So, a certain horse suggested I explain the names we picked for the Retsuko characters, and uh…I have no will of my own. These are completely unofficial, so don’t expect them to be anywhere near accurate if someone legit ever licenses the show for notJapan purposes.
For most of these, the originals took the name of the animal and added a kanji or two to make it sound like a Japanese name. Exceptions will be noted.
Eaglette = 鷲美(washimi). Washi(鷲) is eagle.
Chief Clerk Amir = 小宮係長(komiya kakarichou). Komiya(小宮) is actually a real name, but the ‘miya’ part is an altered form of Japan’s phonetic approximation of the ‘meer’ from ‘meerkat.’ Amir works the same way.
Hippatricia = カバ恵(kabae). Kaba(カバ or 河馬) is hippo.
Zelda = フェネ子(feneko). ‘Fene’ being the phonetic approximation of the first part of ‘fennec.’ The species name for the Fennec Fox is Vulpes Zerda, and nothing else sounded good with ‘fennec’ shoved into it.
Heinrich = ハイ田(haida). Hai(ハイ), as in, haiena(ハイエナ), for hyena.
Wolfgang = 大上さん(ookami-san). The readings used for the kanji in his name(大=oo, 上=kami) make it a homophone for the japanese word for wolf, 狼(ookami). Even if he’s technically not a wolf…
Quocqueline = わらびださん(warabida-san). Warabi(わらび) being wallaby, although Wikipedia tells me Quokkas aren’t really the same thing.
Ruth = アダチさん(adachi-san). I believe Adachi(アダチ) is supposed to be a slight alteration of dachou(駝鳥), the Japanese word for ostrich. The genus name for Ostrich is Struthio.
Lester = れさすけさん(resasuke-san). Red Pandas(which both him and Retsuko are) are also known as Lesser Pandas(especially in Japan). So resa(れさ) comes from lesser=ressaa(レッサー), and ‘sasuke’ is just a name.
Scatherine = 坪根さん(tsubone-san). Her name(坪=tsubo, 根=ne) is a homophone for 局(tsubone), originally a term used to describe court ladies who had their own private rooms in the imperial palace hundreds of years ago. These days it’s used colloquially to describe bitchy female employees with some seniority. You know the ones. [Reference: http://zokugo-dict.com/05o/otubone.htm]
Giselle = 角田(tsunoda). Tsuno(角) means horn. She’s horny.
Ape Admin = ゴリ部長(gori buchou); Hog Honcho = トン部長(ton buchou); Buffalo Boss = ヤギュウ課長(yagyuu kachou). While a “buchou”(部長) would probably be the head/chief/whatever of a department in a company, we just went with alliteration because we like doing that. They don’t exactly specify anyone’s exact duties anyway. Gori(ゴリ) would be for gorilla, but there’s no synonyms for “boss” that start with a g…and apparently apes are also gorillas. Ton(トン) is pig/pork. Yagyuu(ヤギュウ) is buffalo, and I’m still suspicious of its similarity to baseball(yakyuu=野球), since he’s a fan of that. Kachou(課長) is technically ‘section chief’, which I’m guessing would be the closest thing to a ‘boss’ Retsuko would have to report to.
To recap the distribution of employees: Retsuko works in Accounting, her section thing is overseen by Buffalo Boss, and then Hog Honcho manages the whole department or whatever. Giselle and Ruth both work Marketing, which is managed by Ape Admin. Eaglette is the secretary for the elephant president(hasn’t appeared yet), who runs the whole deal. It’s unclear which department everyone else works, but they all end up mingling anyway. Oh, and I guess Lester works Sales…somehow. I’m actually not sure what the company is supposed to be doing, either…