Names and Etymology EP1: Qliphoth and Qliphort

I’m starting a very sporadic periodical about card names and the references behind them! First up is the group of Jewish robots.

By now, I’m sure everyone knows that the Qliphorts of NECH are based on the Qliphoth, the opposite of the Jewish Tree of Life, the Sephiroth. Just like how the Sephiroth represents the divine emanations of God, the Qliphoth represents the wicked emanations of evil. The –ort part of these guys’ names obvious come from the fact that they’re flying fortresses of death while the individual names given to each Qliphort comes from computer terms, referencing the fact that the DT World in which so much turmoil and chaos had reigned might just be a virtual world. But there’s more! Konami was really clever in naming these guys, in that the individual names of each Qliphort is not only a computer term, they’re also references to the actual Qliphoth itself. However, one has to jump through some strange hoops to understand the reference. Seeing as how 2 TCG Qliphort names were just confirmed, this seems like a good time to talk about each Qliphort name!

Let’s start with the backbone of the Deck itself and its only Normal Monster, Qliphort Tool. クリフォート・ツール is its Japanese name. The name reference to the Qliphoth comes from Kaitul, meaning ugliness. It is a counterpart to the Kabbalah’s Tiferet, the Sephirah associated with beauty. As for how one can know that Qliphort Tool is a reference to Kaitul, we need to look at the Japanese. The way to write Kaitul in Japanese is カイツール. I’m sure we can all see, that the Tool(ツール) in Qliphort Tool is the same as the “tul” part in Kaitul (カイツール).

Next up, we have the crazy monster bouncer, Qliphort Archive クリフォート・アーカイブ. Archive is a reference to Shakah, meaning lustful, and a counterpart to Netzach, meaning Perpetuity. The Japanese way of writing Shakah is ツァーカブ, we can see that the katakana for archive アーカイブ is partially in it, in the ァーカブ part.

And then comes the backrow destroyer Qliphort Genome クリフォート・ゲノム. Genome is a reference to Chemdah, meaning desire, a counterpart to Hod, glory. It’s harder to tell the direct reference this time around, because a bunch of characters are changed around. Chemdah in Japanese is written as ケムダー, kemudaa, while genome is written as ゲノム genomu. In Japanese, ke and ge share a base character, in katakana, it’s the character ke ケ, ge is obtained by adding a dakuten to it. So Chemdah and Genome share the ke(ge) and mu.

Next is the only OCG foil card of the group (lol TCG), Qliphort Disk クリフォート・ディスク. The hoop jumping starts jumping multiple characters with this one. Disk comes from Adyeshach, meaning apathy, and it’s the counterpart to Chesed, kindness. Adyeshach in Japanese is アディシェス, adishesu. The ディ di and ス su it shares with disk ディスク.

Now we have the actual ace card of the deck, Qliphort Shell クリフォート・シェル. Shell is so great it only shares 1 direct character with its original reference. It comes from Sheriruth, meaning antipathy, the counterpart to Binah, meaning understanding. Sheriruth’s Japanese is シェリダー sheridaa. Here we can see that the only character joining Sheriruth and Shell is the she, but the ri and ru are in the same row in the Japanese kana chart, so it’s a slightly changed loop-jumping reference.

And finally, we move on to the Big Flying Machine of Great Death, Apoqliphort Killer アポクリフォート・キラー. The “Apo” part of its name comes from Apocrypha, while the Killer part comes from Qimranut. Qimranut means materialism, and is the counterpart to Malkuth, the Kingdom. Qimranut is キムラヌート, kimuranuuto. The Killer in Qimranut is easy to see, as it’s just the ki, ra, and – long sound symbol put together.

That’s a wrap for all the Qliphorts we know of right now, but those of you who are observant surely have realized that we’re still missing 4 spots from the Qliphoth. And that is true, the remaining spots are Bacikal, meaning atheism, Iweleth, meaning stupidity, Akzeriyyuth, meaning cruelty, and Aiyatsubus, meaning instability. Perhaps we will see these 4 join their mechanical brethren in The Secret of Evolution?

Join me again when Tribe Force is released, to talk about the Ainu language! (Hint: Pirika is Ainu, Pilica is a river in Poland)


Number III, Eva is a master in the art of Blurography and a firm believer in not sleeping just to translate moonrunes for a card game.

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