Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #50, our weekly encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
What a lighthearted girl.
Our guest today is 麗日(uraraka) お茶子(o.cha.ko), female protagonist of Boku no Hero Academia, a super-hero themed Anime that had its first season aired on Spring 2016 and now returns, one year later, for its second one. Nothing much to spoil here I guess.
As some of you might be aware I’m currently traveling around Japan, which turned out to be way more tiring than expected. Last week I attended Anime Japan 2017, but gave up on writing about it here due to lack of time. On the other hand, three weeks away from posting isn’t a very nice thing to do, so I decided to pick a very light name to explore here today. And you can’t get lighter than Ochako!
I wish I had some pics from Season 1 here. I loved Ochako since the beginning and it was nice to see she getting some development (albeit small) right off the bat on Episode 1 of Season 2. Let’s jump straight into her name!
Family Name: 麗日(uraraka)
麗日(uraraka) is a very accurate name for our guest, as pointed out by Mina-chan on Season 2 Episode 1, upon seeing Ochako acting out of her usual character.
麗 is present in a variety of words that overall depict beauty such as 麗しい(uruwa.shii; lovely) and 綺麗(ki.rei; beautiful). One of them is the actual source of the play around this name: 麗らか(ura.raka; beautiful, bright, glorious).
What about 日? In this case it is playing the role of 日(hi/nichi; day/Sun). Although not common, it can also be read as ‘ka’, which happens to accomodate well for this case.
Putting both together we get 麗日(uraraka), a beautiful day, a bright day. Given Ochako personality, it would probably be better to associate her energetic and positive mood to something as bright as the Sun itself. On a more specific note, the usual reading for this word is 麗日(rei.jitsu), carrying out the same meaning, which in full explicit Japanese would be something akin to 麗らかな日(urarakana hi; that extra ‘na’ being characteristic of one kind of adjectives in this language). 麗日(rei.jitsu) may also refer especifically to a marvelous spring day.
The initial お(o) is just denoting a degree of politeness or attributing a refined value to the target. This is sometimes written as 御(o), although very rarely nowadays.
茶 is the kanji for tea, present in words ranging from the traditional 茶道(sa.dou; Tea Ceremony, a Japanese art) and the contemporary まんが喫茶(manga.kis.sa; coffee shop with a manga library and internet access). It is also present in the color 茶色(cha.iro; light brown), which coincidentally is the color of Ochako’s hair and eyes, a parallel to how Deku’s Family Name has 緑(midori; green) on it and that is also the color of his hair and eyes.
子 has been seen so many times around this blog that you are almost obligated to understand its basic concept.
お茶子(o.cha.ko) thus would mean uh… the tea girl? The girl in brown? Maybe. The word お茶子(o.cha.ko) itself has a very specific meaning, namely the female ushers at traditional theatrical events in Kansai region. I didn’t know what was an ‘usher’ and Google Images gave me pictures of some random dude so here is a quick explanation. Usher is the person who leads a guest or customer to their seat or table. I would really love to link this to her Quirk but I couldn’t really think of a direct way. (I’m rather sleepy at the moment, sorry. You could even say I’m lightheaded. Hah). Either way the ‘brown’ concept is pretty clear here!
麗日(uraraka) お茶子(o.cha.ko), the brown-haired girl who is as bright as a marvelous spring day.
Thanks for your time, hope you enjoyed your reading. Boku no Hero Academia Season 1 was very well received and it is among the most anticipated shows for Spring 2017. If you haven’t watched S1 yet, this downtime between Seasons is a great opportunity. Reminder that I covered Deku’s name one year ago, in [Onamae wa #6]. See you all next weekend!