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I'd heard that the 「(名詞)ね」form was sometimes used by male speakers before, and I've been reminded by something in Dragon Quest IX. There is a character late in the game known as 大賢者, and while they're a book and so their gender is hard to determine, they mostly sound slightly masculine. Here are their lines when you meet them.

ねむねむ……。賢者は 高級呪文を使いこなす聖者だよ……。修業をつめば神の使いの能力にも 目覚めるかもね……。 グーグー。ドルマ系とか ザオリクとか マダンテとか……。賢者にしか使えない 呪文は多いよ……。う~ん……。ねむねむ……。ボクは大賢者。名前はないよ。キミ 賢者になれるけど なってみる?キミのチカラを 見せてくれたらすぐにでも……。グーグー。……ああ ごめんね。しゃべると 眠くなるんだ。これをやったら 賢者にしてあげる。ええとね トロルキングに 5回 メラで とどめをさしてきて。どうする やってみる?

>うける

ああ……やっぱやるのね。じゃあ ボク ねるからさ。用が済んだら……。グーグー。

His speech isn't particularly feminine-sounding in general, except for saying やっぱやるのね when you accept his quest. I'd like to know in more detail about male use of 「(名詞)ね」.

EDIT: Here's the video

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Unlike what textbooks say (which lacked evidence like statistics), in reality, men use (noun)ね, (noun)よ or の。, if not exactly the same as feminine language, especially in New Tokyo dialect, which is the virtual common language. His speech doesn’t sound feminine but just a person from Kanto speaking casually, though that’s to some extent stereotype itself.

Perhaps, people from western Japan could feel unsettled when men speak that way, but I’m not sure myself.

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To me that sounds like a speech pattern used for a young boy in fiction. The use of ボク, ~ね, and to some extent ええとね, as well as the bluntness (use of ~だ) are all common in manga/light novels for an innocent boy-type character to use.

One example is from a video game series I played before: Shin Megami Tensei. In the game, all the enemies (demons) have speech patterns assigned to them, based on their looks and lore. The 少年 (young boy) type sounds just like the character you list.

Your character was probably given that speech pattern to sound innocent. It seems the English version of the game ignored that aspect and focused more on the sleepiness of the book, which makes sense since it's easier to express that with just text than the boy speech pattern.

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  • I think those young boy characters would normally say 「やっぱやるんだね」though – Angelos Feb 14 at 1:24

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