As everyone who’s began out ~ above the enormous undertaking of finding out Japanese can probably tell you, there space three different writing systems provided in Japanese: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and also katakana are virtually identical other than for their consumption – hiragana is used for native Japanese words, when katakana is provided for words of international origin or for sounding points out (such as onomatopoeia). Kanji is used in conjunction v hiragana1 to add context and an interpretation to indigenous or names.

The reason why this is necessary is the Rei’s surname not only lacks any kanji linked with the (to be fair, both Usagi and also Makoto’s surname are commonly written just in hiragana together well), yet it’s additionally written in katakana, the mechanism usually scheduled for international names. Considering that we can be pretty certain that Rei’s not international (especially when you consider that grand Hino is about as Japanese as they come, to run a shinto shrine and also all), the leads us to the exciting question the why Ms. Takeuchi would select to write Rei’s surname in this manner. So, why did she?

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The secret Miko and also her Birds

While Ms. Takeuchi has actually never officially comment on this issue, it’s most most likely that her reason for selecting this layout is precisely to attract attention to Rei’s name. Girlfriend see, since Japanese lacks uppercase letters and also it doesn’t look so great in interlocutor or italics, one Japanese strategy come emphasize a native or text is by composing it in katakana. Because that example, this strategy is often employed in video clip games or manga once robots room speaking. It offers the leader a sense of unease and draws attention to the text, the same way an English writer might put other IN every CAPS.

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How walk this all play the end for Rei? Well, it gives the reader an impressing that something simply isn’t fairly right about this priestess girl and also a sense of an enig to her. It additionally leaves it as much as the reader regarding which kanji they want to attribute to Rei, depending upon what they believe her personality is. Despite Usagi and Makoto are written in hiragana, there’s really just one definition possible for either of your names: rabbit and truth, respectively. Rei, ~ above the other hand, has several prime choices, all of which can be check out the same. Because that example:

So by creating the surname in katakana, Ms. Takeuchi is in a means able to attribute all that these definitions to Rei, every without actually saying any kind of one in particular.

As one final note, it’s worth pointing out that the Chinese adaptation didn’t have actually the deluxe of spelling the end names phonetically and also actually did have to select one the the above. The localization over there went for 火野麗 (the 2nd one above),5 though it seems there are number of other personalities used occasionally by fans. Who knew that how you create the name can mean so much!