The moment we step into this world, we are bestowed with a name tag, that continues to follow us for life.
Nice to meet you! My name is Leslie Lim Ze Yong. What is your name?
As similar as my name is to the term “Lesbian“, I am, unfortunately, a guy. Plus, I don’t “lie” as much as my name would suggest. So as you can see, my name does not reflect or even hint at any of my personality traits. Nevertheless, names are still rich in meaning and significance, which I will be expounding on in this post.
Imagine a world without names. How would you call someone else without confusing others?
In Akatsuki no Yona, all the people who share the same ability of paralysing others with their eyes are cursed with the title of The Blue Dragon. Similarly in Durarara, Akane is an innocent and sweet child. But due to the reputation of her family being a violent gang, people associate her with the same features and tend to avoid her.
Hence, the fetters of stereotypes engendered by these labels, restrain one’s individuality, compelling one to become a puppet of society – abiding others’ expectations of them. These hasty generalisations also attaches unfair characteristics onto them, which they may not actually possess.
Thus, categorising people based on common traits is not an ideal method of identifying people correctly.
And that is why names are fundamental for any society.
But not only do names provide us with an identity, they act as a pokeball of our entire life. When friends call to us, they are not merely saying out our names. Instead, they are referring to you – the person who has had a significant impact on their lives; the person who has went through thick and thin together with them. Just like how Ash is calling out for HIS butterfree, not just ANY butterfree.
Critics of Murano in Kiseijuu (Parasyte) are incessantly harping on how excessive she is in terms of her character in the plot, and how silly her repeated questions are. But in my opinion, those critics are very myopic. The “Izumi Shinichi-kun” she refers to, is not ANY Izumi Shinichi-kun. Instead, she is referring to the Izumi in the past, before the transfusion of Migi; the Izumi who saved a cat from being thrown stones at; the Izumi who WORE SPECTACLES. Therefore, this repetition is vital to the plot as it contributes to the contrast of past versus present regarding Izumi.
Names aren’t as simple as they look, huh?
And that is why, like I said before, names entail so much more meaning and significance than you can ever think of. Names literally encapsulate our entire existence.
As a result, we should never look down on anyone’s name, for it would be akin to dismissing their existence.
Their names represent their happiness, sorrow, toil, jealousy, anger, failures, accomplishments – all the sunshine and storms they have been through in their journey thus far. ‘Bob‘ is not just A Bob, but THE Bob who was involved in construction projects, together with the help of several anthropomorphic work-vehicles, a.k.a. ‘Bob The Builder‘. We need to respect each other’s names and acknowledge each other for who we are.
So screw Ginti, because our names do indeed make a difference, an astronomical difference that only YOU can make. We need to take pride in our names and cherish them just like how Ash cherishes his pokeballs! Names are not simply a tool for conversation, THEY ARE US. See how the characters in Yowamushi Pedal unceasingly moans each others’ names when cycling: “Sakamichi!“, “Manami-kun!“, “Sakamichi!“, “Man-” YOU GET THE POINT.
All I hope is that after reading this article, people can be more proud of their name and say them out loud with no shame. Who cares whether you’re a Benjamin, Muthu, Mao Ze Dong, or even,『Blank』? No matter what your name is, other people should never judge you based on it, but most importantly, you yourself should never look down on your own name.
Thankew for reading my post! ^^ My name is Leslie Lim Ze Yong. What is your name?
P.S. Like seriously, if you don’t mind, share with me your name in the comments below! I’m really interested in getting to know more names out of my social circle :3