東京アリス is a free visual novel by 郷愁花屋. It’s supposed to be pretty short, just a few hours in length so I thought I’d try it out. Here are the first few lines of text, in case you’re interested in using it as reading practice. Copy+paste as needed and have fun! Post a comment if you need help with a certain sentence.
I will update this post with more if anybody is interested.
Thanks for this, I could use some more reading practice. I tried downloading it, but I’m having trouble getting it to run. Do I need to install something on windows? I ask because the file and folder that should read 東京アリス reads: “ôîï×âAâèâX”.
Just running the .exe file worked for me. You may need to set your language for non-Unicode programs to Japanese in Region and Language setting.
Thanks for the advice. It’s working now.
In Windows 7 and 8 it’s in: Control Panel> Clock, Language and Region>Region>Administrative.
Cool! I could read it all of it; I only had to look up 組, and I knew the reading for 因果 but forgot the meaning (rather sad considering all the JRPGs I’ve been playing recently).
Before I spend the better half of an afternoon figuring out how to get it running (never tried running one of these freeware titles before, especially not in Japanese), does it have voice acting?
Regardless of whether I get it running, I’d love to see more. Of anything, really!
No voice acting. Doesn’t require install or anything so it should work fine as long as you set your language for non-Unicode programs to Japanese in Region and Language setting.
This looks pretty interesting. I have never read a visual novel before (had to look up what it was). I’m always looking for new ways to practice reading, and love getting new sources. Thank you for posting this!
Cool! I got most of that, so I might try this game. I like that’s short and not a huge commitment.
Have you played much of it? Is it fun?
I’d also like to second the question about voice acting.
Thank you for your intelligent and inspiring blog posts! I like to browse the archive when I’m in a rut with anki and need a quick break.
You’re welcome! Taking my time with it. So far, it seems interesting. Text only.
Looks pretty nice, though I hardly understand why so many easy kanji use hiragana and some much harder ones don’t.
It looks interesting but is it compatible with any extension or script that could act like rikaichan or at least copy/paste the kanji? I think I would waste so much time looking up kanji even if it’s not that long. A few hours by a native are more likely a few days for me:)
Maybe try this? Sounds complicated though.
Thanks for posting this – I’m way too early on in my studies to be able to read at this level yet (I started in February), but I hadn’t thought of visual novels and the like as a source of practice. Once I get rolling, I’ll probably look for more of this sort of thing, but for now, I’m still going through your guide to pick up the rest of the more common conjugations. Hopefully, I’ll have some opportunities for conversation practice with a colleague once the semester starts up.
As has been said before many times on the internet, though, finding good reading practice at the beginner level is hard, especially because so many texts don’t want to scare readers away with frightening kanji. I’ve seen examples that take a compound like 正門 and spell out the first character in hiragana but leave the second as-is. Seriously, what?
At this point, I’ve drilled quite a bit of vocab, kanji, and grammar, but I really need to start putting things into context more often if I want to increase retention and use my time more efficiently. The words that *really* kill me in SRS-style drills are things like もっと and けど, which have unsatisfactory translations in J-E dictionaries and ultimately aren’t going to mean much until I see them come up time and again in sentences. I might have to subsist on Tanaka Corpus sentences (weighed against other grammar resources) and carefully selected short articles for a little while, but I’m sure there’s *got* to be some approachable stuff at my level that I haven’t found yet.
Incidentally, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but Tagaini Jisho has been one of the pillars of my early learning; it combines the best parts of WWWJDIC and something like Anki, and you don’t have to create any cards manually to study vocabulary or characters (although you can add notes to entries if you want). It also has animated stroke order diagrams for about 6000 characters, and you can click on a component part of a character to visit that character (i.e. opening 音 allows you to mouseover 日 and 立 and link to those characters and their diagrams). Granted, WWWJDIC and jisho.org and the like already do this, but it’s handy to have the study component directly built in. It’s probably not as useful to advanced learners, but it’s been a huge part (along with your grammar guide, which I’ve already recommended to a few others) of getting me through my first 5-6 months with the language.