- 39;t too dissimilar from real life.
- 39;t expect to become the master of Kansai-ben just by studying the way those characters speak.
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- 39; yō Rakuen?) - Kokushibō spins his blade slicing through the ground and ripping it out.
When you try to understand anime as a beginner to Japanese it can feel a little overwhelming to say the least. In this post I want to clarify why this is the case for most people plus explain a little about the dialects used and why it could be worthwhile getting comfortable with the sounds of them. Which dialect is used in anime? The majority of Japanese spoken in anime will be the standard Tokyo dialect, which accounts for well over 50% of the total language used. Kansai-ben is the second most common and is spoken by around 25% of the characters, with less common dialects making up the rest. The dialects and accents used can often define a character personality as Osaka-ben and the "bad guy" go hand in hand. This can bring a feeling of familiarity between each show as you start to recognize character traits from the voice acting.
39;t too dissimilar from real life.
Anime is a good learning resource as the accents and dialects are extremely diverse and interesting. Even though a lot of the characters voices are exaggerated and use overly informal, rough language… It is still real Japanese and isn't too dissimilar from real life. Before I started studying Japanese, my only real exposure to anime would have been the Dragon Ball series (don't hate, I still love it ha!) so while I can't claim to be a true expert on the subject, I can tell you what I've learned from immersion and what my Japanese friends have confirmed to me. This is the number one, most common language spoken in anime. The main reason for this being it's considered standard Japanese so it's also the most common language spoken in Japan. Almost any conversation had in a professional space or between acquaintances will use standard Japanese so it makes sense that most characters would use it.
It's by far the easiest to understand as it's the closest to the dictionary form as you'll find. If every character started speaking Nagoya-ben, I'm pretty sure most of the viewers would think they've gone mad. A lot of the dialects differ so much from standard that they can be really hard to understand, even for Japanese people. Almost any of the main characters will be assigned Tokyo-ben for this reason. Which is great news for language learners! Just remember that the language used could be either extremely informal or have so much "masu" your head will explode! Sorry, sorry. Super bad joke I know… A lot of this depends on the appearance of the character, young or cool-type characters will generally be informal while the older generations are going to talk like your mean old Japanese teacher's mother. Any of the awkward or handsome leading characters will speak standard Japanese along with the shy, cute ones so it's likely to be the first style you notice. But it's not the coolest one! Quite possibly the coolest. Definitely the coolest sounding dialects in Japan. Most of my friends in Japan are from the Kansai region, more specifically Osaka. I've spent many an hour trying to replicate their damn accent! Many of the louder or rougher characters will have an Osaka accent. The Kyoto dialect also appears but it's nowhere near as popular as Osaka's! Historically, the Kansai region was looked down on by Tokyo and the people were ridiculed for their accents. However, today with Osaka being considered the comedy capital of Japan, that's started to change.
Lots of the younger generations have started incorporating elements of Kansai-ben into their everyday vocabulary so it's not uncommon for your Tokyo friends to use some. This is quite understandable, surely we can all agree that using Makudo for McDonald's makes much more sense than saying Makku! For some reason, when I hear "Makku" I can imagine a full grown adult screaming "Makku! Makku!" because they're hungry. My friends are weird! Along with the harsher sounds of the Kansai dialects, they also have completely different and sometimes opposite pitch accents compared to Tokyo. It's instantly recognizable and I love how colorful and expressive it sounds compared to standard Japanese! One of the lesser common dialects in anime is Hokkaido-ben. It's often difficult for a foreigner to know for sure what they're hearing is Hokkaido-ben as it's a mixture of a few other dialects combined. The major difference with this dialect though is the influence from both the coastal Tohoku dialect and the native Ainu language. Hokkaido-ben is usually used by characters based in the north or in the countryside.
39;t expect to become the master of Kansai-ben just by studying the way those characters speak.
To Japanese people, this accent can sound kind of silly and as such it's kept for some of the less educated sounding folks. In the show Erased/Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi, the dialect is used quite often as most of the scenes are meant to be in Hokkaido. If you've never checked out Erased I highly recommend it, it's fantastic. It seems to be on Netflix in a few countries so try your luck there! The island of Kyushu has gifted many great things to Japan, one being the best pork ramen in the entire world… The cutest accent being another. Although very rarely used in most anime, it's used extensively in Ghost Hound/Shinreigari and it does appear in others too occasionally. I'm sure there are more shows that use it as much as Ghost Hound but I'm yet to find them! If I ever do, I'll be sure to update this post. Hakata-ben is gaining popularity on TV so I'm sure that we'll all be hearing a lot more of it in the future. While it's great that so many accents and dialects are represented in anime, often times they are diluted to the point that the native speakers refuse to acknowledge them as being said accent. It's not uncommon for the voice actor to be from a different region to the character they're playing so it can sound fairly unauthentic, like an American trying to do an English accent or someone from Scotland trying to sound like… They're not from Scotland? Whether this is negative or not depends on your outlook, but don't expect to become the master of Kansai-ben just by studying the way those characters speak. You might get a nasty surprise when trying to understand real people from the Kansai region at full speed! That said, it can be such a great tool for studying Japanese when you use it right. You can improve your listening skills immensely just through watching anime with no subtitles!
Moon Breathing (月 (つき) (こ) (きゅう), Tsuki no kokyū?) is a Breathing Style derived from the Sun Breathing used by Upper Rank One, Kokushibō, who was one of the first Demon Slayers who utilized breathing techniques. The techique allows the user to create many "chaotic blades" when slashing that varies in length and size. It is known that Kokushibō continued to develop and add techniques to the Breathing Style over the centuries as an immortal Demon. At this point in the story, it is the only known Breathing Style to possess at least 20 different techniques, easily surpassing the other Breathing Styles. It has been revealed that, like all of the other original breathing styles, the Moon Breathing also branched out of the Sun Breathing. When its creator, Michikatsu Tsugikuni, attempted to learn the Sun Breathing from his twin brother, Yoriichi Tsugikuni, he discovered he was unable to master the breathing style and so was instead trained in an alternate Breathing Style. Yoriichi created it fit and cover his individual strengths and weaknesses, and Michikatsu then continued to train and develop this breathing until it eventually evolved into its own unique Breathing Style, which he named the Moon Breathing.
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First Form: Dark Moon, Evening Palace (壹 (いち) (かた) (やみ) (づき) (よい) (みや), Ichi no kata: Yamidzuki - Yoi no Miya?) - Kokushibō draws his sword and slashes swiftly in a single motion; like with all Moon Breathing techniques, numerous chaotic blades originate from the slash. This technique resembles Iaijutsu. Second Form: Pearl Flower Moongazing (貳 (に) (かた) (しゅ) (か) (ろう) (げつ), Ni no kata: Shuka no Rōgetsu?) - Kokushibō performs several slashes while sending a barrage of chaotic blades forward. Third Form: Loathsome Moon, Chains (參 (さん) (かた) (えん) (き) (づき) (つが), San no kata: Enkizuki - Tsugari?) - Kokushibō swings his sword rapidly in two gigantic crescents slashes, from which a storm of smaller crescents spread.
39; yō Rakuen?) - Kokushibō spins his blade slicing through the ground and ripping it out.
This technique causes huge destruction in a small area. Fourth Form: Solar Rings, Frostmoon (肆 (し) (かた) (たい) (よう) (りん) (しも) (づき), Shi no kata: Taiyōrin - Shimodzuki?) - Kokushibō performs a circular small cyclone slashes of chaotic blades straight towards his opponent. Fourth Form: Improved, Red Sun over Paradise (肆 (し) (かた) (かい) (あっき) (よう) (らく) (えん), Shi no kata kai: Akk' yō Rakuen?) - Kokushibō spins his blade slicing through the ground and ripping it out. Causing multiple 180 slashes across the area to be sented towards his opponents as chaotic blades appear when near the enemy slicing into their body. As the circular slashes spin grinding into the enemys skin.
Fifth Form: Moon Spirit Calamitous Eddy (伍 (ご) (かた) (げっ) (ぱく) (さい) (か), Go no kata: Geppaku Saika?) - Kokushibō makes multiple curved slashes layered over one another, resembling a rising vortex. Numerous chaotic blades originate from these slashes. Kokushibō performed this attack without swinging his blade. Sixth Form: Perpetual Night, Lonely Moon - Incessant (陸 (ろく) (かた) (とこ) (よ) (こ) (げつ) (む) (けん), Roku no kata: Tokoyo Kogetsu - Muken?) - Kokushib releases a wild storm of slashes in multiple directions. This technique was powerful enough to not only slice up multiple Hashira around him but also overwhelm the Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa.
Seventh Form: Mirror of Misfortune, Moonlit (漆 (しち) (かた) (やっ) (きょう) (づき) (ば), Shichi no kata: Yakkyō - Dzukibae?) - Kokushibō swings his sword in a powerful frontal slash that then creates a multi directional frontal assault, powerful enough to create several deep gouges in the ground and push back two Hashira. Eighth Form: Moon-Dragon Ringtail (捌 (はち) (かた) (げつ) (りゆう) (りん) (び), Hachi no kata: Getsuryū Rinbi?) - Kokushibō triples the range of his normal attack radius and creates a singular gigantic slash that slowly decreases in size.