One thing I like about popular culture like anime or manga is the way is the way it can teach you about Japanese language and/or culture while it entertains. In Japan it’s common for students to address each other by their family (last) names, as the use of a given (first) name implies a very close relationship. My daughter was terribly confused by this when we went to the U.S. one time, and she pulled me aside to ask why Americans kept using the first names of the Japanese J-List employees, not understanding that this was how you talk to people in English. The point at which a boy-and-girl couple stops using (formal) last names or given names with a suffix like -san or -kun and switches to using given names only is a source of drama that’s often taken up in anime and manga. In Bakemonogatari, the enigmatic Hitagi Senjogahara goes for a drive with her new boyfriend Koyomi, bringing her father along apparently so she can force Koyomi to stop calling her by her last name and act like a proper boyfriend. Every time he calls her “Senjogahara” she pretends that he’s talking to her father and not her, until he finally starts calling her “Hitagi.”
Hitagi Senjogahara is my new favorite yandere character..