Japanese Deep Cave Adventurers’ Guild: Beginner’s Immersion Challenge – Level Up

During the month of August, the Japanese Deep Cave Adventurers’ Guild sponsored its first challenge, the Beginner’s Immersion Challenge.  About a dozen people signed up for the challenge, and everyone did very well.*  We will be hosting that challenge again during the month of September.   The prize for the winner of the Beginner’s Challenge will again be 1 Gem.

Additionally, in September, the Guild will host an additional, level up challenge.  This challenge will be similar to the Beginner’s Challenge, but will take it to the next level.  The details of this challenge are as follows:

vlcsnap-2014-06-16-16h50m21s87Todo:

Watch 3 episodes of Anime during the month, slowly, using Japanese subtitles.  Cure Dolly wrote a very good article about using Anime to study Japanese which can be found here.

Daily:

The Daily for this challenge will be the same as for the Beginner’s Immersion Challenge, listening to a story or anime episode in Japanese.

Habits:

In addition to the daily of listening to Japanese, there will be a Habit of extra listening.  For this level up challenge, one can listen to as many stories or episodes in a day as one likes, and they will all count towards the challenge.

As with the Beginner’s Immersion Challenge, writing tasks on HabitRPG in Japanese will also be a positive habit for bonuses, and which will count toward the challenge.  Changing a task from English to Japanese will count towards this Habit.  It will also count if one edits a previously written task from incorrect Japanese to correct Japanese.

Reward (not exactly a “reward”):

As this is a level-up challenge, we will be taking another step towards making HabitRPG an immersion environment.  In the level up challenge, participants will still be allowed to write their tasks in English if they wish; however, for this challenge there will be a cost to it.  This challenge will include a “reward” of 5 GP to write a new task in English.  Of course, this only applies to tasks that are written by the participant, and not to tasks that come from other HabitRPG Challenges.

Here is what the challenge will look like on HabitRPG:

初心者の集中訓練の挑戦 -レベルアップ

ToDo

日本語の字幕でアニメを1話見る (“Watch one episode of Anime, using Japanese subtitles”) (x3)

Daily

日本語を聞く (“Listen to Japanese”)

Habits

+   余分な日本語の聞いている (Extra Japanese listening)

+  日本語で新しいHabitRPGの用事を書く (“Write new HabitRPG task using Japanese”)

Reward

5GP  英語で新しいHabitRPGの用事を書く (“Write new HabitRPG task using English”)

The winner of the Level Up Challenge will receive 2 Gems.

Both Challenges will start on September 6, 2014 and end on October 6, 2014.

Good luck!

頑張ってください。

_______________________________________________________

*If you signed up for the challenge in August, there should be a broken megaphone on the tag for the challenge.  When you click the megaphone, it should allow you to remove the tasks from the August challenge, if you would like.  If you are participating in either one of the September challenges, it is probably a good idea to remove the tasks from the August challenge, so as not to have the tasks doubled on your lists.

Shiritori – A Japanese Vocabulary Word-Game

shiritori japanese vocabulary gameThe Kawaii Japanese Habit RPG guild (Japanese Deep Cave Adventurers) has a ongoing Shiritori game, so I thought we should have an explanation of the game and how we play it here. Also, since one of the rules of the Deep Cave Adventurers is that we use no English in the Guild, this may be helpful for newer learners.

Shiritori is a popular game in Japan. The name means “taking the end”. 尻 shiri is the same shiri as in oshiri, which you probably know means sit-upon, rear-end or backside. As with those latter English terms it can also mean the back or end of something. 取りtori means taking of course, the noun form of 取る toru. The word shiritori is usually wriiten in hiragana.

Gameplay is very simple. The first player  begins with a word, say:

しりとり(shiritori

The next player must follow with a word that begins with the kana the first word ended with, say:

リス(risu, squirrel)

The game then proceeds like this:

砂浜(すなはま sunahama sandy beach) →ま

枕(まくら makura, pillow) →ら

ラッパ(rappa, trumpet) →ぱ、ば、は

As you see from this last example, one can use all forms of a kana so if the word-ending kana can take a ten-ten or a maru you are allowed to use it with or without them regardless of what the last player did.

So ラッパ(rappa, trumpet) could be followed by パンダ (panda) バラ (bara, rose) or はいく(haiku).

Shiritori rules

Shiritori at the Deep Cave Adventrurers' Guild
Shiritori at the Deep Cave Adventrurers’ Guild

The rules of shiritori are few and simple, and we are very relaxed about them. The idea is to have fun together and practise Japanese, not to play a cut-throat game of shiritori, so we don’t worry too much about rules. But let’s discuss them so we all know where we stand:

1. Words ending in ん. One shouldn’t really play a word ending in ん. This is obvious since no Japanese word starts with ん, so it can’t be followed. In a proper game a player who plays an ん-ending word is eliminated. Don’t worry though. If someone does it by mistake, we will just start again with a new word. No one gets eliminated in our game!

2. Nouns. In traditional shiritori only nouns can be played. However, in English shiritori (shiritori played by Japanese people to help their English vocabulary) all words are allowed. We follow the same rule. There is a tendency to use nouns as somehow they feel “right”, but any word is allowed. If you are a beginner, play anything you like. And whoever you are, if you have an interesting word you feel like playing, 遠慮しないで — go ahead.

There is only one thread at the Guild, so shiritori mixes freely with chat. If you want to talk about the word you’ve played, please do. In Japanese, of course.

3. Combined kana. We like to keep play options as open as possible and this is also traditional in Japanese play, so:

りょ、ぎゃ etc can be followed either by themselves or by よ、や。So 遠慮 (えんりょ, enryo) could be followed by 料理 (りょうり ryouri) or ヨーグルト (yogurt)

Long vowels can be either shortened or the last kana used. So 自由 (じゆう jiyuu) could be followed by 雪(ゆき yuki) or 海 (うみ umi).

4. Repeated words: It is best to avoid repeating words (you can use your browser’s page-search function to see if the word has been used before recently). Words with the same kana but different kanji are fine. Traditionally a player who repeats a word is eliminated, but we don’t do that, so if you accidentally repeat a word, 気にしないでくだ— don’t worry about it.

Shiritori is very easy, so even if you are a beginner, please feel free to join in if you are on Habit RPG. If anyone has any questions (including new people and established members of the Guild, of course), just pop them in the comments below.

Japanese L and R sounds: Eating Remons and Linging Bells

Misora Hibari
Misora Hibari — if you don’t know her, you should!

It is well known that Japanese speakers can have trouble distinguishing L from R in European languages. Even when they can pronounce both sounds perfectly, they are prone to eat remons and ling bells. I remember the wonderful Misora Hibari singing a Gershwin song (I think it was Gershwin) in perfect English except for the word “rove” — which did not mean wandering, but rhymed with “glove” and meant ai (or koi if you want to carp).

This is perfectly natural as Japanese makes no distinction between the two sounds, and part of the way we learn language is that at a very early stage we learn to distinguish signal from noise in language and discard whatever is not signal. This is a necessary part of learning to hear and speak efficiently.

In Japanese one thing that gets discarded is the L/R distinction. In Japanese that distinction is just noise. Studies have shown that at 12 months Japanese children can still hear the distinction and by 18 months they can’t.

Don’t laugh. You have thrown away a lot of sound distinctions too. An Arab would be amazed that you can’t tell the K-sound in cap from the K-sound in keep, which are two distinct sounds in Arabic* (though they have a hard time telling pat from bat). Fortunately Japanese doesn’t have many subtle linguistic distinctions that we have discarded, though many Western speakers have a lot of trouble pronouncing the Japanese R.

Part of the steep learning curve in hearing a new language is getting the brain to retrieve some distinctions from the “noise” discard area and restore them to the “signal” category. This applies (probably more importantly) to things like stress and rhythm as well as pronunciation.

The L/R non-distinction can lead to curious transliteration problems. The famous early space shooter game Gradius is one interesting example. Why “Gradius”? The name means sword in Latin, or rather the Latin word for sword is gladius. You know it, actually. One reason that Latin-based languages are relatively easy for English speakers is that just about every Latin word exists somewhere in English. You may never have called a sword a gladius, but you know the sword-flower gladiolus (plural gladioli) and you have certainly heard of gladiators.

But it isn’t only Japanese people who make these L/R slips. in Pretty Cure Splash Star a very important villain is called キントレスキ. This is routinely transliterated as Kintolesky or Kintoleski by Western sources. It sounds kind of Russian and is probably supposed to, but…

"Kintolesky"? What's that got to do with muscles?
“Kintolesky”? What’s that got to do with muscles?

The name does actually have a meaning. In Japanese 筋トレ kintore means body-building. It is short for 筋トレーニング kintore-ningu, literally muscle-training. And Kintoreski is obsessed with exercise and body-building, so the name is very appropriate.

To make its meaning clearer キントレスキ could be written 筋トレ好き Kintoresuki “likes body-building”, “body-building fan”. The name is also intended to sound Russian, hence the look of the mustache and hair. There is also another pun here:  金 kin means gold and Kintoreski’s body is gold-colored.

However, the tore part of the name is clearly a regular Japanese shortening of English “training”, so tlansriterating it as Kintolesky — which makes it tole→tlaining — lleary doesn’t make sense.

___

* The k-sounds in cap and keep are different in English as well, of course, but only accidentally, depending on the juxtaposition of different vowels. English speakers can’t hear the difference or make the sounds independently. Interestingly (and related to this) the Japanese hear the English KA sound so differently from the Japanese KA sound that they write it キャ instead of カ。

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu acquired her first name as a nickname in school “because she seemed so Western-like”. Something that may puzzle actual Western people since kyary is not an English or other-Western name. I think the point was that the キャ kya sound (as in Kyatherine) which Japanese people hear when English speakers say “ka” is considered archetypally Western. It is not a sound that exists in Japanese. か is a different sound, though most Western speakers can’t hear the difference.. She liked the name but added Pamyu Pamyu to make it more kawaii. Which just shows how (thankfully) Western she isn’t.

HabitRPG: The Adventure Continues

Several of us here on Kawaii Japanese have begun to use HabitRPG as a time management tool, as Cure Dolly has discussed here.  Time management can be a big stumbling block to being able to continue one’s studies, i.e., “I would love to learn Japanese, but I really do not have the time.”

Really all of us have the same amount of time….there are 24 hours in the day for all of us!  It is really a matter of what we decide to do with our time.  I am not sure about anyone else, but left to my own devices, I will wander around all day feeling like I have been busy, without any sense of accomplishment, and having no idea what it is I was actually busy doing.  I absolutely *need* some sort of time management tool.

I have been looking for the perfect time management tool for decades.  I still miss my old Palm Pilot, which was very nicely laid out for how I like to work.  I have spent these same decades learning and practicing about every procrastination avoidance/time management system under Ohisama.  HabitRPG is not quite perfect, but it is pretty close, I think!  Cure Dolly has given a very good description of the basics of the game/tool in her previous article, so I will concentrate on the things that I have learned that are relevant to us here on Kawaii Japanese.

Approach to the “game”

One of the things that I have noticed as a difficulty for my party members is a reluctance to give themselves “credit” for their tasks and habits.  I think that here on Kawaii Japanese, many of us are studying Japanese because we feel much more at home in the cultural assumptions of the East.  One of these assumptions is that modesty is proper, and self-aggrandizement is not.  I think that one of the ways to get past this is to really understand what the purpose of the “game” is.

The purpose of the “game” is to help us all manage our time better, and to get things done.  For us, this is important so we can manage our study time and manage our other tasks and chores, so that we DO have study time.  The game itself is very well designed, so that actually the “tricks” to playing the “game” are mostly good time-management and task-management habits.

For example, dailies, todos, and habits change colors depending on how well we are doing with them.  They all start off as yellow, and turn green, then blue, and then bright blue, if we are doing well with them.  If we are doing poorly with them or letting them sit in our “todo” list, they turn orange, then red, and then deep red.  The redder the task or habit is the more damage it can do to us, but by the same token, we get more rewards for actually doing it!

Generally, tasks that turn red are tasks we REALLY don’t want to do and are putting off.  Getting more points for them helps to turn these tasks into our friends!  Heee…and doesn’t that seem like a very Japanese way to look at things!

HabitRPG current

Social aspects

The social aspects of HabitRPG are really wonderful.  I am now working with a party, and that has been really nice.   My party consists of close friends (who are also study partners).  We are all geographically far apart, but HabitRPG is helping to give us the sense that we are all working together.  We can actually see avatars of each other on our personal pages, so for me, it gives the feeling of my party being with me while doing my daily chores and tasks.

We already done about 3 “Quests” together.  The quests we have done are Boss quests, which means that we are battling a Monster.  When we do tasks and dailies, they do damage to the Boss, and missed Dailies of any one of us mean that the Boss does damage to the party.

Because we are all close friends, no one wants to do damage to the party, so we all work extra hard to do our Dailies.  Yet, also because we are all friends, we can support and comfort each other when we don’t do as well as we would like.  Below is a typical exchange in our Party chat.

ごめんなさい。(Gomen nasai. “I am very sorry”…for causing the party damage)

大丈夫ですよ。今日はがんばりましょうね!(Daijoubu desu yo. Kyou wa ganbarimashou ne!
“It is ok.  Today, let’s do our best together!”)

I think that it has very much helped our group’s bond to grow and develop!

It is also nice, that so far, all of the Quests are written in a way that is very much in line with our philosophy.  The “Bosses” are often tamed, rather than “killed”, and it is quite easy to see in these stories the traditional story themes we know and love from our favorite Anime.  We can imagine the Bosses as being taken over by Evil Spirits to be cleansed, or that they are our own False Selves.

There is also a Tavern, where just like any role playing game, one can go to hear rumors and get information!  The Tavern chat is very well moderated and is polite and pleasant, for the most part.  For many of us, part of the reason we are studying Japanese is that we are attracted to the more gentle and polite culture of Japan, so many English speaking social places on the Internet can be jarring and poisonous.  On HabitRPG, I have found the Tavern quite pleasant.  One of the really nice things is that swearing is not allowed at all, and posts with swear words are promptly removed!

Aesthetics

This is Kawaii Japanese, so, of course, aesthetics are quite important to us.  The basic game itself is quite kirei.  On the other hand, at the Tavern, I learned a way to make the game even prettier!  There is an add-on which works for Firefox, known as Stylish.  It also works on other browsers, I think, but of course we recommend Firefox here because of the availability of the Rikaichan and Procon Latte addons.

With the Stylish add-on, one can customize the interface of the program.  A link to this add-on is here.  The default theme is quite nice, and is the one that I use.  You can see it in the image above.  This add-on also has an option to hide the game aspects, which might be important if one is using HabitRPG at work.  There is also the option to create your own custom theme, but really the default one itself is quite nice, ne.

Oh dear, I had a lot more to say, but this article has already gotten quite long.  Maybe I will need to write a sequel later!

行かなければ行きません。

またね。

頑張りましょうね!

P.S.  I just received 76 experience, about 9 Gold pieces, and replenished 2.6 Mana Points by writing this post!  (this was a very red Todo)

Localization: Why Anime Translations are so Wrong (even when they don’t mean to be)

Most of us here at Kawaii Japanese prefer to play games and watch anime in the original Japanese if we can. Even if no changes have intentionally been made the English translations usually have a  very different atmosphere from the Japanese.

Some of this is connected with the practice of “localization”, but a lot simply stems from the fact that Japanese just isn’t directly translatable into English. It says things in different ways to the extent that in many cases it is actually saying different things. The English translation is not so much a translation as something like what the original was saying.

Extreme “localization” means essentially pretending the Japanese characters are American and making them talk and think as if they were. You have probably seen examples of this. However, the problem is that the line between localization and translation is much thinner than many people realize. To a large extent one has to localize while one translates because what the Japanese characters are actually saying either doesn’t exist in English or can only be said by using very wordy and unnatural English to translate a one-word Japanese concept.

Even the textbooks and dictionaries are full of “localization”. The world oishii, for example, is routinely translated as “delicious” however, as we show elsewhere, that is only a rough and sometimes misleading approximation of its real meaning. I am not blaming the sources in question. A real explanation of oishii takes a small essay (which I wrote), but that is hardly practicable for a vocabulary list or a dictionary.

Generally speaking, where the source material is quite gentle, the English translation has to come over as “rougher” and more casual, because modern English just works that way. In fact once one tries to translate these things one begins to realize how far modern English forces one into certain attitudes and cultural “boxes”.

Which in my case, at least, is one reason for learning Japanese.

Just for fun, let’s take a very brief humorous caption to a picture (I love Japanese caption contests but please note that this is strictly for academic purposes and not just because Cure Dolly wants to post a kawaii picture of a tanuki holding a kitten).

I tried to translate the caption, and although it is only a few words long I found that I ran into various small problems. None of them were really serious, but multiply this by several thousand words and you can imagine how, with no conscious attempt of localization at all (which is rare in fan translations and pretty much non-existent in professional translations), the whole tone of a work is completely changed.

why-anime-translations-are-wrong
Tiny as this caption is, there are several nuances that are just about impossible to render in English. The English version is still fun and cute, I think, but it loses quite a bit.

Here is my English translation:

“Hey, Mama, can we keep her?”

ねぇ ne is endered in my translation as “hey” because I don’t know a closer English equivalent. It is an attention-calling word, like “hey” but its shading is a little different. Both are a bit insistent, but “hey” assumes a kind of egalitarian attention-calling, while ねぇ has a more from-below flavor to it, like a little sister pulling on one’s sleeve. It is decidedly cuter.

Actually even the first question mark (after ママ mama) represents a particular tone of ねぇ-sentence  which some of you will be familiar with. It  calls attention quite strongly before proceeding to the point. If I tried to get that across in English it would feel kind of bratty, which isn’t how it sounds in Japanese (it can, when, say, Dokin-chan does it, but mostly it doesn’t, and even with Dokin-chan it is still cute).

このこ(この子) kono ko means literally “this child” but it is not restricted in meaning to the extent that English “child” is. Maybe “this little one” would be better, but that starts to get much wordier than the original, thus losing its brevity and immediateness, and is also not a regular expression in current English as この子 is in Japanese.

飼って katte is rendered as “keep” in English and I don’t think that loses much, but 飼って very specifically means “keep and look after as a pet”. There isn’t an equivalent English word.

Taken together the English translation necessarily loses something of the flavor of the original. More interestingly though, this shows how even a very small and very simple sentence can only be rather roughly translated, even with extreme good will on the part of the translator and no desire to “localize” in the sense of virtually turning the speakers into Americans (as many Anime translations do).

This caption was not selected to demonstrate translation problems. Rather the reverse. It is a very straightforwardly translatable sentence compared to many. What it shows is how even a non-problematic sentence can’t really be exactly rendered. When you multiply this by hundreds and add in some real cultural/linguistic problems (which leave the translator with the choice of long footnotes or just re-writing the sentiments into American ones), you can imagine how far from the original even a conscientious translation will fall.

Which is one reason it is important to watch anime in the original if one can.

HabitRPG Japanese Deep Cave Adventurers’ Guild: Beginner’s Immersion Challenge

*This Challenge will be held again in September, from September 6, 2014 through October 6, 2014.

始めまして。優しくです。Pink Dragon

よろしくお願いします。

In August, the HabitRPG Japanese Deep Cave Adventurers’ Guild will be sponsoring its first Challenge, which will be a Beginner’s Immersion Challenge.   This Challenge is designed to assist Beginning Japanese students (and more advanced students) to start to use Japanese, rather than merely to practice Japanese.  One of the steps towards going beyond practicing Japanese to communicating in Japanese is to encounter it in the wild…in its natural habitat, as it were, rather than safely in textbooks, vocabulary lists, and learning sites.

As Japanese learners, we are very fortunate to have a wide range of media readily available in the form of Anime and manga in order to assist us encountering the language in its natural habitat.  Cure Dolly has written a wonderful article describing how to learn Japanese through Anime, which you can find here.  I use this method myself, with a few tweaks for my own learning style and temperament.  When I first started working with Anime, it took me about 6 to 10 hours to work my way through a 24 minute episode (I started VERY early in my studies).  Now I can manage most 24 minute episodes in an hour or two, depending on the complexity.

So, this brings us to the first part of the challenge, which is a Todo of watching 1 episode of Anime with Japanese subtitles during the month, slowly, looking up new words and grammar points, and entering them into your Anki (or other learning tool).  For this Beginner’s Challenge, getting through one episode in the month is sufficient.  For true beginner’s, it might take a week or two (or more) to get through one episode.  That is fine.  You can do more if you wish, and count it in your own HabitRPG list; however, only one will count towards this particular challenge.

The second part of the challenge is a Daily of listening to spoken Japanese.  There is a lovely learning site, Effortless Japanese, in which Tomoe-sensei reads stories aloud in Japanese and asks questions about the stories in Japanese.  There is also another website which has stories that you can read along with while you listen.  An example of one of the stories can be found here.  Still another option for this Daily is listening to Anime.  To get the most out of this Daily, it is best to study the material that you will be listening to ahead of time, and put new vocabulary into your Anki.  Unlike the first leg of this challenge, it is perfectly acceptable to do this Daily while engaged in other tasks, such as housework or exercise.   The minimum requirement for this Daily is one story or episode, which range from 15 – 30 minutes long.

The third leg of this challenge is designed to start one actually using Japanese.  This leg is a positive habit of writing your habits, dailies, and todos on HabitRPG in Japanese.  This will help you to work out how to express what you actually do in Japanese.  It is also helpful in learning to use collocations, or words that go naturally together.

Here are some examples that I learned my own discipline of using Japanese for my own tasklists:

ベッドを直る (なおる)。Make the bed, in English, but is literally “fix the bed.”

アイロンを掛ける (かける)。 Do the ironing, in English, but is literally, “hang the iron.”

Now you have two tasks in Japanese for free!

For this habit, you can give yourself a + for each new Todo, Daily, or Habit that you write, so long as you write that habit in Japanese.  As this is a Beginner’s Challenge, this is a positive Habit only, so you will not get any penalty for writing in English.  While you should strive to write your task in correct Japanese, if you do your best, and write it in mistaken Japanese, that is ok too.  It is your own list that only you can see!  In my own experience, when I discover I have written a task incorrectly by later learning the correct way to say that task, I tend to really remember the correct phrase!  It is all part of the fun, I think!

In the Japanese Deep Cave Adventurers’ Guild chat area, English is strictly kinshi.  For this reason, the Challenge itself will be written in Japanese.  For beginner’s, this is what it will look like:

初心者の集中訓練の挑戦

ToDo

日本語の字幕でアニメを1話見る (“Watch one episode of Anime, using Japanese subtitles”)

Daily

日本語を聞く (“Listen to Japanese”)

Habit

+  日本語で新しいHabitRPGの用事を書く (“Write new HabitRPG task using Japanese”)

The winner(s) of this challenge shall receive one Gem.

Good luck!

がんばってください!

Denpa Ningen no RPG Free – Review

If you have a Japanese 3DS you really should download Denpa Ningen no RPG Free. As the name suggests, it is muryou, tada, roha – or as we say in English, free. And what’s more it is good. A great deal better than many games that cost thousands of times as much. Oh wait, that’s still nothing isn’t it? A great deal better than many games that cost lots and lots of yen.

And it really is excellent Japanese practice apart from being a ton of fun and a banshee of tanoshii.

denpa-ningen-RPG-freeIf you’ve never played a Denpa Ningen game before, you may not realize that the eponymous beings are little folk who inhabit the electrical waves. There are actually a lot of them in your house. Maybe not exactly in your house because I think it might be a parallel dimension or something. But co-existing spatially with your house. Don’t look now, but there is quite possibly one floating above the chryselephantine statue of Chancandre the First in the corner of your room right now – just beside the Bechstein Grand piano, floating and giggling even as you read these words.

Actually you can look now if you like because you can’t see them. You need an interdimensional viewing device to do that. Fortunately though, you have one. Or you nearly do. With a few little adjustments (which the software will make for you) your 3DS can be converted into just such a device. The kinematic below demonstrates how it works.

Once you have captured a few denpa ningen you can start your adventure. Denpa Ningen has always been a dungeon crawler, but this new version adds Doubutsu no Mori-like elements. You buy an island, and build your own house, and then expand and furnish it. You fish. But mostly you crawl dungeons because that is the way you make the money to do the other things.

Also you run into situations such as the forest being infested with bakemono that prevent the builders from getting wood. So if you want them to build for you you need to go make the forest safe by clearing out the monsters.

And some of the monsters are very interesting for example, when did you last fight a giant cake boss?

怪物のケーキ
I’ve seen some crazy monsters but this one takes the…

What about the Japanese-learning side of the game? Well, as you see from the screenshot above, the game has furigana which is one of the things I always look for in a game. Of course you wouldn’t need them on this particular screen, but there are many where they make life much easier.

denpa ningen party

There is a lot of text in the game. While you will be spending time dungeon-crawling your kawaii party meets with various dungeon denizens (other than monsters) quite frequently and the in-game dialog density, while not up to visual novel standards is on a par with many RPGs.

There is also quite a bit of voice acting which makes for some listening practice. The voices are kind of – well you know how little critters tend to talk. But then since we are all learning Japanese to make the acquaintance of cute little critters anyway, we’d better get used to it, ne?

denpa ningen RPG free

The game makes full use of the 3DS’s power. By which I don’t mean anything boring and technical. I mean it transports you into a pretty, charming 3D world-in-a-box. That is what the 3DS is for. If you wanted zombies and poorly-shaven shocktroops in photo-real (but flat) worlds you really bought the wrong toy. 3DS is a Magic Box that is bigger inside than outside and is just made to contain love and charm and cuteness.

And it talks to you in Japanese, because it loves you. And it gives you games like Denpa Ningen no RPG Free – free. And you are happy.

____
Note: You need to have a Japanese NNID in order to download this free game. Don’t worry – this article tells you all about how to do that.