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In the manga and light novel series, A Certain Scientific Railgun and A Certain Magical Index there are some in-series technical terms that have English epithet attached to them, such as Level Upper (幻想御手{レベルアッパー}) and Bust Upper (巨乳御手{バストアッパー}).

Although they say アッパー, they're both written with the kanji 御手, which literally means "hand." Why is 御手 used in this context? Does it have any meaning beyond just "hand"?

  • A lot of the English titles in the series don't correspond to the Japanese titles. For an example, Uiharu has the epithet "Goalkeeper" ([守護神]{ゴールキーパー}), with the Japanese part meaning "Guardian Deity." In no way does "Goalkeeper" have any relation to "Guardian Deity." – クールレーザー Oct 7 '15 at 11:47
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    @ʞɹɐzǝɹ - True, but they both relate to Uiharu's job to protect Academy City's computer systems, as a Guard, and someone who "Keeps people from their Goals" ... Bust Hand and Level Hand aren't as obvious... ... Also, Accelerator's One-Way-Road refers to how he only gives things One Way to go, his way. – Malady Oct 7 '15 at 13:11
  • You're basing all this purely on conjecture. Uiharu's epithet is something given to her by others in the hacker community. It's not her job to "Academy City's computer systems." Accelerator's skill does more than make things go one way. Furthermore, "御手" likely refers to a hand other than your own. Likely referring to it as a helping hand of sorts, but I'm unsure. – クールレーザー Oct 7 '15 at 21:00
  • @ʞɹɐzǝɹ - Oh. Yes, I should base my ideas on cited evidence... What you say is true... I thought the "helping hand" idea might be the right one, but I don't know enough about Japanese Language and stuff to be sure. – Malady Oct 7 '15 at 23:04
  • If you're looking for an answer in context to the language, this is a better question for Japanese.SE – クールレーザー Oct 7 '15 at 23:06
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It is not uncommon for Japanese popular media to use double meanings, by writing the word in Japanese with one meaning and then giving it an English pronunciation with a different meaning.

Simply put, in the light novel series you are talking about, there is a character called "Accelerator" which is written as 「一方通行」 which is an expression used on traffic signs to refer to a one way street.

The name Accelerator alludes to the character's ability to be able to move the vectors in order to accelerate himself, while 一方通行 expresses that his power is like a one way street, because he can always change the direction.

Specifically regarding, 御手, it is used because most of the powers' names in the series are 4 characters long. In this context, 御手 has little to do with an actual hand, and more to do with an "ability", since a person's ability can also be said as their "hand" in Japanese.

Also, 巨乳 is not just a bust, but specifically a BIG bust.

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  • And of course the name of the anime itself has 禁書目録{インデックス} rather than 禁書目録{きんしょもくろく}. It's very much the style of whoever writes the book who chooses that this is an effective way of using language. – sqrtbottle Nov 20 '15 at 22:15
  • This answers something I was wondering about: which meaning of "bust" was referred to. – Andrew Grimm Dec 20 '15 at 0:54

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