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Archive for the ‘Yojijukugo Series’ Category


Kanji:         有頂天外
Hiragana:         うちょうてんがい
Romaji:         u – chou – ten – gai
Literally:         exist – summit – heavens – beyond
Meaning:         In seventh heaven, in perfect bliss


Tears of joy, author unknown


This week brings us the singer/wrestler/baseball player and, hopefully, happy wife Yui from Angel Beats. Having gone through a life with more than her fair share of suffering, Yui gets the chance to catch up on everything she missed out on after she joins the Afterlife Battlefront. Her varied and colorful endeavors are a sight to behold, and Yui’s never-ending optimism and inexhaustible energy keep up the spirits of her battlefront comrades.

But like all other members of the battlefront, Yui received this ‘opportunity’ because of a darkness she couldn’t overcome while alive. Even as she smiles brightly, there’s no way she can shake off the ultimate doubt constricting her heart.

At least, not alone. But with the help of somebody who truly loves her, somebody who can accept her fully even if she can give him nothing back, Yui can break through the last of her fears and regrets. Through a symbolic promise of marriage, which she calls “a girl’s ultimate happiness”, Yui is freed of her horrible burden and granted the happiest moment of her life.

Incidentally, Yui’s happiness allows her to move on within the cycle of death and rebirth. Although the afterlife that gives everyone another shot at happiness might be exclusive to the Angel Beats franchise, people of all cultures have always associated the heavens with ultimate joy. The seventh heaven, a Muslim and Jewish concept, is one possible translation of the yojijukugo that originally refers to the highest heaven in Buddhist theology.

We are used to cheerful characters in our anime, but picking just one moment of genuine and ultimate happiness can be quite difficult. Is your favorite moment one where laughter mixes with tears, like in Yui’s case, or is it something else entirely?





Yojijukugo are four-kanji idioms representing some of the most important ideas and concepts in the Japanese language.

In this weekly series, I see how those ideas are represented in the anime world, and invite readers to share their own examples of series, characters and scenes best illustrating those concepts.

For other posts in this series, look for the Yojijukugo Series under the Category section on the right.

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Kanji:         異口同音
Hiragana:         いくどうおん
Romaji:         i – ku – dou – on
Literally:         different – mouth – same – sound
Meaning:         Different people sharing the same opinion.




Featured this week is To Aru Kagaku no Railgun’s AIM Burst. A monster created from a network of ten thousand human brains, the AIM Burst is a menace to the entire city, boasting a multitude of powerful offensive abilities and possibly infinite regenerative powers. However, the true nature of the creature is the amalgamation of the emotions of the ten thousand children hooked up to the network.

The brains absorbed into the network all belong to students of Academy City. They are boys and girls of various ages, personalities and dreams, most of whom have never met each other in their daily lives. However, all of them are connected through the pain and frustration of failure in their struggle against the “absolute wall called talent”. Those who wanted to be acknowledged, those who wanted to meet the expectations placed upon them, those who wanted to be of use to others but found themselves powerless… all of their anguish is contained within AIM Burst’s shrieks.

Of course, more uplifting examples of the idea are sure to be found within the varied world of anime. A great leader uniting the entire nation to fight against an evil, a peace-maker helping a conflicted group strive for a common goal, or maybe a pair of sworn enemies gaining mutual understanding, what characters and scenes does this week’s yojijukugo remind you of?




Yojijukugo are four-kanji idioms representing some of the most important ideas and concepts in the Japanese language.

In this weekly series, I see how those ideas are represented in the anime world, and invite readers to share their own examples of series, characters and scenes best illustrating those concepts.

For other posts in this series, look for the Yojijukugo Series under the Category section on the right.

Read Full Post »


Kanji:        合縁奇縁
Hiragana:        あいえんきえ
Romaji:        ai – en – ki – en
Literally:        fit – bond – strange – bond
Meaning:        The mysterious bonds between people.




This weeks’ yojijukugo goes to the relationship between Okazaki Tomoya and his daughter, Okazaki Ushio, both of Clannad After Story fame. Few bonds are as strong as what exists between a parent and a child, but these two know no equals. Even after death, father and daughter are unknowingly reunited in an alternate reality, where the young girl creates a vessel for her father’s wandering soul… from garbage and scrap metal on hand.

The illusionary world they meet in is itself a repository for the happiness of the people Tomoya helped in his original life. His daughter, master of this new world, will eventually use the power contained in those orbs and overcome the boundaries of time, space and dimensions to save the original Okazaki family from an impending tragedy.

Another use of the yojijukugo, other than to describe the general mystery of what connects us to each other, is to point to strange couples united through extraordinary circumstances. Romance fans certainly suffer no shortage of examples of couples who seemed doomed to fail at first glance, only to be united through a strange twist of fate.

Be it unique relationships or one-of-a-kind couples, what characters does this week’s yojijukugo bring to your mind?




Yojijukugo are four-kanji idioms representing some of the most important ideas and concepts in the Japanese language.

In this weekly series, I see how those ideas are represented in the anime world, and invite readers to share their own examples of series, characters and scenes best illustrating those concepts.

For other posts in this series, look for the Yojijukugo Series under the Category section on the right.

Read Full Post »



Kanji:            不撓不屈

Hiragana:     ふとうふくつ

Romaji:         fu – tou – fu – kutsu

Literally:      never – bend – never – yield

Meaning:      Indomitable, unbroken regardless of the hardship encountered.



Akemi Homura, representing Puella Magi Madoka Magica, is the one to open the yojijukugo series. With her indomitable spirit, she sets out on the quest to save her only friend, never giving up or slowing down regardless of the pain and hardship she has to face along the way.

Time travelers often shoulder a burden heavier than a single human should ever be allowed to, and so other candidates might include a certain mad scientist of Steins;Gate fame, or maybe a small miko trapped in the eternal June of Showa 58.

But the strength to conquer any and all adversity is of course not limited to those jumping across different timelines. What characters does this week’s yojijukugo make you think of?





Yojijukugo are four-kanji idioms representing some of the most important ideas and concepts in the Japanese language.

In this weekly series, I see how those ideas are represented in the anime world, and invite readers to share their own examples of series, characters and scenes best illustrating those concepts.

For other posts in this series, look for the Yojijukugo Series under the Category section on the right.

Read Full Post »