Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl

I just started playing Pokemon Brilliant Diamond, and it’s my first “full” play-through of a game entirely in Japanese (I’ve started Paper Mario: The Origami King and Yokai Watch 4+, but they didn’t hold my attention). I’m only a few hours in, but highly recommend it for practicing reading Japanese. The vocabulary used is pretty accessible (especially if you’re at the lower intermediate levels), and the kanji isn’t too tricky. I think post-game may get sparse on actual reading, but while playing the main game, talking to all NPCs, reading Pokedex entries, and reading move descriptions are all good practice if you’re planning on playing these games.

Quick note: Once you start the game, you have to select your language. Once you’ve selected your language, you can’t change the language without completely deleting your gamefile. So if you’re going to set it to Japanese, be sure that’s what you want to do. That said, if you DO select Japanese, you can select between only hiragana or with kanji. You can change between only hiragana or kanji in the settings whenever you want.

Also, if you’re a veteran Pokemon player, I feel playing in a different language adds some “mystery” to the game, since many Pokemon and moves have different names.


I think this is a great idea.

You might not understand everything everyone is saying, but you get the gist of it most of the time.

I actually started a FireRed Nuzlocke here, https://community.wanikani.com/t/pokémon-firered-in-japanese-in-spanish/45468, but got discouraged after losing to the rival, although there’s a second try to the fight that goes better.

I was planning on creating another playthrough of the game on a second profile of my switch. It does work, I have 2 different games on my Pokémon shield, so the one I’m playing right now is in English, but tbh I feel like I should probably start that now. I’ve already played the original Pearl after all.

A quick question, would I be able to get through the dialogue? My knowledge is purely WaniKani (Lvl 12) and what I’ve picked up through anime.

I’m also playing Brilliant Diamond in Japanese right now! The level of the language is really quite accessible. A year and ~25 WK levels ago I was playing X in Japanese and it’s really cool to see how much easier reading has become (I can actually read Pokedex entries now!!).

You’ll probably have to look up a lot of words which can be annoying at first since it really slows you down, but if you can get through that you’ll probably be fine. The grammar is generally on the easier side, and since most NPCs are talking about Pokemon (battles) in some way you’ll often see the same words over and over again. Especially if you’ve played Pearl before and roughly remember the story, it’s not the end of the world if you get lazy about looking things up eventually.

1 Like

The nice thing about Pokémon is that the formula is pretty simple and if you’ve played one before you could get pretty far without reading anything so the mechanics aren’t going to hold you back.


Same here! I’m also playing Pokemon brilliant diamond in japanese and it’s great for my level.

Since this turned into a full-fledged discussion already, I’mma just slap the link: Japanese Gaming Thread

I watched some vtuber streams of people playing the new Pokemon games recently and they did look like fun, even though I stopped playing Pokemon at like gen 3. And if one can play them in Japanese, that’s even better :smiley:

I wish I have enough passion in Pokemon to start playing it in Japanese. :pensive:

1 Like