Some of you might recall I had a little test that I took about two months back. Well, I got the results this week, and they were about what I expected. I didn't pass, but I didn't pass by only three points.
Oh well, I already knew I was going to take this again in July. Now I have a better idea of what I need to study for it.
And to continue a running gag, "Man, JLPT..."
This is an item for all those parents out there who hear their kids talking about stuff like Naruto and have no idea what language is being used. It certainly isn't English at times, and some Japanese would make the argument that it's not their language either. The Japan Foundation is out to bridge the generation and culture gap with a new website dedicated to the language, jargon, and expressions specific to manga and anime.
The site's just gone up this past Monday, so it's still a work in progress. Among the upcoming features there are genre-specific games and quizzes pertaining to useful words and kanji. So if you find yourself wondering what the heck kids these days are talking about, here's some help.
In about a month Sgt. Frog - The Knight, the Warrior, and the Legendary Pirate hits the shelves, and today we get a better idea of why it got its secondary title. The three major realms of the game apparently exist semi-separately in their own realities, with some overlap. To match the title, they are the Japanese-themed Warrior realm, the European-themed Knight realm, and the scurvy Pirate realm. Sgt. Keroro's band of misfits tend to stand out wherever they go, but they still do their best to match the scenery.
It's not just the froggy fivesome getting a makeover, as all the major human characters of the series get their own doppelgangers in the fantasy world. Some of them even get multiples, as one character seems to sport a different name and persona for each of the three realms.
I really am going to have to pick this one up sometime...
When we covered the port/remake of Atelier Judie last week, we neglected to mention one important bit -- the swag. Loyal Gust fans who place their order in advance will receive a limited edition microfiber cleaning cloth featuring the game's mysterious new addition, as well as a case to keep it in.
It's never news when a gamemaker announces a soundtrack. This sort of thing is rather routine. Special editions or interesting remixes are more worthy of note, but even they are more of a "ho-hum, let's use it if we have the space" item of interest. And then there's the occasional item that's just so outrageous and surprising, it deserves its own space.
Now, normally those are not words that would be used to describe the soundtrack of Final Fantasy XIII. It's not a bad soundtrack, but it's not groundbreaking. The news is not about the music, but about the medium. In this case, vinyl.
And here I thought there would never be a market for record players in Japan anymore. Starting February 26th, S-E will be selling W/F : Music from FINAL FANTASY XIII on the Square e-Store. The 12" vinyl record has eight songs from the game in full orchestral mode, including a special version of the track "Ragnarok - sans pipe organ" which cannot be found anywhere else.
Square is now taking pre-orders at the S-E store's site, so sign up if you're interested!
Nippon Ichi's upcoming Classic Dungeon knows how to make the best of its self-imposed pixelated goodness. What's the point of having such a gratuitous sprite-based look if the players can't play around with it, after all? This week we get a look at some of the possibilities given by the game's sprite editor.
Nippon Ichi just keeps putting these characters in everywhere, no?
I regularly enjoy your column, and I think that you are the one that
helped me with Obon season travel a couple years ago. So when I saw
this week's Culture Corner, I thought that I'd chime in with my
experience with the Japan Rail Pass, which I think is a great option
if you will be doing a lot of long distance travel around the
country. Shinkansens are so awesome! So, if you could, pass this
information on to David.
Look into the Japan Rail Pass. The rail pass is only for foreigners and can only be
purchased in their own country. The passes are not available once you
get to Japan. For Americans, you buy an "exchange order" from an
authorized travel agent (offices listed on the above website). When
you get to Japan, you must turn in that exchange order at JR office
at the airport to get your rail pass. It is good for admission on all
shinkansen and trains for the period of time that you chose (7-, 14-,
or 21-days). You can get two versions – the low-budget one is for
"Ordinary" car travel on the slower shinkansen lines. The pass cannot
be used for travel on the superfast NOZOMI trains. You must not lose
the pass as it is non-replaceable. Once you get your rail pass, you
can make seat reservations if you know where you want to go and when
you want to arrive. Or you can just show up at the station (eki) and
board, if there is a free seat available. If someone has reserved
that seat, though, you'll have to give it up of course and you may
end up standing for the duration of the trip. Before entering the
station platform, though, you must directly show you pass to the
attendant at the turnstiles (behind the glass) before entering. For
the shinkansen, you'll have to make sure before boarding which cars
are the "Ordinary" cars if that was the Rail Pass you chose, and be
sure if you are not a smoker to avoid the smoking cars at all costs!
Definitely watch out for Obon week. Shinkansen and all other forms of
transportation seemed to be mostly standing room only and you can't
make seat reservations. Also, finding accommodations is a real trial.
One last thing about August in Japan, at least from my experience in
the southern half of the country, is that it is hot and extremely
humid. You'll discover why folding fans and hand towels are the
accessory of choice!
Pretty much everything she said. Especially the part about southern Japan being a sweltering hothouse in late summer. Sorry I didn't go into this much detail last week. I'm sure it'll be more than helpful.
We're going into full gear for the big Family Show at my school, and things are looking cute. I might even be able to pull off my end of things without any major disasters this year. Here's to hoping...
And that's the news from Hi-no-Kuni,
Your man in Japan,