To Name is to Own: Our Possessions and the Names we Give Them (Also, Yui Owns K-ON!!)

k-on! let's go yui nodoka ui azu-nyan mugi ritsu mio sawako

Since you’re reading this right now, it proves you have power over language (english). You now the names of things, what to call them, and how to use them. You have the power to be either informed by, or entertained by this post, or judge that it does neither for you. We have possession over an entertaining experience of anime because they are translated into english. The meanings become our possessions, and we become entertained. Language and naming are foundations of culture. Consider (part of) an origin story:

19: And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20: And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field[...]

Genesis 2: 19-20 (King James ver.)

In this case, the naming of things ties into the dominion over them; including all living creatures. In everyday matters, we do two kinds of things: we put our names on our possessions, to say that this object (computer, gadget, luggage); give these possessions names (HDD, tennis racquet, car), or do both. Both actions create a barrier securing these possessions from being easily appropriated by others. Naming things is also fun to do.

k-on 11 yui named gitah

Back in the first season of K-ON! Yui named her improbably Gibson Les Paul Custom a fittingly unimaginative name ‘Gitah.’ It is interesting how Yui is the least intelligent character in the show and yet the one who possesses and perhaps even exercises the most power (despite actual club presidency held by Ritsu, and moral authority held by Mio). We can tell Yui is the locus of power because the activities of the light music club work around her mood, her availability, and her level of ability. It’s not just being the ball and chain that drags them to her pace, she is also the emotional touchstone of the group, and improbably represents their spirit and sentiment – as demonstrated during their performance at the end of last season.

The other demonstration of Yui’s power is how she ends up naming things – not just her own things, but other possessions and/or relations of the club, even if these are attached to specific individuals:

[CoalGuys] K-ON!! S2 - 05 [4B19B10F].mkv_snapshot_17.17_[2010.05.13_22.17.41]

Ton-chan: Azusa’s pet turtle; a gift idea by Yui as a surrogate for club recruits that never were(!!)

[CoalGuys] K-ON!! S2 - 06 [61E0BE30].mkv_snapshot_22.09_[2010.05.13_22.35.34]

Elizabeth: Mio’s Fender Bass

[CoalGuys] K-ON!! S2 - 04 [C766BBA9].mkv_snapshot_20.49_[2010.05.13_23.25.01]

Sawa-chan: Club moderator and now the majority of the members’ homeroom teacher. The honorific/modifier chan is not welcome and is presented to foil Sawako-sensei’s (now Sawa-chan sensei) objective of being treated as a demure and respectable teacher.

[CoalGuys] K-ON!! S2 - 05 [4B19B10F].mkv_snapshot_21.02_[2010.05.13_23.52.01]

Azu-nyan: (probably) The club’s most skilled musician; Yui also routinely performs public acts of affection with impunity, to the embarrassment/discomfort of Azusa.

It’s during the instance of naming Mio’s bass that really showed the pervasive influence of Yui; Mio who wasn’t even keen on naming her own things – suddenly couldn’t help but acknowledge that Elizabeth felt right. Note her breathing, the exhaling she did. It wasn’t a sigh, it was relief. It was akin to feeling free. Something familiar now has a name, and Elizabeth is hers. With this, Yui’s stamp on the entire experience of the club is made more indelible.

(Can something be made from the fact that Yui’s Gitah is male, and Mio’s bass is female? What does this tell us?)

I too, name my things. Perhaps not as aggressively as Yui, but I do name them. All the laptops I’ve ever used since 2004 I’ve named MPU (the satellite AI who liked making Nazca lines on the Earth’s surface in Cowboy Bebop). My two 1TB HDDs are named Macross 7 and Macross Galaxy respectively. I’ve named my daughter’s pram the Graco Qubeley Mirage Plus (after Haman Karn’s Qubeley mecha in Mobile Suit Z Gundam).

IMG_3103

How about you? What names have you given your own things?

Further Reading

If you’re a first time visitor here on WRL, I also invite you to check out this selection of posts to get to know the blog better and see what it can offer you ^_^
Harry Potter insisted on calling  “He who must not be named” by his given name, and thus were less under Voldemort’s power. This too, is the power of naming. (Jill Marshall 2004)
The power and mystery of naming things: “I believe freedom begins with naming things. Humanity is preserved by it” (Eve Ensler 03/20/2006)
Yui and the power of K-ON! [->]

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in analysis, fanboy, K-ON!!! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to To Name is to Own: Our Possessions and the Names we Give Them (Also, Yui Owns K-ON!!)

  1. Evan Krell says:

    Computer A: lain
    Computer B: Tiberius
    Flash Drive A: Yotsuba
    Flash Drive B: Kino
    External Drive: Hazuki

    Camera: Winston
    Cell Phone: Verne
    DS: Wells
    Dreamcast: Asimov
    Wii: Duncan

  2. schneider says:

    I have named my personal laptop several names throughout several reformats. The first reformat garnered it the name Sochie. When I reformatted again after a year, it became Marina. Now, my laptop is old and infirm and slow. I have no one to blame but myself.

    The few flash drives I had were named after Super Robot Wars mecha: Sanshiki and Werkbau.

    In contrast to my laptop, I named my PC after adolescent males. First I named it Naota (FLCL), then I forgot the second (probably a good thing). This was bad, as my PC kept breaking down. Damned whiny kids! After a reformat, I decided to name it Shizuku (Whisper of the Heart), and it hasn’t failed me [majorly] since.

    My 250 GB external is named Nadesico. You’ve seen her a few times already. My PC’s storage drive was named Ra Cailum, BUT IT SUNK and cost me hundreds of gigs in unrecoverable data. My new drive is named Valstork, an original battleship in Super Robot Wars which can gattai with mechs, a veritable Gurren Lagann/Ideon type of mecha with the Hajime Katoki aesthetic. <3

    I dunno what to call my work laptop yet, though.

  3. adaywithoutme says:

    I named my mp3 player Jigglypuff.

    Its odd, though, when I name inanimate objects, I tend to grant them male monikers much more than I give them female ones. I feel somewhat guilty for this, as I fear it is due to cultural influence – and my culture is definitely androcentric.

    • Consistent with how males name inanimate objects (especially vehicles) women? If the name is neutral, the pronouns used aren’t.

      “Helmsman, keep her steady as she approaches the gate.”

      “Don’t worry, she keeps herself steady Captain, she’s the steadiest starship in the galactic admiralty.”

      • adaywithoutme says:

        I once saw a boat named ‘Lolita’.

        I actually never thought of it that way, but that’s a very interesting point, especially when you consider the fact that females have historically been stuck as property of the men in their lives; so it makes sense to dub ships and airplanes and countries and such as female.

        Wow, run-on sentence alert.

        I think I have a tendency moreso to talk to the inanimate (trees, flowers, rocks, etc.) than I do to name them. Because the only stuff I’ve really named are stuffed animals, my mp3 player, pets, and… hmm…. I think that’s it.

        • LOL countries. I’m not sure if I got this correctly, but we “defend the motherland,” but “obey the fatherland.”

          • adaywithoutme says:

            Yes! All of which makes Axis Powers Hetalia kind of interesting, at least in regards to the anthropomorphication of the countries.

            Fun fact: there was a similar manga a few years back which was exclusively about the central Asian countries with names ending in ‘stan’ – because its Afghanis-tan! And Uzbekis-tan! Obviously central Asian countries = soooo moe.

            Anyway, I think Russia is one of the few to deviate from the tendency to divide the gendering of the nation – I’ve never heard it referred to as anything other than feminine (Mother Russia!!!!!!).

          • While Deutschland is always the “Vaterland” amirite?

  4. mjsnoozer says:

    I seriously suck at naming stuff. I just called my first laptop “lappy” (was raputapu, but it’s too much effort to say that everytime.)

    The animu related naming in my stuff only reflects on the HDDs of my current PC. I always have 3 HDDs installed, so it’s usually related to a trio of what I’m currently hooked at that moment. My Second Gen PC’s HDDs are named after Nartuo’s 3 Hokages. (that was 2003 lulz). Third Gen HDDs are named after the Three Water Fairies’ apprentices, and the current gen got three final tier personas from P4.

    My previous trend was naming stuff with Nippon girl names, but I found it sucky in the long run. I just pick random demon names I got from the Lesser Keys nowadays since demon names are manly.

  5. gaguri says:

    The idea of naming objects don’t come across me unless I’m prompted to (i.e. naming the laptop after purchase). I named this new laptop ‘doumi’, which means helper/assistance in korean but has a cute connotation to it, and my new iPhone is named iChitect (yea that was bad). Haven’t named any physical objects based on anime though. Maybe I should name my x-acto knife ‘vibrating blade’ or something (that eva01 uses) I don’t know…I could probably come up with a better name for knife if I watched more shounen or mecha x_x

    btw, nice trimming of those screenshots, really makes the presentation of the post more neat.

    • gaguri says:

      actually the most fun I had of naming stuff was whenever I played pokemon games. I would mostly plan out my team beforehand, but after catching a pokemon, I would let that ‘what would you like to name your pokemon’ screen flash while thinking of what to name. good times

    • animekritik says:

      Well, gaguri, Ichitect is a pretty good approximation to how you would say “I need to defecate” in Thai, so it’s not sorta witty in that way too :)

    • That vibrating blade has an interesting name: the “progressive knife” (whatever), and I admit it’s really cool when they call it “Prog Knife.” You should use this name. Do it!

  6. Pingback: K-On!! 1-6 and “How It Compares To The First Season” « Fuzakenna!

  7. Roy Mustang says:

    “I’ve named my daughter’s pram the Graco Qubeley Mirage Plus”

    I shall name your daughter, ZGMF X10-A Freedom.

  8. digital boy says:

    In spite of not being able to do it for himself, No Name has a tendency to name all of his hard drives. It always cracks me up when I plug one in and am greeted by YOKO.

    I think Yui probably knows, to some extent, that people are going to use her names. I think she makes a point to name things that haven’t been named because she knows that those things will end up having that name from then on. My mom does it, and as a result, my brothers and I do it as well. We are sneaky bastards about weeding our made up names into things.

    My mom is pretty much an otaku of the band System of a Down, and she names everything of hers in reference to them. Her cars have had the names ‘hypnotize’ and ‘mesmerize’ in reference to the band’s final double-album (though her current car, a badass red Challenger, is named ‘The Beast’ after another band she is a fan of, Day of the Beast.) I could probably go on and on with her naming conventions, though.

    When we moved into our new house, there was a bar in the living room which had a little statuette of a kitten on it. My brother immediately wanted to call the bar ‘The Kitten’s Paw’ (because he has a vagina) and because he was the first to come up with a name, it stuck – there was the issue of it being way too gay for anyone to say aloud, though, so my mom short-handed it to ‘the Paw’, and it is always referred to as such by everyone now. Both of my brothers are quick to name things if inspiration strikes.

    As for me, I pull a Yui, naming other peoples’ things before they can even get to them. When my brother got a new computer for his birthday, this huge menacing-looking beast, I immediately started calling it ‘The Monolith’, and now that is the computer’s name according to itself. Our cat is named ‘Kilala’ because I happened to be a big Inuyasha fan at the time of us getting her – my name, even though I didn’t care about the cat and renounced ownership to the rest of the family instantly.

    It’s funny when all of us namers collide. We used to have a Toureg, this big SUV, and my mom always called it the ‘Doo-rag.’ However, for some reason I had thought the SUV was a Yukon at first, and I always made a point to call it the Yukon as I liked the name more. This got pretty confusing when either of us were trying to tell someone something about it. Doo-rag eventually prevailed though.

    Ironically, though, I don’t name my own stuff as often. I guess it doesn’t help that I’m somewhat anal and practical about names. I’d rather name something in reference to the words actually on it. Not that this can’t be fun. My favorite cup is this huge-ass handled cup that looks like it came from some truck stop and has been around our house as long as I can remember. The cup says ‘The COLD, WET, WILD stop” on it, so I literally refer to the cup as ‘the cold wet wild stop’. The small refrigerator in ‘The Paw’ has a handle that says ‘EXCELLENCE’ on it, so I call it ‘EXCELLENCE’. It’s unimaginative, but it makes more sense then naming it something that would only have meaning to me, and is still more fun than calling it ‘the other fridge.’

    I actually wish I did name more of my stuff after things I like, though doing so can confuse me. Like when I find a folder on my computer with some kind of obscure name that I know must have been a joke, but I can’t even remember what the damn joke was, nor what is in the folder.

    I guess the most fun I’ve had with naming was in Pokemon. If you check out my posts on Pokemon Red and SoulSilver, I put a lot of thought into all of the nicknames I gave my Pokemon, hehe. My brother named all of his after Gurren Lagann characters, lol.

    Maybe I’ll start naming things. After all my PC is just called ‘Digitalboy’ which is totally boring. I’d name my desk and chair if I didn’t want to replace them so bad…

    By the way

    >her improbably Gibson Les Paul Custom

    I lol’d

    • digital boy says:

      OH! Thanks to gaguri, I remembered Funeral’s knife. He bought this fucking enormous hunting knife for the purpose of “if I ever fight a bear” and we spent literally over a week deciding on a name. We knew it had to be French, Itallian, or Russian, and a girl’s name. He finally decided on ‘Isabella’ in the end~

    • LOL. Thanks for sharing all that.

      I think Yui probably knows, to some extent, that people are going to use her names. I think she makes a point to name things that haven’t been named because she knows that those things will end up having that name from then on. My mom does it, and as a result, my brothers and I do it as well. We are sneaky bastards about weeding our made up names into things.

      I think you’re giving Yui too much credit. She isn’t as wily as your mom who’s had years of experience in interactions and getting people to do what she wants and see things her way. Yui has no real wile at all. Zero. If she tries to get away with things, she gets called on it and fails — and this is part of her moe hooks as well.

      There’s probably some dynamic worth pursuing between her moe and how it correlates with her influence. After all, moe is a feeling people have to want the object person to succeed, and not to see her fail, upset, or disappointed. I think you can read the actions of her friends along these lines, without even going to the obvious example: Ui.

      • digital boy says:

        I disagree about Yui. There is something to her – in the way that she knows her friends too well. The girls were watching Mio at the end of ep 6 because they knew she was going to call it by that name. I had called it as soon as she went to go check on it, and so had they. Yui has given enough reason to believe that she can do some underhanded tricks (like when she tried to deceive Azu-nyan upon her joining, or when she participated in lying to Sawa-chan-sensei) and I wouldn’t put it past her to understand that her word is law.

        • Nope, still too much credit. At most I can give her some success in knowingly taking advantage of Ui. But then again, Ui is made for sisterly abuse.

          That didn’t sound right but I think readers would know what I mean. Right guys?

          Having said all that, the power Yui has over everyone else is through the dynamics of moe. People within the show, and not just viewers, feel moe for her and it’s not just Ui.

          Everyone, look at the image at the top of the post.

          The motion of the characters is from right to left, consistent with how you read manga.

          The motion is descending, and the characters are arrange from tallest but not shortest. Yui is still below, and on the floor at that

          Why break the hierarchy? It’s because Yui is lowest due to certain moe hooks: retardedness (well, she’s certainly the least smart, and studious), and clumsiness.

          …And yet, she is at the head of the line!

          She is leading the cast in terms of moe and as the principal character of the show.

          The points I made in the post are part of the infrastructure in which this leading/significance is executed. Her intelligence/wile — as digiboy suggests she possesses, is inconsistent with her power and charm.

          • digital boy says:

            GL I am never, ever going to buy your arguments as long as you use the word moe, because I refuse to believe that you comprehend the phenomenon.

          • In addition, I posit that I feel moe for Yui precisely because i believe that she is cunning in her own way. What do you say about that?

          • Prove to me that my understanding is incorrect. What are the statements that are mistaken?

            As for your moe for Yui, I won’t invalidate it. But even without statistical analysis I suspect that your reading is an outlier. It won’t make mine wrong though, it’s unrepresentative of a probable majority.

            Simply put, ‘cunning’ isn’t the first, or even second, or perhaps third thing that comes to mind as a distinction for Yui; even if she is indeed cunning — which isn’t even established.

          • I find your understanding to be incorrect because you do not claim to actually feel moe, and yet seek to define it. Moe is truly only something that you can experience on your own.

            When it comes to character analysis, I don’t try to make stuff up. I look plainly at what the show gives me and pass judgement based on my experience.

            I’ve said in the past how I like you best when you are in your ‘comfort zone’, i.e. not trying to say things about genres that I don’t feel you are very experienced with. It might sound elitist to say that, and to ask this, but how many school life comedies have you watched? How many character situations like this have you seen? How many times have you felt moe for a character?

            As for me, I have a lot of experience with these things. I feel like I ‘know what to look for.’ In addition, I am a fucking bloodhound for creator’s intent, which I think I have a good paw on as someone who’s seen just about every Kyoto Animation show and understands what they were shooting for with K-On.

            In a series like this, you cannot overlook anything. Every single line of dialog is part of building a canon. One scene can be seen as adding another facet to a character’s personality, and a single repeat of that scene in structure in a later episode can be seen as solidifying it.

            In my own K-On! post, I mentioned how Yui’s interactions with Azu-nyan were some of my favorite parts of the show, because they helped to broaden her character. Yui, being experienced with a younger sister, loves to be around someone younger than her, in part to try and exercise superiority on them. She tries to fake being an expert at guitar so that Azusa will think that she’s cool, but even after revealing the truth, she still treats Azusa as the cute junior who she can get away with controlling. You pointed out yourself Yui’s tendency to “perform public acts of affection”, but that’s not all. Yui also controls Azusa’s emotions, pacifying her when she is mad, enthusing her when she recognizes her downtroddenness, and all the while taking every opportunity to dress her up for her amusement.

            This is not simply Yui being Yui – she does not exercise this amount of force with the other members of the band. She is specifically exercising force on Azu-nyan because she is younger and easier to control. Recognizing this, I saw Yui as being cunning in some way. After all, stupid people are rarely all stupid. Everyone has some things they are good at. This wouldn’t be the first time that a ‘stupid’ character in an anime was putting their hands in more things than they let on.

            Why does Yui act this way? What grounds do I have to say that this is in line with her character? The fact that Yui always gets what she wants. Her younger sister has been spoiling her for her whole life, and as we see in their flashbacks and such, Yui can and will whine until she gets what she wants, and Ui will deliver because she lives to see Yui happy. Yui has gotten used to getting her way, and as such, she has also gotten good at making sure that way is gotten.

            I do not doubt Yui’s capability of, to some extent, manipulating the emotions of people to get her way. I do not put it past her to understand that if she name’s Mio’s bass Elizabeth, then Elizabeth it shall be. As I mentioned before, I called it minutes beforehand that Mio was going to say the bass’ name. That’s because I know Mio quite well, and you know who knows her even better? Yui.

          • I find your understanding to be incorrect because you do not claim to actually feel moe,

            Wrong.

            I do feel moe for many characters. My not stating them doesn’t mean I don’t feel them (just because you didn’t say you brushed your teeth today doesn’t mean you really didn’t).

            If this is your basis for saying my understanding is mistaken, then you’re just plain wrong.

            I do feel moe for Yui, Ui, Azu-nyan, Ritsu, even Mio, Mugeeeeeh~ and sometimes even Sawa-chan. I just don’t feel like I explicitly have to say so.

            As for the behavior you mentioned, sure they exercise power and authority. However they aren’t particularly cunning. Intelligence is required for this as it involves deception of some form.

            Cunning is you getting away with cheating everyone at Yugi-oh! cards. Cunning is me messing around in your comments section and resulting in a memetic game that got you to post an entire blog series and cause reaction posts.

            “Affectionately bullying” Azu-nyan requires no cunning if you’re Yui. She’s almost as moe for her as the rest of the band (maybe not Mio).

          • Maybe, then, you SHOULD start saying that you feel moe. Because I’m inclined to immediately devalue the words of anyone on the subject of moe if I don’t know that they actually feel said moe. Call it a defense mechanism against the words rampant abuse.

            Maybe cunning is the wrong word, but I nonetheless think that Yui ‘knows what she is doing’ so to speak. I still think she names things knowing that the names will stick.

          • Yep cunning is the wrong word, and I strongly feel for this because it requires more intelligence than the smidgen of self-awareness that Yui has, to try to be sneaky.

            Next time, instead of making a mountain out of such a lulz assumption, you simply could’ve asked. But then again you said you are paranoid about word misuse.

            That said, you could’ve given me a smidgen of credit. I guess you’re not moe for me :'(

            You know they call me ghostlight-nyan now~

          • Well, the thing is, moe is something you feel personally, so if you are going to talk about it, you really should start by announcing that you actually feel it. It shouldn’t be talked about as a general concept without being grounded in personal feelings. So, if you could, in the future, when you bring up moe, solidify it in personal experience. You’ll remember my Saki post wherein I sought to define moe, and I could only do so because of the fact that I felt moe for all of the characters in Saki. Letting me know beforehand that you feel moe for the K-On girls will justify your analysis of them because, well, who am I to deny your moe?

          • It’s perfectly possible to talk about moe without feeling it yourself for certain characters. You just don’t like it.

            For example, it is fare to observe how other characters feel moe for certain characters, and how viewers feel moe for particular characters. All these are fair statements.

            After all, not all essays are written (or should be) in the first person. Not all journalizing should be done Gonzo.

          • If it were up to me, it would be >.>

  9. Pontifus says:

    Ah, this post is very relevant to my interests. As someone interested in how words become associated with things generally, I always like to think about naming and what it does to the thing named. Needless to say, Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea magic system gets me all excited.

    As for my named objects…well, hell, I name damn near anything of moderate importance that doesn’t come with a name attached already:

    Desktop PC: Ayu (formerly Yuki, or Nagato, I forget which)
    Laptop: Noriko
    External HDD: LELANGELION (yes, in all caps)
    iPod Nano: Kanaria
    Bass guitar: Mandy
    Acoustic guitar: The Babymaker

    I think it’s important to name things that get a lot of use; it gives me a sense of “cooperation” with the tool in question.

    I’m also pretty much solely responsible for the names of two of the three cats back home; those would be Chihiro and Lord Beaumont.

    • LMAO LELANGELION

      The sense of cooperation, does this stem from some kind of anthropomorphizing? I mean, when you assign the human trait cooperation, you see it more human than say animal slave?

      • Pontifus says:

        It’s probably anthropomorphizing, yeah, but it’s self-consciously done. That is, if one were to accuse me of anthropomorphizing things almost to a slightly ridiculous degree from time to time, I’d probably agree, and counter that I do so knowingly. It seems to me that giving an object a human name must necessarily be an act of anthropomorphizing anyway.

        Oh, I just remembered: something else I’ve been interested in lately is what we (as bloggers, internet people, etc.) do to ourselves when we name ourselves. In my case, I’m very quick to assume alternate identities; if I were to take up some internet pursuit that didn’t have much to do with my blogging, I’d almost certainly give myself another handle for it. And I make a clear distinction between Zach, who I am in meatspace, and Pontifus, who I am right now, but maybe I overestimate the difference between the two — and I never know what to make of anime conventions, or simply hanging out with anime-savvy friends, where the two identities bleed into one another in a major way.

        • Oh man, I know how that is!

          ‘ghostlightning’ was a gamer handle — specifically Mechwarrior: Dark Age {tabletop miniatures; though the name itself is from how the best response to a 1st turn Hypnotic Specter (UU1) was a Lightning Bolt (R) from Magic: the Gathering}. I was very good at this, which allowed me to become a full-time troll persona.

          However, I couldn’t just troll people in the forums. I had this weird thing — I could only troll people I know personally. Many ‘got it’ and became fun companions, but seriously a whole bunch of guys hated my guts. And when we were in tourneys, I was always ‘in-character.’

          When I started blogging — personal blogs on blogger, on Multiply (ugh, “the ghostlightning dominion”), on LJ, on friendster (LOL) I actually used the ghostlightning handle. WTF was I thinking? On blogspot I actually used the most annoying version of the handle:
          st. ghostlightning patron of children.

          My anime blogger persona is far different from my trollan days from around ’03-’05. I find it funny how everyone is so nice to ‘me’ now, called GL, or ‘ghosty’ even. And even weirder when I hang out with the local anime bloggers who often call each other by their online handles anyway.

          Do people end up calling you Pontifus on meatspace too? When you’re not looking, do you actually turn your head knowing that they’re calling ‘you?’

  10. skyhack says:

    1972 Chevy Pickup – Annabelle (it’s a long story)
    Dell I8600 – Kuroneko (Trigun)
    Dell i531s – Athena (Aria)
    Dell 600m – Mika (Lain)
    Dell XPS M1530 – Taiga (Toradora)
    Homebuilt Linux video server – Osaka (Azumanga Daioh)
    PDA – Ginko (Mushishi)
    Cellphone – Suigintou (Rozen Maiden)
    Two WD 320GB external drives – Mion and Shion (Higurashi)
    1987 Alvarez Yairi DY85 – Mirielle (Noir)
    2007 Gibson J45 Adirondack Custom Special – Kirika (Noir)
    When I get my ’61 reissue Gibson Les Paul, it’ll be Martha, after my favorite guitarist’s (Duane Allman) greatest song (Little Martha).
    1978 Dodge Adventurer D200 Club Cab Camper Special – The Exxon Valdez

    I could go on….

  11. I’ve only named a few things, pretty much just computers and hard drives. My desktop is Mercurius because it has some odd eccentricities. And my netbook is The Blue Traveler, named after a song from the Xenogears soundtrack. Mostly because it’s blue and, well, it’s meant to travel.

    Related, but while I don’t name the cars I’ve owned, I definitely feel that they feel male of female and I sort of ascribe a personality to them, like the car is my co-driver. Kind of like how a pilot might talk to their plane (or mecha.) I’m sure this is partly because I’ve always been really attached to my car, and really picky when choosing one to buy. My first car, a 1988 Honda Accord sedan, definitely had a sense of being female in how it drove, but casual like a long time friend. Then my 2003 Saturn Ion coupe (R.I.P. Saturn, the one good US manufacturer) seemed male, like an energetic friend that’s always ready to get into trouble with you. It met an appropriately punk rock end when the entire nose was ripped off when another car hit it from the side. Live fast, die young! My current 2001 Honda Accord is something more of an oujyo-sama feel to it, but as smooth as it is it still feels a pretty sporty in the corners, even compared to some compact cars I’ve driven. I <3 my car. Haven't named it, but it definitely feels like more than a machine to me. Now that I think of it, given the level of character I've assigned to my cars, I kind of wonder why I haven't given them names.

  12. Computer: Omoikane
    HDD1: Nadesico
    HDD2: Macross
    iPod: RahXephon
    You: ghostlight-nyan

  13. Bruno J Global says:

    I’m not that keen in naming my stuff, though I do give nicknames meant for private purposes only. For instance, when I was a kid, I named our dog Leopard, but between just the two of us I call him Potpot Wowow (it’s based on how I playfully bump his nose and how he reacts). Same thing with the next dog: she was already called Mara, from that Juday soap opera LOL, but I, a non-watcher, didn’t get it so, between the two of us, I called her Wowie instead (again, it’s based on how she’s all playful around me, but note the irony).

    Anyway, I have to take issue at how you seem to have failed to mention Mugi’s resource authority over the group as well as her subtle manipulations to get what she wants. This Episode 6 shows her interacting with Yui so that she could play hostess. That’s what she always does: see an opportunity and follow through to get what she wants.

    Although I do agree that Yui is the central character of K-On, I believe the character to watch out for this season is Mugi. I think it wouldn’t be as blatant as what was done to Mio in the first season, but Mugi would get her spotlight later on. Speaking of Mio, I appreciate also that there’s not much focus on her this season. The first season had already proven its point on her awesomeness to the point of overdoing it.

    • Mugi is a resource. IF she was interested in control, she could easily leverage her financial hegemony over the group. But she never did, and there’s no indication in her character that she would.

      I think if this was going to happen, it already should have… unless the show is going to be longer than I think it will.

      And yeah, I really like Mugi as well.

  14. Cokesakto says:

    I tend to name my things in themes. My computer for example:

    The computer itself: Overlord
    HDD1: Utah
    HDD2: Omaha
    HDD3: Gold
    HDD4: Juno
    HDD5: Sword
    Flash Drive 1: Carentan
    Flash Drive 2: Caen
    NAS: Cherbourg
    PS3: Falaise

  15. Martin says:

    I’m not into getting a sentimental attachment to inanimate objects, but I’ve wound up giving a name to my laptop..it earned the name Old Faithful for surviving four years of continuous use (including a year and a half of an abortive university course, a convention, my jaunt to Tokyo last year and serving as my DVD player/fansub watching machine) until last October when I got my desktop PC. It still accompanies me on weekends away and other holidays…proof of Windows XP’s stability really.

    My desktop PC needed a title so I hurriedly went for Alpha (of Yokahama Shopping Trip fame). The friend who helped me build it named his PC after a catgirl from some obscure 80s OAV so I thought a coffee-pouring lesbian android girl suited it well.

    I ought to have names for my guitars, but for some reason I never did…my old Ibanez is sometimes referred to as The Waifu on the grounds that I don’t let anyone else lay their hands on it. I’m planning on getting a Fender Jazzmaster next year as my main axe but need to celebrate the occasion by giving it a name…any ideas?

    • Not Elizabeth.

      I would recommend instead to play certain tunes on it, and figure out if it’s giving you first of all a masculine or feminine feeling. This will cut down possibilities in half.

      The kind of tunes you want to play on it will also influence the selection. Say if you’re playing a lot jazz on it you may want to give it a metal name like “Kerry the Slayer King.” Or if you want to play lots of Megadeth on it you may want to call it “Akari-chan.”

      But if you’re going to play lots of Smashing Pumpkins or atmospheric music on it, just go ahead and call it a Eureka SeveN name: either Nirvash, The End, or Anemone sound beautiful to me.

  16. Vendredi says:

    Obviously, Gitah is a male because he leads, and Elizabeth the bass quietly supports him from behind like an ideal yamato nadeshiko should.

    Inquiring minds must know: does your daughter’s ride come equipped with fin funnels? And have you found that red prams are indeed three times faster than stock models?

    • Not fin funnels, but I fancy the pink milk bottles as bits in a fashion lol. I have seen the red and goddamn quick prams — they’re really designed for athletes in training and only use one front wheel. The brakes are cyclist-grade and the ‘transformation’ from ‘waverider’ (packing mode) to full ops mode use some form of pneumatic mechanism. I was in awe.

      Oh btw, speaking of funnels, you might have missed this post. It’s not to be missed.

      Your explanation of the guitar and bass genders make sense, though somehow I feel there’s more to it…

  17. otou-san says:

    When I was a freelancer, I had 4 computers, so I named them all after EVAs, except the webserver which was NERV HQ. I even made them little labels with their corresponding pictures, since the names are actually a little too similar to be useful on their own. Seems like naming computers is a common theme in the comments here.

    Also, if I’m not mistaken the guitar is actually a Les Paul Standard, not a Custom :P

  18. TheBigN says:

    My desktop gathering dust: Ciel-sempai
    My former desktop (more of a “laptop on a stick”): Hisui
    My current laptop: Alice-kouhai
    My current netbook: Kokone
    My former flash drive: Ein
    My almost former flash drive: Boota~

  19. In this case, the naming of things ties into the dominion over them; including all living creatures. In everyday matters, we do two kinds of things: we put our names on our possessions, to say that this object (computer, gadget, luggage); give these possessions names (HDD, tennis racquet, car), or do both. Both actions create a barrier securing these possessions from being easily appropriated by others. Naming things is also fun to do.

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