I read a manga (japanese comics) called "Boys on the Run". In some chapters several characters refers to someone as "the mole", but I don't actually know who is that person. Here is the context: A company made a line of figurine toys for adults, and people refer to "the mole" as the one that designed these toys.

Here are some examples of sentences where the word is used: "But it's really well made. This was definitely made by the mole"; In this case, they are saying that "the mole" made these toys. "Maybe the mole can make this?", In this example, someone is telling other that some toys should be made by "The mole". I do not think it means something like "traitor" because the first sentence I put as example is said by a person that does not belong to the company, so it does not make sense if he is implying they have a traitor.

Sorry if this is might be obvious, but I am not a English-native speaker. And I am actually translating this work to spanish, so I want to know the meaning of it. Thank you in advance. Example of the use of word "The mole"

  • 1
    I don't think you're missing any English language connections. But this was translated from Japanese. Moles are a kind of animal. It's possible that whoever made the toymaker had a Japanese nickname "the mole" which was translated to English. You should really figure out what his name was in Japanese. Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 3:20
  • It cannot be the designer's nickname. The first example I gave ("This was definitely made by the mole") was said by the owner of one of many stores that sell the toys. So, a "strange" person that most probably does not "the mole" called him like that. He could not possibly know the designer nickname.
    – JuanJuan
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 3:50
  • I think you're using the wrong Spanish translation of nickname here. Would sobriquet have sounded better? What I meant by it is some name other than their actual name given at birth that lots of people call them by, not the nickname that their intimate friends call them. For an example of this meaning of nickname used in English, see The Great Bambino. Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 10:07
  • 4
    You definitely need to ferret out other instances of the use of "mole" in the same story on other panels to get the broader context.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 10:35
  • I suspect the only way to get a definitive answer to this question is to go back to the Japanese—maybe the OP should think about asking it on Japanese.SE. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 13:07

2 Answers 2


The nickname Mole is often used between children to describe physical features.

There are two very common reasons this term may be used

1) Of small stature (able to burrow where others can not ) similar to a small rodent.

2) Having blemishes on the skin as described here

Looking at the Manga search for features of "the Mole" that fit either of those two descriptions !

I have quickly searched and he is not significantly smaller, so we can probably discount #1 however in some illustrations he is associated with the word "spy" and in others (but not all) appears to have a mark on his face. So #2 is a possibility reinforcing the context of a clandestine character who is an industrial double agent.

In anime, a tragic character will sometimes have a mole near the outside corner of one eye, because in Japan such a mark symbolizes a hard, sad life—the placement calls to mind a tear of sorrow.

Is the character Takahiro Aoyama (青山貴博) He works for Tanishi's rival company, Mammoth. Thus is prime candidate enter image description here to be the mole in that company.

SIDE NOTE: A single facial mole in the Western world is often called a "Beauty spot" (not to be confused with the same term referring to a Scenic view)

18th Century:Men and women wore mouches, velvet patches made to look like moles and cover up scars from smallpox, popularized by fashionable women like Queen Marie Casimire of Poland.

  • I don't think it means "traitor" or "spy". As I said, even a strange person that does not obviously work on the company said "This was definitely made by the mole", and I don't think he tried to suggest there was an spy. Also, in the manga there are scenes of a form that describe the product (the toy) and there is a comment that says "Maybe the mole can make this?" next to an drawing depicting the design of the toys.
    – JuanJuan
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 5:17
  • +1 for the research. Another for recognizing that it could be not just the easy answer of spy but possibly a more involved or domain-specific one.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 10:34

A mole is:

a spy (such as a double agent) who establishes a cover long before beginning espionage


Someone who works for a competitor is in the company, designing the figurines.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.