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あたい Originally used by women in certain red light districts, it later spread out and was eventually picked up by those wanting to cultivate a "bad girl" image. Characters who use this pronoun are implied to be lower-class, uneducated, and flippant. It's also a Kagoshima regional variant of "atashi."
When the girls in K-On! are coming up with ideas for a recruitment video, one plan is to do it from their pet turtle Ton-chan's point of view. Mio first suggests doing a reference to Wagahai wa Neko de aru below, although Yui thinks oira would be more fitting. But when it's pointed out that Ton-chan probably is female, they go with atai. They then get the mature Nodoka to lend her voice, which results in Yui spacing out a bit when she hears Nodoka of all people using that pronoun.
Cirno, Touhou's resident Baka, uses this, as a sign of her childishness, tomboyishness, and stupidity.
あたし Informal, feminine version of "watashi". It is most commonly used to make the female character sound very casual, which makes it perfect for tomboys who aren't tomboy enough to use the male pronoun "boku". Amusingly, its casualness also makes it a good choice for characters who are confident about themselves and their femininity, especially if they're to be put in contrast with a "watashi"-using Shrinking Violet. If a male character uses atashi it is almost certainly meant to imply that he's Camp Gay.
Nagisa from Chou Kuse ni Narisou says this even when she's disguised as a boy, which undermines the disguise.
Some characters like Nanoha, Hayate and Subaru switch between "watashi" and "atashi", but the former two use "watashi" more often.
Nami in One Piece, reflecting her boisterous personality.
Kisuke in Bleach uses this pronoun, and is a rare male example. His use of it exaggerates his role of a "humble" shopkeeper (it's interesting to note that he used the humble/masculine boku 100 years ago). Momo, Orihime, Rangiku and Kirio Hikifune use it as well.
Vash the Stampede of Trigun (who is male) has been known to use atashi when goofing around, for comedy value. (You can track when he's being serious by the switch to an assertive masculine pronoun like ore.)
Pinkie Pie and Applejack in the Japanese dub of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Gilda uses it as well, which is weird when you consider they made Rainbow Dash a Bokukko, and Gilda is just as tomboyish as her (if not more so).
Princess Jasmine (Japanese dub). When Iago mimics her he uses watashi to make her sound more girly.
Tendonman from Anpanman uses it, though in his case, it emphasizes his hick background by making his words seem rushed and slurred (he also uses "zansu", another term that's often exclusively feminine).
Majorina from Smile Pretty Cure!, who is an old witch, but she uses atashi because she doesn't admit to be an old lady. She also can transform into a younger form of herself.
僕 "I, a non-threatening man." Used by men who want to sound casual without coming across as rude or aggressive—for instance, it would be the normal pronoun for a man to use in an informal TV interview. It's also the default pronoun for young boys. In anime, it can also be used by tomboyish girls; these characters are known as Bokukko. (Note, however, that the bokukko phenomenon is a prominent example of how anime dialogue differs from actual spoken Japanese; in the real world, it would be a bit weird for a female native speaker to refer to herself as boku). Finally, female singers and poets may also use boku purely for metrical purposes.
This is a good example of the different connotations boku can have. Utena's boku indicates her assertive and tomboyish persona; Dios and Miki use boku for the connotations of childlike innocence; Saionji uses it rather than a more aggressive pronoun because he feels he's always playing second fiddle; and when Akio uses boku, it's out of false humility.
Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion uses "boku" through the series; he graduates to "ore" in End of Evangelion, but it's a subversion of the usual implications of maturity. Also used by Kaworu Nagisa.
Toji shifts from his typical washi to boku when he is talking to Misato.
Death Note: A revealing clue to Light and L's personalities (and ages, and nationalities...) is when they make the same speech, but Light uses boku and L uses watashi.
Ayu in Kanon. She and Yuuichi even have a small discussion about it at one point. She feels uncomfortable using any other pronoun.
Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!, particularly in the phrase "mou hitori no boku", "the other me", referring to Yami Yugi.
Also Ryou Bakura, which contrasts with his evil side's ore-sama.
In a curious variant, Kujirada from the "digital pet" episode uses boku-sama. Possibly suggests that while he doesn't think of himself as a tough guy (as ore-sama would imply) he still considers himself superior to the other kids.
Rei Saotome in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Notable as she refers to herself as "atashi" with Judai.
Katsura Hoshino, author of D.Gray-Man, which leads to Pronoun Trouble. The author's actual gender is lady. From the series, Allen, Jasdero and Road use it all the time.
Pani Poni Dash!'s Kurumi finds it thrilling to hear a girl say boku. (We find this out when Himeko gets possessed by a male alien.)
Mytho from Princess Tutu. He'd possibly be mistaken for a girl if he used 'watashi'...
Sasaki from the 9th Suzumiya Haruhi novel refers to herself with boku when conversing with boys, with the added quirk of speaking a lot like The Spock.
In Naruto, out of the Konoha genin boys, only Chouji and Lee use boku. Sai, Yamato, and Suigetsu, who are introduced after the timeskip, also use it. Tobi uses it too, but he drops it for ore when he stops acting like an idiot.
Persona 4's Naoto Shirogane uses boku as part of her attempt to disguise herself as male. After that's exposed she still does it anyway apparently out of habit. However if the main character starts a relationship with her and points her speech out as odd, she'll occasionally use a more feminine watashi when they are alone.
Some theme songs that have some sort of relevance with their show use this to help drive the point. Examples are Bokurano (done in the perspective of one of the children) and Rahxephon (done in Ayato's perspective).
Amusingly, Keith Anyan in Toward the Terra uses "boku" in his first appearances. This is probably to help indicate the character's age at the time, since he's voiced by Takehito Koyasu, who doesn't sound much like a fourteen-year-old; he switches to "watashi" when he gets a little older.
The Japanese dub of Avatar: The Last Airbender has Katara use boku most of the time. This is an interesting example of the cultural connotations, since Katara, while an Action Girl, really isn't especially tomboyish by American standards. She is, however, assertive to a degree that would be considered unfeminine in Japanese culture.
A number of male characters in Otomen, with various overtones. Gentle Giant (sort of) Kitora and Visual Kei singer Hanamasa use boku because of their gentle and delicate nature, Kasuga uses it to go with his cold and aloof personality (he switches to "ore" when his glasses come off), and main character Asuka, who defaults on ore uses boku in his letters to his favorite mangaka, in order to be polite.
Some young male characters in Sengoku Basara, like Kobayakawa Hideaki and Otomo Sorin. Takenaka Hanbe also uses it.
Stiyl Magnus of A Certain Magical Index is a subversion of the gruff, tough guy archetype usually using ore by using boku instead. However, since he's just 14 years old it's somewhat justified.
Hibari, Mukuro, and Byakuran from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! are quite polite (Mukuro even uses keigo!) but along the most dominant and abusive characters of the series. In the case of Mukuro and Byakuran, boku implies more of an false politeness than a genuine one, while in Hibari's case it reflects his strong attachment to rules (not that he's a nice guy, anyway).
Shoma Takakura from Mawaru-Penguindrum, contrasting with his more assertive brother Kanba's ore.
Also Keiju Tabuki and Sanetoshi Watase.
Pao-Lin from Tiger & Bunny is a Bokukko, indicative of her Tomboyish personality. Barnaby always uses boku when speaking with other people. He occasionally switches to ore when addressing himself during his monologues.
Shuichi Nitori from Wandering Son refers to herself as "boku", even when dressed as a girl. She says it fits her so she's not going to change it.
Kiyotaka Ishimaru from Danganronpa. He's a parody of The Ace who wants to follow the rules as much as possible, so while he's very Hot-Blooded, ore would sound way too rebellious for someone like him.
In The King of Fighters, Ash Crimson refers to himself with boku. It's an interesting take in the trope since boku is considering as "male but non-threatening" (contrasting with Kyo, K' and Iori's rougher ore), and it reflects Ash's fake humility as well as how he passes himself as a normal fighter — only to strike at the perfect moment and cause massive damage to his targets. It also contrasts with his ancestor Saiki's use of shousei, another self-deprecating pronoun.
自分 "Myself." 99% of the time this serves as a reflexive pronoun just like its English translation, but occasionally it can also be used as a general first person pronoun. Because it's quite detached and impersonal, military types may use it to indicate professionalism. Although more often heard from men, it's technically gender-neutral, so jibun can be useful if writers want to disguise a character's gender. Confusingly, in Kansai-benjibun means "you" instead of "I" (when not being used for a reflexive).
The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3, after her defection, to symbolize how she has sacrificed her humanity in order to become a soldier.
Ruu Ballenclare in the H-gameDyogrammaton. This emphasizes the fact that she's the only pilot with formal military training.
Haruhi of Ouran High School Host Club is a very rare female user of this pronoun, which makes it easier for people to confuse her for a boy. She continues to use it even after being roped into the Host Club (though she once jokingly uses the assertive ore).
Likewise, Kino from Kinos Journey uses this in the first sets of episodes in a similar attempt at gender-obfuscation. Kino is also known to use "atashi" and "boku" alternately.
Takeshi (Brock) of Pokémon uses this when introducing himself to the ladies.
In Umineko: When They Cry, Cornelia uses this pronoun along with a ridiculously formal speech, even when not on missions. This makes her the target of some mockeries from her comrades in the Inquisition.
Gamaken the giant toad in Naruto, uses 'Jibun' frequently, reflecting his very humble nature.
麿 "Oneself", very archaic and exclusively male. Only used in traditional poetry nowadays. To demonstrate just how old maro is, it was first used in the Kojiki.
In the Japanese dub of South Park, Cartman uses oira most of the time, though occasionally he uses ore.
俺 "I, a tough young person". It is used mainly by young men (from adolescence to around middle age, usually) in casual contexts, such as hanging out with friends. As such, it's traditionally considered rude to use it with strangers and people above one's own social standing, but nowadays younger men use it even with strangers in all but formal situations. Used by a vast majority of male leads in anime, especially in shounen, and also occasionally by extremely tough and aggressive women, mainly in fiction.
Fun fact: until the 1960s shounen heroes used boku. Ore became fashionable with manga such as Ashita no Joe that changed the basic "shounen manga hero" formula by featuring wilder and rougher main characters and presenting them as role models.
Yami Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!, such as the phrase "mou hitori no ore", "the other me," in reference to Yugi (in season two, he started referring to Yugi by the nickname "aibou", or "partner"). While it's more striking in his case as it contrasts with normal Yugi, practically every male character in the YGO-verse uses this pronoun because it and all its spin-offs have casts mostly full of hot-blooded teenage boys. Especially noticeable in duels, where most duelists begin their move with "Ore no turn!" and often demean the other player with condescending pronouns (such as "temee", mentioned below).
All of the SOLDIER characters in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core use ore, most emphatically Zack, but is very much a point of character that Sephiroth uses ore while in SOLDIER and switches to a condescending watashi when he turns Big Bad...
Shirou in Fate/stay night. As with Kyon, using this pronoun rather than boku underscores his no-nonsense personality.
In fact, so do Shiki and almost all other male characters in the Nasuverse. Archer, notably, does not and uses 'watashi'.... It is therefore notable that he switches to 'ore' during The Reveal in Unlimited Blade Works, as he returns to using the personal pronoun he used to in his prior life.
That other Shiki uses it too, in imitation of SHIKI, her male persona, who died two years ago. She returns to using watashi after the events of the seventh chapter/movie, signifying her acceptance of her past and present.
Miroku in Inuyasha mostly uses "watashi," but slips into "ore" and correspondingly rougher speech when he loses his temper - most noticeably when a catfish youkai tries to claim Sango as his concubine and Miroku announces that he will not overlook someone else "getting funny with my woman (ore no onna)". Inuyasha himself uses "ore" all the time.
Kuukaku Shiba in Bleach. Stern Ritter Liltotto is another "ore-onna", made ever stranger by the fact she looks like a little girl.
Among the main characters, we have Ichigo, his Inner Hollow and Chad. Among the captains, we have Toshirou Hitsugaya, Kenpachi Zaraki, Jushiro Ukitake and later Kensei Muguruma and Shinji Hirako. Among the vice-captains, we have Renji Abarai, Shuhei Hisagi, and Tetsuzaemon Iba. Among the Espada, we have Coyote Starrk, Ulquiorra Cifer, Nnoitra Gilga, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, the higher head of Aaroniero Arruruerie, and Yammy Llargo. And Ginjou from XCution.
Sanada Yukimura from the same franchise uses exceedingly formal and humble speech patterns, including the pronouns "sessha" and soregashi. However, he sometimes uses ore with Sasuke, implying that this would be his default pronoun if he wasn't so hung up on sounding proper and samurai-like. Given that Sasuke is under his command and has been a kind of brotherly presence in his life since he was young, Yukimura can use a more relaxed speaking style with him.
Used most often and with much emphasis by Tieria Erde in Gundam 00, likely as a counter to his feminine appearance, as during a Heroic BSOD, he interestingly cycles through pronouns, saying "Ore wa...boku wa...watashi wa...". In fact, his pronoun usage seems to generally depend on his mental state: although he usually uses "ore", he has been known to slip into "boku" or "watashi" during moments of extreme emotional distress or while having an identity crisis.
In Change 123, the Bokukko personality Hibiki refers to herself as "ore". And she tells "the four of us" (speaking of Motoko and HiFuMi collectively) as "ore-tachi yon-nin".
Gauron from Full Metal Panic! uses this when referring to himself. It does certainly fit perfectly with his macho, condescending tough-guy attitude. And yes, he uses it rudely with strangers and people who aren't particularly close with him.
Sagara Sousuke uses this by default, which is both fitting and odd, as he is someone who is formal and polite to everyone, or at least he thinks he is.
Tenma Morimura and Inori in Harukanaru Toki No Naka De. Inori is a street boy and Tenma is a regular teenager from our world; neither usually cares about being at least remotely polite.
Several characters in Tears to Tiara use ore, the main character included. Arawn also uses ore-sama a few times and the formal watashi when he temporarily reverts himself to his angelic form.
In the Japanese dub of House, House himself uses ore. By contrast, Wilson uses boku.
In Grenadier, Mikan uses ore, reflecting her tomboyish personality.
Mega Man X uses ore in his own series, even while grappling with being forced to fight despite his pacifism, but switches to boku in the Darker and EdgierMega Man Zero drama tracks. One suspects that the prolonged carnage of the Elf Wars between the two series had something to do with it.
The Japanese title for WarioWare D.I.Y. translates to "Made in Me" using ore.
Hiroki in Canvas 2, though he attempts to be more polite when conversing with a painter he respects.
Apollo Justice (Odoroki Housuke) from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney uses this pronoun. It's the first difference between him and his boku-using predecessor that a player of the Japanese version comes to notice and (aside from the hair) also the most pronounced, since Apollo tends to act a lot more aggressive than Phoenix ever did.
AmuroRay switches from using boku to using ore as he grows into the adulthood.
Many NPCs in EarthBound use this pronoun. In this case, however, the intent seems to be less an indicator of personality (though it is sometimes used in such a way) and more an indicator of age, as many of the characters who use ore are preteen/teenage boys.
Mondo Oowada and Leon Kuwata from Danganronpa. One is a gang leader, the other is a baseball star, and both are very temperamental.
Ayumu in Kore wa Zombie desu ka? decides to turn his life around and announces symbolically "Goodbye, old boku. Hello, new ore." Of course, being the Butt Monkey, it's not long before he's forced to welcome back his old boku...
A rare female example: Yuki also refers to herself using "Ore."
Brain in the Japanese dub of Animaniacs, possibly to reflect his arrogant personality. This is a little bit odd, because Brain's Japanese voice actor normally tends to use Washi instead if you take into account Brain looks more older than Pinky.
俺様 "My magnificent self," perhaps, or "my most serene highness." Attaching an honorific that indicates great respect to the most macho of first-person pronouns makes it a highly emphatic, arrogant and presumptuous version of ore. Used either tongue-in-cheek, or by the smuggest of men.
Atobe Keigo in Prince of Tennis. He often utters the catchphrase "Ore-sama no bigi ni yoina" - which translates to something like "be amazed by my wonderful self's excellent play".
Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile when he's feeling particularly smug (at other times he just uses "ore"). In the first episode, a couple of Nodame's classmates mock his condescending attitude; one imitates his voice and says "Ore-sama wa Chiaki-sama".
Piccolo and Vegeta from Dragon Ball use ore-sama on several occassions.
And we can't forget Dio Brando of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, who takes this up another notch by referring to himself as "Kono Dio-sama", roughly equivalent to "I, the Magnificent Lord Dio". To be fair, he's earned that level of conceit.
拙者 "This humble, unworthy, clumsy fool". Archaic, not in use nowadays. People who use this in anime are usually samurai or ninja. Probably the closest parallel in English is "your humble servant", sometimes used in correspondence as a first person pronoun.
Several characters in Yo-Jin-Bo, most notably Muneshige and Ittosai. It proves a pretty good indicator of which of the six bodyguards featured in the story are actually samurai and which ones are something else - Jin, who uses ore, is revealed to be the son of a peasant, and Yo, who uses boku, is actually a ninja.
Raidei The Blade in Trigun to fit his stereotypical samurai behavioural and speech patterns.
家 A word for "I" or "my own" used in Kansai-ben (including Osaka-ben) and Kyushu dialect by women. Thus, one may hear a female idiot from Osaka refer to herself as uchi, in addition to other characters from the Kansai region.
我輩/我が輩 Every bit as arrogant and presumptuous as ore-sama, with the added benefit of being quite archaic. Note that 50% of the time you see this, it's an allusion to Wagahai wa Neko de aru (I Am a Cat), a well-known Japanese satirical novel.
Severus Snape, in the Japanese translation of the Harry Potter books.
Chaser John Doe from Yumekui Merry, who actually quotes the book's title without ever having read it.
Cyborg 007/Great Britain in Cyborg 009. Fitting, he's an actor in his 40's and his speciality is classic theatre.
Neko in K uses it in a playful manner, earning her the nickname "Wagahai-chan" by Kukuri. She even introduces herself with a direct, word for word Shout-Out to the title of the Japanese novel.
King Drake the Third in Makai Kingdom, making for not the first time Norio Wakamoto has voiced a cat-man using this pronoun. It helps to underline just how incredibly smug and arrogant he is.
Nyanta in Log Horizon, who considering that he plays a werecat character, is most probably using "wagahai" as an allusion to Wagahai wa Neko de Aru.
妾 An archaic feminine form. Originally it was humble and self-effacing (the kanji means "concubine"), but in modern historical anime/novels/etc. it's used by female characters of high social standing (usually royals or aristocrats) with old-fashioned speech patterns. In contemporary settings it's used by supernatural beings (goddesses, demonesses, spirits, etc.) who hold human society beneath them; because they existed when the address had its original nuances, their usage of it is loaded with irony. Don't confuse it with ware wa, which is "I am" with the pronoun ware.
Beatrice in Umineko: When They Cry uses this pronoun to lend to her image as a dignified 1000-year-old witch. Except she isn't actually 1000 years old, and occasionally she'll drop the witch act and use the more gender-neutral "watashi" instead, hinting at her true nature.
我 An archaic "I", usually male. Nowadays it's rather literary, and has a dignified overtone. Part of its esteem value derives from using the same character as "I" in Chinese, which is pronounced wo. Incantations will likely use this pronoun for the first person. A Talking Weapon is also likely to use this to refer to itself. Has its own possessive form: waga (我が).
Antiramon/Lopmon in Digimon Tamers. The use of this archaic pronoun (combined with his cute appearance and female partner) caused quite a bit of gender confusion to the English translators, so he was actually dubbed as female.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Rex Goodwin/Godwin uses it once he becomes a god.
The summon chant for Red Demons Dragon/Red Dragon Archfiend ends with "Waga tamashi! Reddo Demonzu Doragon!" which translates to "My soul! Red Demons Dragon!". Several fansubbers translate it as "my very soul" to give it a more refined feel.
Fawful's Japanese equivalent Gerakobittsu uses this pronoun, ruru.
The Wolkenritter and Reinforce of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha tend to use this pronoun when talking about themselves as Hayate's servants (on other occasions, Vita uses atashi whereas Signum, Shamal, Zafira and Reinforce use watashi).
Grimoire Weiss from NieR, who is a talking book, but very arrogant and dignified.
Archtype-Earth, AKA our heroine Arcueid before Shiki unintentionally turned her into an airhead, uses this. It is unknown if she goes back to using this after the events of Tsukihime because it is unknown if she reverts back to her old colder personality.
Clair Vauxof Bernard's role is to tell Beatrice's tale in a theatrical maner, so she will use this. Her Catch Phrase in Japanese is "Ware koso ha ware nishite, warera nari!" ("I am 'I', and yet I am 'we'!", translated by Witch Hunt as "Oh, I am one yet many!").
The infamous "Waga Shikabane wo Koe yo" tech from Sega's Sangokushi Taisen games, one of the many Romance of the Three Kingdoms inspired Japanese game series. It reached Memetic Mutation levels when videos depicting it were paired with J-ROCK group Onmyouza's similarly named Waga Shikabane wo Koete yuke. For the Japanese illiterate, the phrases translate to "Over My Dead Body".
Used in Japanese translations of The Qur'an, although it also uses watashi too.
儂 In popular media it's reserved for elderly men only (except for some Jidai Geki dramas and suchlike), but in real life it used to be popular with men of all ages, especially in the mid-western regions of Japan. By now its usage has faded among the younger generations, due to the effects of the aforementioned popular media.
Tokugawa Ieyasu in Sengoku Basara uses it to go with his Jidai Geki-like speech patterns. As a grown-up he starts using soregashi as well, which is more proper for a samurai.
This is played with a bit in YuYu Hakusho: Koenma is (literally) Really 700 Years Old, but spends most of his time in toddler form. And when he doesn't, he shows up in the form of a young man in his teens.
Many Decepticons and Autobots speak that way in the Japanese versions (or use ore instead). Justified in-universe, since almost all of them had lived for million of years and out-universe and many of their voice actors are old people themselves.
Mako Someya from Saki, who was raised by her grandfather and picked up his speech habits. It's confirmed in a flashback in Chapter 117, when someone says "Mako, I know you like Grandpa, but don't copy his manner of speech."
From One Piece, there are Borsalino "Kizaru", Jimbei, Garp, and some other old characters.
Gandalf, Saruman and many old characters in Japanese translations of The Lord of the Rings books and films.
私, わたくし An ultra-formal term, often used in anime by characters who are profusely polite, very sophisticated, or somewhat old-fashioned. Fictional royalty tends to use this, especially princesses and the like. It's also used in place of watashi in very formal speech (for example, a job interview).
Once an Episode in Excel Saga, Rikdo Koshi makes an announcement stating that he allows Excel Saga to be made into whatever the episode parodies, starting with "Watakushi, Rikudou Koushi wa..." ("I, Rikudou Koushi..."). In the same anime, Hyatt usually uses watakushi.
Although Ino and Yamato from Naruto typically use atashi and boku as personal pronouns, they use watakushi in one omake in which they appear as hosts for a quiz show.
Kokuo] uses watakushi as well.
Satoko Hojou in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. It's because her family was shunned in Hinamizawa for inner conflicts; Satoko desperately wants to be accepted back into the community, so she tries to speak as ladylike as possible.
Tsukuyomi and the "three idiots" in Muv-Luv Extra, who carry it over as Imperial Honor Guards in Unlimited and Alternative. Also from Alternative: Yuuhi Koubuin, the Grand Shogun and Meiya's twin sister.
Harumi Ayasato A.K.A "Pearl Fey" from Ace Attorney uses this, since her mother basically trained her to be as polite and formal as humanly possible. Phoenix (Ryuuichi) even comments on the dissonance between her refined speech and her adorable appearance. In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, Hakari Mikagami also uses this pronoun, in addition to very formal ways of addressing others (such as using -sama on most people).
Masako Natsume from Mawaru-Penguindrum. She has very unusually polite and formal speech patterns compared to girls her age, contrasting with Kanba's much rougher "Ore" and Shouma's non-threatening "boku".
Himawari in Yuru-Yuri, who always uses very polite words, even when she's angry or annoyed.
Used very interestingly in Danganronpa. MASSIVE spoilers: Once Junko Enoshima is revealed to be the mastermind behind Big Bad Monobear, she switches atashi for watakushi-sama as her pronoun (One of them, that is). Since it's derivated from the very arrogant "ore-sama", it sounds both very princess-y and incredibly stuck-up.
Sonia Nevermind from the sequel uses watakushi as well; very fitting for a Super High School Level Princess.
And still in the previous game, Celestia Ludenberg also uses "watakushi", befitting her KeigoElegant Gothic Lolita style... until she's pissed off and slips to 'Watashi'
私 A standard, polite word for "I", usable by both men and women in formal situations. It's also fine for women in informal situations; a man who uses it in an informal context may come across as business-like or aloof, sometimes effeminate. In the case of children, watashi is often used by girls, but never by boys, who use boku. In Japanese as a second language courses, watashi is almost always the first word for "I" learned.
Tsukasa switches from boku to watashi at the end of .hack//SIGN to symbolize her acceptance that she was a girl.
Baccano!'s Noble Demon Luck Gandor refers to himself as watashi, in a "businesslike and aloof" male use of the word.
Men who use this in Bleach are usually either expressing aristocratic aloofness — Byakuya, post-Soul Society arc Aizen (boku while a captain), Tousen, adult Ryuuken (boku as a teenager), Yhwach, and Haschwalth — or just flat-out weirdness — Mayuri (boku while imprisoned in Maggot's Nest), Zommari, and Pesche.
Female users include Rukia, Harribel, Nelliel, Sui-Feng, Unohana, etc.
L from Death Note, probably one reason being that he grew up in England.
Lelouch from Code Geass uses ore as himself and watashi when speaking as Zero.
Brook in One Piece, though he also uses watakushi on occasion.
Sogeking uses it, but his Image Song has "ore" in the lyrics.
Ivankov uses "vatashi".
Leader Desler/Desslok from Space Battleship Yamato sometimes switches, seemingly at random, between ore and watashi. However, he still speaks in the most familiar to everyone either way, and it sounds weird.
The main characters from the Pretty Cure franchise use either watashi or atashi.
Some villains, too. And among the Big Bads, seven of nine Big Bads use watashi. The two exceptions are Dune who uses boku, and Pierrot who uses first person pronouns very rarely, the only one he ever used is the possessive pronoun waga.
Shi Ryuuki in Saiunkoku Monogatari, as the Emperor of Saiunkoku, uses "yo" by default, which trips him up a little on the occasions when he is pretending to be someone else and has to remember to use a different pronoun. Some translations handle this by translating Ryuuki's "yo" as the Royal "We".
There are even more words for "you", carrying implications ranging from extreme deference to deliberate deadly insult. In real life, pronouns for "you" should be used carefully and as rarely as possible, as it can seem either distancing and cold or obtrusive to use them instead of one's first name. In general, it is better to address a person either using their title or using their name with the appropriate honorific.
貴方/貴女 The standard polite word for "you". Also translates to "my dear" when a wife calls her husband anata.
In the times of the Russo-Japanese war, Russians used the word "anata" as an ethnic nickname for Japanese. "Hey, anata!"
Nico Robin from One Piece uses anata on virtually everyone, even her enemies.
Ivankov uses "vanata".
In the Season 1 finale of Code Geass, Jeremiah Gottwald uses anata-sama when addressing Zero, his enemy. It's probably meant sarcastically or to emphasize his Sanity Slippage from being turned into a cyborg.
Signum of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha tends to use omae on most people, but uses anata on Hayate as a sign of respect for her mistress. Shamal, by contrast, uses it on everyone.
Nanoha, Stern, Presea, Rynith, Amitie use always "anata".
Hayate and Yuri often switch between "anata" and "kimi".
Over the course of the story, Tsugumi in Ever17 transitions from a cold anata to endearing anata when talking to Takeshi.
Tomoya Okazaki from CLANNAD uses "anta" to adults, including his father.
Kyou Fujibayashi is shown mingling with Tomoya and addressing him as "anta", hinting of initial disposition different from that of other heroines (she's having fun, and harbors affection).
卿 Archaic second person pronoun, used mostly by men. It can be used among peers to denote light respect, and by a superior addressing his subjects and retainers in a familiar manner. Like kimi, this can also be used as an honorific (pronounced as kyou) in which case it's equivalent to "lord/lady" or "sir/dame."
Used profusely in the Empire in Legend of Galactic Heroes, to indicate the characters' sophisticated speech (somewhat akin to The Queen's Latin). Even close friends such as Reuenthal and Mittermeier use it with each other.
Byakuya Kuchiki in Bleach uses this with other captains (when he's not mad at them) and, later on, Ichigo. Curiously, though, Kubo uses the kanji "兄" which has no such meaning and is only a homonym.
Matsunaga Hisahide uses it with everyone (and always in a very patronising way) in Sengoku Basara.
Meta Knight from the Kirbyanime is referred to as Metaknight-kyou by practically everyone; he's also sometimes called 'Kyou' by his subordinates.
貴殿 Archaic pronoun used by men when addressing equals and superiors (only men) in a polite, respectful manner.
Appears in the Aoi Bungaku version of Hashire, Melos! in a formal letter from Joushima's wife to the main character. The story takes place in 1950 so apparently it's not as archaic as it would appear. It's definitely out of usage nowadays, though.
Raidei The Blade in Trigun uses this together with soregashi.
貴公 An archaic male term used to address other men who are equal/inferior to oneself. Due to its association with samurai, it can come off as a little haughty.
Uryuu Ishida uses it along with boku for the first person as part of his "well-mannered young man" speech patterns. He sometimes slips into "omae" though, mostly when talking to his enemies or, recently, Ichigo.
Aizen uses it all the time. The only times when he stopped being nice and he dropped it? Two: when he ordered Grimmjow to not attack Tousen (he called Grimmjow "omae") and when Gin betrayed him: first Aizen called Gin "kisama", and then used "omae".
In Code Geass, Jeremiah uses kimi when addressing Suzaku, even when they're enemies. Suzaku, on the other hand, uses anata when addressing Jeremiah.
In Lyrical Nanoha, this pronoun is often used by Yuuno, Chrono, Erio and Scaglietti.
Hayate and Yuri often switch between "anata" and "kimi".
貴様 Archaic, somewhat haughty word for "you". Nowadays it's mostly used in a "you bastard" meaning in anime and other forms of entertainment; however, in older feudal times it had no offensive overtones and was used to address subordinates and people below one's rank in an informal manner. Note that there are many different translations for this word, similar to kuso (basically a general-purpose expletive)—anything from "motherfucker" to "You Bastard" to just plain ol' "you" would be acceptable, depending on the context. Japanese politeness levels are sort of complicated.
Natsuki of Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome is not known for being especially polite, but when she's especially angry with someone, such as Nao, she tends to use this pronoun.
Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail uses this on her enemies.
Marde Guille uses this on all humans and his own minions when he's displeased with them.
Alastor in Shakugan no Shana will unfailingly use 'kisama' when addressing Yuji, despite the level of familiarity the torch has with both him and his champion. This is not so much a calculated insult as the fact that the Crimson King considers humans to be literally beneath his notice — Yuji is the only human Alastor will use pronouns to (or mention at all) when addressing directly. Alternatively, he could just be extremely old-fashioned and is unaware that it's a rude form of address in modern Japan.
Rozalin spends the first half of Disgaea 2 addressing Adell in this manner. She switches to 'onushi' when he ends up Taking the Bullet for her.
Tatewaki Kunou of Ranma ˝ uses this in both its archaically formal form (for Akane), and in its insulting form (for Ranma).
Issei and Shirou of Fate/stay night are close friends, and Issei usually uses omae with him. He briefly switches to kisama - understandable, as Shirou has just ordered him to strip. Another notable instance: Berserker is surprisingly calm on the one occasion when he speaks, but he still uses kisama for Saber, his enemy.
Seto Kaiba of Yu-Gi-Oh! commonly uses this on anyone whom he hates or looks down upon (in other words, most people).
Vegeta from Dragon Ball likes to use this one quite a bit as well.
Like Kuno, Juubei from Get Backers uses both the respectful form for Kazuki and the "you bastard!" form for whoever is pissing him off that day. There's a reason he's called "samurai-boy."
Lamia Loveless from Super Robot Wars Advance slips into this in OG Gaiden (she usually uses a much more formal tone), if she ever encounters a Bartoll, which is understandable, because she has a grudge against them for capturing her and using her as a "pilot".
Byakuya Kuchiki uses it often with people he considers below himself (of whom there are a lot). Rukia and Soifon use this with most everyone, to go with their archaic and masculine speech patterns. Ulquiorra also insults his enemies in this way, distinguishing himself from his fellow Espada who use the much less archaic sounding temee.
Sui-Feng addresses basically everyone who is not Yoruichi or Yamamoto like this.
Barragan uses this on everyone; his enemies, his subordinates, even his superior Aizen. (Of course, he hates Aizen, so it only makes sense.)
Zommari, despite spending most of his battle with Byakuya speaking very politely, switches to this when condemning Shinigami for slaughtering Hollows just because they have to eat humans to survive.
Aizen, despite normally using kimi, uses this toward Kyoraku after getting stabbed, but what was stabbed was Hinamori, so this might not have happened. He later uses it on Yoruichi in response to a surprise attack (not that it hurt him) and Gin when the latter uses an attack that, despite how ludicrously powerful Aizen had become by that point, had the potential to kill him.
Harribel, when she believes that Toshiro is underestimating her power after seeing her rank.
Angel Beats!: A good indicator of how Naoi thinks of himself in relation to others is that he addresses everyone but Tachibana and Otonashi this way, the former likely only to keep up appearances, and the latter, well...
This is Dearche's most common second-person pronoun
Ignis in Agarest Senki 2 would usually refer to anybody by this language. Even his Love Interest (at least before he calls her by name).
One of the reasons people poke fun at fansubbers TV-Nihon is that in the past, they left certain Japanese words (including kisama) untranslated and justified their actions by saying there was no direct English translation. This lead to the memetic screenshots from the Zeta Gundam movies where (among others) someone refers to Kamille as "You little kisama!" They've toned this down a lot in recent years.
Medaka Kurokami of Medaka Box uses this to refer to everybody, her Unlucky Childhood Friend, her Rivals, even the school head master, however she uses it in the same contextual manner as a feudal lordnote Fitting since she is the school president for most of the series. and rarely if ever uses it as an expletive.
In the Japanese dub of The Lion King, Simba uses kisama on Scar during their final duel on the Pride Rock, possibly to emphatize the fact Simba is prepared to kill him for good. Oddly enough, Scar doesn't use this, despise his position as the villain and the fact he wants to see Simba dead more than everyone.
汝/爾 Another archaic form, roughly equivalent to "thou." Used in The Bible, and to translate the speech of Quakers in films. Incantations, spells, and the like tend to use this for the second person.
Used in the Tales incantation for Indignation: "Yomi no mon hiraku tokoro ni nanji ari," which is roughly "The gates of hell open where thou art," as well as the variant in Tales of Legendia, "nanji no houkou yori banshou ni haae" ("by thy roar destroy creation").
Also used in the incantation for the Dragon Slave spell in Slayers.
Used in the Persona series through the series-recurring Arc Words "Nanji wa ware, ware wa nanji.", or "Thou art I, and I am thou.", as it is translated to in English. It is usually used as a Catch Phrase by Persona when their owners awake to their power to illustrate their nature and existence, amongst them Orpheus and Izanagi to the protagonists of Persona 3 and 4.
Nanji is used in the Bible and various Christian texts, including the marriage vow.
Uesugi Kenshin from Sengoku Basara uses this, being very old-fashioned.
In Harukanaru Toki No Naka De, the Dragon God refers to the main character this way. The first episode of the Hachiyou Shou TV series is even titled "Nanji, Ryuujin no Miko".
御前 Used by men with their close friends, children, kohai, etc. Denotes self-assertiveness and informality, so it's insulting to use it with strangers or in less informal situations (usage is commonly related to ore). However, it's perfectly fine and non-insulting in informal situations, such as with friends or among siblings. Women also use it but less frequently. There is also a version with rougher pronunciation that is said omee.
Jun from Rozen Maiden, he of no social skills, uses this for everyone.
Hiruma from Eyeshield 21, who also tends to use temee when provoked (see below).
Most of the male Straw Hats refer to their crewmates with omae in One Piece
The Cromartie High School guys use this a lot. What's interesting is that when they use it for "Happy Birthday" (see unu below), it gets dubbed as "ya jerk" — a little reminder that omae, while not rude among young men, isn't respectful either.
Laharl from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness use it on Flonne for the first half of the game which she eventually get mad about it, saying that it's rude.
Adell from Disgaea 2 uses this as a standard pronoun for everyone, including Rozalin immediately after having met her. She immediately points out the rudeness of it; nevermind of course that she constantly refers to him as 'kisama'.
Most of the ore-using Konoha ninja in Naruto use omae on people at or below their rank.
Consistently used by Atsushi Otani in Lovely Complex to address his classmates. Then again, Osaka-ben already has a reputation for informality bordering on the uncouth.
Signum uses this for most people except her mistress, Hayate, in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. At one point early on in StrikerS, she wonders if she should stop calling Fate this when she's assigned as her vice-captain in Forward Lightning, but Fate says it's all right (one fansub has her suggesting that she shouldn't be calling her "Hey, You!" any more).
Reinforce Eins and Zafira also use "omae" a lot if they don't address Hayate.
Dearche, who frequently use "kisama" to everyone", addresses Yuri with "omae" after "befriending" her.
"Zetsubo ga omae no...goal da." ("Your goal is despair / despair waits at your finish line, etc.")
"Omae okorosu" is basically Heero Yuy's catch phrase. He refers to everyone this way, from teammates to the Rebellious Princess, even the time he gets closest to admitting he cares for hernote his "I will protect you" speech in the penultimate episode; if you've really ticked him off, you get upgraded to kisama.
In the BL genre, it's common for couples to use omae with each other.
All the teen guys from Marmalade Boy (coupled with several of them being ore users), even when talking to girls (Girls that are not Meiko, that is).
In Shadowrun, the western world has adopted a lot of Japanese slang, including the main form of currency, nuyen (New Yen). In the fiction, many characters use "omae" interchangeably with "chum" or "mate."
Kara no Kyoukai Ryougi Shiki uses this, in keeping with her ore-onna status.
己 An extremely insulting word for "you." Often the last word shouted by a Super Robot villain before their critically damaged Humongous Mecha explodes. Lacking a proper English equivalent, it's mostly translated as a variant of "Why you!..." because of its common use in the heat of battle. In some cases it is used as a general term for "self," not unlike jibun. Also the pronoun used in much Buddhist literature, possibly due to the humility expected of monks.
Elizabeth in Maburaho uses this when she is angry.
Zommari of Bleach yells this quite frequently late in his battle with Byakuya.
"ONORE! ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE" — Gilgamesh, losing to Shirou in Fate/stay night.
Lord Dearche addresses people with this when she's really pissed off. Mostly, it's "ONORE! O-NO-REEEEEEE!!"
Yubel in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when it and Johan simultaneously lose their duel and everyone else in the school gets sent back.
For an oddly casual example, Misae in CLANNAD calls Sunohara this... right before picking him up by the legs and swinging him around to clean up the junk in his room. Well, it's the thought that counts, right?
Used in Full Metal Panic! during the Homeland Arc. True to this pronoun's description, it was shouted by one of Sousuke's team members (in a Humongous Mecha, no less) at Gauron, after Gauron killed one of their comrades.
It is also used by Kaname towards Sousuke, at one particular time when he has managed to misinterpret 'be model for the class' painting project' as 'go hide in the nearby forest and incapacitate anyone who comes looking for you', leading to half the class being knocked out cold by anti-personnel mines and the other half put at risk to failing their arts grade.
Kamen Rider Decade villain Narutaki seems to follow Tsukasa and co around the worlds solely for the purpose of blaming him for everything regardless of whether or not it was his fault, inevitably shouting "Onore Dikeido/Damn you, Decade".
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: After Juzo screws over Akumaro's plan to create Hell on Earth at the last minute, Akumaro goes absolutely apeshit and starts throwing lightning everywhere. As the Shinkengers line up their big guns, he keeps stumbling towards them, blasting them and snarling "Onore...onore...onore!"
Several older characters in Sengoku Basara, particularly Takeda Shingen, use this.
Otani Yoshitsugu drops the first character and uses nushi, which makes him sound even more superior.
Himari of Omamori Himari calls anyone close to Yuuto this, while she calls Yuuto "waka-dono".
Raidei The Blade in Trigun uses this with E. G. Mine and Wolfwood (he uses kiden with Vash).
Ika Musume alternates between using onushi and omae, as part of her haughty invader persona.
御宅 An old term for "you" that fell into general obsolescence and became a subcultural shibboleth, giving the word its more common meaning. Still pops up as a pronoun once in a while, typically by the military sort who might refer to himself as jibun.
Alvin from Tales of Xillia. His peculiar dialect is one of the (many, many) red flags that there's something up with him.
Sasuke from Sengoku Basara uses it occasionally, but only toward his enemies.
そなた/其方 An archaic form. Historically it was used to address people of lower social standing in a respectful way. In modern works this is the standard second-person pronoun used for archaic type characters, and depending on the context can either be used as anata with an archaic flavor or as a version of the more friendly kimi for these characters (which is happening more and more often with modern works).
Meiya and her twin sister Yuuhi in Muv-Luv. This may a case of archaic usage, given Meiya's formal and archaic mode of speech, and Yuuhi's upbringing as the Grand Shogun.
Gilgamesh always uses kisama or omae when referring to everyone else, with only one exception: he uses this on Alexander (the only opponent in the war he had a shred of respect for) shortly after defeating him, while telling him that they can have a fight again some other time. Also most probably a deliberate archaism.
Lost in Translation, but Gilgamesh always talks in archaisms, making his conversations sometimes hard for even native speakers to understand.
After you save her from Barinade, Princess Ruto in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time starts using sonata for you. Before that, she uses the less respectful variant sonohou (as does King Zora).
てめえ A very insulting word for "you," almost exclusively used by rough-talking male characters. Commonly translated as "you bastard." A corruption of the archaic first-person pronoun 手前 temae, literally "that which is in front of you," which was very humble and self-effacing.
Video game example: I-no in Guilty Gear XX has absolutely no respect for other people, and thus addresses everyone this way.
Ex-gangster Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk (who uses ore as his personal pronoun) usually refers to other male characters that way, indicating his turbulent past. On the other hand, he reverts to a much more polite speech when talking to women.
The guys at Cromartie High School have an odd habit of never using the same "you" pronoun twice when they sing "Happy Birthday". Unu is the most obscure one they pull out. The rudeness is no surprise coming from delinquents... but then, these are delinquents who rarely do any delinquenting, so it's no surprise when they use kimi either.
Real Life Example. Johnny Kitagawa, the president of Johnny and Associates, uses you so much that it's both trademark, and will grab the attention of ALL of his talents in the room no mater which one he's talking to. In fact, the only person he doesn't call you is, fittingly enough, actually named You.
A semi-example in Ever17: Tanaka Yuubiseiharukana prefers to shorten her name to "Yuu"/"You", and everyone addresses her as that. She even lampshades it in her introduction: "I am You!"
Cowboy Andy from Cowboy Bebop uses this constantly. He still uses Japanese pronouns for himself (most commonly "watashi"), but this is the only pronoun he uses for other people.
Be forewarned — Japanese has no grammatical category corresponding to the English "plural suffix." "X-tachi" does not mean "the plural of X" (i.e., "a group of Xs"), but rather "the group containing X" much like the casual English expression "X and company," or seeing as this is Japanese, "X and Nakama." For this reason, use of -tachi in conjunction with a gender-specific pronoun does not necessarily specify anything about the makeup of a group as a whole—"atashi-tachi" and "ore-tachi" could both refer to mixed-gender groups.
共 Another plural suffix, but usually implying that the people or objects described are lowly or humble. Can be condescending when used on others, but using it on oneself indicates humility.
In the Shusuke Amagai arc of Bleach, a maid for the Kasumi-oji clan uses "watakushi-domo" to say "we" in reference to her and another maid; as they are low-ranking servants, they are presumably expected to be very polite and humble.
Donquixote Doflamingo uses "kozou-domo" ("brats") to refer to Bellamy and Sarquiss, showing condescension.
Many captains address their subordinates as "yarou-domo" in their battlecries.
Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star is very fond of using the word "akutō-domo" when addressing multiple opponents. "Base villains" would probably be a decent translation.
Chosokabe Motochika from Sengoku Basara refers to his pirate crew as "yarou-domo" which is roughly the Japanese equivalent of calling them "scurvy dogs" or the like ("you sons of bitches" in the Funimation dub).
Kamina and Kittan frequently use "yarou-domo" in their battlecries to address their teammates.
Simon use it on himself when he first meet Nia, possibly freaked out that she goes ultra formal and polite on him.
In Seitokai Yakuindomo Yokoshima refers to the student council twice by using a Title Drop, and probably couldn't care less if it sounds offensive.
Gilgamesh likes to use "zasshu-domo", or "mongrels", referring to everyone else but himself.
Alien invaders frequently refer to humanity as "ningen-domo" when gloating over a plan to conquer or exterminate the foolish humans.
方 From kata, a polite word roughly meaning "honorable person," the "k" changes to "g" when attached to another word. Very polite and formal. It should always be applied to a group not including the speaker; e.g., anata-gata.
Kuchiha in Amatsuki uses osamurai-gata when pleading for a group of samurai to spare her friend's life.
Uesugi Kenshin and Akechi Mitsuhide from Sengoku Basara use anata-gata. At one point Yukimura addresses a group of soldiers using minamina-sama-gata, which is polite almost to the point of being ridiculous.
Considering that Yukimura is far above them by birth and rank, it is ridiculously polite... but that's Yukimura for you.
In ARIA, Alice refers to Akari+Aika as "senpai-gata".
Darjeeling of Girls und Panzer, tends to address people in the plural as "anata-gata".
ら Works the same way as -tachi, though the two are not always interchangeable; e.g., ware-ra (in which case the possessive form is warera no/ga...) works with -ra only.
Saika Magoichi always refers to herself and her band of mercenaries as ware-ra collectively in Sengoku Basara.
The title of the novel We is translated into Japanese as ware-ra.
Nina in Rose Guns Days, as she speaks in a very unusual dialect, uses a similarly unusual "watashi-ra" for the first person plural. The form normally used is "watashi-tachi".
達 A suffix used to denote a group that includes the person referred to. [Name]-tachi translates loosely to "[Name] and one or more others"; most singular pronouns can get this suffix attached for a similar effect.
In one Minami-ke episode, Haruka refers to Chiaki and the others with her as "Chiaki-tachi".
Used in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in the instances where the catchphrase is said by a group. It becomes "Ore-tachi wo dare da to omotte yagaru?!" or "Who the hell do you think we are?!"
我々 "We" or "us", used by both men and women to refer to a group. Generally used to refer to, say, one's people or one's company, rather than in a "me and my friends" sense. Note that the repetition of the word with the small kanji 々 is a common way of expressing a plural for some words in Japanase − like "hitobito" (人々) for "people".
Pain uses this form when referring to himself, and himself only. Weird? No, it's actually justified by the fact that Pain is essentially a small Hive Mind, consisting of 6 people, a dozen or so animals and one "puppeteer" with a sort-of justified messiah complex.