Nihongo Lesson 03/02/18

The devil is in the details of this intricate manga!

By John Bae March 02, 2018

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Welcome to the Nihongo Lesson feature. We strive to give you useful manga-based Japanese language tips and maybe even a glimpse into the translation process. This week’s lesson will focus on The Promised Neverland. This series keeps getting better and better with every new chapter. If you thought things would slow down after the children escaped the orphanage, you were dead wrong. The Goldy Pond arc has been a roller coaster of emotion, and the battle against the demons is only just beginning!

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KAIBUTSU means “monster.” This is a common word, but it’s being featured here because of an interesting thing The Promised Neverland does with the name of the antagonists of the series. The bad guys are called different things based on who is describing them! Emma and her friends call them ONI or “demons.” Sometimes they are called “man-eaters” or just “them.” And the kids at Goldy Pond call them KAIBUTSU. Small touches like this really make the world of The Promised Neverland feel real.

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YOWAKUNAI means “not weak,” as in “I’m not weak.” Chapter 75 shows Emma trying to cheer up the frightened Theo. He’s just seen his family slaughtered by the demons and has lost all hope. But Emma tells him about the strength of humanity and how they will not give up no matter how bad things get. The speech ends with “Humans are not weak!” and Theo seems to get the message. Will this character be significant in defeating the demons in the upcoming battle?

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