With Go Go Nippon only a couple of days away, we have one final message from our translator, Kou, who got to work on this after helping me touch up Koihime, Da Capo 2, and translating We Love Master and Harem Party. Hope you enjoy her tale!
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I want to go to Japan.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you do too. Whether it’s for the girls or the history, the food, the shopping, or the clubs; whether you’ve been there a dozen times before or the idea of going is a distant “someday”… if you follow our site and download its content, you probably want to go to Japan.
I’ve been. I traveled to Japan on a few week-long trips and then lived there for a year. I’ve been all around Tokyo, up to Hokkaido, down to Shikoku and over to Kyoto for a weekend stay. When my study abroad ended it’s not an exaggeration to say I left a little piece of myself there; with the recession and my personal finances being exhausted by various real life needs, I just haven’t been able to make it back. I miss it so much.
This game isn’t helping.
Go! Go! Nippon was created for westerners like you and me who want to go to Japan and either can’t, or don’t know what they’d do if they got there. It’s part comedy VN, part practical guidebook, part wistful travelogue, and I can testify from personal experience and acquaintance that its portrayal of a Westerner’s first time in Japan is exactly on the money.
Translating G!G!N was, for me, like reminiscing with an old friend about our first visit to Japan. The Narita express! SUICA! Using 100-yen coins like they were quarters and realizing you just spent $20 on stupid shit! Haha, remember the insanely clean bathrooms with the heated toilet seats? Remember the 24-hour convenience stores that carried everything? Yeah, that was crazy. Crazy awesome.In addition to being so perceptive about these little details, the game has a good sense of balance. Woven into the storyline are useful lessons about terminology, history, and culture, a visual layout of the city and a wide variety of tourist sites to visit. The game’s suggestions are good ones: aside from obvious destinations like Tokyo Tower and Akihabara, they also recommend relatively less well-known sites like Kamakura, Kabuki-cho, and Ryogoku.
Even an experienced Tokyonite might find some interesting information and recommendations in G!G!N. Personally, I never spent much time in Ikebukuro or Yokoyama while in Tokyo; I now feel duly chastised for it and will hit them up next time I go. I never knew the origin of the name of Akihabara, or the long history Ginza had during the westernization of Japan. I road the Ekiden in Kamakura, but I never rode it to the end.The information presented in the game is never overwhelming or boring. It’s not like reading a history book, but more like a friend taking you around and giving you interesting tidbits here and there. As such, you won’t come out of the game an expert on Japanese language or culture, but if you’re like me you’ll see a lot to resonate with your personal experience and/or what you know of Japan from anime and games. It will give you a broad sense of what Japan is really like and whet your appetite for more.G!G!N is a good introduction to the culture, language, and history of Tokyo and the surrounding area, framed by a fun storyline with likable characters. If this game does well we may see sequels that take us to other portions of Japan. Personally, I’d love to see one that takes place in Hiroshima, or the general northern Japan/Hokkaido area.
What are your favorite places in Japan? If you haven’t been before, where would you like to go?