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JP=Japan/Japanese, VG=video game
JRPGs are the reason of course. Most of them are either JP exclusive or feature botched localization. Voice acting is also a problem as most of the time, as JP video games released in the West generally feature terrible, non-toggable English voice acting.
The only solution is to learn to navigate through JP games somehow. Since most JRPGs feature walls of text, learning the JP writing system is also needed.
I don't know but I'm still working on it. There's only one reason for a standard Westerner to learn JP and it's to play video games. We've already mastered English to play video game, but we didn't know it was only half of the job. Now it's time to do some "Hypo"'s work and crack this "code".
JP must not be thought as a language, which is scary, but as a code. Moreover, it must be thought as a written code. As we all know JP is difficult not because it's difficult, but because it has a terribly complex writing system. Hiraganas and katakanas are okay. But they are thousands of kanjis and there's no choice but to memorize them all somehow.
Again I don't know. But one method is to try learning JP the same way we learned EN, by simply playing the games. No matter how you look about it, remembering thousands of kanjis is an impossible task.
However, there are only a solid 2000 that really need to be learned. On these 2000, I guess 100-200 must be really necessary. For the most common words: water, walk, see, tree, house, etc.
When you think about it that way, it makes it more manageable. After all there's only 90ish kanas and they ARE considered manageable.
The rest of the kanjis can come after that. The more you'll see them, etc. I'm sure when we'll have seen miru for 100 times we'll have it down.
About this "code" stuff. JP for VG means we don't have to speak it but only to understand its written form. It means we only have to know what each kanji means, and a few desinences, and we don't need to bother with its pronunciation. I'm not sure about the viability of this method but we'll see what happens.
I learned it's better to learn the kanji radicals before trying to learn the kanjis themselves.
Here's the todo list:
1) advance in Genki I and II
2) learn kanji radicals
3) learn simple kanjis (simple as in, featuring simple SHAPES)
4) from there proceed to more complicated kanjis (which has more strokes I mean)
5) play an actual JRPG in Japanese from the start. Tales of Hearts R on Vita seems like a good choice since the localization is allegedly botched and it's on our shortterm list of games to play.