Listening Practice 🎧 What do you listen to for Japanese practice?

Just two Youtube channels I found and been watching a bit. No over the top, high pitched screaming Vtuber voice. Pleasant to listen to with clear audio quality and imo good enunciation.
さいとうなおき Dude talks about drawing/illustrating.
文学YouTuberベル She reviews books.

Also found this podcast.
Think in Japanese Two humans talking about various topics. One has good audio and speaks a bit slower, the other one has rather bad audio and speaks faster.

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:sweat_smile:

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As a followup, I’d like to point you all to Kiryuu Coco.

She’s sometimes a little bit hyper, and her voice takes some getting used to, but because she’s bilingual and makes a huge effort to cross the language barrier between JP Vtubers and their English-speaking following, she makes for great listening practice.

Unfortunately, as of today, she has graduated, so there will be no more new content. But her old content will remain up, so it still makes for good practice. Especially her Reddit Shitpost Review streams are great, because they revolve around explaining English memes to Japanese VTubers, giving you a lot of context for what is being discussed.

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Thanks for telling us about this @yamitenshi! <3 It’s very helpful to people keeping track of Japanese VTubers! ^>^

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Hey, if there’s one thing I’m passionate about, it’s VTubers!
And food
And video games

Okay maybe I’m passionate about a lot of things :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Anyway, for anyone interested in VTuber stuff (a lot of it makes for decent listening practice, honestly, and though all of them put on a persona to some degree the conversations flow fairly naturally a lot of the time), check out the VTubers thread:

https://community.wanikani.com/t/vtubers-anyone/47228

It’s a wonderful rabbit hole to fall into. The more, the merrier :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I hope everyone who’s into Japanese audio media knows about the ongoing Extensive listening challenge 👂 (2021) that @valkow kindly has set up for us! ^>^

I’ve created quite a list of Drama CD-series to get through within 12 months. But I don’t think it’s impossible. Not the least since I’ve already gotten started on it! :triumph:

So, last night I began by listening to ダブル・バインド! ^>^ :headphones:

515N9xEeBUL.AC_SY355

CAST:
Toshiyuki Morikawa
Kazuyuki Okitsu
Tooru Ookawa
Tatsuhisa Suzuki
among others

This BLCD is a murder mystery. The main character, Kamijo is a police detective tasked with solving a gruesome murder where a man has been starved to death (with some rather unusual body mutilation thrown in :sweat_smile: ). At the crime scene, the first witness happens to be a young boy.

Desperate for leads, Kamijo seeks to question the boy, only to be faced with his guardian, a clinical psychologist called Sena, who do not want to put the boy through that sort of stress. The reason is that the boy is struggling with mental disease (spoiler) (multiple personality disorder) and seemingly can’t remember anything from the time.

It quickly also becomes clear that Sena and Kamijo knows each other from their school kendo club, though it’s been 15 years since they’ve met (something like that). And Sena is little inclined to let the police question the boy he’s been charged to help.

This is how this story kicks off, only to become even more complicated as the police suspects another abduction of a yakuza member, to be yet a murder in the making…dun dun dun

If you like murder mystery, this BLCD might be for you. It has a calm air which I love, as we get to follow Kamijo’s internal monologues of struggles with the case. There’s some good music and sfx as well, but, the best part is definitely the cast. :eyes:

1309datte_cast2
Kazuyuki Okitsu (left) & Toshiyuki Morikawa (right)

Toshiyuki Morikawa and Kazuyuki Okitsu are fabulous together. They have a unique rapport, not just on this Drama CD but also others I’ve listened to, where they just play off on each other’s roles. It makes for a very fun listening experience! :grin: (Sena is tsutsuntsun-ing his way through the dialogue, giving Kamijo a really hard time and putting him constantly on the wrong foot! :joy: He’s also an outgoing gay man and Kamijo keeps being flustered by him. :grin: )

But, there’s also a side story of sorts, of the Yakuza gang that inadvertently finds a member of theirs abducted. The yakuza boss (played by Tooru Ookawa) and his younger lover (played by Tatsuhisa Suzuki) makes for a great counterpoint to the main plot. Not the least since Tatsuhisa Suzuki is doing one of his best acting jobs ever!!! :heart: He’s gob smacking amazing as a former junkie, now turned clean, but struggling to find a place at the side the yakuza boss. He totally made me tear up in the special, where the yakuza boss and the lover are the main characters. :sob:

Is there karami? Of course there is! :blush: It’s done well as well.

This story has a lot of crime solving terminology, not to mention the whole mental disease theme running through the whole story, with several technical terms being flung around at times. It can be a struggle to keep up. But, it’s good enough that a relisten to difficult parts should be a joy rather than a bother. :wink:

I’d consider this BLCD to be somewhere between Intermediate/Advanced. (a little bit depending on how much other listening you’ve done, I think).

In any case, I can warmly recommend it! ^>^

listening cat

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Can you point me to an online example of a “voiced visual novel”, and then I can track down more myself? I haven’t seen one of those, but they sound great!

Total beginner question here: are BLCDs, audiodrama CDs, really CDs? (I hope not…)

Where is the central marketplace for them so I can nose around?

Thanks.

So, Drama CDs are exactly what they sound like: CDs with audio dramas, where BLCDs are the subgenre for boys’ love stories. (in the 90s the releases were on cassette tapes though! :joy: )

Drama CDs are not “voiced visual novels”, something I have no experience of myself. @riya might be able to better explain it. :slight_smile:
But, yeah, Drama CDs are all adaptions, much like anime is, but without the visuals. Either it’s based on visual novels or manga (sometimes also video games, or even anime).

You might call it the cheap alternative to getting an anime adaption, for semi-popular series.

The Japanese music business is not known for being very forward looking, and I’ve seen the lack of mp3-download options, like iTunes, discussed before. CDs and singles are still popular release formats for music.

You can find Drama CDs on Amazon JP among other places. Just search for it. I’ve only used Amazon, because I usually buy manga and BLCDs in some kind of mix. But other sellers exist for international delivery. Just google.

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There are all sorts of visual novels with Japanese voice acting. It’s quite common for visual novels, aside from indie releases, to have voice acting for all the characters (sometimes the protagonist is left unvoiced). Depending on what platforms you have access to I can try to find stuff to recommend?

For an example, this is a playthrough of ひぐらしのなく頃に on the Switch where you can hear the voice acting: 『ひぐらしのなく頃に 奉』実況プレイPart2 - YouTube
The commentator also reads along with the unvoiced lines and because it’s on Youtube, you can slow down the speed.

If you want a huge list, you can check out the visual novel database (although the sheer number can get kinda overwhelming): Browse visual novels | vndb

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Thanks that’s a great database. In the last day, I’ve tracked down what visual novels are, opened a Steam account (I haven’t been a gamer thus far in may life, but I’m open to change…), and bought DRAMAtical Murder because it was so highly recommended by @ekg (and since it was from 2012, I was confident it would run on my windows 7 laptop), and pre-ordered “the Great Ace Attorney Chronicles” to be released sometime in July.

Visual novels that I might enjoy (who knows, I’m so new to the genre) would be “male protagonist, historical, but not samurai, any part of the world” or “any gender protagonist, whimsical, non-violent, slice-of-Japanese-life”. I tend to prefer, more realistic less “anime like” animation. If you know any titles that you think might appeal, please let me know.

Now, the DRAMAtical Murders I downloaded - has spoken Japanese, but only English subtitles, with no way to call up the Japanese. Is this common? Where would it be best to purchase future visual novels if I wanted both English and Japanese? Or is that not possible - if I purchase from a Japanese retailer I get only Japanese and from a U.S. retailer only English?

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You can see the available languages on the store page. It’s really a 50/50 if they have JP interface, but it seems to be becoming more common. You can probably still refund the game, if you like.

Is there a way to filter voice acted novels? For some reason there doesn’t seem to be a tag for that. I still find the majority of VNs are not fully voice acted. Or maybe I’m looking at the wrong place. Lot’s of the famous older ones are.

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@Todd_A Unfortunately the Ace Attorney games don’t have much voice acting outside of cutscenes as far as I know. They’re still great games though!

Hmm I’m not as familiar with Steam since I primarily play Japanese games on my Vita. It’s hard to find ones with both English and Japanese. Umineko has both and you can get voice acting to work if you install the third-party PS3 version patch but it’s not exactly an easy read. Most Japanese visual novels are PC-only and I have a Mac so I don’t have access to a lot of stuff.

I haven’t played Dramatical Murder but it’s too bad there isn’t a Japanese-text Steam version out there. There can be mismatches like that sometimes based on licensing and ports. Typically, if you buy the Japanese version of a game, especially if it’s originally in Japanese, it will only have Japanese language options. English ports of Japanese games are typically English text translations with Japanese voice acting, although there are more options on Steam. If you want both Japanese and English text with Japanese voice acting, that does narrow it down.

Hmm, I mostly play historic fiction, otome games, and mystery novels so my slice of life knowledge is rather lacking. It’s too bad you don’t like samurai stuff because I would have otherwise recommended Hakuoki (which is both English and Japanese and has voice acting) but it’s about the Shinsengumi

It’s a bit hard to think of anything that hits all of this criteria. Steins;Gate is another one that comes to mind but that’s more a sci fi time travel thing.

Ah, I thought the link I shared had the “voice acting” tag on it but maybe I messed up somewhere. I can’t speak for a lot of indie JP VNs since I don’t have said PC to play them on so my experience with VNs comes from stuff that gets released on handheld consoles which is almost always voiced. As far as stuff on Steam goes, it probably depends on if it’s a port or not.

By “fully” voice acted do you mean including the narration? Or just that all lines of dialogue by non-protagonist characters is voiced?

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Even just the walkthroughs you pointed out on Youtube might be enough to satisfy my interest at this point, until I get to the level where I want to start hooking sentences for an anki deck myself. I’ve seen folks do some pretty exciting sentence mining in online tutorials.

I’'m open to any gaming system I can run off my laptop, Google slate tablet, or even I suppose, my seldom used iPad, so suggest anything you like. I am in no way tied to Steam. I just don’t have any game consoles.

What does the term “port” mean that you’ve used above? I get gist, but…

The new Ace Attorney Chronicles look like they are set in Meiji Japan, which really piques my interest.bAnd I’ll give a look to Hakuoki too, any good story is likely to carry me along. The BLCD that @ekg described “Flesh and Blood” sounds fantastic (I was a big fan of the Patrick O’Brian historical seafaring novels as audiobooks - all 22 of them!), now if only “Flesh and Blood” had a visual novel adaptation I could sink my teeth into to study some vocabulary!

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No, just the dialogue. I guess it can be just the difference in Vita and PC.

It does seem to have the tag, but it’s a bit unclear to what extent of voice acting that means. Sometimes the characters throw some random sentences in there so I’m not sure if that counts as worthy of the voice acting tag. Fruits of Grisaia comes to mind. And Danganronpa. And Danganronpa seems to have the tag while it’s barely voice acted. The researching I need to do just adds to the stress of never finding a fitting VN :sweat_smile:. Not to mention platform problems.

Having requirements of a VN being fully voice acted and not a romance story, I guess my options are kind of limited :smile:. AI: Somnium Files was amazing, though. It had everything; comedy, mystery and science. So if you have some mystery recommendations :pray:. On the other end of the spectrum, I looked into Dies Irae, which seemed interesting, but the almost 100 hour length is a bit intimidating. Especially with the archaic language :stuck_out_tongue:.

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Hmm, yeah, DR is hard to categorize with that because the bulk of the text is unvoiced while the trials are fully voiced :thinking:

Have you tried the Infinity series? Ever17 and Remember11 are two I played. Remember11 isn’t romance oriented, Ever17 is but only somewhat. It’s more mystery-heavy. The only thing is I’m not sure where to get them (legally) at this point since I got them ages ago through err, maybe not the most legit means (in my defense, there was no way to buy them digitally and physical copies were selling for over $100). They have full voice acting though and are playable on PC in English and Japanese if you can find them.

I’ve really wanted to play AI: Somnium Files because I’ve heard good things but that PC only restriction :sob: The only PC I have access to is my old desktop at my parents’ house (which coincidentally, I’m staying at right now :thinking: )

A port is when a game that’s released on one platform is moved to another platform. For instance, there are Steam ports of Playstation Vita games (games that were originally made for a handheld console that had versions made to be playable on the computer).

Hmm, there are some mobile games I play in Japanese that have full voice acting but I’m not sure if you’d be interested in them. One is an otome game about guys with superpowers and the other is a game about saving the world through fashion battles :joy: If you do want to check them out, the names are 恋とプロヂューサー and シャイニングニキ (or the previous installment, ミラクルニキ). They’re free to play, just requires a Japanese Apple account (you can sign up with your regular email and tack +jp on the end like something@email .com+jp). You can get them on android too but that involves VPNs afaik.

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Thanks, I’ll look into them! They seem to be available for PSP so it’s likely I can find them, ahem :roll_eyes:.

It’s also for Switch and PS4 :no_mouth:.

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For some weird reason, I understood the question as being about audio books, but for light novels, lol.

But, yeah, I’ve also played some good Visual Novel games. The problem now would be to get them to run…I haven’t tried with my new computer. On the other hand, I also have some VN games for my 3DS, so I could always give that a go now that I actually know more kanji. ^^

@Todd_A It’s great that you’ve gotten a lead for some stuff you wanna try, and having even ordered DRAMAtical Murder! :high_touch: Don’t be too shocked by some of the stuff though. :wink: (I’m fairly sure, there’s a longer discussion in the yaoi thread about how brutal some of the themes are. lol ). There’s also 2 BLCDs to the game (?) if I remember correctly.

If you’re into BL stuff, maybe just google BLVN games and see what you get. :wink: Or yaoi VN games. Expect adult themes if you do though! :eyes:

As for Flesh & Blood, I’m planning a relisten to the whole series, but also to purchase the light novel series. I think I’m getting to a point where I should be able to read it. Or so I hope! :sweat_smile: Though I might start off with Sanzen Sekai:thinking:

Edit: Also, I remember Hanamachi Monogatari as being fully voiced…don’t remember if that included the monologues/narration? :thinking: I guess, it’s also a question if you enjoy that sort of story…^^;

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Ooh thanks to @VictorLino for finding this list of dual-language visual novels for PC!
I’m currently streaming Nekopara on a WK discord and found out that it has the option to have both simultaneous English and Japanese subtitles along with the JP voice acting, which I’ve never seen before! Fair warning though that the game has NSFW tags and fanservice :sweat_smile: It’s quite cute and fluffy so far though.

I might look into that Switch release then :eyes:

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Is the nsfw avoidable or possible to turn off?

If someone’s uncomfortable with lolicon, do you think they’d tolerate the fanservice?

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