RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Forum reserved for discussing specific points of the story—mostly from the manga. Be warned, these discussions will be current with the manga and will spoil many plot lines for anime-centric fans.
Sharon Vineyard
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My username doesn't really have any special meaning. I like Sharon Vineyard, the New York case is one of my favorites. That's it.

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RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby Sharon Vineyard » October 24th, 2017, 6:43 pm

Hello there. I am a new member, so I hope I'll do everything right.

First of all, I will mention the movie (20) in my "theory" (It's not really a theory, more like questions and things I've asked myself...) - I know you can't take movies as canon, but on the other hand I think: Would Gosho allow the "movie RUM" to say something that the real RUM wouldn't? I am certain he had to agree with RUM's dialogue in the movie before they published it, because it could mess up things. That's why I won't back off from using this little piece of dialogue for some theorizing. Today I want to talk about Japanese personal pronouns.
I don't know if the members here know much about it (some probably do... and some probably better than I do), but to make it short: In Japan there are many ways of saying "I", "you" and so on. You can read about it on Wikipedia, if you want to. What I want to talk about is that you can guess (DC) characters from their way of speech, even though their voice might not be recognizable. Details like that have been plot elements in the past (I don't remember the exact cases), but for example the Osakan dialect has been used to identify the culprit in one case. Also there are certain "catchphrases" like Conan's "ba-rō". Well, I'm straying from the topic... so let's get back to the point.
While rewatching movie 20, I watched out for the personal pronouns RUM used: "Watashi" for "I", and "Kimi" for "you". So I checked RUM candidates in the anime and what they use:
- Chikara Katsumata: "Watashi" for "I", and "Kimi" for "you" (!)
- Kuroda: "Ware" for "I", ...
... Aaand that's actually where I stopped, because I have to go offline soon (lol). I know I should make further checks, but on the other hand maybe you'll say this is all for nothing or something like that. That's why I wanted to hear an opinion first, before I continue. Also, Rumi and Kanenori haven't had an appearance yet, so I would have to check the raw manga and I don't have any sources for that as of now. So that's about it for now. I hope I didn't forget something that I wanted to mention... I'm German by the way, so please excuse my mistakes (if any).
I hope you understand why I don't rule out the movie as a source. If the producers had given RUM any language that he or she actually wouldn't use, then Gosho surely would have said no, right? Feel free to answer me and also, maybe somebody actually has written down what pronouns other characters like Rumi and Kanenori use? (Perhaps this was actually discussed before, then I'll feel stupid...)

I'll probably be back in like 15 hours or so. Thank you.


Edit: To clarify, I'm not saying that the movie or any of this is canon. It's just some scratch.
Last edited by Sharon Vineyard on October 24th, 2017, 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
—Shinichi, quoting Sherlock Holmes from The Sign of the Four, ch. 6
Kor
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby Kor » October 24th, 2017, 6:59 pm

Sharon Vineyard wrote:While rewatching movie 20, I watched out for the personal pronouns RUM used: "Watashi" for "I", and "Kimi" for "you". So I checked RUM candidates in the anime and what they use:
- Chikara Katsumata: "Watashi" for "I", and "Kimi" for "you" (!)
- Kuroda: "Ware" for "I", ...


Huh, interesting approach. Not sure how reliable the movie Rum dialogue is as far as what it tells us about the character, plus the Rum suspects may be putting off a different mannerism than they do when they're Rum, but sure, maybe it could mean something.

Perhaps someone who has access to the raw files (jimmy? spimer?) can share what the other suspects say.
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dccd
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby dccd » October 24th, 2017, 8:09 pm

Willkommen!
Mal ein Deutscher ;)

To me your thought-process and everything else makes absolutely sense and I agree with everything
- esspecially your thoughts regarding M20 - you wrote.
( One interesting thing about M20 is that Azusa Enomoto is the only possible suspect that appeared in it (afaik). May you check her out aswell?)

I guess the everything deciding point is how often these specific personal pronouns are used / how specific these pronouns are for a certain character.
So if one comes up and tell us that these pronouns are absolutely standard I guess you can save your time.
Otherwise I guess its a really good approach to narrow down the list of suspects.
[ ] Yonehara = Rum
[ ] Kuroda = Amuros Boss
[x] MG = Mrs. Akai
[x] Haneda = Brother Akai
[ ] Rumi = Asaka
[ ] Wakita = Bo-Member Whiskey
[ ] Iori = just a butler
jimmy_kud0_tv2
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby jimmy_kud0_tv2 » October 25th, 2017, 2:31 am

Here is a bunch of characters from volumes 85-93. I probably missed some as I'm writing this at 1am my timezone.

Note, some characters that use the same pronouns still have them written differently in their word bubbles.
Example, Ran and Sonoko seem to say Watashi in hirigana a lot.
Masumi says Boku in katakana and Momiji's Uchi is also in katakana.
Most other characters seem to always have their pronouns written in kanji.

Name : I, you, we

Amuro : Boku, Kimi
Shuichi : Ore, Kimi/Omae
Subaru : Watashi
Masumi : Boku, Kimi
Mary : Watashi (while imitating Kogoro), Omae
Shukichi : Boku, Kimi/Omae
Chikara : Watashi, Kimi
Sakurako : Watashi,
Kansuke : Ore, Omae
Koumei : (?) , Kimi, Wareware
Kuroda : (?) , Kimi/Omae, Wareware
Wakita : Ashi
Rumi : She is a teacher and refers to herself as Sensei or as the title of extra teacher of their class.
Mark : Watashi
Momiji : Uchi
I hope that I can find someway to contribute to the community even if it's just random crack theories and looking things up for people who can't find the information they need.
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MeiTanteixX
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby MeiTanteixX » October 25th, 2017, 6:30 am

jimmy_kud0_tv2 wrote:Mark : Watashi
still? ???
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Zerozaki4869
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby Zerozaki4869 » October 25th, 2017, 8:12 am

So in Animeverse, Watashi is a womanish way of referring oneself. Hmm.......what are the pronouns used by Iori??
Kor
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby Kor » October 25th, 2017, 9:07 am

Zerozaki4869 wrote:So in Animeverse, Watashi is a womanish way of referring oneself. Hmm.......what are the pronouns used by Iori??

jimmy_kud0_tv2 wrote:Mark : Watashi


However, based on wikipedia it's not necessarily "womanish" and may depend on the context:

In formal or polite contexts, this is gender neutral; in casual speech, it is typically only used by women. Use by men in casual context may be perceived as either stiff or feminine.
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Sharon Vineyard
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My username doesn't really have any special meaning. I like Sharon Vineyard, the New York case is one of my favorites. That's it.

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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby Sharon Vineyard » October 25th, 2017, 2:39 pm

dccd wrote:Willkommen!
Mal ein Deutscher ;)
Wusste nicht, dass es hier noch andere gibt :)

So, I'm back. Wow... I actually didn't think that the higher-ups here would even consider my theory as something to consider. (Wait, what did I just write?) Other forums where I've been were pretty strict/harsh :D I also thought that probably someone would have already mentioned the pronoun game. Well, lucky me. Details like that might seem unintentional, but they can actually be pretty important (another example would be handedness).
Thank you, jimmy_kud0_tv2, for the list. I actually feel sorry now, because I don't have anything else to say rn. Just wanted to throw this thought in. Sadly, even if we could nail down one suspect, we can't say "This is proof!", because it's still from a movie. Still, I'm actually happy I found this.
Last edited by Sharon Vineyard on November 7th, 2017, 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
—Shinichi, quoting Sherlock Holmes from The Sign of the Four, ch. 6
Kokuriko
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Re: RUM theory: The use of Japanese personal pronouns

Postby Kokuriko » October 26th, 2017, 2:13 am

@Sharon Vineyard
I like that you pay attention to the pronoun game. Gosho is careful about details. In fact he's too mindful of trivial stuffs like name meanings, the accents and this. Too bad Japanese language has multiple pronouns for different connotations yet the sentences can be cut short (lack of subjectives).

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