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Japanese names of characters from “One-Punch Man”

Japanese names of characters from “One-Punch Man”
Japanese names of characters from “One-Punch Man”

Image by: One Punch Man official website ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc

What is the story?

One-Punch Man, a manga series written by ONE and illustrated by Yusuke Murata. As the title of this wonderful series hints, the story follows a young man named Saitama who can beat his foes in a single punch. Saitama started by doing Hero work as a hobby but barely made it out alive after each battle. Wishing for more strength he trained like crazy and ended up training so hard that all his hair had fallen out and he had gotten inhuman strength. However, along with his super strength came overwhelming boredom. To get rid of the dullness, Saitama decides to join the Hero Association to find a worthy opponent and to get his name out into the world. Not long after, the world suffers from an alien invasion. It took almost all the S class heroes to defeat a mere alien while it only took Saitama to take out the whole ship as well as the boss. How strong is Saitama? And how much stronger can he get? Those are the questions the Heroes and Saitama ask themselves.

Image by: One Punch Man official website ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc, Hero association

What is the Japanese title of One-Punch Man?

The Japanese title of ‘One-Punch Man’ is ‘ワンパンマン, Wanpanman’. ‘Wanpanman’ is the shortened version of the English title. It is simplified because Japanese people like to shorten words to make it more catchy and they usually become trends. Some examples of simplified anime titles are:

Pocket Monsters: ‘Poketto Monsutā'(ポケットモンスター) = ‘Pokémon'(ポケモン)

The Prince of Tennis: ‘Tenisu no Oujisama'(テニスの王子様) = ‘Tenipuri'(テニプリ)

Slam Dunk: ‘Suramu Danku'(スラムダンク) = ‘Suradan'(スラダン)

Image by: One Punch Man official website ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc

What are the meanings behind the characters’ names?

In Japanese culture, names have significant meanings that are supposed to represent you as a person. Names can be expressed in hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Let’s find out the meanings of some names of characters in One-Punch Man.

Saitama (サイタマ, Saitama)

Image by: One Punch Man Season 2 opening ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc, Hero association

First, let’s start with the strongest hero alive, Saitama. Despite being able to defeat the strongest of enemies in one punch, people don’t recognize him as a hero because of his dull looks and unattractive bald head. People also think that Saitama is not strong but the enemy is weak because he can take them out in a single punch. Saitama(埼玉) is a prefecture of Japan located just North of Tokyo.

Genos (ジェノス, Jenosu)

Image by: One Punch Man Season 2 opening ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc, Hero association

Now let’s look into Saitama’s loyal disciple, Genos. After losing his family to a cyborg, Genos decided to become one to get revenge for his family. However, Genos knows nothing about the cyborg except that he is very strong so Genos trains to get stronger by defeating monsters and learning from his master Saitama. His name is written in Katakana so it is hard to tell the meaning.

Sonic (音速のソニック, Onsoku no Sonikku)

Image by: One Punch Man Season 2 opening ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc, Hero association

Last but not least the speedy Sonic. Sonic, whose speed had never been matched, was stunned to be beaten by Saitama multiple times. After his utter defeats, Sonic trained harder than before to beat Saitama and even went as far as eating a monster cell hoping to gain super-power. However, Sonic did not turn into a monster but suffered from tummy aches. ‘Onsoku’(音速) is the speed of sound and ‘Sonic’(ソニック) is written in Katakana because it is an English word that means the speed of sound.

Interesting lines and phrases – Learning Japanese!

Here are some useful phrases from One-Punch Man that will help you along with your Japanese studies!

Image by: One Punch Man comic 1 Ep 1 ©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘Someone who’s a hero for fun.’
JP/「趣味でShumi deヒーローをHīrōwo  やっているYatteiru 者だMonoda  」

Do you have a hobby? Well, Saitama does and it’s being a hero! ‘Shumi'(趣味) is a hobby or interest but if you add a ‘De'(で) after it, it means you are doing something ‘For a hobby’, and ‘Hirō'(ヒーロー) is an English word so it is written in katakana. ‘Yatteiru'(やっている) is doing, ‘Mono'(者) is a person.


Image by: One Punch Man comic 1 Ep 1©ONE, Yusuke Murata/ Shueisha Inc

EN/ ‘Then indeed I must…wipe humankind from existence!’
JP/「やはりYahari  人間Ningen根絶やしにNedayashi ni するほかSuruhoka  ないようだNaiyouda 」

 

‘Yahari’(やはり) means indeed, ‘Ningen’(人間) is human, ‘Nedayashi’(根絶やし) means to wipe out, ‘Suruhoka nai’(するほかない) means no choice. Even monsters like this one, stand no chance against the mighty Saitama!

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