Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #20, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
A few months ago I did a post dedicated to the three main characters in Shokugeki no Souma, exploring Tadokoro, Erina and Souma himself. Now into Season 2, two supporting characters stepped into the limelight. Only fair that we check them as well!
Our guests today are 葉山(ha.yama)アキラ(akira) and 黒木場(kuro.ki.ba)リョウ(ryou), (main) supporting characters from Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara, the second season of this delicious shounen anime currently airing in Summer 2016. Due to the rules of the Autumn Elections, it is recommended to have watched up to Episode 9 to avoid the pungent odor of spoiled plot.
調理開始(chou.ri.kai.shi; translated as Let the cooking commence by CR)！
葉山(ha.yama)アキラ(akira) is a student at Toutsuki and Jun Shiomi’s assistant. He is mostly known for his incredible sense of smell, a remarkable trait in the kitchen, allowing him to be slightly (heh) arrogant about his own potential. Very calm and diligent, Akira has shown numerous times over the series so far that he is able to maintain composure and think clearly even near boisterous people like Subaru or even Kurokiba himself. Let’s see if we can sniff anything out of his name. お名前は？
Family Name: 葉山(ha.yama)
Hmm. Wait a minute. I know this scent from somewhere else… oh right! We saw 葉山(ha.yama) in Teru-chan from Futaba, Youko and Teru – onamae wa?. Back then I couldn’t think of way to link this family name to Teru-chan, how about this time?
Akira received this name from Hayama, previous professor of Hayama Seminar, a research club in Toutsuki, which was later renamed to Shiomi Seminar as Jun-chan succeeded him. This old man is of low stature, so we can’t really relate him to 山. If we focus on Akira himself, we can see 葉山 as a way to describe wild leaves, similar to how 山菜(san.sai) is used to describe edible wild plants. This could be a kind of link to his augmented scent, but frankly it would fit much better for someone like Hisako. Other possible way to write Hayama is 端山(ha.yama; foothill) and it can also appear as a special reading for 麓(fumoto; base of a mountain), both of which could be associated with Akira’s emotional stability and calmness but oh well, this would be probably stretching too much. Once again, like Teru-chan, we couldn’t make a good find. I’ll get you next time 葉山, just you wait.
- 葉山(ha.yama)隼人(hayato) from OreGairu (2013).
- 白雲(shira.kumo)ハヤマ(hayama) from Naruto: Shippuuden (2007+)
- 葉山(ha.yama)静香(shizu.ka) from Hikari to Mizu no Daphne (2004). 静香 would be such a great name for someone like Akira… what a waste!
Given Name: アキラ(akira)
Welp, on top of that we get a katakana name, horray! Not entirely unexpected, as Hayama-kun was found in a unknown country, according to the main story. On top of that, he was orphaned since very young age and has no remembrance of his parents. I picked a few single kanji names that can be read as Akira, let’s see if any fits.
- 瑛(sparkle of jewelry, crystal)
- 亮(clear, help)
- 昭(shining, bright)
- 昌(clear, prosperous, bright)
- 晶(sparkle, clear, crystal)
Number 1 and 5 are out. On 4 we have a nice link to him being an assistant to Jun at the moment. Prosperous on 6 could be related to his fate after being taken in by his chibi senior. More importantly, we could say that Hayama has a clear sense of smell; a clear mind, undisturbed by external factors; a clear sense of superiority. There is a clear winner here. If we had to pick from these, it would be number 4, I guess. As a side note, number 5 is very close to 照 from Teru-chan. So many links between those two!
- アキラ(akira) from AKIRA (1988).
- 宇童(u.dou)アキラ(akira) from Air Gear (2006)
- 蒼井(ao.i)晶(akira) from Selector Infected WIXOSS (2014). That ride tho. Lostorage HYPE.
黒木場(kuro.ki.ba)リョウ(ryou) is an interesting guy. It is uncertain whether he is orphan or not, although heavily implied by all flashbacks were he would, since early age, struggle his way to survive as a chef amidst the savagery of a port filled by savage sailors. His initial sense of cooking in order to survive then developed into cooking in order to subjugate those who eat, as that was the fate of those who savored his dishes. Later found by Alice, he was brought into Toutsuki and now acts like a mix of bodyguard and assistant to her. Let’s check his name before we go deeper. お名前は？
Family Name: 黒木場(kuro.ki.ba)
Alright. 黒 is used for concrete black ideas like 黒板(koku.ban; blackboard) or 暗黒(an.koku; darkness), while also able to represent evil and wickedness in 黒い(kuroi; black, dark, evil) or 白黒(shiro.kuro; white and black, monochrome, good and evil dualism). This is also the kanji used to describe black people in 黒人(koku.jin), although in the past it was read as 黒人(kurou.to) and be a reference to women in the nightlife business, giving the idea of a person who deals within the dark. 玄人(kurou.to) is a variation of this usage, with 玄 also carrying this idea of black, and refers to someone who is an expert in a given area (including, but not limited to prostitutes). Woah, plenty of nice stuff here!
We saw 木 a few times over these few months, including Makoto Kowata from Flying Witch, Deishuu Kaiki from Monogatari series and most recently Futaba Ooki from Amanchu!. In Kurokiba, 木 plays a support role so I won’t go deep on it individually.
場 is one the two staple kanji for the idea of location or place, the other one being 所, forming up a very basic word in Japanese: 場所(ba.sho; place, location). Usually when 場 is featured as the last kanji, the word means a place related to the previous kanji, as in 工場(kou.jou; factory), where 工 means craft or skill; 会場(kai.jou; meeting place, venue for an event), where 会 means meeting; and 売り場(u.ri.ba; place where something is sold), where 売り comes from 売る(u.ru; to sell).
黒木(kuro.ki) itself is the Japanese term for tree logs who were debarked, in other words, who had its layer of bark removed. Then we have 木場(ki.ba) which means lumberyard. When putting these kanji together, 黒木場(kuro.ki.ba) means a lumberyard of debarked trees. There is a nice analogy here on how Alice managed to debark Kirokiba-kun over by continuously defeating him, removing his rough surface and leaving a seemingly calm guy behind.
But here comes the mindblowing part, which is probably just myself thinking too much. 黒木(kuro.ki) means debarked tree, right? Ok. You see, in English, debark has an additional meaning. De-bark. Remove the bark. More specifically, Debarking is a surgical procedure in dogs or cats in order to reduce their barking noise. Woah. Ok.
Hmm! I can’t believe this is just a coincidence. Way too perfect! This is the sort of finding that make me punch the air and say “I’m so glad I started this blog!”. Keep in mind that this double meaning of debarking isn’t present in Japanese, where the same surgery is called 声帯切除手術(sei.tai.setsu.jo.shu.jutsu), in no way related to 黒木(kuro.ki).
Speaking of dogs, Kurokiba can also be written as 黒牙(kuro.kiba; black fang), which could also have been an appropriate name to Ryou-kun.
No other characters named 黒木場(kuro.ki.ba)! Fancy, uh?
Given Name: リョウ(ryou)
Given Kurokiba’s background, it is understandable that he would have a katakana name. The port where he worked was in Denmark and apparently no presence of parents, so we should be even glad that he had a name. Ryou is the reading for a few interesting kanji related to him in a way or another, which I list below:
- 量(quantity, amount, portion when talking about food)
- 料(fee, charge, material). Appears in 料理(ryou.ri; cooking)
- 良(good). In ABCDE grading system, 良 is B, in other words, good, but not the best.
- 漁(fishing, gathering seafood). Kurokiba’s speciality is seafood dishes.
That being said, no main idea here like was the case in Akira, and we got plenty of material from Kurokiba, so we will stick with that only.
- 松永(matsu.naga)涼(ryou) from The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls 2nd Season (2015).
- 町子(machi.ko)リョウ(ryou) from Koufuku Graffiti (2015). Waifu, period.
- 夜明(yo.ake)了(ryou) from ReLIFE (2016).
Let’s review our guests today!
葉山(ha.yama)アキラ(akira), the one whose mind is clear as crystal and stable as a mountain. (Sorry Hayama, this is all I could come up with).
黒木場(kuro.ki.ba)リョウ(ryou), the debarkened dog.
Thanks for your time, hope you enjoyed your reading. Shokugeki no Souma Season 2 keeps the same feeling as Season 1, so if you enjoyed it, be sure to watch it! Reminder that I wrote about Souma, Tadokoro and Erina a few months ago in Shokugeki no Souma – onegai! See you all next weekend!