The lyric says:

オレはこいつと 旅に出る

I wonder what オレ means. Is it a different way to write: "俺"?


3 Answers 3


オレ, おれ and 俺 are used by males and mean “I” or “me”. Their meanings are same but their nuances are different.

Whether オレ, おれ or 俺 is used depends on the speaker’s or the author’s preference.

The lyricist of the song could have written it in other ways like so:


But he chose オレはこいつと, maybe because it fits the character's personality and the song.

A character using オレ is generally a boy, a young man or an internally young man. Sometimes オレ expresses the boy’s active personality, or sometimes オレ expresses the boy’s casualness (e.g. The boy’s attitude is always somewhat casual, almost never completely formal.)

The characteristics of characters using 俺 or おれ are diverse.

A character using 俺 is generally older or more intelligent or more something than a character using オレ but there are many exceptions. A character related to Japanese traditional culture tends to use 俺 rather than オレ.

Many authors tend to use オレ rather than おれ to write a character’s line when 俺 is not an option, because オレ is katakana so it makes distinguishing the word from other hiragana words easier. For example,

「さっきおれのこと呼んだ?」(Did you call me a while ago?)


さっきオレのこと is a bit easier to read. But it wears the word オレ’s nuance, so if the nuance doesn’t fit the character's personality or situation, the author won’t use オレ in the character’s line.

Some authors have their special policy to use おれ, オレ or 俺. In that case, the word おれ, オレ, or 俺 may express the special nuance.

For example, a lot of male characters in a popular manga One Piece use おれ. The author of the manga, Eiichiro Oda (尾田栄一郎), answered a fan’s question why he uses おれ rather than 俺 or オレ. What he said is that hiragana おれ makes him feel a belief. The following is his exact words.

(『ONE PIECE 巻五十二』第503話後の質問コーナーSBSより抜粋)

Therefore, each of オレ, おれ, and 俺 has its general nuance expressing the speaker’s characteristics, but in some cases it can also have a special nuance which the author or the speaker intends, although they have the same meaning “I” or “me”.


It is as you think but while it may be a different way to write it is orthographically non-standard. Let's also the following facts in the ポケットモンスター case:

  • In manga and anime it is pretty common to find words written in katakana and it's done to give a mere distinctive tone to the aesthetics of the work.
  • Kana in its entirety is learned by youngsters first which are(supposedly) the target market of the franchise, in fact, you can see the Pokemon games' script is written in kana when Japanese language is set.
  • 7
    I don't think there's anything grammatically incorrect about it. It's merely a stylistic choice; like writing something in bold in English.
    – user1624
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 20:08
  • I second Ciaran on this. My question would be, who decided it was ungrammatical to write it that way, and on what authority? A lot of people do it. (I am a descriptivist.) The worst we could say is that it is orthographically non-standard.
    – Nick O.
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 23:49
  • There you go descriptivist.
    – Ruri
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 23:53
  • It's not orthographically non-standard at all. Lots of games, not just ones for children, will write words in katakana if they're meant to be emphasized or "stick out" in some way.
    – Kurausukun
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 3:50
  • It's written in katakana because katakana is more edgy Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 18:42

"オレは" = I (nominative case)
"オレ" = me (objective case)

"俺" is pronounced "オレ" in Katakana, Japanese.

  • 2
    俺 on its own is simply a first-person pronoun. Japanese marks case via clitics, and the が clitic marks nominative case. Sometimes we speak of an oblique case in the context of certain languages to speak of a case that takes both adpositions and and direct objects, but as far as I know never an objective case. At any rate, the Japanese accusative is marked by を. Finally, は actually marks the topic; it puts a word in the topical case.
    – Angelos
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 20:10
  • Except that は is not a case marker, and Japanese has no topical case.
    – user1478
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 3:19
  • @snailplane Sorry, can you explain further?
    – Angelos
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 3:42
  • 4
    @Nothingatall は is a 係助詞 (or depending on the framework, 取り立て助詞 or 副助詞), not a 格助詞 'case particle'. Case particles show syntactic relationships, while は shows a non-syntactic relationship.
    – user1478
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 4:44

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