I don’t remember where I read this statement, but someone on the internet said that if an anime or web-novel character refers to themself ボク in katakana they are probably a boyish girl. I should say that I'm steel at the beginning of my journey in Japanese language and surely missing a lot of nuances.

So I recently started reading my first web-novel (悪役令嬢の兄に転生しました) and I’m really confused with gender of one character named Tirunoa. They are a magic teacher that refers to themself ボク and almost every sentence end with ね~. And because of ね~ it seems more like childish than boyish.



Later it is said that they grabbed their 12 years old disciple, lifted him up and spun around.


I doubt that as a woman they can lift 12 years old boy. At the same time, it would be no surprise if they actually can just because it’s a Japanese web-novel. Can someone tell me what I'm missing to understand their gender? What should I pay attention to?

UPD. I found manga and exactly chapter with this teacher but somehow it confused me even more than web-novel. Teacher Tirunoa

  • 1
    What exactly is your question? You are asking if it is possible to infer the gender of Tirunoa the teacher from the language of the character?
    – sundowner
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:31
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    if an anime or web-novel character refers to themself ボク in katakana they are probably a boyish girl. - this is not completely false, but it is too narrow as a rule. You should just look elsewhere in the description whether the character is a man or a girl or what.
    – sundowner
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:32
  • @sundowner Yeas, the main problem is that I've found no description in the novel. Other characters refer to them "Tirunoa" or "Tirunoa-sensei" and even the author didn't use any pronoun or noun to describe them. Nov 29, 2022 at 12:52
  • Please see my edit. I tried to determine his gender by searching for the word ティルノーア in the novel (>200 instances) before searching on Twitter, but I still couldn't figure it out. Maybe he is intentionally depicted gender-neutrally.
    – naruto
    Nov 30, 2022 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


I know nothing about this novel, but judging from this quote alone, I got the impression that this person is more likely to be a chatty man who speaks in an eccentric (childish, frivolous but friendly) manner. But it's not odd at all if this person is a chatty woman. ボク written in katakana might serve as a weak hint that the use of this personal pronoun is not very traditional, but it doesn't immediately mean the user is a boyish girl. Very few teachers speak like this, and that alone can be an enough reason to katakanize 僕.

EDIT: The author of this novel found this question! According to the author, ティルノーア is officially male, but looks like there are his fans who did not know his gender :)

Twitter screenshot

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    Sometimes also some people just prefer writing it in katakana, I know back when l'électeur was around he always used to write ボク and オレ
    – Angelos
    Nov 29, 2022 at 10:25
  • Thank you very much! Nov 30, 2022 at 6:00

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