Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #18, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
18 posts in, I still get surprised by some hidden gems in Anime Characters’ names. Today is one of those cases where I had to stop and say out loud “マジで(maji.de)?”.
Our guest today is 宇多良(u.ta.ra)カナリア(Canaria), one of the main protagonists in Qualidea Code, an action anime currently airing in Summer 2016. For the sake of today’s post, it is recommended to have watched up to Episode 5 to avoid being instantly devoured by Unknown spoilers.
宇多良(u.ta.ra)カナリア(Canaria) is one the children who possess powerful abilities and fight in the continuous war against the “unknown”. Her power was named Heart Warming by her childhood friend of 朱雀(suzaku)壱弥(ichi.ya), who she calls Icchan (from Ichiya-chan). She (might have) died at the end of Episode 5, although we can’t be sure of it so I’ll talk about her using present tense. For now, let’s check her name. お名前は？
Family Name: 宇多良(u.ta.ra)
Hmm. This might be interesting. 宇 brings a general idea of roof related words, be it in words like 宇(noki; eaves) or in a figurative way like 宇宙(u.chuu; universe, space). 多 is very common kanji implying a high frequency or quantity, as in 多い(oo.i; many) and 多分(ta.bun; many, great, probably). 良 is also very common, here using a reading exclusive for naming purposes, [ra]. The most common usage of 良 is in 良い(yo.i; good) although you will often see it is written as いい(ii; good).
When putting all of them together, what would we get? Maybe a very pleasant Heaven? Canaria’s power revolves around her songs applying a kind of aura that improves her allies performance, so we could think of her extending her beneficial power to cover her allies, like an eaves can protect you from the rain. Speaking of music, her name could also be written as 歌良(uta.ra), which literally means good or pleasant song.
As a trivia, 宇多良(u.ta.ra) is the name of a coal mine along the Utara River or Iriomote, Okinawa Prefecture, where mining was in operation between 1935 and 1943. Hmm. Is this only a trivia tho? Let’s hold on to this.
There are no other anime characters that use 宇多良 or even the reading Utara. Quite unique, uh?
Given Name: カナリア(Canaria)
Alright, a Western full kana name usually means we will be denied any possibilities of finding good related notes but oh man, in this case we would be wrong.
We will start from the most famous use of Canaria, situated just off the southern coast of Morocco, the Canary Islands or in spanish, Islas Canarias. There are many theories about why it was named like that, mostly revolving around dogs in one way or another, thus receiving the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning island of dogs.
“Alright Kyra, so what?”, you might be asking right now. To which I answer: “Nothing, yet”. You see, I can’t think of any way to relate Canaria-chan to a dog, but there is yet another animal closely related to those islands.
The Atlantic Canary (Serinus canaria), or simply Wild Canary, a small bird native to Canary Islands, the Azore and Madeira. Let’s see if Canaria matches our bird buddy here:
- Yellow plumage/hair? ✓
- Sings? ✓
- Can fly? ✗
- Related to Coal Mines? ✓
- First one to die? ✓
4 out of 5, not bad! Not bad at all. Uh? Coal Mines? First one to die? Yup. Number 4 and 5 are tied together, so check this out. The term is Sentinel Species, organisms, often animal, used to detect risks to humans by providing advance warning of a danger. The classic example of this is “a canary in the coal mine”. See, it wasn’t a trivia at all! These birds, being more sensitive, would become sick from high carbon monoxide levels before the miners, who would then have a chance to escape. Two nice links here. First, in number 4, is that Canaria is then related to her Family Name, 宇田良(u.ta.ra), which is the name of a famous Coal Mine in Japan. Second, in number 5, Canaria was also the first one (from the main cast, at least) to die in face of this new threat. Add her yellow hair and her power being related to singing, and there is no doubt that her name is related to the yellow little bird.
The difference here is that, considering what we know so far, Canaria does that willingly, while the poor birds end up dying without any idea of what was going on. On Episode 3 she overdo her efforts in helping Icchan dealing with that huge, static Unknown, fainting and suffering great blood loss. She ends up dying (or not) in an apparently non-dangerous situation, although there was a clear sense of urgency from the higher ups when they found out she was at that location. We’ll probably find out more eventually!
Let’s review our guest today!
宇多良(u.ta.ra)カナリア(Canaria), the singing bird who would give her life for the sake of Icchan.
Thanks for your time, hope you enjoyed your reading. Five episodes in, Qualidea Code seems good so far, although suffering from a lack of polishing art-wise. Can’t say I’m not hyped for Episode 6! See you all next weekend!