Tatakae Meaning, Uses, Examples, & Facts

Tatakae has become the subject of many internet searches. People who had heard someone else uttering this expression or saw the famous meme of Eren Yeager in front of a mirror often wonder about the meaning of the word Tatakae.

So, what does Tatakae mean? Tatakae is a Japanese phrase which roughly translates to “fight” or “battle”. It is used to express determination or perseverance in the face of difficulty or adversity.

The expression Tatakae has become popular in Western culture mostly due to famous anime shows such as Attack on Titan or Dragon Slayer, and characters who speak it – Eren Yeager and Tanjiro Kamado.

A person reading manga

If you want to learn more about this word and its connection to different anime worlds, find out everything you wish to know in the following article.

The Word Tatakae in English Translates to Fight

Tatakae (戦え) is the imperative verb derived from the verb tatakau (戦う), which means “to battle” or “to fight”. Tatakai (戦い) is a noun meaning “a battle” or “a fight.” Therefore, tatakae can be translated as:

  • Fight!
  • Go to fight!
  • Go to battle!
  • Make war!

Tatakai is usually referring to the battle in question, it indicates resistance, fighting the opponent, or a battle that is going to happen.

However, the word Tatakae is mostly popularized by the Japanese anime series Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), based on the Japanese black and white manga series illustrated and written by Hajime Isayama.

The series follows a protagonist/antagonist Eren Yeager and his fight against the man-eating humanoids known as Titans who threaten humanity. The word tatakae was spoken often by Eren. From the first season on, this expression appears in specific situations – when Eren needs to inspire himself when things get tough.

Therefore, the word Tatakae is not used as an order to someone else, but as a motivation to himself when he’s required to act – it’s a word meant to keep him moving.

Eren Yeager in Attack on Titan

When Does Eren Say Tatakae in Attack on Titan?

As mentioned above, this word is spoken a lot – by Eren’s voice actor Yūki Kaji. For example, Eren says it when saving Mikasa or when he needs to use a boulder to block a hole in the wall in the first season.

However, probably the most iconic scene is in season four when Eren says tatakae to the mirror. It’s a scene that has even become a meme – and it truly popularized this expression.

Eren Yeager’s Other Famous Quotes

Eren’s a truly fascinating character with an exceptional character arc – there is no surprise that many have decided to buy this manga in English after discovering the series.

However, Eren’s well-written dialogs are yet another reason why he has become one of the most popular figures in the anime world. Take a look at the table below to see some of his best quotes – aside from tatakae:

ここで誰も続く人がいなかったら、今までに死んだ人達の命が無駄になる。koko de dare mo tsuzuku hito ga inakattara, ima made ni shinda hitotachi no inochi ga muda ni naru.If no one takes on their jobs, then those who lost their lives will have died in vain.
今度は人類の番だ。kondo wa jinrui no ban da.It’s humanity’s turn now.
知りたいんだ、外の世界がどうなっているのか。shiritain da, soto no sekai ga dou natteiru no ka.I want to know what’s going on in the world outside.
もうあの家には二度と帰れない。mou ano ie niwa nido to kaerenai.I can never return home again.

Tanjiro Kamado and the Demon Slayer

Tanjiro Kamado is a protagonist of yet another anime series, Demon Slayer, based on a manga series illustrated and written by Koyoharu Gotouge – one that is also known to use this expression.

However, probably the most famous scene in which this word is spoken is in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, when the villain named Akaza runs from the battle, and Tanjiro calls him out on it.

Dragon Slayer displayed in a bookstore.

Western Culture and Japanese Animation

It’s no secret that people from many Western countries have started to take interest in unique Japanese culture, language, and folklore, and manga books and anime shows play a big part in it.

Many aspects of anime made this animation style popular, from exceptional visual imagery, great storylines, and relatable anime characters, to dynamic action scenes, making some Japanese shows worldwide sensations.

Anime shows and manga books have become one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways of emerging oneself in Japanese culture and still stand as a bridge between the Western World and Japan.

Attack On Titan manga on a shelf

Anime and the Japanese Language

Anime may even help you with your Japanese studies – to a certain extent. While it would be challenging to try to learn Japanese exclusively from anime, a person can use their passion for anime to their advantage when they’re already learning the language.

Learning Japanese is no small bite to take, but remember that these amazing animations with a great plot can help you in the process.