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I just read a fighting manga where 2 characters fight after years. For context the 1st character is much older than the second (about 15 year gap). The second character is about 22 years old at this point. That older character said this line.

あんたがこんなにたくましかったなんて.

こんなことならさっさと襲っちゃえば良かったかな....なんて

I understood the 1st line as "How the hell did you get this strong?" or like "To think you'd get this strong." Please correct me If I'm wrong.

The second line is what I have trouble with. My guesswork understanding would be "It would've been good if you had attacked me earlier." But can さっさと function as earlier? I've only so far heard it as "hurry up" and only used it by itself.

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Yes, さっさと can denote "earlier" or "sooner". In this case, it could translate to something like "shouldn't have waited (this long) to (...)". You could also think of it like "should've hurried up and (...)".

And I would assume the speaker is referring to himself. Something like "(If I had known) maybe I should've just assaulted you when I still had the chance... heh, just kidding". The 襲う ("assault") and かな……なんて make it seem extremely unlikely that he would be referring to the other party.

And as in English, 襲う can refer to sexual assault as well (or just 'making a move', like kissing or hugging, but I find such a mild connotation unlikely in this case). Since it's a battle manga, he could have just meant it literally though, depending on the larger context.

  • thanks. I think the innuendo might be intentional. – Brooky8 May 14 at 21:40
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The speaker is regretting about something in the past (years ago).

あんたがこんなにたくましかったなんて。
I never thought you were sturdy like this!

こんなことならさっさと襲っちゃえば良かったかな....なんて
If I had known this was going to happen, maybe I should've hit on you without hesitating... just kidding!

  • See this for the first なんて, and this for the second one.
  • こんなことなら literally means "if it's a thing like this", or "if this were to happen". It's a common set phrase of regret.
  • さっさと means "without delay/waiting/hesitating", but since he is referring to his past, you could use "earlier" in this context. It implies the speaker had had an "interest" to the other person for a long time.
  • 襲う used like this usually has a sexual meaning (it's somewhere between seduction and rape, depending on the context). Its subject is the speaker.
  • かな is "I guess", "maybe", etc.
  • I'm puzzled by your comment that "襲う used like this usually has a sexual meaning," as 1) the OP specifies that the dialogue takes place either during or just after a physical fight, 2) my go-to dictionary (大辞林) does not seem to suggest that 襲う usually has a sexual meaning, and 3) I feel certain that I've encountered many usages of 襲う referring to non-sexual assaults. Is there something in the quoted text that indicates a sexual meaning is intended here, and if so, what is it? To be clear, I'm not disputing your explanation at all, just asking how you picked up on a connotation that I missed. – Nanigashi May 14 at 22:27
  • @Nanigashi I should've mentioned this, but the main reason is that this speaker seems to be using feminine (or stereotyped オネエ) speech. – naruto May 15 at 4:03
  • That's very interesting – and something else that I missed, not being at all acquainted with the conventions of manga and anime. Thanks for the information and the link. – Nanigashi May 15 at 15:48

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