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NAKAMA

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Written by   64
3 weeks ago

仲間

...If you're a casual One Piece fan, or a big anime fan who doesn't watch One Piece, you might have heard the word Nakama being thrown a lot in One Piece fandom. What does that word mean?

(TL;DR: Nakama/仲間 means friend/comrade/companion.)

I say this frequently in anime communities so I decided to turn it into a short post on my ReadCash & Hive blogs.


Image is taken from Google.

The word Nakama means "friend" or "people from the same group." It's a common word in Japanese language. The translation differs depending on the situation, (as explained by this Japanese teacher,) but the general meaning is always the same.

In One Piece's case, it can be translated to "Crewmate(s.)"

If it's a common word, and has an obvious translation why Nakama is left untranslated in One Piece?

Well... It isn't.

The official translations always use Friend/Crewmate when Nakama comes up in One Piece's anime and manga. Look up all the episodes on Crunchyroll, or the Manga chapters at Manga Plus to realize it.

Leaving Nakama untranslated is not professional. Those who do so, know this. It's usually used as a translation quirk, or (a pandering to) the hardcore groups of the fandom...

Then why the fandom uses "Nakama" instead of "Friend?"

Not a lot of us do, but when we do it, it's because we don't think "friend" is enough!

The reasoning doesn't make logical sense, but many of us who use the word Nakama in One Piece related conversations, know the whole story behind the word, and it doesn't feel right to use a common English word "friend" to convey the meaning we feel.

There's a special bond between the Strawhat Pirates, that many of the fans feel they became part of. There's also a sense of belonging and understanding when you say the word to someone online, and he understands exactly how you feel when you said it. (It's the same theory behind Inside Jokes.) It's something you have to experience to understand, but if you made a new friend this way, it's a treasure!

This led to a problem, however. Many anime fans started to think Nakama is a special word with no English equivalent!

Because of the fandom speak people began to misunderstand the actual meaning of the word. It doesn't help that One Piece fans use it outside the fandom in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Some anime fans even hear the word in other anime and miss it, or think they anime they're watching is copying One Piece, while in fact Nakama is a very common word in Japanese.

It became a mess... A mess that I don't mind having.

Sure, we have to educate people whenever they misuse or understand the word. Sure, articles like this one should be written to help. Sure, it creates many misunderstandings, but in the end. Is it so bad?

In my opinion though: The incorrect usage of the word Nakama does a great job in creating conversations that led to friendships between people who would never know each other otherwise...

Isn't that the real treasure?

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Written by   64
3 weeks ago
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Comments

Arigato Nakama!

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Thanks for reading~

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Hey luffy.. Give me back my hats, will ya? 😉

$ 0.02
3 weeks ago

Luffy only has Shanks' Straw Hat though~

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

What do you think about reverie? And give me your thoughts about defeating kaido?

$ 0.02
3 weeks ago

So, I'm a Manga reader and I'm past where the anime is right now, but I'm also not caught up with the Manga. (Stopped at 1021, I think. Waiting until chapters pile up...)

The reverie arc was good... The things that happened in the reverie while in Wano arc was amazing. I'm happy with what happened about the Warlords, and wish we witness Boa Hancock's fight. I also hope

As for the characters who are said to have died in the reverie I won't believe it! Especially since the author made it really vague... I'll be angry if "he" died for real.

Finally about Kaido... I think Luffy will win, but not without help. (Like with Doflamingo fight, he got Law's help,) I think this is the fight I'm worried about how Luffy would win the most since the start of this series.

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Well, that's nice explanation of you. I'll suggest you read upcoming 1027 chapters. Because It will be the end of kaido. But i don't think kaido will at that easy. Whatever ODA is doing absolutely fantastic.

I think nefario die in reverie or sabo killed celestial dragon. Who knows, but still I'm eagerly waiting for the precious moments.

$ 0.02
3 weeks ago

So the author didn't really die? Cos I was saddened at the news that the one piece episodes will have to come up short soon became the author is no more. It'd be great news of the author lives on or if he channels the next episodes through some of us. Like me, I write! Sheeeesh

Arigato, Nakama!

$ 0.01
3 weeks ago

The author who died lately is Miura, who writes/draws BERSERK... I don't know what will happen with that series but it seems the publisher will continue the story of him. It was really a sad news.

For ONE PIECE, I didn't hear about the author "Eiichiro Oda" dying. A new chapter came just this week, I think if he really died, it would become a news so big everyone will start talking about it. (Yeah, that happened with Berserk.)

But Oda isn't in the best of health, he draws 3 chapters per month instead of 4 for years now... Sometimes he only draws 2 chapter per month. But he promises he's going to continue until the end, and I hope he reaches that ending.

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago