uzuki no muika

Greetings and salutations! It's been a little while, hasn't it? Well, as I mentioned last month, I spent a lot of time moving things from one place to another around March 20th, and my internet didn't get reconnected till just this Sunday past. This also meant that I wasn't able to do anything for April Fool's Day this year, so if anyone was looking forward to seeing me put something crazy up again this year, sorry.

I do have something to show off, though. Take a gander at this.

This is my new classroom. A friend helped me rent the second floor of a local community center for the foreseeable future. By the standard unit of Japanese floor area measurement (the tatami mat), this room is three times larger than my apartment. It's got space for all my books and supplies, a CD player (actually a karaoke machine), a huge television with a DVD player, and even a VHS deck. I've been watching my old Red Green Show tapes while preparing lesson materials this week.

As for the tree, it's a gift from the folks at the local Family Mart. My friend and I have been regular customers at that store for years (it's not far from my old school), and they wanted to wish me good luck. I have no idea how it was made to grow that way, but it looks like something from Dr. Seuss, doesn't it?

Now, on with the column!

3/19 - 3/25 3/12 - 3/18 Up / Down Title Publisher Platform
2 * New Arrival! Yakuza New Story: Black Panther 2 Sega
3 1 New Arrival! Pokémon Conquest Pokémon
6 6 Last seen at 7 Monster Hunter 3G Capcom
7 * New Arrival! Mugen Souls Nippon Ichi
8 2 New Arrival! Shining Blade Sega
15 14 Last seen at 10 Harvest Moon: Land of Origin Marvelous AQL
21 18 Last seen at 11 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Square Enix
22 3 New Arrival! Madoka Magika Portable Bandai-Namco Games
28 28 Last seen at 22 Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (PSP The Best) Capcom
Off-list 17 New Arrival! Legasista Nippon Ichi
Off-list 21 New Arrival Mass Effect 3 Square Enix
Off-list 22 New Arrival Mass Effect 3 Square Enix

One thing you can say about Gust is that it's a very reliable company. Once its developers have figured out how to develop for a system, they'll keep turning out games like clockwork. Barely a year (like, almost to the day) after Atelier Meruru hit the stores, the next game in the series is scheduled to make its appearance.

This time we have Atelier Ayesha: Koukon no Daichi no Renkinjutsushi. Or Tasogare no Daichi, if you prefer. I can't find an official pronunciation for those kanji in the Famitsu article, and a friend and I found the koukon pronunciation first. Either way, the word means "twilight" or "sunset". Given the lighting in several of the following screenshots, I would go with "Alchemist of the Sunset Lands" as the translation.

Our heroine du jour is Ayesha Altugle. In true Gust fashion, this is supposed to be pronounced "Asha Altool". She lives with her family in a little village in the middle of nowhere. Literally. The region doesn't even seem to have a proper name, much less a government or some other form of society. What it does have are ruins. Lots of ruins. The game doesn't call them the Sunset Lands without reason, and from the looks of things this might be the series' first post-apocalyptic title. In last week's Famitsu, there was an area guide listing done in English. Here's a sample (with a few grammatical adjustments):

The Remains of a Tunnel: "These ancient tunnels were once used for transporting materials between the ruined city, the herb gardens, and the alchemical facilities. The original tunnel routes collapsed and were filled with sand or flooded with ground water such that they have become impassable. However, there still remain some suspended walkways which had once been built for maintenance purposes. They are now the only remaining paths connecting the larger cities with the ruined city. Apparently there are also still undiscovered pathways and air holes."

Amongst all this, Ayesha plies her family trade as the village apothecary. She uses alchemy to mix medicines and generally improve the lives of others in the region. When supplies run low, she has to brave the tunnels to get to her family's herb garden, a vine-covered structure that looks like a geodesic Colisseum. She has other reasons to explore, though.

That's Ayesha on the left, and her little sister Nio on the right. While Nio shows up in several of the screenshots shown so far, she affects the story the most in her absence. Apparently she went into the ruins on an errand several years ago, and simply never came back. The question of Nio's fate is supposed to be a driving force in the plot.

As expected, Atelier Ayesha will be in stores in late June, same as the last three PS3 titles in the series.

Source: Famitsu Online

Returning to Time & Eternity, we are once again reminded that a wedding is central to the proceedings. It seems that every update on the game so far has focused on the event. This time we get a look at the bridesmaids, however.

From left to right we have Enda (with the butterfly headband), Reijo (with the jaunty blue hat), and Wedi (with the glasses). Enda is apparently a friend from school. Reijo used to be Toki's best friend, though the relationship seems to have cooled in recently years. Wedi happens to be the official wedding planner.

Now, we all know it's got to get weird at some point, or else this wouldn't be classified as an RPG (or have a cute little dragon companion, for that matter). It's all a question of when and how. Bandai-Namco's marketing department hasn't been kind enough to answer either question, but we do have a handful of screenshots that do not directly involve the nuptials.

I think we can safely say that things get weird right before the kiss, but beyond that, I have no idea. We shall just have to wait and see.

Time & Eternity is still without a definite release date, but I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

Source: Dengeki Online

While I was out, Imageepoch added some stuff to the Sol Trigger official homepage. While there isn't any new character info on there that we haven't talked about before, I did notice that there are spaces for three groupings of characters. The three we know about are listed under the heading "Versalia Year 790," which makes it sound like this game may involve multiple time periods.

Anyway, to round things out we have the official first trailer for the game. Watch and enjoy.

Source: Sol Trigger HP
Title Publisher Release Date Platform
Super Robot Wars Z-2: World Creation Chapter Bandai-Namco 4.5.12
Atelier Elkrone Otomate / Idea Factory 4.12.12
Lord of the Rings: The War in the North Warner Entertainment Japan 4.19.12
Shinnarukana~ In the Name of Orichalcum Cyberfront 4.19.12
Code of Princess Agatsuma Entertainment 4.19.12
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition (PS3 The Best) Bethesda 4.26.12
Fallout 3 (PS3 The Best) Bethesda 4.26.12
Conception: Ore no Kodomo Undekure! Spike 4.26.12
Z.H.P. - Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman (PSP The Best) Nippon Ichi 4.26.12
Source: Dengeki Online
Am I Qualified Enough For This?

Hey Gainjin-san,

I'll be graduating from my university soon and I was hoping to get into localizing video games, preferably RPGs. To give you a rough idea of my current Japanese abilities, I've passed the JLPT N2. Do you think I would be able to get a job localizing/translating at this point, and do you have anything tips or suggestions?

Any advice would be great.

Thank you

David Choi


Well, if you've recently passed that level than I'm pretty sure you have a better command of the high-level grammar than I do. On the other hand, how much of the irregular, regional, or otherwise nontraditional grammar forms do you know? I'm thinking of things like Ni no Kuni, where there's an entire town of fairies who speak in Kansai-ben Japanese, or Magical Vacation, where every single student in the class has his, her, or its own unique speech pattern.

I know a guy who used to do manga and anime translation work and from what he says, at N2 proficiency you should be able to use the language well enough for that sort of work. It's a matter of (1) can you understand the material enough to know what it's really saying, (2) do you know how to communicate well enough in your own language that you can express those ideas, and (3) do you have the will to put in sixteen hour days for a few weeks at a time in order to push through a full translation, polished, as quickly as possible?

Some experience with coding might help, though I'm not sure to what extent. In games especially there will be times where you have to include markers for alternative lines or words to use -- things like changes in nouns, pronouns, or plurals in order to make it all fit together right.

Other than that, I'm tapped out for information. I know there are people with more experience in this area in the audience. Anyone care to write an email to elucidate more?

I've been checking my pedometer a lot lately. It seems that I'm doing between ten and twelve kilometers a day on average. My legs have never felt better!

And that's the news from Hi-no-Kuni,

Your man in Japan,

Gaijin Monogatari

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