Jennifer is a writer, translator and bishounen connoisseur. When not working, she can usually be found scouring Osaka for beautiful comics of the lewd variety. You can find her on the MT forum under the handle nifa
Oh ho ho ho!!
How do you do?
Today we will be looking at ojou-sama Japanese!
— ヘヴィーオブジェクト公式 (@ho_anime) February 2, 2016
What is an Ojou-sama, you may ask. If you read our column last time, you probably know that an ojou-sama may be a lady from a distinguished, upper-class family.
Ahh, the ojou-sama… Think of a beautiful young lady with perfect hair, a butler, and a distinctive laugh. Perhaps she is a blue-blood with money coming out of her ears. Maybe she is a beautiful school idol with all the boys willing to do anything for her. Maybe her father is president of the world, and she longs to be able to interact with ‘normal’ people.
These are just some of the typical ojou-sama characters that appear in all kinds of anime!
One of the most iconic types of ojou-sama is the blonde, drill-like hair type!
A few examples include:
Sernia Iori Flameheart from Ladies vs Butlers [perhaps one of the most iconic twin-drill ojou-sama]
— Anime Characters (@animecharacters) March 20, 2016
Reika Ryuzaki from Ace wo Nerae! [one of the original blonde-drill ojou-sama characters. How she is able to play tennis with that hair is beyond us]
Marie Antoinette from Rose of Versailles
— Nos3bleed (@Nos3bleed) November 2, 2012
Ravel Phoenix from HighSchool DxD
— ElAnimeLatino (@ElAnimeLatino) May 16, 2014
Elizabeth Midford from Black Butler
— Anime Characters (@animecharacters) February 11, 2016
and others. So many others.
Some ojou-sama character without blonde drill bits sticking out of their heads include:
Satsuki Kiryuin from Kill la Kill
@fursouta 2. Satsuki Kiryuin from Kill la Kill I love her so much I wanna marry her pic.twitter.com/pPLtbGwW6O
— zaine (@namjoonahs) June 6, 2016
Cecilia Alcott from Infinite Stratos [Almost drills but not quite]
Alcott Cecilia (Infinite Stratos) pic.twitter.com/DywEouaIjO
— DTR | PictureBot (@DTRPictureBot) November 2, 2016
Tsumugi Kotobuki from K-on!!
— Daily K-ON! (@DailyK_ON) October 28, 2016
Renge Houshakuji from Ouran High School Host Club
#7. Renge Houshakuji ||Ouran High School Host Club pic.twitter.com/UAtPKFHBnb
— Void™ (@yourdeadprince) July 17, 2016
Okay, okay, you should get the idea by now.
Often you can tell an ojou-sama with your eyes closed. The Japanese used by ojou-sama tends to be super feminine!
Let’s start with a hello! Although you may be familiar with the standard konnichiwa, the more refined lady prefers a ‘Good day to you’ or ‘How do you do’ of which the Japanese equivalent is gokigen’yo. It can also be used as a way to say goodbye, and literally is wishing the listener good health.
Watakushi / Atakushi (わたくし・あたくし)
In the second Lost in Honyaku article we saw some different first-person pronouns and how watakushi is considered to be more polite. Most ojou-sama characters will use watakushi rather than the standard watashi or the more feminine atashi
A sentence ending particle (more about those another time). It doesn’t have any particular meaning, but just know it adds a refined, feminine touch onto a young ladies speech (not to be confused with the more masculine wa often heard in the Kansai dialect. More about that some other time!). It is said with a rising intonation.
~no yo (～のよ)
Another feminine sentence-ending particle. Used for emphasis.
~ kashira (～かしら)
A very feminine way of saying ‘kana’, which is an ending particle similar to ‘I wonder’.
A lady-like interjection used when a character shocked, amazed or even disgusted
Sometimes it isn’t just the words they use but the way they use them that makes an ojou-sama stand out.
Rather than calling somebody ‘stingy’ they may describe them as being ‘a person who doesn’t like to waste money’ and instead of saying somebody is ‘loud and annoying’ they may describe them as being ‘full of energy’.
Oh ho ho ho ho!
Finally, we have the iconic ojou-sama laugh. It’s hard to describe it in text, but if you’ve ever seen an ojou-sama in an anime you’ll probably already know what I mean. (This is NOTHING like the Santa Claus laugh, by the way) The writer is pleased to report that she perfected her ojou-sama laugh long ago. Now she can’t stop. Oh ho ho ho ho!
You may also hear some of these phrases from a very different type of character. The stereotypical gay male character (derogatorily referred to as an ‘okama’ )is likely to speak in this over feminine way.
Don’t forget to check the rest of our Japanese language articles here.