Unexplained Art in Otome (and possibly other visual novels as well)

As I might have stated in one of my earlier posts, I’m currently learning Japanese.

One of the things about Japanese is important knowing the characters, which in Japan’s case there are three sets of alphabets for them which are

  1. Hiragana
  2. Katakana
  3. Kanji

The Hiragana is what we call the native Japanese alphabet after that is the Katakana alphabet which you use for a forgein word like my name for example “Melissa” or even other normal words like “Superman”.

The last thing is Kanji. Kanji is borrowed from the Chinese. But here’s the kicker of Kanji, Kanji has not one, but two or more readings!

The normal Chinese reading or the Japanese reading.

For example, 円 which as some of you may or may not know it, it’s the symbol for what others commonly know as ¥, aka the Yen. But it has two readings!

  1. えん
  2. マルイ

Money and round/spherical.

You just need their context of the sentence in order to understand what the kanji happens to be. *rolls my eyes* Yes that’s so easy…

But back to what I’m talking about.

It’s probably uncommon knowledge or not, that the Japanese have more than one, I, no not the letter, I meant as the use of, “I am Melissa,” or 「私はメリッサ」

  1. 私 (わたし) watashi (appears to be a gender neutral use of I)
  2. あたし (atashi) – Used by women, usually younger women.
  3. 僕 (ぼく) Boku – Used by younger boys or men when talking to an authoritative figure (like his boss)
  4. 俺(おれ) – Ore – Used by Men, who are usually more arrogant or rude.

Here’s where things get strange or where it bothers me, because I have literally no one near by me to receive authentic Japanese speakers listen to, I listen to and play through one of my Otome games. (It’s highly not recommended for you do not get Hakuoki because they use an older version of Japanese that does not work in today’s Japan!)

Any who, while I was playing my Hakuoki game, I was listening to Heisuke talk to Yukimura (aka the last name of the MC) here’s what I heard, he clearly said Ore, but see this!

There is Ore written in katakana!

And in kanji!

So why does this happen?

And is it actually a Chinese reading gone wrong?

After some time I went to see my Japanese Sensei at the University I’m currently studying at.

I asked him about this new finding of his, I told him I was fully aware that, おれ and 俺 were completely correct but I’ve never seen オレ, ever before.

He asked me where I had seen it, and I told him I saw it in a visual novel set in an older time period.

“Ah, so it must be like an anime or manga.” (well he wasn’t wrong, Hakuoki does have an anime)

He went through and explained to be that because Anime and manga is an art, they like to fiddle with Katakana in general, just like だめ in anime is ダメ (Dame *aka No good, but it honestly sounds like Damn it* ).

Katakana is an untold art in manga, anime, and visual novel, watch out for them, it’s not spelt right if you can hear the correct Japanese reading but see Katakana instead of the Kanji/Hiragana.

Like for example I questioned a lot about Yuri on Ice’s poster title, which is written like this ユリ!

Which I wondered as to why the story wasn’t about the Russian Yuri then the Japanese Yuuri…

It wasn’t for any particular reason but to ‘show off’ more or less.

Until Next Time!