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I was trying to translate something, and I came across this phrase:

幼女の瞳は百万ボルト

..."A young girl's pupils are 1,000,000 volts"? (That is right, correct? 100*10,000...) Anyways, this made no sense, so I tried to search it up, and found this comic strip from Doraemon, titled "百万ボルトひとみ." enter image description here I personally am having a hard time understanding the comic, because it is very informal. Here is my attempt at its meaning:

Although I don't even have a face worth any fascination...

What you doin'?

My ugly face, why is it ugly!? * Jab, Slap, Hit *

(?) Well now, having these, what kind of loser would carry?

(?) Even for you...

I know what visual joke the comic is making, but I can not understand what Nobi is saying that leads to the punchline. Regardless of this, I have no idea why the comic is called 百万ボルト, and why they are using volts to describe pupils. Can anyone provide insight to this?

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  • It may be in reference to this song from the 1970s: ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/君のひとみは10000ボルト
    – aguijonazo
    Jan 19 at 2:54
  • @aguijonazo Oh. Well....why volts?
    – BigRigz
    Jan 19 at 2:57
  • You would have to ask Shiseido.
    – aguijonazo
    Jan 19 at 2:57
  • Its probably poetic love "trash." If we say キラキラの目, then what powers all that light? (笑)Anyways, I still want to understand why this comic in particular felt a need to reference it.
    – BigRigz
    Jan 19 at 2:59
  • Often love at first sight is described as if hit by a lightning. 百万ボルト considers the eyes as the source of lightning.
    – sundowner
    Jan 19 at 4:15

1 Answer 1

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First, there was a song called "君のひとみは10000ボルト" --- your eyes are 10k volts. Wikipedia says it was often mistaken as 100万ボルト,probably because it's more catchy and as smooth to pronounce as the original. I'm not sure how trustworthy wikipedia is in this regard, but I wasn't sure it was 1万 or 100万 until I looked up to write this answer.

The idea is, I guess, imagine your eyes meet those of someone you care for (or imagine love at a first sight). Everything in you reacts, instantly. Your heart pounds, your mind filled with emotion. That's like a lightning or electrical shock with huge voltage. So strong, be it 一万, or 百万 volts. The number is arbitrary, but if I were to choose, 100V is what electrical taps provide, 1000V sounds weak, 一億 V sounds rather silly.

I'm younger than the generation but still know the song, and this reference to voltage in the eye, especially 1万 or 100万 is alive elsewhere. Your "幼女の瞳は百万ボルト" would be an example. 百万ボルトひとみ is a ひみつ道具 (tool? invention?) from Draemon, which apparently is also an example. The story in the anime version is described in the official website.

For the comic strip, read it like this. (The translation is rough and cumbersome but I guess it gives you the idea)

  1. Nobi is staring into the mirror.
  2. Doraemon: "Your face is not that good, enough for you to look at fascinated." "What are you doing?" (= "What are you doing? You aren't surely admiring your face because you don't look that good").
  3. Nobi: (Reacting to Dora's critisism to his looking) "Why is it bad having a bad (=ugly) face!?" (= "What's wrong if I looked ugly!")
  4. Dora: "Well, if you have these, any man however hopeless will be popular among girls". (もてる here has a special meaning) "Even you".

I don't think 幼女の瞳は百万ボルト and this comic strip are connected: they just stems from the same song.

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  • Keep forgetting I have to translate backwards for Japanese I do not understand. Thank you.
    – BigRigz
    Jan 20 at 17:52

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