Christmas—or somewhat, Friday, November 5—got here early yesterday when the long-awaited model 2.0 replace to Animal Crossing: New Horizons was surprisingly launched greater than a full day forward of schedule.
Whereas a lot of the early hype surrounding the purportedly final main free content material replace targeted on the return of Brewster and his café, a lot of the post-Direct hype targeted on the return of Kapp’n and his boat.… Effectively, at the very least on this author’s family.
And so, we had been glad to see the identical outdated Kapp’n once more yesterday after such a protracted absence, however we had been additionally delighted to note a couple of small adjustments, inspiring us to share a few enjoyable information and fan theories about our private favourite NPC from the Japanese aspect of Animal Crossing fandom—or, ought to we are saying, Dōbutsu no Mori fandom. That’s proper, we’ve performed over 500 hours (and counting) of each Tobi-Mori (Animal Crossing: New Leaf) and Atsu-Mori (ACNH) so that you don’t should!
Though you’ll, in fact.
Enjoyable Reality: He’s a kappa!
Except you could have a better-than-passing familiarity with Japanese tradition, you might be forgiven for mistaking Kapp’n for a sea turtle when in actual fact he’s a kappa, a generally mischievous and different occasions malevolent creature from Japanese folklore.
Bodily, kappa are sometimes depicted as half-human, half-reptilian creatures of diminutive stature who possess tortoise-like carapaces on their backs and Friar Tuck-like bald spots on high of their heads. Certainly, should you doubt us about Kapp’n and his kin on Tortimer Island, the bald spots you’ll be able to invariably discover on high of their heads are a lifeless giveaway. Known as sara (actually, “dishes” or “plates”), these bald spots are literally concave and maintain small swimming pools of water stated to be the supply of a kappa’s supernatural energy.
Kappa are additionally stated to hang-out the streams and ponds (and even bogs) of Japan, the place they both harmlessly prank or viciously assault their hapless victims. Conceivably, the legends about kappa might have served to scare youngsters from enjoying close to harmful waters, however maybe different elements of their mythology are higher left unexplained. Extra related to Kapp’n, nonetheless, kappa are reportedly keen on cucumbers and apparently related to flatulence, which might go a great distance towards explaining why Kapp’n so usually sings about cucumbers and breaks wind mid-tune in Dōbutsu no Mori.
And as you could have certainly seen by now, the identify Kapp’n itself is a play on the phrase kappa. Effectively, the identical holds true for his authentic moniker in Japanese, Kappei.
Fan Principle: He’s a crooner and a bumpkin!
Many Dōbutsu no Mori followers have drawn comparisons between Kappei and at the very least two celebrities, resulting in hypothesis his character was impressed by one, the opposite, or maybe an amalgamation of each.
First, some have seen similarities between the ocean shanties that Kappei sings and the songs that Yūzō Kayama crooned, particularly his smash hit “Kimi to Itsumademo” (unofficially, “Endlessly with You”, above). Yūzō Kayama is a celebrated musician and actor whose twin profession in music and movie was roughly analogous to Elvis Presley’s, and though our family swears that his songs had been the inspiration behind Kappei’s sea shanties, we’ll let your ears be the choose of that one.
Second, others have seen similarities between Kappei in each dialect and identify and an Aomori-based TV character recognized professionally as Ina Kappei. The selection to crib Springfield’s Captain McCallister when localizing Kappei for the West was an impressed one, however in his native Japan, he speaks much less like a seafaring pirate and extra like a rustic bumpkin. Actually, Ina Kappei’s stage identify itself is a play on inakappei, a slur that may translate as bumpkin or yokel.
Enjoyable Reality: He’s received a model new flag!
In Tobi-Mori (ACNL), Kappei’s flag sported a ship’s wheel in white set towards a easy checkered sample in blue and purple—a logo as becoming as any for our beloved ferryman. In Atsu-Mori (ACNH), nonetheless, Kappei is now sporting a model new flag on his boat.
At first look, it seems as if Kappei’s new purple and white flag depicts a mountain with the Solar. To make sure, the flag is certain to remind even some Western gamers of Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji, particularly contemplating its most well-known print might be donated to the museum throughout the sport itself.
However, should you’ve studied even a little bit Japanese, you’ll immediately acknowledge Kappei’s new flag not solely as a volcanic mountain resembling Mt. Fuji but in addition as a intelligent rendition of a phonetic letter from one in all two syllabaries used within the Japanese writing system—specifically, the hiragana letter pe. Why the hiragana letter pe, you may fairly ask? Effectively, as a result of Kappei spells his identify in hiragana, which lastly brings us to our personal private fan idea….
Fan Principle: Kapp’n is an elaborate fart joke!
Like most characters from Dōbutsu no Mori, Kappei’s identify is a sort of wordplay, and it really works on a couple of stage. On the primary stage, as we touched on above, Kappei is a mixture of kappa and the masculine identify ending -hei or -pei (as within the frequent names Kōhei or Junpei), giving us Kappei. On the second stage, as we additionally alluded to above, Kappei is perhaps a homage to Ina Kappei contemplating the dialect and identify they each share. On the third stage, Kappei is perhaps a refined fart joke as effectively. Attempt to naked with us for a spell.
it sounds affordable that the identical phonological course of that transforms buu into puu might additionally rework hei into pei, making Kappei work as a mixture of kappa and a wettish poot
When rendered as sound results in manga, the extra forceful buu or the softer (and presumably wetter) puu are the onomatopoeia of alternative for conveying flatulence to the reader. These can seem arbitrarily elongated (as in buuuuuu) or in staccato bursts (as in puppuppu), and spelled in both hiragana or katakana for emphasis. And the creativity of Japanese artists doesn’t finish there. As an illustration, a quiet whooshing sound might be captured with suu or mixed with puu, giving us such colourful renditions as pusuuuu. Though we’re admittedly counting on our reminiscence, we might swear we’ve seen at the very least one toot captured as hei. As beginner linguists, it sounds affordable to us that the identical phonological course of that transforms buu into puu might additionally rework hei into pei, making Kappei additionally work as a mixture of kappa and a wettish poot.
If it seems like we’re reaching right here, think about the information that he is one phrase for a bottom-burp within the
dictionary and neppe is slang for somnambular flatulence. Maybe much less ubiquitous in colloquial speech than onara, he does seem in frequent expressions like he demo nai, which idiomatically interprets as “trivial” however actually interprets as “not even a fart.” Or, think about the associated expression, kappa no he, which idiomatically interprets as “a bit of cake” however actually interprets as “a kappa’s fart”—maintain on, a kappa’s fart…?!
With due respect to Yūzō Kayama and Ina Kappei, it could appear the expression kappa no he—on high of the robust and myriad associations between kappa and all issues scatological to start with—supplied a 3rd supply of inspiration for the character Kappei.
So, the subsequent time you see Kapp’n and his new flag in New Horizons, effectively… you’ll be able to’t un-read this text now, are you able to?
Be at liberty to share your love, enjoyable information and fan theories about Kapp’n under.