DRAGON BALL JAPANESE GUIDE

DRAGON BALL JAPANESE STYLE GUIDE

A guide about Dragon Ball grammar and how to talk about its protagonists

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Have you ever wondered how the characters of Dragon Ball speak in the original version? Or maybe, how is the Japanese language used and how does it serve to describe the various relationships that exist between the characters?

Are there differences in how the characters speak in the anime compared to the manga? This article responds to these curiosities, of those – like me once – who do not have the knowledge to make an analysis as accurate as possible. I premise that the translations and adaptations of the various examples provided I did based on the Japanese Perfect Edition (or Kanzenban to say the least), so there may be differences with the Evergreen Edition.

The first three paragraphs (relational language, suffixes, and pronouns) serve to give a general overview of how the Japanese language works in order to understand the differences with the other ones. The next part is dedicated to the analysis of the single characters, the most important or particular ones, of how they speak in general and specifying if there are differences with the animated version. The article is full of examples to get effective feedback and clarify the concepts exposed. The last part ends with a Q&A session, with questions asked by users and fans about issues and specifications that fall under the theme of this article.

  • STEP 1
  • Introduction
  • Honorific Suffixes
  • Japanese Personal Pronouns
  • How do the Dragon Ball characters speak?

INTRODUCTION

The Japanese writing system

Dragon Ball Japanese guide.

As we do anywhere in the world, Japanese and all the other languages of the world, when we talk to our interlocutor we must take into account some factors that are decisive in choosing the correct language register. These factors are:

  • Level of intimacy or familiarity: of course we will use the formal register of the Lei with a stranger. Conversely, with a friend of ours, we will use an informal or even dialectal register. It depends on how confident we are with our interlocutor.
  • Age: if the stranger we are talking to is much younger than us, then we will be inclined to use the informal register of the “You”. Conversely, we will use the “She” with people older than us.
  • Social status: we will use a formal register towards our superior in the workplace, or with an important personality and so on. On the contrary, we will not have any problem in giving the “You” to one of our subordinates, whether or not he is important to us.
  • Gender: There is a tendency to use an informal register between two people of the same sex.

This is particularly true for the Japanese language, especially as it reflects a rigidly hierarchical society, much more than our own. The number and complexity of the language registers used in Japan make a substantial difference. While in the Italian language as an example, the relational language is composed of a formal register and an informal one, in the Japanese one we can find one more. Let’s examine them individually in more detail:

“Classic Form 普通体 (futsūtai):

It is a register that expresses familiarity and intimacy. Generally it is equivalent to our second person, and in the same way – in certain contexts – it can determine discourtesy given its informality. It is used with friends and family. Obviously, it is the most used register in Dragon Ball.

Example: “Jā, nani ni shi ni koko e kita! Shinitai no ka!?” – Piccolo to Raditz
Translation: “So, what are you doin here? Are you looking to die!?”

“Educational Language 丁寧語 (teineigo):

It is a linguistic register that, as its name says, expresses education and formality. However, it cannot always be translated with our third person. It is used with acquaintances and strangers, especially with the elderly but also with friends and family. It is quite common in Dragon Ball.

Example: “Tokoro de Buruma-san Yamucha-san wa dōshitandesuka?” – Krillin to Bulma
Translation: “what happened to Yamcha?”
(As you see, this case does not apply any particular form because Krilin and Bulma are friends, however Krilin shows himself polite.

“Honorific Language 尊敬語 (sonkeigo):
“Humble Language 謙譲語 (kenjōgo):

The first one is used to express the status of the interlocutor, while the second is used in a complementary way to show humility when referring to oneself by lowering one’s status.

Generally, they are used together and represent an additional level of formality absent in our language (which is however adapted with other language strategies when possible). It is used with people of higher status, i.e., co-workers, seniors, customers of a company or a shop, Emperors of Japan, etc. It is sporadic in Dragon Ball, and the characters who sometimes use it are counted on the fingers of one hand.

Example: “De, Saiyajin-tachi wa oai ni narundesuka?” – Whis to Beerus
Translation: “So, my lord, are you determined to meet [these] Saiyans?”

“Language of Respect 敬語 (keigo):

The courteous language together with the Honorific and Humble one are grouped in a single category called Language of Respect 敬語 (keigo). Having said that, let’s move on.

Curiosity: Did you know that in the movie “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods”, when King Kaioh forces Goku to present himself with an adequate register, the latter makes a big mistake? Let’s see in detail:

Example: “Watakushi wa Son Gokū to osshaimasu.” – Goku to Beerus
Translation: “My name is Son Goku.”


(The personal pronoun Watakushi is correct but the verb osshaimasu is in honorary form instead of being in humble form as it should, which gives the idea that Goku raises his status with respect to divinity. Unfortunately, sometimes translations are quit difficult.

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THE HONORARY SUFFIXES:

What they are and when they are used

Dragon Ball Japanese guide.

The Japanese language uses a wide range of honorary suffixes to refer to people; for example, through the famous -san. As a rule, it is considered informal or rude, depending on the context, to omit the suffix when referring to a person.

I would like to say that suffixes can be added not only to people’s names but also to objects, trades, shops, and titles. They describe not only the relationship between two people but also the person who uses them. It is considered rude (or childish, in the case of -chan) to use suffixes referring to oneself. Let’s see more example;

“San さん”: a relaxed version of -sama, is the most common and neutral suffix. It indicates respect and education towards the interlocutor, with whom one generally does not have a relationship of a particular trust or a stranger. It can be used in formal or informal contexts of any kind. Although it often corresponds to our “Lord” there are contexts in which it cannot be adopted as a translation; for example, in school, where children strictly call themselves surnames+san among themselves or friends.

Example: see Krilin’s phrase to Bulma above.

“Sama 様 / さま”: much more respectful than the previous one, it is used to refer to people of higher social status or to people for whom you feel deep respect or admiration. When used against itself, it indicates extreme arrogance or modest irony depending on the context. It can be adapted in many ways depending on the context in which it is placed.

Example: “Furīza-sama gochūmon no sukautā wa kono kēsu ni.” – Jeeth to Freezer

“Kun 君”: is generally used with men whose social status is lower than their own in contexts that require it (mostly school and work), although there are exceptions. For example, it can also be used to a woman by a man (a teacher with pupils or a superior), or by a woman with respect to a man (between schoolmates). However, it can also be used among peers or with people of equal social status, in this context expresses confidence and intimacy with the interlocutor. Examples;

1) “Sō sō! Gohan-Kun no ie tteba monosugoku tōi no yo. Kurabu katsudō nante yatteru jikan nai wa yo.” – Iresa to Sharpner
Translation: “That’s right! Gohan’s house is very far away. He doesn’t have time to join the clubs!”


2) “Yūbe Goten-kun kara denwa ga attanda. Goten-kun mo tenkaichi budōkai ni deru tte…” – Trunks to Vegeta


Translation: “Last night, Goten called me. He said that he would also participate in the martial arts tournament…” (As you have noticed, Goten is repeated in its original. These repetitions are persistent because you prefer to avoid the use of personal pronouns, although they exist in Japanese grammar. It is because they indicate a direct reference to the person concerned, which could be considered rude.)

“Chan ちゃん”: used as a way of making fun of children or in child language (children use their name with -chan to refer to themselves before learning personal pronouns), can also be used with girls with whom you are particularly familiar. It denotes an affectionate and intimate connotation towards the interlocutor. If used with an adult or a superior, it is considered offensive. Examples ;

1) “Jā Gohan-chan honto ni kizukete iku dazo!” – Chichi to Gohan
Translation: “Then take care. Be careful, Gohan!”

2) “Yo! Bejīta-chan.” – Ginyū To Vegeta
Translation: “Hello there, little Vegeta.”

In the Japanese language there are also other suffixes, but these listed are the main ones used in Dragon Ball. As a rule, it is considered unprofessional to keep the suffixes in translation, because in addition to giving the idea of an incomplete work (and not understandable to all) they reveal the exotics of the product, nevertheless there are publishing houses (at least in America) that instead keep them just to strengthen the Japanese origin and make them more commercially attractive to various fans of Japanese culture.

“PERSONAL PRONOUNS:
How to say “I” and “You” in the language of the Rising Sun?

One of the particularities of Japanese personal pronouns is that there are more than one for the first and second person and that traditionally there is none for the third, although they have only been added “recently.” Unfortunately, they are one of those characteristics of the language that is lost with translation, because they are practically impossible to translate because in most of the languages we only have “I” and “You” as pronouns.

As for the plural, add -tachi or -ra, depending on the pronoun. Now I will analyze one by one the various pronouns, starting from the most formal to the most informal ones:

“Watashi 私”: Cortese, has no gender preference, and is considered neutral, suitable for any context.

Example: “Watashi no na wa Seru. Jinzōningen da.” – Cell

Translation: “My name is Cell, and I’m a cyborg.”

“Watakushi 私”: Even more polite and formal than Watashi, he has no gender preference. However, it is not often seen in Dragon Ball.

Example: “Dai-sābisu de goran ni iremashō! Watakushi no saigo no henshin wo…” – Freezer

Translation: “I will do you this great honor!! I’ll show you my last transformation…”

“Washi わし”: Informal, used by elderly men.

Example: “Washi ga uwasa no Kame-Sen’nin, idaina Muten Rōshi ja.” – Muten Master

Translation: “I am the famous Hermit of the Turtle, the legendary Master Muten.”

“Boku 僕:” Informal, generally used by children up to young adults.

Example: “Demo Boku… budōka ni nanka naritakunai… erai gakusha-san ni naritai…” – Son Gohan

Translation: “But I… I don’t want to be a martial arts expert, I want to be a great scholar!”

“Atashi あたし”: Informal, generally used by girls up to young women.

Example: “Atashi Irēza. Yoroshiku ne. Tsuide ni kocchi no ko wa Bīderu…” – Iresa

Translation: “I am Ireza, nice [to meet you]. This one close to me, instead, is Videl…

“俺”: Very informal, generally used by men and gives an idea of masculinity. Most male characters in Dragon Ball use it.

Example: “Ore wa Gokū demo Bejīta demo nai. Hours wa kisama wo taosu mono da!” – Gogeta

Translation: “I am neither Goku nor Vegeta. I am the one who will defeat you!”

“Now おら”: the crude version of Ore, gives the idea that whoever uses it is a peasant.

Example: “Ossu! Now Gokū!” – Son Goku

Translation: “Hello, it’s Goku!”

” Oira おいら”: Another country version of Ore.

Example: “Mura dewa tobikiri tsuyoku tatte… Oira yori tsuyoi hito wa kitto ippai iru zo.” – Ūb

Translation: “Even though I am the strongest in the village, there are many people in the world who are much stronger than me…”

“Anata あなた”: polite and neutral, without gender preference, denotes education.

Example: “Yare yare. Anata mo desuka. Kono hoshi no ohitori wa donata mo zettai ni nakama no koto wo ossharanai…” – Freezer to Mūri

Translation: Geez. Is that what you do too? No one on this planet wants to talk about their comrades.

“Kimi 君”: informal, typically used by men even if it is not a fixed rule.

Example: “…Dewa kimi ga watashi no wōminguappu wo tetsudatte kureru kana?”- Perfect Cell a Super Vegeta

Translation: “…So what do you say you give me a hand with the warm-up exercises?

“Omae お前 / Anta あんた”: both are much more informal than Kimi: the former is typically male, while the latter is more generic (a standard version of Anata). If used with a friend or loved one, it denotes intimacy or a particular affection. On the contrary, when used with strangers, it indicates a lack of respect. It is often used in Dragon Ball with both shades.

Example:

Goku: “Madaa? Omae noroi naa. Kame ni nacchau zo.”
Bulma: “Urusai wa ne. Dwarves ga kame! Daitai ne, anta hayasuginno yo! Soreto saa ‘omae’ tte iu no yamete kureru?! You don’t have to wait until you get back to work. ‘Buruma-san’ tte yonde hoshii wa ne!”
Goku: “Iinikui kara iya da.”
Bulma: “Doko ga iinikui noyò!”
——————————————–
Goku: “Do you still have a long way to go? Of course, you’re so slow, and you’re going to become a turtle.”
Bulma: “Shut up! I’ll give you the turtle! You’re the one who wakes up too early! And then, don’t talk to me in that tone! I’m two years older than you, and you should call me Bulma-san!” (literally, “Could you stop using ‘omae’ with me?)
Goku: “I don’t want to; it’s hard to pronounce.”
Bulma: “But where would the difficulty be?”

“Temē てめえ / Kisama 貴様 / Honor 己”: The lowest level on the pronoun scale. They are considered to all intents and purposes as insults, because they denigrate the status of the interlocutor to whom they refer, offending him. Renamed by me as the “Triad of insulting pronouns,” is very much in vogue in souls and manga, but on the contrary very rare in real life – if not among the yakuza. However, often and willingly, in translation, one overlooks the surrender in Italian. These terms are the order of the day in Dragon Ball. Examples:

“Kisama wa Pikkoro Daimao dewanai to iu no ka?” – Cell

Translation: “Are you saying that you are not the Big Small Demon?” (He could have adapted even adding an insult but for the context was out of place. However, the Japanese understand that Cell is not particularly lovely to our green friend)

‘Temē yokumo Gohan wo koroshi yagatta na. – Majin Vegeta in Bū

Translation: “How dare you kill Gohan, you swollen balloon?” (I also went hard for the presence of -yagatta, a verbal suffix that when added indicates contempt for the action of the interlocutor)

“SUMMARY LIST:
How do the characters of Dragon Ball speak?

Dragon Ball Japanese guide.

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Son Goku

Goku usually uses “Ora” to refer to himself. However, when he first turns into Super Saiyan, he changes to “Ore” and the same happens later when he faces N.19. After training in the Room of Spirit and Time, he returns to using”Ora”, sign that he has become accustomed to that form and is more confident. As Vegetto or Gogeta, he uses “Ore,” probably due to Vegeta’s influence. Goku never uses suffixes, except when forced or only for a few exceptions (Karin-sama, Kami-sama, Kaioh-sama, Beerus-sama).

In the manga, Goku’s speech is similar to the standard Japanese (in classic style, of course). The main differences that distinguish him are the use of very informal pronouns for the first and second person, many contractions (read: you eat the words) and the pronunciation of the dictators “oi” and “ai” in “ee.” It must be said that none of these elements in itself makes Goku seem like a peasant since they are also found on other characters and in the language of the region of Kantō. However, if combined all together they give the idea of a person who speaks very informally to anyone and maybe even considered rude (after all Goku grew up alone in the mountains).
But I would like to point out that it is not a specific style of any region of Japan. In anime, however, in playing Goku, Masako Nozawa uses a (vague) Tohōku accent, which is generally associated with the stereotype of the rough country by the Japanese.

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Son Gohan

Gohan uses “Boku” and will do so until he receives the upgrade of old Kaiohshin and starts using “Ore”. However, at the 28th Tenkaichi Tournament, he will return to using “Boku”. In Trunks’ future, however, he only uses “Ore”. He often speaks the polite language, even with his wife. Having been educated by Chichi, he is very polite and respects older people by using a lot of suffixes.

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Son Goten

As a seven-year-old child, he uses “Boku” and does not hesitate to use childish names such as nii-chan (big brother, though it would be correct with “-san”) to refer to his brother. When he merges into Gotenks, however, he uses “Ore.” He continues to use it as an adult (in GT).

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CHICHI – GYUMAO

Both use “Ora” like Goku, but when they say that, it is written in hiragana, while Goku’s is written in katakana. However, at some point in the series, Chichi begins to use “Ora” written in katakana and always calls Goku with -sa: a contracted form of -san. Both have the dialectal language of Tohōku, a region north of Kantō, in a much more apparent way than Goku. There are grammatical changes and the use of the final particle Be べ. From this point of view, they can be considered really as local people, and between the two, the accent of Gyūmaō is stronger.

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Pan

It uses neutral Watashi as well as the feminine Atashi depending on the case. Sometimes she also uses her name, pulling out her childish side. Being still a child, she refers in affectionate terms to Goku with jī-chan (grandfather). It’s funny to notice how in the GT series you talk like a teenager, rather than like a child of her age (desire for independence?).

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Videl

She talks like a young girl, in a rather neutral way using Watashi and Atashi as appropriate.

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Mister Satan

He uses “Ora” most of the series but changes to Watashi during the 28th Tenkaichi Tournament. In the anime, he also uses “Washi” a couple of times.

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UB

The countryman par excellence. Uub uses “Oira”, a variant of “Ore”, particularly suitable for him who comes from a rural village in the South.

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Bulma

At first, she speaks neutrally with “Watashi”, but at some point in the saga of Freezer she changes to “Atashi.” She also uses “Ore” when she tries to convince General Blue that she is a man. Note that she refers to Goku as Son-kun for the whole series. At first, she reflected the fact that Bulma was bigger than Goku and therefore somewhat “superior” – which is part of Bulma’s character – then, over time, she took a more affectionate connotation, but still using her surname out of respect.

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Vegeta

He usually speaks informally and rather arrogantly with “Ore”, but reaches delusions of omnipotence with “Ore-sama” to impose his superiority. He doesn’t use suffixes when calling other characters, so he’s pretty straightforward, or he opts for “Kisama” who, as we’ve seen, is a rough and offensive “you”. In the manga, he also uses “Temē.” Incidentally, when Vegeta calls Bulma “woman” shortly after arriving on Earth after the battle with Freezer, he does!

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Trunks

The Trunks from the future generally use “Ore” in the manga, but as a boy, during the special dedicated to him, he uses “Boku,” mostly used also in the anime. In the presence of people older than him or his parents, he speaks the polite language and always uses “-san,” but when he is in front of his enemies, he becomes informal.
Chibi Trunks speaks informally like every child of his age using “Boku,” but on some rare occasions, he uses “Ore.” When he merges into Gotenks, he uses “Ore.”

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DR. BRIEF AND CONSORT

They both speak neutrally using Washi (him) and Watashi (her).

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Oolong

He usually uses “Ore,” but when transformed into a demon, he turns to the Village Chief’s daughter and tells her that she is beautiful, he uses “Boku-chan” to look kind to him.

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Yamcha

He speaks informally regularly using “Ore”, but in front of Master Muten, he speaks politely in courteous language.

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Puar

He usually uses “Boku” in a neutral way (which gives us a clue as to his sex). He has a deep respect for Yamcha, with whom he uses the suffix -“sama”. He talks to Oolong in an informal but polite way, referring to him with the suffix “-san”.

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Turtle Hermit

Master Muten speaks informally using “Washi” and other formulas typical of older people: “iru” becomes “oru”, the copulation becomes “ja” instead of “da”, the contrary contract “n” instead of “nai” and so on.

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SEA TURTLE (UMIGAME)

He always speaks in a rather polite manner and full respect of Master Muten, even when he acts like a pervert. He uses the more formal “Watakushi.”

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Krillin

At the beginning he uses “Boku,” but he changes in “Ore’ at the 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament. He generally speaks informally, but shows respect in front of Master Muten, using “Watashi” or “Watakushi.” He tends to use “-san.”

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TENSHINHAN

Initially, he spoke quite proudly when he was under the leadership of the Crane’s Hermitage, but when he moves on to the teachings of the Turtle’s Hermit, he calms down. He has a deep respect for his masters. He always used “Ore” in the manga, while in the first animated series he also used “Boku.”

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Chaozu

Uses “Boku” to refer to himself. Use “-san” or “-sama” very rarely, except when he talks to his masters or Tenshinhan.

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LUNCH

She’s a particular case. She speaks neutrally using “Watashi” when she has blue hair, but when she takes on the blonde hair, she talks like a tomboy using “Ore” and “Temē.”

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YAJIROBEI

Very informal too, with absent suffixes. In the anime Mayumi Tanaka, to distinguish him from Kulilin, who plays for the whole series and its derivatives, the second with the accent of Nagoya. In the manga, however, there is no accent. He uses only “Ore,” except when he cut Vegeta’s tail; when he called himself Kono Yajirobei-sama, equivalent to “I, the Great Yajirobei,” in line with Vegeta’s delirium of omnipotence.

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PICCOLO

In the saga of the Great Small Demon, he was also affected by the syndrome of delusions of omnipotence. Typical of every villain in Dragon Ball, so he used Ore-sama or Kono Pikkoro-sama. Usually, however, he uses “Ore.” Note that when he merged with Nail in the fight with Freezer, he used “Ore-tach” I (us), the plural of “Ore.” He too often calls Goku by surname, without suffixes, and rarely by name.

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DIO

He speaks quite informally, but when he has to converse with higher gods, such as the Great King Enma or King Kaioh, his tone becomes very gentle. Like his nemesis, God uses neutral ‘Watashi.’

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Mr. PoPo

He’s too much fun. He always speaks informally, even in front of the God of the Earth whom he esteems, with whom he uses the -sama out of respect. He doesn’t use any personal pronoun but speaks of himself in the third person. I think Popo does it because he doesn’t have the full command of the language (typical of children) since his Japanese is very primitive. Consequently, since it seems that Toriyama doesn’t seem to know how to draw a black character without giving him his lips in a dinghy, to further avoid any form of discrimination, international adaptations have decided to make him speak normally and the United States, in particular, has redeemed him by turning him blue.

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DENDE

From time to time he speaks informally, but in front of the elderly, strangers or acquaintances, he speaks formally using many suffixes. To refer to himself, he uses “Boku” written in katakana.

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Shenlong

The Dragon God speaks neutrally using Watashi as the first singular person, even though he always uses the same imperative formula when evoked. In the Battle of Gods, he is heard to be courteous and polite for the first time towards Beerus.

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Karin

He generally talks like a wise older man; in fact, he uses Washi.

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BIG KING ENMA

Uses Washi and talk informally.

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King Kai

As you can imagine, King Kaioh also uses Washi and talks informally with his students referring to them with Omae or Onushi (an archaic pronoun, typical of the Samurai language) while when he talks to higher beings he always uses the suffix -sama (Beerus, Kaiohshin) with which he expresses himself in the honorary language.

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East Supreme Kai

He is deeply respectful of everyone and always speaks courteous language along with suffixes, even with beings inferior to his status as a divinity. He uses the neutral Watashi and about his ancestor the humble language together with the nickname Gosenzō-sama, literally “Supreme Honorable Ancestor” in respect to the elderly Kaiohshin. The latter speaks like Master Muten, but along with his descendant, when it comes to Beerus, he uses the honorary language with its suffix -sama.

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Baba

More than 500 years old, he uses Washi. However, you hear it used by Watashi when he sings to cover up the noise of the invisible man faced by Yamcha.

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Pilaf

In the manga, he uses only Watashi, but in the anime, he is also used Washi, in line with his old mentality.

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Master Shen, Crane Hermit

As you can imagine, he speaks the same way as Master Muten: informally using “Washi” and other formulas typical of older people.

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TAO PAI PAI

He uses “Watashi,” and sometimes he is heard to use “Kono Tao Pai Pai” to emphasize his name, completing with the suffix -sama.

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Piccolo Daimaô

Before rejuvenating he used “Washi,” then he started using “Watashi” or “Kono Pikkoro Daimaō” (I, the Big Small Demon). Sometimes he adds the suffix -sama to complete the whole thing.

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Raditz

He’s also very informal; the only one he respects is Vegeta. Of course, as an excellent Saiyan he is, he uses “Ore” and despises his neighbor with Kisama. With Piccolo, he used “Omae.”

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Nappa

Nappa follows the same style as Radish, except for some differences. In the soul, she speaks more politely in front of Vegeta or Freezer. However, in the manga, she is always informal, so she treats her Prince as if he were her drinking friend. He doesn’t hesitate to denigrate his enemies with “Kisama” or” Temē, ” or to give Gohan” Omae” the first time he faces him. He inevitably uses “Ore,” with all forms of omnipotence delirium, ergo “Kono Ore-sama” or “Kono Nappa-sama” to verbally assert his superiority.

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Freezer

The Galactic Emperor is the only character to use the entire language spectrum. In his first form, he speaks in a very polite and refined way with respectful language and “Watashi” or “Watakushi,” always using suffixes and sometimes verbs with simple language, to emphasize his superiority over the plebs. In his second form, physically more powerful and muscular, he properly uses ” Ore” and lowers his language speaking informally. In his third form, he returns to the use of “Watashi” and the courteous language. However, when he is about to move on to his final form, he uses “Watakushi” and natural language to denote his superiority (“I will do this great honor to you”). In his fourth form, he uses “Boku,” as a child, but after his return – once he has been accused of the blow of Genkidama – he returns to use “Ore.” As Mecha Freezer, however, we see him using “Boku,” and his way of speaking is very close to a child, so much so that he calls his father “pope,” an informal version of “otōsan” (father in language) used by children.

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Great King Cold

Freezer’s father speaks a fairly neutral language, although he uses formulas to highlight his status as a nobleman. He uses “Washi” but written in katakana instead of hiragana; language strategy generally used for emphasis.

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Android 8

The Japanese Android No.8 is very simple, comparable to a child or that of a foreigner. Use “Ore.”

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Android C16

Although he is a pacifist, he speaks informally. Uses “Ore.”

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Android C 17

An arrogant character, full of himself, uses “Ore” or “Kono Ore” to mark his superiority. The first time we see him talking to Dr. Gero, he used “Watashi,” because he had the remote control and had to be thankful for it.

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Android C18

He speaks informally using “Watashi” and refers to others with “Omae.” Sometimes he talks like a hooligan.

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Android C19

No. 19 speaks neutrally using “Watashi.”

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Cyborg N20 DR. GERO

Despite his age, he uses Watashi and speaks informally.

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CELL

He uses neutral language with “Watashi” most of the time, although on a couple of occasions he lets “Ore” going out. The first time is when he faced Piccolo and said, “I am your brother,”; then, when he tried to destroy himself. He also does so while impersonating No. 17, to convince No. 18 to join him.

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Babidi

Controversial character. At first he uses “Washi,” but then he changes to Boku – similarly to what happened with Freezer – and refers to his father Babidy with Pope.

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Dabura

Referring to the master Babidy, the King of Demons is always very polite. However, as soon as an enemy in front of him, he loses his kindness and speaks neutrally.

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MAJIN BU

Majin Buu

Majin Buu has always used “Ore,” although after absorbing Gotenks and Piccolo he starts using Watashi. It denotes a change in his personality because neither protagonist uses that pronoun. He continues to use Watashi even after absorbing Gohan, but when Vegetto makes him angry and ridicules him, he moves on to the rougher “Ore”.

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Beerus

The God of Destruction speaks informally and uses no suffixes except with the Oracle Fish, with whom he limits himself to -san. He has a nonchalant tone and often lengthens the vowels, typical of children, and in this, he does not deny because he uses “Boku” to refer to himself. To talk to others, he uses Kimi, in line with his informal register, but with Goku, he lowers it using “Omae.”

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WHIS

This character is hilarious, and I think it’s the most formal and respectful character in Dragon Ball. With his assistant/disciple, Beerus uses the full spectrum of honorary and humble formulas. I have not yet been able to hear what pronoun he uses for the first person, but knowing the character will almost certainly use Watakushi or at least Watashi which is equally good, while to refer to others uses the neutral Anata. It’s very rare to find a character who speaks in a formal way like him in shonen souls and manga because the languages he uses are spoken daily by the Japanese in the workplaces.

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