Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble Developer Interview from Nintendo Online Magazine

Here’s a translation of Nintendo Online Magazine’s interview with Toshiaki Suzuki, the director of Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble. The original interview was probably uploaded around the launch of the game in Japan which was August 23, 2000. This one is pretty interesting because they talk about iterating on the hardware and how it all came together from the concept to the actual game.

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Paper Mario Developer Interview from Nintendo Online Magazine

This is a translation of the Paper Mario Developer Interview from the old Nintendo Online Magazine website that Nintendo used to run in Japan. The interview is with Toshiyuki Nakamura of Intelligent Systems and Hiroyasu Sasano of Nintendo. Toshiyuki Nakamura is actually the president of Intelligent Systems now, but started his career as a programmer.

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Sachiko Kawamura (Chao Creator) Interview From Sonic Channel

This is a translation of the interview with Sachiko Kawamura from the old Sonic Channel site. She has an extensive history as an artist and art director for the Sonic series so many of you are probably already familiar with at least some of her work. If you ever wondered who made those Chao so darn cute, you’re in the right place.

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Ansem Reports 1-6 in Japanese and English

I just finished reading a couple of volumes of the Kingdom Hearts novelization series in Japanese and was curious if the Ansem Reports were taken straight from the games. It turns out they were which is pretty neat. In the books they usually appear two at a time with some character interjections at the juicy bits for good measure. Anyway, I thought it would be nice to have them side by side to compare the Japanese and English, and for anyone to use as reading practice.

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Two New Game Boy Games for the Collection!

I had another couple of great finds while shopping for Game Boy games and they are in such great condition I would be doing you wonderful people a disservice by not showing them off. This post will basically just be pictures of the games, boxes, and little inserts for Pokemon Blue and Donkey Kong Land 2 (Donkey Kong Land in Japan), so if you’re into that sort of thing, give it a look!

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Reading Books (Based on Games)

I recently did something I should have done a long time ago. I read two books. They were about Kirby and the gang but… I say it still counts! Reading a book may not be quite as fun as playing a game, but it’s pretty close and arguably better practice so I wanted to write a bit about the challenges and give a couple of tips to get started.

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Kirby Vocabulary List

You might be wondering what Kirby is doing here considering Kirby games aren’t really known for… Having text. But in Japan, there is actually a tie-in book series with novelizations of games and original stories. These books are probably aimed at mid-elementary to early middle school students, so they’re great stepping stones for Japanese learners. And if you’re a Kirby fan, they’re just flat out worth reading. These are aimed for native speakers though, so be sure not to take them too lightly if you decide to pick one up.

Sample chapters can be found here:

It’s a great way to see if these books are an appropriate level for you (don’t back down from a bit of a challenge :]) and actually come out to being a decent amount of practice material in and of itself.

Learn about my experience reading these books here.

Kirby’s Dream Land: Meta Knight and the Puppet Princess
( 星のカービィ メタナイトとあやつり姫 )

  • 居眠り:いねむり:nodding off, dozing off
  • 両脇:りょうわき:both sides
  • 食いしん坊:くいしんぼう:glutton
  • 弾む:はずむ:to spring, to bound; to be stimulated/lively
  • いがみ合う:いがみあう:to snarl (at each other), to quarrel
  • これっぽち:only this much, only this little
  • 連れ立つ:つれだつ:to accompany, to go together
  • おっかない:frightening, scary
  • よける:to avoid (physical contact with)
  • 心なしか:こころなしか:seemingly, somehow, somewhat
  • 舌が肥える:したがこえる: to be particular about one’s food
  • 引きつる:ひきつる:to twitch, spasm, cram; to stiffen (facial expression)
  • 怪訝:けげん:puzzled, dubious, suspicious
  • 食い入るように:くいいるように:with intense concentration
  • 取りやめ:とりやめ:cancellation
  • ぎゅっと:tightly, firmly (grasp it!)
  • にじむ:to show through (feelings of emotion)
  • としたことが:of all people
  • よだれ:drool
  • 見くびる:みくびる:to look down on, to belittle, to underrate
  • 断じて:だんじて:absolutely, positively
  • ふんぞり返る:ふんぞりかえる:to recline/kick back, to be arrogant
  • 舌なめずり:したなめずり:licking one’s lips, licking one’s chops
  • 身を乗り出す:みをのりだす:to bend oneself forward
  • とろける:to melt, to be enchanted (by)
  • 独り占め:ひとりじめ:hogging, monopolizing
  • 腕まくり:うでまくり:rolling up one’s sleeves
  • 呼吸が合う:こきゅうがあう:to get along, to hit it off, to be on the same page
  • よろよろ:staggering, reeling
  • 航法:こうほう:navigation, sailing
  • 手を取り合う:てをとりあう:to join hands, to do together
  • はしゃぐ:to frolic, to be in high spirits
  • 撤回:てっかい:withdraw, retraction
  • 漆黒:しっこく:jet black
  • びくともしない:undaunted, unyielding
  • そびえ立つ:そびえたつ:to stand towering over the surroundings
  • うるむ:to become wet, to be tear-choked
  • せねばならない:to have to do, must do, ought to do
  • 眼差し:まなざし:a look, gaze
  • すねる:to sulk to pout
  • 人騒がせ:ひとさわがせ:person that annoys or causes trouble, false alarm
  • うなだれる:to hang one’s head
  • 王立:おうりつ:royal
  • 食い意地が張った:くいいじがはった:to be gluttoness, to be greedy
  • 口答え:くちごたえ:backtalk
  • 由緒:ゆいしょ:lineage, pedigree, history
  • 家柄:いえがら:social standing of a family, good family
  • ひきつける:to attract, to charm
  • 詰め寄る:つめよる:to draw near, to press for an answer
  • 剣幕:けんまく:threatening attitude, menacing look
  • いささか:a little, a bit, somewhat
  • おろおろ:in confusion, in bewilderment, tearfully

Kirby: Planet Robobot (novelization)

  • 懐中:かいちゅう:one’s pocket
  • 懐中時計:かいちゅうとけい:pocket watch
  • うやうやしい:polite, respectful
  • はっと:taken aback, surprised
  • うれい:sorrow, distress, trouble
  • あきれ返る:あきれかえる:to be amazing, to be stunned
  • おたけび:war cry
  • 盤上:ばんじょう:on the board (go, shogi, chess)
  • 駒:こま:piece (shogi, chess, etc)
  • 隕石:いんせき:meteorite
  • しがみつく:to cling
  • 目を見張る:めをみはる:to be wide-eyed (in surprise)
  • どぎもをぬく(度肝を抜く):to astonish, to astound
  • つべこべ:complaining, nitpicking
  • 失せろ:うせろ:beat it! Get lost!
  • くずおれる:to collapse, to fall down
  • 飛び退く:とびのく:to jump back, to jump out of the way
  • 駆除:くじょ:extermination
  • 遮る:さえぎる:to interupt, to intercept, to block
  • 遂行:すいこう:carry out (a task)
  • 出力:しゅつりょく:output (electrical, signal)
  • 物陰:ものかげ:hiding place
  • すかさず:without a moment’s delay
  • 通り過ぎる:とおりすぎる:to go past, to pass
  • かがみこむ:to lean over, to lean in
  • 先端:せんたん:pointed end, pointed tip
  • いつの間にか:いつのまにか:before one knows it
  • 鋼鉄:こうてつ:steel
  • 息を凝らす:いきをこらす:to hold one’s breath
  • 怖気づく:おじけづく:to be seized up in fear, to be intimidated
  • 札付き:ふだつき:tagged (with a price), notorious, infamous
  • 駆け寄る:かけよる:to run over to, to rush up to
  • ふてぶてしい:shameless, brazen
  • 顔つき:かおつき:(outward) appearance, looks, expression
  • ふためく:to make a commotion
  • ただならぬ:unusual
  • 崩壊:ほうかい:collapse, caving in
  • 消息:しょうそく:news (from somebody), whereabouts
  • わしづかみ:tight grip, grabbing hold
  • 本拠:ほんきょ:stronghold, headquarters, base
  • こっぱみじん:blown to smithereens
  • 絶句:ぜっく:being at a loss for words
  • 悪名:あくみょう:infamous, notorious
  • 名高い:なだかい:famouse, renowned
  • 歯向かう:はむかう:to strike back at, to oppose, to defy
  • うめく:to moan, to groan
  • 堪り兼ねる:たまりかねる:to be unable to bear
  • 楯突く:たてつく:to defy, to go against
  • こする:to rub
  • がっちり:solid, robust, tight
  • 一苦労:ひとくろう:a hard time, pains
  • 埋もれる:うもれる:to be buried, to be covered
  • とぎらせる:to stop midway, to interrupt
  • 立ちすくむ:たちすくむ:to be petrified, to be paralyzed (with horror)
  • 虚ろ:うつろ:void, hollow, void (of expression)
  • 悪ふざけ:わるふざけ:horse play, prank
  • 一目散に:いちもくさんに:running at full, running as fast as one can
  • 人影:ひとかげ:figure of a person
  • 警戒を解く:けいかいをとく:to let one’s guard down, to relax one’s guard
  • 目がける:めがける:to aim at
  • 目をつぶる:めをつぶる:to shut one’s eyes, to ignore, pretend not to know
  • 身震い:みぶるい:shivering (from cold), trembling (in fear)
  • お代わり:おかわり:another helping, seconds
  • ずぶ濡れ:ずぶぬれ:to be dripping wet
  • 波打ち際:なみうちぎわ:water’s edge, beach
  • 煙突:えんとつ:chimney, smokestack
  • ひときわ:conspicuously, noticeably, remarkably
  • 堂々:どうどう:magnificent, grand
  • 合成音声:ごうせいおんせい:synthesized voice
  • どく:to make way, to get out of the way (どいて – make way!)
  • さして:(not) particularly, (not) much
  • 中枢:ちゅうすう:center, mainstay, key, pillar
  • 不服:ふふく:dissatisfaction, discontent
  • 名だたる:なだたる:famous, notorious, noted
  • 口ずさむ:くちずさむ:to hum (a tune), to sing to oneself
  • 陰り:かげり:shadow or cloud, shade, gloom
  • 帯びる:おびる:to have a trace of
  • 絡まる:からまる:to be entwined
  • あらん限り:あらんかぎり:all, as much as possible
  • 振り絞る:ふりしぼる:to muster (one’ strength)
  • 餌食:えじき:prey, victim
  • よろめく:to stagger
  • わめく:to shout, to cry, to scream
  • せこい:petty, small-minded, cheap (skirting the rules)
  • おののく:to tremble, to shudder
  • かきむしる:to tear off, to pluck, to scratch off
  • 分子:ぶんし:molecule, numerator
  • 疾走:しっそう:sprint, dash
  • 急旋回:きゅうせんかい:sharp turn
  • 絶好調:ぜっこうちょう:in perfect form, going swimmingly
  • 地雷:じらい:land mine
  • 無残:むざん:cruel, pitiful, tragic
  • たぐいまれ:unique, rare, unusual
  • にじり寄る:にじりよる:to sidle up to
  • ぱちくり:blinking in surprise
  • 垂らす:たらす:to dribble, to spill, to suspend
  • しかめっ面:しかめっつら:frown, scowl
  • たるむ:to slack off (work), not put one’s heart into
  • 寂寥:せきりょう:loneliness, desolateness
  • 荒野:こうや:wasteland
  • ありし日:ありしひ:past days, days of yore
  • 洗脳:せんのう:brainwashing
  • 崇高:すうこう:lofty, sublime, noble
  • 固唾:かたず:saliva held in one’s mouth during times of tension
  • ぎこちない:awkward, clumsy, stiff
  • たたずむ:to stand still, to loiter, to stop
  • 名乗る:なのる:to give one’s name, to reveal oneself (as)
  • 華麗:かれい:splendid, magnificent, gorgeous
  • ぺちゃんこ:crushed flat
  • 辛うじて:かろうじて:just barely, narrowly
  • カルテ:medical chart, patient records, records
  • 呆然:ぼうぜん:dumbfounded
  • みなぎる:to be filled with (emotion/energy), to pervade (emotion etc)
  • せり上がる:せりあがる:to gradually rise
  • 顔をしかめる:かおをしかめる:to grimace, to frown
  • 無謀:むぼう:reckless, thoughtless, mad (scheme)
  • 手並み:てなみ:skill
  • けた違い:けたちがい:an order of magnitude higher
  • たなびく:to flow (in the wind), to hover above, to trail
  • 歯ぎしり:はぎしり:tooth grinding
  • うってつけ:ideal
  • こじ開ける:こじあける:to pry open, to pick (a lock)
  • 土足で:どそくで:rudely, with shoes on
  • だらける:to be lazy, to feel dull
  • 肩をすくめる:かたをすくめる:to shrug one’s shoulders
  • 引っ込む:ひっこむ:to draw back, to sink, to retire (somewhere), to butt out
  • 気にめす:to like, to be pleased by
  • 屈辱:くつじょく:disgrace, humiliation
  • めり込む:めりこむ:to sink (into), to cave in, to get stuck in
  • 背負い投げを食う:せおいなげをくう:to be betrayed unexpectedly/stabbed in the back
  • 懲りない:こりない:person who doesn’t learn their lesson
  • 取り繕う:とりつくろう:to keep up appearances, to gloss over, to mend
  • うり二つ:うりふたつ:(as alike as) two peas in a pod
  • 下敷き:したじき:desk pad, sheet of plastic placed under writing paper, being pinned/trapped under
  • ちくっと:pricking, stinging
  • いばんりんぼう:boaster, bossy, overbearing person
  • しぶとい:tenacious, tough
  • いかめしい:stern, formidable, solemn
  • たじろぐ:to shrink back, to wince
  • はめ込む:はめこむ:to insert
  • かなた:beyond, across, to other side
  • 紐解く:ひもとく:to unravel (a mystery), to discover
  • 肘掛け:ひじかけ:armrest
  • 万能:ばんのう:all-purpose; all powerful, omnipotent
  • 不滅:ふめつ:immortal, undying
  • ベールを脱ぐ:べーるをぬぐ:to show something that was hidden
  • 本日付で:ほんじつづけで:effective today
  • 原始的:げんしてき:primitive
  • 泡を食う:あわをくう:to be flurried, to be confused, to lose one’s head
  • ありったけ:all that one has, all that there is
  • 持ち場:もちば:job post, station, position
  • ぐったり:limply, wearily 
  • 根絶やし:ねだやし:rooting up (weeds), eradication
  • 声が裏返る:こえがうらがえる:to break into falsetto, to crack, to croak
  • 会心:かいしん:satisfaction, gratification
  • 墜落:ついらく:fall, crash (airplane)
  • 奮い立つ:ふるいたつ:to cheer up, to be in high spirits
  • 艦首:かんしゅ:bow (of a warship)
  • やり手:やりて:skilled person, capable person, doer
  • 思わせぶり:significant, hints at deeper meaning
  • 顧みる:かえりみる:to reflect on; to look back at; to concern oneself with
  • 猛々しい:たけだけしい:ferocious, fierce, audacious
  • まがまがしい:ominous, sinister
  • 繁栄:はんえい:prosperity,  thriving
  • 塵:ちり:dust, dirt
  • 縁取る:ふちどる:to (add a) border or fringe
  • がんじがらめ:bound hand and foot, immobile
  • はじけ飛ぶ:はじけとぶ:to pop off, to shoot off, to burst open
  • はぎとる:to tear off, to strip, to rob
  • 死に物狂い:しにものぐるい:desperation, struggle to the death
  • すべてを賭ける:すべてをかける:to lay it all on the line
  • かすめる:to graze, to skim, to brush against
  • 穿つ:うがつ:to drill, to bore, to get to the heart of
  • メリメリと:splintering or cracking
  • こんもり:thickly, densely
  • 血相を変える:けっそうをかえる:to change facial expression or color (due to anger, etc)
  • 串刺し:くしざし:skewer, impalement
  • 感極まる:かんきわまる:to be overcome with emotion
  • うろたえる:to be flustered
  • うぬぼれ:pretension, hubris
  • 大概にする:たいがいにする:to not get carried away
  • 自業自得:じごうじとく:paying for one’s mistakes, reap what you sow
  • 悔やむ:くやむ:to mourn, to regret
  • のけぞる:to bend backwards, to be taken aback
  • 命拾い:いのちびろい:narrow escape from death
  • 寸前:すんぜん:just before, on the verge of
  • しどろもどろ:confused, incoherent
  • ひったくる:to snatch from, to steal from
  • じわっと:slowly but steadily
  • 尊大:そんだい:arrogant, pompous 
  • こりごり:a bitter experience, learning from a bad experience
  • 音痴:おんち:tone-deaf, no ear for music

Let Me Introduce You to Pallet Town

If you’re around my age, Pokemon may have been your first RPG. The start of a grand adventure in the world of Pokemon and the start of a lifelong love of the genre. I’ve mentioned this a couple of other places on the site, but Pallet Town was also the start of my gaming in Japanese adventures. I took a stab at playing gen 1 really early on in my studies and now I’m going to put up side-by-side English and Japanese from Pallet Town in Pokemon Let’s Go.

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Japanese Practice Through Games – a Beginner’s Guide

Playing games in Japanese can be a great way to learn. It shows you real life language written by Japanese people for Japanese people. There’s no worry about whether the vocabulary you’re learning is relevant because you’re seeing it right there in front of you. You might even have these resources sitting in your house, right now! Hundreds of learning opportunities ready to be taken advantage of!

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Let Me Introduce You to Springdale [Sakura New Town] Part II

We’re not quite done with Springdale and Yokai Watch 4 just yet. There are a lot of NPCs to meet so let’s take a look at the next batch. This is a continuation of the ‘Let Me Introduce You to’ series where we walk around video game towns and practice reading Japanese with side-by-side English and Japanese text! Don’t forget to check here for part 1.

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