Omae wa mou Shindeiru… Nani? - Meaning and origin

Learn Japanese with Anime, click to learn more!

Announcement

Have you ever heard a friend, video or meme screaming somewhere omae wa mou shindeiru followed by some strange noise and a nani? In this article, we will understand the meaning of this expression and the origin of this meme.

Since 2017 there have been countless videos and memes on the internet with this phrase. Those who know Japanese must have understood the meaning, but what is the reason and explanation behind the scenes and the words?

What does omae wa mou shindeiru… nani mean?

This phrase that became a meme some time ago is an expression of the manga and anime Hokuto no Ken. The expression omae wa mou shindeiru [お前はもう死んでいる] means you are already dead and is usually used by the main character.

Announcement

O nani present in memes is just the reaction of the villains saying “What?”. The anime debuted in Japan in 1983 and focuses on the character Kenshiro, a martial arts master called Hokuto Shinken.

This art makes the protagonist attack pressure points of the opponent, killing a little later through a rash inside the body. On this occasion the protagonist looses this beautiful sentence:

お前はもう死んでいる - omae wa mou shindeiru

Announcement
  • お前 - You (rude / literally: in front of me);
  • もう - already, soon, now;
  • 死んでいる - die;

Omae it's a rude way of saying you, where these ideograms literally mean front, that is, you in front of me. The expression mou it seems that it was too late, now, soon, you’re already dead, nothing can be done.

Despite having become popular in Brazil recently. This ironic phrase has been around for many, many years. To give you an idea, on December 6, 2003, an antivirus was launched in Japan by the company E-Frontier, an antivirus called VirusKiller.

This antivirus has the theme of Hokuto no Ken. The program, when removing the virus or a malicious file, had the character Kenshiro on the screen saying Omae wa mou shindeiru (You are already dead).

Announcement

What is the Origin of Omae wa mou Shindeiru… Nani?

On August 5, 2010, a page with the name “You Are Already Dead”On TV Tropes. The page describes the martial art involving movements with a delaying effect. 

In 2011 on a NeoGAF forum, a member called Nekofrog started a discussion about memes until this video appeared that started to generate the fame of this meme:

This meme became even more popular when memes and anime remix videos started to hit YouTube. Currently several memes have been created using this expression. To finish the article we will leave a compiled below:

Announcement

What is the Hokuto no Ken anime about?

The 1983 anime behind the meme is called hokuto no ken [北斗の拳] which literally means Ursa Major's Fist. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, after a nuclear war sometime in the 1990s.

The world is now full of lawless thieves and Mohawks who attack the weak and innocent. Our muscular hero is called Kenshiro, who wanders from town to town looking for his bride Yuria (who was kidnapped by her rival Shin).

During his journey he helps those he meets. Fortunately Kenshiro, is the successor to the martial arts school Hokuto Shinken ("Divine Fist of the Big Bear"), a legendary murder art that uses the human body's keiraku hiko pressure points to literally explode inside.

After his fight and conclusion with Shin, Fist of the North Star gradually shifts his focus to the battle of Kenshiro against Raoh, the eldest of his adopted brothers, and a possible world conqueror who was also trained in the ways of Hokuto Shinken by his companions.

As Hokuto Shinken's law only allows the style to be passed from a master to a single student, it becomes Kenshiro's duty to prevent Raoh from using the style to fulfill his own ambitions.

Omae wa mou shindeiru… nani? – significado e origem

Animes that used the technique of Hokuto Shinken

This was one of the first anime that used the idea of attacks that explode after a while on the person affected. After that some anime that probably were inspired by the same idea, came up with a similar ability.

Another famous manga called Battle Angel Alita has an anti-cyborg martial art from Panzer Kunst which consists of eliminating the opponent within a month after being attacked. Is it a coincidence?

In Black Bullet, Kisara Tendo faces her treacherous brother in a duel. When she cuts his leg, he panics, begs for mercy and confesses that he was the one who arranged the death of his parents. Satisfied, she walks away. Rentaro praises her for showing mercy. She asks what he is talking about, because behind them, his brother suddenly splits in half.

Announcement

Many other anime had similar abilities. Some even repeated Kenshiro's lines omae wa mou shindeiru like Luck Stars, Death Note, Dragon Ball and many others.