There is one use of 絶対 that keeps confusing me. I can easily understand 絶対零度 since it refers to temperature, something that is clearly measurable. 絶対絶望 is a little more abstract, but seeing it as the worst kind of despair possible seems logical enough.

But then there is stuff like the song 絶対彼女 by 大森靖子, or the anime series 絶対少年. What am I supposed to imagine when I hear that? A direct translation, "absolute boy", doesn't make much sense to me. Is it meant to convey a sense of pureness or what?

I know there is already a question about 絶対領域, but the responses there talk more about the origin of the phrase, and I feel like they don't quite answer my question about the core meaning of 絶対 as it is used in the term.


1 Answer 1


絶対 is just another way of saying "greatest", "supreme" or "beyond comparison" in some fictional works. For example in Dragon Ball, 絶対神 is used to mean "greatest god" or "god of gods". The etymology of 絶対領域 is known and is clearly described here. This 絶対 means 無敵 ("invincible") or "more wonderful than any other moe traits" at least to the person who named it. Before 2001 there was no word to refer to this "territory", and the word soon become popular along with the character (まゆら) herself. Anyway this meaning should be easy.

Regarding 絶対彼女 and 絶対少年, these are atypical and confusing usages of 絶対. From what I could google, obviously these 絶対 don't mean "supreme". As for 絶対彼女, judging from the lyrics it seems to mean "I am decidedly your girlfriend". As for 絶対少年, to me it just seems to mean "This story is absolutely about boys" even after reading about the anime on Wikipedia. It's confusing, and I've seen on the net a few people who also feel this title is weird. In these two cases I think 絶対 was intentionally chosen to puzzle the audience by making the title eye-catching.

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