Hello, Kyra here! This is Onamae wa? #63, our weekly (maybe not anymore?) encounter where we pick Anime character’s names and look for anything interesting in them.
Shall we gamble?
Our guest today is 蛇喰(jabami) 夢子(yume.ko), main protagonist of 賭ケグルイ (Kakegurui), an Anime that is currently airing on Summer 2017. This post considers the events up to Episode 6, so I bet you want to watch those before proceeding to avoid spoilers.
The absolute madwoman. There is no better way to describe Yumeko. The title 賭ケグルイ(kakegurui) comes from 賭ける(ka.keru; to gamble) and 狂う(kuru.u; to go mad, insane), creating a term that beautifully describes every single aspect of this setting. As soon as of Episode 1, Mary says that Yumeko is insane for her recklessness in gambling, to which our awesome protagonist replies: だから良いのではないですか？(isn’t that what makes it good?) and ending her speech with the glorious verb 賭けぐるう(ka.keguruu) by saying: 賭けぐるいましょう？(Shall we gamble in an insane way?). It does sound odd, so it would make sense to see the subtitles being only ‘Shall we gamble?’, as it happened in some fanmade subs. Let’s check her name out!
Family Name: 蛇喰(jabami)
Can you believe that this surname actually exists? It is extremely rare, nowadays occupying the 80.889th position among Family Names in Japan, with only around 10 bearers (Source). I also ran it a list of ‘100 hundred amazing surnames that actually exist in Japan’ that had 蛇喰(jabami) among them. The list included some weird surnames like 大尻(oo.jiri; lit. big ass) and 男女島(o.me.jima; lit. man and woman in an island?), but honestly, while 蛇喰(jabami) may be weird, it is definitely a badass name. Sorry Oojiri.
蛇 is mostly known for 蛇(hebi; snake). A very common word is 蛇口(ja.guchi; faucet, tap). Here are two interesting expressions in Japanese featuring 蛇(hebi):
- 鬼が出るか蛇が出るか(oni ga deru ka hebi ga deru ka; lit. a demon might come out or a snake might come out), meaning ‘you never know what might happen’.
- 藪蛇(yabu.hebi; lit. snake in a bush), meaning ‘unnecessary trouble brought upon oneself’. We have actually seen this one back on [Onamae wa? #44].
Hmm. ‘You never know what might happen’ and ‘Unnecessary trouble brought upon oneself’. Coincidence or not, these two play absurdly well into our protagonist, all that gambling and ‘unnecessary’ risk.
As for 喰, it is mostly used to indicate a more rustic approach to the act of eating, which normally uses 食 as its main kanji (you can even notice the similarity). So you have 食う(ku.u; to eat) and 喰う(ku.u; to eat but W I L D L Y. In some cases devour might be appropriate). This may sound farfetched, but we can also link this to how Yumeko gamble deviates from normal rules and feels closer to a wild pleasure than a simple game.
Thus we have 蛇喰(jabami), a Snake-Eater… Snake-Drinker? This does remind me of 蛇酒(habu.shu; Snake Liquor), a traditional liquor made in Okinawa that is characteristic by having a real snake being put inside the bottle (You can read more here). According to Myoji-yurai this surname isn’t related to Okinawa, so this is just a trivia. Think the main idea would be Snake-Eater indeed, probably in a way to denote how “ferocious” your family is for going after snakes. Nadeko disapproves.
No others 蛇喰(jabami) in Anime!
Given Name: 夢子(yumeko)
In contrast to her Surname, 夢子(yume.ko) seems a fairly common name, featuring simple kanji and a very straightforward meaning.
夢 is mostly known for 夢(yume; dream). 夢中(muchuu; daze, to be in a trance, delerium) might be a better way to relate this kanji to our insane protagonist. An interesting expression that fits well into the gamble idea is 一攫千金を夢見る (ikkakusenkin wo yumemiru; to dream of making a fortune at one stroke).
子 appears on our blog so often that I’d bet (HAH) it is the most common around here.
夢子(yume.ko), a dreaming child. Or even a child so perfect that seemed to be drawn directly from a dream. The nice point here is that this a very fitting name for a composed and highly polite girl, you know, exactly as our Yumeko is most of the time. And to be honest, I would wager (HAH) anything to have her be my dream girl. I bet (HAH) you didn’t see this one coming! Ok, time to stop. While this may seem like a very cute and perfect name for a baby, some people argue (I have seen this in many different places, but you can see some comments on this link) that the fleeting characteristic of a dream makes 夢子(yume.ko) a name that might draw a premature end to the child’s life. Woah. Considering that this post was written as of Episode 6, this could very much be the case!
Others 夢子(yume.ko) in Anime:
- 立花(tachi.bana) 夢子(yume.ko) from Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! (Summer 2016)
- 神宮寺(jin.guu.ji) 夢子(yume.ko) from Maple Colors (Winter 2005)
- 花乃小路(hana.no.ko.ji) 夢子(yume.ko) from Kekkaishi (Fall 2006)
Uh… surprisingly low number of characters named 夢子(yume.ko). At least I personally had thought that it would be a favorite of fiction authors.
蛇喰(jabami) 夢子(yume.ko), a girl who at first glance came straight from your purest dream, but wouldn’t hesitate to eat even a snake in order to fulfill her passion for gambling.
Thanks for your time, hope you guys enjoyed your reading. I loved this show since Episode 1 and it only got better since then. Make sure to give it a try! See you all next weekend…
Oh, right. Some of you might have noticed that I went three weeks without posting anything. I am still not sure on whether I’ll keep this as a weekly series or just write whenever I have time and disposition. Thanks again and hopefully see you all on next post!