2004 – Studying Japanese in a class consisted of tests, quizzes, finals, and mostly uninspired traditional methods that persisted for too long. In comes a high school student, who asks his teacher if instead of doing a boring oral biography for his final, he could do a flash video. “Furasshu!?” shouts the teacher (I’m sure). Flash – a forgotten era of creativity. This was the peak of cool of what you could do in a Japanese class.
Creating a Japanese learner fantasy world
The author set out to create a Japanese learner biography (?) in the setting of Final Fantasy (??). And it was glorious. The artwork was great, but more importantly, for any Japanese learner this was just amazing. A Japanese learner in an RPG. It stood out so much when I first saw it in college. Not only was it an inspiration for me to eventually work up the courage to try a semester of of Japanese, but it also got me making my own flash videos.
I remember thinking at the time, this guy has the best Japanese ever (YouTube wasn’t around yet, so hearing other foreigners speak Japanese online was extremely rare). He did all the voices of all these different sounding characters, spoke up a firestorm of Nihongo, and it made learning Japanese (despite not technically being about learning Japanese) look so fun.
Why am I bringing this up 15 years later? Because to this day, I still have fond memories of it. Recently I took a look at it, and it still stands up as an awesome testament to a great Japanese learner, a motivating video, and something to show you that you can make learning Japanese as creative as you want. Rigid rules are meant to be broken.
Enough intro. Here is Final Fantasy A+. I’m including the video that someone uploaded of it on YouTube. But if you want, you can also watch it on the original site where it lived, Newgrounds.com.