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What is the meaning of 味を増した in the following sentence? Context: Two boxers meet after a long time, but Boxer A isn't in a good mood because is worried about his imminent qualifying match. So Boxer B has the following thoughts (I divided the sentence as it is in the manga):

せっかくの再会なのに残念 / そんなに思い詰める程ヤバイ相手なんだ… / より 味を増したキミでも?

My rough translation of it would be What a shame, now that we met again. Did he get an opponent even stronger than him?, but I don't understand the exact meaning of 味を増した. I am also not sure about より being a comparative there, it is strangely placed in the sentence and there's a little space after it. Thank you for your help!

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Fermented food like natto, miso and cheese will gain stronger taste and smell over time. 味が増す (literally "taste increases") figuratively refers to this phenomenon. It means to grow old but experienced and mature as a veteran. より is simply "more" here (see: Use of より in this sentence). For example 年齢を重ねてより味が増した俳優 refers to a good-looking middle-aged actor.

  • Thank you for your answer. So it could be translated as "Is he worried because he got a strong opponent more experienced even than him?" ? – Marco Jul 4 '17 at 0:46
  • @Marco 味を増した modifies キミ. "Even an experienced veteran boxer like you are worried?" – naruto Jul 4 '17 at 0:49
  • And what does より modify? 味を増した? "a more experienced boxer"? – Marco Jul 4 '17 at 0:55
  • Yes, it directly modifies 味を増した (literally "taste increased more") – naruto Jul 4 '17 at 1:05
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..ヤバイ相手なんだ… / より 味を増したキミでも?

it is strangely placed in the sentence and there's a little space after it.

I think almost all naruto's answer is correct except for the interpretation of the space.
I think the space is inevitable to be read smoothly as the intended meaning.

I'll show you the reason.

"より more" is natural to be used when comparing A and B. For example A is "前/以前のキミ" and B is "今のキミ".

Though the given phrase seems almost meaningful, some words are omitted. If you write it as a complete phrase it would become like:

  1. / 以前より味を増した今のキミでも?

In this case, no space is needed after "より".

If you omit 今 from sentence 1, you will get sentence 2, which is almost the same meaning as sentence 1.

  1. / 以前より味を増したキミでも?

No space is required also in this phrase.

Let's examine the given phrase. If you omit the space from it, it will become as:

  1. / より味を増したキミでも?

Readers might get confused in reading this phrase.
"yorimiを"? "yoriajiを"? What does "より味" mean?

So, the space is inevitable in this abbreviated phrase.

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