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Useful Notes / Japanese Pronouns

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Japanese, unlike English, allows all pronouns to be omitted from sentences when they can be inferred from context. In fact, it not only allows it: you are more likely to speak without pronouns than with them. In spite of this — or perhaps because of it — Japanese has far more pronouns than the average language. There are more than three dozen Japanese words that can be translated as "I" and even more that can be translated as "you". Each of them makes a different statement about the speaker's gender, age, social status, relationship with the addressee, and how the speaker wants to present themselves. To capture a little of the flavor, English translations sometimes use "this (category of person)" — this little girl, this humble peasant, this badass.

Writers, naturally, take advantage of this. The "wrong" pronoun can be a moment for comedy (see Different for Girls); the specific choice can say a lot about the character speaking. And it's easy to avoid revealing characters' names, for whatever reason.

Note that, even more so than in most forms of media, the language used in anime is heavily stylized and quite different from the way actual Japanese people speak in real life. Take everything you hear in anime with a grain of salt — foreigners who watched too much anime while learning Japanese are easy to spot.

See also: Royal "We", Pronoun Trouble, Hey, You!, Third-Person Person, Japanese Honorifics.

When the pronoun(s) used for a character says something about their personality, see Expository Pronoun.

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I (first person pronoun)

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.

    Atai Examples 

あたし Informal, assertive, yet feminine version of "watashi". It is most commonly used to make a 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. Atashi was once predominantly used by male merchants and craftsmen of the Edo period, and is still traditional for rakugo performers; nowadays however, a male character using atashi is more likely to indicate that he's Camp Gay. In Kagoshima, atashi becomes atai above.

    Atashi Examples 
  • Waka uses atashi in his flamboyant personality for Amnesia: Memories.
  • "Snooty" villagers from Animal Crossing use "atashi". They're the dark feminine to the more sweeter "peppy" villagers (who use "atai") light feminine. They're fashion savvy and bratty villagers.
  • 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).
  • Ayumu "Osaka" Kasuga in Azumanga Daioh uses "atashi" as part of her characterization as a direct inversion of The Idiot from Osaka, being a spacey and gentle girl rather than a brash, loudmouthed Genki Girl like Tomo.
  • Black Lagoon: The very aggressive and tomboyish Revy uses this one. Her speech patterns are otherwise very masculine.
  • Bleach:
    • Kisuke 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.
  • Nagisa from Chou Kuse ni Narisou says this even when she's disguised as a boy, which undermines the disguise.
  • The younger girls from Dear Brother use this one more often than not. Specially the protagonist, Nanako, who uses this as a sign of her naivete and youth.
  • Arashi of Ensemble Stars! uses atashi in katakana, hinting not only at girliness but a Western-style trendiness as well.
  • A rare male example is Mr. Heart from Fist of the North Star, though he switches to washi and watashi when he's being serious.
  • The main universe version of Riri (or Lilly in English version) Yarimizu from I=MGCM.
  • Natsuji Kijima in Kamen Rider Fourze, as he is a rakugo performer.
  • Used in the Neptunia series by Uni, Pururut, Falcom and Anonedeath. The latter is a Camp Straight man in pink power armor who claims to have the heart of a pure maiden and has a Villainous Crush on Noire.
  • One Piece
    • Nami, reflecting her boisterous personality. Interestingly, this is only in the anime, as she uses "watashi" in the manga.
    • The crass, gluttonous Jewelry Bonney uses this.
  • Haruhi's father Ryoji "Ranka" Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club uses atashi, presumably because he's a crossdresser.
  • Misty in Pokémon: The Series uses it, which fits with her hot-blooded and tomboyish nature.
  • Sayaka Miki in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Despite being tomboyish, she has a girly side. Kyoko Sakura also uses it, and is even more tomboyish with her rude, masculine language (such as using temee on people who annoy her).
  • Oshare Bones from Puyo Puyo uses this when referring to himself.
  • Ranma ½:
  • In Sands of Destruction, Morte uses atashi. She may be out to destroy the world, but she's a Lady of War, not The Lad-ette. The manga (which was made later) switches her to using the "standard" 私, for unknown reasons.
  • Yuzuru Nishimiya from A Silent Voice used to go by atashi as a little girl with long hair who wore dresses. She started to cut her own hair short and adopt a boyish personality to protect her helpless sister from bullies.
  • 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.
  • Amy Rose, Rouge the Bat, and Wave the Swallow from the Sonic the Hedgehog series all use "astashi", showing off how care free they are.
  • Fire Emblem (not that one) from Tiger & Bunny uses this occasionally, being a rather camp person; usually he uses watashi.
  • 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.)
  • Vil Schoenheit in Twisted Wonderland, an incredibly foppish man who part-times as an internationally famous supermodel.
  • Itou and Odagiri in Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches. While both are reasonably girly (Itou is a bit more tomboyish than Odagiri, though), they are still quite hot-tempered and brash.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Anzu and Mai use atashi and they are prominent Ms. Fanservice characters. The latter also emphasises the power of sexy, confident women.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Luca uses atashi, being the youngest and "girliest"note  Signer of the cast.

Japanese-Language Localizations

  • Seam from Deltarune always refers to themself with "atashi" in the Japanese localization. It's worth mentioning that "atashi" was formerly gender-neutral, and was used by merchants in the Edo period; this may reflect their Ambiguous Gender (as is the case in the English version) and their job as a shopkeeper.
  • In the Japanese dub of The Ghost and Molly McGee, Molly, Libby and Andrea all use atashi, although Andrea sometimes also uses watashi.

晩生 Archaic, self-effacing, often used by the kōhai in Senpai/Kōhai context.

僕 "I, a non-threatening man." An informal, somewhat masculine pronoun more assertive than watashi but less so than ore, it's typically 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. Younger girls and women also use it among each other, however, never when a boy or man is present. It's also the default pronoun for young boys, though an especially childish one may use boku-chin instead.

In anime, it can also be used by tomboyish girls, regardless of social context; 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 outside of close company). Female singers and poets may also use boku purely for metrical purposes. Interestingly, this pronoun tends to be used by androgynous characters with either Ambiguous Gender or/and Viewer Gender Confusion, such as Yubel, Crona, or Ashuramaru. If used by villains, expect them to be a Psychopathic Manchild and/or a Sissy Villain.

    Boku Examples 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Naruhodou Ryuuichi/Phoenix Wright uses this. It fits his easily flustered personality.
    • Bansai Ichiyanagi/Blaise Debeste in the second Ace Attorney Investigations uses it too, but since he's 68, it's meant to make him sound creepily childish.
  • "Smug" and "lazy" villagers in Animal Crossing use "boku". Smug villagers are self-centered but nice while "lazy" villagers are very immature.
  • Armin and Bertolt from Attack on Titan, in line with their rather meek personalities.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Jin Kisaragi uses "boku" to refer to himself (in contrast to the other guys using the rough but masculine "ore" or the gender-neutral watashi expected of a grown man), and "omae" or sometimes "kisama" to call most people, which emphasizes his immaturity and his superficial politeness and that he was originally a Sissy Villain. For Tsubaki he uses "kimi", reflecting their closeness.
    • Carl Clover uses "boku" to refer to himself, and "anata" to refer to people.
    • Platinum the Trinity has Split Personality; one of them, Sena, is a boy and calls himself "boku". The other one, Luna, uses her own name.
  • Late in Bokurano, Jun Ushiro, who usually uses ore, uses this while meeting with the parents of Takeshi Waku, the first character who died. After the meeting, Youko Machi teases him about using "boku" and the conversation then leads in to the Title Drop- "Bokura no" means "Ours" in Japanese.
  • Blue Exorcist contrasts Rin's ore with his younger twin brother Yukio's boku.
  • Case Closed:
  • 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.
  • Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass uses boku as a teenager and refers to most people except for his superiors with kimi. He used ore as a child however, which contrasts Lelouch, who used boku as a child and ore as a grown-up.
  • Mugman referrs to himelf as "boku" in the Japanese dub of The Cuphead Show!, highlighting his status as the cautious, levelheaded brother compared to Cuphead, who uses "ore".
  • Kiyotaka Ishimaru from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. 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 contrast to most sports anime characters, Kazama from DAYS uses "boku". He's a shy, soft spoken teenage boy.
  • 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. Boku (usually humble) is also startlingly contrasted with Light's actual personality (anything but humble).
  • DEVILMAN crybaby: Unlike his manga and OVA counterpart who use ore since the beginning, Akira in Crybaby uses boku at first, to emphasize his... well, crybaby nature.
  • Humble Daisuke in D.N.Angel uses "boku" while confident alter ego Dark uses "ore."
  • Pretty much all male protagonists created by Fujiko F. Fujio in his series and shorts. They are all portrayed as either mild-mannered middle-aged salarymen or feeble nerdy boys. A notable example would be Nobita Nobi from Doraemon.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • While most of the male heroes use ore, Gohan uses boku to demonstrate his more gentle nature. He switches to ore after having his potential unlocked to show how confident he's become, but he switches back to boku eventually. In Trunks' Bad Future, he uses ore instead. His little brother Goten follows in his stead and uses boku.
    • Contrasting this is Freeza, who uses boku in his final form, contrasting his sadism and extreme power with his childish manner of speech.
  • In the Japanese dub of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed uses "Boku-chin."
  • Kiritsugu Emiya from Fate/stay night, Shirou's easygoing adoptive father, is always seen in Shirou's flashbacks as using boku. Fate/Zero reveals that he used it even during his cold-hearted hitman/Magus Killer days, which emphasizes how he hasn't grown out of his immature ideals despite being colder and more ruthless as an adult.
  • Al in Fullmetal Alchemist to set him as the Blue Oni to his elder brother.
  • Kazuki and Makubex in Get Backers, Makubex because of his age, Kazuki because despite everything he's still male.
  • Shimon Nagareyama in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, who is usually very shy and polite.
  • Hatsune Miku: Colorful Stage!: Mizuki uses "boku". This is notable mostly because Mizuki has an Ambiguous Gender Identity — they're outwardly feminine, but their gender is officially a secret. It's all-but-stated that they are, at the least, gender non-conforming, and their use of "boku" plays a large part in their presentation.
  • Russia in Hetalia: Axis Powers, mostly to emphasize his child-like craziness and attempt to sound friendly. Canada, Finland and Iceland also use it, though they're more mellow and mature to differing degrees.
  • Kiba and Gasper from High School D×D use this in contrast to Issei's more masculine "ore". Kiba is a Bishōnen Chick Magnet while Gasper is a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • I=MGCM: Akisa Higashiyama, despite being a stoic Smart Girl, sometimes uses this.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: More often than not, the nicest character in an ensemble in this series will use this pronoun. Examples include Jonathan Joestar, Noriaki Kakyoin, and Koichi Hirose.
  • Emu Hojo of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid uses "Boku"... ordinarily. When he transforms, his Split Personality of Genius Gamer M takes over, who instead uses the more tough and self-confident "Ore". This continues when he receives the Mid-Season Upgrade of Mighty Brothers XX, which splits him in two. The orange copy of him uses "Ore", whereas the blue half uses "Boku".
    • Also notable is that when Emu ends up possessed by the villainous Parado, who is actually the Genius Gamer M side of his personality given life (who ordinarily uses "Ore"), Parado has a slip of the tongue and uses the wrong pronoun when in Emu's body. Him using "Ore" instead of "Boku" ends up giving the game away to the rest of the cast, who up until then had been fooled.
  • Hazumu in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl (she's very feminine, but used to be a boy, and hasn't fallen out of the habit yet)
  • 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.
  • In Kuroko's Basketball, Kuroko uses boku in line with his polite speech. Akashi's alternate personality uses this too. During their Teiko days before his other side took over and after Rakuzan is defeated by Seirin he used ore.
  • Female Breakout Villain Yodonna from Mashin Sentai Kiramager uses this pronoun, and is also an emotionless general of a space empire.
  • Lady Bat from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch as part of her "masculine image". Taro Mitsuki and Rihito Amagi use boku, too.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED's Kira Yamato uses boku along with extremely humble and polite speech even when yelling in anger, notably the only pilot that does. All others use ore and rougher speech.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Louis, William, Bond (switching from Watashi after transitioning to a man), and Fred all use this one reliably—the quieter, more polite men of the gang.
  • Izuku Midoriya of My Hero Academia—it's even in the Japanese title. Fittingly, he's a lot gentler and more down-to-earth than most shōnen protagonists. Yuga Aoyama also uses this, and Tenya Iida occasionally slips into it when he gets emotional (he normally uses "ore"). Less pleasant users of this pronoun include Neito Monoma and All For One.
  • In Naruto, out of the Konoha genin boys, only Chouji and Lee use boku. The villainous Sound Village features Kabuto and Kimimaro. 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.. Flashbacks reveal that, in his days in the academy, Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage, used boku, but as an adult had switched to ore.
  • 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 Kansai-ben characteristics washi to boku when he is talking to Misato.
  • One Piece:
    • Coby, a meek boy Luffy meets very early into the story who aspires to become a high-ranking Marine.
    • Cavendish is one of the few cases in a series of mostly "ore", but his other personality Hakuba uses "ore". When the two fight over control of the body and end up each gaining half of it, the resulting pronoun comes out as "bore".
    • Kaido's (biologically female) son Yamato uses this, showing his male identity inspired by Oden (who actually used ore).
  • 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.
  • Penguindrum: Shoma Takakura contrasting with his more assertive brother Kanba's ore.
  • Persona 4:
    • 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.
    • Shadow Kanji uses this in contrast to the regular Kanji using ore to show that he's a Camp Gay Sissy Villain.
  • Pikachu from Pokémon: The Series uses "boku" according to the subtitles in "Island Of Giant Pokémon". The other Pokémon used "ore", as does Pikachu's trainer Ash. Pikachu using "boku" can be heard when he introduces himself with "Pika Pikachu" ("boku Pikachu").
  • Mytho from Princess Tutu. He'd possibly be mistaken for a girl if he used 'watashi'...
  • Hibari, Mukuro, and Byakuran from Reborn! (2004) are quite polite (Mukuro even uses polite Japanese!) 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).
  • In the Japanese dub of Regular Show, Pops uses "Boku-chan", fitting with his childlike, effeminate personality.
  • Utena, Dios, Miki and Saionji in Revolutionary Girl Utena. Also Akio when in Chairman mode (he normally uses ore). 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.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser Ren from Sazanami Cherry uses "boku". His boyfriend originally mistook him for a bokukko.
  • Some young male characters in Sengoku Basara call themselves "boku", like Kobayakawa Hideaki and Otomo Sorin. Takenaka Hanbe also uses it.
  • Seraph of the End: While most males use "ore", some guys use "boku": Mika and Shinya in contrast to their best friends' "ore" - Yuu and Guren respectively, Yoichi - the Nice Guy, Ferid, Crowley, Lest Karr and Asuramaru aka Ashera Tepes - they are all Really 700 Years Old vampires who were turned at a young age. The most unusual example is Saito, who is the former Second Progenitor of the vampires and therefore older than pretty much all the cast except for the First Progenitor. This is probably to emphasize his Faux Affably Evil nature.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Miles "Tails" Prower uses boku, indicating his youth compared to his older, cockier friend Sonic. The same goes for the slightly younger Charmy.
    • Oddly enough, Shadow the Hedgehog uses boku. This actually caused a bit of internal drama at Sonic Team, since many of the people on the Sonic Adventure 2 staff thought he should use ore instead. Like Tails, this is meant to contrast Sonic, reflecting how he's a more conflicted and less self-confident character. Even after his character development, he still uses it to show how he is more soft-spoken than his outgoing counterpart.
  • A very androgynous character from Soul Eater, Crona, refers to themself as boku, which only contributes to the Ambiguous Gender of the character.
  • Go (Speed in English) uses "boku" in Speed Racer. It's possibly due to the age of the series.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants uses boku in the Japanese dub of the series, reflecting his youthful energy and optimism. This leads to the first line of "Goofy Goober Rock" from the movie being translated as "Boku wa Goofy Goober!"
  • Gian of Summon Night 4 reverts to his childhood usage of boku from his usual watashi as part of his Villainous Breakdown.
  • 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.
  • Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul uses boku, in line with his kind and shy personality.
  • 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.
  • Nitori from Wandering Son uses "boku" despite being quite feminine because she was raised as a man.
  • When They Cry:
    • Rika and Hanyuu in Higurashi: When They Cry generally use the boku pronoun, but both switch to "watashi" when their more mature personas surface. An actual male example is Satoshi.
    • George and Kanon in Umineko: When They Cry. The former is quite mild-mannered, while the latter a servant, albeit brooding and sarcastic.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The contrast between the dark personalities and the real personalities of Yugi, Bakura, and Marik is evident: the author clearly wanted to make them distinctive by making the dark ones use the crasser ore, and the normal ones use boku.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
      • Shou Marufuji, fitting his youthful appearance and mild-mannered behavior.
      • Edo Pheonix, helping maintain his surface level charm and humility despite being an undercover vigilante. Carries over to his Arc-V portrayal as well.
      • Yubel, a hermaphrodic being who looks rather feminine and appears to be like a Woman Scorned, uses boku.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
      • Bruno uses boku, in stark contrast to the main male's ore or his real self's watashi. Due to Amnesiac Dissonance, he still refers to himself as ''boku' even after he regains his memories.
      • Lucciano uses boku, which reflects his "age", representing Aporia's childhood.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: Vector uses boku when acting as the goofy and rather idiotic Shingetsu.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
      • Young boys, such as Sora or Tatsuya use boku.
      • Dennis uses boku to make him look himself humble.
      • Yuya's Evil Counterpart Yuri uses boku as opposed to Yuya and his other counterparts, making him Faux Affably Evil. He switches to ore when synchronizing with Yuya.
  • Unlike the other boys in You and Me (who use "ore"), Shun uses "boku". He is the most effeminate and docile.
  • Kei Jinguji from Neptunia uses "boku". Combined with the fact that Lady Looks Like a Dude, this has lead to much Viewer Gender Confusion.

朕 The form of "I" used exclusively by Emperors. Hirohito stopped using it after losing WWII and it has fallen into disuse. Analogous to the Royal "We".

    Chin Examples 

自分 "Oneself." 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-ben jibun means "you" instead of "I" (when not being used for a reflexive).

    Jibun Examples 
  • Tsubaki in BlazBlue uses this when she's trying to sound more like a soldier. Also Hibiki, being another formal member of the military; he also uses "anata" to call people. He falls into "boku" once when he gets shown his true desire, while trying to deny it.
  • Ruu Ballenclare in the H-Game Dyogrammaton. This emphasizes the fact that she's the only pilot with formal military training.
  • Sousuke Sagara in Full Metal Panic!. As did the high school rugby team of his school once Sousuke was through with them; Kaname originally expresses confusion at the captain's switch from "boku" to "jibun", but in the English dub she's just stunned by his switch to stiff military speak ("'Ma'am'?")
  • Hibiki, of The Idolmaster, uses this in an accentuation of her heavy Okinawan dialect.
  • Sayuri in Kanon when she's doing an internal narration sort of thing (but also clearly speaking aloud) in a voice that isn't pitched abnormally high. Normally she's a Third-Person Person.
  • Kino from Kino's 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.
  • The Adventure Log entries in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild use jibun. While this could be Link referring to himself (fitting for a humble soldier), jibun is reflexive, so it can also be taken as referring to the player. The English localization goes for the second-person "you" as a result.
  • Gray, in the Lord El-Melloi II Case Files, uses jibun as her first-person pronoun, even though she's just a sixteen-year-old girl. But she's quite stoic and mysterious...
  • The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, after her defection, to symbolize how she has sacrificed her humanity in order to become a soldier.
  • 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).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Espio the Chameleon routinely uses "jibun" to show how serious his personality is, compared to the energetic Charmy and the Bunny-Ears Lawyer Vector.
  • Kunzite in Tales of Hearts, by virtue of being a Ridiculously Human Robot, and a Tin Man no less.
  • Tonbokiri in Touken Ranbu, which signifies how he's very polite and deferential towards the Saniwa.
  • 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
  • Hakuoro of Utawarerumono. Granted, he is a military leader for much of the story and is sort of an amnesiac...
  • Isao Kachidoki from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V uses jibun, which gives him a stoic and professional flair, contrasting his two co-students Takeda and Umesugi who are complete Jerkasses and use ore instead.

麿 "I, me, oneself", very archaic. It was used as surname of prestige in the Nara period, then it became a first person pronoun in the Heian period (792 CE), although at first commonly used by both men and women, from the Kamakura period its usage among commoners ceased and became a pronoun used by nobles and aristocrats, until the late 18th century. Nowadays, it is obsolete outside of threaters and written style, while it is used in fiction, the Maro pronoun stereotypically represents the Japanese supreme court judges or characters during the Heian era.

It is related in origin to wa (我), as they shared the same meaning and usage that could also mean "oneself" (today only 自分 and occasionally 己). Waro existed as as variant form of wa in eastern dialects (along with variants like wanu, wagi, and wari) but only maro and ware survived after the Nara period.

Me, Mii
ミー "Me" in its Gratuitous English form. Used either by Eaglelanders or people trying way too hard to be Westernized — like some indeterminately Japanese characters as a sort of Poirot Speak. This can be used as both a singular and plural pronoun: "Me-tachi ga You wo mamoru", or "We'll protect you", for example. See also Anime Accent Absence.

    Me Examples 

Ora おら
A once-common dialect form of ore (see below), with connotations of being from a low-class, rural area. Oira おいら is a somewhat more playful variation, making it a popular choice for mischievous kids and small, cute creatures.

    Ora/Oira Examples 
  • "Jock" villagers in Animal Crossing use "oira". They are Hot-Blooded Lovable Jock characters who aren't the smartest villagers.
  • Son Goku, Chi-Chi, and Ox-King from Dragon Ball all use ora, befitting their rural lifestyle. Uub, too, uses oira. After first becoming a Super Saiyan, Goku uses ore in the form due to its effect on his mindset, but after mastering the form he returns to using ora.
  • Paimon, the little fairy-like companion from Genshin Impact, uses this for some reason.
  • Nanachi from Made in Abyss is a gender-neutral example. They were originally a street kid before becoming coming to the Abyss.
  • In Maria†Holic, Kanako gets sent to the "Study Time Chamber", an obvious DBZ Shout-Out — and comes back talking like Goku, ora and all.
  • Young Musashi Natsuki from Musashi no Ken. Once he turns 15, he switches to ore.
  • Willie Trombone uses this pronoun in The Neverhood's Japanese localization, befitting his simpleminded nature.
  • Kumadori, Absalom, and Big Mom's (later Nami's) animate cloud Zeus from One Piece use oira. Tama, a girl living in the slums of Wano Country, uses ora.
  • Pokémon:
  • Shimazu Yoshihiro and Itsuki from Sengoku Basara. Interestingly, while Itsuki is a peasant, Yoshihiro is a samurai (though he speaks with a heavy Kyushu accent).
  • King/Harlequin, the childlike Fairy King from The Seven Deadly Sins, calls himself "oira".
  • The peasants in Seven Samurai, including the girl, Shino.
  • Eric Cartman from the WOWOW Japanese dub of South Park uses "oira", fitting South Park being a rural mountain town and Cartman being an Enfant Terrible.
  • Alba from Summon Night, fitting given that he grew up in a slum.
  • Taruto, the alien Bratty Half-Pint from Tokyo Mew Mew, uses "oira".
  • Sans typically uses "oira" in the Japanese localization of Undertale and Deltarune, to fit his characterization as an unassuming prankster who contrasts with the more serious Papyrus. This caused a shock to the existing Japanese fanbase, who had been debating on whether he'd use "boku" or "ore". However, Sans does switch to "ore" during his more serious moments.

俺 "I, a tough young person". A casual, assertive masculine pronoun 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 (where its use may lead to Asian Rudeness). 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. In very rare real-life cases, women have been known to use it among each other in a joking manner. Also oi in many of Kyushu dialects (compare ware > wai).

Fun fact: until the 1960s shounen heroes used boku. Ore became fashionable with manga such as Tomorrow's Joe that changed the basic "shounen manga hero" formula by featuring wilder and rougher main characters and presenting them as role models.

Originally, ore was a second person pronoun (i.e. "you"), used in old Japanese as extremely insulting and derogative, equivalent to the modern kisama (貴様) and temae, written as 己 or 爾 (which was the second person pronoun most used in classic Chinese, along with 汝).

From the Kamakura until late Edo period, ore became a first-person pronoun used by men and women of all classes as humble pronoun. It evolved into an assertive masculine pronoun during the Meiji Restoration due to women switching to washi, watashi, and atashi, and has rarely been used by women since. However, it's still used by women in some dialects, mainly rural women, and some regions retain the second-person usage.

    Ore Examples 
  • Keichi in Ah! My Goddess, too bad he was involuntarily disguised as a girl at the time.
  • Cranky villagers from Animal Crossing use ore. They're implied to be the oldest villagers and act the meanest.
  • Odoroki Housuke/Apollo Justice 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.
  • BlazBlue: Ragna, the main protagonist, uses ore to refer to himself, and temee to call everyone else (though he sometimes uses omae or anta instead). It reflects his rough, mean personality.
  • Kuukaku Shiba in Bleach. Stern Ritter Liltotto is an ore-onna, made ever stranger by the fact she looks like a little girl.
  • Bokurano: Jun Ushiro, on the other hand, switches from his brusque ore to a gentler boku as he matures and learns to be a little more vulnerable.
  • Hiroki in Canvas 2, though he attempts to be more polite when conversing with a painter he respects.
  • Megumi in Cheeky Angel used to be a boy (or is she?), and attempting to become one again.
  • Lelouch in Code Geass. He switches to watashi for his Zero persona to avoid identifying himself as a male teenager. As a child, though, he used boku, in contrast to Suzaku, who used ore as a child and boku as a grown-up.
  • The titular character of The Cuphead Show! uses ore, showing his carefree, easygoing and fun-loving personality compared to his brother Mugman, who uses boku.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
      • Mondo Owada and Leon Kuwata. The former is a biker gang leader, the latter is a baseball star, and both are very temperamental. And then, there's Byakuya Togami, who is a scion, but also a very arrogant Jerkass.
      • The real Junko Enoshima also slips into ore at times, when she's in her "tough delinquent mode".
    • Hajime Hinata from Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair uses ore and omae, as his speech pattern is far more direct than that of the previous game's protagonist Makoto Naegi. However, Hajime's Broken Ace alternate personality Izuru Kamukura uses boku and speaks with a polite form of Japanese.
      • Also from Danganronpa 2 is Akane Owari, to highlight her extreme aggression and tomboyishness. There's also Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, heir to a notorious yakuza clan, and Kazuichi Soda, an easygoing yet slightly perverted mechanic.
  • Date A Live: Shido uses this, which was a bit of an issue when he was Dragged into Drag to get close to Miku and kept forgetting to use watashi, though he just keeps using it when she doesn't dwell on it. Conversely, Tohka normally uses watashi but switched to ore while trying to pass herself off as a boy to stick with Shido on a field trip.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Interestingly, Goku Black eventually switches from watashi to ore as his personality becomes more and more similar to Son Goku's.
  • Many NPCs in EarthBound (1994) 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.
  • Mordred, the Saber of Red of Fate/Apocrypha uses ore as part of her rejection of her own femininity.
  • Shirou in Fate/stay night. As with Kyon, using this pronoun rather than boku underscores his no-nonsense personality.
  • 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. However in Final Fantasy VII Remake, when speaking to Cloud during the Edge of Creation, Sephiroth suddenly switches to ore, giving the implication that this Sephiroth isn't the same Sephiroth that they encountered.
  • Naota from FLCL uses this to try and seem more mature. It doesn't appear to work.
  • 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.
  • Shiki from The Garden of Sinners 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.
  • Shuichi in Gravitation, despite his general Uke/Keet persona.
  • In Grenadier, Mikan uses ore, reflecting her tomboyish personality.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Amuro Ray switches from using boku to using ore as he grows into adulthood.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00
      • Used most often and with much emphasis by Tieria Erde in , 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.
      • Setsuna F. Seiei. After all, he often phrases "Ore(-tachi) wa Gundam!"
  • 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.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
  • Issei in High School D×D, highlighting him as the most masculine among the three male protagonists.
  • Upon their first meeting in Hikaru no Go, Hikaru uses ore while Akira uses boku. Hikaru is a much rougher, normal boy from the lower/middle classes, while Akira is much more formal and polite.
  • 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. Jakotsu uses this and speaks in a rude masculine Japanese... suprisingly enough.
  • Is This A Zombie?:
    • Ayumu 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.
  • Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force:
    • Thoma Avenir uses ore in contrast to most other male characters, like Erio, Yuuno and Chrono (boku) and Zafira (watashi).
    • Zest Grangaitz and Regius Gaiz from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS use ore.
  • 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 Edgier Mega Man Zero drama tracks. One suspects that the prolonged carnage of the Elf Wars between the two series had something to do with it. Interestingly, in the Japanese version of the prologue OVA "The Day of Sigma" of Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X he uses watashi, but has switched to ore in the game proper. Fefnir and Harpuia of Zero use this as well. Fefnir is a Hot-Blooded Blood Knight, while Harpuia is probably trying to assert his gender identity.
  • Minami-ke:
    • All four family members of the other Minami family use ore, even the sister, Touma.
    • Hosaka, Fujioka and Makoto also use ore. The latter uses it even when he's in his alter ego, Mako-chan.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Sherlock and Moran both use ore to refer to themselves, reflecting their rough speech patterns (Cockney, in Sherlock's case) and brash, arrogant personalities.
  • Akira of My-HiME uses this because she's pretending to be a boy. Yuuichi also uses it.
  • Iida in My Hero Academia and probably some of the other male students as well.
  • Takeo from My Love Story!! is a teenage boy who uses ore. The name for the manga is "Ore Monogatari". Takeo's a Friend to All Living Things but is very masculine.
  • Neptunia: Uzume normally uses this, but slips into childish third-person while fantasizing or transformed into Orange Heart. She's later revealed to be an inverted Enemy Without to her game's Big Bad Kurome, who also uses this, but does so in katakana instead of kanji.
  • Many of the males in Nurse Angel Ririka SOS use boku, however Ririka's childhood friend Seiya uses ore. He isn't Bishōnen like many of the other boys and is headstrong.
  • Many character from One Piece, including all male members of the Straw Hat Pirates, with the exception of Brook and Jimbei, who are both older, more polite men compared to their younger crewmates.
    • Sogeking uses watashi, but the lyrics of this Image Song have ore.
    • One giant named Oimo uses oi, so when he wants to say "me too", it comes out as oi mo, like his name.
    • Big Mom is a notable female example, with the author noting that it used to be unisex when questioned about it by one reader.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, after it is discovered that the androgynous Haruhi Fujioka, who'd just been pressganged into working for the host club, is actually a girl, she briefly proposes using ore on herself, only for Tamaki, her eventual love interest, to be scandalized.
  • Kanba Takakura from Penguindrum, as the most aggressive and assertive Takakura sibling.
  • The majority of male members of the Phantom Thieves of Heart from Persona 5 uses ore as their pronoun, except Morgana who used wagahai and Goro Akechi who used boku. In animated adaptation, however, Akechi could be heard using ore in only one occasion. Nonetheless, after Akechi is revealed as the traitor, he fully used ore when he confronted the thieves in Shido's Palace.
  • Pokémon:
  • Fakir in Princess Tutu always uses this. He probably is meaning to be rude half the time.
  • Manly young male characters in Ranma ½, including Ranma even when transformed into a girl. Ukyo, while in schoolboy uniform, also uses ore, otherwise uchi. Tsubasa and Konatsu, Ukyo's straight tranvestite love interests, use watashi instead.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin, who normally uses sessha, goes into this when he is in Battousai mode. If this happens, run.
  • Sailor Star Fighter/Kou Seiya in Sailor Moon; this character is male (physically in the anime, just cross-dressing in the manga) in civilian form, but still uses ore as a Sailor Senshi.
  • Inoue Jun from Saki uses this as befitting of her Bifauxnen appearance.
  • On David Bowie's album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), Michi Hirota uses ore in the spoken-word Japanese passages that punctuate "It's No Game (Part 1)", delivered in a defiantly aggressive shout. According to Bowie, Hirota's parts were meant to subvert western depictions of Asian women (and women in general) as meek and submissive, which the use of ore reflects.
  • Date Masamune and Katakura Kojuro from Sengoku Basara, who are portrayed as a delinquent and a yakuza respectively. Young pirate Chosokabe Motochika also uses this. 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.
  • Yagyuu of Senran Kagura uses this. She's not a rough or masculine woman (that'd be Daidouji) but she's a very determined person beneath her calm demeanor, especially if Hibari is involved.
  • Giroro from Sgt. Frog is a brash and hot-headed soldier, so it makes sense that he'd use this pronoun.
  • Yuzuru Nishimiya in A Silent Voice is quite a complete tomboy: dresses like a boy, acts like one and talks like one too. Her preferred pronoun is ore. Apparently, she's so convincing that she can pull off being her sister's "boyfriend", a front she puts up to protect her from the former bully that is our protagonist Nishida. However, she used to be quite girly (see Atashi Examples).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog typically uses ore in katakana (オレ) to highlight his breezy, rebellious personality, although interestingly, very early Japanese-language promotional materials had him use the less assertive boku instead. Knuckles also uses ore, but written in kanji (俺) to emphasize how he's more serious and rigid in personality. Other characters that use "ore" include Silver, who wears his emotions on his sleeve, and the briefly speaking Metal Sonic, who is modeled after the titular hedgehog.
  • 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.
  • Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann graduates from boku to ore. Kamina uses it from the beginning. Also, Kittan's youngest sister, Kiyal, refers to herself as ore, referencing her more up-and-at-'em attitude towards fighting.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • The talkative, bright Hide uses ore.
    • From the sequel, Mutsuki, being rather weak and shy, seems like an odd person to use ore, but once he's revealed as transgender, it can be assumed that he's doing so to assert his masculinity.
  • Tomba!: Interestingly enough, Tomba himself is a Silent Protagonist, and the Japanese title of one event suggest that he normally uses oira.
  • Vash the Stampede of the 1998 anime version of Trigun normally uses boku or even atashi as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity persona, but will switch to ore when he means business. In the manga he changes pronouns throughout the story as part of his character development. He starts out using "boku" and then switches to "ore" after Wolfwood's Death.
  • Ryuunosuke Fujinami from Urusei Yatsura sometimes has to remind people "Ore wa onna da!" ("I'm a woman!", constructed in an extremely masculine way).
  • Hinagiku aka Angel Daisy from Wedding Peach uses this pronoun even as a Love Angel in a frilly wedding dress.
  • Yamada and Miyamura from Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches both use this pronoun to highlight their brash and confident personalities. A noteworthy distinction is that Yamada is generally more likely to leave out first-person pronouns and only uses ore when it's necessary to a given context, while Miyamura uses ore constantly, almost to the point of a Verbal Tic. When Yamada uses ore, it's written in regular kanji, but when Miyamura uses it, it's written in katakana, probably to emphasize his love for the word.
  • Hazuki in the manga version of Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito uses ore, while in the anime, she uses boku instead.
  • Yo-kai Watch:
    • The youkai Venoct from Yo-kai Watch uses ore in the first game; however, he switches to watashi in the second game.
    • Boyish Kid Hero Keita (Nate) uses ore in the Japanese version of the games and anime.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Masculine characters ("masculine" in as in blunt, crass, crude in demeanor and language) from Yu-Gi-Oh!. These include Jonouchi (Joey), Honda (Tristan), Kaiba and Mokuba, and the three dark personalities, Dark Yugi, Dark Bakura and Dark Marik. Interestingly enough, the moment Kaiba switches from boku to ore is the moment he's "masked off" and shows his true nature as an evil son of a bitch. Moreover, the contrast between the dark personalities and the real personalities is evident: the author clearly wanted to make them distinctive by making the dark ones use the crasser ore, and the normal ones use boku.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Among many male characters who use ore, Yuya uses it casually, but switches to watashi when he's in his entertainer persona. His counterparts Yuto and Yugo also use ore. His other counterpart, Yuri, on the other hand, uses boku, but switches to ore when he is synchronizing with Yuya. Their original incarnation Zarc used ore as a human, adopting ware after merging with his dragons to become the Supreme King Dragon, but shifts back to ore toward the end of his duel with everyone.
  • You and Me:
    • Most of the boys use ore. The exception is Shun, who is In Touch with His Feminine Side and uses a boyish boku.
    • The boys meet a kindergarten boy named Ken who uses ore despite his young age. He's very boisterous and aggressive.
  • Your Name: Taki, being an ordinarily masculine teenage boy from Tokyo, uses ore. When Mitsuha first swaps bodies with him, she struggles to get used to this, briefly referring to herself with watashi (her usual pronoun), watakushi, and boku, which confuses the hell out of Tsukasa and Takagi. (The English dub, having no way to properly convey this, instead has Mitsuha using "gal", "fella", and "stud", before settling on "guy".)

俺様 "My most esteemed self," perhaps, or "my magnificent 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 most smug of men.

    Ore-sama Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • Terumi in BlazBlue. When he's in Hazama form, he usually uses the more normal 'watashi', but on Terumi form, he specifically uses 'Ore-sama' and everyone else is 'Temee', showing off his utterly narcisstic side thinking that he's the most awesome being ever, and woe betide anyone that says otherwise.
  • Danganronpa:
  • Koroogi, the resident computer whiz in Dimension W, uses "ore-sama".
  • Piccolo and Vegeta from Dragon Ball use ore-sama on several occasions. Fitting, since Piccolo is the self-proclaimed demon king, while Vegeta is actual royalty and very fixated on that status despite the destruction of his kingdom.
  • Koga of Ensemble Stars! uses it to reflect his boastful, confrontational personality; he's implied to have taken the habit from Rei, who spoke like this prior to the 'war'. Nowadays Rei uses the still confident but far more eccentric (for a modern-day high schooler, anyway) 'wagahai'.
  • Normally polite and aloof Yuki in Fruits Basket, while giving Kyou a lecture at the beach, refers to himself as "ore-sama" just to annoy Kyou. It's notably a sign that Yuki is learning to loosen up as well as the shifting of his relationship with Kyou toward Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Greed uses this in both incarnations, which makes sense for someone who wants to have everything the world has to offer, including power and status.
  • Kousaka from Future Diary uses this sometimes. Fitting, for his Small Name, Big Ego.
  • Cagliostro from Granblue Fantasy. Conceit and arrogance aside, it's also an indicator that she's a 1000 year-old alchemist who transferred his soul into the body of a little girl/homunculus he considers "ideal".
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Prussia is a batshit insane flavor of Hot-Blooded with an extra helping of egomania, so this is fitting.
    • England, who normally uses ore, switches to this when he's boasting.
  • 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".
  • King Dedede uses ore-sama (オレさま) in the Japanese versions of the Kirby games. Interestingly, he's retained this trait even after undergoing a Heel–Face Turn and becoming a good guy, though it still indicates his ego and self-importance. In the anime, he uses washi, due to his Adaptation Personality Change.
  • Master Detective Archives: Rain Code: The peppy death goddess Shinigami referrs to herself as ore-sama-chan.
  • Oudo Miyakonojou from Medaka Box refers to himself as “Idai naru ore” (the great I) to stress that he is the king of Hakoniwa Academy. This is fitting given that his power is something along the lines of a Compelling Voice.
  • Ushijima Gonta (Bud Bison) in Mega Man Star Force is usually an ore-speaker, but he switches to ore-sama when he's taken over by the villainous alien Taurus.
  • Naruto: Every time the titular character gets all high-and-mighty he starts referring to himself as this, like in the omake for Shippuden Episode 75
  • 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".
  • One Piece:
    • After Buggy the Clown becomes a Warlord of the Sea during the Time Skip, he often talks boastfully about himself, using "ore-sama" when he does.
    • Usopp normally just uses "ore", but switches to "ore-sama" (and referring to himself as "Usopp-sama") when he's in Miles Gloriosus mode.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon: Team Skull leader Guzma uses this one to introduce himself. Woolsey'd into English into introducing himself as "It's your boy Guzma".
  • Atobe Keigo in The 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".
  • Tajomaru from Rashomon uses "ore-sama", as a show of his Small Name, Big Ego.
  • Rance from the Rance game series Sengoku Rance. He often proclaims to be "the strongest of all".
  • Sarutobi Sasuke in Sengoku Basara uses this when he's being boastful. Miyamoto Musashi uses it all the time.
  • Kururu from Sgt. Frog is a Jerkass Mad Scientist who uses this pronoun.
  • Vector the Crocodile in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Jet the Hawk also uses this, further emphasizing him as an evil counterpart to Sonic, who is more prideful and cocky than just confident.
  • Black Star from Soul Eater, only switching to 'ore' when he's being polite or concerned.
  • Wolf in the Star Fox series uses this pronoun for himself and kisama (see below) for everyone else. Can't you just smell the superiority complex?
  • Ludwig von Koopa usually uses "ore" in Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania but sometimes uses "ore-sama".
  • O'Chunks from Super Paper Mario uses "ore-sama" to call himself, and "omae" to most people. Very fitting for a Proud Warrior Race Guy.
  • Zelos Wilder from Tales of Symphonia uses "ore-sama" almost exclusively, fitting for his conceited playboy attitude. Rarely, he'll drop the "sama" and switch to "ore" during serious moments, which makes it a pretty good tell for when things are about to get real.
  • Tekken: Devil Jin in his conversations with Jinpachi uses Oresama to address himself, to emphasize his difference from his human counterpart, thinking to be the most supreme being that mastered the power of the Devil. Kazuya Mishima also uses Oresama to distance himself from all other fighters, thinking to be the strongest one.
  • Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann when addressing an enemy. The dub has him temporarily becoming a Third-Person Person whenever this happens: ", the mighty Kamina!" Used by Kittan just before moments before using his own version of Giga Drill Breaker and preforming a Heroic Sacrifice.
    Kittan: [...]Ore-Sama no Tamashi!! (My magnificent soul!!)
  • Alien Guts Vorst, one of Big Bad Alien Chibu Exceller's two leading subordinates tends to refer to himself with this pronoun most of the time he's on-screen in Ultraman Ginga S.
  • Lucifer in You Are Being Summoned, Azazel uses ore most of the time, but sometimes adds -sama for added effect.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Dark Bakura in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Occasionally, Kaiba and Jonouchi uses it as well, but not nearly as much as Dark Bakura.
    • Jun Manjoume in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and although he means it seriously, he's seldom taken serious. The English dub translates this as him referring to himself in the third person as "the Chaz".
    • Shingo Sawatari in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, showing his overly inflated ego despite his poor track record.
    • Roa Kirishima in Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS uses ore-sama to highlight his naughty prince persona and how highly he thinks of himself.

Japanese-Language Localizations

Original English-Language Works

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.

    Sessha Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • Shinobu of Ensemble Stars! uses this due to being a ninja Chuunibyou. He also likes to refer to people as '[name/title]-dono'.
  • Yae Kokonoe of In Another World with My Smartphone. Justified as her homeland, Eashen, is pretty much the equivalent of Feudal Japan, and she's a samurai.
  • Bandeiras Hattori of The King of Fighters XIV uses this, being a ninja... from Brazil.
  • Goemon Ishikawa XIII from Lupin III. Covers both the samurai and ninja aspects; he is the ultimate archaic gentleman.
  • Steamax the robot ninja from Megadimension Neptunia VII.
  • Tengu Man from Mega Man 8, who's a robot based on highly archaic themes, and thus is expected to use similarly archaic terms. On the other hand, the "dignified" side of him disappears in the English version in favor of his arrogance.
  • Fox Fire Kin'emon from One Piece, a samurai from the Wano Country, their world's version of Japan. His alleged son Momonosuke does the same. During the Wano Arc, which takes place in said country, many more side characters unsurprisingly use this as well.
  • In Persona 3, French exchange student Bebe uses sessha, along with some other odd and archaic word choices, because he's a Funny Foreigner and an enthusiastic Japanophile.
  • Kyou (Koga) in Pokémon: The Series. He's a ninja gym leader. The ninjas of Kalos's hidden ninja village has also many ninjas who use this pronoun, including Sanpei.
  • Basil, an Italian Mafia in Reborn! (2004) uses this due to receiving misleading information about Japan from his master.
  • An RPG Maker 2000 game, Romancing Walker has Hayami the kunoichi, whose dialogues are left with Japanese Pronouns after the game was translated.
  • Himura Kenshin in Rurouni Kenshin. When he switches to ore, RUN. Here are some quotes:
    (Politely) Sessha wa rurōni. Ate no nai tabi no kenkaku de gozaru yo. ("I [this humble one] am a wanderer. I am a swordsman on an aimless journey.")
    (With murderous rage) Ore ga korosu to itta ijō, omae no shi wa zettai da. ("Once I say I will kill, your death is certain.")
  • Pop from Smile Pretty Cure! who is a ninja, yes, but he's also an extremely cute and fuzzy mascot character who looks like a plushie lion.
  • 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.
  • Tsukikage and Hikage from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V use sessha because they are ninjas.

Japanese-Language Localizations

拙僧 lit. "this humble priest." Archaic, masculine, used exclusively by Buddhist monks. There's an equivalent in Chinese which literally translates to "this poor (broke, janky) monk".

    Sessō Examples 

小官 Literally "petty official", it's also an old-fashioned, humble way for military or government officials to refer to themselves.

    Shoukan Examples 
  • Riou Mason Busujima from Hypnosis Mic uses this, befitting his background as a former sergeant in the military. He carries this to his songs as well.

小生 Another archaic, self-deprecating form of "I" used by men with their equals and subordinates. Nowadays it's rare but still used sometimes in letters and such.

    Shousei Examples 
  • Tokitsu Junya, the "Detective of the North" in Case Closed. It's hinted that he uses this as a way to make himself look humbler than he truly is. And it's a plot point, actually. See the character sheets to learn the reason why.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Kyogai, a Demon who used to be a downtrodden musician, scorned and ridiculed by his own father. It's easy to see where the self-deprecating element associated with this pronoun lies within the character.

某 Literally means "so-and-so." Used mostly by men, usually samurai; now archaic. Like sessha, it's self-deprecating and denotes excessive modesty and humility.

    Soregashi Examples 
  • Konotegashiwa in Tales of the Undiscovered Swords. In most of the fic's English text, it's sometimes written as "this humble warrior".
  • Raidei The Blade in Trigun to fit his stereotypical samurai behavioural and speech patterns.
  • Yudias Velgear in Yu-Gi-Oh! GO RUSH!! uses this as his pronoun of choice, highlighting his extraterrestrial and warrior origins.

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. The Kansai-ben equivalent to atashi.

    Uchi Examples 
  • "Big sister"-type villagers from Animal Crossing speak in the Kansai accent and thus use uchi. They're presented as tough, Cool Big Sis characters.
  • Hiyori in Bleach. She sometimes is an idiot, though, but more of a Hot-Blooded tomboy normally.
  • Momiji Ooka from Case Closed, as befitting a princessy rich girl from Kyoto.
  • Yoimiya from Genshin Impact, fitting for her due to her working-class background, as well as it being courtesy of her seiyuu, the Kansai-born Kana Ueda.
  • Bridget from Guilty Gear, despite not being from Kansai and initially identifying as male, uses uchi almost invariably (she uses boku a single time in a private context), reflecting her feminine presentation and ultimate decision that she is more comfortable identifying as a girl.
  • Kuroshio and Ryuujou of KanColle use this, as both speaks Kansai. Interestingly, only the former is a genuine speaker (as she was born/built in Osaka) while the latter is not (neither the ship or her voice actress is a native).
  • Suletta Mercury, protagonist of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, uses this pronoun for most of the series, reflecting her status as a Country Mouse who hails from the Mercurian colony (widely viewed as the outer-space equivalent of a Dying Town in the boonies). As the series goes on, she switches to "watashi."
  • Dorothy in Princess Principal, who's the team leader but also the most casual and easygoing member.
  • Ukyo, while not in schoolboy uniform at school, from Ranma ½. Otherwise, she may use the masculine ore instead.
  • Hazel from Saiyuki Gunlock, mainly to emphasize that he's foreign. (Also not an idiot. Maybe.)
  • Kohran from Sakura Wars uses it (as well as speaking Kansai-ben), but she's technically an Anime Chinese Girl. To be fair, she grew up in the Kansai area.
  • Akane Hino/Cure Sunny from Smile Pretty Cure! who is from Osaka. She's not an idiot, but a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Callie/Aori in Splatoon, the goofier half of the Squid Sisters/Sea o' Colors act. She and Marie both come from the Calamari Country, which is implied to be a more old-timey, culturally-rich area of the Inkling world like the Kansai region is in real life (and certain dialogue in the second game implies it may actually be Kansai under a different name), so it's quite appropriate.
  • Asuka Kazama in Tekken initially went by "atashi" in her debut in Tekken 5 but she later switched to "uchi". Given that she is from Osaka, this is more appropriate.
  • Lum, the hot Oni Alien Princess from Urusei Yatsura, refers to herself as "Uchi". Curiously, her father and little cousin speak in Kansai dialect.
  • Kylier from Yggdra Union. She has a very light Kyoto-ben accent.

わちき/私 A feminine pronoun stereotypically used by prostitutes in the Edo period and every bit carries the same connotations as atai above.

吾輩 / 我が輩 "my class, one of my standing". Every bit as arrogant and presumptuous as ore-sama, with the added benefit of being quite archaic (it incorporates the possessive form of ware). Note that 50% of the time you see this, it's an allusion to I Am a Cat by Sōseki Natsume (the original Japanese title being Wagahai wa Neko de aru), a well-known Japanese satirical novel.

    Wagahai Examples 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Karuma Gou/Manfred von Karma, an extremely pompous prosecutor.
    • Soseki Natsume in The Great Ace Attorney uses this, naturally. The cat that Ryunosuke and co. adopt gets named this, after Soseki's pronoun choice.
  • Shirogane in Ayakashi Triangle, complete with "de aru" ending many sentences.
  • Chiyo's father in Azumanga Daioh, a giant cat ...thing. Voiced by the suave, often artistically archaic Norio Wakamoto. Naturally, he introduces himself as "wagahai wa neko de aru" in one infamous scene.
  • Cyborg 007/Great Britain in Cyborg 009. Fitting, he's an actor in his 40's and his speciality is classic theatre.
  • Chaser John Doe from Dream Eater Merry, who actually quotes the book's title without ever having read it.
  • Rei of Ensemble Stars! uses this post-war; the archaism reflects his eccentric old man persona, but it still reflects his confidence and power as a 'vampire'.
  • Caster of Red from Fate/Apocrypha. Then again, he's William Shakespeare, so this, in addition to show his penchant for grandiness, is basically how his Antiquated Linguistics translate in Japanese.
  • Mayor Zao from Freedom Planet uses this in the Japanese subtitles. He's a red panda, not a cat, but he does have a bit of an ego.
  • Alex Louis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist. Yes, even when talking to superiors.
  • In one episode of Gintama, Shinpachi, Kagura and Otae are transformed into demons who wear kabuki makeup, play UNO and speak using "Wagahai". Naturally, Gintoki is freaked out beyond all belief.
  • Zero in Grimoire of Zero, as one of her eccentricities from growing up in a magical research commune filled with old books.
  • Neko in K. She is a cat, and introduces herself as "Wagahai wa Neko de aru." Kukuri calls her Wagahai-chan.
  • Tone of KanColle talks in an archaic manner, including using "wagahai".
  • Teika in Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, who is a lion of a royal line. Even his theme song is titled "Wagahai wa shugojuu de aru ka".
  • 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.
  • In Lucky Star, Yui at one point calls Yutaka "wagahai no imouto", i.e. "my younger sister". In this case the usage seems to be playful rather than arrogant.
  • 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.
  • Mashin Hakobu from Mashin Sentai Kiramager uses this, reflecting his being the mentor of King Oradin and one of the more powerful Mashins.
  • Yukichi from The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today, despite being unable to speak, uses the pronoun "wagahai" in his internal monologues. Since he's an enormous bipedal cat, it's clearly a reference to I Am a Cat.
  • Mogami Yoshiaki from Sengoku Basara, whom arrogant doesn't even begin to describe.
  • Keroro from Sgt. Frog is the pompous and incompetent leader of his platoon. He, along with his squadmates, are Really 700 Years Old, so perhaps this is why he uses this pronoun.
  • Bowser from the Super Mario Bros. series, in keeping with his brash and boastful personality. It should also be noted, of course, that he is a king.
  • Morgana in Persona 5. Given that he's a cat-like being, it's obviously a reference to I Am a Cat.
  • Champ from Uchu Sentai Kyuranger; he's not really all that arrogant, so it's more than likely due to his age (he's over 300 years old). When he briefly adopts the identity of "Yagyu Jubei", he tries to switch to ore but keeps slipping up and instinctively saying wagahai instead, which is just one of the many elements that makes it a Paper-Thin Disguise.

Japanese-Language Localizations

  • In The Saga of Darren Shan, the title character's vampire mentor, Larten Crepsley uses wagahai, as does his mentor, Seba Nile. It's a plot point that Larten picked up a lot of his mannerisms from Seba, such as wearing all red, (in English) not using contractions (he never says "don't", always "do not"), and, in Japanese, using wagahai.

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.

    Warawa Examples 

我 An archaic first person pronoun, that means "I, me, oneself", usually male, alternatively written as 吾 (although this is more literary).

Once the traditional and most common of the first person pronouns used in Japan since the ancient times, it was widely used until the late Edo period, when 私 had been preferred, even though it was in common use until WW2, after the Meiji school reforms began to shift written Japanese (as it had remained the same since the Heian Period, around 800 CE) to modern and increase the literacy, which reduced the use of ware and other now near-archaic pronouns like washi and wai in regional dialects.

Nowadays it's quite uncommon, rather literary and stiff, but extremely formal and polite, as it is used in speeches and formalities to give an intentional traditional and formal tone that gives a lot of emphasis on one's self. It is commonly used for book titles, like "I, robot" (我はロボット) or songs in classical (pre-1946 writing) Japanese songs like 吾は海の子 (I, kin of the sea).

It's used more freely in fictional writing, where usually it is used by gods and powerful immortal entities, as well archaic kings, self-proclaimed lords and rulers. It is commonly used by Demon Lords and Archdevils to emphasize their wise and archaic age. Magical Incantations will likely use this pronoun for the first person. A Talking Weapon is also likely to use this to refer to itself.

It's extremely archaic, as it dates back before the Nara Period (600 CE) and was first used in the Man'yōshū. Being extremely old, it retains its own possessive form: waga (我が) which is composed of the ancient Japanese language pronoun wa (I, us) with the ga particle, used to express possessiveness with certain nouns only, or used as nominative particle, but this last usage of waga is obsolete.

Note that despite the similarity, neither ware nor its ancient form wa are related (at least in terms of usage, rather than definition) to the common Chinese pronoun (lit. "I"), written using the same character. Because Modern Chinese has evolved so much from Middle Chinese (used during the era when the hanzi were imported into Japan to become kanji), the Japanese equivalent of (still the same kanji) is actually read as ga, which is not used as a pronoun. Similarly, despite the Cantonese pronunciation having morphed from Middle Chinese's "nga" to a standard "ngo" to a de facto "o", it's resemblance to "ore" (俺) is purely coincidental, since that kanji, when written as a hanzi, is an archaic way of expressing first person (both singular and plural) possession which has largely fallen out of use in the most widely spoken Chinese dialects.

In Western Japanese dialects, ware is occasionally used as second person pronoun, "you, yourself" (also archaic and dialectal nowadays), the equivalent of omae in Tokyo dialect.

The Okinawan (not to be confused with the Okinawan dialect of Japanese) equivalent of this pronoun is wan (我ん), descended from Proto-Japonic wa, itself the root for the Japanese ware. It was once used as the exclusive first person pronoun in Okinawa, but the school laws reform done in the Meiji period (late 19th century) led to it become archaic and becoming rarer due of declining local use of Okinawan to dialectal, Okinawan Japanese

    Ware Examples 
  • Both Akatsuki and Murakumo from Akatsuki Blitzkampf use this one in their winning quotes since both of them are Older Than They Look and because Murakumo is the Big Bad who has a god complex.
  • BlazBlue has three characters who use ware: Arakune, Hakumen, and Susano'o. For Arakune it's used to show his insanity, and for Hakumen and Susano'o it's because of how they're both godlike beings (Hakumen is the body of Susano'o, and Susano'o himself is the God of Destruction).
  • Toru and Akari in Coffin Princess Chaika use it for their "iron blood transformation" incantation: "Ware wa hagane nari..."
  • In Cross Road, violinist Niccolo Paganini makes a contract with the Devil of Music and Duke of Hell, Amduscias, who tells him the terms using "ware" and "nanji".
  • 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 the original version of the show, Suichon pushes him to use a more modern pronoun.
  • A lot of male characters in Dynasty Warriors, justified with it being set in Ancient China. Ma Chao, though, with his constant talk of bringing you his personal "justice", stands out the most.
  • Souma of Ensemble Stars!, befitting his anachronistic Samurai persona. He also refers to all other characters his age or older as '[name/title]-dono'.
  • The Servant-summoning ritual in Fate/stay night uses the possessive waga. Interestingly, this slips into the speech of several Servants, especially as part of the phrase "waga no Master".
  • In GoGo Sentai Boukenger, Natsuki Mamiya uses this when brainwashed by the Ashu.
  • Tahei and Matashichi in The Hidden Fortress, since they live in an archaic era.
  • In Kamen Rider Zi-O, Woz frequently addresses Sougo as "waga maou" (generally translated as "my lord"), reflecting that Sougo is going to grow up to become an Evil Overlord and Woz is his faithful servant.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • The Wolkenritter and Reinforce 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).
    • Hayate's Evil Twin Lord Dearche uses this frequently, because She Is the King.
  • In Mega Man Zero, Phantom of the Four Guardians also uses this, fitting for a Ninja with Undying Loyalty. It also contrasts him with his Blood Knight brothers, Fefnir and Harpuia.
  • The Japanese translation of Mein Kampf uses this pronoun's possessive form ("Waga Tousou").
  • Pain of Naruto used this mode to express the totality of his Six Paths (bodies) to his former teacher, Jiraiya.
  • Grimoire Weiss from NieR, who is a talking book, but very arrogant and dignified.
  • Genji in the Japanese dub of Overwatch. Just like his brother Hanzo, this is justified because he's a ninja as well.
  • 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".
  • Mori Motonari (who has a Chinese theme), and his somewhat more Evil Counterpart Otani Yoshitsugu from Sengoku Basara.
  • Used in the spell incantations in Slayers.
  • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the Macross is infiltrated by three Zentradei spies named Warera, Rori, and Konda. "Warera rorikon da" translates as "we are pedophiles."
  • Sanger Zonvolt of Super Robot Wars uses this form in his In the Name of the Moon speech. And then there's Baran Doban, his rival, who uses this form in his theme song.
  • Tekken:The main demon entity "Devil", behind the Devil Gene, uses this pronoun when it takes control over Kazuya and Jinpachi. "Ware wa kisama-ra ga 'Debiru' to yobu sonzai." (I am the being you mortals call "Devil")
  • Mononobe no Futo from Touhou Project also uses this, to exemplify how archaic her speech is, and to show that she hasn't adapted to modern language.
  • Archtype-Earth, AKA Tsukihime's 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.
  • In Ultraman Z, the titular Ultraman uses this in his catchphrase "Goshowa kudasai ware no na wo!"note . The contrast between the modern kudasai and the archaic, somewhat self-important ware is an indication of Z's unfamiliarity with Japanese.
  • In Under Night In-Birth, Merkava and Chaos both use "ware". While Chaos only drops "ware" during his Infinite Worth EXS, all of Merkava’s attacks in Japanese all follow the format "ware, [verb]".
  • When They Cry:
    • Used by the Big Bad Miyo Takano in Higurashi: When They Cry Kai in her A God Am I speech.
    • Umineko: When They Cry: Clair Vauxof Bernard's role is to tell Beatrice's tale in a theatrical maner, so she will use this. Her Catchphrase 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!").
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, 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.
    • Zarc from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V originally used ore, but adopts this after merging with his Four Dimension Dragons to become the Supreme King Dragon, with proclaimed god-like power and lots of Supreme King Servant Dragons under his wing.
    • Zuwijo zir Velgear in Yu-Gi-Oh! GO RUSH!! uses this pronoun with him being the Supreme Galactic Commander of the Velgear Star Cluster.

儂 In popular media it's reserved for elderly men only (except for some Jidaigeki dramas and suchlike), but in real life it used to be popular with men and women 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. It's still relatively common in the Kansai-ben, and is the dialect's equivalent to ore.

    Washi Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • Used by Pai's Sanjiyan persona in 3×3 Eyes, ostensibly to denote her extreme age.
  • Suzu Shuto in Akuma no Riddle. Her choice of pronoun, very odd for a young girl, gives Japanese viewers a bit of extra Foreshadowing. It also gets her scolded by Shiena, director of the class's Romeo and Juliet production, when she keeps washi-ing in her maid/nurse costume.
  • Resident Cool Old Guy Dot Pixis in Attack on Titan.
  • General Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender, resident older, kindly uncle and former soldier. He also plays up the campy old man bit a lot.
  • Muten Rōshi of Dragon Ball, of course, given his age.
  • Xiaomu of Namco x Capcom and Endless Frontier: Super Robot Wars OG Gaiden is a centuries-old fox demon who only looks like a young girl. It sounds pretty weird.
  • Kotengu in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de uses this; technically, being a tengu, he is probably Really 700 Years Old or so, but he spends most of the time sealed in the form of a Sidekick Creature Nuisance, so the pronoun seems a little out of place.
  • Wilhelmina from High School Fleet uses washi because she learned Japanese from watching gangster movies, where stereotypical Yakuza often speak in the Hiroshima dialect, which uses washi. The crew of the Harekaze find it hilarious that a teenage girl would use this.
  • Joseph Joestar in Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Used to signify a change in his character's tone from his original appearance in Part 2; where before he was a brash and impulsive young man (using ore), he has now gained age, experience, and wisdom.
  • Midori Asakusa from Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! uses "washi"; despite being a teenage girl, it's still fitting for her tomboyish and somewhat eccentric nature.
  • King Dedede uses washi in the Japanese version of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. Interestingly, this contrasts with his game counterpart, who uses ore-sama — Dedede in the anime is implied to be older, and is both more of a jerk and less intelligent.
  • Gandalf, Saruman and many old characters in Japanese translations of The Lord of the Rings books and films.
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha spinoff series ViVid Strike!, main character Fuuka uses washi, in addition to speaking with a generally archaic-sounding dialect that really doesn't fit with the pronoun stereotype; she's a little girl who basically talks like an old man.
  • Major Nixel in the Mixels Japanese dub uses it, possibly to highlight the use of the white mustache and eyebrows he has.
  • Jack Renfield of Moriarty the Patriot—he's 58 before the time skip and by far the eldest of the major characters, and it shows. Several of the other characters even call him "jijii" (old man).
  • In Mortal Kombat (2021) Hanzo Hasashi initially speaks this way, fitting as he's an older samurai in the feudal era. When he reappears in the climax he has switched to ore to show how traveling through Hell has changed him.
  • Stephen Magnet the sea serpent in the Japanese dub My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, who also speaks in a manner befitting a stereotypical (if rather camp and hysterical) old man.
  • Kokūzō Bosatsu from Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA- speaks in Tosa accent and thus uses this pronoun.
  • From One Piece, there are Borsalino "Kizaru", Sakazuki "Akainu", Jimbei, Garp, Neptune, and some other old characters. A noteworthy example is Kaku, which is lampshaded during his introduction due to his young age.
  • Byakuroku and Daidai in Otome Youkai Zakuro, to go with their anachronistic speech patterns.
  • Cologne from Ranma ½, a 100+ years old Chinese woman, uses washi.
  • 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."
  • Tokugawa Ieyasu in Sengoku Basara uses it to go with his Jidaigeki-like speech patterns. As a grown-up he starts using soregashi as well, which is more proper for a samurai.
  • Dr. Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog refers to himself as washi, keeping with his Vague Age.
  • Star Wars: Fitting their age, Darth Vader, old Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda use washi in Japanese. Though it may seem unusual for the imposing Darth Vader, his original Japanese voice, Tōru Ōhira, was quite old himself. When Tōru Ōhira passed away in 2016 and was succeeded by the younger Taiten Kusunoki, Darth Vader switched to using watashi.
  • Cardinal in Sword Art Online. Despite looking like a young kid, she talks this way to emphasize that she is over three centuries old.
  • The Tanuki Mamizou Futatsuiwa from Touhou Project. The rest of her speech is rather old-fashioned as well, though she claims she isn't that old.
  • An uncommon instance within the franchise (whereas most of characters uses ore, boku or watashi) Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki from Touken Ranbu uses this, fitting with his background as a sword of Sakamoto Ryoma, the famed historical figure who grew up in Tosa Province. He also has the distinctive accent to match.
  • Transformers: 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.
  • Azazel in You Are Being Summoned, Azazel as part of his Kansai dialect.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Sugoroku Mutou, Yugi's wise and knowledgeable grandfather.
    • Shimon who was basically an Ancient version of Sugoroku.
    • Ota/Nesbitt uses washi, despite he appears to be younger than the rest of the Big Five who all use watashi. But given he's more of a firearms producer than a businessman, his pronoun might give him more of a war veteran vibe.
  • 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.

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. The archetypal Ojou pairs it with frequent use of the emphatic sentence ending わ (wa). It's also used in place of watashi in very formal speech (for example, a job interview). A more feminine variant is atakushi あたくし.

    Watakushi Examples 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Harumi Ayasato/Pearl Fey from Ace Attorney uses this, since her mother basically trained her to be as polite and formal as humanly possible. Ryuuichi/Phoenix even comments on the dissonance between her refined speech and her adorable appearance.
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, Hakari Mikagami/Justine Courtney also uses this pronoun, in addition to very formal ways of addressing others (such as using -sama on most people).
  • Uraha in AIR (Kanna's servant and extreme user of a polite form of Japanese).
  • BlazBlue:
    • Rachel Alucard, the filthy rich young vampire. Contrary to other examples of this version, she mixes the 'polite' with 'snarky'. And calls most people with "anata". Valkenhayn, her Battle Butler, also uses it (and also "wareware") and calls people "anata" or "kisama".
    • Hazama uses "watakushi" (or sometimes just "watashi") to refer to himself. It's part of his "friendly and polite chap" facade. He, however, uses "ore" when Terumi controls him, and "boku" for one moment when he regains his memories in CF for some reason. He also uses "anata" to refer to people (and "temee" when Terumi controls him).
  • Sode No Shirayuki uses this in Bleach, and fourth division captain Retsu Unohana commonly uses it. Both are Yamato Nadeshikos and very traditional. Unohana uses it even when she drops her YN facade and reveals her Blood Knight self.
  • A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun:
    • Used by many students at Tokiwadai, a school for high-level Ojou espers, most notably Kuroko.
    • Strangely enough, Touma also uses this, but only when he's self-deprecating.
  • Kurumi Tokisaki in Date A Live, referring to her Temporal Duplications as "watakushi-tachi". She was an Ojou before she became a Spirit.
  • Danganronpa
  • Another Ojou who uses this is Fukiko "Miya-sama" Ichinomiya from Dear Brother.
  • Ruri Hadou, the head of the Hadou Financial Group, in Demonbane.
  • 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.
  • Kamisato Ayaka, the sheltered yet sweet and polite noblewoman from the Kamisato Clan in Genshin Impact, refers to herself with this.
  • Eliza Yukifune from I=MGCM, Ojou Magical Girl Warrior. She also uses this along with "Chan-Sama".
  • It could be a dialectal thing, but a couple of female characters from Musashi no Ken, namely Musashi and Shura's mothers and Musashi's first love interest Monami, always sound like super duper extra proper ladies with their incessant watakushi.
  • Akiko Hashou from Kasei Yakyoku. Fittingly, she's Ojou and from Imperial Japan days.
  • Miu Furinji, the female lead of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, uses exaggeratedly formal language, including both this and "desu wa" to the point of a Verbal Tic.
  • Kirby:
    • Escargoon in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. He always speaks with (almost exaggerated) politeness, no matter the tone he's speaking with.
    • Susie in Kirby: Planet Robobot refers to herself as watakushi in katakana (ワタクシ), reflecting her detached business-like persona as the executive assistant of the Haltmann Works Company (in particular, it corresponds with her use of formal speech patterns, which humorously contrasts with the callous things she says). When she isn't in "professional" mode, she uses the much more casual atashi, still in katakana (アタシ).
  • Diving Beetle Beastman, one of Monster of the Week in Kamen Rider Amazon use this pronoun while averting You Have Failed Me moment by Great Emperor Zero.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh!:
    • Gunter von Christ refers to himself this way, being aristocratic and extremely proper.
    • Lady Celi, formerly royalty herself, combines it with 'atashi' above and refers to herself as 'atakushi'.
  • In A Love Letter For The Marching Puppy, cadets at the Military Academy are instructed to use "watakushi" on themselves when speaking with superior officers.
  • Kougyoku Ren in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, a young princess and very formal.
  • Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth, a private-school student and the calm, logical one of the group.
  • Both Relena Peacecraft/Darlian and Dorothy Catalonia in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz. The first one is an Ojou, the other is a Rich Bitch.
  • 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.
  • Naruto: Although Ino and Yamato typically use atashi and boku as personal pronouns, they use "watakushi" in one omake in which they appear as hosts for a quiz show.
  • The Mermaid Princess Shirahoshi from One Piece, who is extremely polite even to people trying to kill her.
  • Masako Natsume from 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".
  • Pokémon:
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Rulue and Witch both use this pronoun in Puyo Puyo. Witch is an interesting example, as she otherwise greets people very informally.
  • Nanami Kiryuu from Revolutionary Girl Utena; appropriate, since she's a Deconstruction of Ojou.
  • The four generals in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which establishes Lordgenome's rule as an oppressive, totalitarian empire.
  • Mint Aizawa from Tokyo Mew Mew is a sophisticated Ojou and calls herself "watakushi" to show it.
  • When They Cry:
    • Satoko Hojou in Higurashi: When They Cry. 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, though she is a Bratty Half-Pint.
    • Natsuhi Ushiromiya in Umineko: When They Cry, who is a stickler for manners and often chastises her daughter Jessica for her crude speech patterns.
  • Himawari in YuruYuri, who always uses very polite words, even when she's angry or annoyed.
  • Vert from Neptunia uses "watakushi", to go with her presenting herself as a prim and proper lady. Her Number Two, the Clingy Jealous Girl Womanchild Bunny-Ears Lawyer Chika, uses the more feminine "atakushi".

Japanese-Language Localizations

  • A variant is seen in the Japanese translation for Chapter 2 of Deltarune. The character Spamton G. Spamton, a long-forgotten ad-bot you first encounter in the dumpster, constantly refers to himself with "watakushi", since he's constantly trying to sell things to people. However, thanks to his Electronic Speech Impediment, instead of the standard spelling (私 or わたくし), it's spelled "ワタ94", invoking a Goroawase Number situation with the on'yomi pronunciation for "94" while also playing into his frequent use of death-related puns in the Japanese script (in this case invoking Four Is Death through said on'yomi pronunciation).
  • Princess Celestia in the Japanese dub of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Rarity typically uses watashi, but switches to this pronoun when she gets especially pompous.
  • Raleigh, a ruthless pirate with a rich upbringing, uses this pronoun in the Japanese dub of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus.

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 fiction, a stoical, taciturn man may prefer watashi or even watakushi, while a more layback, easy-going man would use ore. Even though watashi is a mark of politeness, women who casually use it need not use polite language (more specifically, polite grammar); fictional men can use crude, masculine language, and also watashi. 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. In the Tohoku dialect, it may be pronounced watasu instead.

    Watashi Examples 
  • Tsukasa switches from boku to watashi at the end of .hack//SIGN to symbolize her acceptance that she was a girl.
  • Several characters in Ace Attorney
    • Mia Fey is the first in the series to use it as a way to establish her character as more serious and grounded than the boku-using Phoenix.
    • Miles Edgeworth uses watashi initially because that's just what you'd expect a professional to use in a courtroom, but continues to use it in private, with friends, and in situations that otherwise wouldn't call for the formality.
    • Franziska Von Karma also primarily uses watashi due to mostly appearing in a formal court, but is still noteworthy because it shows her being less self-agrandizing than her father, and less rigidly formal than Edgeworth by relaxing it in some out-of-court scenes.
    • Kay Faraday in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth notably uses it at odds with her otherwise excitable, childish, and informal speech patterns seemingly in attempt to sound and be taken more seriously.
  • Baccano!'s Noble Demon Luck Gandor refers to himself as watashi, in a "businesslike and aloof" male use of the word.
  • BlazBlue: Mai Natsume, whose gender changed in the past due to tampering with a certain Spell Book, used "boku" as a boy but switched to "watashi" in order fit in as a girl. When she suffers an identity crisis and is no longer sure if she's still mentally male or female, she alternates between the two in her mind. After accepting herself as a woman she sticks with "watashi". She uses mostly uses "anata" to refer to others, even people she hates such as Relius. Though she switches to "omae" in one scene she's talking to Relius where he enrages her.
  • Bleach: Men who use this 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.
  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, the upper-class characters all use watashi, while the lower-class characters trying to be respectful to them do the same, as part of their constant keigo. Out of the main characters only Miguel, who's secure enough in his position as The Consigliere to Cesare, uses ore. In one scene, Angelo helps Cesare sneak out to a festival disguised as a commoner. Cesare asks if his disguise is good enough, and Angelo says he still speaks like a noble. Cesare tries to speak like a commoner, using ore.
  • In Cross Road, Amduscias, a Duke of Hell and also gender non-conforming, uses watashi in all scenes except one, when he speaks to Elisa, making her part from Niccolo. She calls him a devil, and he turns it around on her, asking why she calls him that when humans are the ones who take wood and steel and twist them into weapons to hurt each other with. For that one line, he uses ore.
  • L from Death Note, probably one reason being that he grew up in England.
  • Yoshikage Kira in Diamond is Unbreakable uses "watashi", which highlights his quiet yet dangerous disposition and, much like his aim of leading a quiet life, sets him apart from previous antagonists, such as DIO and Kars.
  • Freeza and Cell of Dragon Ball use this pronoun as part of their Faux Affably Evil demeanor. Freeza switches to boku for his final form, and the both of them move on to ore when in the throes of Villainous Breakdown. The same goes for Super Buu in his two final forms, which is meant to show him becoming more eloquent after assimilating Piccolo's intelligence (even though Piccolo himself uses ore).
  • Wataru of Ensemble Stars!, reflecting his androgynously flamboyant theatre-loving personality.
  • Archer from Fate/stay night 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. Kirei also uses watashi.
  • Refia and Ingus from Final Fantasy III both use watashi. Interestingly, Dummied Out text suggests that Ingus would have switched to ore after a certain point in the game, reserveing "watashi" for the presence of nobility.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden Prince Rimudo aka Uruki is normally an "ore" user, but he switches to "watashi" when he meets up with his until-then Missing Mom, Queen Ayura.
  • Comically Serious and ultra-polite Japan from Hetalia: Axis Powers, of course.
  • Sai in Hikaru no Go, fitting his personality as a formal Bishounen.
  • Kurapika from Hunter × Hunter uses a polite "watashi". He's an androgynous young man as well; in comparison the other more masculine looking males, even the younger Gon and Killua, use "ore".
  • Xemnas in the Japanese dub of Kingdom Hearts, reflecting his cold, unemotional nature as the Literal Split Personality of Terra-Xehanort - by contrast, his Heartless counterpart "Ansem" uses ore.
  • McGillis Fareed from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans uses only watashi, he's a Gjallarhorn officer and a gentleman, this serves as an emphasis of his politeness and his unnerving demeanor when he's betraying Gaelio.
  • Ranko Todoroki from Musashi no Ken, an Iwate resident, uses watasu. Shura's father, a very stiff man, uses formal language all the time (watashi included), in contrast to Musashi's father (an ore type) who's much more easy-going.
  • All Might from My Hero Academia, who tends to show up declaring that the situation has been resolved because "watashi ga kita (I am here)!"
  • Among the many ore-using males of the Straw Hat crew in One Piece, Brook uses this and generally more polite speech patterns. The two females Nami and Robin also use this, though Nami uses atashi in the anime.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King has two examples in the Japanese version:
    • The first example is Olivia, who is a princess.
    • The second example is King Olly. Notably, he is the only main antagonist and FinalBoss in the Paper Mario series to use this pronoun, foreshadowing his age.
  • Pokémon:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Cream the Rabbit, who is a more Japanese coded character than the rest of the American coded cast, uses "Watashi" to show how polite and well mannered her mother raised her to be.
    • Blaze the Cat, being a stoic princess, uses the pronoun compared to the more carefree Sonic and Amy.
    • Eggman Nega uses "Watashi" to show how gentlemanly he speaks, despite being far more psychotic than his bombastic ancestor that still has a few morals.
    • Aside from Metal Sonic, most robots and AI in the series speak this way, even the rebellious Omega. Gamma starts out speaking this way as well, but moves to "Boku" after his character development.
  • Manjimutt from Yo-kai Watch uses a polite "watashi" despite being a Dirty Old Man. He was a Salary Man prior to his death.
  • When They Cry:
    • Rika from Higurashi: When They Cry, who normally uses boku, switches to watashi when she's in Frederica Bernkastel mode, which is when she acts serious and shows her true maturity.
    • Incidentally, Rika's Expy Bernkastel in Umineko: When They Cry always uses watashi.
  • Shiraishi from Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, who is somewhat more soft-spoken and polite than the "atashi"-using Itou and Odagiri, uses this pronoun.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
    • The Big Good Yusho Sakaki and the Big Bad Leo Akaba use both watashi. The former is an entertainer who adresses his opponents and the audience respectifully, while the latter is the Professor and leader of Academia.
    • Yuya Sakaki uses watashi when he is in his entertainer persona, imitating his father Yusho.
    • Reiji Akaba uses watashi as part of his polite and calm character, opposing the rather rude personalities of Kaiba and his clones.
    • Roget uses watashi as part of being Faux Affably Evil.
    • Barrett uses watashi as of being Affably Evil and a Noble Demon.
  • Despite her rather blunt and somewhat tomboyish character, Marisa of Touhou Project series still uses watashi to describe herself, to the point that an old joke among the Japanese side of the fandom is that Marisa using something like ore is a sign of a fake or cheap imitation.

Japanese-Language Localizations

  • Batman (The Character) from Batman: Arkham Knight uses watashi. One of his famous quotes, "I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!" is translated as follows: "Watashi wa hōfuku. Watashi wa yoru. Watashi wa Battoman!"
  • God of War Series – Kratos. He still otherwise uses stereotypically manly grammar.
  • In the Japanese localization of Undertale, the Fallen Human refers to themself with Watashi when they're finally encountered at the end of the Genocide route. Since the character is a child, and female children use watashi, this has had a ripple effect in the Japanese fandom, depicting them and the Silent Protagonist main character almost exclusively as female.

余 or 予 Archaic, dignified, elevated form of "I", most often used in entertainment media. It's occasionally translated with the Royal "We".
    Yo Examples 
  • Saber uses this in the Fate/EXTRA series for her version of the franchise's Arc Words, immediately contrasting her with her predecessor
  • The Chimera Ant King Meruem in Hunter × Hunter.
  • KanColle's Nelsonnote  uses yo to refer to herself, betraying her high self-esteem. In fan works, this is sometimes translated as "It is I!"
  • Puni-chan, who is actually a Zygarde Core, from Pokémon the Series: XY uses yo when speaking in its dreams or telepathically. It is kind of bossy and demanding, which is expected from a Legendary Pokémon.
  • The Snake of the Festival, one of the three Crimson Gods in Shakugan no Shana. By extension, his host Yuji will use it when he’s talking through him.
  • Count Bleck from Super Paper Mario uses yo until after his Heel–Face Turn. In English, the grandiose connotation is localized by having him speak as though reading from a book: "So be it... says Count Bleck!"
  • Thranduil in translations of the Tolkien's Legendarium, particularly the movies, befitting his status as a stern king of the elves.

You (second person pronoun)

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, addressing someone either using their title or their name with the appropriate honorific is the most polite.

貴方 (gender-neutral), 貴男 (male) or 貴女 (female); The standard polite word for "you". Also translates to "my dear" when a wife calls her husband anata (note that it doesn't work both ways; husbands who are being affectionate to their wives simply call them by their names without any honorifics).

    Anata Examples 
  • 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.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Saburo Arasaka refers to his least favorite son Yorinobu this way when the two of them exchange pleasantries. However, when the conversation turns to the latest and extremely serious way in which Yorinobu has defied him, Saburo switches to "kisama" without missing a beat.
  • Over the course of the story, Tsugumi in Ever17 transitions from a cold anata to endearing anata when talking to Takeshi.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: When Riza's being vulnerable, she switches from addressing Roy by his rank to calling him anata.
  • Signum, Zafira, and Reinforce of Lyrical Nanoha tend to use omae on most people, but use anata on Hayate as a sign of respect for their mistress. Shamal, by contrast, uses it on everyone.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, Choutarou Ohtori refers to his doubles partner and senpai Ryoh Shishido as anata, which seemingly is rare among men. Fangirls reacted accordingly, but can you blame them?
  • In Tsukiuta's song "Hajimari no Haru", a duet between Hajime and Haru, Haru's use of "anata" to Hajime, and Hajime's "omae" to Haru, are juxtaposed in a line of the song that, translated as "'With you...'/'With you...'", loses that element.

あんた The contracted, informal variant of anata. This can be used by girls who refers to themselves as "atashi", or by guys to refer to people whom, while they respect to a degree, they still don't want to use "anata" on; consequently, it implies a defiance of authority. It's also generally used instead of anata in the Kansai dialect.

    Anta Examples 
  • Ace Attorney: Manosuke Naito (Horace Knightley) and Yumihiko Ichiyanagi (Sebastian Debeste) from Investigations 2 use it frequently, to show their arrogance.
  • Bleach: Uryuu Ishida addresses his father, Ryuuken, with either his first name or this pronoun... which is the first sign we get of just how bad their relationship is.
  • Vi in the Japanese localization of Bug Fables, a resident "atashi" user, refers to everyone with "anta", befitting for her rebellious and careless attitude.
  • Mikoto in A Certain Magical Index never addresses Touma with anything else, even after she develops a crush on him. She also directs it at Kuroko whenever the latter's lesbian advances go too far (which happens quite often).
  • 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).
  • During the father-son confrontation between Yorinobu and Saburo Arasaka from Cyberpunk 2077, Yorinobu addresses his father as "anta", a sign of his rebelliousness and serious disrespect toward Saburo.
  • Reaker towards Montblanc in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance mission Moogle Bride.
  • Kaname in Full Metal Panic! tends to use anta on Sousuke and her friends when she's irritated.
  • Sayuki in Initial D uses this, though her usage of it emphasizes her outgoing personality.
  • Kagura from Inuyasha, being her rebellious, disrespectful self has no qualms addressing everyone like this, including her very creator and high-ranking demon nobility like Sesshomaru.
  • General Sanshi is the most notable user of this in Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA-, reflecting his standoffish and gruff personality towards anyone who's not Tamonten.
  • Sakura in Naruto commonly uses this when she is angry with someone, but tends to use anata on most other occasions. This is about as polite as Sasuke ever gets to his superiors, as he never uses honorifics (he doesn't even call Kakashi "sensei" like Naruto and Sakura). He notably addresses his older brother Itachi this way despite hating him for most of the story.
  • And who could forget Asuka's infamous "ANTA BAKA?!" toward Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion?
  • Nami in One Piece uses "anta" on virtually everyone, displaying her brash personality.
  • The outgoing Maeda Keiji from Sengoku Basara. Also Date Masamune and Chosokabe Motochika, in whose case it denotes light respect (as this is the closest they'll ever get to anata).
  • Itou and Odagiri from Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches - who are also the resident "atashi" users of the series - usually use "anta" towards others, especially Yamada (who in turn always uses "omae" on them).

吾兄 lit. "my older brother". Archaic, feminine, used to refer to a man to whom one's familiar with and not necessarily one's brother.

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."

    Kei Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • 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.
  • Meta Knight from the Kirby anime is referred to as Metaknight-kyou ("Sir Meta Knight") by practically everyone; he's also sometimes called 'Kyou' by his subordinates, Sword Knight and Blade Knight.
  • Used profusely in the Empire in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, to indicate the characters' archaic and sophisticated speech (somewhat akin to The Queen's Latin). Even close friends such as Reuenthal and Mittermeier use it with each other.
  • Matsunaga Hisahide uses it with everyone (and always in a very patronising way) in Sengoku Basara.

貴殿 Archaic pronoun used by men when addressing equals and superiors (only men) in a polite, respectful manner.

    Kiden Examples 
  • 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.

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.

    Kikou Examples 
  • Taigong Wang from Warriors Orochi, being an immortal sage with magic powers and all.

貴官 Used when formally addressing government officials and members of a force (e.g., policemen, firemen and the military) in a respectful manner.

    Kikan Examples 
  • Used all the time in Legend of the Galactic Heroes among and referring to members of the FPA military. (The Imperial military prefers the more archaic "kei".)

君 A somewhat informal but still polite second-person pronoun used mostly by men when addressing their equals or younger men and women (though it can be insulting if used to address elders). In a romantic context, the boy might refer to the girl (or the boy) as this. There are female examples, but they are incredibly scarce. The kanji can be used as an honorific as well, pronounced kun, which is used in the same social context as kimi. However, do not confuse it with it the honorifics gimi or no gimi, both also written with the same kanji, as the two are very archaic and respectful honorifics for lords and ladies.

Notably, the pronoun is used in Japan's national anthem, "Kimigayo". In this case, kimi is taken to mean literally, as the kanji means "lord", so the song's title can be translated as "Your [Majesty's] Reign".

    Kimi Examples 
  • Bleach:
    • 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 Brain Powerd, Hime uses this term of address when speaking to her organic robot.
  • Tokiko Tsumura from Buso Renkin who's known for using men's rough language (casual verb forms, masculine pronouns, masculine particles, etc.) for extra badassery. She still uses watashi for herself, though.
    Kuru zo, Kazuki! Te o hanasu na! Kimi to watashi wa isshin dōtai. Kimi ga shinu toki ga watashi ga shinu toki da! ("Incoming, Kazuki! Don't let go! You and me, together as one. When you die, I die!")
  • In Code Geass, Jeremiah uses kimi when addressing Suzaku, even when they're enemies. Suzaku, on the other hand, uses anata when addressing Jeremiah.
    • Also, unless he's being very mad with Lelouch and will use omae, Suzaku always refers to Lelouch with kimi, regarding their closeness as childhood friends.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: As in the anata example above, during particularly vulnerable moments Roy calls Riza kimi instead of her rank.
  • Kimi is the default for America and Canada from Hetalia: Axis Powers (America uses it with everyone while Canada uses more polite language with his elders). The difference is that loud and self-assertive America uses it together with "ore" while shy and mellow Canada uses "boku."
  • When Yui in K-On! writes the song "U&I" to her sister - which is about how much she means to her - a majority of the lines have a "kimi" in them.
  • In the last scene of the original series for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Fate switches from "anata" to "kimi" when asking Nanoha if she can become friends with her, and tends to mainly use her given name after that.
  • Aside from his boss Mikeru (with whom he uses anata) Lady Bat from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch calls pretty much everyone kimi, throwing in an omae in one episode when talking to Hanon.
  • There's a whole lot of kimi going on in Monster, maybe to help the characters sound foreign. (The show is set in Germany.) Eva accentuates her dumping of Tenma by switching from kimi to anata.
  • Rock Lee of Naruto uses kimi on people he knows well, and anata on strangers.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji and Kaworu always use this to refer to each other, showing just how close they are. However, in the manga version, this gets an ironic upgrade, as kimi is the only thing the two uses to call each other and they very rarely call the other by name, signifying their more strained and tension-filled relationship, in contrast to the anime where they are on First-Name Basis.
  • Sanji of One Piece uses kimi on his female crewmates, and omae or teme on his male crewmates.
  • Takenaka Hanbe from Sengoku Basara uses this and '-kun' for almost everyone, even men much older than he is. Seems to be slightly condescending.
  • Seraph of the End:
    • Yoichi, being the resident Nice Guy, uses this with everyone but his superiors and the girls (he addresses the girls by their names and "-san".)
    • This is Mika's default pronoun for Yuu when he isn't calling him "Yuu-chan". This also shows that Yuu is pretty much the only one Mika actually likes nowadays.
  • Your Lie in April: There's a rare female example with Kaori, who uses "kimi" to refer to Kousei. He returns the favor.

貴様 Extremely insulting word for "you", almost never used in real life. However, in 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.

    Kisama Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • 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).
  • 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...
  • Back when the two of them were still at odds with each other, Casca of Berserk would usually address Guts like this.
  • BlazBlue: A good indicator of how Jin Kisaragi thinks of himself in relation to others is that he addresses virtually everyone but Tsubaki with this and "omae". This also carries over to his future self, Hakumen.
  • Bleach:
    • 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.
    • Rukia notably uses this toward main protagonist Ichigo at all times, despite the two being close friends.
    • 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.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: When Saburo Arasaka and his prodigal son Yorinobu exchange pleasantries, Saburo adresses his son as "anata". However, when the conversation turns to the priceless piece of experimental tech Yorinobu stole from his father, Saburo slips over into calling his son "kisama" without missing a beat.
  • Gundham Tanaka in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair refers to everyone but Princess Sonia Nevermind (who he's implied to have a crush on) as kisama. As he believes himself to be a half-demonic Evil Overlord, it could be interpreted as either a form of contempt or an archaic polite term.
  • Tohka from Date A Live regularly addresses Origami this way, mostly for their conflict over Shido, though she stops after their relationship smoothes over in the new timeline. She also uses it toward her enemies. Her Superpowered Evil Side uses this on everyone.
  • 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.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta likes to use this one quite a bit as well. He notably addresses Goku this way throughout the story (when he's not addressing Goku by his birth name, Kakarot), long after their animosity gives way to simple rivalry. Interestingly, while he does often use this in the manga, he also uses temee, but his voice actor generally avoided this to make him sound like a more refined villain.
    • Goku himself used it toward Freeza after his first Super Saiyan transformation triggered a change in his behavior.
  • Keito of Ensemble Stars! uses this as his standard second-person pronoun, as part of his very strict, condescending demeanor.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Erza Scarlet uses this on her enemies, along with "onore".
    • Mard Geer Tartaros uses this on all humans and his own minions when he's displeased with them.
    • The Celestial Spirit King refers in this way to Leo when he's inadvertently summoned by Lucy at Karen's grave, though not in a demeaning or confrontational manner, but rather in a display of authority.
  • 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.
    • Rider of Fate/Zero uses kisama when speaking with his Master Waver, but in the older, speaking-to-subordinates form. This probably comes from his status as the King of Conquerors as well as the fairly casual undertones to his general kingly demeanor.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IV: When Nintendo of America failed to find an adequate dynamic equivalence for Edward being called 'kisama', the Spoony Bard was born.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth uses this with everyone, excluding his "mother" of course.
  • Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!, though normally very formal, addresses Gauron as this, always. Even when he's not yelling at him to go die.
  • 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."
  • Gundam:
    • Domon Kasshu of Mobile Fighter G Gundam tends to use this one a lot regardless of his mood or the social standing of the person he's talking to (prime ministers, for instance).
    • Char Aznable of Mobile Suit Gundam uses kisama to address his subordinates, though, not with any offensive undertones.
    • 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 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam movies where (among others) someone refers to Kamille as "You little kisama!" They've toned this down a lot in recent years.
  • Yozora of Haganai regularly addresses Sena this way, when she's not simply calling her "Meat". The protagonist Kodaka's little sister Kobato often uses this, but it's just part of her cosplay of a vampire show she enjoys.
  • Both Naraku and Sesshomaru in Inuyasha use "kisama" to refer to almost everyone.
  • Kogarashi from Kamen no Maid Guy refers to everyone like this, from his co-workers to his mistress, Naeka.
  • At the climax of every world in Kamen Rider Decade, the villain invariably demands of Tsukasa, "Kisama! Nani mono da?!" (Bastard! Who the hell are you?!), to which Tsukasa invariably replies with his Catchphrase, "I'm a Kamen Rider passing through, remember that!"
  • In KanColle, Yo-user Nelson uses the non-insulting variant to address the admiral, implying that she sees him as her inferior, even as he is an ally — and later a dear friend if you remodel her.
  • Satsuki of Kill la Kill uses this on everyone except her closest subordinates and her mother (at least before rebelling against her). While main protagonist Ryuko prefers "temee" toward her enemies, she throws it out a couple of times, most notably screaming it at the top of her lungs when Nui reveals herself as the assailant of Ryuko's father.
  • In the original Japanese dialogue for Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Aqua says this to Vanitas after the latter breaks Ventus' wooden Keyblade in front of her. Notably, this is the only time Aqua uses such language in the series, as she is normally a pretty polite speaker, so the anger she feels at the moment is driven home. The English dub famously renders it as "You freak!" (then again, it's Disney. Translating it as "you bastard" would have been too much. Besides, coming from Aqua, that is still uncharacteristically harsh).
  • In Koumajou Densetsu II, Sakuya Izayoi, utterly fed up with Yukari's treatment of her mistress, addresses her in this manner during their final confrontation.
  • Love Hina when Motoko Aoyama addresses Keitaro with "kisama", that means a painful beatdown is about to commence.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Signum uses this when Vita calls her a "boob demon" and on another occasion, when their Mysterious Protector takes Fate by a surprise during their duel and steals her Linker Core.
    • This is Dearche's most common second-person pronoun. The only person she doesn't use it on is Yuri.
  • In Mega Man ZX Advent, Master Mikhail addresses his fellow Master Thomas with "kisama..." when the latter reveals his plan to be the same as Master Albert's - Restart the World.
  • Medaka Kurokami of Medaka Box uses this to refer to everybody, including her beloved childhood friend Zenkichi and her upperclassmen. However she uses it in the same contextual manner as a feudal lordnote  and rarely if ever uses it as an expletive.
  • Archetype Earth from Melty Blood uses kisama on everyone she talks to, partly because of her ancient age (she even physically looks like past Arcueid from thousand of years before the game's timeline), and that she is practically a Physical God.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • If you thought Bakugo was rude, Endeavor is even worse; this is his default pronoun for addressing anyone who isn't his family (with the exception of using "kimi" to address Midoriya).
    • The only person All Might refers to with "kisama" is the villain All For One, who killed his master and brainwashed her grandson into evil, which speaks a lot about how reprehensible the latter is.
  • Natsuki of My-HiME and My-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.
  • Chitoge's bodyguard Claude in Nisekoi uses this on Raku, as he thinks Chitoge is too good for him and suspects their relationship is fake (it is; it’s just meant to keep their gangs from fighting each other). Claude’s protege Tsugumi also addresses Raku this way for similar reasons, and continues doing so after she simmers down to more of a Tsundere. Even when she confesses her feelings to him (while covering his ears because she doesn’t want to impede his relationship with Chitoge), she’s still using this.
  • Tatewaki Kunou of Ranma ½ uses this in both its archaically formal form (for Akane), and in its insulting form (for Ranma).
  • In the Japanese script of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Wesker uses it to refer to Sergei during their fight.
  • Takeda Shingen in Sengoku Basara uses this, with no offensive undertones. Azai Nagamasa also uses it with his wife Oichi.
  • 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.
  • Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion has the Telephone using this to refer to Agent 8 and their kind, befitting its Absolute Xenophobe nature.
  • 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".
  • Tales of Destiny: Barbatos Goetia always uses this in the insulting fashion when referring to anyone, befitting of his self-centered and aggressive personality.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:

Japanese-Language Localizations
  • In the Japanese dub of Aladdin, Jafar exclaims, "Kisama!" after he catches Aladdin trying to steal back the lamp.
  • Bug Fables:
    • Wasp King refers to everyone as kisama, befitting for a cruel, violent tyrant who looks down upon everyone.
    • King Hector IV of the Termite Kingdom refers to Queen Elizant II as kisama, indicating his strong hatred for her, with his furious "You!" Exclamation during the first meeting being translated as "きさまっ!" (KISAMA-TSU!).
  • In the Japanese dub of The Lion King, Simba uses kisama on Scar during their final duel on the Pride Rock, possibly to empathize the fact Simba is prepared to kill him for good. Oddly enough, Scar doesn't use this, despite his position as the villain and the fact he wants to see Simba dead more than everyone.
  • Undertale:
    • Undyne uses kisama to address the player before and during her boss fight. Later, after she's befriended you, she mostly switches to omae.
    • Papyrus mostly calls you ningen (human), but every once in a while he uses kisama as well. Though, in his case, he's using it in a more ironic fashion, as he continues to call you kisama even after going on a date with you.

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.

    Nanji Examples 
  • Nanji is used in The Bible and various Christian texts, including the marriage vow.
  • In Cross Road, violinist Niccolo Paganini makes a contract with the Devil of Music and Duke of Hell, Amduscias, who tells him the terms using "ware" and "nanji".
  • The words of the Servant summoning ritual in Fate/stay night and its prequel Fate/Zero uses this along with waga.
  • 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".
  • 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 Catchphrase 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.
  • Uesugi Kenshin from Sengoku Basara uses this, being very old-fashioned.
  • Also used in the incantation for the Dragon Slave spell in Slayers.
  • 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").

お前 Used mostly 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, which is a typical manly "long-vowelization" of "diphthongs" such as oi (as in sugoi > sugee), ai (as in yabai > yabee) and ae (as in temae > temee).

    Omae Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • Tomo and Yomi from Azumanga Daioh usually call each other omae, and of course, that's because Tomo is a Jerkass.
  • Another female example, Casca in Berserk uses this when she addresses Guts or her comrades in the Band of the Hawk.
  • Ulquiorra of Bleach addresses Orihime with "omae", which is rather noticeable as he refers to nearly everyone else (the only other exception being Aizen) as "kisama".
  • 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.
  • Out of jealousy due to Takeru's close friendship with Hikari, Daisuke frequently used omae in a disrespectful manner when referring to the former in Digimon Adventure 02.
  • 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: Cursed Memories 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'.
  • Early in Dragon Ball, Bulma gets annoyed with Goku for calling her "omee" — he's younger than her and should be more respectful. He doesn't stop. It's less a matter of rudeness than just Goku being a very casual person.
  • Fist of the North Star immortalized the line "Omae wa mou... shindeiru."
  • 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.
  • Gauron from Full Metal Panic! uses this when addressing Sousuke. Needless to say, it's very rude and overly chummy, considering that Sousuke absolutely hates his guts, and they're not close at all (at least, what Sousuke feels, Gauron on the other hand seems to feel differently).
  • The Garden of Sinners: Ryougi Shiki uses this, in keeping with her Ore Onna status.
  • Tenma, Inori and Yasuaki in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de address everyone omae, regardless of status. Ordinary High-School Student Tenma is probably just being rude; Inori is a street boy who doesn't care about politeness; and Yasuaki likely doesn't understand the difference anyway.
  • Kamen Rider Double
    • Double's Catchphrase is "Saa, omae no tsumi wo kazoero!" ("Now, count up your sins!")
    • Accel's Catchphrase is "Zetsubo ga omae no...goal da." ("Your goal is despair / despair waits at your finish line, etc.")
  • In the Kuukiyomi series, the player character is consistently referred to as "Omae".
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Signum uses this for most people except her mistress, Hayate. 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.
  • 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).
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: "Omae o korosu" 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 ; if you've really ticked him off, you get upgraded to kisama.
  • My Hero Academia: Bakugou is very aggressive and coarse, so he uses ‘temee’ almost all the time. So it’s very significant when he switches to omae in pivotal moments in his relationship with Izuku. i.e. After Deku vs Kacchan Part 2, during his apology to Izuku, and when he addresses Izuku as he thinks he’s about to die. In Bakugou’s case, he uses it to show how he thinks of Izuku as an equal now and that he acknowledges their closeness.
  • Most of the ore-using Konoha ninja in Naruto use omae on people at or below their rank.
  • Most of the male Straw Hats refer to their crewmates with omae in One Piece Luffy in particular uses this on everyone no matter how he feels about them, while the others are prone to using "temee" on people that they don't like. Franky uses the variant omee.
  • Zeno from Phantasy Star Online 2 is a rather unusual case, in which he refers the player as "omae-san".
  • Jun from Rozen Maiden, he of no social skills, uses this for everyone.
  • Katsuya Jonouchi in Yu-Gi-Oh! is another guy who uses omae pretty much all the time (and switches to temee when angry).
  • Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion calls his son Shinji omae.
  • Date Masamune uses omae for those he's familiar with, and omee for pretty much everyone else in Sengoku Basara.
  • 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."
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Adiane is a female example. She uses it when she speaks to Viral due to his failure in aiding Thymilph and due to his lower rank.
    • The Anti-Spiral uses it as well. When he's calm, that is. Once he gets pissed off, he switches to onore.
  • In X/1999, Yuzuriha uses it when speaking to her spirit dog Inuki, in friendly manner.
  • Yamada from Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches practically always uses this pronoun.

Japanese-Language Localizations

己 An archaic word that, like jibun, means "oneself", nowadays used only in popular entertainment. When used in first-person, it's rather self-effacing and humble; when used in second-person, it's very insulting (on the level of temē). Often the last word shouted by a Super Robot villain before their critically damaged Humongous Mecha explodes. This pronoun is often found in Buddhist literature, possibly due to the humility expected of monks.

    Onore Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • Zommari of Bleach yells this quite frequently late in his battle with Byakuya. The captain of Divison 7, Sajin Komamura, also refers to himself this way, showing his humble nature.
  • 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?
  • "ONORE! ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE" — Gilgamesh, losing to Shirou in Fate/stay night.
  • Full Metal Panic!:
    • Used 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!"
  • Washizuka from The Last Blade shouts this upon being defeated.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: Lord Dearche addresses people with this when she's really pissed off. Mostly, it's "ONORE! O-NO-REEEEEEE!!"
  • 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!"
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
  • Yubel in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when it and Johan simultaneously lose their duel and everyone else in the school gets sent back.

Japanese-Language Localizations
  • The Japanese translation of the "Buddha-killing teaching" of Rinzai Zen (originally in Chinese)—"Tada aru ga onore no ikirukoto." ("All there is, is the living of your life.")
  • In the sidequest "The Family Man" in Ghost of Tsushima, Jin addresses a Pater Familicide with "You sick-". In the Japanese audio track, he instead shouts, "Onore!"

御主 Archaic mode of address used by samurai, nobles, and really old or old-fashioned people. It implies that the speaker is a superior or equal in social standing to the one being addressed.

    Onushi Examples 
  • Every iteration of Sakamoto Ryōma ever, even the personification of his sword Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki. The version in AkaSeka pronounces it onshi.
  • Himari of Omamori Himari calls anyone close to Yuuto this, while she calls Yuuto "waka-dono".
  • Princess Principal is set in Victorian times, so it makes sense that Chise, the team's Japanese member, sometimes uses archaic pronouns like this one. Of course, the other characters are also speaking Japanese — but since they're "really" speaking English per Translation Convention, their pronouns are modern.
  • Cologne and Happousai from Ranma ½, both well over 100, use this pronoun.
  • Sengoku Basara:
    • Several older characters, particularly Takeda Shingen, use this.
    • Otani Yoshitsugu drops the first character and uses nushi, which makes him sound even more superior.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf also uses this. Very fitting, seeing as she is a Really 700 Years Old god.
  • In Squid Girl, Ika Musume alternates between using onushi and omae, as part of her haughty invader persona.
  • Kiki, a School-Girl/samurai/defense force military leader from Star Mine Girl uses this when referring to your character. Seems to fall under the polite / archaic in this context.
  • Raidei The Blade in Trigun uses this with E. G. Mine and Wolfwood (he uses kiden with Vash).
  • Zatch Bell of Zatch Bell! (pronounces it onashi). Many of his speaking patterns (such as using the -dono honorific for adults) are outdated.

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.

    Otaku Examples 
  • Sasuke from Sengoku Basara uses it occasionally, but only toward his enemies.
  • Cobra from Space Adventure Cobra uses this to address strangers, usually ones he doesn't trust and isn't trying to flirt with.
  • Alvin from Tales of Xillia. His peculiar dialect is one of the (many, many) red flags that there's something up with him.

其許, 其元, 其処許/其の許 Archaic, masculine, used by samurai and is equal in connotation to sonata or omae. When used as a noun, it has a sense meaning "there" similar to soko.

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).

    Sonata Examples 
  • Ōkuninushi in AkaSeka. He is a Good King Yamato Nadeshiko based on a mythological deity.
  • Fate/stay night's 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.
  • In the Galaxy Angel videogames, Shiva Transbaal, the last surviving member of the royal family, addresses Tact as sonata when not using his name.
  • Used sometimes in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de; Abe no Seimei addressing Yasuaki, for one example.
  • Katanagatari: Togame the Strategian uses this pronoun to refer to Shichika.
  • 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).
  • Meiya and her twin sister Yuuhi in Muv-Luv Extra. This may a case of archaic usage, given Meiya's formal and archaic mode of speech, and Yuuhi's upbringing as the Grand Shogun.
  • Queen Mashiro in My-Otome - again, due to her status as royalty.
  • Kisei in Onmyōji (2016). He is a perpetual polite Japanese speaker.
  • In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Kuro the Divine Heir uses 'sonata' for Wolf, showing a sense of respectful affection between master and shinobi.
  • Used frequently by the ancient witches Beatrice and Featherine in Umineko: When They Cry.

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.

    Teme Examples 
  • Following the Eclipse, this is Guts' most common form of address towards Griffith in Berserk, and is very indicative of his hatred for him.
  • Ichigo from Bleach frequently uses this. Then again, he talks like a delinquent anyway. Grimmjow uses it for pretty much everyone. Hitsugaya, Kenpachi, Nnoitra, and Yammy, too.
  • Routinely used by Touma from A Certain Magical Index when agitated or talking to someone he doesn't like (which makes it pretty much his standard pronoun).
  • In GANTZ, the black ball wastes no time establishing itself as a prick by addressing each new group of captives as temee-tachi (this pronoun pluralized). It only gets ruder from there.
  • Video game example: I-no in Guilty Gear XX has absolutely no respect for other people, and thus addresses everyone this way.
  • Ryuko Matoi of Kill la Kill is quite fond of using "temē" on her many enemies in Honnouji Academy.
  • Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters uses this when speaking with Iori Yagami. When speaking with Ash Crimson, this gets elevated into a yell.
  • Vita of Lyrical Nanoha tends to use "temē" on her enemies, and "omae" on most other people.
  • Another rare female example are the Japanese Delinquent students in Majisuka Gakuen when addressing their opponents.
  • Nena's Haro in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 addresses Lockon's Haro with this on the only occasion when they meet in person. He probably learned it from Nena's older brother Michael.
    "Big brother!" [thump] "Who the Hell are you? Who the Hell are you?!"
  • The ill-tempered Bakugo from My Hero Academia uses this on almost everyone, especially the protagonist Izuku. So, it’s really significant when he starts using ‘omae’ sometimes to refer to Izuku in pivotal moments.
  • Naruto's title character uses "temē" on most of his enemies or other people he doesn't get along with (often Sasuke), to the extent that casual sub viewers often incorrectly assume it to be an honorific.
  • Blanc/White Heart from Neptunia when pissed off, in her less restrained Super Mode, or both. Otherwise she uses the regular "anata". Ore Onna Uzume also uses this on her enemies.
  • Sengoku Basara:
    • Katakura Kojuro, when talking to his underlings. And anyone he dislikes really.
    • Tachibana Muneshige uses temae to refer to himself in a humble manner.
  • 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.
  • A rare female example is Soul Eater's Patti Thompson. (Though, only when she gets very mad.)
  • You'll hear more temē in a single episode of Toradora! than in the whole run of most other shows. In particular, Taiga and Ami are always yelling this one at each other.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
  • Yusuke and Kuwabara in YuYu Hakusho. They're both delinquents.

汝/己 Similar to onore, it's also either very insulting or very archaic; rarely heard.

    Unu Examples 
  • 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.
  • Raidou the 14th's ancestors refer to him this way in the Devil Summoner Raidou Kuzunoha games, as does Gouto (his talking cat sidekick).
  • In Zatch Bell!, the protagonist says "unu" as an archaic Royal "We" to the point of being a Verbal Tic. It's meant to foreshadow him being a son of the former demon king — he got the quirk upon discovering he had a family at all when he was being raised in secret by an old woman who abused him when nobody was looking. He keeps saying it even as he spends most of the series with amnesia.

吾妹/吾妹子 lit. "my love" (and not "sister"). Archaic, used by men to refer to their wives, lovers or women they're close to.

You, Yuu
ユー The Gratuitous English counterpart to me/mii, for use by Eaglelanders and wannabe Eaglelanders only.

    Yuu Examples 
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • Iowa from KanColle sometimes uses "you" to refer to the Admiral, complementing her "me".
  • Date Masamune of Sengoku Basara uses this once or twice, befitting his love of Gratuitous English. You see?
  • 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.


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.

    -domo Examples 
  • Alien invaders frequently refer to humanity as "ningen-domo" when gloating over a plan to conquer or exterminate the foolish humans.
  • 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.
  • Fate/stay night: Gilgamesh likes to use "zasshu-domo", or "mongrels", referring to everyone else but himself.
  • 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.
  • One Piece: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Andine is rather fond of the phrase "ningen-domo" when addressing the heroes.
    • 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.

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.

    -gata Examples 
  • Kuchiha in Amatsuki uses osamurai-gata when pleading for a group of samurai to spare her friend's life.
  • 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".
  • In My-Otome 0~S.ifr~, Lena, making an Apologetic Attacker statement to the Five Columns, sans her friend and classmate Elliot, who refused to help them, as "onee-sama-gata"
  • 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.

ら Works the same way as -tachi, though the two are not always interchangeable; e.g., "Ware" can take "ra" but not "tachi".

    -ra Examples 
Original Japanese-Language Works
  • In Berserk, after learning what has become of most of his friends during the Eclipse, Guts gets pissed and snarls "Kisamara!" at the demons responsible for said friends' awful fate, which gets translated in English as either "You bastards!" or "God damn you all!"
  • In BlazBlue, Terumi sometimes use "temee-ra" to address multiple people at once.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!: "Warera ai no oui keishousha, Battle Lovers!" ("We are the heirs to the throne of love, Battle Lovers!"). Plus "Warera aoki hoshi o suberu mono, Caerula Adamas!" ("We are the rulers of this blue earth, Caerula Adamas!") from their opponents, along with their Image Song "Warera seigi no Caerula Adamas!!" ("We are justice, Caerula Adamas!!").
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: Monokuma refers to the students he torments near exclusively with "Omaera". Given the context, he is clearly being disrespectful, to the point that localizations usually translate this as "you bastards".
  • Saika Magoichi always refers to herself and her band of mercenaries as ware-ra collectively in Sengoku Basara.
  • Super Sentai crossover movies have the multi-team roll call end with "Ware-ra Super Sentai!"
  • The title of the novel We is translated into Japanese as ware-ra.

Japanese-Language Localizations
  • Leif in the Japanese localization of Bug Fables refers to himself with boku-ra, even when he refers to himself only. He refers to himself in plural in the English version as well, but considering that Japanese works never have characters refer to themselves in such manner, Japanese fans actually thought that the game was mistranslated at first. Much like in the English version, he drops the plural during his Heroic BSoD after discovering his true nature.

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.

    -tachi Examples 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Winry amusingly refers to the brothers Ed & Al Elric as "Edo-tachi."
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Keiichi, Rika, Shion, and the others in the game club often refer to themselves as nakama-tachi.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero the SOS Brigade is referred by "Haru-tachi". The "Haru" can mean either Haruhi or Haruka depending on the context.
  • In one Minami-ke episode, Haruka refers to Chiaki and the others with her as "Chiaki-tachi".
  • In Super Robot Wars Ex, at least one of the Puru sisters say "Funnel-tachi" when using a Funnel attack.
  • 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", the plural of ware above, 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 Japanese − like "hitobito" (人々) for "people".

    Wareware Examples 
  • Luck Gandor in Baccano! uses this to refer to the Gandor family.
  • Balalaika from Black Lagoon always refers to Hotel Moscow this way.
  • Ceres uses this when referring to the ten'nyo/celestial maidens in Ceres, Celestial Legend.
  • Rufus uses this in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children to refer to himself and the Shinra company. He still sounds pretty pompous when he says it, though.
  • Kill la Kill: Aikuro uses this repeatedly, when he reveals that he is a member of a secret resistance group.
    "Ware ware wa... NUDISTO BEACHH!!!"
  • Mega Man X4: During his speech to his Repliforce, General uses wareware to refer to all of them. Colonel, despite normally using "watashi", also uses this during the speech for the same reason.
  • Mashiro Blan de Windbloom in My-Otome, being a queen, uses this form as the "royal we".
  • Naruto: 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.
  • The standard form for Seele in Neon Genesis Evangelion (and the new movies). Used occasionally by Gendo Ikari.