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The sentence is:

──フューリィはいかがでしょうか。

光永:担当編集さんと「奴隷エルフとダークエルフ、どっちにしようか」って会議をしました。

──奴隷エルフの方がボツになったんですね。

光永:「高貴な身分なんだけど、奴隷にまで身を落としてしまったがゆえにプライドが異常に高い子」……今のフューリィもそれを多少引き継いでいるわけですが、単純に見た目で「ダークエルフいいよね」って決まりました。担当さんがすごい「ダークエルフ、ダークエルフ!」って推してくるんですよ。

担当編集:僕は『ロードス島戦記』に出てきたピロテースがトラウマになったくらい好みなんです(笑)。
ニーニャがスレンダー体型なんで、ムチムチ系がいいだろうってことで、巨乳ならダークエルフだろうという偏見が……それと『BASTARD!! -暗黒の破壊神-』に出てくるアーシェス・ネイも良いですよね!

光永:その二人は、日本人の中にあるダークエルフを形作るイメージの象徴じゃないですかね。「女戦士」って言われたら、真っ先に『ドラゴンクエスト III』のヘルメットをかぶった鳥山明先生のイラストが思い浮かぶのと同じで。
ある世代以降から、共通のイメージ像になっているんだと思います。

──大ヒットしたゲームや映画などを、みんなが共通体験として経験しているからですよね。

光永:メインヒロインに関しては、そこは正直に拾っていきたい気持ちがありました

I think the thing being "picked up" is an イメージ像

Does 拾う here mean "utilize"?

Edit:

Link: https://media.comicspace.jp/archives/17030/2

I can't clearly tell if the think being "picked up" is the イメージ像 or what そこ refers to.

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  • Can I assume that this sentence was in some article or something like that? If so, I would like to read the whole thing once. As it is, I'm not quite sure what the context is.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 6:48
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    @Skye-AT, here media.comicspace.jp/archives/17030/2
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 6:52
  • Doesn't pick in English have a similar nuance of choosing and adopting an idea?
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 8:23
  • @naruto, in English, yes. But none of the meanings of 拾う listed here weblio.jp/content/拾う seemed to fit well in such context.
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 8:33
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    @R. 久蔵 3 多くの中から必要なものを選び取る。「関係事項を—・ってみる」「活字を—・う」 is the closest here. It's probably easier to think of it as picking up a concept.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 8:59

3 Answers 3

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In English, "to pick" used with intangible objects can mean something like "to choose (or pay attention to) important ones (from similar entities)". 拾う in Japanese has a similar usage, as shown in the following examples:

  • 彼の発言を拾う
    to pick up on his statement (among many statements in a conference)
  • 面白そうなコメントを拾う
    to pick interesting comments (among hundreds of comments)
  • 本を拾い読みする
    to skim the book

拾う in question is the same, too. The context (albeit not explicitly mentioned near this sentence) is that he, as a mangaka, had many options to characterize this dark elf in his mind. And the sentence is saying he wanted to choose/pick the most straightforward option, i.e., the most well-known stereotype of dark elf. If you don't like "to pick", other possible free translation would include "to respect", "to adopt", "not to ignore", etc.

正直に implies he did not want to do something tricky against his intuition. This そこは is almost like an idiom used to describe minimum/natural expectations in similar situations.

  • そこはまあ、黙っておきました。
    As is expected, I kept quiet.
  • そこは怒るべきだ!
    That's where you should be angry!
  • そこは、ねえ、ほら。
    In a case like this...well...you know.
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  • To clarify a little bit, there were two options the author was discussing with his editors regarding the character design of the main heroine: "dark elf" and "slave elf". So according to this answer, the author was expressing that, after the discussion, he picked up the "dark elf" option on his own volition.
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 16:30
  • @R.久蔵 No, this is not about "dark elf vs slave elf" but this is about "stereotypical dark elf vs other nonconventional types of dark elf". To use 拾う, there must be many options, not just two. If you don't mind free translation, this そこは正直に拾う means "simply adopt/choose/respect what everyone imagines about dark elf".
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 16:36
  • Makes sense. Thanks.
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 16:46
  • I just realized that your answer matches what I previous wrote as an answer before editing it out, lol
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 16:58
  • "彼の発言を拾う to pick up his statement" <-- not entirely sure I understand this. If you mean that someone made a statement earlier and you now want to say more about it the phrase would be something like "Picking up on Bob's earlier statement, I'd like to ...". The 'on' makes it sound more natural. Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 16:59
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I'm just guessing.

I think it means that the author of this manga has taken the image that manga lovers have of the main heroine and used it in the character design.

A little above this sentence, there is a sentence that says,

「女戦士」って言われたら、真っ先に『ドラゴンクエスト III』のヘルメットをかぶった鳥山明先生の[女戦士の]イラストが思い浮かぶのと同じで」

"It's like when someone says 'female warrior', the first thing that comes to mind is Akira Toriyama's illustration of a female warrior wearing a helmet from Dragon Quest III."

Just like that sentence, I think there is a certain common image of the main heroine among manga lovers. So, the author took that image, and used it for the main heroine's design.

I don't read a lot of manga, so I don't know if this is correct or not, but I think the idea is close.

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I think 拾う here means ( uphold / stick by / carry over ) the イメージ像 (expectations).

Edit:

To paraphrase, 光永 was explaining how the character design of the main heroine came to be. He mentioned certain イメージ像 (expectations) that come to people's minds when they hear certain keywords, and that they have become so since a number of generations. Then another speaker tried to come up with a reason why people have such expectations. Finally, 光永 said メインヒロインに関しては、そこは正直に拾っていきたい気持ちがありました。

The そこ may refer to either the character design of the main heroine, or the expectations, but there's a high chance that it's the character design since it's already the topic of the sentence. Assuming this is the case, then what 光永 said is "Regarding the main heroine, I honestly wanted her (character design) to pick up (become popular with people)."

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  • People’s expectations seem more specific in this case. They expect dark elves to have huge breasts.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 15:42
  • I think the author was expressing how much he wants the heroine (or the story in general) to become popular.
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 15:45
  • by borrowing from the expectations set by successful games/movies (e.g. expectations from dark elves).
    – R. 久蔵
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 15:53

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