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Has anyone here bought anime from otaku stores in Japan?

MACKEYBOY

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Hi! I was wondering if the anime bought in Japan came with Japanese subtitles?

I am trying to learn to read Japanese so I can play videogames that aren't localized. So I figured I should read manga, video games and anime. So now I'm worried the anime might not have any subtitles.

Also, could anyone recommend a good store for me? One where the anime sold would have subtitles. Thank you!
 

Mike Cash

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Can you read Japanese that isn't in cartoons? For example, web pages, books, newspaper articles, etc.

How is your Japanese language knowledge? It seems that many fans of Japanese pop culture have an idea that if they learn to recognize some kanji they will be able to understand what they are reading, without having studied the language.
 

lanthas

 
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Depending on the series, the DVD/BD will have both Japanese and English subtitles, only one of them, or none at all. In addition, certain disks will only show Japanese subtitles if you choose English audio. As such, it'll be best to check upfront whether the disk of the series you're interested in has the subtitles you need.

On the other hand, learning Japanese from any sort of video can be frustrating, especially as a beginner: constantly having to pause and rewind quickly gets annoying. Allow me to recommend visual novels instead: these games always come with subtitles, automatically pause at the end of each line, and have a "Replay current dialogue line" button. In addition, there are third party programs available that'll capture the current line and assist you in reading it (word delimiting, furigana, dictionary lookups). Just be aware that a lot of games in this genre have 18+ scenes at one point or another.

@Mike Cash: Interestingly, it appears the opposite exists as well - Japanese people learning English through anime subtitles.
日本のアニメで英語学習する方法・コツまとめ – 英語のまんま
 
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MACKEYBOY

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Depending on the series, the DVD/BD will have both Japanese and English subtitles, only one of them, or none at all. In addition, certain disks will only show Japanese subtitles if you choose English audio. As such, it'll be best to check upfront whether the disk of the series you're interested in has the subtitles you need.

On the other hand, learning Japanese from any sort of video can be frustrating, especially as a beginner: constantly having to pause and rewind quickly gets annoying. Allow me to recommend visual novels instead: these games always come with subtitles, automatically pause at the end of each line, and have a "Replay current dialogue line" button. In addition, there are third party programs available that'll capture the current line and assist you in reading it (word delimiting, furigana, dictionary lookups). Just be aware that a lot of games in this genre have 18+ scenes at one point or another.

@Mike Cash: Interestingly, it appears the opposite exists as well - Japanese people learning English through anime subtitles.
日本のアニメで英語学習する方法・コツまとめ – 英語のまんま
Thanks! I completely forgot about visual novels. I'll try to find a few on my trip
 

MACKEYBOY

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Can you read Japanese that isn't in cartoons? For example, web pages, books, newspaper articles, etc.

How is your Japanese language knowledge? It seems that many fans of Japanese pop culture have an idea that if they learn to recognize some kanji they will be able to understand what they are reading, without having studied the language.
Hi! If it counts, I read Japanese on a few textbooks and on free lessons online. As for my knowledge Ive only passed N5. It's hard to make time to travel for JLPT where Im from.

I finished both Genki books, Tae Kim (from play store), Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar and All About Particles. I don't think this is sufficient yet but it might be a while until I travel to Japan again so I figured I should stock up on Japanese video games/anime/manga while I'm there.
 

Mike Cash

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Good for you! I'm glad to hear of your work and progress!

I would like to suggest you also take a look at used book stores, such as Book-Off. Buying used instead of you will greatly multiply how much material you can stock up on.
 

lanthas

 
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The same goes for games: visual novels can be surprisingly expensive for what you get (a low resolution Powerpoint presentation with voice acting), but you can often find them second hand. They also tend to come in quite large boxes, so either ensure you have enough carrying capacity for your return trip or be prepared to leave the box and most of its contents (art books etc.) behind.
 
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MACKEYBOY

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Good for you! I'm glad to hear of your work and progress!

I would like to suggest you also take a look at used book stores, such as Book-Off. Buying used instead of you will greatly multiply how much material you can stock up on.
Thank you very much! Last time I only got books at train stations so it was hard to buy a lot. I try to find book off for sure
 

MACKEYBOY

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The same goes for games: visual novels can be surprisingly expensive for what you get (a low resolution Powerpoint presentation with voice acting), but you can often find them second hand. They also tend to come in quite large boxes, so either ensure you have enough carrying capacity for your return trip or be prepared to leave the box and most of its contents (art books etc.) behind.
Thanks for the heads up! I was able to find second hand visual novels before in Osaka that came in small packages. I cant remember the store but it was in Otaku road. The containers looked similar to the PS3 games so either they took some of the contents out or maybe they had a lower budget than the regular visual novels we usually see.
 
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The containers looked similar to the PS3 games so either they took some of the contents out or maybe they had a lower budget than the regular visual novels we usually see.
I'm not certain about in Japan, but certainly in the U.S. re-releases of older titles are often in much smaller containers with far less bonus material... and also, of course, pirate editions are in small packages with little to no bonus material.

FWIW, there are increasingly more visual novels available on the Steam downloadable software store, and often on sale.,, at least in America. There's so many different regional considerations though, that I don't know what is accessible in the Philippines. Of course, all of that is also available in English... and a lot of original Japanese titles don't have the Japanese language available outside of Japan, which is frustrating. Anyway, my point is simply that I'd check what's already available to you cheaply or for free online before spending your money.

Can't go wrong with grabbing a ton of stuff at Book Off though, it's going to be cheaper than even the best (legitimate) e-book offers, and besides which... for me at least... reading on a screen is just not nearly as good as having an actual book in hand. Not to mention how many books don't have a digital edition, or at least not one available for overseas purchase. (I'm kind of jealous actually. One of these days I'm going to have to get down to NYC and visit their Book Off. One in Japan would be even better, but not realistic anytime soon.)
 

MACKEYBOY

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I'm not certain about in Japan, but certainly in the U.S. re-releases of older titles are often in much smaller containers with far less bonus material... and also, of course, pirate editions are in small packages with little to no bonus material.

FWIW, there are increasingly more visual novels available on the Steam downloadable software store, and often on sale.,, at least in America. There's so many different regional considerations though, that I don't know what is accessible in the Philippines. Of course, all of that is also available in English... and a lot of original Japanese titles don't have the Japanese language available outside of Japan, which is frustrating. Anyway, my point is simply that I'd check what's already available to you cheaply or for free online before spending your money.

Can't go wrong with grabbing a ton of stuff at Book Off though, it's going to be cheaper than even the best (legitimate) e-book offers, and besides which... for me at least... reading on a screen is just not nearly as good as having an actual book in hand. Not to mention how many books don't have a digital edition, or at least not one available for overseas purchase. (I'm kind of jealous actually. One of these days I'm going to have to get down to NYC and visit their Book Off. One in Japan would be even better, but not realistic anytime soon.)
Thanks for the info! You're probably right. A lot of my friends have been nagging me to get steam. I should probably start soon. There's also a lot of used Japanese video games available on amazon like Yakuza 5. The problem down here is you have to pay a courier to ship from the US to my country. If you're in the US this might be a good way to stack up on games and books.
 
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