Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #33, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
I expected this show to not be on a lot of watch lists for Fall 2016 for a few reasons, including it being made in full 3D CGI. Still, it is a story that entertained me a lot on Season 1 and even more now on its sequel, but if this is not your cup of tea, forgive me.
Our main guest today is 下村(shimo.mura) 泉(izumi), a supporting character in Ajin, a supernatural show having its second season currently airing on Fall 2016. Due to the contents of this post, it is recommended to have watched up to Episode 8 of this show to avoid being spoiled to death. Forever. In a laboratory.
下村(shimo.mura) 泉(izumi) is Tosaki’s bodyguard. Until S2E6 we didn’t know much about her past, only being able to tell that she was extremely loyal to Tosaki and that it wasn’t just because he knew she was an Ajin. Let’s start checking this name before we go any further. お名前は？
Family Name: 下村(shimo.mura)
下村(shimo.mura) is fairly common family name in Japan, being among the top 400 most used (out of over 100.000). As we have seen plenty of times here over the [Onamae wa?] series, it follows a recurring structure of describing the vicinity of a settlement. There are some reading variants like Shitamura or Shiyukira but Shimomura vastly outnumbers them.
下 is a very basic kanji used to describe both abstract and concrete ideas of lower, inferior, below. Some words include 目下(me.ka) and 下位(ka.i), both words for subordinate and also in 上下(jou.ge; ruler and ruled relationship), all easily related to Izumi-kun. This last one also coincidentally ties well to Tosaki’s first name, 優(yuu), kanji that can be used to describe something that is superior, further linking the inferior and superior relationship between these two.
We saw 村 a few times on this blog, but only briefly. There isn’t much to be said though. Funnily enough, last appearance of it was two weeks ago in [Onamae wa? #31], 村上(mura.kami) from Stella no Mahou. Pretty close, uh?
When put together, 下村(shimo.mura) indicates a village below something and it is alluded that it was most likely originally used for villages at the base of mountains. A more abstract idea would be to denote an inferior class or even inferior family, as it seemed to be the case of Izumi-kun considering her background in an environment full of problems, both financial and emotional ones.
- 下村(shimo.mura) from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (2011)
- 下村(shimo.mura) 雅子(masa.ko) from Majimoji Rurumo (2014)
Given Name: 泉(izumi)
泉(izumi) is present in many Japanese given names, appearing by itself as Izumi or coupled with others. The idea of being a fountain of many talents seems to be the main direction when doing babies planned naming.
泉 appears in glorious 温泉(on.sen; hot spring), 間欠泉(kan.ketsu.sen; geyser) and of course by itself as 泉(izumi; fountain, spring). No idea on how to tie this to Shimomura-kun, though… thinking again, this isn’t exactly her name, right?
There are a lot of characters named Izumi in Anime. Found these three just from Fall 2016:
- 泉(izumi) 鏡花(kyou.ka) from Bungou Stray Dogs 2nd Season (2016)
- 和泉(izumi) 公平(kou.hei) from Occultic;Nine (2016)
- 和泉(izumi) 隼人(haya.to) from Okusama ga Seitokaichou!+! (2016)
田井中(ta.i.naka) 陽子(you.ko) is Shimomura-kun original name. Hmm. Kinda. I’d judge her original name was actually Shimomura Youko, as her birth father last name was Shimomura, dropping it for 田井中(tai.na.ka) as her stepfather was named 田井中(ta.i.naka)聡(satoshi), which by the way is also the name of Ritsu’s young brother in K-on!.
Once Tosaki took her in as his bodyguard, he required her to get a new name and she decided to pick Shimomura plus her mother’s maiden name, Izumi. But what about her former name?
田井中(tai.na.ka) once again brings the same recurring formula from 下村(shimo.mura), describing a community centered on a rice field, for example. Nothing releavant here.
陽子(you.ko) literally reads as child of sunshine, heavenly child, positive child. Quite beautiful, despite it not turning out very well considering the time Shimomura was still known as Youko. It can also be read as 陽子(you.shi), which means Proton. Although I’d love to see her being the new Iron Man, I think this is might be a bit hard. Proton Ajin does sound like something Marvel related though, honestly!
Anyway, back to Shimomura-kun, a heavenly child who was broken by fate. Attempted suicide, attempted rape, prostitution, DST, death. She was then reborn twice. Once for being an Ajin, but also because Tosaki gave her a new life. The heavenly kid was dead but it wasn’t the end.
Let’s review our guest today!
下村(shimo.mura) 泉(izumi), the formerly heavenly child who dropped her stained past to become a spring of hope as a subordinate to her savior.
Thanks all for your time, hope you enjoyed your reading. Tosaki isn’t exactly a saint, but well, he has his reasons and the car scene on Episode 8 was something not only Shimomura had been unconsciously waiting, but all of us. Not many findings today, although the Superior-Inferior relationship is the most important point about these two and well, this was covered sufficiently. See you all next weekend!