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What’s in a Title: Squid Girl





This means “elementary school”. The first kanji 小 can mean little or small. The second kanji 学 usually means study or learn while the last kanji can mean school. Interesting thing about elementary schools in Japan, they usually have grades 1-6 in elementary school.

に is a particle that can mean to, by, from, for, etc. depending on the context. Since elementary school is a place, we can assume that “to” would be a good translation.


This way of saying “not to go” is a way to invite someone somewhere. But what is the deal with イカ? I’ll explain after seeing the official translations.

Together this sentence means “Want to go to elementary school!?”.


This word is just the English term for “cosplay”.


This negative tense question is used to say something like “isn’t that”.

So together we have “Isn’t that cosplay!?”


The word comes from the いーAdjective 軽い which means “light” as in the weight of something, not a shining light. As with じゃないか, we can use adjectives or verbs the same way. It means “Isn’t that light!?”.

And here are the official translation for each title. You can click on each picture to see the translation better.

This title comes from Squid Girl Season 2. As you can see from these translations I had a somewhat correct translation. However, they put a spin on the translations with the word イカ which means “squid”. They also put something related to squids, “ink”, into the 2nd title. The main character (Squid Girl, of course) also uses these puns in her speech as well. In short, puns are great. Also, watching the episode first is a great way to get context for titles.

I haven’t watched the first season in years. I waited to watch the second season because I only watched anime in English back then. They finally put out an English dub a few years ago and I watched it. It’s a fun show. A little weird but fun. Here’s a PV for the first season in:

English (英語):

Japanese (日本語):


Learning Japanese with Game Scripts

日本語の練習 第164週
Japanese Practice Week 164









Technology is getting out of hand… (-_-;)


A: 困ったな。

B: どうしたの、えりちゃん?

A: 兄ちゃん、作文が難しい。助けて。

B: え?でも、最近、俺に比べて、えりちゃんの作文よりうまいだろ?

A: 。。。

B: えりちゃん?

A: じつは、AIで作文を書かせた。でも、お金がないし、使えない。

B: そうね。。。じゃ、教えてあげる。

A: なんだ。

B: 書けば書くほど、作文がもっと上手になるよ。

A: でも、デッドラインはあと5時間だ。

B: まあ自業自得。

[Isn’t that cheating?]

A: I’m stumped.

B: What’s wrong, Eri?

A: Big bro, this essay is hard. Help me.

B: Huh? But, your essays have been better than mine lately? Why would you need my help?

A: …

B: Uh, Eri?

A: Actually, I’ve been using an AI to do my essays for me. But I don’t have any money so I can’t use it.

B: I see… Well, let me teach you something.

A: What’s that?

B: The more you write, the better your essays will be.

A: But the deadline is in 5 hours.

B: Well, you reap what you sow.








Went back to the Radio Tower and used the card key. Suddenly, I was attacked by a Team Rocket Grunt. Luckily, they weren’t too strong. The guy was shocked when I told him how I got the card key. Went up the stairs and battled an Executive member. He only had a Golbat but it was tough. It almost killed Kochou with a Wing Attack. Switched to Static and he took it out with a Thunderpunch. Looks like Mary isn’t handling this situation well. Her Mewoth seems calm though.

Fought the lady that saw back at the hideout in Mahogany Town. She thinks she’ll win against me. Uzumaki struggled against her Arbok but was able to take it down with a few Dragon Rage moves. I was trying to switch to Static, but Murkrow killed Rock Lee with Pursuit. What the heck?! What kind of move is that?!

Static took Murkrow down with a Thunderpunch.

Switched to Hanabi but Vileplume put her to sleep. She woke and took Vileplume out in one hit with a Flame Wheel. So their genius plan was to announce Team Rocket’s revival so Giovanni would come back… are they stupid. I guess another kid is going to have to teach these people a lesson. 

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週!

What’s in a Title: IDOLY PRIDE



I think there is some familiarity with “this” word so I will be giving some more context into it’s pattern and then translate it. 

The word この comes from the usual こそあど言葉 or the ko-so-a-do words. It is a word pattern that depends on the distance of the speaker and listener. For instance: 

  • この(it’s closer to the speaker)
  • その(it’s closer to the listener)
  • あの(it’s not close to the speaker nor the listener)
  • どの(is asking a question, it can be translated to “which” in this form)

The word この simply means “this”.


一歩 is made of two kanji. The first is 一(いち, there are other readings you can find more here.)The second kanji 歩 can come from the verb 歩く which means to walk. So roughly speaking, you can think of this saying small amount, as in a small amount of effort. You can even translate it to “step” or “stage” (probably not a good translation for this title but in a way it makes sense given the story.)

However, there are other shorter ways to translate this like saying  “one step”

Put this together with この and you get “This One Step”. 

Since “stage” fits in with the story; you could also go with “This Stage” if you like to be a bit avant-garde.


から is a particle that means “from”, “since”,etc (“because”, “after”). However, used like this it is better to use the first meaning “from” because it usually means a time, place, a quantity of something, or an origin of something.

Put this together with the rest and you can get two translations,  “From This One Step” and “From This Stage”.

And last but not least the official translation:

A solid translation from Funimation. 

This anime title is from the first episode of IDOLY PRIDE. You may have seen other entries where I’ve talked about it. Once when I was talking about digital manga and when I bought it on BOOKWALKER

I started the show a couple of years ago, but thanks to reading the manga (which is only available legally in Japanese), I knew what was going to happen for the most part (at first I thought they might pull a Fuuka or Promised Neverland Season 2 on me).

Without spoilers, it is an idol show akin to IdolM@ster, Wake Up Girls, and Love Live! School Idol Project. A younger sister is trying to surpass her older sister as an idol with 9 other girls that are a fairly new idol group. There is a ranking system called VENUS, that ranks each idol group/individual idol on many aspects (likability, following performances, etc.). It’s kind of like athletes’ stats in sports. 

Considering I read the manga first, it was great to see it get adapted. I did get the sense of “oh no I’m reading the manga so if I watch the anime it might spoil the manga and vice versa” but, I went ahead and enjoyed both. On another note, I’m a bit surprised MAL hasn’t got this manga on their site yet. Anyway, give it a shot if you like idol anime. Here’s a trailer:

Ordered Books from Kinokuniya

日本語の練習 第163週
Japanese Practice Week 163






The old “Adult Gamer” Paradox


A: ふぁあ、疲れた。。。たいだま。

B: お帰り、兄ちゃん。包みが来たよ。

A: あ、ついに来たか。

B: なにこれ?

A: PS5よ。

B: 買ったの?!

A: あ。ゲームをやる時間があるかどうかわからないけどさ。

B: なんで?

A: それぞれの働いている大人の運命なんだ。

B: わかんない。

A: つまり、仕事があるので、お金でゲームを買えるだろ。

B: うん。

A: しかし、最近もっと働いてたから、ゲームをする時間がないんだよ。

B: あ、ほんとうだ。大学生の頃、兄ちゃんとゲームをやったばかりだっけ。

A: アドバイスをあげるよ、妹。大人になっちゃダメ。

B: でも、今年は高校の卒業式だよ。

A:  。。。まあ、頑張ってね。

[Sure is tough for an adult gamer]

A: Ugh, I’m so tired… I’m home.

B: Welcome back big bro. You got a package.

A: Oh, it finally came.

B: What is it? 

A: A PS5.

B: You got one?!

A: Yeah but I don’t know when I’ll be able to play my games.

B: Why’s that?

A: It’s the fate of a working adult.

B: I’m not following.

A: Basically, I have the money to buy games because I have a job right?

B: Yeah.

A: But now that I’m working so much, I don’t have time to play my games.

B: Ah that’s true. We used to play for hours when you were in college.

A: Here’s some advice, sis. Don’t grow up.

B: But I graduate from high school this year.

A: … Well, good luck.







Fought a few grunts and they gave me some info about the shutters. They don’t think that I can figure it out. All I had to do was turn on the switches starting from the one on the left. Found some burglars. Does Team Rocket know these guys are down here? What is there to steal down here? There’s a woman beside a door and another switch. Ugh, it’s the same woman from before. Or at least I think it is. Do they all have similar hairstyles or something? 

Anyways, Kochou was able to take her Gloom down with a new move called Psybeam. Thank goodness. Those Pokemon reek. I checked out the switch beside her. It says emergency. Turned it on and it opened all the shutters. Or most of them. Wonder what’s behind this one. Did a little trial and error and found a smoke ball there. Maybe I can use it to make a quick escape like Red the Phantom Thief. Or just rely on Hanabi’s Smokescreen. A move like Deku’s new quirk is cool, too.

Ugh the guy with the goofy laugh is here. Quickly took him down. The guy’s a weirdo. After beating the grunt that was guarding the Director, he gave me the card key and told me that Team Rocket could control Pokemon with radio signals. Guess he’s just going to stay here for now. Better hurry and take care of them. Wait a minute. This exit leads to the basement floor in the mall. Couldn’t I have just used this to get to the director faster?!

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週!

What’s in a Title: Slayers

Dash! 逃げろ!魔法が使えない?


I just wanted to add this to introduce the word into the loan word ダッシュ.


This word is the imperative form of the verb to run or escape. The imperative form is basically a rough command by someone. Think of it like a drill sergeant commanding you to do something. 食べろ!飲もう!寝ろ!

As you can see the imperative form is quite rude. But if you are in a dire “life or death” situation, you can use it to make your speech shorter during emergencies.

Anyways, this just means “Escape!” or “Run!”.


It is made up with the kanji 魔 which can mean “witch, demon, evil spirit” and 法 which can mean “method, law, system, etc.”. So from combining these two Kanji we can see how the word “magic” is made. Take witch and method.  “Witches” are known for using a certain “Method” to do their spells. 

In other words, this word means “magic”.

が is another particle that indicates the sentence’s subject. It usually comes up when you want to describe something with an adjective or in this case describing a verb with the subject “magic”.


This is the casual potential negative form of the verb 使う, to use. The potential form is basically a form where you can say you can or can’t do a certain verb. In this case, it means “can’t use”. A question mark is added afterwards as it comes to the shock/surprise to the character it involves.

Put that together with ”魔法が使えない?” means “I can’t use my magic?”

Put that together with the rest of the words the title means ”DASH! Escape! I Can’t Use My Magic?”.

Compared to the official translation, they both say the same thing. However, I think that my translation is a bit too straightforward.

This title comes from the 90s anime “Slayers”. It follows a story with a girl who can use powerful magic and steals treasure from bandits. She later on teams up with a natural airhead of a swordsman. Perhaps many more will join her party (I haven’t watched it all yet. Finished the 5th episode just yesterday.)

It kind of gives me a RPG vibe. Was watching it dubbed for the first episode but after seeing that the Japanese version comes with titles like this I changed to sub. Plus, the OP and ED songs come with the lyrics in Japanese with furigana so I couldn’t pass this up. If you are interested you can find it on Funimation as far as I know.

Japanese Gaming Slang

日本語の練習 第162週
Japanese Practice Week 162







Why is this song so catchy?


A: あの曲また始まったかよ。

B: どうしたの、カスミ?曲好きじゃないの?

A: 好きだけど、仕事のラジオでいつもあの曲を連続で聞いていたんだ。

B: あ、けっこううざいね。

A: そうだよね。働くとき、少しだけラジオ局を変更したい。

B: 大変だったね。でも、あの歌手はどこかで。。。

A: テイラー・スウィフトだよ。アメリカの歌手よ。

B: あ、ほんとうだ。耳がいいじゃん。

A: いや、あの声が頭から離れないもん。本当に残念。

B: なんで。

A: あたしはスウィフティなんだ。

B: スウィフティ?

[Want to hear it but I don’t]

A: Ugh they’re playing that song again?

B: What’s wrong, Kasumi? You don’t like it?

A: I do, but I hear it on repeat on the radio at work.

B: Oh, that’s pretty annoying.

A: Yeah. When I work, I kind of want to change the radio station.

B: That sucks. Where have I heard this singer?

A: It’s Taylor Swift. She’s an American singer.

B: Oh, really. You have a good ear.

A: No, I can’t get her voice out of my head. It’s a real shame.

B: Why?

A: I’m a Swifty.

B: What’s a Swifty?








Fought another scientist on the fourth floor. He had this weird Pokemon named Porygon. It kept changing its type so it was hard to take it down. I finally reached the fifth floor where I met the Director. Strange… there’s no one guarding him? That’s a bit suspicious. 

He walked up to me and said he was an impostor. It’s that Team Rocket Executive I fought a while back. Then where is the real Director? If I beat him I’ll force it out of him. Why does he only have a team of Koffing?! Oh, never mind. His last Pokemon was Weezing. But still, what the heck? I let Rock Lee take them down with Magnitude. After the battle he gave me a key. Told me that the Director is in an Underground Warehouse.

Healed my Pokemon and headed for the Goldenrod Tunnel. The basement key worked but as soon as I was going to walk further in, Keiji stopped me. Seems like he tailed me here. He’s here to take down Team Rocket by himself. We could work together but he doesn’t want to do that. Why’s he so obsessed with this organization anyway? Does he have some kind of connection with them? Didn’t have trouble beating his team. Looks like Croconaw has evolved into Feraligatr.

This guy still doesn’t understand why he loses, but he’s trying to understand now so that’s great. After the battle he ran off. Guess we’ll take them down ourselves.

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週!

Book Review: Red the Phantom Thief Vol. 5

After successfully pulling off a heist and getting one over the middle school Detective Hibiki, Asuka is asked by the drama club to help with a new play. While preparing for the play, she meets a first year student named Minatsu. Let’s just say she’s not the most friendly. Hanasato also makes an appearance in this one which leads Kaito Red into another messy situation.


The character development and interactions were great. Considering this series has several books after it, I was assured that Asuka and Kei were going to be fine but the last fight scene could have ended very bad for her. It seems as though there is more to that organization that was introduced in the last volume, so I’m looking forward to Asuka one day taking them down.


As with the last volume, I recommend this for anyone studying for the N3 or already at the N3 level. These books are set up for middle school kids in Japan so this is good way to ease into reading.

I had to look up 102 words this time and found some interesting ones:

配役(はいやく)=cast of a play
棒読み(ぼうよみ)= reading something in a monotone voice
工場 (はいこうじょう)=abandon in abandon factory
疫病神(やくびょうがみ)=basically someone that is a jinx






I’ll be readingトップ・シークレット (Top Secret) for March. This seems to be around the same reading level as Kaito Red. Plus I’ve been wanting something with spies since Spy x Family finished up last year. I’ve also been reading another book: my first light novel. Look forward to a review on this book and the light novel in the future.

What’s in a Title: Non Non Biyori



The word 昔 can mean “former” or “olden days”. It kinda gives you a nostalgic sense of a simpler time in this context when we were younger. The から just means “from” or “since”. So to translate to English without sounding weird it would be something like “Back then” or “Since then” or “long ago”.


There are many kou(s) in Japanese but I think this is the best fit: 斯う. This こう means “this way”. It can be referred to something or someone around the speaker, the speaker themselves, or people around the speaker. Put this together with 昔から we get “like this since a long time ago”. 

We can’t glean who the speaker is from the title alone so this could be referring to the speaker or a group who have not changed even when they got older. Since this show mostly consists of elementary and middle schoolers, I guess the title is referring to how they were when they were even younger.


Past tense of です makes だった. In this context it means “was” or “were” depending on if the subject is singular or plural. Put this together with ”昔からこう”, we get a rough translation “I was like this since a long time ago” or “We were like this since a long time ago”

The pros did a great job with this one. It’s short and still holds the same meaning. This title comes from the 3rd season of Non Non Biyori called Non Non Biyori Nonstop. Came out this winter. Really reminds me of being back in my small town as a child. It can be kinda boring out in the sticks at times but I must say with a little imagination and initiative you can have fun just about anywhere.

Here’s a PV of the first season if you are interested (Plus they have this manga on BOOK☆WALKER in Japanese [It has furigana] and English). The manga finished in both languages with 16 volumes so need to wait for more releases. Plus, the Japan store for Bookwalker has a sale going on till March 9th JST for this series (403円 to 579円). If you want to buy the English version they have a coin boost going on for the series (250 coins) till March 2nd.

I watched this when it was still on HiDive but it looks like Crunchyroll has it now. Sentai Filmworks worked on an English dub for the show but this show could also be an easy step into learning new words. So give it a try if Iyashikei/Slice of Life anime are your thing.

Black History Month Highlight: David Evelyn

日本語の練習 第161週
Japanese Practice Week 161



最後はDavid Evelynです。Davidさんは和英翻訳者で、色々な漫画を翻訳します。ただのマンガではありません。有名な漫画雑誌少年ジャンプです。




You play video games… how do you not know?


A: ねえ、おじさん。一緒にマリオカートやるの?

B: いや。レーシング系ゲームはあまり興味ない。

A: じゃあ、スマブラはどうだ?

B: スマブラってなんだ?

A: あれ?知らないのか?

B: 全然。

A: スマッシュブラザーズ。ちぢめて「スマブラ」と呼んで、ニンテンドーキャラと戦うファイティングゲームだよ。

B: ほんとうか?!そんなゲームがあるのか?

A: うん。

B: ディディーコングはあるの?

A: うん。

B: やる。

A: やった。よし、ちょっとあげようかな。

B: へ〜 負けるつもりじゃないんだ。

[You don’t know?!]

A: Hey, uncle. Wanna play Mario Kart?

B: Nah. I’m not really into racing games.

A: Well, how about Smash Bros?

B: Smash Bros… what’s that?

A: Wait, you don’t know?

B: Not a thing.

A: Smash Brothers. Smash Bros for short. It’s a fighting game with Nintendo characters.

B: Really?! They have a game like that?

A: Yep.

B: Does it have Diddy Kong?

A: Yeah.  

B: I’ll play that.

A: Yay. Alright, I’ll have to teach you a bit.

B: Sure. I don’t plan on losing though.







Flew to Goldenrod City on Toriyama and headed for the radio tower. Are they trying to reach out to Giovanni? Looks like these guys are all over the city too. So they really are here. Well if that guy can take down this organization, then so can I. Time for them to lose to a kid… again. 

One of the Team Rocket members said it was easy to take this place over. What did you expect? You’re not going up against Pokemon trainers. Speaking of trainers, where the heck is Whitney at a time like this? That old geezer was nowhere to be found when Team Rocket was in his town. I thought the Gym Leaders had some kind of authority but I guess not. Still could help out though. Took down all the grunts on the second floor with Rock Lee, Kochou and Uzumaki. Next up is the third floor.

Toriyama was poisoned, so I had to go to the Pokemon Center. After that, I bought some antidotes and super potions from the department store. While fighting a scientist, Hanabi learned another fire type move called Flame Wheel. So he was behind sending that strange radio signal. I’ve gotta put an end to them. There’s a barricade up ahead and only the Director has the key. A lady told me that he is on the fifth floor. I’ll go save him.

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週!

What’s in a Title: chay’s song



This just means “you”. As a bonus, I found a kanji from my playthrough of Persona 4 Golden for this word. They are 貴方・貴女・貴男. 

The first kanji can mean “precious” or “honorable” while the 方 (if you have been studying keigo might be familiar) means “person”. This word can also be split into genders as you can see with the kanji for woman(女・おんな) and man(男・おとこ) respectively. 

It can be used for someone of equal or lesser status than you. Even Sora from Kingdom Hearts uses it with this strange figure talking to him in the cave. Except it is a different way to say 貴方、あんた. This is usually used in a familiar way. The tone and the context can also help understand how to translate this. Think of it as something similar calling someone “dude” in the way characters like Sora says it.

This particle is just a destination particle. It can mean to or in, or at.


This word means “love”. More of a romantic love than the usual word you see pronounced as  愛(あい). 

This particle is the direct object particle. It just puts a spotlight on what came before it. In other words, it is making the word before the particle, become the subject of the sentence.

When 恋 is paired with をする it means to fall in love. 


Now this has the てーform mixed with the verb みる, as in to try (in this it doesn’t mean “not  see”. It’s more like “trying to see if you can do something”.). When put together it means to “try to do something”. However since it is in the past tense it needs to be “tried to do something”.

Put あなたに恋をしてみました together and you get “Tried falling in love with you”

I found this song on the TODAI Easy Japanese App I use. It’s pretty useful. Other than news, you can take JLPT Practice Tests, listen to a few podcasts, and of course listen to some music with lyrics.

I like how jazzy and upbeat the song is, so I might check out more of chay’s music.