Tuesday Terminology is a weekly segment to enlighten the masses with words, phrases, and ideals usually tacked on to today’s anime/manga scene.
This week’s topic: The Confession of Love
It is still February, so let’s chug along this Love choo-choo train. Anime and manga always make a big deal out of characters, most often females, confessing their feelings to the person they like. But why not just outright say it? From what I generally understand, Japan has and likely always will be a very manner-based society. Keeping to yourself so as not to bother others is commonplace. So revealing one’s feelings out in the open is pretty hard, let alone feelings of love. This is why in all forms of Japanese media, confessing and showing affection is represented as a private matter.
When you hear a character confess, there are two key words you’ll hear in said confession: Suki (to like) and Ai (love).
Ai (love) is a pretty heavy word. I mean, you wouldn’t just go up to someone you have a crush on and outright say you LOVE them, right? It is not commonly used in reality unless the couple is already together, and in private. That is why you’d most likely hear/read it in media.
However, Suki (to like) is much more tame and commonly used. It makes much more sense to tell someone “I like you” or “I like things about you” to let them know you are interested in them, right?
Read up more on different wordings of expressing your love in Japanese here.
This is more or less an introduction to the concept as to why confessing is a big deal and how choice of words is important as well. Here is a funny animation to commemorate the occasion for all you lovers out there.