I saw a scan of an official manga that's to be released, however the first speech bubble's grammar confused me. Image scan here.

I am unsure if it is to be read as:

1) 水も滴るイイ男!!

or as

2) 水も滴る。イイ男!!

(1) makes question if a construction allows for a relative clause to modify a noun which is already modified by an adjective. Perhaps this is exclusive to colloquial Japanese? (2) seems unlikely due to the stylistic choice of katakana before 「男」, but makes more sense to me.

However, this may all be due to me misinterpreting how vertical Japanese is meant to be read?

2 Answers 2


First, 水も滴るいい男/女 is an idiomatic expression.

Grammatically speaking, 水も滴る modifies イイ男 as a relative clause. A noun can safely take more than one modifiers. One noun can be even modified by two relative clauses simultaneously, directly or indirectly (see the last part of this answer for examples).

By the way, if I simplified this phrase a bit, does 水が滴る男 make sense to you? If not, this is called a head-less relative clause, which is explained in detail in this answer. This is not limited to colloquial Japanese.


In fact, this is an idiom meaning approximately "extremely good-looking/hansdsome [man]". and definitely should read like 1). The literal meaning seems to be "so [good-looking] that [he's] dripping [with beauty], like water".

Grammatically it's indeed a verb modifying a noun modified by an adjective, but I think such constructions are actually pretty common in Japanese. E.g. from Tatoeba

She had bright black eyes.

I'm sure you can find many more such examples.

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