Konbonwa! Genki desuka? Anata mo neko desuka?
As briefly mentioned in a review last month, I'm taking Japanese courses! I've been attending for nearly two months now, and what an experience it's been! I'm not sure if I've discussed this before, but my acquaintance with the language has roots from over a decade ago, back when I was in 7th grade. Given my love for Nintendo and anime, it was only natural I'd want to take a Japanese course even then, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Roughly half the students who took the course weren't so much interested in learning another language as much as they saw another opportunity to constantly goof around and interrupt class, and the sensei was ill-equipped to handle classroom control.
Combined with the immense pressure of learning a notoriously-difficult language, it was a recipe for disaster. I gave it another shot in my freshman year, but depression and self-destructive anxiety on my part rendered it impossible to continue.
But I never gave up on the dream, and my patience has now finally borne fruit. How, you ask? By salvaging what I did memorize from those ill-fated classroom ventures: the hiragana/katakana vowels and tables! My exact memorization of the latter alphabet is a bit rusty, but it helps that they share the same sounds as hiragana (and typically involve pronouncing English words!). Not only that, but a decade's worth of watching subtitled anime has gradually etched the flow and quirks of the Japanese language into my brain. Of course, many anime fans have picked up on Japanese phrases through that medium, but as I watched the entirety of Dragon Ball Z in Japanese last year, I grew to recognize I'd subconsciously accumulated various quirks of the language, including words and placement of grammar. As you'd expect, it's been a tremendous help in my class.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I plan on further studying the language, there's the very real possibility I'll be able to review Japan-only games! Y'know, ones that probably don't have any translation patches. Wowza. Of course, such a prospect probably won't happen for some time, not to mention my review schedule for the next half-year or so is already lined up. But hey, so far I've been able to translate one full panel of a Japanese Kirby manga volume I picked up some eight years ago, so it can't be too far, right? I'm also incredibly interested in playing Japanese versions of text-heavy Nintendo games so as properly gauge the untouched, Japan-native vision of the developers (like the recently-reviewed Paper Mario), so maybe some comparison articles could be in the future...?
All bragging aside, if you haven't already guessed, my new obsession with the Japanese language has been why October's been a bit sparse for the blog. Sorry about that! We've also been job-hunting lately; much as Nintendojo's a dream to work with, it's a volunteer position, so it doesn't pay the bills. As you may recall, Daily Gamer was set for that role, but unfortunately it fell through before it even began, so I'm searching high and low for another gaming outlet. I tell ya, if there's one thing worse than never hearing back from a prospective employer, it's sifting through all the terrible, eye-burning site layouts. With how web-design's slowly been homogenized into blogging formats over the past decade, it's not pretty.
Anyway, to make up for my lack of October presence, how about I whip up not one, but two reviews within the next week! We'll finally return to Ten Years of Kirby and get acquainted with another Worldly Weekend. While this means we won't have Biweekly Music Wednesday this week, we'll instead be able to jumpstart things back up on here. Look forward to them!