Project Help: Summer Edition

Currently, we’re working on translating Fire Emblem Fates more professionally and accurately than Treehouse did. As always, I’ll need your suggestions on improvements to make it as natural as possible since I am not a native English speaker.

As well, I am going to be translating the untranslated DLC for Tokyo Mirage Sessions as well as the spoken dialogue that remains untranslated in the English version. I’ll need help to decide exactly how to present it and perhaps volunteers to make YouTube videos. In addition, translation of the Super Famicom Angelique will begin soon and I need to find a translation team willing to make a patch.

If you have anything you’d like to help out on, discuss it here.

We need all the help we can get, whether it be programming, editing, proof-reading or any other type of help. Obviously, if you’re Japanese learner and you want to use this help you further your studies, by all means. If you’re an English learner who speaks Japanese like me and want to do so as well, start a discussion and let’s all help each other out! Join Karasu Corps to fight for more transparency and truth!

(Please note: When I first started Karasu Corps, I didn’t know if this comment section would end up being overpopulated with comments, so I made a monthly Project Help page. It seems it isn’t all that inundated with comments, so I’m moving to a seasonal Project Help page.)

Translation: Using Cheat Tools in Pokemon Go is a Crime?

Prepare for trouble

Today’s Asahi Newspaper had an interesting article about the use of cheat tools in popular games like Puzzle & Dragons or Pokemon GO and how some people are being arrested over it. Because the paper only allows you to read the full article if you’re a registered member, I can’t translate it in full, but what follows below is a summary with the most relevant parts directly translated.


Using Cheat Tools in Pokemon GO is a Crime?

(original article by Aya Amano)

“Arrests have been made concerning cheat tools (CT) in the online game Puzzle & Dragons, which is popular both in and outside the country. ” The article then explains to Japanese readers that cheat tools are as “tools that allow you trick [the game],” and goes on to say, “They appeared immediately in the popular Pokemon GO. What’s the problem?”

The article continues: “‘Can anybody be prosecuted just by using it?’ When the incidents were reported, anxiety and doubt swirled all over the Internet.  If you use the same CT that the suspect used, which anybody can, you can easily become invincible and it’s said that over 400,000 people have downloaded it.” It goes on to explain that there about how easily cheat tools can be found on the internet and how people upload videos explaining how to use and download them.

The next paragraph is about the the perspective of one of the companies: “To maker Gung Ho Online Entertainment, the damages are serious. Not only do they lose the chance for people to pay when players cheat, but it leads to players leaving the game because those who compete in the rankings feel it’s unfair. They say that until now, they’ve built all sorts of fixes and taken approaches to stop it, but it’s a back and forth with the cheat makers who take pride in sharpening up their skills and the technology of their cheats.

“Because it’s a problem inside of games, it’s hard for police department’s cyber patrol units to find it. It’s necessary to step carefully when prosecuting it; in the case this time with the Kanagawa Prefecture police, the arrest was made because it was suspected it was a violation of copyright law to develop and distribute a program that can circumvent the maker’s defense program. In addition, in order to stop the overuse of CT, they’ve gone on to start prosecuting users as well.”

Next the article swerves in the topic of how cheats are being used in other games, such Pokemon GO and Monster Strike (which is a popular Japanese mobile game that sort of combines monster battling with pinball). The information will be familiar to many who know of Pokemon GO, with people using false GPS information to trick the tracker. In Monster Strike’s case, the article quotes a Nexon PR representative as saying, “It takes time to track down a new kind of inappropriate use of the game and it’s hard to immediately respond to it.”

Then the article mentions something that has been seen a lot in recent article about Pokemon GO: how in places like Twitter people have been advertising their services to essentially cheat and play these games for you, making money that way.

The writer ends with this thought: “The scary thing about CT is that you can be tried for a crime even if you’re just using it on a whim,” then quotes both Naoto Narita, a 24-year-old employee of CypherTec, who is credited as being knowledgeable about game security, saying that it’s important that parents look over their children so they don’t get these cheats while not knowing that they’re a crime, and an official from the Kanagawa police who says, “There’s a possibility you can be tried for a crime by using a cheat just one time. Absolutely do not do it.”


 

This news reminds me of stories earlier in the century of people being arrested for using game screenshots on their web pages without permission. I haven’t heard of that happening in a long time though.

Karasu Corps Returns, as Does Its FEF Translation Project and Some News on Tokyo Mirage Sessions

I’m back!

I got back on Tuesday night (aunt and uncle and set up in southern Kyushu just fine now) and I’ve been working slowly behind the scenes to get the site back running and more translations up, but it might be a few days before you see some translations come online or a week or two to get back to my previous 5 to 10 translations a day norm that I was at before. This is because I need to earn a nice buffer of money to pay for essentials again and then have savings left over to reduce my freelance jobs and pump out that amount of money. There are also a lot of small and large requests for other translations and things.

As I promised when I began this project that I would be as transparent as possible if anything got in the way, this is what that is: my promise to you to be accurate about what’s going on and not just leave you out of the loop.

Now yesterday I started going through comments on the site to see what parts I need to still edit in my old translations and to get backend things done to maintenance all the info, as well starting answering a lot of the correspondence I got while I was gone in e-mail, reddit PMs and Twitter DMs.

I did notice that Tokyo Mirage Sessions doesn’t have its battle and incidental dialogue translated from Japanese so players who don’t speak Japanese have no clue what they’re saying and I don’t think this has been addressed in the restoration patch for the costumes. Therefore, since this is really easy, (I own the game, I’ve played through the game, I have a lot of saves I can use to collect information) I’ll be providing translations for all that incidental dialogue that adds character on my site and if some team wants to find a way to implement it in a patch or something, you’ll be welcome to it. Of course my largest commitment is to Fates, so that takes precedence, but as soon as I get back in the groove, I’ll start posting Mirage Sessions incidental dialogue as a bonus.

Additionally, I had some articles and other requests I had been working on behind the scenes that I should be able to post more on soon and of course when I get the time I’ll start the Angelique project as well. In the meantime, the priorities look like this:

  1. Get the site updated and cleaned up.
  2. Edit old translations, because it’s been a long time since I got suggestions and people have been waiting for them to be implemented.
  3. Start posting new translations and try to get back in the groove, while working on fulfilling older requests.
  4. Tokyo Mirage Sessions/ Angelique

The next time I post it should be a Daily Goals update or a new translation, so it’s good to be back and I hope the regular contributors will continue helping out with your welcomed feedback. Let me know if you’ve got any suggestions or criticisms about my approach too! Thank you for your patience and see you soon!

Translation: Japanese Gaming Demographics and Statistics for 2015

You may already be familiar with CERO from past articles and translations that I’ve written. They are the ratings board of the Japanese video game industry, but there’s another important industry group called CESA that does a lot of research about wider Japanese gaming demographics. They released their white paper a couple of weeks ago and a website called Game Business.jp summed up some of the information within. The full article is translated below:

Domestic Gaming Population is at 43,360,000 People, the Number of Console Owners Also Made Clear — 2016 CESA General Lifestyle Survey Report

March 22, 2016 6:30PM

CESA (Computer Entertainment Software Association) CESA has published a report paper summarizing their survey findings regarding the usage of games in 2015 entitled “2016 CESA General Lifestyle Survey Report – Japanese Game Players and Non-Players Survey-.”

In the “2016 CESA General Lifestyle Survey Report – Japanese Game Players and Non-Players,” a survey was carried out for general lifestyle targeting those who live in Japan nationwide from the age of 3 to 79. Using numbers expanded for the entire population as an estimate from a sample of 2,869 usable survey results, it has posted the contents of its summary that make up the “General Consumer Game Use/Lifestyle” part of its “CESA White Paper.”

  • Smartphone/tablet players take the top place in the gaming population

When investigating the number of users who are either continuously playing console games, PC games, smartphone/tablet games, cell phone games and arcade games, the overall population came to a result of 43,360,000 people. On top of this, comparing the number of continuous players separately in each of the 5 hardware categories, the amount of continuous players in smartphone/tablet gaming was the most, estimated at 30,990,000 people.

Compared to other gaming platforms, smartphone/tablet games and PC games were ones in which players could play in while doing other things. Since there are an extremely large amount of titles that are principally free to play, especially with smartphone/tablet games, the style of playing during short moments of free time may be solidifying. The results are a chance to see that the “play divide” between “play a little every day” smartphone/tablet games and “sit down and really get into it to play” console games are continuing to become split.

  • Console owners are at 52,240,000 people, continuous players at 15,390,000 people

The categories are defined as such: those who own a console in their home are called “console owners,” those who play their consoles are called “active console players,” and those who continue to play their consoles are called “continuous console players.” The results were that there were 52,240,000 console owners; 32,000,000 active console players and 15,390,000 continuous console players.

Among each console game maker, the topic of increasing the amount of use is often raised, and with these results, the current situation we’re seeing is that the demographic of people who “have a console, but don’t really play it” is quite large.  It seems like one aspect for each of the console hardware manufacturers will be how to supply bewitching content and software to make players turn on their systems.

  • Among console play percentages, Nintendo’s 3DS is at the top

Asked which households owned which consoles, the result was that the number one most owned platform was the Nintendo DS at 26.8% (2014 survery: 30.8%), and 2nd place went to the Nintendo 3DS at 25.5% (2014 survey: 23.1%). At the same time as it demonstrates the brand awareness of Nintendo’s portable consoles, we can also know that the transition between the old Nintendo DS to the current 3DS is still moving a bit over time.

As well, when asking the respondents about which console they themselves play (play percentage), the results were that the Nintendo 3DS was number one at 13.3% (2014 survey: 12.7%), but number 2 was surprisingly the Wii at 11.9% (2014 survey: 13.2%). While the explosive popularity of the Wii is now an older console, and may not have the power it had in its heyday, perhaps this points to the fact that people are playing long-term games that have stuck with them in their lifestyle.

The last paragraph has been cut because it’s just an advertisement that the CESA report can be bought and people can look up all sorts of information in it and it has no relevant information on statistics. It’s quite expensive, so if you want more statistics, you’d to have to pay a fair amount.

Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/13/2016

Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/13/2016. I see some new people have been commenting recently. Thanks much to new and old commenters! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On:

Well, I didn’t really have a goal because of the internet issues, but I still got a ton translated:

Hinata x Orochi C

Hinata x Orochi B

Hinata  x Orochi  A

Hinata x Orochi S

Ophelia x Shalla C

Ophelia x Shalla B

Ophelia x Shalla A

Kamui (M) x Sakura C

Ignis x Nyx C

Ignis x Matoi C

Asama x Mozume C

Nyx Skinship Lines

Shigure Skinship Lines

As well, big news! I got a request to do a second game, which is Angelique for the SNES/SFC. So obviously Fire Emblem Fates will continue to be the main attraction until it’s done. Once it is done, Angelique will be the main project, but until then, when I have some free time, I’ll be working on it in spurts, so as not to conflict with Fire Emblem Fates. Look for the first Angelique translations sometime soon.

Today’s Goals

  • Clear up older translations and incorporate feedback to edit them as well catch up on the site. I did a lot of translations while I couldn’t access the internet because the material is on my hard drive, but since I couldn’t access the site, I couldn’t correct older translations. I got a lot of feedback in those two days as well, so I thought I’d take a day to catch up on the backlog.

Possible Complications: Still got paying work to do.

How you can help out: Well, there was a bevy of new translations posted today. Any feedback and criticism is welcome!

Jobs I Need Done

  • I will always and forever need people to comment on my translations as much they can.
  • Vote! It’s spoiler free. If you’re waiting for the translation patch, these polls aren’t going to ruin anything for you.
  • Speaking of feedback, we had discusses before how to do translations of the different personality types for Kamui, the player character. I decided in the end to put notes at the end of the translation if it didn’t affect a lot of lines and to put all three personalities/politeness types together if there were many, many lines that got affected. Take a look at Kamui (M) x Sakura to see how I did it and let me know if that seems like an okay approach.

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.

Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/11/2016

Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/11/2016. Thanks for all your help and support! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On:

I met my goal, here are the translations and Fawful Friday articles:

Kisaragi x Velour C

Foleo x Soleil C

Foleo  x Soleil  B

Deere x Joker C

Deere x Joker B

Deere x Joker A

Kisaragi Skinship Lines

Translation: Interview with Keiko Erikawa

Translation: Games are Poison for Children?

Marx/Marks Character Name Poll

Elfie/Elfy/Elfi Character Name Poll

Today’s Goals

  • Translate as much as I can even if I can’t upload it.

Possible Complications: Holy moley! It took me about 20 tries of reloading to get this “add new post window” to finally appear and who knows how many times it will take until it actually posts it. Something in my area seems to be interfering with my internet connection, because I feel like I’m some modem computer scientists used in the 80s or something. I don’t know if it’ll get better today, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be translating in the background, so that I can upload them all in a batch once it gets better.

How you can help out: Err, pray for my internet connection? Or if you’re irreligious, vaguely hope in its direction?

Jobs I Need Done

  • I will always and forever need people to comment on my translations as much they can.
  • Vote! It’s spoiler free. If you’re waiting for the translation patch, these polls aren’t going to ruin anything for you.
  • I’m going to continue to request help for the method of doing in-page links, because nothing I’ve tried so far is working!

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.

Translation: Games Are Poison for Children? Looking Back on the Children Who Were Forbidden to Watch TV

子供タイム

Here’s an interesting article that was brought to my attention from that is from the parenting lifestyle site Conobie. This site is known for a variety of interesting topics around family and children. The article in question takes up the topic of managing games when raising children from the point of view of a concerned parent who thinks they aren’t as good for her kids. She talks about the issue from a variety of angles, including very interesting story about parental censorship. The full article is translated below:

Games Are Poison for Children? Looking Back on the Children Who Were Forbidden to Watch TV

Digital devices that weren’t around when we were kids. Lately, new things are coming at an increasingly fast pace. How are you using tablets and games as digital tools in your house? Children love games! Are there not women who get annoyed and blurt out, “All they do is play games …”? This time I would like to think about wise ways to get along with digital tools that tend to become seeds of worry when thinking about raising children. (Conobie / Kaoru Kumano)

“I’m trying my best to get them to experience nature, but as soon as they get home they’re on their iPad (cries)”

I heard these concerns from a certain mother. “I’m trying my best to get them to experience nature, but as soon as they get home they’re on their iPad … ” This mother wants her children to get in touch with nature! And in this way, they’re often trying to create these opportunities for their children. Growing vegetables in their yards, going for walks …

She has two children and both are in the early grades of primary school. Of course, you can also see both of them play with dolls and help out with the housework.

I took a look at the two of them through pictures and thought, “This is good child-rearing time, extremely balanced.” But when she asked me for help about this, I thought, “Hmmm.”

Whether They Get a Chance to Be in Nature, Whatever Their Playing Partner is, In the End Kids Love Games (Laughs)

What made me think, “Hmmm,” is that even for children who get to experience nature in various ways, in the end they pick up on the charm of the games’ freshness and innovation, their colors and sounds. Whether they get a chance be in nature, whatever their playing partner is, in the end kids are attracted to games.

No matter how much a mother warns her kids who get sucked into games, once they know something like exists in the world, when it’s a kid, there are times when they really can’t come to control themselves.

Especially when they see others kids around them getting absorbed into games, that they would want to join in is a constant of human nature.

What Became of the Kids Who Were Forbidden from Watching Regular TV When They Were Younger?

The story will digress for a bit, but … 30 years ago there was a certain child who was raised in a household where it was forbidden to watch TV. Hypothetically, we’ll call that child “Kid A.”

Kid A was of course not only forbidden from watching comedy skits, but dramas and anime too; basically anything that was broadcast on mainstream television. To put it exactly, the parents would censor (laughs) any television program that could be watched and TV that was popular with kids (back then it was The Drifters) was absolutely not permitted to be watched. [Translator’s note: The Drifters were an extremely popular comedy group who appeared in many popular television programs during the 80s. Not that I was alive back then, but even I know about them.]

By the way, Kid A’s household had a Famicom, but it wasn’t for playing Super Mario; it was used to browse the stock market …

When Kid A became a freshman in college, she started watching all the TV she had been forbidden to 24 hours a day, obsessively, in rebellion. She would record all the TV dramas from Monday to Friday. And even when the late night comedy programs would end and the TV would become a sea of static, Kid A still couldn’t turn it off.  To Kid A, everything she saw on those programs was new and fresh.  There was a “space” there that was different from state-run TV, and the very atmosphere and colors used were different.

You might think that’s the end, but Kid A is me. In the end, I continued to be addicted to TV until I was around 26 and then had a reverse rebellion and returned to a life where I don’t watch TV. (laughs)

TV and Games Can Cause Harm, but They Must Surely Also Have Merits

My case may be an extreme example, but for me, somebody who experienced life at both extremes, when you intentionally integrate TV or games into your life, I think there is a merit to it, personally.

It is just but one example, yet when you’ve watched a drama with a truly captivating script, things like the lines, the way the music was used, they can remain in your memory for years and even decades. As well, if you were to take a bad way of looking at it, when you lose and the protagonist’s life is revived in a game, it links to a less serious view of human life. However, if you take a good way of looking at it, that can foster a mental attitude that accepts challenges and knows that you’ll be okay even if you fail.

In TV and games, there is a charm to the sound and the movement that is not there with books or pictures, is there not?

Of course, you can taste those charms in other things. For instance, you can listen to good music, watch a play, or play sports. Even in books, you can imagine that “space” from the voices of the dialogue, the scenery and the colors coming from the prose.

There is a certain logic to that, I think. However, I think you can’t say that because “I don’t play games” or “I don’t watch TV” that this ability to appreciate such things will not be cultivated.

Why Should We Watch TV or Play Games? Let’s Have Our Children and Parents Think of the Merits and Demerits Together

In the end, TV and games are digital devices and a medium where information comes flying at you from somewhere else.

Of course, you can get into them in a very involved way at your own will, but it’s possible to become a passive agent easily. As well, I think it’s also a medium where the possibility of addiction is strong … where you want to stop, but can’t.

Why should our children experience games and TV? Should we let them use iPads and game applications? I think it’s important for yourself and other spousal units to think about the merits and demerits of digital tools. Of course, I recommend that once your children have come to an age where they can think about it, that you do it together as a family, parents and children.

“Why do you want to play this? What types of good things does it have?” I think if you ask these questions, you will get to hear the surprising feelings of your children and it won’t just be “because it’s fun.”

Whatever the Rule, Be Careful of These 2 Things!

When you decide what axel your family will follow around the use of digital tools, then it’s just putting it into practice. Because these are family rules, there’s no need for you to be led astray by the opinions around you.

However, I’d like to warn you about 2 things, not just for kids, but for adults as well.

1. It’s best to stop using digital tools 2 hours, if possible 3 hours before sleeping

The backlight from digital devices (basically the light that hits from behind the TV or game console, PC or smart phone) stimulates the nerves in the sympathetic nervous system which governs things like excitement and nervousness. For human beings, unless the parasympathetic nervous system of nerves that governs relaxation and drowsiness is not in a good condition, it will not let you enter into sleep. In other words, if you’re touching digital devices just before you go to sleep, it can lead to you not getting to sleep.

2. The angle of your neck

Not just with TV, but with tablets and smartphones, it’s likely that you tend to use them with your neck facing down. If you’re facing that way for a long time, it can become a factor in headaches or shoulder cramps, to the extent that there are now symptoms named “smartphone neck.” If you try to use them with a posture that’s facing straight on, you won’t get worn out.

In Conclusion

 How about it? It’s best if you use digital tools like tablets, games, TV and such well to fulfill your lifestyle like a modern person and aren’t used by them. Talk about it with your family, keep in mind the things that you need to be careful of and wisely interact with digital tools!

We often hear so much about GAMES WILL DO to your children and not much about what PARENTS CAN DO for their children with games, don’t we?

Translation: An Interview with Keiko Erikawa, the Pioneer of Games Marketed Toward Women

Keiko Erikawa

Keiko Erikawa has one of the longest careers in video gaming, having been around since its early inception and is still active today. She’s done many, many interviews, but I thought this one by Famitsu done on June 29th of 2015 asking about the Angelique series and her neologistic Neo Romance genre, which many overseas gamers are not aware of, would be of most interest. So brew up whatever drink you prefer, settle down in your favorite sitting device and learn how one of gaming’s pioneers pretty much single-handedly created the otome genre of romance games about pretty guys marketed toward women, as I translate the Famitsu interview in its entirety below.

An Interview with Keiko Erikawa, the Pioneer of Games Marketed Toward Women, Is There Going to Be “Surprising Announcement” Sometime This Year!?

Last year Koei Tecmo Games’ “Neo Romance” brand faced its 20th anniversary. We had Keiko Erikawa talk to us about the path from the birth of its first game Angelique to today and the future developments of Neo Romance.

Talking about the trails that lead to cultivating a new genre and the development from here on

Angelique, Harukanaru Toki no Naka De (Amidst Faraway Times), La Corda D’oro … … the series of women-marketed games that Koei prides itself on is called Neo Romance. The Ruby Party, or the development team where the female staff of the same company gather, has worked on these games and they’ve been known, with their high quality and media mix features, for capturing the hearts of many fans and developing from there. In September of 2014, it faced its 20th anniversary.

Games marketed toward women didn’t exist 20 years ago. What kind of work and struggles were there in creating a new genre and continuing to work in it? On top of that, what kind of new development are they thinking of from now on? We asked Ms. Keiko Erikawa of Koei Tecmo Games.

*This interview was published in the 2015 June 25th edition (on sale June 11th) of Weekly Famitsu Magazine.

Koei Tecmo Games CEO and Honorary President Keiko Erikawa

A business woman who supported Koei Tecmo Games and it’s predecessor Koei from the time they were founded. The woman who gave birth to New Romance and started up the Ruby Party development team at Koei Tecmo games. Currently, while she is involved in management on one side, she’s also deeply taking part in game making.

She Had Held onto the Concept of Games Marketed Toward from 30 Years Ago

――Congratulations on 20 years of Neo Romance. Today I think I’d like to inquire about all sorts of stories to you, Ms. Erikawa, as someone who was able to see the birth of games marketed toward women from then until today. To begin, please tell us what you think the impetus was to create the first Neo Romance, Angelique, around 20 years ago.

Keiko Erikawa (below, Erikawa)  Angelique went on sale in September of 1994, but the impetus was well before that. It was over 30 years ago that I developed The Investment Game and Combat together with Erikawa (Yoichi, also CEO and Honorary President of Koei Tecmo Games), but at that time all the customers were men.

Games were seen through men’s eyes. That’s when I came to think, “I’d like to create games marketed toward women” for women.

――Well before Angeliqe went on sale, you had the plans in mind for games targeting women then.

Erikawa Yes. At that time, in the development offices, there was only one woman, so I thought first we’ve got to hire more women. So then around the time right after we had released Nobunaga’s Ambition in 1983, we began looking for female developers. At the time there were only a few women who who were learning programing in the sciences, so we hired women from the humanities. Of course, we left up the scenarios to women.

――So you’re saying 10 years past since you started hiring women to the time that Angelique was finished?

Erikawa It took some time for the female staff to get used to making games. Because at the time it was common place for everyone you hired to have never developed a game before. So it took quite some time from the place where we started hiring women to the time when we could start up the Ruby Party development team.

――Certainly just because you’ve hired women doesn’t mean you can expect them to immediately take on the development of an unknown genre. As you continued to feel your way along, how did you come to develop Angelique?

Erikawa At first I thought if we’re going to make a game marketed toward women, we’d better put our whole weight into making it for women. The protagonist had to be a cute girl and her clothes had to be red. The interiors should be girly and pink. I myself actually don’t really like pink, but my daughter absolutely loved it. Then, because we wanted to have all sorts of lovely men appear in the game, we set the theme as Greek myth and created male characters with a ton of individuality. But it wasn’t much of a game. It had become something that wasn’t very fun if you looked at it as a game. (laughs)

――And why was that?

Erikawa Even though we were finished with the scenario, it wasn’t a romance game. We had done a weak job of creating gameplay where you achieved goals and compete. From there on it was time for Erikawa the game-making pro to make her entrance. I had them decide on a game system, and Angeliqe became a game where you could enjoy romance by competing with your rivals while you gained the cooperation of the guardian saints.

――What kind of reaction was there to Angelique when it went on sale back then?

Erikawa  Because as a game, there had been nothing like it before, it’s not like it sold like gangbusters. But from all around us, the praise was amazing. Saying, “There’s finally a game for women!” we were taken up by all sorts of media. “This is a great job you’ve done here for us,” we received a lot of letters from female users like that. I was glad we had piqued the interest of a lot of people. Except, like I said before, it didn’t become a big hit like the stuff for guys. But because I had understood it would be that way, that’s why I thought it should have a media mix from the very beginning.

――Before you even released the game?

Erikawa Yes. I thought that we couldn’t express everything in this setting we had gone through so much work to create in just a game. We released a drama CD around the same time that the game went on sale. Moreover, we thought around that period that we wanted to do anime and events too.

――You had thought to awaken female users to the new genre for them by preparing all sorts of content.

Erikawa That’s right, even if just a little of them were there, I wanted all of the female players to have fun. Within the company, there were opinions like, “The market is small and therefore even if we created games marketed toward women, they wouldn’t sell,” but I thought, “There is a market.” I’m glad that I kept holding on to that thought till it got through.

A Storm of Controversy From Fans in the First Held Event

――Speaking of the media mix in Neo Romance games, the events with the voice actors holds a special impression.

Erikawa The first event we held was in 1995. It was at a hall in Roppongi called Velfarre and was graciously sponsored by NEC. It was pretty nuts on the day of the event.  Customers were lined up in looooooong lines and even the police had to come.

――It was a time when even the management of such events was something you were feeling out.

Erikawa We thought of doing all sorts of things for the content of the event, but decided on a good atmosphere of combining ballet and music. The opinions from customers were split.  Some said, “It was totally great!” Others said, “This is totally different from what I expected!” The latter thought that it was different from the hardened image they of Angelique they had developed in their minds. So then our staff got scared away. They said, “There’s so many opinions against it, let’s not do another event.”

――What, they said to just limit it to one event?

Erikawa  There were some who said, “I want to do another event,” and even though it might need a little brushing up, it was said that “the customers will get angry with us.” Nobody would address a plan and I pushed it forward with an order from the top. I thought it’s quite difficult to create content marketed toward women when there’s no previous example.

――However, with you as the pioneer of Neo Romance, there has been a great deal of events with the voice actors until now.

Erikawa At the time, nobody had ever heard of the idea of doing a media mix among other game makers. The troubles of that time spur our liveliness now, I think.

Female Game Developers Increase from the Opportunities Brought by Neo Romance

――It’s been 20 years since you started up Neo Romance games, but how do you think the situation of female users changed since then?

Erikawa  Now with consoles and smart phone games, there’s lots of games aimed toward women and we have made a place for women to enjoy games. To the same extent, the way we look at games for women has improved, I think. The hurdle for male voice actors has risen and I think it’s rather tough for the voice actors.

――Because it’s an age where they’re expected to have presentation skills, sing and perform.

Erikawa It really is tough! But when I see voice actors splendidly rise to my expectations, I feel like I’ve seen the possibilities of voice actors in a whole new way.

――From the perspective of a creator, how has the situation for women changed?

Erikawa It’s really changed for female creators. Perhaps it’s best to say it has the feel of a generational leap? There are many people for whom Neo Romance was the impetus for them to enter engineering departments and many who aimed to enter the industry because they liked Angelique, and they come to try out for our entry tests. It’s a story that makes me grateful.

――You’re saying that Neo Romance became a motivating factor for women developers in the gaming industry to increase.

Erikawa Yes, it’s quite a happy thing.

――Ms. Erikawa, you’ve said for a while, that you “want to support women in their progress in wider society,” did you mean that among the backdrop of making games marketed toward women, you wanted to urge the hiring of women?

Erikawa  That’s true. Among the world, when it comes to how much women are venturing out into wider society, Japan is one of the countries that is very late. If women work well with men in their jobs, 1+1 can become not just 2, but 3. There are a lot of Japanese women who hesitate a lot, and there some men who aren’t good at working under women, but if women contribute more to society, it can become a nice society. I do want to create more managerial roles for women in our company. I want the women reading this article to be active, whether they’re doing jobs or raising children. In order to do that, I want them to learn more about their bodies and think hard about how they want to live their lives. I’ll be supporting them.

Aiming For Even More Accomplishments At the Crossroads of 20 Years

――From here on out, I’d like to ask more about Neo Romance games in the future. After facing a 20 year anniversary, what do you think you’d like to challenge yourself on in terms of plans from now on?

Erikawa Not long ago, we held an orchestral concert to commemorate the 20 year anniversary. We prepared videos related to the titles, called the voice actors and meticulously prepared every part and the reception was absolutely amazing.  I thought these events really have been accepted. From now on, at the crossroads of 20 years, I’d like to open up a new avenue for events and hold those. I want to try plans like traveling around the holy places in La Corda D’oro or Harukanaru Toki no Naka De (Amidst Far Away Times) where you can have a real experience. I want to create content that both men and women can enjoy.

――You’ve been planning Angelique Retour as a 20th Anniversary title, tell us about what this is.

Erikawa It’s a remake of the first Angelique. I’ve been creating it, thinking I want to fly to ever greater heights without betraying the setting.

――It looks like there are characters who didn’t appear in Angelique.

Erikawa Please look forward to it, because I want people who are touching Angelique for the first time and those who have long enjoyed it to have fun.

――Other than Angelique Retour, there are some expecting a new Neo Romance title, thinking it’s about time, how about it?

Erikawa I want to create new IPs. Because our company’s mission is to always keep creating new things. We’re continuing our plans for it, but because we’re trying all sorts of things, it will take 2 or 3 years. Even though it only takes other makers about a year to create them.

――But I think it’s because you put that amount of effort in making them well that the Neo Romance series has continued for 20 years.

Erikawa Thank you. There truly is so much I want to create. But because there is a limit to how many employees we have, I can’t do it all at once. Of course, I’d like to develop Angelique and comparatively new IPs like FabStyle and Geten no Hana (Flowers Under Heaven).

――It looks like there’s various plans in progress, so we’ll look forward to it. What is it that you want to especially pour your strength into?

Erikawa For me, it’s the progress of Geten no Hana (Flowers Under Heaven). I’ve been thinking I definitely want to do this. Then next, a new collaboration. I think I might be able to guide us to some projects that will surprise everyone. Please do look forward to them.

Erikawa is always interesting to listen to. As one of the people who’s been around since the dawn of the gaming industry, there’s a lot more she’s been involved in and has had an important role in, but those interviews will have to come at a later date.

Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/9/2016

Tomorrow is Saturday! Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/9/2016. Thanks again to everyone who is helping out! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On:

I met my goal of doing six supports and one skinship. Lots of them showed significant differences from the Treehouse versions. Here they are:

Foleo x Shigure B

Foleo x Shigure A

Joker  x Sakura  C

Joker x Sakura B

Joker x Sakura A

Joker x Sakura S

Fuuga Skinship Lines

Still haven’t gotten those polls up. Gotta do that!

Today’s Goals

  • Translate 5+ supports, some skinship and who knows what else?
  • Marx and Elfy, I’ve been neglecting you. I promise I’m going to get to your name polls soon.
  • Fawful Friday posts ahoy!

Possible Complications: Luckily, I already did quite a lot of work this morning on an emergency assignment, so I’m free for the rest of the day.

How you can help out: Since the amount of links on this site are getting crazy, if you see a broken link or something hard to navigate, please, please let me know what’s wrong. Of course, constructive criticism on translations, voting in polls, all that is welcome and solicited. You can see updates for all the changes I’m making in the Changelog.

Jobs I Need Done

  • I will always and forever need people to comment on my translations as much they can.
  • Vote! It’s spoiler free. If you’re waiting for the translation patch, these polls aren’t going to ruin anything for you.
  • I’m going to continue to request help for the method of doing in-page links, because nothing I’ve tried so far is working!

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.

Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/8/2016

We’re heading for the weekend! Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/8/2016. Thanks for all your help, guys! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On

I did meet met my goal of getting at least five support conversations a day done, but sadly no Skinship. So another day of rather mediocre results. The conversations are as below:

Foleo x Shigure C

Deere x Ophelia C

Kagero x Setsuna C

Orochi x Takumi C

Eponine x Shinonome C

Today’s Goals

  • Keep on chugging, 5+ supports and as much Skinship as I can
  • Those name polls for Marx and Elfy, I need to get to them.

Possible Complications: Gotta keep that real-life workflow flowing.

How you can help out: Feedback, criticism and votes, as always! You can see updates for all the changes I’m making in the Changelog.

Jobs I Need Done

  • If you see a translation page with no comments on it, why not take a brief look? If you see something to fix, tell me about it. If not, say, “This looks good. Didn’t find any problems,” or something to that extent. I do wait a while before I correct and edit translations just to make sure I don’t ignore anyone who comes along to comment, but I do get around to them!
  • Vote! Come on guys, it’s not that hard to click on a straw poll and choose an option! There are no spoilers.
  • I’m going to continue to request help for the method of doing in-page links, because nothing I’ve tried so far is working!

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.