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In the anime 神様はじめました the first line of the opening song is 「女の子はじめました」 and -- like the title of the anime -- the last line is 「神様、はじめました」.

I've seen translations like "I've started being a girl/god" and "I've started doing the girl/god thing".

はじめる is a transitive verb so I'm assuming that を is omitted. Even so, I can't make anything sensible out of this. If X (a noun) isn't something that naturally starts in Xをはじめる then is it normal to assume an implied 'doing/being X', or is this just artistic licence from the song writer?

Now that I think about it, I know you can add はじめる to verbs (e.g. 食べはじめる) to say "start doing verb", but I never thought about how to say "start being X". Maybe Xをはじめる is the right thing in this case? If not, how would you say "start being a god", for example?

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  • To be clear, when I say "if X isn't something that naturally starts..." I mean, for example, a lesson naturally starts but a chair does not. Feb 20 at 22:44
  • Since Xである means "to be X", you can use Xであり始める to mean "to start being X".
    – Arfrever
    Feb 20 at 23:49
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    In general, if the verb is the transitive side of a Vi-Vt pair, as unnatural as the noun may be as an object, the omitted particle is still assumed to be を first, unless the context strongly suggests the noun is the subject and some object is omitted. They relied on this implicit agreement about precedence between particles for a humorous effect.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 21 at 3:59
  • @Arfrever - Technically yes, but only technically.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 21 at 4:01
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    @Arfrever - You can always choose to put being technically correct before being idiomatic. Language allows such freedom. But 神様であり始めました and 女の子であり始めました are practically impossible. That’s unless you intend a different kind of comical effect, which will probably get lost anyway.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 21 at 5:15

2 Answers 2

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Xはじめました is widely recognized as a clichéd marketing phrase used to inform restaurant visitors about a new menu item, especially 冷やし中華. Below is a screenshot of an image search for just はじめました:

enter image description here

So this is more of a template phrase (snowclone) in the form of "Now Serving: X". 神様はじめました, 女の子はじめました and so on may look strange if interpreted not as a parody but purely as an ordinary sentence, but they are intentionally designed to be eye-catching. The closer X is related to a service that can be "offered", the more naturally Xはじめました would sound. Nouns unrelated to services, such as 女の子 and 神様, will make it look more like a parody or a wordplay.

I never thought about how to say "start being X". Maybe Xをはじめる is the right thing in this case?

You can simply say "これからはXだ", "明日からXになる", "Xとして働き始める" and so on. It's usually wrong to say X(を)はじめる, though it might pass as a joke if you're lucky.

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Generally "start being X" with a noun X would be simply Xになる. The usage like 神様はじめました can be considered as an irregularity limited to manga/anime.

When you start something that can be naturally an object of 始める, it is simple:

  • 授業を始めました
  • 仕事を始めました

It is reasonable to think that を is omitted in 神様はじめました, but it won't happen so often (mainly because omission sounds slangy, which does not fit with ました).

As for 神様, it is felt like a type of job. 弁護士を始めました could mean you started working as an independent lawyer1. Likewise, 神様はじめました sounds like From today, I started working as a god. (I don't know the manga/anime, so working may not be the right word; anyway it sounds like the character started to hold the title of god).


There is a typical announcement 冷{ひ}やし中華{ちゅうか}始めました. It is a dish (typically) served only seasonally (usually summer-ish period), and restaurants put signs saying the above, meaning "We started serving 冷やし中華".

I guess this works kind of like a meme, and there are many light novel titles Xはじめました. Just by searching 'ラノベ はじめました', you can find several instances.

  • 高1ですが異世界で城主はじめました
  • 魔王軍の軍師はじめました
  • ダンジョンの管理人はじめました
  • いつでも自宅に帰れる俺は、異世界で行商人をはじめました

Note all are kind of jobs. The last one includes 行商人 explicitly.


1 Not belonging to a large firm; To be clear: getting the license of lawyer and starting working as one would be simply 弁護士になりました. And starting working independently would be more commonly (弁護士として)独立しました.

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  • That reminds me of the iconic 俺は人間をやめるぞ、ジョジョ! from Jotaro. 人間をやめる is like exact opposite of 人間を始める, which, like the OP said, you can start/end a lesson but you can't start/end a human. Here the same structure is used to mean to stop being a human.
    – dvx2718
    Feb 21 at 1:43
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    @dvx2718 Yeah, but やめる is more natural generally. 学生をやめる is just leaving school; but 学生を始める is not idiomatic. On the other hand, something like shop can be fine: both パン屋を始める/やめる are ok.
    – sundowner
    Feb 21 at 5:20

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