Second, a rant: Why the hell do people insist on making fake LJ-cuts from community posts? What's wrong with just a simple bloody link? Fake LJ-cuts should DIE!
Third, the actual post:
There are some things about Japanese honorifics that I'm still trying to puzzle out. Any insight would be much appreciated.
1. In Samurai Champloo, Fuu has a pet squirrel whom she calls Momo-san. He doesn't appear that often, so she's only addressed him a few times. Do you think she considers "Momo-san" to be his actual name? If you were writing Champloo fic and wanted to refer to him in the text, would you write "Momo-san" or "Momo"?
2. I am still trying to figure out -kun. I'm not always sure what kind of relationship it implies. Some examples:
In Prince of Tennis, Horio calls Ryoma "Echizen" (his family name) while Kachiro and Katsuo call him "Ryoma-kun" (his given name). They are all in the first year; Horio and Ryoma are in the same class. Is there a big difference in those methods of address?
Also in PoT, in one of the early episodes, Inui (3rd year) refers to Kaidoh (2nd year) as "Kaidoh-kun" in a conversation with Oishi. That's the only time I can recall when he doesn't use just "Kaidoh" either to Kaidoh himself or to someone else. I'm not sure if this is at all significant.
Again, PoT, in the (very stupid) episode where Kaidoh has to pretend to be Ryoma, Momo (2nd year) teases Kaidoh by calling him "Echizen-kun". This enrages Kaidoh (though pretty much everything does). Momo never uses the honorific with Ryoma, he always calls him "Echizen". This makes it seem like "Echizen-kun" is more familiar than just "Echizen". Is that the case?
In Kyou Kara Maou, there's a dolphin who is referred to as "Bandou-kun". Would animals usually get an honorific like that? (I know people often use -chan with pets.)
Again in KKM, Anissina creates lots of crazy magical inventions. When she presents them, they often have rather fancy names, like "Amazing Magical Sheet Folder-kun". Why the honorific on the name of a machine? And why -kun?
In Beck (the anime -- I'm downloading the manga right now), Koyuki (14) calls Ryusuke (16) "Ryusuke-kun". (Ryusuke is his given name.) Ryusuke asks Koyuki to just call him "Ryusuke" because it creeps him out to be called "Ryusuke-kun" by a guy. He says that he knows it's a convention, but he's not that good with Japanese conventions. It seems like he's spent a lot of time in North America. Is it that the honorific seems more intimate to him than just his name?
3. Not about honorifics, but the time has come for me to start studying Japanese. Any recommendations for introductory textbooks and audio resources? I've studied several other languages (French, German, Latin, Greek) but this will be my first non-Indo-European language. I am very interested in grammar, so I'm looking for something with that sort of emphasis. I'm more concerned with comprehension than composition or conversation.
Fourth, some bitching: I spent the weekend at a gaming con (that's not the bitchy part -- the con was great) and am now so exhausted that I spent most of the day lying in bed not quite napping. I was supposed to spend a bunch of time writing the HP story I want to post on Oct 31 and the GW story I have to post on Nov 5, but I didn't. Nor did I do any of that on Friday, when I had the time but wasn't so tired. Ack! I have no self-discipline!
Fifth, good night.