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I've heard the following exchange between two characters, where B agrees to do something dangerous that she previously was dead-set against but chooses to do so now of her own volition:

A:「いいんですね?」

B:「構いません…」 <pauses for a couple of seconds, then looks even more decided>

B:「いいえ、構わない。この子は絶対に無事に地球へ返す。その為に必要なの。」

If it were just simple emphasis, B could just have repeated the first form with two different vocal/facial expressions, but the fact that there are two distinct forms of 構う makes me think that there's a fundamental subtext that I'm missing, other than one being a more "polite" form. Can someone enlighten me?


EDIT: Added some more context, though I'm not sure how much is enough. B is ヴィヴィ, and A is マツモト, from Episode 3 of ヴィヴィ -フローライトアイズソング-, around 7:45 (hopefully the timestamp is consistent between streaming platforms).

She generally uses a respectful tone, is very mindful of others, and almost always uses polite forms e.g. 〜ます, as well as expressions like させて頂きます / auxilliary verbs like おります that I associate with polite speech (is that 敬語?). The switch to a less formal expression is very sudden and coincides with a big decision on her part.

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    Do you know what 敬語 is and the different polite levels of Japanese? As for why B uses 敬語 and then changes to ため口, there is a million possibilities and we can't answer that without proper context. Context please. – Eddie Kal Apr 18 at 21:19
  • Maybe the second one is more said to herself, hence it being informal – OtheJared Apr 18 at 23:28
  • No, I can't say I really know how to interpret 敬語 yet. I'm aware it exists and I can generally understand the meaning, but I don't know the nuances at all, or how to use it properly. I will try to add more context around my excerpt! – F.X. Apr 19 at 17:06
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Without proper context, it is difficult to say, but it seems to me that a female character B said in her normal formal way "構いません" for the first time, but after reflecting (represented by the use of ...) on something dangerous she was going to do, she said again the same thing by using informal or impolite or manly phrase "構わない", in order to get it compatible with something dangerous or evil, or to express her strong decision or will.

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  • Thank you, I think I get a rough idea! I added a bit of context in the original question, does that help? Do you have more examples of the same nuances between two forms like these that don't equate to more/less polite? – F.X. Apr 19 at 18:55

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