I'm very new to Japanese I'd like to apologize now for any glaring mistakes up front.

Revisiting Astro boy, I've noticed that Atom is very rarely called by any kind of honorific, just アトム. The only instance I could find was him being called アトムくん by his teacher, is it because he's a robot?

  • 1
    I'm not super familiar with Astro Boy, but most of the people he talks to are his creator and the villains, right? His creator is basically his father, and it's very common for parents not to use honorifics with their children; meanwhile the villains would see no need to show him any respect.
    – Angelos
    Apr 1 '20 at 2:29
  • For the most part that's true, but even people he meets and interacts with formally don't seem to use them pretty frequently.
    – Red
    Apr 1 '20 at 3:00

The fact that he is a robot is not important.

  • Close friends and family members do not use くん/さん at all when they call one another.
  • At classrooms, English-based names may resist くん/さん earlier because everyone knows it's not used outside Japan.
  • Generally, mass media do not use くん/さん to address a celebrity, active sport player, etc (there are complicated house rules). Ordinary people do not use くん/さん when they refer to them.

アトムくん is a perfectly valid option to those who work with Atom in a businesslike manner, like his teacher.


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