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In a manga called Samurai Drive, Makio and Ren are best friends. They always fight together and Ren often protects Makio. Now Ren has just died during a battle, so Makio says:

なあ恋【れん】 俺はお前に幾度となく助けられたけど その度いつも [その場所]{・・・・}あけて 待っててくれたろ だから 俺にも 最後まで俺の場所守らせてくれよ

What is the meaning of その場所あけて in this context? In the dictionary I found that 場所をあける means "to make room, clear space", but I don't understand how it could fit the context. Since it is emphasized by dots, does it mean it has to be interpreted in a metaphorical way? Here you can see the whole page. Thank you for your help!

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The biggest hint is in the picture. その場所 is clearly illustrated in the same frame.

Circle

This circle next to Ren is not a meaningless visual effect :) So this その場所 refers to お前の隣, or the place next to Ren. Of course it indirectly refers to the position as Ren's best friend, too, where Makio could feel comfortable and secured. あけて is the te-form of 空ける meaning "to make/keep (room)".

This その場所 comes with dots simply because the author knew it's a tricky part that needs special attention to interpret. Even a native speaker takes a few seconds to notice that その場所 refers to this position, and this small trick makes this frame dramatic.

  • Thank you for your answer! So it could be translated as "every time you would make room next to you and wait for me"? – Marco Sep 24 '18 at 16:31
  • @Marco Yes, that's the correct interpretation, but I don't know if it's good to actually translate as "next to you" because it would be spoiling the "trick"... – naruto Sep 24 '18 at 16:34
  • Thank you for the suggestion. One more doubt: in the next sentence, when he says 「俺の場所」 is he referring to himself or to the place next to him? Note that, as you can see at the top of the page, he is holding his dead friend with his arm while fighting. – Marco Sep 24 '18 at 16:51
  • I can't see that scene, but 俺の場所 is of course his own 場所, not the place next to him. I guess 場所 in a scene like this most likely refers to his "comfort zone" or his social status, but I need more context. – naruto Sep 24 '18 at 17:28

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