Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Kuno's name as written by Ranma

In the above page from the manga, VIZ has both Kuno and Ranma spell buffoon wrong with Nabiki spelling it correctly. In the original Japanese version pictured below (click picture for larger) both Ranma and Nabiki are insulting Kuno. Kuno writes his name the correct way which means "9 abilities". Ranma and Nabiki write it so that it means "no ability" (incompetent).

1 comment:

FAWS said...

Nice blog, lots of interesting observations and good arguments against things that annoy me in a lot of fanfics.
But I think there has been some sort of misunderstanding behind this particular entry. No one writes Kunou's name (九能)on this page in any form at all. They all write or try to write baka, which is written with the kanji for horse and deer 馬鹿 (for purely historical reasons, the word dates back to a time when there were no hiragana or katakana and everything had to written with kanji that sounded similar).
I guess the character for horse looks somewhat like the character for no 無 and the character for deer is a bit similar to 'ability' in the general shape so that might be where the misunderstanding arose.
Ranma and Kunou write deer incorrectly, but Ranma is only missing the tiny first stroke and considering that he writes it with his finger on someones forehead while hanging in the air in mid-jump and that it's a complicated character that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't know how to write it. And even if he didn't it's no big deal, it's one tiny stroke in a complicated character and there is no pressing reason why deer needs to be written with the radical for dotted cliff 广rather than just cliff 厂 other than convention.
Kunou on the other had adds two extra strokes, and not only does he prove beyond any doubt that he has no clue how to write the character correctly, THAT's a pretty stupid mistake to make. AFAIKS there is no conceivable reason to write deer with the radical for illness 疒 and unlike the two cliff radicals the illness radical usually relates to the meaning of the character as a whole (the names of many illnesses and characters like pain, symptom, hasty and heal use that radical).