Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #22, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.

When Love Live! Sunshine!! was first announced I thought it’d hardly surpass the first iteration of the series but oh boy, I’m happy to have been wrong. Of course entering into subjective area here, but so far enjoying the daily struggle of Chika and friends a lot! So much that I decided to cover not only one girl, but all the nine members of Aqours.

This week we will explore 黒澤(kuro.sawa) ルビィ(rubii), 国木田(kuni.ki.da) 花丸(hana.maru) and 津島(tsu.shima) 善子(yoshi.ko), the adorable 一年生達(ichi.nen.sei.tachi; first year students) trio of Love Live! Sunshine!!, a school Idol anime currently airing in Summer 2016. According to Yoshiko Yohane, it is recommended to have watched up to Episode 10 to avoid becoming a little demon affected by cursed spoilers.

Ruby Kurosawa

黒澤 ルビイ


黒澤(kuro.sawa) ルビィ(rubii), arguably the cutest member of Aqours and also the youngest girl, Yoshiko Yohane being roughly two months older than her. She is very shy and displays many characteristics of her being the daughter of a rich, well known family. At first held back by her older sister, Dia, now she is fully dedicated to winning Love Live! contest! Alright Ruby-chan, お名前は?

Family Name: 黒澤(kuro.sawa)


Hmm. Hard to link Black Swamp to Ruby-chan. This is her family name though, so when you think about how the previous Aqours failure (thanks Kanan) influenced both Dia and Ruby into a dark, murky swamp away from their dreams to become idols… ah, this is way too much stretching. 澤 is a very uncommon kanji if you put names aside, although it is not a name exclusive kanji, as it appears as alternative for the much more popular character, 沢, which is present in daily life words like 沢山(taku.san; a lot, enough) and 贅沢(zei.taku; luxury, extravagance). One possible take in 澤 could be deconstructing it in three parts: 氵(water), 目 (eye) and 幸 (happiness, blessing), where we could also stretch it to some fancy meaning of tears of joy, but I don’t think this is the case here. Further investigation brought up that back in China, this kanji could also mean grace or blessing.

This family name might not suit Ruby, but I’m sure it will be useful when we talk about her sister in a future post.

Others 黒澤(kuro.sawa):


Note that only the first one uses the unusual kanji that happens to be used here for Ruby and Dia. 澤 appears in the name of some revelant people in Anime industry like 亜李(a.ri) 小澤(o.zawa), 澤野(sawa.no) 弘之(hiro.yuki) and 花澤(hana.zawa) 香菜(ka.na).

Given Name: ルビイ(Ruby)

Only obvious stuff to be stated here. This idea of naming your kids after precious stones isn’t very weird to me, to be honest. Once we talk about Dia, we will look through other characters who share the same fate. On top of my head I can remember of recent case in Sapphire from Hibike! Euphonium, which I only brought up now to say: SEASON 2 HYPE!

Moving on!

Hanamaru Kunikida

国木田 花丸


国木田(kuni.ki.da) 花丸(hana.maru) is your classic countryside girl, featuring a strong dialect from 信越地方(shin.etsu.chi.hou; Shin’etsu region) whose main cities nowadays are Nagano and Niigata. As Hanamaru made sure you noticed throughout the series so far, she ends her sentences with ずら(zura) and also uses 己(ora) for the personal pronoun I / me. This last point might go unnoticed because both Hanamaru and Ruby frequently refers to themselves as third person. She loves books and was raised as a temple girl, away from technology, which often leaves her outdated to resources of current society, like the Internet.

Family Name: 国木田(kuni.ki.da)


国木田(kuni.ki.da) is relevant to her countryside aspect. 国 is always related to country, appearing in words like 国境(kok.kyou; national border) and 国民(koku.min; nationality, citizen). This then leaves the rest of the word to describe what kind of country we are talking about, right? And in this case they are kanji previously explored here in [Onamae wa?]. Both 木 and 田 are direct references to a less urbanized area. Worth to point out that 信越地方(shin.etsu.chi.hou) is notoriously famous for rice production. Upon seeing this I tried to link the fact that Hanamaru was influenced by Rin (from μ’s) to this whole rice thing, but the one who actually loved white rice was Hanayo-chan. So close!

Others 国木田(kuni.ki.da):



Given Name: 花丸(hana.maru)


花丸(hana.maru) literally means flower circle or round flower. In Japan, this is the equivalent to the Gold Star awarded to kids for good work at school. 花(hana) means flower and appear in related words like 花瓶(ka.bin; flower vase) and 生け花(i.ke.bana; flower arrangement). 丸(maru) gives the general idea of roundness or perfection. It is a very important suffix in Japanese naming, used for swords (Touken Ranbu HYPE), ships, armor, musical instruments, pets and many others. 丸々(maru.maru) can be used to describe wholeness, but also to say that someone is chubby, which was how Hanamaru used to view herself.

Others 花丸(hana.maru):

  • はなまる(hanamaru) from Hanamaru Youchien (2010)
  • Hanamaru is the Family name of the household featured in the adult visual novel Ane to Boin (2004). ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Yoshiko Tsushima

津島 善子


津島(tsu.shima) 善子(yoshi.ko) is our glorious, beloved and perfect fallen angel. Alright, enough bias. Yoshiko, or how she usually calls herself, ヨハネ(yohane), is also a first-year student. She attended the same kindergarten as Hanamaru-chan. The Japanese term for a person who holds delusions of grandeur is 中二病(chuu.ni.byou; literally Syndrome of the Second Year of Middle-School, because apparently this is when this kind of behavior often happens). お名前は?

Family Name: 津島(tsu.shima)


津島(tsu.shima) literally means an island with a port, which also happens to be the name of city in Japan that doesn’t have a port, nor is a island, which is an interesting contrasting aspect that reflects well into someone with delusions. 津 appear in words like 津波(tsu.nami) and this curious expression 興味津々(kyou.mi.shin.shin; used to say that something is very interesting). 島 appears in 島(shima; island) and 半島(han.tou; peninsula). 島(shima) can also be used to describe the territory of a gang or prostitute, for example.

Another 津島(tsu.shima) plus two 対馬(tsu.shima), a much more common way to write this name, although with different meanings:


Given Name: 善子(yoshi.ko)


HAH! What a glorious name. 善子(yoshi.ko) literally means virtuous child, carrying here the wishes of her parents for a good kid. Little they knew, for her little girl was actually a fallen angel. Or so she believes. Anyway, 善 appears in words like 善い行い(yoi.okonai; good deed) and 善良(zen.ryou; goodness, excellence). We saw 子 a few times here in our blog, including Futaba, Youko and Teru – onamae wa? and more recently Hikari Kohinata and Futaba Ooki – onamae wa?.

The amazing thing is that her alias, ヨハネ(yohane; if you are into Bible, this is how Apostle John is written in Japanese, which makes for a terrific name for chuunibyou purposes), can also be written in a very similar way as 善子(yoshi.ko), although in the Official Website it is shown only as ヨハネ. Basically, you pick 善子, adds a 羽(ha; feather, wing) between those two kanji and ta-da! 善羽子 can be read as Yohane. Yup. This is incredible because it fits perfectly into the black feather concept shown over the series!

There are multiple ways to write Yoshiko, but couldn’t find any other with this writing as far as Anime characters go.

Wrapping up!


Names here have more trivia then a deep meaning, so I see no reason in pointing out an specific concept to each of them. Still plenty of interesting findings!

Thanks for your time, hope you enjoyed your reading. Next week we will cover the second-year students, Chika, You and Riko. See you all then!