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 spite of this -- or perhaps because of this -- Japanese has far more pronouns than the average language. There are more than three dozen Japanese words that can be translated as "I/me"[1] and even more that can be translated as "you". Each of them makes a different statement about the speaker's gender, age, social status, and relationship with the addressee(s). 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 -- non-native speakers who learned their Japanese from anime are easy to spot.

    See also: Royal We, Pronoun Trouble, Hey, You, Third Person Person, Japanese Honorifics, Keigo.

    First-person pronouns

    Atai, Ashi

    私 "I, a cute little girl." Contraction of atashi; used only by young girls or, rarely, by very immature and informal women.


    あたし Informal but very feminine version of "watashi," used by women in casual contexts. If a male character uses atashi it is almost certainly meant to be comical, or perhaps creepy.
    • Nagisa from Chou Kuse ni Narisou says this even when she's disguised as a boy, which undermines the disguise.
    • Sakura in Sakura Taisen
    • Nanoha, Vita, and Hayate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
    • Nami in One Piece.
    • Kisuke in Bleach uses this pronoun, and is a rare male example. His use of it exaggerates his role of a 'humble' shopkeeper. It's interesting to note that the "Turn Back the Pendulum" arc reveals that he used the humble/masculine boku in the past. Why and when he later switched to atashi is unknown. Momo, Orihime, and Rangiku tend to use it as well
    • Ino, Tenten, Tsunade, and Filler Villain Guren in Naruto
    • Allenby in G Gundam.
    • Rikku in Final Fantasy X.
    • Asuka Tenjouin in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
    • Revy from Black Lagoon uses this to refer to herself.
    • Nana Osaki in Nana. Occasionally used playfully by Ren as well.
    • Haruhi's father in Ouran High School Host Club uses atashi, presumably because he's a cross dresser.
    • Ranma from Ranma ½, normally an ore user, switches to "atashi" after Akane lands a nasty blow to his head. His altered language and personality shift worries everyone.
    • 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.)
    • Usagi from Sailor Moon.
    • Oshare Bones from Puyo Puyo uses this when referring to himself.
    • Fire Emblem from Tiger and Bunny uses this occasionally; usually he uses watashi.
    • Michiru Isumi in Kimi ga Ita Kisetsu; as a commanding officer in Muv Luv Alternative she uses the usual watashi.


    僕 "I, a nonthreatening male". Informal and humble - for instance, it would be the normal pronoun for a man to use in an informal TV interview. It's also the default pronoun for young boys, so an adult male who uses boku in situations where more assertive language would be acceptable can come across as childish. In anime, it can also be used by tomboyish girls; these characters are known as Bokukko. (Note, however, that the bokukko phenomenon is a prominent example of how anime dialogue differs from actual spoken Japanese; in the real world, it would be very weird for a female native speaker to refer to herself as boku). Finally, female singers and poets may also use boku purely for metrical purposes.
    • 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.
    • Quatre Winner in Gundam Wing.
    • 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)
    • Sakura in D.C. Da Capo and D.C.II Da Capo II. Very ironic since she's actually a young girl.
    • Rika and Hanyuu in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
    • Souseiseki, the cross-dressing tomboy in Rozen Maiden
    • 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.
    • Death Note: A revealing clue to Light and L's personalities (and ages, and nationalities...) is when they make the same speech, but Light uses boku and L uses watashi.
    • Ayu in Kanon. She and Yuuichi even have a small discussion about it at one point. She feels uncomfortable using any other pronoun.
    • Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!!, particularly in the phrase "mou hitori no boku", "the other me", referring to Yami Yugi.
      • Also Ryou Bakura, which contrasts with his evil side's ore-sama.
      • In a curious variant, Kujirada from the "digital pet" episode uses boku-sama. Possibly suggests that while he doesn't think of himself as a tough guy (as ore-sama would imply) he still considers himself superior to the other kids.
    • Rei Saotome in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Notable as she refers to herself as "atashi" with Judai.
    • Katsura Hoshino, author of D.Gray-man, which leads to Pronoun Trouble. The author's actual gender is lady. From the series, Allen, Jasdero and Road use it all the time.
    • Pani Poni Dash!'s Kurumi finds it thrilling to hear a girl say boku. (We find this out when Himeko gets possessed by a male alien.)
    • Mytho from Princess Tutu. He'd possibly be mistaken for a girl if he used 'watashi'...
    • A whole lot of characters from Bleach: Uryu, Yumichika, Izuru, Luppi, Gin, Hanatarou, Shunsui Kyoraku, Szayel Aporro, Rose Otoribashi, Yukio, Tsukishima.
    • Russia in Axis Powers Hetalia, mostly to emphasize his child-like craziness. Canada uses it, too, though in his case he's simply a rather mellow young man.
    • Sasaki from the 9th Suzumiya Haruhi novel refers to herself with boku when conversing with boys, with the added quirk of speaking a lot like The Spock.
    • In Naruto, out of the Konoha genin boys, only Chouji and Lee use boku. Sai, Yamato, and Suigetsu, who are introduced after the timeskip, both use it.
    • Lady Bat from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch..both when he's dressing as a male and as a female. Taro Mitsuki and Rihito Amagi use boku, too.
    • Leon Magnus and Judas from Tales of Destiny
    • Beryl Benito from Tales of Hearts. As she's a girl, it's always written in Katakana.
    • Asakim Dowin from Super Robot Wars Z.
    • Kuja, the Big Bad from Final Fantasy IX.
    • Kazuki and Makubex in GetBackers, Makubex because of his age, Kazuki because despite everything he's still male.
    • Hakkai in Saiyuki, notably the only one of the Sanzo-ikkou who does so.
    • Hajime from Saki uses this, even though she is rather girlish.
    • Otto in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, further adding to the in-universe and Viewer Gender Confusion. Several clearly male characters, like Yuuno and Erio, use it too.
    • A very androgynous character from Soul Eater, Crona, refers to his/herself as boku, which only contributes to the Ambiguous Gender of the character.
    • Rhyme in The World Ends With You, who's an out-and-out tomboy.
    • 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.
    • Persona 4's Naoto Shirogane uses boku as part of her attempt to disguise herself as male. After that's exposed she still does it anyway apparantly out of habit. However if the main character starts a relationship with her and points her speech out as odd, she'll occasionally use a more feminine watashi when they are alone.
    • Some theme songs that have some sort of relevance with their show use this to help drive the point. Examples are Bokurano (done in the perspective of one of the children) and RahXephon (done in Ayato's perspective).
    • Truth in Television: Seiyuu Akeno Watanabe.
    • Shimon Nagareyama in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, who is usually very shy and polite.
    • Asa from SHUFFLE!!
    • 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.
    • Kazuma in Kemonozume.
    • The Japanese dub of Avatar: The Last Airbender has Katara use boku most of the time. This is an interesting example of the cultural connotations, since Katara, while an Action Girl, really isn't especially tomboyish by American standards. She is, however, assertive to a degree that would be considered unfeminine in Japanese culture.
    • Both Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse in their respective dubs use boku.
    • In Mega Man Zero, Copy-X uses this even when he's bragging about how he's superior to the real X, and before trying to kill Zero for opposing him.
    • Al in Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • Humble Daisuke in DN Angel uses "boku" while confident alter ego Dark uses "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.
    • Some young male characters in Sengoku Basara, like Kobayakawa Hideaki and Otomo Sorin. Takenaka Hanbe also uses it.
    • Kiritsugu Emiya, 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.
    • Phoenix Wright/ Naruhodou Ryuuichi from Ace Attorney uses this. It fits his easily flustered personality.
    • Nietzsche Wannabe Legato Bluesummers in Trigun uses boku.
    • Stiyl Magnus of A Certain Magical Index is a subversion of the gruff, tough guy archetype usually using ore by using boku instead. However, since he's just 14 years old it's somewhat justified.
    • Hibari, Mukuro and Byakuran from Katekyo Hitman Reborn are quite polite (Mukuro even uses Keigo!) but along the most dominant and abusive characters of the series. In the case of Mukuro and Byakuran, boku implies more of an false politeness than a genuine one, while in Hibari's case it reflects his strong attachment to rules (not that he's a nice guy, anyway).
    • In the Japanese dub for The Dark Knight Saga, Bruce Wayne uses boku for his public persona as a Rich Idiot With No Day Job. As Batman he uses ore, like most other characters.
    • Shoma Takakura from Mawaru Penguindrum, contrasting with his more assertive brother Kanba's ore.
      • Also Keiju Tabuki and Sanetoshi Watase.
    • Pao-Lin from Tiger and 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.
    • Gian of Summon Night 4 reverts to his childhood usage of boku from his usual watashi as part of his Villainous Breakdown.
    • The Bokukko Natsuki Koshimizu from Detective Conan. It's one of the reasons why the other Amateur Sleuths think she's a boy aside of her Boyish Short Hair and Bifauxnen looks, until they see her in a sailor uniform. After being revealed as the Sympathetic Murderer, she switches to watashi, probably because her innocence is gone forever.
    • My Hero Academia:
      • Izuku Midoriya exclusively uses this pronoun, which goes in hand with his kindly, humble personality. It's even in the official Japanese title.
      • Out of the others in his class, Aoyama uses it, as does Iida when he gets emotional (he normally uses "ore").
      • As for more reprehensible users, we have Neito Monoma and All For One.
    • The fake "fourth" Elan Ceres of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury uses boku as part of his emotionless, uncaring nature by contrast, the far more assertive original Elan uses "ore".


    朕 The form of "I" used exclusively by Emperors. Hirohito stopped using it after losing the war and it has fallen into disuse. Analogous to the Royal We.
    • Aisin-Gioro Puyi, Emperor of Manchukuo in Fist of the Blue Sky.
    • The Japanese translation of the (apocryphal) Louis XIV quotation "L'État, c'est moi"
    • Azazel uses it while he's on a power trip.


    自分 "Myself." 99% of the time this serves as a reflexive pronoun just like its English translation, but it can also be used (much less commonly) as a general first person pronoun. It's a sort of detached and impersonal way of referring to oneself, most often used by military types to indicate an attitude of selfless devotion to duty. Although more often heard from men (since military characters are more likely to be male), it is technically gender-neutral, so jibun can be useful if writers want to disguise a character's gender. Confusingly, in Kansai dialect jibun means "you" instead of "I" (when not being used for a reflexive).
    • The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3, after her defection, to symbolise how she has sacrificed her humanity in order to become a soldier.
    • 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.
    • 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 used the assertive ore).
    • Likewise, 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.
    • Takeshi (Brock) of Pokémon uses this when introducing himself to the ladies.
    • Kunzite in Tales of Hearts, by virtue of being a Ridiculously Human Robot, and a Tin Man no less.
    • 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.
    • Hibiki, of THE iDOLM@STER, uses this in an accentuation of her heavy Okinawan dialect.
    • Tsubaki in BlazBlue uses this when she's trying to sound more like a soldier.
    • Hakuoro of Utawarerumono. Granted, he is a military leader for much of the story and is sort of an amnesiac...
    • Thailand in Axis Powers Hetalia.


    麿 "Oneself", very archaic and exclusively male. Not used nowadays, except in poetry. To demonstrate just how old this is, it was first used in the Kojiki.

    Me, Mii

    ミー "Me" in very, very Gratuitous English form. Used either by Eaglelanders or people trying way too hard to be Westernized -- like some indeterminately Japanese characters. 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.

    Ora, Oira

    おら, おいら A once-common dialect form of ore (see below), with connotations of being from a low-class, rural area.
    • Mousse from Ranma ½ uses this.
    • Son Goku and his wife Chichi from Dragon Ball.
    • Musashi from Brave Fencer Musashi.
    • Goemon from Ganbare Goemon.
    • Shin Nohara from Crayon Shin-chan.
    • Chichiri from Fushigi Yuugi.
    • Yoh from Shaman King.
    • Kumadori from One Piece.
    • Happy, a flying cat from Fairy Tail.
    • The Flunkies, Mizer, and many bandits in Yggdra Union.
    • Deidara and Kankuro from Naruto.
    • Shimazu Yoshihiro and Itsuki from Sengoku Basara. Interestingly, while Itsuki is a peasant, Yoshihiro is a daimyo (though he speaks with a heavy Kyushu accent).
    • The peasants in Seven Samurai, including the girl, Shino.
    • Aladdin uses this in the Japanese dub of Aladdin, probably to emphasize his street rat qualities. Chien Po also uses it in the Japanese dub of Mulan as well.
    • Alba from Summon Night, fitting given that he grew up in a slum.
    • Daichi from Beyblade.
    • In the official Japanese translation of Undertale, Sans uses this, fittingly for a relaxed character. The reveal of this caused an stir in the Japanese fandom, given that they expected him to use either boku or ore, which in a meta sense fits his Trollish tendencies. It's implied, however, that his oira use is a deliberate affectation to make himself look non-threatening; he switches to ore whenever he gets actually serious


    俺 "I, a tough young man". Used by young men (from adolescence to around middle age, usually) in casual contexts, such as hanging out with friends. As such, it's traditionally considered rude to use it with strangers and people above one's own social standing, but nowadays younger men use it even with strangers in all but formal situations. Used by a vast majority of male leads in anime, especially in Shounen, and also occasionally by extremely tough and aggressive women (in fiction only).
    • Fun fact: until the 1960s Shounen heroes used boku. This pronoun became fashionable with manga such as Ashita no Joe that changed the basic "shounen manga hero" formula by featuring wilder and rougher main characters and presenting them as role models.
    • Hydra in UFO Princess Valkyrie.
    • Mira Munakata from Papa to Kiss in the Dark OVA starts to say ore when talking to an upperclassmen, but then reverts to boku to sound cuter.
    • Megumi in Tenshi na Konamaiki (used to be a boy (or is she?), and attempting to become one again)
    • Ranma in Ranma ½ (even when transformed into a girl)
    • Keichi in Ah! My Goddess, too bad he was involuntarily disguised as a girl at the time.
    • Yun in Simoun, who has earned the nickname "ore-onna" among fans for calling herself that.
    • Giroro from Keroro Gunsou.
    • Naota from FLCL uses this to try and seem more mature. It doesn't appear to work.
    • Anise from Galaxy Angel Rune and Galaxy Angel II. Also female.
    • Yami Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!!, such as the phrase mou hitori no ore, 'the other me,' in reference to Yugi (in season two, he started referring to Yugi by the nickname aibou, or "partner"). While it's more striking in his case as it contrasts with normal Yugi, practically every male character in the YGO-verse uses this pronoun because Yu-Gi-Oh and all its spin-offs have casts mostly full of hot-blooded teenage boys. Especially noticeable in duels, where most duelists begin their move with "Ore no turn!" and often demean the other player with condescending pronouns (such as "temee", mentioned below).
    • Shuichi in Gravitation, despite his general Uke/Keet persona.
    • Sailor Star Fighter/Kou Seiya in Sailor Moon; this character is a male (phsyically in the anime, just cross dressing in the manga) in civilian form, but still uses "ore" as a Sailor Senshi.
    • In a rare Western example, Hiro from Heroes -- for him, it's probably a conscious decision to emulate the speaking habits of the main characters of comic books. Notably, Hiro falls back on boku when addressing his father.
    • One of Kyo Kusanagi's win quotes in The King of Fighters is "Ore no kachida!". It's not just boasting: his team has won damn near every tournament in the series.
    • Upon their first meeting in Hikaru no Go, Hikaru uses ore while Akira uses boku.
    • Mukuro in Yu Yu Hakusho: so badass that she rules an entire third of the Demon World, kept her gender hidden for centuries.
    • Naruto- Most male characters except Orochimaru ("girly" watashi), Ebisu-sensei ("formal" watashi), Rock Lee, Sai and Chouji (boku).
    • 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...
    • Hazuki in the manga version of Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito uses "ore" while in the anime she uses "boku" instead.
    • Fakir in Princess Tutu always uses this. He probably is meaning to be rude half the time.
    • 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.
    • Kyon from Suzumiya Haruhi calls himself ore, while Itsuki calls himself boku. Coincidentially, Itsuki loves flirting with Deadpan Snarker Kyon.
    • Kenshin when in Battousai mode.
    • Shirou in Fate/stay night. As with Kyon, using this pronoun rather than boku underscores his no-nonsense personality.
    • In fact, so do Shiki and almost all other male characters in the Nasuverse. Archer, notably, does not and uses 'watashi'.... It is therefore notable that he switches to 'ore' during The Reveal in Unlimited Blade Works, as he returns to using the personal pronoun he used to in his prior life.
    • That other Shiki uses it too, in imitation of SHIKI, her male persona, who died two years ago. She returns to using watashi after the events of the seventh chapter/movie, signifying her acceptance of her past and present.
    • Domon Kasshu in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Anything else would be inappropriate.
    • Ai in Video Girl Ai, a female example.
    • Ryuunosuke Fujinami from Urusei Yatsura sometimes has to remind people "Ore wa onna da!" ("I'm a woman!")
    • Hungary from Axis Powers Hetalia used to refer to herself as "ore" in her younger years... when she thought she would grow up into a male. As she grew up, she switched to "watashi".
    • 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.
    • Inoue Jun from Saki uses this as befitting of her Bifauxnen appearance.
    • Momotaros. To quote: "Ore! SANJOU!!!"
    • Lelouch in Code Geass. He switches to 'watashi' for his Zero persona to avoid identifying himself as a male teenager.
    • Kanda Yu in D.Gray-man.
    • Shiba Kuukaku in Bleach.
    • Date Masamune and Katakura Kojuro from Sengoku Basara, who are portrayed as a Delinquent and a Yakuza respectively. Young Pirate Chousokabe Motochika also uses this.
      • Sanada Yukimura from the same franchise uses exceedingly formal and humble speech patterns, including the pronoun soregashi. However, he sometimes uses ore with Sasuke, implying that this would be his default pronoun if he wasn't so hung up on sounding proper and samurai-like. Given that Sasuke is under his command and has been a kind of brotherly presence in his life since he was young, Yukimura can use a more relaxed speaking style with him.
    • Used most often and with much emphasis by Tieria Erde in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, likely as a counter to his feminine appearance, as during a Heroic BSOD, he interestingly cycles through pronouns, saying "Ore wa...boku wa...watashi wa...". In fact, his pronoun usage seems to generally depend on his mental state: although he usually uses "ore", he has been known to slip into "boku" or "watashi" during moments of extreme emotional distress or while having an identity crisis.
    • In Change 123, the Bokukko personality Hibiki refers to herself as "ore". And she tells "the four of us" (speaking of Motoko and HiFuMi collectively) as "ore-tachi yon-nin".
    • Gauron from Full Metal Panic! uses this when referring to himself. It does certainly fit perfectly with his macho, condescending tough-guy attitude. And yes, he uses it rudely with strangers and people who aren't particularly close with him.
    • Tenma Morimura and Inori in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de. Inori is a street boy and Tenma is a regular teenager from our world; neither usually cares about being at least remotely polite.
    • Several characters in Tears to Tiara use ore, the main character included. Arawn also uses ore-sama a few times and the formal watashi when he temporarily reverts himself to his angelic form.
    • In the Japanese dub of House, House himself uses ore. By contrast, Wilson uses boku.
    • In Grenadier, Mikan uses ore, reflecting her tomboyish personality.
    • Mega Man X uses ore in his own series, even while grappling with being forced to fight despite his pacifism, but switches to boku in the Darker and 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.
    • Vash the Stampede of Trigun normally uses boku or even atashi as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity persona, but will switch to ore when he means business.
    • Hinagiku aka Angel Daisy from Wedding Peach uses this pronoun even as a Love Angel in a frilly wedding dress.
    • Edward Elric, Greed, Maes Hughes (!) and van Hohenheim (!) from Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • The Japanese title for Wario Ware D.I.Y. translates to "Made in Me" using ore.
    • Hiroki in Canvas 2, though he attempts to be more polite when conversing with a painter he respects.
    • Apollo Justice/ Odoroki Housuke from 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 aggresive than Phoenix ever did.
    • Satoshi (Ash) from Pokémon uses "ore".
    • Kakizaki from Super Dimension Fortress Macross utters ore but quickly switches to jibun during his first appearance. Justified since he's introducing himself to his superior.
    • Ore! Tomba
    • A female example, Prishe from Final Fantasy XI and Dissidia.
    • Touma of A Certain Magical Index uses ore, but when self-deprecating, he switches to watakushi.
    • Female Chimaerans in Jyu-Oh-Sei tend to use ore, most notably Tiz and Karim (in the manga - in the anime Karim uses watashi).
    • Kanba Takakura from Mawaru Penguindrum, as the most aggressive and assertive Takakura sibling. OTOH, his twin Shouma uses boku and their little sister Himari uses watashi.
    • Akira of My-HiME uses this because she's pretending to be a boy. Yuuichi also uses it.
    • The fansubs of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic appearing on Nico Nico Douga have Rainbow Dash referring to herself with this.
    • Daffy Duck in Japanese also uses ore.


    俺様 "My magnificent self," perhaps, or "my most serene highness." Attaching an honorific that indicates great respect to the most macho of first-person pronouns makes it a highly emphatic, arrogant and presumptuous version of ore. Used either tongue-in-cheek, or by the smuggest of men.


    拙者 "This humble, unworthy, clumsy fool". Archaic, not in use nowadays. People who use this in anime are usually Samurai or ninjas. Probably the closest parallel in English is "your humble servant", sometimes used in correspondence as a first person pronoun.


    小生 Another archaic, self-deprecating form of "I" used by males with equals and subordinates. Nowadays it's rare but still used sometimes in letters and such.
    • Kuroda Kanbe from Sengoku Basara, who is in no way as humble as this pronoun implies.
    • Devola and Popola from NieR, despite being female.
    • Tokitsu Junya, the "Detective of the North" in Detective Conan. It's hinted lightly that he uses this as a way to make himself look humbler than he truly is. And it's kind of a plot point, actually. See the character sheet to learn the reason why.
    • Emilia Kishitani from Durarara!!, a foreigner who speaks in broken Japanese and for some reason chooses this as her main pronoun.
    • Zuo Ci from the Dynasty Warriors series.


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


    家 A word for "I" or "my own" used in Kansai-ben (including Osaka-ben) and Kyushu dialect by females. Thus, one may hear a female idiot from Osaka refer to herself as uchi, in addition to other characters from the Kansai region.


    我輩/我が輩 Every bit as arrogant and presumptuous as ore-sama, with the added benefit of being quite archaic. Note that 50% of the time you see this, it's an allusion to Wagahai wa Neko de aru (I Am A Cat), a well-known Japanese satirical novel.
    • Severus Snape, in the Japanese translation of the Harry Potter books.
    • Used by a cat named Kuma in Sketchbook Full Colors.
    • Bowser from Super Mario Bros.
    • Manfred von Karma from Ace Attorney.
    • The Millennium Earl in D.Gray-man.
    • 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.
    • Keroro from Keroro Gunsou
    • Chiyo's Father in Azumanga Daioh. Voiced by the suave, often artistically archaic Wakamoto Norio. Sou de arrrru.
    • Switzerland in Axis Powers Hetalia.
    • 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.
    • Alex Louis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist. Yes, even when talking to superiors.
    • Mogami Yoshiaki from Sengoku Basara, who arrogant doesn't even begin to describe.
    • Neko-Arc Chaos from Melty Blood.
    • 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'.
    • Doctor West in Deus Machina Demonbane.
    • Chaser John Doe from Yumekui Merry, who actually quotes the book's title without ever having read it.


    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. Don't confuse it with ware wa which simply means "I am".


    我 An archaic "I", usually male. Nowadays it's rather literary, and has a dignified overtone. Part of its esteem value derives from using the same character as "I" in Chinese, which is pronounced wo. Incantations will likely use this pronoun for the first person. A Talking Weapon is also likely to use this to refer to itself. Has its own possessive form: waga (我が).
    • Zetta in Makai Kingdom
    • Lawrence III, of Pokémon 2000, has an Image Song titled "Ware wa Collector".
    • 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."
    • Omega Zero from Mega Man Zero 3 says "Ware wa meshia nari!" ("I am the messiah!") prior to the final fight. Likewise Dr. Weil... "Ware wa akuma da!!" ("I am the Devil!!")
      • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 a female.
    • The Big Bad of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, "Darkness", used this.
    • 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.
    • Fawful's Japanese equivalent Gerakobittsu uses this pronoun, ruru.
    • Mao from Disgaea 3.
    • Mouri Motonari (who has a Chinese theme), and his somewhat more Evil Counterpart Otani Yoshitsugu from Sengoku Basara.
    • The Wolkenritter and Reinforce of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha tend to use this pronoun when talking about themselves as Hayate's servants (on other occasions, Vita uses atashi whereas Signum, Shamal, and Reinforce use watashi).
    • Used in the spell incantations in Slayers.
    • Hakumen in BlazBlue.
    • Lordgenome from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, post-Time Skip. Especially noticeable in ep. 22, when he's trying to remember what the Moon is.
    • Grimoire Weiss from NieR, who is a talking book, but very arrogant and dignified.
    • Archtype-Earth, AKA our heroine Arcueid before Shiki unintentionally turned her into an airhead, uses this. It is unknown if she goes back to using this after the events of Tsukihime because it is unknown if she reverts back to her old colder personality.
    • Dynamis in Mahou Sensei Negima. It generally seems to be common among the members of Cosmo Entelecheia.
    • The Japanese translation of Mein Kampf (usually translated into English as "My Struggle") uses this pronoun's possessive form ("Waga Tousou").
    • Used by the Big Bad Miyo Takano in Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai in an A God Am I speech.
    • Soul Edge/Nightmare from theSoul Series.
    • Chartreuse from Summon Night 3.
    • The infamous "Waga Shikabane wo Koe yo" tech from Sega's Sangokushi Taisen games, one of the many Romance of the Three Kingdoms inspired Japanese game series. It reached Memetic Mutation levels when videos depicting it were paired with J-ROCK group Onmyouza's similarly named Waga Shikabane wo Koete yuke. For the Japanese illiterate, the phrases translate to "Over My Dead Body".
    • Used in Japanese translations of The Quran.
    • Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura uses this during transformation sequences (e.g. "真の姿をの前に示せ" in episode 2). It's most likely used to create a feeling of divinity, and otherworldliness, between her and the other characters during transformations.


    儂 In popular media it's reserved for elderly men only (except for some Jidai Geki dramas and suchlike), but in real life it used to be popular with men of all ages, especially in the mid-western regions of Japan. By now its usage has faded among the younger generations, due to the effects of the aforementioned popular media.


    私, わたくし An ultra-formal term, often used in anime by characters who are profusely polite, very sophisticated, or somewhat old-fashioned. Fictional royalty tends to use this, especially princesses and the like. It's also used in place of watashi in very formal speech (for example, a job interview).


    私 A standard, polite word for "I", usable by both males and females in formal situations. It's also fine for females in informal situations; a male who uses it in an informal context may come across as effeminate, business-like or aloof. In the case of children, watashi is often used by girls, but never by boys, who use boku. In Japanese as a second language courses, watashi is almost always the first word for "I" learned.
    • Tsukasa switches from boku to watashi at the end of .hack//Sign to symbolize her acceptance that she was a girl.
    • Baccano!!'s Noble Demon Luck Gandor refers to himself as watashi, in a "businesslike and aloof" male use of the word.
    • Very few males use this in Bleach, notably Byakuya, Mayuri, post Soul Society arc Aizen (switched from boku) and Tousen. Among the Arrancar, Zommari (along with a very polite speech) and Pesche use it.
    • L from Death Note, probably one reason being that he grew up in England.
    • Alucard from Hellsing.
    • Several male characters from Sengoku Basara, such as Azai Nagamasa, Akechi Mitsuhide, Ishida Mitsunari etc.
    • More male examples: Roy Mustang, King Bradley and Father from Fullmetal Alchemist.
    • Brook in One Piece, though he also uses watakushi on occasion.
    • Emperor Desler/Desslok from Space Battleship Yamato sometimes switches, seemingly at random, between ore and watashi. However, he still speaks in the most familiar to everyone either way, and it sounds weird.
    • Might not count, but Rei Ayanami uses this all the time in that signature Creepy Monotone or hers; she simply doesn't know how to speak informally. Possibly that's why Asuka sees her as arrogant.
    • Aya in Weiss Kreuz Gluhen switches from ore to watashi as part of his cover as a history teacher at Koua Academy.
    • Rika in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, who normally uses boku, switches to this when she's in Frederica Bernkastel mode. Incidentally Bernkastel in Umineko no Naku Koro ni always uses this. Hmmmm...
    • All Might from My Hero Academia always uses this pronoun. "Watashi ga kita!"


    余 or 予 Archaic, dignified, elevated form of "I", most often used in entertainment media. It's occasionally translated with the Royal We.

    Second-person pronouns

    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, since it can seem either distancing and cold or obtrusive to use them instead of one's first name.


    貴方/貴女 The standard polite word for "you". Also translates to "my dear" when a wife calls her husband anata.


    あんた The informal form of anata, having an overtone of contempt and defiance.
    • Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion uses this in her infamous ANTA BAKA?! ("Are you stupid?") catchphrase.
    • Detective Gumshoe/Itonokogiri Keisuke from the Ace Attorney series has a habit of saying "Anta", pal.
      • Manosuke Naito and Yumihiko Ichiyanagi from Investigations 2 use it frequently, to show their arrogance.
    • Sakura in Naruto commonly uses this when she is angry with someone, but tends to use anata on most other occasions.
    • It's hard to tell, but Rin seems to use this for Shirou in Fate/stay night. He in turn calls her omae. They also don't bother with Honorifics.
    • Haruhi Suzumiya uses this at least occasionally on Kyon. Hardly surprising.
    • Kagura from Inuyasha, being her rebellious, respectless self has no qualms adressing everyone like this, including her very creator and high-ranking demon nobility like Sesshomaru.
    • Kaname in Full Metal Panic! tends to use anta on Sousuke and her friends when she's irritated.
    • Mikoto in A Certain Magical Index never adresses Touma with anything else, even after she develops a crush on him. She also directs it at Kuroko whenever the latter's Schoolgirl Lesbian advances go too far (happens quite often).
    • Reaker towards Montblanc in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance mission Moogle Bride.
    • The outgoing Maeda Keiji from Sengoku Basara. Also Date Masamune and Chousokabe Motochika, in whose case it denotes light respect (as this is the closest they'll ever get to anata).


    卿 Archaic second person pronoun, used mostly by males. 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 a honorific (pronounced as kyou) in which case it's equivalent to "lord/lady" or "sir/dame."
    • Used profusely in the Empire in Legend of Galactic Heroes, to indicate the characters' sophisticated speech (somewhat akin to The Queen's Latin). Even close friends such as Reuenthal and Mittermeier use it with each other.
    • Kuchiki Byakuya in Bleach uses this with other captains (when he's not mad at them) and, later on, Ichigo. Curiously, though, Kubo uses the kanji "兄" which has no such meaning and is only a homonym.
    • Matsunaga Hisahide uses it with everyone (and always in a very patronising way) in Sengoku Basara.
    • Meta Knight from the Kirby anime is referred to as Metaknight-kyou by practically everyone; he's also sometimes called 'Kyou' by his subordinates.


    貴殿 Archaic pronoun used by males when addressing equals and superiors (only men) in a polite, respectful manner.
    • Some characters such as Yukimura and Nagamasa from Sengoku Basara.
    • Appears in the Aoi Bungaku version of Hashire, Melos! in a formal letter from Joushima's wife to the main character. The story takes place in 1950 so apparently it's not as archaic as it would appear. It's definitely out of usage nowadays, though.
    • Raidei The Blade in Trigun uses this together with soregashi.


    貴公 An archaic and fairly rare term used to refer to someone younger than/beneath you. Typically appears with men, often Samurai, who are high-ranking, or maybe just arrogant.


    貴官 Used when addressing government officials and members of a force, eg. policemen, firemen and the military in a respectful manner. Rare.


    君 A somewhat informal but still polite second person pronoun used mostly by men when addressing their equals or younger men and women. Also the standard pronoun used between couples, so it turns up a lot in music. The kanji can be used as a honorific as well, pronounced kun.
    • In Brain Powered, Hime uses this term of address when speaking to her organic robot.
    • 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.
    • Sanji of One Piece uses kimi on his female crewmates, and omae or teme on his male crewmates.
    • 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.
    • Uryuu Ishida in Bleach uses it 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.
    • Kimi is the default for America and Canada from Axis Powers Hetalia (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."
    • Rock Lee of Naruto uses kimi on people he knows well, and anata on strangers.
    • 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.
    • Takenaka Hanbe from Sengoku Basara uses this and '-kun' for almost everyone, even men much older than he is. Seems to be slightly condescending.
    • Kimi ga Nozumu Eien.
    • 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.


    貴様 Extremely hostile and rude. However, in older feudal times it had no offensive overtones and was used to address subordinates and people below one's rank in an informal manner.
    • Natsuki of My-HiME and Mai-Otome is not known for being especially polite, but when she's especially angry with someone, such as Nao, she tends to use this pronoun.
    • Alastor in Shakugan no Shana will unfailingly use 'kisama' when addressing Yuji, despite the level of familiarity the torch has with both him and his champion. This is not so much a calculated insult as the fact that the Crimson King considers humans to be literally beneath his notice -- Yuji is the only human Alastor will use pronouns to (or mention at all) when addressing directly. Alternatively, he could just be extremely old-fashioned and is unaware that it's a rude form of address in modern Japan.
    • Rozalin spends the first half of Disgaea 2 addressing Adell in this manner. She switches to 'onushi' when he ends up Taking the Bullet for her.
    • This is by far the most common form of address for villains in Fist of the North Star.
    • Tatewaki Kunou of Ranma ½ uses this in both its archaically formal form (for Akane), and in its insulting form (for Ranma).
    • Issei and Shirou of Fate/stay night are close friends, and Issei usually uses omae with him. He briefly switches to kisama - understandable, as Shirou has just ordered him to strip. Another notable instance: Berserker is surprisingly calm on the one occasion when he speaks, but he still uses kisama for Saber, his enemy.
    • Seto Kaiba of Yu-Gi-Oh! commonly uses this on anyone whom he hates or looks down upon (in other words, most people).
    • Vegeta from Dragon Ball likes to use this one quite a bit as well.
    • Like Kuno, Juubei from GetBackers uses both the respectful form for Kazuki and the "you bastard!" form for whoever is pissing him off that day. There's a reason he's called "samurai-boy."
    • Lamia Loveless from Super Robot Wars slips into this in OG Gaiden (she usually uses a much more formal tone), if she ever encounters a Bartoll, which is understandable, because she has a grudge against them for capturing her and using her as a "pilot".
    • Byakuya Kuchiki uses it often in Bleach to people he considers below himself (of whom there's 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.
    • Like Byakuya above, both Naraku and Sesshoumaru in Inuyasha use "kisama" to refer to almost everyone.
    • Final Fantasy IV: When Nintendo of America failed to translate this, the Spoony Bard was born.
    • Barbatos Goetia always uses this in the insulting fashion when referring to anyone, befitting of his self-centered and aggressive personality.
    • Jin Kisaragi. He yelled at Noel "KISAMA WA NANI NAN DA!?!?" (Who the hell are you!?), before brutally and gleefully killing her, and he also had an epic Skyward Scream of this when Nu-13 took Ragna away in his ending (BIIIIIIIITTTTTCCCHHHH!!!!)
      • Er, scratch that. Everyone to him is referred as kisama. Because he's that much of a Jerkass.
      • This also carries over to his future self, Hakumen.
    • Takeda Shingen in Sengoku Basara uses this when addressing people beneath him, with no offensive overtones. Azai Nagamasa also uses it with his wife Oichi.
    • 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.
    • Sephiroth uses this with everyone, excluding his "mother" of course.
    • 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 Catch Phrase, "I'm a Kamen Rider passing through, remember that!".
    • 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...
    • Signum of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha 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.
    • 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).
    • Sousuke in Full Metal Panic! addresses his arch-enemy Gauron with this. Keep in mind that he's The Stoic and yet still uses it in a deadpan tone.
    • One of the reasons people poke fun at fansubbers TV-Nihon is that in the past, they left certain Japanese words (including kisama) untranslated and justified their actions by saying there was no direct English translation. This lead to the memetic screenshots from the Zeta Gundam movies where (among others) someone refers to Kamille as "You little kisama!" They've toned this down a lot in recent years.
    • 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.
    • Domon Kasshu of 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).
    • in My Hero Academia, All For One is the only character whom the normally polite All Might refers to with "kisama". This speaks volumes about how reprehensible the former is.


    汝/爾 Another archaic form, roughly equivalent of "thou". Used in The Bible, and to translate the speech of Quakers in films. Incantations, spells, and the like tend to use this for the second person.
    • Used in the Tales (series) incantation for Indignation: "Yomi no mon hiraku tokoro ni nanji ari," which is roughly "The gates of hell open where thou art," as well as the variant in Tales of Legendia, "nanji no houkou yori banshou ni haae" ("by thy roar destroy creation").
    • Also used in the incantation for the Dragon Slave spell in Slayers.
    • Used in the Persona series through the series-recurring Arc Words "Nanji wa ware, ware wa nanji.", or "Thou art I, and I am thou.", as it is translated to in English. It is usually used as a Catch Phrase by Persona when their owners awake to their power to illustrate their nature and existence, amongst them Orpheus and Izanagi to the protagonists of Persona 3 and 4.
    • Nanji is used in the Bible and various Christian texts, including the marriage vow.
    • Uesugi Kenshin from Sengoku Basara uses this, being very old-fashioned.
    • In Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, the Dragon God refers to the main character this way. The first episode of the Hachiyou Shou TV series is even titled "Nanji, Ryuujin no Miko".
    • The words of the Servant summoning ritual in Fate/stay night and its prequel Fate/Zero uses this along with waga.


     御前 Used by males 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. Females also use it but less frequently. Much like anata as used by a wife to a husband, omae used by a husband to a wife also means "dear". There is also a version with rougher pronunciation that is said omee.
    • Jun from Rozen Maiden, he of no social skills, uses this for everyone.
    • Hiruma from Eyeshield 21, who also tends to use temee when provoked (see below).
    • 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.
    • Tomo and Yomi from Azumanga Daioh usually call each other omae, and of course, that's because Tomo is a Jerkass.
    • Omae wa mou...shindeiru.
    • Hiro and Ando use omae for each other in Heroes.
    • In 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.
    • Another female example, Casca in Berserk uses this when she addresses Guts or her comrades in the Band of the Hawk.
    • In X 1999, Yuzuriha uses it when speaking to her spirit dog Inuki, in friendly manner.
    • 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.
    • Most of the male Straw Hats refer to their crewmates with omae in One Piece
    • The Cromartie guys use this a lot. What's interesting is that when they use it for "Happy Birthday" (see unu below), it gets dubbed as "ya jerk" -- a little reminder that omae, while not rude among young men, isn't respectful either.
    • Laharl from Disgaea use it on Flonne for the first half of the game which she eventually get mad about it, saying that it's rude.
    • Adell from Disgaea 2 uses this as a standard pronoun for everyone, including Rozalin immediately after having met her. She immediately points out the rudeness of it; nevermind of course that she constantly refers to him as 'kisama'.
    • Most of the ore-using Konoha ninja in Naruto use omae on people at or below their rank.
    • Consistently used by Atsushi Otani in Lovely Complex to address his classmates. Then again, Osaka-ben already has a reputation for informality bordering on the uncouth.
    • Signum uses this for most people except her mistress, Hayate, in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. At one point early on in StrikerS, she wonders if she should stop calling Fate this when she's assigned as her vice-captain in Lightning Squad, but Fate says it's all right (one fansub has her suggesting that she shouldn't be calling her "Hey, You" anymore).
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • Date Masamune uses omae for those he's familiar with, and omee for pretty much everyone else in Sengoku Basara.
    • "Saa, omae no tsumi wo kazoero!" ("Now, count up your sins!")
      • "Zetsubo ga omae no...goal da." ("Your goal is despair / despair waits at your finish line, etc.")
    • "Omae o korosu" is basically Heero Guy'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 her[2]; if you've really ticked him off, you get upgraded to kisama.
    • In the BL genre, it's common for couples to use omae with each other.


    己 An archaic, insulting word for "you". Often the last word shouted by a Super Robot villain before their critically damaged Humongous Mecha explodes. Lacking a proper English equivalent, it's mostly translated as a variant of "Why you!..." because of its common use in the heat of battle. In some cases it is used as a general term for "self", not unlike jibun. Also the pronoun used in much Buddhist literature, possibly due to the humility expected of monks.
    • Elizabeth in Maburaho uses this when she is angry.
    • Same goes for Tomo in Azumanga Daioh.
    • Washizuka from Last Blade shouts this upon being defeated.
    • Viral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann uses this against Simon and Kamina before his Macross Missile Massacre Smoke Out during their first encounter. Kamina also uses it all the time when taunting enemies.
    • Zommari of Bleach yells this quite frequently late in his battle with Byakuya.
    • "ONORE! ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE ONORE" -- Gilgamesh, losing to Shirou in Fate/stay night
    • Yubel in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX when it and Johan simultaneously lose their duel and everyone else in the school gets sent back.
    • For an oddly casual example, Misae in Clannad calls Sunohara onore... right before picking him up by the legs and swinging him around to clean up the junk in his room. Well, it's the thought that counts, right?
    • Used in Full Metal Panic! during the Homeland Arc. True to this pronoun's description, it was shouted by one of Sousuke's team members (in a Humongous Mecha, no less) at Gauron, after Gauron killed one of their comrades.
      • It is also used by Kaname towards Sousuke, at one particular time when he has managed to misinterpret 'be model for the class' painting project' as 'go hide in the nearby forest and incapacitate anyone who comes looking for you', leading to half the class being knocked out cold by anti-personell mines and the other half put at risk to failing their arts grade.
    • Gets thrown around quite a bit in Sengoku Basara.
    • The final boss of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger screams "Damn you, space pirates!" before exploding.
    • Elrazak lets out an "ONORE GENERAL!" to Reiji (a.k.a. General Tempest) after the latter's speech wins over the former's sister.
    • Vegeta, in Dragonball Z, after getting slammed by Goku's Kaioken x3.
    • 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.")


    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 of the one being addressed in social standing.
    • Cologne and Happousai from Ranma ½, both well over 100, use this pronoun.
    • Hamilcar Barcas of Guyver, a man who's been around since the 1500s at least, uses it as well. I'd translate it as "thee/thou" just for flavor.
    • Gash Bell of Konjiki no Gash Bell (pronounces it onashi). Much of his speaking patterns (such as using the -dono honorific for adults) are outdated.
    • Yoruichi of Bleach uses this, fitting with her use of the pronoun 'washi'.
    • Same with Tenjho Tenge's Maya Natsume.
    • Horo/Holo from Spice and Wolf also uses this. Very fitting, seeing as she is a Really Seven Hundred Years Old god.
    • 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.
    • Rozalin from Disgaea 2.
    • Several older characters in Sengoku Basara, particularly Takeda Shingen, use this.
      • Otani Yoshitsugu drops the first character and uses nushi, which makes him sound even more superior.
    • Himari of Omamori Himari calls anyone close to Yuuto this, while she calls Yuuto "waka-dono".
    • Raidei The Blade in Trigun uses this with E. G. Mine and Wolfwood (he uses kiden with Vash).


    御宅 An old term for "you" that fell into general obsolescence and became a subcultural shibboleth, giving the word its more common meaning. Still pops up as a pronoun once in a while, typically by the military sort who might refer to himself as jibun.
    • Alvin from Tales of Xillia. His peculiar dialect is one of the (many, many) red flags that there's something up with him.


    そなた/其方 An archaic form, which roughly translates as "thou". Used when pompously referring to people perceived as inferior.
    • Togame the Strategian uses this pronoun to refer to Shichika.
    • Queen Mashiro in Mai-Otome - again, due to her status as royalty.
    • Boa Hancock in One Piece.
    • Sode no Shirayuki in Bleach's filler arc.
    • Turns up often in Sengoku Basara, particularly with Mouri Motonari and Uesugi Kenshin.
    • Fujiwara no Sai in Hikaru no Go
    • Used sometimes in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de; Abe no Seimei addressing Yasuaki, for one example.
    • Meiya and her twin sister Yuuhi in Muv-Luv. This may a case of archaic usage, given Meiya's formal and archaic mode of speech, and Yuuhi's upbringing as the Grand Shogun.
    • Gilgamesh always uses kisama or omae when referring to everyone else, with only one exception: he uses this on Alexander (the only opponent he ever respected) shortly after defeating him, while telling him that they can have a fight again some other time. Also most probably a deliberate archaism.
    • Beatrice in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
    • Ashitaka and Eboshi both use this in Princess Mononoke.


    てめえ A very rude and confrontational word for "you", almost exclusively used by rough-talking males. Commonly translated as "you bastard"[3]. A corruption of 手前 temae, literally "that which is in front of me", though much more common. Temae was also used in the first person, usually by the lower classes, and was in contrast very self-effacing.
    • Ranma from Ranma ½ uses this frequently.
    • So does Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi.
    • Video game example: I-no in Guilty Gear XX has absolutely no respect for other people, and thus addresses everyone this way.
    • Ex-gangster Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk (who uses ore as his personal pronoun) usually refers to other males that way, indicating his turbulent past. On the other hand, he reverts to a much more polite speech when talking to women.
    • Found very frequently in the mouth of Digimon Savers‍'‍ Masaru Daimon.
    • Katsuya Jonouchi generally referred to anyone he had a slight problem with as "temē" in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Kyosuke Kiryu/Kalin Kessler uses this while a Dark Signer. "Temē no turn da!"
    • Anise of Tales of the Abyss uses this several times. (In which it's funny that in battle, she only says it if Luke and Jade are out of the party.)
    • Hisui of Tales of Hearts uses it for everyone. People who he warms up to, including the main character, graduate to omae, and that's as polite as he gets.
    • The title character of Inuyasha calls pretty much everyone "temē", which serves to illustrate his attitude problem.
    • Yusuke and Kuwabara in Yu Yu Hakusho. They're delinquents.
    • Naruto uses "temē" on most of his enemies or other people he doesn't get along with (often Sasuke).
    • 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.
    • Kyo Kusanagi from King of Fighters uses this when speaking with Iori Yagami. When speaking with Ash Crimson, this gets elevated into a yell.
    • Ichigo of Bleach frequently uses this. Then again, he talks like a delinquent anyway. Grimmjow uses it for pretty much everyone.
    • Rare female example? Patti Thompson from Soul Eater. (Though only when she gets very mad.)
    • Katakura Kojuro from Sengoku Basara when talking to his underlings. And anyone he dislikes really.
      • Tachibana Muneshige uses temae to refer to himself in a humble manner.
    • Vita of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha tends to use "temē" on her enemies, and "omae" on most other people.
    • Uruka of Eien No Eselia refers to herself with temae.
    • Schwartz, the second generation protagonist of Agarest Senki 2, does this to everyone.
    • 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.)
    • 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.


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

    You, Yuu

    ユー The Gratuitous English counterpart to me/mii, for use by Eaglelanders and wannabe Eaglelanders only.
    • Pegasus deeeesu! Yu-Gi-Oh!.
    • Date Masamune of Sengoku Basara uses this once or twice, befitting his love of Gratuitous English. You see?
    • Ooba in Kemonozume.
    • Don Kanonji in Bleach.
    • Real Life Example. Johnny Kitagawa, the president of Johnny and Associates, uses you so much that it's both trademark, and will grab the attention of ALL of his talents in the room no mater which one he's talking to. In fact, the only person he doesn't call you is, fittingly enough, actually named You.
    • A semi-example in Ever 17: Tanaka Yuubiseiharukana prefers to shorten her name to "Yuu"/"You", and everyone addresses her as that. She even lampshades it in her introduction: "I am You!"
    • Cowboy Andy from Cowboy Bebop uses this constantly. He still uses japanese pronouns for himself (most commonly "watashi"), but this is the only pronoun he uses for other people.


    Be forewarned -- Japanese has no grammatical category corresponding to the English "plural suffix". "X-tachi" does not mean "the plural of X" (i.e. "a group of X's"), but rather "the group containing X" much like the casual English expression "X and company". For this reason, use of -tachi in conjunction with a gender-specific pronoun does not necessarily specify anything about the makeup of a group as a whole--"atashi-tachi" and "ore-tachi" could both refer to mixed-gender groups.


    共 Another plural suffix, but usually implying that the people or objects described are lowly or humble. Can be condescending when used on others, but using it on oneself indicates humility.
    • In the Shusuke Amagai arc of Bleach, a maid for the Kasumi-oji clan uses "watakushi-domo" to say "we" in reference to her and another maid; as they are low-ranking servants, they are presumably expected to be very polite and humble.
    • Donquixote Doflamingo uses "kozou-domo" ("brats") to refer to Bellamy and Sarquiss, showing condescension.
    • Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star is very fond of using the word "akuto-domo" when addressing multiple opponents: "Base villains" would probably be a decent translation.
    • Chousokabe 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.
      • Or "you sons of bitches" as Funimation translates it.
    • Andine from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is rather fond of the phrase "ningen-domo" when addressing the heroes.
      • Kamina and Kittan frequently use "yaro-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, eg. anata-gata.
    • Kuchiha in Amatsuki uses osamurai-gata when pleading for a group of samurai to spare her friend's life.
    • Uesugi Kenshin and Akechi Mitsuhide from Sengoku Basara use anata-gata. At one point Yukimura addresses a group of soldiers using minamina-sama-gata, which is polite almost to the point of being ridiculous.
      • Considering that Yukimura is far above them by birth and rank, it is ridiculously polite... but that's Yukimura for you.
    • In Aria, Alice refers to Akari+Aika as "Sempai-gata".
    • In Mai-Otome Sifr, 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


    ら Works the same way as -tachi, though the two are not always interchangeable. Eg. ware-ra (in which case the possessive form is warera no/ga...), works with -ra only.
    • Saika Magoichi always refers to herself and her band of mercenaries as ware-ra collectively in Sengoku Basara.
    • The title of the novel We is translated into Japanese as ware-ra.


    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. When appended to nouns the result can be interpreted as a collective term: "X-tachi" is roughly equivalent to "All the X".
    • In one Minami-ke episode, Haruka refers to Chiaki and the others with her as "Chiaki-tachi".
    • Used in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in the instances where the catchphrase is said by a group. It becomes "Ore-tachi wo dare da to omotte yagaru?!" or "Who the hell do you think we are?!"
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Winry amusingly refers to the brothers Ed & Al Elric as "Edo-tachi."
    • In Super Robot Wars EX, at least one of the Puru sisters say "Funnel-tachi" when using a Funnel attack.
    • 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.
    • Not only should you know who Wiki-tachi are, you should be one. If you're not, you should probably go here.
    • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Keiichi, Rika, Shion, and the others in the game club often refer to themselves as nakama-tachi.
    • "Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan", the original theme song to Sakura Wars, is usually sung by one or more members of the Hanagumi about themselves; depending on the version and the character singing, the lyrics refer to the members of their troop as "watashi-tachi" or "watakushi-tachi".


    我々 "We" or "us", used by both men and women to refer to a group. Generally used to refer to, say, one's people or one's company, rather than in a "me and my friends" sense.
    1. Japanese doesn't use different words for subject and object pronouns
    2. his "I will protect you" speech in the penultimate episode
    3. not that it prevents Google Translate from translating it as "dickwad"...