Hey, I'm back! I apologize for the
erotic erratic updates. I'm really busy with my big move back to Japan. Pretty soon, I'm packing up and heading West to the East. Changing locales and jobs has got things a little crazy, but it'll be worth it for both of us, I promise! I'll be attending the Tokyo Game Show soon, so I'll have lots of pictures and video to show you guys and gals.
RPGs made a decent showing this time around. There was a an error though, where Taikon Tatsujin was listed as an RPG by the Pokemon division of Nintendo. I'm guessing it was supposed to be Diamond...
It took the manpower of three different gaming companies, Compile Hearts, Idea Factory, and Red Entertainment. Still, Japan is on the verge of releasing the more expansive dating simulation game ever: Agarest Senki.
Over the course of the game, you will traverse five separate continents and play different characters over five generations. The scope of dating possibilities is just enormous. Here are a few of the potential lucky ladies in their formal wear:
As you go on your adventures, you will encounter a number of potential female partners. How you treat them, and their resulting opinion of you, will effect who aids you on your travels. This system spans multiple generations, and how you treat one girl as a child could affect her becoming your heroine in the future.
Tell her you love what she did with her hair...
Avoid talking about her hair...
To spice things up, Agarest Senki adds some RPG elements as well. I guess it's something to do while the girls are putting on their makeup. Battles are done in a Simulation-style, where monsters and players take turns. You move and fight across a square grid and battles are accompanied by some nice-looking animations.
More strategy RPGs? You bet! They used to be such a unique and welcome addition to the role-playing family. At least this one changes things up a bit thanks to Nintendo's innovative consoles.
In Itsuwari no Rinbukyoku, or Rondo of Deception you will use your plastic stylus to control your units and send them into battle. If anything, it's a step up from manually clicking over each square to position a character. We'll find out this summer how the title fairs, but so far it's looking great.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
D'yarr, me matey! I've a ken fer the new ways o' speakin' to ye, an' I feel
it be a good time ter be tryin' fer another! Today it be nothin' more'n a
language lesson, but 'twould be a fine 'un. Y'see, there be quite a heap 'o
ways to say 'I' in the Land 'O the Risin' Sun, an' I do feel 'twould be a
mighty fine thing to be knowin' jus' how they all work! Shiver me timbers,
'boku' seems to be a mighty humble way o' sayin' I, but how be it actually?
Me bucko, what be the difference in 'watashi' an' 'watakushi?' Why be
'washi' an' 'boku' written wit' Katakana? How'll 'ore' fit inter the
picture? Be 'uchi' jus' a way fer the Kansai lubbers to say it wit' a
Arrr, that be all on me mind fer today matey! Have a keg 'o rum fer me!
When you talk about yourself / and you wanna be polite
Choose a first person pronoun / and you better make it right
You got boku, ore, washi then watashi and watakushi
If you get 'em wrong on purpose then you're looking for a fight.
First we'll do watashi / Which is general as can be
It refers to one's own person / It is just like saying 'me'
It's the standard, it's polite and if you just say it right
Then you don't need to concern yourself with what the others mean
But if you want to study some more words with me,
You'll see it's just as simple as your A B C's
Let's move on to the manly words like boku and like ore and we'll try to rhyme them all together quite melodically.
Boku is for men and boys, now don't you know,
And ore is more manly and a tad rude so
Be careful not to use them 'round your teachers and your bosses or they'll slap you with a ruler on your pinky toe.
Now, wa-ta-ku-shi / Seems quite polite at first
But you'll seem self-centered / If you use it, that's the curse
It's reserved for those who status is above a nimbostratus, and don't think about wagahai cuz that's much, much worse
So the girls want in / Well they have their own word too
They use a-ta-shi and it always sounds so cute
It's for young girls and for women and if you just wait a minute we'll continue with some writing as we listen to this tune.
Katakana is a way to accentuate,
A word or phrase your saying so don't hesitate,
So a young boy may say boku and a geezer may say washi and the writing shows their style of speech, now ain't that great?
It's sort of like they use a little bold-face text,
Katakana always sticks out like an ostrich neck,
So that kana that you're seeing, still contains the same old meaning, now let's all move on and sing and dance and see what's next.
Sorry, I can't take it anymore. Feel free to finish the midi, however. Ironically, with all the choices you have, it's almost best to use none of them. Excessively referring to yourself is considered rude, and usually after the initial "watashi," reference to yourself can be implied.
Konnichiwa! I'm back from Japan. It was AWESOME! I definitely want to go back again someday. (Hopefully someday soon.) I learned a lot of Japanese, but I won't sprinkle this letter with too many crazy words (because there are probably readers out there who would be confused like I am when I see random Japanese that I don't know).
Doumo arigatou gozaimasu everybody for the suggestions. As it turns out, someone did stick their chopsticks in their rice on first day and was promptly told not to do that by another student at the table. I am much better with chopsticks than I was on the first day. I sucessfully at without a fork for an entire month, yay! (Though I did use spoons for ice cream and knives for bread and jam). Speaking of food, there was a lot of rice. Rice at breakfast, rice at dinner and usually rice at lunch (I often had onigiri for lunch). It's a good thing I don't hate rice.
I now have my first Japanese videogames. I couldn't resist the urge to get Tales of the Tempest even though it is way, way beyond my comprehension level. (I can't read most of the text bubbles because of the kanji). I also got some Harvest Moon games but I didn't get the Wii one because I don't have a Japanese Wii. Dang it, now I have to wait until next year (or later if the English version gets delayed). Does anyone know where I can get a good Tales of the Tempest translation FAQ (if one exists at all)?
Also, on a completely random subject, Japanese game shows are weird and/or amazing. There was one on TV where the contestants had to make a Rube Goldberg (spelling?) machine to cook noodles. One of them even had a catapult!
I think I've rambled on long enough. My closing words are that Japan is awesome and you should use any reasonable opportunity you get to go there. Yay Japan!
That's great to hear that you had so much fun. Some people get overwhelmed, but it sounds like you had no problems fitting in. Keep it up with the kanji reading too. Before you know it you'll be recognizing words you never thought you would catch on too. You'll find that a lot of reading is simply picture recognition and there can be a slew of symbols who click in your head by meaning alone.
This isn't really intended for the Japandemonium column, but I wouldn't
mind if you utilized it as such. I'm a regular reader of the column,
and I just had some questions about your post-college experience. I'm
pursuing the Japanese major myself (starting next semester), and I was
wondering, did you find it difficult to find work after college? I've
heard horror stories regarding those who exclusively major in a foreign
language. I noticed that you translate comic books, but I've never
gotten into manga (which I suppose could set me apart, in a positive,
non-otaku kind of way, but I'm worrying I'll regret missing out on that
aspect of the culture later, for practical reasons). What I'm most
interested in is the translation and localization aspect of videogames.
Was this something you looked into, and regardless, do you have any
advice on the subject of utilizing the degree?
I figured I'd use this letter anyway... it's better than more spam! I'll omit the name though, just in case. Anyway, being confined to one language as your area of expertise can be limiting. Especially in today's job market, you need a variety of skills, the ability to sell yourself, and connections. Asian languages are in demand, especially Chinese, but it can still be hard to break in on the language alone.
The best thing you can do is keep active. Don't worry, I don't mean exercise, I mean just getting your name out there. Make a translation portfolio and just put stuff in it. Localize an old NES game, since the process is within the reach of the average PC user. Order a strategy guide for a current game you like and translate it. You can choose things you enjoy doing, collect them on a website, and have something to show people.
If you start during college, you could graduate with a rich assortment of personally translated stuff. Not only that, but the more you do it, the better you get. It sounds simple and obvious, but practice makes perfect.
Also, if you are serious about Japanese, you'll want to do the standard year or more teaching abroad. It may be cliche by now, but it's a great experience and you will soar levels ahead in terms of language ability.
Hope some of those tips helped. Remember, my opinion's mixed in all over the place so if my advice destroys your life and you end up selling shoes... well, I'm sorry :(