Why do Japanese People Care about their Friend Calling Another Friend by Their First Name or not?

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Why do Japanese People Care about their Friend Calling Another Friend by Their First Name or not?

Japanese people generally call someone by their last name, especially when we address classmates or regular friends (those who are not in a special relationship). Really close friends call each other by their first name. If a boy and girl call each other by their first names, you could assume they are dating. The following is some examples:

Degree Intimacy How to call
Level 1 others / strangers last name + san to both boys and girls
Level 2 acquaintances last name + san to girls / last name + kun to boys
(only if they are in the same age)
Level 3 regular friends last name (or nickname)
Level 4 close friends first name (or first name + san / chan / kun)
Level 5 boyfriend / girlfriend first name

 

 

In Search of the Lost Future,

Ⓒアトリエハイキー/内浜学園天文学会

In Search of the Lost Future,

Ⓒアトリエハイキー/内浜学園天文学会

The first image from “In Search of the Lost Future” is the scene where Sou (left boy) calls Yui (right girl) by her first name. And in the second image, Airi (right girl) asks “Why did you call her by her first name?” to Sou (left boy). Previously, Sou Akiyama (秋山 奏, あきやま そう, Akiyama Sou) called Yui Furukawa (古川 ゆい, ふるかわ ゆい, Furukawa Yui) by her last name, which is Furukawa. But now, he calls her by her first name, Yui. This means that their relationship has become deeper.

 

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Arpeggio of Blue Steel©Ark Performance/少年画報社・アルペジオパートナーズ

The first image from “Arpeggio of Blue Steel” is the scene where Iona (right girl) calls the man whom Takao (left girl) is in love with by his first name, Gunzou. And in the second image, Takao is surprised that Iona called him so, which means Iona and Gunzou are already level 5 intimacy. On the other hand, she can only call him by full name, Chihaya Gunzou. Since they are still Level 2 or 3, her maiden plug-in seems to work normally. She is very cute…



In Japan, you can guess the degree of people’s relationships from the way they address each other. If you pay attention to this, you can enjoy anime more.

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