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Doujinshi-Ka’s Inbox: Yumiko and Yumie

Doujinshi-Ka’s Inbox: Yumiko and Yumie published on No Comments on Doujinshi-Ka’s Inbox: Yumiko and Yumie

Erin: Okay, everyone: today we’re gonna talk about Yumiko and Yumie. She/they is/are the Vatican’s split-personality assassin nun. (That alone, by the way, is decisive proof that Hirano-san is either a creative genius or a complete loony.)

Yumiko first appears in the Cross Fire side stories. She’s the sweetest and most innocent person in all of Hellsing, Seras included. But when the glasses come off, out comes her other personality: Yumie, ruthless and heartless Vatican assassin.

All evidence suggests that the glasses trigger the personality switch. When they’re on, she’s Yumiko; when they’re off, she’s Yumie.

Note how Hirano-san always takes care to show them coming off in these three scenes, which are the points of each personality switch. There are no other constant factors between the three situations.

The big question about Yumie, on the other hand, is about her name:

Email: Wouls it be pronounced yu-mi-e/u-me-ay (going on my romanji chart here)…or a rather English pronunciation of u-mee?

Erin: It’s hard to guess from the way it’s written in English: Yumi-ay or Yumi?

So we need to go back to the original kanji. (Or, in my case, put out a plea for people who actually take Japanese to go back to the original kanji.)

As you can see, the 由美 (yu-mi) characters are the same in both names. Yumiko ends with 子 (ko). And Yumie ends with 江 (e). So you do in fact pronounce ‘Yumie’ the Japanese way. But wait! There’s more.

Many Japanese characters have alternate pronunciations. And although 江 usually has the “eh” sound, it just happens to be one of those that can be read differently. 江 can also be pronounced “ko”.

(Japanese fans sometimes write ‘Yumie’ as 由美江ェェ, which denotes that the 江 has the ‘eh’ sound.)

So technically the name that we read as “Yumie” could have also been “Yumiko.” (It isn’t, but it could have been.) That doesn’t change the pronunciation; it’s just a clever pun that was, sadly, completely lost in translation.

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