I was watching an anime series called Steins;Gate today. In episode 9 (around six minutes in), one of the characters proposes physically travelling through time:


The other characters pause for a moment (because it's so ridiculous) and then they ignore him:


In response to being ignored, he pulls out his phone and dramatically pretends to talk to someone on the phone for a moment:

凶真「俺だ! 機関によるラボ内の切り崩し工作が始まったようだ。この鳳凰院凶真の言葉が、ラボメンの心に届かないのだ」

And his friend replies:


I understand that スルーする is slang for ignoring someone (from through), but I can't figure out how to make sense of 華麗に modifying it. How exactly are they ignoring him?

明鏡国語辞典 defines 華麗 as 「はなやかで美しいこと」, but it doesn't really make sense to me here.

  • 1
    Hint: Imagery that J-speakers get upon hearing the phrase スルーする. I think you may be kinda stuck with the TRANSLATED word "ignore", which is probably not giving you an image of a person physically moving. If that were the case, you would not be able to mentally just let 華麗に modify "ignore", which is why this is an excellent question. – l'électeur Sep 20 '14 at 14:29
  • 1
    That would mean "moving through beautifully." Kind of like "moving on swiftly" in English. Or 完璧に無視する? Elevating the skill of pretending not to have heard something/someone to an art? – yu_ominae Sep 20 '14 at 16:24

The Japanese slang スルーする has significantly positive nuance by itself, compared to Japanese 無視する. People who are good at net slang consider it to be something difficult to master. There is even a word スルー力【りょく】 or スルースキル, which is the important skill to survive the information era.

This is not surprising, because スルーする was probably derived from succor jargon スルーパス, which is another 和製英語, meaning a difficult pass penetrating the defense. You can see an example of typical 華麗なスルーパス at YouTube.

So ever since スルーする was born, 華麗に and スルーする have been used together very frequently. You can safely call "華麗にスルー" a set phrase.

So what is this "art of ignoring?" When can you ignore something nicely? Here are some examples.

A: 掲示板にまた荒らしが現れましたよ。
B: 華麗にスルーしましょう。

In this conversation, B recommends that A should not respond to the troll. He knows that ignoring a troll is sometimes difficult, but B expects A to exercise his "skill of ignoring".

A: あー、のどが渇いた。
B: 冷蔵庫に昨日のカレーが入ってるよ。
A: コンビニでお水買ってくるね。
B: うわ、華麗にスルーされた(笑)!

In this case, A could have directly responded to B's joke by saying 「カレーは飲みものじゃない!」, but didn't. Intentionally ignoring B's joke made B laugh instead. (Such "gag by ignoring gag" is sometimes referred to as ボケ殺し, and certainly is technical if done intentionally)


This is a sarcastic usage of 華麗にスルー. This 華麗に emphasizes his surprise that his advice was totally ignored.


This is naturally-sounding (though slangy) to me, and I believe no one would question "どこが華麗なんだ?". But now I think this 華麗に means almost nothing any more. Because 華麗にスルー is a set phrase, such things can happen. If I must, I would translate this 華麗に as "dare".

In the example of Steins;Gate, if 凶真 had said 物理的タイムトラベル jokingly, my second example would be the closest. But I think he said this rather seriously, so "because スルー is frequently used with 華麗に" would be the only explanation.

(PS. Steins;Gate面白いですよね)


First, one would need to understand the fact that "to ignore" is not the primary meaning of 「スルーする」 and that it is a secondary and slang meaning of the phrase. It is also a rather "new" meaning as well. The primary meaning of 「スルーする」 is 「[素通]{すどお}りする」, which means "to pass something without dropping by". You just keep on walking, driving, etc. without stopping. I am sure that you could easily see how the new slang meaning of "to ignore" was derived from that.

This is why we have an imagery of a person walking on by without paying attention to the things as he passes them. If you could imagine a person physically moving, you could then describe the action with an adverb like 「[華麗]{かれい}に」. 華麗に/華麗な can be used only to describe something physical. "One passed by just beautifully and completely."

What I was implying in my comment above is "Would the word "to ignore" allow you to have that imagery?" I thought not, which would explain why 「華麗にスルーする」 makes no sense to you but it makes perfect sense to Japanese-speakers. They ignored the guy through and through.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.