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I've read that あいつ and こいつ can mean "that person over there" or "this person over here", respectively, and also that (at least, as far as I'm aware, for こいつ) they are an impolite way of referring to a person.

In manga I've seen scanlators interpret こいつ in front of another person as "you bastard" or "you bitch"... but also that if referring to a person that they are talking about as あいつ, it gets interpreted as just "that guy" or "that girl".

What scenarios would imply what when using the phrase あいつ and こいつ?

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    Not fully giving an answer, but rather a clue: I think it lends itself to interpretation based on context. If the general feel is of contempt, it might mean something harsh, but it can also be "affectionate," so to speak, as you might say "this rascal" or "that rascal" or something, despite that those words were not spoken. However, the general gist is as you say. – psosuna Aug 7 '18 at 23:06
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あいつ/こいつ/そいつ is blunt and somewhat rough, but that does not necessarily mean it's insulting or derogatory. It can also work as a sign of close and frank relationship with someone. Let me list some situations.

  • It's always rude and insulting if you used it referring to a stranger or someone higher than you.
  • If you're clearly upset, it's closer to "that bastard", "darn you", etc.
  • When you use it to refer to your close friend, it may suggest you can talk to them in an unreserved manner.
  • There is nothing wrong with a father referring to his child with あいつ, although it does sound blunter than あの子.
  • A stereotyped tsundere girl refers to someone she likes with あいつ all the time.
  • What about things like... coworkers (around your rank), or classmates? – Ben Aug 8 '18 at 17:34

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