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 some of the interesting aspects of Samon the Summoner. Get your summoning circles and nice-people sacrifices ready, because you’re going to want to take notes on this one.
While Samon-kun’s name may sound like a tasty fish (don’t lie to yourself, you thought about that too), it is actually written with the kanji for "left" and "gate" and also sounds like the word "summon." While the gate part of his name is probably self-explanatory (hint: he summons demons), the left part has me perplexed. Perhaps the creator used that kanji because in a lot of cultures the left is associated with something unclean or related to the devil. For example, some religions will teach left-handed people to write with their right hand because the left hand is the hand of Satan. Just something to think about—who knows what is really behind this name.
Sakura’s last name, Teshigawara, literally means "field of angels." The angel part of her name is a jab at how everyone says she's so angelic and saintly because of her caring personality. She really is a stark contrast to Samon-kun and his devilish nature.
CHUUNIBYO, or second-year middle school syndrome, is when someone acts in various immature ways in order to stand out. Symptoms include acting like a know-it-all or pretending like they have magical powers. Samon-kun falls into the latter category...except he actually does have special powers! Some people never grow out of this phase. There are definitely a few people I know who are forever stricken with CHUUNIBYO.
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