do not want to be associated with this when i tell people i want to learn japanese

Unknown King - part III

Pairing: Bucky x reader

Great Gatsby AU

Summary: After moving to New York, aspiring author Y/N gets more than what she bargained for when she befriends her mysterious neighbor. In a blur of riches and beauty, she finds herself falling for the man who remains unknown.

A/N: It’s been a week since I posted an update on UK. This story may seem boring right now, but trust me it will get better. If you want to be tagged please tell me. :)

Word count: 1.8k

Part I Part II

Masterlist

The next day you woke up in a startle when you realized it was 10:45. James said he’d pick you up around noon. You didn’t want to consider it to be a date, but the only friend you had was Emma and you really needed to make friends. He did say it was a neighborly gesture. It’s just lunch after all.

After a quick shower, waltzed back into your room to find something to wear. The steam from the bathroom had seeped from the open windows, relinquishing the room from the hot vapor. You slipped on a skirt and a black long sleeved shirt, finishing it all off with a pair of black boots. You tied your Y/H/C hair up into a high ponytail. By the time you were done, the clock had struck noon.

For the next ten minutes, you paced back and forth in your small living room. You constantly checked the clock, growing more anxious when the feeling of dread began to creep onto you. You came to the conclusion that he wasn’t going to pick you up. You were about to release your hair from the ponytail when the doorbell rang. After a considerate amount of time, you went to answer it.

James stood behind the door, looking apologetic. He wore a dark blue dress shirt that stretched tightly across his broad chest. His hands were stuffed in the pockets of his black pants. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up, exposing his forearms. His hair now framed his face.

“I am so sorry for being so late,” he began. “I got a business call and I’m afraid it ran on a bit longer than expected.”

You smiled, “No worries. Shall we?”

He nodded and waited for you close your door before walking beside you towards his car. It was a beautiful gray Ferrari. You’ve only ever seen cars like those in movies and magazines. You tried to hide your amazement, but utterly failed and James laughed at your reaction. He opened the door for you and you gladly stepped inside. The interior was as beautiful as the outside.

“Where to?” You asked James once he got in the car.

“There’s this amazing rooftop restaurant with a view of the city,” He explained. “Very exclusive as well, hard to get in.”

“So how are we getting in?” You asked.

“The owners owe me a favor,” He smiled and sped off down the street.

The drive into the city was absolutely mesmerizing. Your neck was craned as you looked up, trying to see the top of the skyscrapers. Your head was constantly turning. It was all so overwhelming, so much to see but so little time. James was speeding through the streets. Heads turned in your direction when they heard the engine’s roar. You sunk low into your seat from the unwanted attention.

“When I first moved here I was just the same,” James spoke up. “So enthralled by the city for the first time. I can take you to all the nice places of the city.” He paused and ran his fingers through his hair. “How’s work anyhow? Any interesting stories?”

You snorted, “Yeah! I wrote a story about a kid with a mole shaped like Jesus.” You frowned. “I’m gonna need a hell of a story for Mr. Cole to take me seriously.”

“It’ll get better,” James added.


“Mr. Barnes!” The woman behind the desk smiled. She wore a traditional kimono and bowed her head at us. “Glad to have you back!”

James bowed respectfully and took the woman’s hands in his, “hello, Aki.”

“Who is this beautiful young woman?” She smiled brightly at you.

James extended a hand towards you, “This is Y/N Y/L/N.” You smiled and bowed. He turned to Aki again, “Table for two, please.”

She smiled before grabbing two menus, leading you to the tables. The walls were glass, giving a 360-degree view of the skyline. Soft music played through the speakers, providing some sort of sound the room. James pulled the seat back for you, like a gentleman. You thanked him and picked up your menu. Your eyes scanned all the food you did not recognize, underneath the English text, was a foreign language you also did not recognize.

“Is this Korean?” You asked.

“Japanese,” James corrected. “Aki’s family owns this restaurant. All Japanese food with a Japanese staff. Aki is very proud of her ethnicity.”

You took this time to scan the room. There was a grand fountain. The water fell quietly along the wall before rolling into the pool. It extended towards the tables, the water offering a soft serenity of silence. Lotus flowers floated on the water, along with koi fish. Your lips parted in amazement when your eyes fell onto the cherry blossom tree. The pink flowers bloomed and radiated as the sunlight touched them through the glass.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” James spoke up.

You nodded, “I wouldn’t even be able to step inside this place if it weren’t for you. It’s amazing.”

Before James could say anything, a waiter approached us. You ordered the drinks and left before returning with them. With James’ help, you were able to order a dish that he recommended to be the best thing on the menu.

“James,” You began.

“Call me Bucky,” He said.

You smiled, “Bucky, thank you for taking me out for lunch. I really appreciate your kindness. You’re probably one of the most hospitable soul I’ve met since I arrived.”

“It is my pleasure,” he took a sip from his drink.

“So why so many parties?” You asked.

He shrugged, “Big house, I like to keep it full of people, even if it for a couple of hours. I also don’t have much time to enjoy the place, so why not let others do so?”

You nodded, “Sounds expensive. Where do you work?”

Bucky cleared his throat, “I believe that is my personal information, Y/N.”

Your lips pulled together in an ‘O’. “My coworkers just come up with the most ridiculous stories about you, which is why I was curious.”

He sat up, “Stories?”

“One coworker said that you murdered your family in order to get the money. Another said you won the lottery and another thinks you’re in a mafia.” You chuckled.

Bucky laughed, “That’s new.” He paused. “God, don’t tell me you believe them.”

You snorted, “Of course not. From what I’ve seen you’re very nice.”

You and Bucky spoke while you waited for the food. When it finally came, you talked some more in an infinite conversation. He asked you where you came from and why you moved. You approached him with subtle questions. He wasn’t an open book, but he was an interesting character and you wanted to learn more.

“I feel like I’ve been talking about myself for too long,” You chuckled.

“I don’t mind,” Bucky said. “I like meeting new people.”

After lunch, Bucky drove you around the city. Showing you the places that you didn’t get to see. It was fascinating. The buildings were so tall, you weren’t used to it. Bucky pointed out businesses that belonged to his associates. He even took you outside of the city.

By the time you arrived back home it was already 4 P.M. Bucky followed you to your door. You turned to him and smiled. “I had a great time Bucky. Thank you again for the dinner. It was fun.”

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, Y/N. We’ll do this again,” He promised. And then with a swift goodbye, he left you on your porch before getting into his car to take the short drive to his palace next door.

Once in your home, you left your hair to fall freely. Your scalp grew tired from the weight of your hair. A bath sounded great. You went to the bathroom and began to fill the tub. A knock on the door made you raise an eyebrow. Tenaciously, you walked towards the front door before opening it. There was no one at the door but a package wrapped in material as soft as silk. You picked it up and opened it. You gasped when you saw that it was a beautiful pastel blue gown. You pulled it out of the box. Its skirt fell to the floor. The design was simple yet so beautiful. You grabbed the note that sat on the bottom.

I still feel terrible about what happened to your dress. I hope you like it, I had some help picking it out.

-Bucky

You smiled at the letter, but it immediately faltered. How much did this gown cost? Probably a fortune. You frowned, although it was such a gorgeous dress, you knew you had to give it back. You felt selfish for even accepting it. After changing out of your clothes into something more comfortable, you shut off the water and packed up the dress once again.

The three knocks on the door sent a short sting of pain through your bones. You stood up straight, waiting for someone to open the door. It wasn’t long until you were met with a different butler. He showed no signs of friendliness. Instead, he arched his eyebrow at you.

“Can I help you with something?” He asked.

“Yes, is Buc-I mean Mister Barnes around?” You asked. “I need to speak to him. I live right next door.”

The butler hummed before opened the door completely. He motioned for you to come inside, you did so. The house is as breathtaking as the first time you stepped through it. The butler closed the door and left the room, telling you that Bucky would be down on a bit.

You were examining a painting that hung on the wall when Bucky came down the stairs. He was dressed in sweats and a plain black shirt. He smiled at you, “Did you like the dress?”

“About that,” You handed over the box. “I can’t take this Bucky.”

“Why not?” He asked, a look of worry crossing his face.

“It’s too much,” You admitted. “I’m afraid I’m not worth it. It is a beautiful dress, but I just can’t accept it.”

Bucky raised his hands as if he was about to cup your cheeks, but quickly let them fall.

“I just don’t want it to seem like I’m gonna take advantage of you,” You said.

Bucky put his hands together as if he was doing a prayer. “you’re such a pure soul, Y/N.” Before you said anything else, he spoke up. “Keep the dress, Y/N. You’d break my heart if you wanted me to take it back. Do you really want to do that?”

“No,” You admitted.

“Then it’s settled!” Bucky exclaimed. “Do you want a drink?”

“No, I have a bath that I need to indulge in,” You said. “Thanks, Bucky. I really appreciate it.” You smiled.

He nodded, “Of course Y/N”

He walked you back to your cottage. Where you said your final goodbyes before closing the door. You blew air out of your lips and set the box on your bed. It was finally time to wash the day away in your much-needed bubble bath. You mustn’t get attached to Bucky, you told yourself. You were friends.

Just friends.

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Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon Episode 4 Notes

These yellow hats are tsuugakubou 通学帽, “commuting to school hats.” They are required by many elementary schools in Japan; students must wear them when traveling to and from school (which most children do by walking, at least part of the way; school buses aren’t a thing) for various reasons. The most commonly cited is “to avoid traffic accidents” by making the children stand out, but others include preventing heatstroke, making them easier to spot for teachers, or differentiating which grade a student is in.

As the previous sentence implies, their design may change as you go up the grades (yellow for first graders, blue for older, as an example) or sometimes by gender. Depends on what the school wants to do with them.

Point cards are an absurdly popular way of encouraging repeat business in Japan, with lots of small business using non-electronic ones (marked by just a custom stamp). If you’re not careful your wallet will be overflowing with them in no time.

The “zuuun” sound she makes here is, as you could probably guess, the sound effect for this sort of emotional gloom or a sense of heaviness (physical or not).

Japanese has a huge wealth of these “sound effect” words, and they’re a pretty normal part of conversation—especially for kids, but also adults and to an extent even in formal situations. You’re surely familiar with “onomatopoeia” (also known as a phonomime), a word that sound like a sound; “buzz” being a common example. You may be less familiar with the words phenomime and psychomime; words that “sound” like actions/conditions of the physical world (something going “round and round and round…”) and words that “sound” like emotions/feelings/mental states (a “pounding” headache).

You’ll notice she says “kawaii” the first time, and “cute” the second. English is a required subject in most Japanese schools starting in late elementary school, so while people may not be able to actually speak it, they do know a bunch of random vocab words. And it’s reflected in Japanese media: you can just drop in English like this and expect your audience to understand it. It’s kind of a neat strength of writing in Japanese (and some other languages) that’s hard to reproduce in English, as there’s no standard second language everyone has to study—and not as much acceptance of randomly speaking other languages in the middle of a sentence anyway (somewhat ironically, given how many loan words English actually has).

She uses the verb 仰る ossharu here, which is a very formal/respectful form of “to say,” like how you would refer to something your boss or a client says. The impression it leaves in this case, at least for me, is like how a parent will sometimes sort of jokingly speak “humbly” toward their kid, like they’re a princess or something.

I think this is supposed to be “bud” not “bod,” but I’m not sure if it’s a mistake on Kyoani’s part or an intentional misspelling for realism, because that sort of mistake is a super common sight around Japan.

“Fancy” as a loan word in Japanese is not really associated with “expensive” the way it is in English, but is instead used to refer to cutesy decorative things. “Fancy Shop” is actually a word you can look up in (some) Japanese dictionaries, defined as “a store that specializes in selling ‘fancy’ ‘goods’.” (“Goods” being another common loan word, basically “merch” in English.) You can google image search “ファンシーショップ” (fanshii shoppu) and get a good feel for what it’s like.

Hello Kitty and that whole aesthetic is a decent example as well.

She uses another of those sound effect words here: chikachika. Basically the idea is a prickling sort of pain; it’s not just sparkling, it hurts to look at. It’s a relatively common gag line for an older person to say when looking at “sparklingly” youthful stuff, in that “I’m so old” sort of way.

That little face there is the henohenomoheji face—so named because it’s made out of the hiragana he (へ) for the eyebrows/mouth, no (の) for the eyes, mo (も) for the nose, and ji (じ) for the face’s outline and one ear. It’s a popular little doodle and you’ll see it on stuff like scarecrows or background characters in manga (when the author wants to lampshade the fact that they’re meaningless background characters).

|へへ
|のの “
|  も  /
|  へ /

カンナ is Kanna in katakana, the set of kana used primarily for foreign words/names; all of the dragons’ names are written using it. It’s another way “foreigners”* are different from Japanese in Japan, whose names are written in kanji. Well, generally, anyway; some people give their kids (mostly girls) hiragana or, even more rarely, katakana first names, and often very young kids will write their names in kana anyway due to not having learned kanji yet.

*Mostly excluding people from countries that also use Chinese characters to write names, like say China—though even then you can usually tell "oh this is a Chinese name” from the choice of characters.

It’s actually a pain sometimes, as some forms and computer systems are designed with Japanese names in mind, which basically means you’ll never need more than like 4 characters each for first and last name. If you’ve got a longer name, it often won’t fit in those cases.

Did anybody miss this joke? 

The sign, as you might expect, basically says “Sweets Erasers” and “Warning: Do Not Eat”.

The sign here is pointing out that these are those “safety buzzers” mentioned earlier…which you probably noticed.

This is a play on a disclaimer(?) message that is/was common on certain Japanese TV shows: “この後スタッフが美味しく頂きました,” basically “the staff enjoyed eating it after this.” Japan suffered some pretty bad food shortages around the end of WW2 and, as cultures tend to do after experiencing that sort of thing, developed a strong norm against wasting food. Due to that, TV shows that wasted food on set felt the need to show that message, “after filming we ate this and were thankful about it; it wasn’t wasted,” to avoid blowback from angry viewers. It sort of occupies a similar spot in the culture that “no animals were harmed in the filming of this movie” does in the US. Both arise from a real effort to hold studios accountable, but are also often used as material for jokes.

The sign in the back specifies that this is masking tape, not ribbon, in case that’s what you thought it was.

“Backpacks” here is actually a very specific type of backpack, mostly unique to Japan; ランドセル randoseru, originally an old loan word from Dutch: ransel. This type of backpack is exclusively used by elementary school students—and indeed a large majority of elementary school students use them, as has been the tradition for several decades. Like a lot of Japanese school traditions it originally started as a military thing that seeped into the mainstream while Japan was feeling particularly imperialistic.

As you can see, they tend to be stupidly expensive for a backpack. The cost is somewhat deserved at least, as they are mostly handmade from quality materials and will easily endure the whole six years of a child’s elementary schooling. The hard shell that keeps the boxy shape helps keep the kids from breaking or crushing crap they put in it too, so that’s nice I guess.

They tend to have a strong nostalgic value as well, and people will often hold onto them as keepsakes (i.e. stuffed away in an attic or closet to be looked at once every twenty years or so, probably).

In addition to the above (which would not get me to pay that much, personally), many schools have traditionally required, and continue to require, that students use one. Some even mandate the color, though that’s not quite as common as it used to be and nowadays you can get them in a bunch of different colors instead of the traditional black or red*. Even in places where it’s not required, it’s not unheard of for people to use them anyway, again due to tradition and not wanting their kid to be the only one without (which would probably lead to both teasing of the kid by their classmates, and gossip about their parents by other parents).

*Red being a traditional color helps explain why Kobayashi reacted as she did there. In particular, black=boys & red=girls used to be a thing too.

It’s possible to get them for significantly cheaper in places (like online retailers), though those will generally be of lower quality (or at least less fancy materials; you’re probs not gonna find a leather one for 7,000 yen). Fancy designer ones can of course go for absurdly high prices, though that’s true of any product nowadays.

By the way, as you can see here, nigh on everybody carries a bag of some sort in Japan. Since you’re not likely to be using a car, it’s not like you’ve got anywhere else to put stuff you might need to have with you when out and about.

Japan is still largely cash-based when it comes to individual purchases, a fact which provides a little context to this bit. Outside of large chains, many places won’t take cards, and until fairly recently debit cards basically weren’t even a thing—they still haven’t really caught on, but at least you can get one from some of the large banks now.

School uniforms and certain other supplies are largely purchased through small local stores like this; if you’ve lived near a school you’re likely to have seen one. As Kobayashi’s line implied, they often have deals with a school so that you have to buy through them. It reminds me of how you have to buy gowns/hats/etc. for US school graduation ceremonies through a certain vendor the school (district?) has a deal with.

As you’re probably aware, this is a common and powerful sentiment in Japan, especially the more traditional areas. There have been cases of schools forcing children to dye their hair black even if it was naturally another color, which is clearly an example of taking it too far. On the other hand, there is an argument to made for fostering a sense of equality with your peers by having the whole class in the same uniform, with the same shoes, carrying the same bag, etc., so it’s not like it’s purely hard-headed attachment to tradition and conformity. I guess.

Kanna writes the na in her name with hiragana by mistake (な instead of ナ). …Or so you’d think, but she was doing a good job writing kanji earlier, so I’m not sure if it’s an honest mistake or a calculated one to appear less infallible. Especially considering the fake tears we see later.
Edit: As has been pointed out, the Ka is also wrong in the same way: か instead of カ. Not gonna lie, I sometimes make that mistake myself when writing them out by hand, since the primary difference is just whether there’s that corner dash and it’s easy to add it out of muscle memory—hiragana is a lot more common to write than katakana.

As mentioned before, handwriting is seen as very important in Japan—in particular, the specific method of how you’re supposed to write any one character (including letters/numbers). I bring this up again here because Kanna totally writes the 9 the “wrong” way.

Cram schools (塾 juku) are private “after-school-schools” that parents put their kids into to improve their chances of doing well on the all-important school entrance exams. They’re often seen as a pretty shitty experience for the kid (who wants to go to school twice in one day? or on days off?), but a necessary evil in order to make sure they can get into a good middle school, to get into a good high school, to get into a good college, to get a good job, to have a good life.

These rags, blue/pink clips, and rack are a common sight in many places in Japan; typically schools and offices where the students/employees do a basic cleaning of the classroom/office.

As you may have noticed in other anime set in schools, students tend to do a lot of the work of keeping the school clean. Part of that is (probably) to save on cleaning costs, but it’s also intended to foster a sense of community among the students and get them feeling invested in the school, as well as teach responsibility.

In many workplaces this tradition continues, to a greater or lesser extent. A white-collar worker might not be cleaning the office bathroom, but they will likely have a weekly (or biweekly, whatever) cleaning event where everybody gets a rag and cleans up any dust, coffee/tea rings, etc. around their desk for a few minutes, maybe do a little vacuuming. It’s as much a team-building exercise as it is a cost-saving technique (in theory).

Of course, it also helps establish that it’s now at the end of the school day.

This is that phrase the dude in episode two was repeating: maji yabakune マジやばくね. The maji is just an emphasis thing, very similar to “really” in English (both like “that’s really weird” or “wow, really?”). “Seriously” works too, especially considering that maji is short for majime 真面目, which is a less slangy word that basically means serious (it’s more than just that but whatever). Depending on use, it may be closer to “rly” or “srsly” instead (interneeeet).

The second word is yabai (or more specifically the negated version of it*, yabakunai, or even more specifically the slangy/slurred way of saying that, yabakune). Yabai is a slang word that’s exploded in popularity over the last several years (though it’s roots are much older). It used to mostly describe a situation that is/had gone bad, similar to something like “oh shit.” Much like “shit” though, it’s become almost a catch-all word you can use to refer to basically anything. “This is shit.” “This is the shit.” “This is my shit.” Another example you’ll hear is using it to refer to people, like “that guy’s yabai,” which can mean anything from “don’t fall in with that dude he dangerous” to “that guy’s nuts” to “damn look at that dude go, fuckin beast mode.”

It’s not quite as vulgar though, so it’s not necessarily a bad word for kids to say.

*An extremely common grammar construction in Japanese is negating something and sticking a question mark after it to make a phrase similar to “Is that not ___?” in English. That’s what’s going on with “yabakune.”

So here, it’s Kanna processing the conflicting statements Saikawa made and being like a combination of “she nuts” and “danger Kanna Kamui, danger” (in a silly sort of way).

The line here technically isn’t want to be friends (友達になりたい tomodachi ni naritai or similar), but want to get along well (仲良くしたい nakayokushitai). It’s a pretty insignificant difference, but it makes slightly more sense in context for her to be saying it that way (at least in the Japanese, where both sound natural).

“Blundering” here is bukiyou 不器用, which is a common adjective for someone who’s clumsy (especially in a “bad with their hands” kind of way) or bad at expressing their emotions. If you’re familiar with the stereotypical gruff Japanese dad who can’t make himself tell his kids he loves them (unless maybe at end of an emotional story arc) archetype, this is the word typically used to describe them.

So basically the nuance here is that they’re all “you should have just said you wanted to be friends with her from the start, why’d you have to be all combative?” Which is probably something they think about her a lot.

For the curious, the words here are kurasu 暮らす and ikiru 生きる. The former is a verb for the act of “living” in a “what you do in your day to day life to get by” type of way; what house you live in, what food you eat, your routine, etc. The latter is “living” in a more philosophical sort of way, like “how you choose to live your life.” Or biologically I guess, like being alive versus being dead.

The way she words this, to me, implies less “for now, I can” and more “now, I can.” Like she couldn’t understand it before, but now she can.

Maybe a better way to put it is that the translation here seems to deal with the “now" and the “future” (she agrees now, but may not in the future) whereas the Japanese phrase used (ima de wa 今では) deals more with the “past” and the “now” (she didn’t agree with it, but now she does).

Also for what it’s worth, in the manga there’s one extra line after that: “Kobayashi-san is just that… [trails off]

Also going back a bit, this line. The phrase “骨をうずめる hone wo uzumeru” doesn’t really mean to destroy oneself. Literally, it means to bury one’s bones, and idiomatically, it means to “devote yourself wholly to something.” It is (or maybe was, when lifetime employment was still big) commonly used like “I will bury my bones at this company,” meaning you were devoted to your work at that employer (and had no plans to consider leaving for another job in the future).

So the idea here is that she had seen many of her fellow dragons who started with just “I’ll just spend time/get along with this non-dragon” and ended up becoming completely devoted to them instead (romantically or otherwise), but had never been able to accept/understand that feeling/decision—until now.

Also worth noting the “共に tomo ni” (together with) that she used with the bone-burying phrase—the same word she used twice earlier when talking about living with humans (tomo ni kurasu and, tomo ni ikiru).

So depending on how you want to interpret it, idiomatically or literally, the dragons she knew got “too” involved with a non-dragon and then either just became super emotionally attached, or died together with them.

This line is actually “いつの不良だ? itsu no furyou da?”. Furyou is one of the words you’ll see as “delinquent” a lot, and itsu is “when.” Basically the way they’re acting makes them seem like stereotypical delinquents from year 19XX, and she’s sort of reacting to both how out of date it is, plus the “delinquent” thing itself. If you were writing a similar scene from scratch in English, you might go with a “____ called, it wants its ____ back” style joke.

She’s saying “moe” here, in case you didn’t catch that. That sort of “moeeeee” squeal is pretty stereotypical (if sort of out of date) as a thing Japanese anime otaku would say when looking at something cute. When I say stereotypical, I mean that was kind of the perception even relatively normal people had about what otaku did, “oh those people who go like ‘moeeeee’ at anime, right?”

Get it he’s fat (American) and big (gorilla). Gorilla is a pretty standard jokey way to make fun of someone big and stocky. You’ve probably heard it used in several other anime/manga before (often PE teachers or judo club members, especially with square jaws like that).

The phrase here is kubi wo aratte mattero yo 首を洗ってまってろよ, the ever-popular “wash your neck and wait.” It refers to an old line from back in the samurai days, when it was a thing to wash your neck prior to committing seppuku—after you gut yourself, someone else is supposed to cut your head off, and it would be just dreadful for someone to have to cut a dirty neck, heavens me. Basically the idea is “yer fuckin dead mate.”

This is an example of a sutezerifu 捨て台詞, basically a parting line made by an aggrieved party, like “I’ll get you for this!” or whatever. In fiction it’s heavily associated with the bad guys. If you think of Team Rocket they’re a perfect example.

The phrase for picking a fight in Japanese is “selling a fight” (and “fighting words” can be “selling words (urikotoba 売り言葉)”, as here). Then if someone takes you up on it, they “bought” the fight.

Specifically she has no jinbou 人望, which is basically popularity, but in a “people would go out of their way to help you” sort of way; it’s not the same word you’d use to refer to a popular movie, for instance, or someone who’s “popular” but doesn’t have many friends (that would be ninki 人気).

“Explosive” here is actually the kanji for explode/explosion and heart, so it’s more like “Exploding Heart/Spirit.” It’s actually also the word for ground zero/the center of an explosion, though usually it has another kanji added to the end when used like that (爆心地 bakushinchi).

The ability to just toss whatever kanji together like this to create words that don’t necessarily have an actual meaning, but invoke a sort of emotional response, means you see this thing in titles and taglines and fiction (think attack names) a lot.

The phrase used to say “on a different level” here is ものが違う mono ga chigau. Chigau is different, and mono can mean many things, including “things,” and also including a euphemism for boobs.

She uses juurin 蹂躙 here, a fancy word for basically trample. It’s not a super common word, but it’s often used when talking about things like “trampled human rights” in news stories.

Another sutezerifu, and a particularly stereotypical one. Kobayashi doesn’t say “he’s beat up,” she comments on how absurdly stereotypical he sounds (こってこてだな).

Lucoa uses the first person pronoun “boku,” which is typically used by boys/men. Japanese has a bunch of words for “I/me,” and most of them are gendered to some extent or another; some common ones are ore 俺 and boku 僕 for men, atashi あたし and watashi 私 for women—though watashi (or watakushi) is used by everyone in formal/business environments.

Interestingly, the Japanese language is very gendered based on the speaker, but not so gendered based on the subject. So like in English it can be hard to tell someone’s gender online sometimes, but at the same time it’s useful information to know for pronoun purposes. In Japanese it’s easy to tell someone’s gender online (unless they specifically write to hide it), but at the same time you don’t even really need to know, for pronoun purposes anyway.

The phrase here is 姥捨て ubasute, an ancient (and possibly mostly mythical?) practice of abandoning elderly people (particularly but not exclusively women) in the mountains or elsewhere in the wilderness to die in times when food was scarce and the extra mouth couldn’t be fed.

You have to remove your normal shoes and change into indoor shoes (like slip-ons), when entering schools in Japan. In middle/high school you’ll typically have a shoe locker to keep those in, but in elementary school you often are required to have a bag to keep them in; hence the “slipper case” here.

Basically the same is true of physical education/gym clothes, hence the “gym clothes case.” The “gym cap” is basically the same deal as the commuting hat, but worn during gym/PE class. They’re often red and white (also reversible), and so sometimes referred to as kouhakubou 紅白帽 (red/white hats; “kouhaku” is a common word, as the red/white color pair has a lot of cultural significance, especially in relation to Shinto).

Bathrooms in Japan don’t have paper towels, so a handkerchief is an important item to carry when leaving the house.

The “pencil board” (下敷き shitajiki) is a thin plastic board placed under paper to provide a better writing surface (such as when writing in a notebook, which would otherwise have more “give” to it). Possibly due to the relatively intricate nature of kanji (look at this shit: 憂鬱), clean handwriting gets a lot of focus in Japanese primary education—calligraphy lessons, with brush and ink and all, are a regular feature of class—which I guess is where the mandatory status of these boards comes from.

The safety buzzer (“crime prevention buzzer”) is a common piece of equipment for kids to carry, so they can ring in case of kidnapping or similar crime; basically the “I need an adult” alarm. Since kids are generally walking to school unattended and there have been a few high profile criminal cases related to that, it makes sense schools would want to make sure these are something students are carrying.

Link to Episode One Notes
Link to Episode Two Notes
Link to Episode Three Notes
Link to Character Intro Pages

Ackermans Timeline

I wanted to make a compilation of (almost) all Levi and Mikasa moments and I’m going to comment their reaction and how I saw them. If you don’t agree on something or want to discuss fell free to leave a comment. 

This post is gonna be somehow long so prepare a snack


Enjoy reading


First meeting, interactions and the trial

This was their first interaction, before the expedition of the Survey corps. Eren is excited to see the person everyone calls humanity strongest soldier and so Mikasa and Armin are (On the right).Levi seems not to like people’s praises but then he looked at the trio; I think he was looking especially at Mikasa, maybe he recognized her or because she looked familiar to him, as her reaction seems quite different from Eren and Armin (on the left).                                                                                                                                             Ch 9.5          

Keep reading

Greets from the HxH Wiki

     Hello. My name is Nomami, I am a editor on the Hunterpedia and I am pansexual and non-binary. 


    I use to have a Tumblr blog many years ago, though due to circumstances. I closed it being no use to me. So upon doing so, hearing about this unnecessary drama going on here. I decided to come and try to put a stop to this. Truly, I be blessed if all of the fans of Hunter X Hunter to stop this squabbling. I made a new blog just to come down from where, I do not trespass into to tell you all to stop pointing fingers at one another. Stop pushing wither Hisoka is bi or pan or heterosexual down every fan’s throats. I am embarrassed by my own fandom just seeing this drama go down. The most childish thing, I saw was when some people came to the wiki and vandalized it for their own sick joy. I had to help clean up that mess. I know it was people from Tumblr who committed the act. Pointing out little things about a character just to prove something is also unneeded. Here are canon facts about Hisoka that people need to remember. Compliments of your fellow wiki.

  • Hisoka only fights people, if their nen is powerful enough to satisfy his tastes for fighting. If they have no potential he either will kill them and find a new victim to chew out on.
  • Illumi would be considered Hisoka’s friend, but Hisoka himself betrayed Illumi already just for letting Alluka live. Hisoka wants to fight Illumi and kill him. 
  • Hisoka in the anime asks Machi out to dinner, in the manga he asks her to stay the night or sleep with him. She is seen as a potential love interest and was spared also to warn the spiders of his forthcoming. 
  • Hisoka was not staring at Gon and Killua’s butts. He was being a creepy. It is stated in the manga if Hisoka was behind them. Hisoka was going ku ku ku. Which in japanese manga means to have a evil laugh. Zoku zoku shown in the manga means to shudder and freak out. Hisoka likes to freak his victims out.

Hisoka’s design has many influences. Batman’s Joker, Dio from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, etc.

(I need to comment on this.)

 As me being pan myself, I do not see Hisoka as pan or bi. I am sorry to disappoint everyone on this. The description doesn’t fit him at all. To be pan is someone who experiences sexual, romantic, physical attractions to anyone of any gender. Hisoka is believed to be pan or bi, but this is not the case. I tell people I am from America which, I am but I was born in Japan. I can tell you one thing. There are a lot of beautiful metrosexual men there. Hygiene in Japan is big. Looking as attractive as you can is a big trend. Especially, among Japanese men. Just because a man wears heels or acts differently or dresses very elaborate doesn’t mean he is what people believe him to be. This itself is a stereotype. There are many characters in anime who are feminine, but turned out to be straight. For example, let us take Yukari Mishakuji from Project K, he is a beautiful anime man whom is well groomed, hairless and was seen to always be carrying himself with a elegant feminine personality. People for years believed him to be homosexual, but he admitted in a audio drama that he liked women only. Many fans especially fans of yaoi were very disappointed. Hisoka, I believe falls into this category. A man with what people call a fetish or kink for fighting people with great strength. Hisoka is well groomed and his affiliations with Machi is questionable even to me. Now before even thinking to write this, I looked through the recent posts on people pointing out some signs on why they think he is straight or gay. For one, Hisoka says to Kurapika when he wants to fight Danchou. There are several reasons why:

    1. Danchou is strong.

    2. Hisoka wishes to test his strength.

    3. He loves to fight.


      Machi stated in the manga and anime. “He doesn’t talk about the past. He has no interest in the past. By tomorrow, I imagine he’ll have forgotten Kastro’s face. He doesn’t associate with others. He’s his own man because he believes himself to be the strongest.” Hisoka only wishes to be stronger. Fighting Danchou would proove his strength. Since, Hisoka himself has a big ego, during the deathmatch he was proven wrong. People stated Hisoka wants to have relations with Danchou. This itself is just plain fan assumptions. You really have to think about it. If Hisoka wanted to have sexual relations with either Illumi or Danchou. He would have done it already. Now this is not to damage people who ship them, I myself ship many things in HunterXHunter, but the one character in HunterXHunter, that always is said to be pan or bi is Hisoka.

      Can we all stop and think for a moment that Hisoka is a psychopath. He is like the Joker, he does not need a reason to fight you. He is his own man he does what he wants and a character can be inspired by another design but also have the personality of another. I see Dio’s design and Joker’s personality both clashing into one. That is what makes up Hisoka. Joker himself is whimsical like Hisoka, he himself loves to mess with people like Hisoka. Joker loves to see people suffer and just likes to see the world burn. Mentally disturbed men do not need a reason. Sometimes the most insane ones are the most sane. Hisoka has shown tendencies of wanting to shake people ajar with how he acts. He takes a bite out of his own severed arm. He stands nude to freak out the people who see him. Hisoka does not show that he even cares. Does this prove he is pan? Or bi? Hisoka uses nicknames like fruit to describe the victim he is about to take a bite out of or to kill. As Hisoka stands nude in the middle of the lake he sees both Gon and Killua start up their nen. Hisoka does the same showing he is ready to fight them. To the death. Hisoka’s trend in fighting strong opponents is more of a game for him. If no one is up to standards he tosses them aside. Now, when Danchou lost his nen, Hisoka quickly lost interest in fighting him. Now if Hisoka was attracted to Danchou would he of still not be attracted to him sexually regardless if he lost his nen or not? Doesn’t being bi mean you are sexually attracted to men as is for being pan? Hisoka just loses interest. At the drop of a dime. Think about it. When Hisoka learns there is a way to restore Danchou’s nen Hisoka is up for the task in doing so just to fight him. Now Hisoka never has asked anyone else out. All except for Machi. Many fans use this as a main example and some point out the ‘so called date of Hisoka and Ilumi’ this shows how two faced Hisoka is. Hisoka was looking for strong people to fight during the voting for a new chairman. Did he care about how sexy the hunters he was testing out were? No, he showed no interest in them. 

      Now I have to point out when Illumi entered the room, Hisoka thought he was going to fight someone strong. Illumi’s nen is a 95 Hisoka has shown his interest to fight either Killua and Illumi. While watching the show and reading the manga. Never did he show that he wants to date or kiss or even show potential romance and Hisoka is the most romantic one here. As soon as Illumi tells Hisoka about Gon’s situation that is when Hisoka took interest. Play by Illumi’s game and try to intercept his plans just so Gon could be saved. This reflects on Hisoka’s wanting to fight strong people with potential. Gon has potential. Losing Gon is losing another toy to play with. The Hisoka and Gon fight is one I and everyone in this fandom is looking forward too. Losing Gon or Hisoka means no Gon and Hisoka fight. The deathmatch of Hisoka and Danchou was a epic one. It shows how far Hisoka is willing to go to experience that feeling of being outwitted by someone stronger then he is. Knowing that he beat someone stronger then he is something he gets turned on by. It is his kink and when Machi a main hallmark in one of Hisoka’s interests he is always seen asking her if she was impressed or the hair raising question.


‘Who would you like to survive me or Danchou?’


      Machi says Danchou , but then states if the Danchou died she would hunt Hisoka to the ends of the earth. Hisoka in the anime is delighted to hear this. In the manga. He is shown to be calm and welcoming about it. It is a answer he is willing to accept from her. Though many can argue it is one sided and that Hisoka would only ask a lady once and never bother her again. Well Hisoka seems to bother Machi a lot when they are seen together. I do believe it was shown that Machi carried some emotions for Hisoka in her during chapter 357, but as we all know Hisoka likes to push on Machi’s buttons. Sparing her, which I found very odd. 


     Now the stakes are higher. Hisoka is killing anyone now. Strong nen or low nen. Togashi stated all spiders would die. This includes Illumi’s brother, Kalluto. There is bound to be a Illumi and Hisoka deathmatch in the future. This shows how two faced Hisoka is. Which is why we have in the wiki that Hisoka’s friendship with Illumi is unconventional. Hisoka himself is just using Illumi for his own benefit to get what he wants as is Illumi. Illumi wants Hisoka to kill Alluka. Killing Alluka means the chances of Gon surviving dims. Hisoka goes out of his way to distract Illumi. This goes to Hisoka wanting to change the map Illumi was looking for to know where Killua was headed too. From the famous Illumi bloodlust scene. Now many of my friends have told me that the hand gesture Hisoka does means he wants to do Killua. Now this right here. This is one of the things that makes me face palm myself. The fandom dives to deep into something that has no meaning.

      How Hisoka talks or how he carries himself is always. ALWAYS the first thing people think in to believing Hisoka is pansexual. Which, I think it is ridiculous. This is another distraction as I seen many fans point out here on Tumblr, Reddit and many other forum blogs that Hisoka wants ‘to do Killua?’ That is the most stupidest thing I have ever heard from the fandom. My pan senses cringe whenever I see people associating Hisoka with my own sexuality. Hisoka, I am sorry he is not pan or bi. He has shown canonly a interest in Machi, but now who knows how that will fair out. Now that she is pissed and has only been seen interested in fighting strong people with strong nen potential. This is classified as fetish town central. Hisoka maybe odd, but pan. I am sorry, but no. Hisoka doesn’t want to have intercourse with Danchou my poor spider and Illumi. Hisoka already betrayed Illumi by going after the spiders and letting Alluka live. Hisoka wants to kill Danchou and will kill anyone in his path to do so. Saying Hisoka is clean and has no hair, that just because he is inspired by a bisexual character and how whimsical he acts does not prove anything. It just shows how hard the fandom is into believing anything another fan says. I being pan like to be real about things. State the canon facts that are shown in the anime and manga not what the fans put. Canonly, Hisoka has Dio’s design and joker’s personality. The Harley Quinn would indeed be Machi. Illumi would be one of the villians that Hisoka uses for his own gain to help his own plans succeed. Gon would of course be Batman and Killua Robin. You cannot have Batman without Joker. They are the punchline of the show. As Gon and Hisoka is. Another fun fact is as crazy as Joker is he did have a child wih Harley Quinn. As odd as their relationship is  this would reflect on Machi and Hisoka. There are other influences for Hisoka’s character, but Dio’s design and Joker’s personality are the main one scene in Hisoka. 

     Just because someone as abnormal as Hisoka dresses funny or talks funny doesn’t mean they are what people think they are. Togashi is LGBT related in some of his characters, but Hisoka I for one do not see him as LGBT. I see Pouf as LGBT. He is the more homosexual character shown on the show and manga itself. His devotion for Mereum, his jealous, his passion and him showing wanting to be more then just a royal guard is just shown there. Out in the open. So here is what we have so far canonly for Hisoka. I do not know what more proof do yo all need to end this drama.

  • Hisoka loves to fight. He does this by seeking out strong people to test himself.
  • Hisoka shows a kink for pain and power. The thought of fighting someone as strong as he  or who has potential excites him. Like when he fought Gon or the Danchou.
  • Hisoka wants to fight Illumi to have that honor of killing him. He uses Illumi and tries to stop Illumi as best he can to help himself for his own needs to help out Gon in the end to fight him. Which is where the sexual fetish for fighting comes in.
  • Hisoka is seen to be a very well groomed individual in both the manga, the 1999 anime and 2011 anime. 
  • He has shown interest in Machi from start to finish. He might not go after her, due to the fact his interest in fighting is more stronger. When she is around he takes the chance to either bother or talk to her.
  • Hisoka deems himself as Illumi’s friend but only to the point where they would be acquaintances. Both are shown to have no problem killing one another. 
  • Hisoka is a whimsical liar. He has shown this many times. For example he was going to use texture surprise to throw Illumi off Killua’s course in using Alluka to help out Gon.
  • Hisoka was paired with Machi in both the animes of 1999 and 2011 and in the manga during the Phantom Troupe Arc. I think Togashi might actually ship these two together. We all much remember Togashi likes complex characters with complex relationships. Machi and Hisoka’s little thing has a lot of complexity in it. Machi showed some concern and care for Hisoka in 357 and Hisoka showed some interest in Machi during the Haven’s Arena Arc. Machi says Hisoka usually forgets about a person the next day. Meaning they become irrelevant to him. So far Hisoka has not forgotten Machi. He is always happy to see her. He even tells her. If you want to stop me come and get me. He actually tells her to come and get him. He should have killed her there, but he says it with a heart suit symbol. Ishida states the suit symbols reflect Hisoka’s emotions.

    Heart being directed to things he likes. He uses the heart a lot on Machi or when his fight with the Danchou was getting to the point he was blown away by how powerful he was being overwhelmed by his opponent.

    The Clover is used mainly when he is conflicted or trying to think things through. 

    The Spade for when he is upset or mad. Like during his deathmatch with Danchou. He had a hard time reading the Danchou’s moves. What he thought through came out to be the opposite of what he wanted. How troublesome.

    The diamond is used when he is either around friends. 

    I believe this is as much evidence we have so far that I believe Hisoka is not pan. Someone who has sexual fetishes in fights and who has displayed more whimsical bothersomes towards a girl that is as tsunade as one would think who shows a different side to her during 357. You cannot tell me. That there is nothing there. She willingly patches him up for helping out Danchou. To a man who is always testing her patience from highering Machi to help patch himself up when he did not even needed to be patched up. Hisoka fixed himself up. He already knew the outcome of the battle, yet he asked Machi to come anyway. I don’t mean to poke at my fellow yaoi and yuri brothers and sisters, but the signs that Hisoka might be what I have seen fans point out is infact more canon then we might think. Hisoka is infact a secret. Though one cannot deny the facts that Machi and Hisoka is a thing in HxH as much as Pouf’s love for Mereum. The tension between Hisoka and Machi is there. I can feel it. Many of my fabulous gay friends have come to the conclusion that Hisoka is infact metrosexual with power kinks. 

    Hopefully this sheds some light on canon facts not fan made theories and claims. These are the things that me and my friends have seen through the manga and animes. I cannot see Hisoka as pansexual or bisexual. The arguments are stupid and illogical.

     This is Nomami and this is as canon as it gets. I am sorry for stating            this, but you all have to stop. This fight has gone on long enough.

(Pardon english. This post proofread by friend of mine. Who know english better then me. 読んでくれてありがとう。♥(ˆ⌣ˆԅ))

anonymous asked:

I'm interested in learning Japanese. How would you suggest I go about doing it?

I mean, I’m by no means good at Japanese whatsoever!!!

FIRST STEP!: But I’d say, look up Textfugu, and then do that. Do that all the way from the start to at least until you have learned Hiragana, probably Katakana too.

I think it’s absolutely imparitive that the first thing you do is to learn Hiragana because, if you associate them together, it makes it sooo much easier to pick up on words, as well as remember words. And trust me, you do not want to learn Japanese in romaji. Like, you’ll learn words an pronounce them wrong and not even realize it because you’re letting English influence it.

Like, “Kay-ree-oh-key” instead of “kah-rah-oh-kay” (karaoke), as a quick example. Or how some people say “Sah-kee” instead of “sah-kay” (sake).

It’s imparitive you start with Hiragana. And you’ll need Katakana too. But mostly Hiragana.

You do this, and you’ll free yourself into the great world of the Japanese Language where you wont understand anything but at least you can make some of the noises, in some of the places, when it isn’t kanji! Amirite???

Then, when you want to learn Kanji, by the same people who did Textfugu, there is Wanikani. You’ll need a subscription for that after the 3rd level but, I mean, 3 free levels of legit learning Kanji is pretty cool.

Then after that, I’d say, practice reading hiragana and katakana at any oppertunity, like- are you watching a Shounen Anime like One Piece?? Pause the frame where it says the title. Over every kanji will be tiny hiragana/katakana above it to say how that kanji is pronounced. Read. Everything. Practice.

In the end, you’ll start picking up words and phrases and slang and politeness while watching anything with Japanese in it without even realizing it. Just from learning hiragana.

When you’ve learned Hiragana and Katakana, and you’ve got the bare, bare, bare bones of an idea about grammar, and  the bare bones idea as to when to use kanji and when not to, go to Lang-8. Write blog posts out in Hiragana/Katakana/Kanji. It might take you a long time to write something very simple, and you might need to use a dictionary for literally every word but… do it anyway. It’s hard work but you can do it! I believe in you!!

Native Japanese speakers will come in, and like an English teacher in school might- correct your mistakes, and usually tell you why they did what they did. You’ll probably get lots of praise for it, even if you did terribly!!  (Also, it’s the right thing to do to also correct other people’s blog posts in your language! Please do this.)

There’s also a phone app called HelloTalk, and you can literally chat to people there who are learning your language and you’re learning theirs. Be careful though because… they might get too comfortable writing to you in Japanese and the time it takes to look up Kanji can make it feel overwhelming.

Hard mode: Play a Gen 6 Pokemon game in japanese and make it so no Kanji show up. Read every Hiragana and Katakana you come across. I did a little of that, and then when talking to a native speaker, he was suuuuuper impressssed by how casually I could speak!! Which doesn’t happen much when you learn “by the books” cause they teach you to speak only formally.


So TLDR; Textfugu->(Learn Hiragana ‘n Katakana)->Wanikani a little->Lang-8->be a nerd….

And then probably go back to Wanikani.

Also HelloTalk.

vampireapologist  asked:

I hope it's okay to ask a question about the Dear White Writers post. I'm part of the LGBT community (I know the struggles I face as a white member of that community is not the same as the struggles of POC within or separate from that community), but I've often had the attitude that yes, I want straight writers to include LGBT characters in their stories, but I don't ever want straight writers writing a story ABOUT being LGBT. If that makes sense? Like, yes, write a story about a knight (1/2)

(2/2) who is gay, but please if you’re straight do Not write a book in which the main plot is how that knight struggles BECAUSE they are gay. So my question is this: is the message to white writers similar; include POC characters, but do not attempt to write a story ABOUT being POC? But if I wrote a story with a plot completely about time travel (totally hypothetical) with a main character isn’t white, that would be okay? Thank you for your time!

Hi there! This is a really great question and I’m happy to give you my thoughts on it. But first, I want to make it really clear that there is no right or wrong answer to this question - it is more of a that depends” answer. Should a white writer write about a POC when it isn’t about race? That depends on how well the writer really understands what it is like to be that particular POC.

No matter what your story is about, coming of age, fantasy, steampunk, etc, I think to write a realistic POC character you have to understand their nuances. We all have been subjected to years of stereotypes by our media. It is everywhere and it can creep into our writing without us even knowing. We tend to recognize it better when we ourselves are of that background - but it isn’t so clear when we aren’t. Nuances are important, even in secondary characters. But how do you know those nuances if you are not of that culture? No amount of written or video research is going to give you those nuances or if you see them, you won’t really understand what they are about. For example, Koreans NEVER call each other by their first name unless you are either very close or at a much higher professional level. It is extremely rude to do so. And yet the number one mistake in manuscripts I see about Korea is this one. Even younger siblings can never call their older brother or sister by their first name. Or the fact that the word “You” is similarly almost never used unless you mean to be insulting. These are cultural nuances that you don’t get without really understanding what it is like to be Korean. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m Korean American, and even I don’t understand it all. When I wrote Prophecy I had it vetted by a Korean college professor and beta read by my Korean Korean friends. And I worked closely with my father to get all the cultural aspects as right as I could. Yet I was raised in a Korean household! But see, I’m Korean American not Korean Korean, and there is a big difference between the two. You can do years and years of research and still get tripped up with the small nuances that we don’t know about. 

But I didn’t want to only give you a Korean example, so I reached out to my dear friend Meg Medina, who is an award winning and simply amazing Cuban American author and her new book, Burn Baby Burn, is coming out this March! So I asked her for cultural nuances and she gave me the following:

“Each country that makes up Latin America, Spain, and the Caribbean speaks a different dialect of Spanish. So, a Cuban might say a young lady is, una muchacha but elsewhere it’s una joven. Other examples, roast pork is lechon in Cuba, but pernil in Puerto Rico. If a Cuban tells you, voy ahorita, they mean they’ll be there “in a little while.” If a Mexican says that, they mean they’ll be there immediately. 

We also have words that are considered very vulgar in one country that are no big deal at all in another. A Cuban might be shy to call someone a pendejo (pubic hair), but an Argentine would use the word to mean “an idiot.”  Cubans call papaya Fruta Bomba because papaya is slang for a woman’s vagina.  
Cubans come in all races. Let me repeat. Cubans come in all races. And yes, all the conflicts associated with race come up in Latino culture, too.

The political landscape is very tricky - and often at odd with what people have come to regard as the “Latino voting block.” Because Cubans who left in the 1960s were largely white and middle class…and because they were fleeing Communism when the US was at the height of the Cold War… Cubans often had easier paths to citizenship, etc. This, over time, has created an us and them mentality at times between Cubans and other Latinos. Old timers are usually hard right and passionate about why. You’d have to really know Cuban history and how the revolution impacted families to know the dynamics of families that have some members here in the US, and some still on the island. There’s also the dynamic of age with regard to politics in Cuban families. ”

 Nuances are so important and oftentimes not easily researchable. Meg’s statement on the political landscape being tricky is so true. In Korea, the older generation tends to hate and distrust the Japanese due to the Japanese occupation. My mother in law was forced to learn Japanese at a young age. But my mom, who is younger, had less issues with Japan and more with China and Communism. My father actually had to hide in the mountains to avoid communist recruiters. And in Korea itself, the northern region folks look down on the south region folks, etc. Some things are just not researchable no matter how long and hard you look. Some things you have to get straight from a person’s mouth and let them share their lived experiences. 

Anyway, the point is most POC have their culture so ingrained in them that to not address it will make them unbelievable. That would be whitewashing. But on the other extreme, some writers rely far too much on stereotypes and write characters that are extremely problematic. Or they create characters that are incredibly hurtful to the community, for instance, a Korean boy who hates being Korean so much and wishes he was white is deeply problematic if he doesn’t have a moment of self-enlightenment. These things a white writer would not pick up on (clearly as this was exactly the scenario of a NYT bestselling book). And this is not something you can google. Well maybe now you can as I have written about it. But the point being, to a POC, race is always present. Always there. Your character can’t be a warrior astronaut who just happens to be Latino and has a Latino last name and brown skin but everything else about him is no different from a white character. That is whitewashing. You can’t write POC without having race be a big part of it. I hope that is clear?

And thank you Meg!! Everybody go buy her book!!!