Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #15, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
Sweet and sour is a very recurring description of Love. These two contrasting flavors are key components of any relationship, varying up and down through its course. Balancing them is key to keep a healthy environment but sometimes things just go out of our control and the only option left is to endure while trying your best.
Today we will explore 成瀬(naruse)翔(kakeru), main protagonist of Orange, a shoujo drama anime currently airing in Summer 2016. For the sake of this post, it is recommended to have watched up to episode 3 of this show to avoid being spoiled by a letter from 10 years in the future.
成瀬(naru.se)翔(kakeru) is introduced as a transfer student from Tokyo that joins the circle of friends of Naho. We know that he died (or will die, depending on your point of view) at some point and there are some hints that he might have committed suicide, though this is not clear as of Episode 3. He seems to be struggling a lot by himself, despite his advice to Naho on the first aid scene on Episode 1, although he did open up to her on Episode 3 by telling about his deceased mother. Let’s take a look on his name. お名前は？
Family Name: 成瀬(naru.se)
Both kanji in 成瀬(naru.se) are first timers here in Onamae wa?. 成 brings the idea of becoming or growing into something, appearing in words like 成長(sei.chou; growth, grow to adulhood), 成功(sei.kou; success) and is also used in 成る(na.ru; to become, etc), a very common verb in Japanese, although nowadays it is mostly written in kanas only. A lot of words related to maturity use 成 as well, and this can be linked to Kakeru usual behavior. 瀬 represents a current of something, as 瀬(se) could be a torrent of water and also appear in 立つ瀬(ta.tsu.se; one’s position, point of view). One special use of 瀬 is in 瀬戸際(se.to.giwa), a word for critical moments, like the ones we have followed so far in Kakeru’s life. Back to 瀬(se), we could also think of it was a torrent of emotions, something that is clearly going on in Kakeru’s mind through these events.
On the scene above, Kakeru hesitates as he sees himself in Naho as she describes how she prefers to endure pain as long as it is only her loss. He then says the sentence above, which translates to If all you do is endure, it will be your loss.
Putting both kanji together, 成瀬(naru.se) could literally mean the growth after a turbulence, growing up after a critical moment or even success at a critical moment. Considering that this is his Family Name and not only his mother but he might also have ended up committing suicide, which is definitely not a way of growing up or succeeding, is rather sad. Hopefully this sheds a light into the possibility of Naho managing to prevent his death at some point.
- 成瀬(naru.se)万理亜(ma.ri.a) from Shinmai Maou no Testament.
- 成瀬(naru.se)ユキヤ(yu.ki.ya) from Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito.
- 成瀬(naru.se)荊(ibara) from Coppelion.
Given Name: 翔(kakeru)
翔(kakeru) uses a very common way to create names in Japanese. You pick a verb, in this case 翔る(kake.ru; to soar, to fly, to dash), take away the kana suffix and keep the same reading. Thus 翔(kakeru) means exactly that, present in words like 翔破(shou.ha; completing a flight) and 飛翔(hi.shou; flying. Though this is not common). 翔 is composed by radicals derivated from 羊(hitsuji; sheep) and 羽(ha; feathers, wings), although a flying sheep isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think about soaring the sky. Right?
Like Kakeru-kun himself however, there are multiple sides to this. The main point here is that 翔 as a name is usually read as Shou, not Kakeru. かける(kakeru; in kana only) can represent plenty of things, mainly when written as 掛ける(ka.keru), but the relevant one we are looking for is 欠ける(ka.keru), which means to be damaged or broken, to be lacking or missing something. While on the outside 翔(kakeru) represents the beauty of flying the skies and enjoying his life, I’d say that for now 欠ける(ka.keru) is what truly represents our protagonist here, as the psychological scars of the recent events led to his death.
- 戸部(to.be)翔(kakeru) from Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru.
- 天花寺(ten.gen.ji)翔(kakeru) from Starmyu.
- 真鍋(mana.be)翔(kakeru) from Fruits Basket (only on its Manga).
As I decided to write about Orange yesterday as I finished Episode 2, a question popped up. Why is this show named Orange? I figured out it would come out at some point, only to be gifted by the end of Episode 3.
On the scene above Naho-chan is savoring the sweetness and sourness of her orange juice, though I’d say that on this point the sour part is much stronger. The sentence above translates into the orange juice had a sweet, sour and painful taste.
Let’s review our guest today!
成瀬(naru.se)翔(kakeru), the one who was broken by a critical event in life.
Thanks for your time, hope you guys enjoyed your reading. Orange seems very good so far, living up to the expectation built upon my (mostly female) friends ever since its anime adaption was announced. I recommend it. See you all next weekend!