It’s been quite a while since I last introduced a term, and this is the first one this year. I think I was going crazy for cosplay. Nah I have been and will be.
When I was an elementary school student, I learned about this for the first time. It was during Japanese class, and maybe we were reading a novel or something. In the novel, there was a dove speaking to someone, and the teacher said this is called 擬人化[gijinka]. As you may imagine, gijinka means treating an object(not a human being) like a human being. Doves are not human, but let them speak languages just like human beings. In this way, anything in this world can be like human beings, and behave as we do.
Upon hearing this, it reminds me of one of the most well-known Japanese folk tales, Crane’s Reward[鶴の恩返し]. An old man saves a crane that had been trapped, and the crane visits him, transforming into a human being. Needless to say, she has transformed into a beautiful lady in the story. Hey, we have seen something like this in Kanon, haven’t we?
Mostly, humanized objects are supposed to be in the shape of bishoujo(pretty girls) or bishounen(handsome boys). We call that 美少女化[bishoujoka] and 美少年化[bishounenka] respectively. 化[ka] means -nize in English like “Americanize.” Also we can say 萌え擬人化[moe gijinka] in general. As we have seen a lot of examples in this kind of genre, there are two types of 擬人化 when it happens to animals. One is a perfectly humanized animal like Sawatari Makoto in Kanon(she is actually a fox spirit). The other type is also humanized, but some parts of the body such as the ears or the tails stay the same. For example, Holo in Wolf and Spice, Chesha cat in Pandora Hearts, all the civilians in Utawarerumono, or all the characters in Lamento. Like the folktale I mentioned , it is not exaggerating to say 擬人化 is a common way in literature.
Now, 擬人化 can happen to anything you see. Even if it is not a living thing, it doesn’t really matter. Trains, ships, airplanes, fleets, or even insects like a beetle!
But, 擬人化 requires some imagination because you have to bestow life to an object and treat it as a human being. So…you know what I am going to say, don’t you? Yes, when it goes to people who really love to hallucinateimagine like fujoshi, things are going to be crazy. Before I explain this, let me tell you how I was surprised a while ago. When I went to a certain bookstore, I saw a really awesome doujinshi[fan-made comic]. It was Nintama Rantarou[忍たま乱太郎]. But it was totally different from the original in the sense that all the characters were depicted as bishounen. 見分けがつかない！どれが４年生でどれが５年生なんだよ！As you may know, the original character design was quite far away from anything bishie-like, however, in this doujinshi, they all looked tall and handsome. The same goes to Keroro Gunsou[ケロロ軍曹], アンパンマン[Ampan man], and ドラえもん[Doraemon]. All the frogs in Keroro Gunsou have become gorgeous guys, and BL starts…す、すご過ぎる…腐女子の妄想ってすごいよね（笑） Anyway, characters like Nobita or Gian were humans in the first place, so we say 再擬人化[sai-gijinka] to make a character more fabulous than it actually looks.
This delusion finally “invaded” some countries. Yes, it is Hetaria[ヘタリア] which means 擬人化 for countries. All the characters’ names are that of a country, and they call each other like, “Hey Italy!” or,”Oi, Japan!” The funny thing is characteristics that represent each country. I mean…Japan does not say things honestly. When he says, “I will be sure to think about it postively,” that means “No.” That’s well put. And fujoshi loves to make a pair with two things no matter what it is. Once again, even if it is not a human being, they don’t care. Ameica is top[攻め] and Japan is bottom[受け], or German is top and UK is bottom…whoa, I don’t understand it at all. When it comes to gijinka of Japan’s railway[鉄道擬人化], things will be more complicated. It’s all Greek to me. But, can I just say that of all the airlines I like LAX as top and JAL as bottom?
By the way, this fujoshi is explaining about gijinka in these pictures. Do you understand what she is talking about?
No wonder Japanese anime conquers the world. Because the otaku imagination and fujoshi delusion are everlasting.