Him: I will definitely protect you!
Her: Don't say things that can be misunderstood!
Seen often in anime and manga, "Zettai ni mamoru"
literally translates as "I will definitely protect you" and is usually spoken by a male to a female. It's another of those Japanese Stock Phrases
that don't translate well into English-speaking languages as the above exchange can demonstrate. It can be especially stilted and confusing if it's translated literally and left like that. Depending on context, it can mean one of several things:
- Used lightly, it can mean exactly what it says: "I will protect you" or "I will keep you safe"
- Used in a serious tone, it could mean, "I promise I won't let anything happen to you"
- Used in a tender, or personal conversation it could mean, "I will always be there for you and I will never let anything bad happen to you"
It's seen in Unwanted Harem
comedies when the boy and the girl don't exactly have the same feelings towards each other. He thinks it's a friendly relationship, she is secretly in love with him. He says "I will definitely protect you!" thinking he's being brave and manly, she thinks he is confessing that he cares about her. She will have an Internal Monologue
, or occasionally even say it out loud, "How can he say something like that to me?" or "Don't say things that can be misunderstood!" because she isn't sure which meaning he attaches to it. It keeps everyone on their toes and the love triangles hopping.
("Don't say things that can be misunderstood" or something like it is one standard response from her when he says this, and yet another one of those Japanese Stock Phrases
that doesn't translate well. In this context, it's probably something like "I'm confused, what are you telling me?")
Used more straight in series where a male lead Takes A Level In Bad Ass
. After he says "I will definitely protect you" to the girl, their relationship means a little more than it used to, and he will now start to take a bigger role as the series' resident Bad Ass
In romantic series, it's a very intimate promise, to always be there for your partner. And sounds even sillier to English-speaking ears to hear it translated as "I will definitely protect you" than the previous two examples.
"Zetta ni mamoru"
is not to be confused with Zenyatta Mondatta
, which is something quite different.
Please note, this entry was created by an English-speaker, so if he got anything horribly wrong, he accepts full blame.