April 01, 2009
I'm rewatching Negima!? (haven't got anything better to do). Kaede has a really odd way of using language.
For one thing she uses -dono for nearly everyone. (Except Negi; she's one of the ones who can't resist the Negi-bozu pun.) She even uses -dono for Fuka and Fumika, her best friends. They call her Kaede-nee, which is a lot more familiar and intimate. But that's not what inspires this post.
I just noticed that Kaede uses de gozaru. Which is really rare. I don't think I've ever heard it before. Or at least didn't recognize it.
Usually if you want to be informal you'd just use desu or da. If you want to be polite you'd use de gozaimasu. Why use de gozaru? It's informal yet seems a bit flowery, almost like an affectation.
Is it a regionalism? Or, like her use of -dono, is it a way of differentiating her from the other characters?
Kaede seems rather more polite, deferential, and caring than you'd ordinarily expect from a ninja anyway. In principle, she is an assassin after all. But in fact it looks like her specialty is stealth and espionage, not so much the killing part.
UPDATE: While I'm on language, there's something I've wanted to get parsed so I could add it to my "next 100" page.
It occurs at the end of ep 7. Sayo says yoroshiku onegaishimasu to Negi. Negi responds kochiokoso or so it sounds to me.
I've got that 此方 kochi means "here" and it can be read as "me". こそ koso is an emphasis, loosely meaning "for sure". I think that the "o" is a particle indicating that what precedes it is a verb object. Is that right?
Anyway, loosely what the whole phrase means is "Same here". Right?
UPDATE: Pete is right: it's kochirakoso.
Posted by: PatBuckman at April 01, 2009 04:05 PM (h7HNv)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 01, 2009 04:14 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 01, 2009 04:32 PM (/ppBw)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 01, 2009 05:02 PM (/ppBw)
As for Kaede, we don't know about her background, and she may be copying old samurai flicks because she wants to talk like a retainer.
Posted by: PatBuckman at April 01, 2009 06:00 PM (h7HNv)
"de gozaru" is not just anachronistic, it's specifically a samurai's speech pattern. Kenshin uses it in that series, and even then it's still archaic.
So yes, it's purely an affectation. It's not "oh, well, she's a ninja"; she's specifically playing a character. She's not just hiding the ninja part, she's overdoing it so much that it calls attention to it from the other way around.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 01, 2009 07:29 PM (vGfoR)
Or Chao, but who can beat Chao?
I thought Ku Fei was supposed to be better than Chao. Way I heard it, the top four fighters in the class were Setsuna (blade), Mana (guns), Ku Fei (empty hand) and Kaede (whose weapon is a kunai). And Chao was fifth after those four.
But what do I know?
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 01, 2009 08:12 PM (+rSRq)
So this is a reference to Rurouni Kenshin then?
Kaede uses it like a catch-phrase, ending nearly all her sentences with "de gozaru" or sometimes "de gozai" even when it isn't needed. It's like the way some female characters end nearly all their sentences with "desu wa".
I almost wish I hadn't become sensitized to it. Mostly when I run into characters with that kind of verbal affectation I soon come to find it tiresome and annoying.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 01, 2009 08:28 PM (+rSRq)
That power ranking was mentioned in the manga, just before As this involved plot, this does not neccessarily hold true for the versions you follow. Eva, in full vampire mode would also be a powerhouse, but normally she is purely restricted to skill. Of course, there have been quite a few power ups since.
As far as current power rankings go, Negi might be the most powerful, at least of the original Mahora group. Eva seems to have reached a plateau in her power level prior to the start of the series.
Posted by: PatBuckman at April 01, 2009 09:08 PM (h7HNv)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 01, 2009 09:20 PM (+rSRq)
With Kenshin, it's a bit of an affectation, but not too much of a stretch; it's wholly inappropriate and weird for Kaede. She does the whole package, too - referring to herself as "sessha" is from the same speech pattern.
It's tough to guesstimate power among the classmates - there's not a lot of head-to-head confrontation involved. Ku Fei and Mana have a match in the tournament, which Ku Fei wins by a hair... but Mana damn near killed her, even armed with nothing but a few rolls of coins, so a real encounter would have gone the other way. (Tourney rules prohibited guns.) ;p
Kaede wasn't in the tourney, but Kotaro was... and Kaede is far enough above Kotaro that she can take him down without breaking a sweat. (Possible beneficiary of chivalry on his part, but still.) That puts Kaede at least as good as Ku Fei, though maybe not as good as Mana full out.
Chao isn't as good as the others, if we're talking physical power, skill, or talent. She just cheats like mad.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 01, 2009 09:23 PM (vGfoR)
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 01, 2009 09:25 PM (vGfoR)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 01, 2009 09:32 PM (/ppBw)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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