I'm currently watching an anime called 文豪ストレイドッグス and I'm having some trouble with this sentence:

現身{うつしみ}に飢獣{きじゅう}を降ろす 月下の能力者

In the scene there's a character who's transforming into something like a "weretiger" thanks to the (full?) moon, thus he is a 能力者.

Among the many definitions I found for 現身{うつしみ}, "現世に生きている人" seems to be the most appropriate for my possible interpretation, then, I'm pretty sure 飢獣{きじゅう} is just some fancy way to say hungry beast. Overall, I interpret the sentence as something like "月下の能力者 which unleashes a hungry beast on earth".

Now that I've written it down it seems to have more sense to it, but I'm still uncertain on what the correct definitions for 現身{うつしみ} and 下ろす would be, and I'm also wondering if there's actually a word which spells きじゅう that uses a more common kanji for 飢.

1 Answer 1

  • The kanji 身 refers to one's body/flesh (as opposed to soul, mind, spirit, etc). 現身 also refers to one's body, but with an added nuance of "(bound to) this world".
  • 降ろす is "to bring down" or "to call down", and it's a verb commonly used in the context of necromancy (霊術), deity possession, itako, etc. 神降ろし is a common phrase. This assumes that the 飢獣 belongs to some "different realm", usually some heavenly place. Together with 現身に, we can tell that this person's ability is something closer to channeling or possession rather than simple transformation or summoning.
  • Without context, no one would imagine 飢獣 when hearing きじゅう. The sound of きじゅう is usually associated with 機銃 (machine gun). But Japanese has tons of homophones, so this wouldn't be a problem at least in written texts.

(who) channels a ravenous beast into the body

  • I though I almost had it but not even close. Thanks a lot! I have another question, now that you've provided this answer: is the definition "現世に生きている人" for 現身 ever used? Or is the one you provided just much more common? Also, am I right in interpreting it's meaning as representing the world's people (maybe as opposed to otherworld people, in light of your comment)? Apr 14, 2023 at 20:41
  • 2
    @GianniTrattore 現身 is a rare word and people guess its meaning based on the meaning of the words they already know, especially 現し世 (うつしよ). Most readers, including myself, don't know how 現身 was used in the past, but it's hard to imagine that 身 refers to a person (人) as a whole rather than a body.
    – naruto
    Apr 14, 2023 at 21:47

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