An excerpt from 時をかける少女. Need help understanding the bold part.


  1. Can I understand ようにも in「ぼんやりのようにも見える」like the regular ように? What's the point of も in ようにも?

  2. Who is the subject for 見える? It is 一夫 right?

  3. Is 和子 the subject for both わからない and 感じられる?

2 Answers 2

  1. The structure of this sentence is:

"On one hand A, on the other hand B" "A, while B"

The し here is used to enumerate two things (in contrast). Particle も usually co-occurs with this し. Some examples:


So you can parse your sentence this way:

"A[Kazuo may look absentminded], while on the other hand B[there are times when he has creepiness (where what he's thinking is unclear)]."

何を考えているかわからない is a relative clause that modifies the noun 気味悪さ.

Related: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/59151/9831

  1. Right.

  2. Purely grammatically speaking, the subject for わからない is (一夫が)何を考えているか, and the subject for 感じられる is 気味悪さ. (The られる in 感じられる here is the spontaneous auxiliary (自発の助動詞) られる. eg. In 完成が待たれる, the subject is 完成.)

    If you ask what the subject is for the English "feel creepy" and "don't know what Kazuo's thinking", then I think you could say it's Kazuko, or generic "you" seen from her standpoint.


The whole phrase in the context of describing both 一夫 and 吾朗, in a literal way, means: "He (一夫) can appear absent-minded and you can't tell what he's thinking, so there are times when he can be percieved as off-putting"

I'll break it down, but first:

1 - Yes, that ようにも is like a regular ように、but it also has the meaning of addition from the も - you are adding up descriptions that fit 一夫. (the narrator is saying that on top of him being a "dreamer type", he's ぼんやり, and you can't tell what he's thinking)

2 - 一夫 is the subject, yes. You can re-arrange the sentence as 一夫はぼんやりのように見える (this sentence alone sounds a bit weird, preferrably you'd preface it with a word implying that it's a frequent thing or not, such as 普通に)

3 - Technically, no, the subject is an undetermined and tacit plural "you". Omitting such pronoun is standard practice in Japanese. 和子 is just the point of view character. (although not the narrator)

For the breaking down of the sentence, both the first and second clauses ("ぼんやりのようにも見えるし" and "なにを考えているかわからない") are connected by the ようにも you asked about and the しparticle, which is used to link clauses. Both are also descriptions of 一夫, since the last sentence's subject was also 一夫(and they fit the idea of a person that's a 夢想家 type.) The third clause (きみ悪さが感じられるときもある) can be hard to link to the first two, but with this context, it becomes clear that those traits of 一夫can make him look a bit 気味悪い sometimes.

  • 1
    Ichio -- I think 一夫 is read かずお, and Aiko -- 和子 is usually read かずこ.
    – chocolate
    Jun 7, 2021 at 1:50
  • You're right, I went for the first dictionary example of the names. I'll edit this answer with the original names in kanji, just to be sure.
    – Mary Zep
    Jun 7, 2021 at 3:45

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