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Examples of Last-Name Basis in anime and manga.


  • It is worth noting that family names come before given names in Japanese usage.
  • In Full Metal Panic, Sousuke calls everyone by their last names, mostly because of military discipline, and has actually had to be ordered to use first names.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Rei Ayanami and Shinji Ikari both do this with each other; he only says her first name in unusual situations. This is one of the things changed in the English dub.
    • And Gendo, when people aren't calling him "Commander" (or "Father"). Likewise Fuyutsuki. And does anyone know any of the bridge crew's first names except Maya's? Kaji addresses Misato as Katsuragi. Oh yeah, and Kaji.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Lt. Colonel Hughes is referred to so rarely by his first name (Maes) that the casual fan or someone who hasn't seen very many episodes would probably only know him as "Hughes."
      • Besides, in Spanish "Maes" sounds a lot like "Maese" which is a rather archaic term that was used as "Master" to respectfully address someone, specially in old written media, so you could think that 1) he was being very polite and 2) it would be nice if we could know his first name. Then again, only if you have read old books and are familiar with the word.
    • This seems to go for a good chunk of the military characters, actually. Even when screaming to each other in fear or pain in the manga, about 85% of the time or more, it's either the rank or the last name.
    • The only reason anyone would know Mustang's first name is the fact that Hughes seems to always refer to him on a First-Name Basis. Roy also seems to be the only person to ever address Hughes as Maes.
    • There are two Armstrongs. It could get potentially confusing.
      • Usually, Alex Armstrong is referred to by fans as Armstrong (since he was introduced much earlier) and Olivia Armstrong is referred to as Olivia (or Olivier). They are also sometimes differentiated by their ranks: Major Armstrong (Alex) vs General Armstrong (Olivia). Nobody ever calls Alex by his first name.
        • Well, nobody except Olivier, but they're siblings, so that doesn't count.
    • Late in the manga, Hawkeye smokes out Envy impersonating Mustang by claiming that:

 Hawkeye: When we're alone, the colonel always calls me 'Riza.'

Envy: Damn! I knew you two were--

Hawkeye: Fooled you. *bang*

      • They almost exclusively use one another's ranks, only rarely bothering even with surnames, to the extent that Riza addressing some other colonel or Roy being promoted to general or something would pose a minor emotional challenge, although there are enough lieutenants around that Roy can't identify it with her so closely. In this case at least this serves rather like the Mulder and Scully situation mentioned below.
    • The only person in the military who's refer to by his first name is Edward. The only person who doesn't is Mustang.
  • Sakaki and Kagura from Azumanga Daioh are only known by their family names; no given names are ever shown for them, leaving fanfic authors with a few problems. (At least one fic has ended up having Kagura's father calling her just 'Kagura' in one scene.)
    • Also possibly worth mentioning, in the few scant minutes of screen time Ayumu had before being nicknamed after her hometown, she was called "Kasuga" by Yomi. Would she have continued to be called by her family name instead of her given name had Tomo not been quite so clever? The world may never know...
  • Signum of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha always refers to Fate as "Testarossa". Since Signum calls everyone else by their first name, and she and Fate are close friends, this seems to be treated as a term of endearment and/or respect for her long-time rival.
    • She continues to call Fate this after Fate's last name stops being "Testarossa."
      • Except the "Testarossa" name never completely disappeared; it just got turned into a middle name, usually rendered as just an initial (but explicitly stated at least once).
      • Vita also calls Fate "Testarossa." Shamal initially refers to Fate as "Testarossa-chan," but by StrikerS, starts calling her "Fate-chan."
    • In the StrikerS supplementary manga, Subaru initially calls Teana "Lanster-san," and Teana refers to her as "Cadet Nakajima" while explaining that they do not need to become friends. After Teana meets Subaru's sister Ginga and learns more about her, she decides to start calling her Subaru, claiming that it makes no sense to call her by her last name now that she knows her sister, and Subaru decides to start calling her "Tea". Erio and Caro initially have a bit of trouble calling each other by their first names.
    • An interesting use occurs with the Lieze twins; they request that Nanoha and Fate refer to them by their given names- Aria and Lotte- when addressing them individually, and calling them "Lieze" when speaking to both of them.
  • Youhei Sunohara of Clannad usually goes by his last name with the exception of his little sister Mei.
    • No, Kyou uses Youhei too, she calls everyone by their first name.
    • It's also a subtle plot point in Kyou's route. Tomoya calls her Kyou but Ryou Fujibayashi, which she tries to get him to change because he feels he isn't as close to her as Kyou and loves her sister instead. He does start calling her Ryou, but... Well, it is Kyou's route.
  • In Gundam Wing, Lucrezia Noin goes by her last name, and nobody, not even her romantic interest Zechs, uses the first unless they're calling her by her full name.
    • Fanon often has Zechs give her a cute nickname, such as "Lu", when they become a real couple.
  • in Kare Kano, the two leads continue calling each other "Arima" and "Miyazawa" after they've slept together. They don't get to "Soichiro" and "Yukino" until a few months later.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a lot of this. In the Japanese version and manga, characters such as KATSUYA Jounouchi and HIROTO Honda fit, and tend to only get their first names used by family. The tendency to refer to Kaiba by his surname carries over to the dub.
    • Bakura is a definite example in the manga and Japanese anime, with his given name being Ryou. The dub may or may not be an example as he is never given a second name, so it's possible his first name is intended to be Bakura.
  • Shuichi in Gravitation continues to refer to boyfriend Eiri Yuki as simply 'Yuki' (no honorific) even after learning that it isn't his real surname.
  • Naruto occasionally does this, with some characters, like Gaara, referring to Sasuke as "Uchiha." The Third Hokage is often referred to by his last name until his first name is revealed in the databooks, although in one translation, The Fourth Hokage calls him "Hiruzen-sama." Shiho calls Naruto "Uzumaki-kun", while referring to Shikamaru (whom she has a crush on) and Jiraiya (who only has one name) by their given names, so it's unclear to what degree she uses last names.
  • In the Suzumiya Haruhi novels, Kyon refers to everybody except Haruhi by their last name. In the ninth novel, he strangely also calls the mysterious interface, Kuyo, by her first name.
    • Kyon is confused as to which of Kuyo Suo's names is her given name and which is her surname when they are introduced, as she introduces herself in both orders; he calls her Kuyo-san most likely because that's what Sasaki calls her.
    • Also worth noting is that he never uses honorifics when addressing or speaking about anyone other that Mikuru Asahina. He also continues to refer to her as "Asahina-san" even though she told him to feel free to use her given name early in the series.
      • He does use honorifics with the upperclassmen (which Mikuru is), but it's almost always -san and not -senpai; in later novels he starts to refer to Kimidori as "Kimidori-senpai".
    • Most fans also refer to Itsuki and Yuki as Koizumi and Nagato, respectively. Speaking of which, Itsuki is almost never referred to by his first name.
    • Haruhi refers to the entire Brigade (including Yuki) by their first names, except Koizumi, which is probably why most fans ended up doing the same.
    • Several characters in the series aren't even given first names. Tsuruya, Kunikida, Taniguchi, Sasaki...
  • In Bleach, Ichigo (Kurosaki), (Orihime) Inoue and (Uryu) Ishida are on a Last-Name Basis with one another, including (Yasutora) Sado, though he does call Ichigo by his first name (Ichigo misread "Sado" as "Chad", so that more or less counts). Rukia is on Last-Name Basis with the gang except for Ichigo and Renji. Ishida is on Last-Name Basis with most everyone (excluding some minor characters), and the only person who refers to him by his given name in the Japanese version is his father (and later Pesche). Following up on that, nearly every Shinigami in the series addresses the entire gang exclusively by their surnames, aside from Yoruichi (to Ichigo), Rangiku (to Ichigo, Renji and Orihime), Ikkaku and Yumichika (to Renji and Ichigo), and Kenpachi (with Yachiru; to Ichigo).
    • Captain (Toshiro) Hitsugaya is very particular about this, although he tends to insist that people also address him as a captain.
    • With or without addressing their respective ranks, most seated officers call one another by their surnames (such as Ukitake and Kyoraku), with the majority of the fandom following suit; aside from characters that are related by birth (the Kuchikis or Kotetsus), they call every other officer by their surnames.
    • Rukia Kuchiki's a bit of a complex case; because all of them outrank her, nearly everyone within the Gotei 13 (aside from Renji, Byakuya and Hanataro - the latter because she preferred as such) calls her Kuchiki, and due to her lone wolf demeanor at most points, she only (if ever) interacts with them while on-duty. Since Rukia's still a noble, if the -san (Mister, Miss, Mrs), or -dono (Lord, Lady) honorifics are in use, then they're being polite and respectful. As for Rukia herself, due to her upbringing as nobility, she tends to be respectful towards those of higher status or rank than her, addressing her superiors by rank and surname (i.e. "Captain Hitsugaya" and "Lieutenant Matsumoto"), sometimes with the -dono honorific (i.e. "Lord" Kaien and "Lady" Miyako).
    • Orihime herself tends to address everyone except Tatsuki by their last name.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, most characters call Kuwabara by his last name, except for his sister and Yukina. Shinobu Sensui tends to go by his last name most often, and this is significant because his first name changes based on which personality is in control.
  • The first episode of Digimon Adventure lists the full Japanese names of the characters, but Izzy (Koushiro Izumi) is the only one whose Americanised name is based on his Japanese surname. Even his parents call him Izzy.
    • Actually "Izzy" has a potential logical (albeit weak) explanation: when he was first learning to talk, "Koushiro" turned into "Izzy" (don't ask me how but it could happen) and it stuck.
  • The typical mode of address in Muhyo and Roji. Tohru Muhyo allows Jiro "Roji" Kusano to call him "Muhyo" instead of "Executor Muhyo".
  • Almost nonexistent in One Piece, due to relatively few characters even having last names, but some of Zoro's opponents call him Roronoa.
    • Though it can be noted that in One Piece pirate crew titles function much the same way as last names. Luffy's opponents rarely call him Luffy, or even Monkey (thank god, that would sound ridiculous) but instead tend towards calling him Strawhat. Franky, who started out as a villain and got used to this, still calls him that. Other examples include Whitebeard and Redhair. Shanks switches abruptly to this from being on last name basis with Edward D. Teach when he meets him for the first time since he has adopted the title of Blackbeard. Played straight with Rob Lucci, and a few other villains however. Ruthlessly averted with Garp and Roger, both of which always go by their first names, and no titles at all.
  • First Names are a rarity to begin with in Legend of Galactic Heroes, but absolutely nobody calls Yang Wen-Li by his given name (except his father, in a single flashback). Even his friends whom he calls by their first names call him "Yang." His wife just calls him anata (roughly, "darling").
    • Reinhard calls Kircheis by his last name because as a child he decided that it sounded better than his first name (Siegfried). Kircheis, however, calls Reinhard by first name (with the appropriate honorifics, of course).
  • An understandable standard in Monster, since most characters are in the professional field and do not know each other that well. The only person who ever seems to call (Kenzo) Tenma by his first name is his fiancee.
  • Kagami Hiiragi realizes how much time she spends in Konata's class after a short scene showing her own class calling her Hiiragi while Konata's calls her Kagami.
  • Kanda Yu of D.Gray-man tends to threaten people who don't address him this way with violent death.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Kazumi Asakura usually goes by "Asakura", which is strange, given that practically everyone else in the class calls each other by their first names.
  • In Lupin III, (Arsene) Lupin the Third and (Daisuke) Jigen might as well have Only One Name for all the times anybody's used their given names in the show. Goemon Ishikawa the Thirteenth and Fujiko Mine, on the other hand, mainly go by their first names.
  • Otonashi, Iwasawa, and Naoi from Angel Beats! are always referred to by their last names, even after their first names are revealed (Yuzuru, Asami, and Ayato, respectively).
  • Surnames are said to be uncommon in the world of Dragon Ball, but the main character, Son Goku, has one. While most characters refer to him as Goku, his given name, Bulma, his first friend, refers to him exclusively by his surname. Piccolo and Tenshinhan often do the same but not always.
  • Except for a few racers and characters in Future GPX Cyber Formula, most of them are rarely called by their first names, like Naoki Shinjyo, Karl Lichter von Randoll, to name a few.
  • Yamato of Ultimo refers to his crush Sayama by her last name, and at one point, while thinking about what life with her would be like in the future, realizes that her name would not be "Sayama" any more.
  • The general rule between people in Bakuman。, even (so far) between Mashiro and his fiancee Azuki. Mashiro and Takagi refer to each other by nicknames while speaking with each other, but with last names when talking about each other to other people, such as their editors.
    • When Hiramaru gets together with Aoki, he notices that she's still calling him by his last name, while he uses an abbreviated and highly affectionate version of her first name. His editor claims that's proof that he's just a friend she has for tea, in order to manipulate him into becoming depressed enough to write well.
  • In Triangle Heart 3 ~sweet songs forever~, most characters address each other by first names, but interestingly enough, Kyouya and Shinobu, the Official Couple, refer to each other by their last names.
  • Considering how close most of the Wandering Son cast is, it's odd that most of them refer to certain characters by their last names. To a new reader or viewer, you might even think the names are their first names, especially since several other characters are on a First-Name Basis with everyone. Shuichi is always Nitori, Yoshino is always called Takatsuki, and Saori is called Chiba by almost everyone but Sasa.
  • The main character of Dawn Tsumetai Te is only ever referred to - by his friends, his Love Interest, and his Jerkass Mad Doctor handler - by his family name.
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Yuuhi never makes the switch from calling his lover Todou to Akira, even when he becomes a part of the family and Todou becomes his last name.
  • In To Aru Majutsu no Index/To Aru Kagaku no Railgun: Kaori Kanzaki, Mikoto Misaka, Ruiko Saten, Kazari Uiharu, sometimes Touma Kamijou and a few others.
  • Yurie in Kamichu! generally addresses Kenji as Ninomiya-kun, though she switches to Kenji-kun in the scene where she reaches out to rescue him from the typhoon she accidentally created. Unusually, the English dub retains this.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami typically refers to her fellow magical girls as "(Last name)-san", partly out of politeness and partly because while she gradually becomes closer to Madoka and Sayaka, she never quite gets past being an acquaintance to them before she is eaten. Madoka becomes suspicious of Hitomi's behavior when she, under the effects of a Witch's Kiss, refers to her by her last name and speaks in a much more formal tone.
  • Despite being the Official Couple of the Bakemonogatari series, Hitagi refers to Koyomi as Araragi-kun, while he calls her Senjogahara-san
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