In a manga, a girl is thinking about the boxing career of his boyfriend, who has recently won a match against a well-known boxer:


I think the general meaning of the sentence is roughly that things will now get serious for him in boxing, but what is the exact meaning? I know 向き合う means "to face", especially with negative situation, but how should I interpret 真っすぐ here? Is it similar to "まじめに"? My (non-literal) attempt:

I don't know why, but I have the feeling that Riku will have to commit himself more seriously to boxing...

Thank you for your help!

2 Answers 2


I would say that your understanding looks good. 「真{ま}っすぐ」 , in this context, would mean "seriously", "wholeheartedly", "with determination", etc.

The girl is saying, in essence, that the boy should now really take the bull by the horns regarding boxing.


向き合う means to face with each other.
真っ直ぐ means (perfectly) straight.

As for our behavior, 向く or 向ける is to point the face or the front of the body in one direction.
向き合う means the situation where both your behavior of 向く or 向ける and the state in which the opponent in that direction faces you occurs at the same time.
Usually the opponent is a person, but it could be a target you're aiming at or you want achieve. In the sentence given by the questioner, the opponent is "boxing" itself.
When the opponent is not a person, the target never faces you, but we use this expression anthropomorphically.

In general, it is scary to look at the eyes of the opponent, so we tend to look away from the opponent. "真っ直ぐ" in "真っ直ぐ向き合う" means to look at the opponent's eyes straight. Therefore, the interpretation with "まじめに seriously" for "真っ直ぐ" is correct.

  • 1
    「向き合う」は、人間が対象の場合でも物理的に目と目が合うように正対するという意味で使うことは多くないです(「不登校の子供と向き合う」)。逆に非生物が対象でもそれと互いに "face" することは可能です(「壁に向き合って座る」)。上記のニュアンスはひっくるめて "face" という一語で表現可能です。別に擬人化の要素はないと思いますが。
    – naruto
    Mar 8, 2018 at 3:00

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