Fun With Names: Yukinoshita Yukino (雪ノ下 雪乃)
- By hoshi-kun
- On 26/09/2018
- 0 comments
Welcome to Fun With Names, where I take apart the names of characters, places, concepts, etc. in anime to show how they connect to their respective universes! Today, we'll be looking at Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, As I Expected) character Yukinoshita Yukino, one of the three main characters of the series. Since the full name is a total mouthful, I'll be using the alternative name, Oregairu, in reference to the anime. A quick note - when referring to Japanese names, I keep the naming convention as is, so the family name will come before the character's given name whenever I refer to the character with her full government name. This anime has a few characters who, like Yukino, have their first name in their surname, as you may have noticed.
For those unfamiliar with Oregairu, it is a slice of life comedy drama which follows the main character, Hikigaya Hachiman. Hachiman is a total cynic who believes that society is a complete farce and that youth is a hoax used to distract one's self from the harshness and monotony of everyday life. He is apathetic, unsociable, narcissistic and quite possibly a nihilist, all the right ingredients for a happy and upstanding member of society. As punishment for an essay he wrote mocking modern relationships, Hachiman's teacher forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club, a society at his school formed in order to help any student who approaches them for help in any capacity. The only other club member is the ice queen Yukinoshita Yukino, an almost equally unsociable individual with whom Hachiman now finds himself standing on the frontlines of other people's problems. The two of them put their heads together to solve each problem but can Hachiman truly be of service given his rotten view of society?
Yukinoshita Yukino is a beautiful and unsociable character who is well-known throughout their high school for her excellence in the classroom as well as on the sports field; in addition to her sheer coldness. Boasting good looks and a keen intellect, Yukino exhibits a superiority complex which prompts her to extend a helping hand to the people around her, believing that it is the duty of the exceptional (so herself) to help the rest of society. Her name is a simple pun. The first name, Yukino, is written "雪乃", which contains the character "yuki" - 雪, meaning snow. Her surname, Yukinoshita, is written "雪ノ下" in Japanese, containing the same character for snow, the particle "no" - ノ, which indicates possession in relation to a noun; and finally, "shita" - 下, which means "below" or "beneath" depending on context.
All together, in Japanese, the name Yukinoshita Yukino literally translates to "the snow beneath the snow", a pun directed at the character's "icy" demeanor and reputation as the school's ice queen. Yukino lives up to her name on a consistent basis with her unsociable nature and habit of calling a spade a spade, especially when it comes to the flaws of other people. According to the Oregairu drama CD, Yukino was aptly named because it snowed on her birthday on the 3rd of January, right in the middle of winter. This also adds to the consistent snow and cold theme in her name. To exemplify Yukinoshita Yukino's cold personality, I'm going to end this with a quote from the ice queen herself:
"You simply feel you're being looked down upon because you're aware that you're inferior".