Learning Japanese Through Xenoblade Chronicles

Bet you didn't know this: those strange symbols that appear on your sword in Xenoblade Chronicles? They have a name: kanji. (Although I imagine they could also be hanzi, given how kanji were formed, but for now, I'll proceed on the assumption that they're kanji.) OK, you probably knew that already, but do you know what that shit means? Exactly. Well, I'm here to chronicle what these symbols mean with this very list. Now, then, as I'm still playing through the game, this isn't going to be complete, at first and will be updated rather sporadically. Also, given my lack of skill with Japanese and the fact that a lot of these kanji are pretty stylized, these may amount to nothing more than educated guesses (albeit very carefully taken educated guesses). That in mind, let's dive right in.

Update: when searching for "Xenoblade Chronicles list of kanji" on Google, this is the first result. Truly, I have arrived.

Yet another update: I've just noticed the lack of a spoiler warning of any kind up until I added the last kanji. The hell's wrong with me?

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10 Comments
Posted by Esauofisaac

I haven't gotten far enough to see the other kanji since I just started, but the one that you listed for the Buster is incorrect. The kanji used there is not 新 but 斬.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Esauofisaac:

*checks Xenoblade wikia just to be sure* Damn it.

Posted by Esauofisaac

@Video_Game_King: Hey, no worries. They look close anyways, it's easy to get them mixed up. :D

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Esauofisaac:

My kanji skills at the time were definitely enough to spot the difference between them. I blame Xenoblade stylizing the hell out of them more than anything else.

Posted by Mento

It's actually Zanzanese. By an astonishing coincidence both of those languages are exactly the same.

Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento:

I'm guessing Zanzanese is Japanese without any of the pesky honorifics or polite tenses or anything like that? So it's pretty much anime Japanese? How did I circle back to a stunningly obvious conclusion?

Posted by Mento

@Video_Game_King: You want to talk about only just reaching an obvious conclusion, it wasn't until this week I realized how similar the plots of Xenoblade and Mass Effect are (or the plots of their respective antagonists, to be specific). Horrible flying things killing everyone in an endless cycle of destruction and rebirth? So some dude at the top doesn't have to worry about humans becoming too smart and coming after him?

Wait... what was the plot to Final Fantasy X again?

Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento:

The same as Pac-Man, if I remember correctly. Samsara all over the place!

Edited by Mento

So you're saying the ghosts were being led by a shadowy figure to stop Pac-Man from becoming too powerful? Because if he ate too much of that fruit he would've eventually grown so strong and knowledgeable he'd end up destroying the maze-like prison to which he was confined, causing a catastrophic kill-sc... oh my god.

Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento:

Exactly. Don't you remember the old arcade cabinets with "It's Clyde time" written on the side?