Atsuko Kagari – onamae wa?

Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #42, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.

You have just been Trigger’d.

Our guest today is カガリ(kagari) アツコ(atsuko), best known as アッコ(akko), main protagonist of Little Witch Academia, an adventure comedy Anime currently airing in Winter 2017. Nothing much to spoil here.

カガリ(kagari) アツコ(atsuko)

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The last time we explored a full katakana name was in [Onamae wa? #4], when we checked many options for Subaru, protagonist of Re:Zero.

This time there is a very clear combination that not only plays Family and Given names together, but also depict many traits of our guest character. And while, as always, this might not have been the original intention of the author, I’ll mainly analyze my proposed kanji, while taking glances at other possible variations.


Family Name: カガリ(kagari) / 篝(kagari)

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As expected for a three-syllable name, there is an incredible amount of possible kanji combinations for Kagari, ranging from 香賀梨(ka.ga.ri; lit. a fruit that bears a good smell and brings happiness) to 花香里(ka.ga.ri; a field of nice scent flowers). We won’t go that way though. The reading Kagari by itself would be more closely related to Fire, as in 篝火(kagari.bi), those iron basket torches you probably have seen in games or Anime, while also bringing up kanjis like 烘(idea of baking, roasting), 燎(idea of burn, bonfire) and 尞(idea of fuel for sacrifices). As 火(hi; fire) can also be read as Ka, you could also go with something like 火火(kaga)+ any kanji with Ri reading to create some clear reference to the fiery element.

This association with Fire draws into Akko impulsive and carefree character, much often leading to trouble. While it is personally annoying to me, this burning flame inside her is what makes her distinct and the story leads us to cheer for this (apparently) failure as a witch as she pursues this mystical path.

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This shot is actually from the Movie, not from the show itself.

Others カガリ(kagari):

  • 篝(kagari) from Naruto series (Fall 2002)
  • 篝(kagari) from Rewrite (Summer 2016)
  • 火々里(ka.ga.ri) 綾火(aya.ka) from Witch Craft Works (Winter 2014)

Ah, a fellow witch! Even if you haven’t watched/read Witch Craft Works, just by looking at Ayaka-chan’s name you can really tell what she is good at. 々 is symbol mostly used to denote repetition of the previous kanji, which makes her name being 火火里(ka.ga.ri) 綾火(aya.ka), something like fiery patterns over a village covered in flames. You can’t get hotter than this!


Given Name: アツコ(atsuko) / 熱子(atsu.ko)

Once again we a three-syllable name. Here are a few interesting ones that could tie well into Akko:

  • 敦子(atsu.ko; kindhearted and honest child).
  • 淳子(atsu.ko; pure child). Here bringing the idea of someone rustic, as in not sophisticated, tieing into her lack of natural talent for magic;
  • 純子(atsu.ko; pure child). Here the focus is rather her mix of naivety & genuinity.
  • 睦子(atsu.ko; a child who is quick to get friendly with others). In other words Akko™
  • 篤子(atsu.ko; a fervent, deliberate child). This was also the name of a princess and and Empress Consort of Japan, although in that case read as 篤子(toku.shi).

As you can see, all of these could be satisfying choices for Akko-chan. But my personal pick is the one below.

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熱 is a very common kanji, present in words like 熱心(nes.shin; zeal, enthusiasm), a perfect fit for Akko and her infatuation with Chariot, though maybe a better word would be 熱狂(nek.kyou; fanatiscm). Perhaps in everyday life the most recurring vocabulary would be 熱い(atsu.i), an adjective depicting something hot, ranging from describing its temperature, to feelings, enthusiasm or severity.

There are two other kanji that also dips into this hot idea and could potentially appear here. First would be 暑子(atsu.ko), but while clearly depicting heat, it doesn’t bring the abstract idea of passion that is an inherent part of Akko’s character. Second one is 温子(atsu.ko), but here the main idea isn’t something hot, but rather warm and gentle, traits which don’t really fit our girl here.

Thus 熱子(atsu.ko) is a name that brings a lot of the above other mentioned options, while also matching well her proposed surname involving Fire.

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Oh, almost forgot. Her nickname is a very interesting one. It is rather natural for Westerners to reduce Atsuko into Akko, but you have to check it in Japanese to really admire its aesthetic perfection! アツコ(atsuko) is transformed into アッコ(akko), the only difference being the slightly smaller size of the character ツ. Feels like magic, doesn’t it?

Others アツコ(atsuko):

  • 浦飯(ura.meshi) 温子(atsu.ko) from Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho (Fall 1992).
  • 千葉(chi.ba) 敦子(atsu.ko) from Paprika (Movie, 2006)
  • 吉田(yoshi.da) 敦子(atsu.ko) from Keijo!!!!!!!! (Fall 2016)

Wrapping up!

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This one is also from the movie!

カガリ(kagari) アツコ(atsuko), a rustic and genuine child who is driven by her fiery passion for magic and Chariot. Stay away if you don’t want trouble!

edsamac is covering this show in his weekly reviews. You can check Week 3 here.

Aldael is also covering it, you can check his Week 3 here.

While some praise LWA over the top, others are not a big fan of it. You can check such point of view on this post from Lethargic Ramblings.

Really nice writing on it in the post “YOU’RE A WITCH, AKKO.” — LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA AND THE MUNDANE from Emily.

Thanks for your time, hope you enjoyed your reading. This is a rather entertaining show, though I don’t think it is as good as I often hear (I did impulsively tweet this after First Episode, so I might just be acting tsundere now). I sometimes get annoyed by characters like Akko as her entire lack of responsibility is only funny because there are usually no severe consequences. Alright, alright, I’m being grumpy right now, sorry Akko. Please keep being the great moodmaker you are. If you haven’t yet, give Little Witch Academia a try, it might resound with you. See you all next weekend!

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10 thoughts on “Atsuko Kagari – onamae wa?

  1. Wow, this was a very interesting and entertaining post. Really enjoyed it!

    And thank you for the mention and for linking my post at the end. I won’t be watching the show weekly, but I’ll be looking to marathon it once it’s finished. Hopefully it’ll pick up a bit more as it goes on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there!

      I ran into your blog while compiling info for this post and your arguments were really resounding, so I picked it to showcase a different point of view on LWA. Good work.

      Thanks for dropping by, glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Kyra!
    Very enjoyable reading (and at first I somehow managed to read “beacon basket” as “bacon basket”. Oh well…)! A good point that Akko is getting away from being over-annoying only by sheer luck. Some hard lesson for her would be appreciated.
    And thanks for the mention!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Kyra!

    You did a great job thinking up possible kanji for Atsuko. Katakana names sure stand out…

    Atsuko -> Akko really is like magic, wow! Amazing!

    I’ve only watched the OVA, but it seems like I’m missing out. Great job marketing, wahaha. And great posts as usual.

    Sorry I’m a bit late.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Remy!

      I really enjoyed researching this one as well, mainly her Given Name. So many fitting possibilities!

      It is a show very different from the usual Anime, at least the ones I’m used to watch. Worst case scenario you get plenty of Akko meme faces!

      Thanks as always!

      Liked by 1 person

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