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Explain This Gesture?

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Explain This Gesture?

Postby Lawless » Sat 07.26.2014 11:16 am

Hey all,

Can anyone explain the cultural significance/ origin of this gesture and what it really means?

1) In talking about something that is mysterious / amazing / extraordinary / すごい, this woman hold her arms horizontally and wiggles them like tentacles (?) with a discerning look on her face. Then, as if to mock her, the boy with her does it as well. Can anyone explain this gesture? I've seen it before but don't know what it means to Japanese people.

2) She also says a phrase which I couldn't distinguish that sounded something like "やばいてゆががすごい. and then the boy mockingly responds something like ながすごい. Does "な" here mean "that"? Can anyone distinguish the phrases used here? Seems like they are colloquial.

Both occur in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Episode 13 "Beasts of Dublith" / "ダブリスの獣たち" around the 3m 50s mark.

Help Appreciated!

-Ian

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Re: Explain This Gesture?

Postby Ranja » Sun 07.27.2014 2:11 am

Hi,

'the cultural significance/ origin of this gesture'?
I don't think there is any such thing. They are just being frightened by the memories of that thing.
Generally speaking, I think there are fewer commonly understood gestures in Japan than in European countries.
And many of them used in today's Japan are of Western origin, such as putting up/down your thumb, jerking your thumb, and shrugging your shoulders


やばいてゆががすごい > 「やばい」って言うか、「すごい」 It is 'sugoi' rather than 'yabai'

ながすごい > なんかすごい

Here なんか is equivalent to 何て言うか...(how should I put this), which expresses the feeling of 'don't know hot to describe this correctly/it is beyond my ability'.
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Re: Explain This Gesture?

Postby Lawless » Sun 07.27.2014 10:38 am

Thanks for the response. So why are they moving their arms like that? Is this supposed to mimick some animal? Is it a common gesture? Does it always relate to fear?

-Ian
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Re: Explain This Gesture?

Postby Ranja » Mon 07.28.2014 7:12 am

Lawless wrote:So why are they moving their arms like that? Is this supposed to mimick some animal? Is it a common gesture? Does it always relate to fear?


No, and no particular reason.
If you were an animator of that anime, how would you direct that scene?

The shot shows a talent of the animator. The boy raises his arms vertically whereas the woman horizontally. That makes the figures fit in the frame compactly, and also it is funny, isn't it?
They shiver in terror to the extent that their joints of elbow melt down and the arms wave like octopus's. :shock:
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