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I was reading this and it didn't make sense to me. This pirate wanted a drink, but the store was sold out. So one of the guys offered to give him an unopened bottle, but it only made the pirate mad. Maybe it's because I don't understand enough Japanese or Japanese culture, but it seems that he was insulted. Did the guy who offered him a drink not have good manners?

Why did the pirate say ナメたマネ?

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I edited the title and the tag. The original title “Japanese manners” and the original tag “culture” are not appropriate because (1) the question is not about manners but about the meaning of the text in the comic, and (2) if the question were really about manners, then it would be off-topic on japanese.stackexchange.com. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jan 2 '12 at 21:03
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Let's imagine that somebody went to a bar (asking for three barrels of wine*), seeing everyone in the bar drinking, but the owner told him there's no wine left. And now, someone (drinking in the bar) says: we've drunk all the wine here, oh, there's one bottle left, do you like to have it?


*This is the content of previous pages.


Well, the words used are not in the normal polite form, but I cannot say that's too rude. He just used the way to speak to some friend.

The one who came to ask for wine is someone considering himself "boss" of the area, and anything not working in his way is an insult to him. (He is one of the "bad" characters who are deliberately written as such.)

Finally, you must really be very careful in using mangas to understand Japanese culture. Most of the mangas are not about the everyday life in Japan, and a lot of them are in some imaginary world. Usually, what the characters (either "good" or "bad" characters) do would not reflect how a normal Japanese person would act in such situation.

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The pirate is basically saying "Don't fuck with me".

ナメたマネするんじゃねェ

Here ナメたマネ is the kana form of 舐めた真似. 舐める is slang for "take lightly"; 真似 is a way of acting, and conveys a hard-to-translate contempt. So, more-or-less literally, the pirate is saying:

You are not to do the looking-down behavior

As for the scene, he's angry for the internationally comprehensible reason that someone drank all the booze and is now cracking jokes at him.

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What was the joke he made? –  language hacker Jan 2 '12 at 5:48
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Eh, not really a joke. The sitting man's tone is rather glib, and notion that a single bottle would be enough for the pirate and his crew seems facetious (out of context). It certainly doesn't convey the proper sincerity of apology (read: fear) that a rough character like the "おれ様" pirate would demand. –  j-johan-edwards Jan 2 '12 at 5:55
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Isn't the answer in the text that follows?

ビン一本じゃ寝酒にもなりゃしねェぜ

He's insulted by the fact that the guy thinks he can be placated with a single bottle after they drunk all the rest of the sake.

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what is なりゃしね ? –  Flaw Jan 2 '12 at 14:47
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@Flaw なりゃしねー = なりはしない = ならない with added emphasis on negative. –  Hyperworm Jan 2 '12 at 15:58
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I'm not sure if there are other contributing factors but just in the first two panels these are present:

  • おれ

  • 尽くしちまった (Contracted ~てしまう)

  • すまん (Very short version of すみません)

  • よかったらやる

I think those in bold may be rude.

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So the actual act of offering him a drink wasn't rude, he was offended just because informal Japanese was being used? –  language hacker Jan 2 '12 at 5:11
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@languagehacker: I don't think you should think of the informal language as being rude in its own right, more as a symptom of the rudeness. Perhaps fefe's answer is closest to the truth. The pirate is a very rough character - when he asked for the wine, the other guy didn't apologise, but instead told him something to the tune of "nah mate, none left" (or translate this into your favourite 'rough' English dialect) and smirked. If I got treated like that I think I'd be annoyed too! The informal Japanese is kind of a way of saying "I know how I'm acting and I don't care, I can do what I like". –  Billy Jan 4 '12 at 11:12
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