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Reaching The Japanese Payoff Point — 23 Comments

  1. And the cool thing in this case is, you’re going to have lots of smaller payoff points as you conquer various things along the way.

    For me, I have a special game I set aside at the start of this whole thing – an opponent that I’ve been steadily preparing to challenge. When I finally manage to do so, I think that’ll be a really satisfying moment. However, even just clearing the smaller milestones in the lead up to that has been really exciting :)

    • I set aside a special game too! I went through the hassle of importing it, waited a month for shipping, then realized about 10 minutes in that there was just no freaking way I was good enough to play it yet. So… now it sits on my bookshelf, taunting me… until the day I can pull it back out and dominate it. I think that day might end up being one of the best days of my studying career.

    • Ah!

      I also have a special game I want to play eventually, though it’s not out yet (ゼノブレイドクロス). I guess I probably already am good enough to have a decent shot at playing it, though I’m sure I’d still miss enough stuff that I’m happy to have some extra time to level up before it comes out. Playing that game is probably the hardest concrete goal I’ve ever set (things like “reading novels” and “playing visual novels” being a bit vague).

      But you really don’t need to come anywhere near your highest goal to get some serious payoff, and some of that can come from stuff you didn’t even knew existed when you started studying. For instance, I’m currently 15 volumes into the ハイスクールDxD novels, which are a weird blend of the 少年 genre with other stuff. Before I started that series I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a 少年 novel, but now I think they can be even better than 少年 manga and anime, so there you go…

    • I definitely agree there are many small payoff points on the way (which you should and will enjoy), but there is also one major one where everything changes for you.

    • I ended up buying Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D in Japanese before realizing I would also have to buy a Japanese 3DS. It sits on my shelf, but next summer I will be visiting Japan. I plan on buying a new 3DS there. By then I should be at a level high enough to play it while I am in Japan. It is going to be amazing! I’m also going to buy Majora’s Mask 3D and possibly the latest home console and the latest Zelda given they are out by the time I am in Japan next Summer. ゼルダの伝説!

      • I’m kind of biased since it’s one of my favorites, but IMO it gets interesting almost immediately. The best part is definitely the last few episodes, though. I recommend having some tissues on hand if/when you get that far >_>

      • Half way through is when it hits. I could barely keep my friend watching it until then and now he says it’s one of the best anime ever.

        • As for me it is exactly from the 13th episode. Before that episode I was tempted many times to stop watching it, but thereafter it become one of my favorite anime ever.

    • Okay, now I’m tempted to try the series again. I gave a few episodes a try a few years back and never got into it. Time to follow my own advice.

      • I was waiting for the Steins;Gate comment, lol. It’s pretty notorious for being slow and character-heavy in the beginning and then getting awesome after pushing through it. Did you ever return to watching it, Adam?

  2. It’d be interesting to see around what level you’d say the payoff point is at. I’m nearly 3000 sentences in and I’m not even a third to fluency. Would you say the payoff is around level 65 or is it different for everyone?

    • Nah, it’s definitely not that high. I would say closer to 40. That’s where everything starts to just make sense, and you start really having fun with everything you are doing.

      • It’s around 40 alright. I have just hit it during the last few weeks and the change is incredible. Suddenly most native sentences are approachable and it no longer feels like most of the words I encounter are unknown. It is very gratifying.

  3. When it comes to Clannad, I’m that annoying friend! :D
    Second season is totally worth it, I swear.

    Meanwhile, I just got to the real meat of Gintama. The slow start was actually a lot like learning Japanese- They had to introduce all the characters and show what they’re like before they could tell hilarious stories with them. Hopefully learning Japanese will end up a lot like Gintama, too :P

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