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.
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:
Ton-chan: Azusa’s pet turtle; a gift idea by Yui as a surrogate for club recruits that never were(!!)
Elizabeth: Mio’s Fender Bass
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.
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).
How about you? What names have you given your own things?