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I encountered this section in a manga but am unable to determine exactly what is meant by「あうあう!」

Image

I have 2 possible interpretations:

  1. It's just being said as affirmation, which is corroborated by this link. This seems to make the most sense to me, though I can't seem to find any other instances of this usage on the internet.
  2. They're saying「会う会う!」, as a suggestion to have a meeting and discuss? Though it only barely makes sense...

I'm wondering which of the above interpretation, if any, is correct, and if it is in fact the first interpretation, how common is this usage as a replacement for something like 「うん、うん」?

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  • Do you have any more context? It seems to me someone is talking from outside of the box, so seeing who is in the scene would help. Also the name of the manga wouldn't hurt. – Jimmy Mar 4 at 21:47
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    Manga is Gun x Clover, and it's actually just the girl's multiple personalities talking in her head. Which personality speaks each line is not shown. There is a personality who's supposed to be sort of mentally 6 years old, so going by @naruto's answer, it must be her who's saying it. – Axiaz Mar 5 at 2:34
  • Ah OK. Then that removes any other ideas I had. Thanks for clearing things up. – Jimmy Mar 5 at 6:25
  • @Axiaz Oh, that's why I felt there were five different people (personalities) speaking in this page even though only one character is depicted! – naruto Mar 5 at 7:45
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あう(あう) is normally regarded as an interjection said when someone feels embarrassed, sad, nervous, confused, or mentally hurt. It's like "uh-oh", "what should I say" or "oh no". It's typically used by a kawaii or childlike character in fiction. Watch this video for the typical image of あうあう. Is there someone like this in this scene? It appears to me that someone started to feel nervous and unconfident after hearing むしろ今日やるべきだ.

As far as I know, あうあう never means "yup", so you should not believe that Chiebukuro question (perhaps the answerer mixed up this with あいあい, which can mean "yup" or "alright"?).

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  • Was this invented (or maybe just popularized) by Higurashi/ひぐらし? I didn't know it was used outside that. – flowsnake Mar 4 at 12:45
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    @flowsnake I personally don't know ひぐらし, but I do know this type of あうあう well. はう is roughly the same and is equally common. – naruto Mar 4 at 12:47
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    @flowsnake It was the first thing that I thought when I read the question. – Mycroft Mar 5 at 0:14

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