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Andrew:
Thatís actually a pretty good idea. Iíd just have to figure our how to get there, and work my arse off on my Japanese...I wonder how much the bullet train is from Osaka to Tokyo?

 The ever opinionated anti-moogle.

Hey Andrew,

So how do you like Japan? I wish I could go to Japan, I wouldn't really care about the heat or anything, but also, I guess you're kindof unlucky because you probably didn't have the chance to buy Disgaea before you were already in Japan. So anyways, I beat Disgaea yesterday, if you've been waiting for it and if you get it you'll probably enjoy it if you love tactic RPG's. The ending that I got was really awesome also, and all those people who said they cried when Aeris died on FF7, they'll seriously cry at the end of this game(by the way, I didn't cry, so I must be heartless, or the fact that I just don't cry).

Andrew:
Yeah, I missed Disgaea by two days. -_-;; Not that it matters. I donít have anything to play it with over here. Oh, and dude. I can assure you that you do cry. Just ask someone to donkey punch you in the face, and youíll cry harder than anyone who played through Final Fantasy 7.

Anyways, if I was in Japan, all the games I missed because my parents wouldn't ever buy anything for me I would have been able to purchase once I got a job of my own right? And you said that Gameboy Advance doesn't put anything on their Gameboy Advance games to not let you play them in the US system? If so, how much is a copy of Tales of Phantasia for GBA? Even though I'd rather have the original game than a remake, but I love the Tales series and theres quite a few that haven't came out here as well.

Andrew:
Tales of Phantasia for GBA is around 5300 yen, or about $45 here. Which is why I didnít buy it, and picked up the much cheaper Tales of the World 2. And yeah, there are a ton of cool games that never made it over, including a tactical battle RPG series called Summon Nights that looks kick ass. Kid, once you have your own job, itíll suck much of the joy out of life, and most/all of your money will go towards boring things like rent, car payments, and hookers. Trust me, life is good when youíre still living with your parents.

So all of us who aren't in Japan will have to wait another 3 days for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance to come out while it's already out there, and maybe with FFTA, Squaresoft can pull themselves out of only creating all these recent games that suck and release something good.

Hope you have fun the rest of the time in Japan.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

Andrew:
Hey, itís not like I can get FFTA either. With the rules system in place, and my complete lack of Japanese, Iíd be in jail more often then Andrew Long on a Friday night. Oh, and way to make enemies with the majority of the readers by generalizing your dislike of new Squaresoft games. Control the anger, Kupo!

 Four short questions.

Ohayo Gozaimasu, Usagijin! O-genki desu ka.

Andrew:
Genki desu. ^_^

Here's some random questions regarding Japan.

1.) Did anyone ever call you "Baka Gaijin?" Just curious...

Andrew:
Not yet. But a friend of mine got attacked by an old Japanese man for hugging her friend at a train station. Apparently when girls hug in Japan, it means theyíre lesbian, and stranger, Japanese men donít like to see lesbians. 0_o

2.) How many people did you see playing Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh/DDR?

Andrew:
Iíve seen people playing all sorts of variations of Pokemon, and the show here isnít nearly as bad as the American counterpart. Everyone seems to love YuGiOh, but I havenít even SEEN a DDR machine yet. ;_; However, I found all the Playstation versions of the game for around a buck each. Yay!

3.) Would Japan be a good place for an American to live?

Andrew:
3. Ask me again at the end of May. Right now, I really like the country except for the complete lack of respect the Japanese seem to have towards women. Most of the girls I know here already have a horror story to tell, and the school encourages them not to walk alone, and itís not just an idle warning.

4.) Did Tokyo Tower blow up?

Andrew:
4. Ye-wait. Huh?

THat's all for today. Except, of course, for the fact that Wild ARMs Alter Code:F will kick ass.

Andrew:
The revamped screenshots do look pretty durn kicking, donít they? ^_^

 Theyíre all talking about me behind my back!

AD,

How is it that you've come to take college classes in a foreign country whose language you - presumably - do not even know the basics of? I realize that it is Japan, but still. Are all your classes taught in English? Are there a whole lot of international students such as yourself? Do you hang around an interpreter when you go places? Do many other students speak English over there? I'm intrigued in your answers as I am currently in the second week of Japanese 110, although I am not yet confident enough in the basic phrases to prevent my public humiliation/ritual suicide by saying something crazy like "Shadow fish flavor 8 PM" to the wrong people at the wrong time.

So, basically, how are you coping with the language barrier?

-Red Raven

Andrew:
Great questions, Red. ^_^

At my college, Japanese 101 is one of the hardest classes to get to get into, so I figured Iíd just skip that step and go right to Japan, which required much running around and paper work. Once I got here, I was immediately overcome with a strong desire to learn how to read, since there is cool stuff around every corner that I canít wait to be able to understand. All my classes are either taught by professors who speak English as a first language, or majored in it, so my lack of Japanese doesnít hurt. Currently, there are 390 or so foreign students at Kansai Gaidai, with the majority made up of Americans, but there are students here from literally all over the world. Oh, and donít worry about your Japanese here; the stereotypical role of a gaijin is that of a bumbling, good-natured fellow, which means most Japanese are happy to help you.

Iím coping with the language barrier by staying with a host family, which helps my Japanese skills immensely. I watch an hour or two of television a day, something I almost never did at home, though I have to admit all the anime and wacky video game commercials are a huge draw. Finally, I carry around a little electronic Japanese to English dictionary, which is hugely helpful in talking with my family and attempting to read. So there you go. Soon enough, Iíll be ripping down this dratted barrier!



Quickies

Lived in Japan. Did the wandering around thing. My most impressive find was a drivable street that was about 8 inches wide (it's off of Itsukaichikaido in Fussa-shi, about 10 stops from Shinjuku on the Ome line). As for vending machines? I found prostitute trading cards that had coupons in the wrappers right next to a beer machine that sold 5 liter bottles of Beer. 5 liter bottles are impressive.

I talked with my host family about the strange roads, and they told me itís because the cities are so old, and the new roads are merely following the same paths as their ancestors. Which is really frigging stupid. This country has incredibly dangerous roadways. Oh, and Iíve seen liquor vending machines that sell JUGS of sake. 0_o;;

I'm not sure if you'll get tons of other people pointing this out or not, but your pronunciation guide for 'iie' wasn't very accurate. It's almost always pronounced E-eh and occasionally E-ay, but never E-yay, except by maybe some gaijin. Maybe that was the point.

-The Nameless Translation Dude

Nah, youíre the first letter on it, but youíre right. Further pronunciation reveals that Iím completely insane. I usually hear it around here as ďE-ayĒ but the Kansai Gaidai area does have a strange dialect, so itís pretty much up in the air.

The Final Grumble:

For next week, I can be sure that there will be more letters about general Japanese stuff coming in, but hereís my question to you...would you rather live in America, where the video game industry is still fighting to become recognized as a legitimate entertainment and art source, or Japan, where the market is perpetually glutted with video games and related merchandise?Discuss!

Andrew "100 Yen!" DuffClaire Belton

The Japanese don't believe in fabric softener. ;_;

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