What is Oresama [Definition; Meaning]


Welcome to another installment of the what is series, brought to you by Honey's Anime. In today's lesson, we will take a look at one of the more slang terms that is used in a lot of anime, and that is oresama. Japan is known for coming up with words that often are morpheme which combine two words to form one completely new term. There are many ways to talk about oneself in Japanese, such as the more common 私 (Watashi) and the more casual form 僕 (Boku). Both forms are used quite often but will depend on the situation that you're in, or the person you're speaking with. Formal and casual terms are spread out across all different categories and oresama seems to place itself on its own level.

Oresama is an overly self-confident and narcissistic way of saying “me” in Japanese. The term “Ore” refers to oneself but in a rougher and more aggressive style, while “Sama” is a name suffix which denotes high status and authority. You'll usually hear the phrase “Kami-Sama” which refers to the higher gods, so when you place yourself in that same stature then it becomes very pompous in its use. While the term does have a somewhat strong meaning, some men use the term as a way to assert their personas, but surprisingly, some have a soft spot when faced with certain dilemmas. We will now take a look at some of our favorite anime that showcase characters who demonstrate this cocky demeanor, and go into more detail about each show to keep you educated.

Thinking only of oneself

As aforementioned the term “oresama” refers to a character that displays a very assertive behavior and places themselves above others without much thought. While it certainly isn't a bad thing to think of ourselves, it goes a little too far when you claim yourself to be above everybody else around you. In anime however, the term is used as a way to express that bad boy attitude and a very ruthless approach to life. If there is one character that truly can't seem to get himself off his own mind, then it is most certainly Vegeta from Dragonball. Vegeta truly defines the term oresama just by his overwhelming cocky behavior towards Goku and the other characters in the series. From here we will dive a little deeper and tell you why we chose this saiya-jin as the first pick.

Vegeta from Dragonball Z

  • Episodes: 291
  • Aired: April 26, 1989 – January 31, 1996

We decided to start off with the cream of the crop since it would provide a solid base to move on from. Dragonball Z is arguably one of the best anime franchises to have ever been created, all thanks to Akira Toriyama and his wonderful imagination. Dragonball Z was where we managed to see Vegeta at his prime, and where he demonstrated a huge ton of cockiness towards everyone especially Goku. The story starts with Goku as he is faced with having to defend planet Earth against the evil saiya-jin that are about to terrorize everyone. Vegeta and Nappa arrive with the only intent on obliterating everything in their path, and so Goku along with his friends must stop them at all costs.

During the peak of the Saiya-jin saga, Vegeta and Goku go at it with each trading blows while he spat in the face of Goku stating how much more superior he is because his father was the king of all saiya-jin, while Goku's Father Bardock was just a mere weakling. His self-proclaimed prince of all saiya-jin slowly started to affect him as Goku was able to take Vegeta down. He gained respect for Goku but vowed to himself that he would never lose to such a vermon like him ever again. Over the course of the series, the relationship between the two grew, but whenever Vegeta was faced with a challenge he always displays his masculinity to prove just how much stronger he was than Goku. Little did we know that throughout this entire ordeal, Vegeta had a soft spot for Bulma and so perhaps his oresama behavior was really just a show of assertiveness to really capture the eye of Bulma.

Now in the latest Dragonball Super, Vegeta still carries his narcissistic attitude with him always stating how he'll be the most powerful saiya-jin to ever live, but has toned it down since marrying and having a child with Bulma.

Aizen from Bleach

  • Episodes: 366
  • Aired: October 5, 2004 -March 27, 2012

Bleach is another popular franchise that really took off back in the mid 2000's and ended about a few years ago. The show has managed to capture the hearts of many fans worldwide, with various products and games to keep it going strong. The story follows ordinary high school student Ichigo Kurosaki on his crazy journey through ups and downs, as he becomes a Shinagami along with Rukia to put an end to the hollow onslaught that terrorizes his city. He finds himself in a new world called the soul society, where he ends up coming across some very insane and unfamiliar faces. One of those faces is Sousuke Aizen who was captain of the 5th Division in the Gotei 13, and was a mild mannered very soft spoken intellectual who always made it a habit to address his colleagues by first name. He rarely shows any signs of distress and had always planned out his endeavors in advance.

This all changed however when his actual plans had been exposed and he decided to betray his colleagues, join the arrancar, and wage war against the society. Aizen started showing us a more narcissistic, manipulative, and very dangerous nature. He began to show little care for those around him, and was willing to use everyone as a pawn to achieve his goals. This extreme form of masculinity in Aizen was definitely a contrast from his more soft sided approach, but this shows an example of someone who uses their power to take control and only think of themselves throughout the ordeal. A great example of the oresama attitude is when Aizen finally states his godly status to 13th division captain Ukitake by stating:

"no one has stood on the top of the world, not even the gods, but I aspire to stand on the heavens and end the unbearable vacancy on the world's throne."

Nothing speaks oresama more than that one statement above, and further cements just how crafty Aizen was from beginning to end in his mission to rule the world.

Expressing Masculinity

People, especially men, love to show off their bravado and prove to everyone who the supposed real boss is. When masculinity is asserted it gives off a very cocky and abrasive feeling which can turn off a lot of people. Oresama doesn't necessarily always promote a negative image, but more so an attitude towards life. Sometimes boys will show off on purpose in order to impress the other sex, while it can also be a way of protecting your terrority when you feel threatened. Nonetheless expressing masculinity is nothing bad, but is just another form of self-expression that just doesn't sit too well when used the wrong way. We thought we would share yet another great anime that defines the oresama term, and so we will take a look at Mage from Dance with Devils.

Dance with Devils is a supernatural harem romance anime that released in the fall of last year, and was well received within the anime community. Let us dive more into the summary and discuss why we chose Mage as our final oresama.

Mage from Dance with Devils

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 7, 2015 – December 23, 2015

Dance with Devils follows the life of Ritsuka Tachibana, who is just your ordinary punctual student, but is suddenly called upon by the student council for unknown reasons. Shortly after being called to the front of the council, she is told that she was seen as a troublemaker and that this was her punishment. At this moment we are immediately greeted with one of the biggest example of oresama, and that is Mage Nanashiro. Mage is a blonde-haired arrogant member of the council who uses his wit and craftiness to get what he wants, whenever he wants. This oresama attitude can be seen in much of episode 5 where Ritsuka is constantly under attack by a group of gang members, and Mage steps in to help her at each moment she's in distress. The show even went as far as to creating a music video called “Vanquish” in which Mage blatantly calls himself oresama, while everyone around him including Ritsuka fall under his spell of manlihood (The trailer down below even has Mage referring to himself as oresama) and made great use of agokui which is another what is article we suggest you check out too!

After saving her however, he claims that he only had intentions to save her so that he could use her for his ultimate gain in power. This entire time Mage used masculinity to assert power over Ritsuka in order to get her attention. Fortunately, it worked but this cocky oresama persona turned soft when the two watched the sunset, and he accidently drops her into the water after being allured by her sweet smell. Much of the show we see Mage as this guy with an athletic build and pompous behavior but when around Ritsuka, he can't seem to hide his more honest and nurturing side.

So there you have it, oresama explained in a nutshell or in this case an article. Most often you'll likely hear the term oresama used in anime, but very seldom in person unless it's with close friends. There were many great examples of oresama in anime such as Light from Death Note, Sesshoumaru from Inuyasha, and Mugen from Samurai Champloo. Unfortunately, we can only showcase so many, so we encourage you to watch the rest of our recommendations to see what a true oresama is like. Should you have any more questions about oresama, or even have your own picks as to who you think is an example of oresama then leave your comments down below!

As always, for your sweet anime fill, keep it locked here at Honey's Anime.

Mage-Nanashiro-Dance-with-Devils-wallpaper What is Oresama [Definition; Meaning]


Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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