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Sō nanoka

Sō nanoka” (そうなのか), also written as “Sou nanoka”, is a relatively common Japanese interjection used to convey that the speaker has understood the other party's words. It is often associated with Rumia from Touhou Project when rendered as “Sō nanokā” (そーなのかー).


The phrase has historically existed in the Japanese language for a very long time and everyone can use it, regardless of their age or gender. As previously mentioned, it conveys an understanding, but it can be translated in many different ways due to it being an cognitive interjection. The most common translations into English are “Is that so?” and “I see”, followed by “Really?”, “Is that right?”, “Seriously?”, and so on.

Canonical usage

In the Touhou Project series, when the phrase is rendered as “sō nanoka” (そうなのか), you'll actually find several examples of its use by other characters in the franchise, especially Marisa.

Touhou Koumakyou, Stage 1 (Reimu)

Rumia あら?夜しか活動しない人も見たことある気がするわ Oh? I feel like I've seen humans roam around at night.
Reimu それは取って食べたりしてもいいのよ I don't mind if you snatch them up and eat them.
Rumia そーなのかー Is that so?
Reimu で、邪魔なんですけど You know, you're in my way.

Touhou Kaeidzuka, Final Stage (Eiki)

Eiki つまり、自然は六十年で一度生まれ変わる。幻想郷は今年で蘇生する。 In other words, nature is reborn every 60 years. Gensokyo will be revived this year.
Reimu そうなのかしら? 六十年前は生まれてなかったから確かめようがないわ。 Is that so? I wasn't born 60 years ago, so I wouldn't know.

Touhou Chireiden, Stage 4 (Marisa+Patchouli)

Marisa そうだ、間欠泉がどうかしたのか? Oh yeah, what's up with the geyser?
Patchouli (あれは止めなければならない) (We must stop it.)
Marisa そうなのか?よく判らんが Is that so? I have no idea.

Touhou Shinreibyou, Stage 3 (Marisa)

Yoshika これから先はお前達が入って良い場所ではない! From here forward, this isn't a good place for you to go!
Marisa そうなのか?誰だったら良いんだ? Is that so? So who's it good for?

Touhou Shinreibyou, Stage 5 (Marisa)

Futo 我が復活したと言う事は太子様の復活を拒む者が現れた My revival must mean that someone has come to stop the crown prince's resurrection.
と言う事だな? Is that not so?
Marisa そうなのか?よく判らんが Is that so? I have no idea.

Touhou Shinpiroku, Stage 4 (Mokou)

Mokou 外の世界だって?そうなのか The outside world, huh? Is that so?
そりゃあ久々に面白いな Might be interesting to return after a long absence.
Kasen 貴方みたいな人間が外に出るのは危険です It's dangerous for a human like you to go out.

Touhou Kanjuden, Extra Stage (Marisa)

Hecatia 大丈夫よ、地上では地上の女神だから It's fine, I'm an Earth Goddess as long as I'm on Earth.
Marisa そうなのか…… Is that so……

Touhou Tenkuushou, Stage 5 (Reimu)

Reimu それってやっぱり四季異変は間接的にあんたらの仕業なんじゃ Then, I guess the four seasons incident is indirectly your fault?
Satono そうなのかなー? Is that really so?

Touhou Tenkuushou, Extra Stage (Marisa)

Okina 最終テスト途中で逃げたお前は残念ながら不採用だ I'm sorry to say you've been rejected since you fled during the final text.
さっさと帰れ Now, get the hell out of here.
Marisa テスト途中で逃げた……かやはりそうなのか I ran away during the test……? Hmm, still, was that really so?

Touhou Kikeijuu, Stage 1 (Marisa C)

Eika 積み石は神聖で尊いのよ……それだけは忘れないで Stone stacks are sacred and priceless…… Don't forget that.
Marisa そうなのか Is that so?
そりゃあ良かったなぁ That must be nice.

The phrase has also been used in the print works, but I probably won't be listing and translate every single passage due to limitations. However, the list does include Aya (written) and Rumia in Touhou Bunkachou, Luna in Touhou Sangetsusei, Reimu and Kasen in Touhou Ibarakasen, Sumireko in The Grimoire of Usami, and countless times by Marisa in multiple print works as evidenced by the passages presented.

so_nanoka.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-17 12:59:52 by