The phrasing she uses here is saranaru takami he nobori tsutsu arimasu 更なる高みへ昇りつつあります. It’s a little more flowery language than “has grown even more powerful.” Maybe in more literal terms it’d be like “is constantly climbing to ever higher heights.”

For the Japanese students out there, tsutsu aru/arimasu is something you stick on a verb to indicate it’s a change occurring over time, usually long term. It’s commonly used to describe societal changes for example, like the spread of smart phones or something.

Remember how he uses wagahai and –de aru?

This is a reference to one of the most famous titles in Japanese literature, I Am a Cat, or as it is called in Japanese: Wagahai wa Neko de Aru, by Natsume Souseki.

I don’t think there’s any deep meaning* behind the reference here (at least, not in the anime/this episode?), but it’s one of those things where you hear him using the language he does and think “oh man, it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable I Am a Cat reference.”

*You could probably draw some parallels if you wanted, but eh.

Warning: Only read if you care about Japanese grammar.

If you recall the –to “quote” particle mentioned earlier, it’s used again here. Basically he “quotes” their opinion—”Oh well anyone who risked themselves so much to defeat that commander guy clearly isn’t working with the Devil King”—then says “and that’s why/how the suspicions were cleared up.”

If you listen, you can hear how his voice changes during the “quote”:

I just bring it up because this sentence construction, where you “quote” something mid-sentence is very common in Japanese. It doesn’t have to be an actual or exact quote, though it can be, but just a sort of “this is a thought that doesn’t necessarily come from me” kind of thing.

Part of how common this is, is probably just that the mechanics of the language make it very easy and convenient to do so. Basically all you have to do is stick “to iu” or “tte” after a phrase and bam, you have a quote that can be used almost like an adjective, grammatically. For example, here, the quote “describes” the reason (riyuu 理由) that they stopped being suspicious of them.

This is part of a larger concept in the language, where a verb phrase can be used as a descriptor (note: the “iu” above is a verb for “to say”). It’s a very convenient tool, and you may have noticed I use it a fair amount in my English writing: this “use a phrase in quotes like an adjective” trick.

It can be awkward to translate sometimes, as (despite my fondness for it) it often doesn’t sound very natural in English, so you have to find a way to rephrase, like they did with the sub line here.

There’s a more full explanation here for the curious.

Another good example of somebody mojimoji-ing.

“[Name], kawaii yo, [Name]” is another Japanese internet meme. The more you know.

“Nature’s Beauty” is Kachoufuugetsu 花鳥風月, a term that does indeed refer to the beauty of nature (particularly scenery), but also especially in the context of artistic pursuits such as poetry or paintings. It’s made of the kanji for flower, bird, wind, and moon.

Link to older episode notes.