Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby MarqFJA87 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:18 pm

On the wiki, Mari's nationality is stated to be British because, and I quote:

The booklet that comes with the 2.22 DVD release states that Mari was born in England.


The thing is, I've learned a relatively long time ago that in Japanese, several of the words (usually of the loanword kind) that ultimately derive from the English word "England" are used to denote both the specific "home country" named "England" and the United Kingdom as a whole. And it does get used this way in anime; I remember one of the Negima OADs having one character use イギリス (Igirisu, from Portuguese "Inglez") to refer to the protagonist's homeland, yet it's also a known fact that the character in question hails specifically from Wales (his original-but-now-destroyed hometown and his current one are both located there), so it's obvious that the word was being used in the general "United Kingdom" sense. This, of course, reflects a similar phenomenon in Europe, the Americas and other countries, where "England" is erroneously treated as a synonym for "Britain" and "the United Kingdom".

So... What word did the booklet use? And are we sure that it really meant "England" rather than "United Kindgom"/"Britain"?
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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:53 pm

View Original PostMarqFJA87 wrote:are we sure that it really meant "England" rather than "United Kingdom"/"Britain"?

The question would be meaningless if those who stated her origin actually didn't realise that distinction. Which it seems to me, frankly, not a few "English" don't either.
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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:48 pm

The booklet is mostly a copy/paste from here, though I'm 90% certain Mari is mentioned as being from イギリス. (On Japanese Wikipedia, she is at least.)
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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby MarqFJA87 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:43 pm

Well, I just checked the Japanese wiki, and given that イギリス is mentioned in the same context as Mari being affiliated with a/the "Euro branch" (ユーロ支部) of Nerv, it's probably safe to assume that イギリス is being used in the sense of "United Kingdom" rather than just "England". The official definition on Wiktionary does say that using イギリス to mean "England" (or even the Britain part of the UK alone) is an imprecise usage; hell, the Japanese Wiktionary says that too.
"Our magic is not omnipotent. A little bit of courage is the true magic."
–Negi Springfield, Negima: Magister Negi Magi

"Where there is distress, therein lies a story. Where there is a story, therein lies a will. And wherever there is a will, therein lies a soul."
–Evangeline A.K. McDowell, Negima: Magister Negi Magi

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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby Reichu » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:56 pm

Mari is shown thumbing through tea flavors in Eva Q. So "English" is probably what they're going for. I mean, let's be real -- it was a pretty safe assumption anyway.

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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby MarqFJA87 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:07 pm

So? She doesn't need to have been born in England to acquire a taste for tea. Hell, she doesn't even need to be raised in England to develop such a taste; it's probably just stereotyping going on, of the "if she's born somewhere in the UK, then she must have a taste for tea" sort.

... Hell, I didn't even realize that tea is an English thing rather than a generally British thing. You know that Welsh-born-and-raised character I mentioned in the OP, Negi Springfield? He's the quintessential British gentleman, with a huge love for tea, and yet he apparently never set a foot outside his Welsh hometown before the story started (and when he does, he goes straight to Japan of all places).

Besides, it's the UK that is a sovereign country, not England. Hell, England isn't even formally a distinct political subdivision of the UK in itself; it's Scotland, Wales and Northern Island that have degrees of autonomy from the otherwise unitary central government in London, and thus count as proper subdivisions in the political administrative scheme.
"Our magic is not omnipotent. A little bit of courage is the true magic."
–Negi Springfield, Negima: Magister Negi Magi

"Where there is distress, therein lies a story. Where there is a story, therein lies a will. And wherever there is a will, therein lies a soul."
–Evangeline A.K. McDowell, Negima: Magister Negi Magi

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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby Reichu » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:26 pm

I was always under the impression that you couldn't get much more "Jolly Old England" than tea. I mean, talk about stereotypes.

I'm also really confused about what this thread's actual purpose is. You asked for information and all, but that information doesn't actually change anything, from your perspective. You already established that the Japanese apparently can't tell England and the UK apart, so as pwhodges said it wouldn't actually matter where khara said Mari hailed from. So... :???:

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Re: Mari's national origin: England specifically, or Britain in general?

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Postby MarqFJA87 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:07 pm

I was always under the impression that you couldn't get much more "Jolly Old England" than tea. I mean, talk about stereotypes.

Yeah, well, you have the whole "Britain is only England" stereotype to blame.

I'm also really confused about what this thread's actual purpose is. You asked for information and all, but that information doesn't actually change anything, from your perspective. You already established that the Japanese apparently can't tell England and the UK apart, so as pwhodges said it wouldn't actually matter where khara said Mari hailed from. So... :???:

I didn't say that the Japanese can't tell England and the UK apart - at least, not in any way that is remarkably different from, say, the average common citizen of the USA.

That being said, I may be at fault for forgetting to mention the fact that the Japanese language does have words that unambiguously refer to England alone (e.g. イングランド, romanized "Ingurando"). This is what I wanted to confirm: Whether the wiki article uses "England" in the reference note because the source used such an unambiguous way of referring to said region, or whether it was actually using a word that ultimately derives from England's name yet its modern main meaning is to refer to the UK as a whole, with the meaning of "England" deprecate in importance and, ironically, even considered improper from the Japanese POV (which is the case with イギリス).

I don't know about you guys, but unless there is actual evidence that everyone in Studio Khara either genuinely thought that England and the UK are synonymous or didn't bother to correct the ones that made that mistake, I believe that it's more prudent to assume that they were using イギリス in its proper sense (i.e. "United Kingdom"), especially since the particular context of said word is designating which country (that is, sovereign state) the character in question hails from, and thus correct the aforementioned reference note (which, uh, I actually did before you starting posting in this thread, having assumed that the discussion on the matter has concluded).
"Our magic is not omnipotent. A little bit of courage is the true magic."
–Negi Springfield, Negima: Magister Negi Magi

"Where there is distress, therein lies a story. Where there is a story, therein lies a will. And wherever there is a will, therein lies a soul."
–Evangeline A.K. McDowell, Negima: Magister Negi Magi


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