Some questions about this dialogue

Below is a dialogue from the intro to an old game (Clock Tower Ghost Head). You can watch the intro here (it should start 19 seconds in):

I bolded the parts I have questions about.

A man and woman are sitting at a table.

初 「夜には着くそうだ。さっき電話があったよ。」

弥生 「あなた、大丈夫なの?簡単に引き受けたりして・・・。」

初 「子供たちには事件のことは内緒にしてある。大丈夫さ。

There’s a knock at the door.

初 「秋代かな?」

弥生 「私が見てきます。」

初 「御堂島・・・やはり才堂家の呪いが・・・。」

He hears his wife scream and runs to the door. In the next scene a girl is returning home.

優 「こんにちはぁ・・・。東京のです・・・。」

1 - 簡単に引き受けたりして - So this first one is the most confusing and I have a few questions regarding it. I’m pretty sure the verb 引き受けた refers to having someone stay over at their house (the girl who shows up probably, who they seem to call 秋代 but is then refered to as 優 so maybe they are two different people).
Anyway the whole sentence is a problem for me, 簡単に means “simply” right? But what does it mean to “simply take someone in”?
Also from what I know the verb ending たり means “and so on” when used to list actions but this is on it’s own. I can’t figure it out.

2 - 御堂島 - I got a feeling this is some sort of name?

3 - 優 - The girl is called Yuu by the game and she refers to herself as 東京の優. Is she saying “Hello, it’s Yuu from Tokyo”?

Any help apreciated


Also “easily”. “You [agreed to] take her in so easily.”

Well, it may well be. As this is the opening cinematic of the game, I rather suspect it will be made clearer later on.

Precisely. She’s announcing her presence in a way that the homeowner would recognise.


So, firstly, as a prologue this is going to be doing a fair amount of foreshadowing and being obscure, which is why it might be a bit hard to understand.

For 1, 簡単に doesn’t only mean “simply”. My JE dictionary glasses it as “simply, easily; plainly; casually; briefly”. In this context it’s the “casually” area of meaning – to take in the girl as a quick decision without thinking carefully through the consequences. By the way, 引き受ける is not just about having someone to stay, it’s more like taking on a commitment. In this context I might guess something like the girl’s parents have died and she’s coming to live with relatives out in the country, or something similar.

Also, regarding “the girl who shows up probably, who they seem to call 秋代” – they say 秋代帰ってくる, so this is a different person from the one they’re intending to 引き受ける.

たり here is the grammar point you know, but it isn’t obligatory to have more than one verb in that grammar pattern. With only one verb it means “doing things like V”, implying other similar stuff. DoBJG has an example 新聞を読んだりして友達が来るのをまっていた “I was waiting for my friend to come, doing things like reading a newspaper”. In the example you have I think it’s mostly making the sentence a bit vaguer and less direct.

2 and 3 I see @Belthazar has already got to.


Coincidentally I encountered a very similar verb yesterday: 引き取る


Which I would translate clumsily as:

There [in that small shop] lived a person called Reyn with a girl called Elone that she took care of.

That Elone character was an orphan, so the implication is more that she adopted her informally.

So I suppose that 引き受ける is “to receive in one’s care” while 引き取る is “to take in one’s care”.


引き取る is to take something into your possession (そのスーツケースは引き取る人がなかった – No one claimed the suitcase) and by extension to take in and care for eg a child or pet (孤児を引き取って育てる --「take charge of [take in] an orphaned child and bring him up) (plus some other senses not relevant here).

引き受ける is to accept a commitment, to assume responsibility for something:

議長の役を引き受ける – accept [take on] the post of chairperson
注文を引き受ける – accept an order
人の負債を引き受ける – shoulder a person’s debts

and so you can also use it to assume responsibility for a child:

私たちがその子を引き受けよう – We will 「take care of [look after] the child

So the two verbs arrive at this shared meaning in the particular case, but there’s not all that much overlap when you look at the other kinds of phrases they get used in.

PS these example sentences are all from the Progressive JE dictionary, which is freely available online (here’s its page for 引き受ける). I think the example sentences help a lot with clarifying the kind of use and meaning of some of these trickier words.


By the way this game was localized for American audiences under the name “Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within”. You can find the equivalent scene in English here:

Of course it’s not a literal translation but it helps understand the intention behind the dialogue.

Amusingly for this localization they decided to move the setting from Japan to California, so the names are all different, but it still helps with your confusion:

  • There are two girls mentioned: Alyssa/優 and Ashley/秋代 (which honestly as a non-American I find a lot easier to confuse than the Japanese names).

  • 御堂島 is Allen Hale and 才堂家の呪い is Maxwell Curse

  • In the following scene Alyssa/優 doesn’t mention where she is coming from which is a disappointment for me. “I’m Alyssa from San Bernardino” would have been so much funnier.


Thanks a lot that should come in handy. That voice acting though lol


Such is your penance for not understanding nihongo well enough, baka gaikokujin!