[copied from Anime SE at moderator's suggestion]

There is a 2008 anime-original series called Net Ghost PiPoPa. (For some reason, the version streaming on Crunchyroll is called "Web Ghosts PiPoPa", but the Hepburn is Netto Gōsuto Pipopa. Thus I'll stick with the name given by MyAnimeList and the English Wikipedia.) It is a kid show about a boy (Yuta) getting trapped in the Internet.

Anyway, Yuta meets three friends, Pit, Pot, and Pat (pronounced pitto, potto, and patto). They are web ghosts and live there. From their very first meeting, Yuta refers to them as a single entity PiPoPa. The Wikipedia entry refers to this name as "an onomatopoeia of computer beeps". 😐 Is concatenating three alliterative names like that something a Japanese child might do? It strikes me as very odd, not to mention naming the three obviously separate individuals as one entity. They also make it clear that they do not like being called "PiPoPa".

series poster

1 Answer 1


Japanese love both onomatopoeia and abbreviating things. If Takase and Nakamura were on the same team, you might call that the 'Takamura Team', or something similar. A little cheesy, but not unheard of. The name of a popular beverage producer, 小岩井 (Koiwai) comes from the names of three men: Mr. Ono, Mr. Iwasaki, and Mr. Inoue. The fact the PiPoPa sounds like computer noises just makes it even kitchier.

  • 1
    For clarity: the ko in KoiwaI comes from the first kanji in the surname Ono = 小野 in kanji, with 小 also read as ko in different contexts. Jan 14, 2018 at 7:32
  • I definitely could have been clearer. Thanks, Eiríkr!
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 14, 2018 at 8:00
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    @RichF this abbreviation habit extends to many aspects of public life in Japan, e.g. Kanji abbreviation of railway lines.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 14, 2018 at 8:01
  • Thanks. Now I understand the reason the name might have been made. Still, in real life, it would be rude to refer to the people face-to-face by their merged nickname, right? I mean, if Takase and Nakamura were right in front of a Japanese me, would I actually be using "Takamura" as their name, instead of each individually? Or is it a natural substitute for the reference, "you guys"? // BTW, same thing happens in American pop culture -- Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were referred to as "Brangelina".
    – RichF
    Jan 14, 2018 at 17:40
  • And the Japanese call Brad Pitt ブラピ, which is considered an affectionate nickname. Whether you can mess with someone else's name really depends on your station relative to them and your distance/closeness to them.
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 14, 2018 at 20:45

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