JRPG Japanese Devlog

JRPG Japanese Character: Ono

Greetings once again, heroes! Today, I announce Ono, new character and member that’s joined the JRPG Japanese party!

JRPG Japanese: Ono: A new character appears!

Me and my illustrator, shugulupsketches have been working hard coming up with designs of playable characters in JRPG Japanese. Today, we present Ono, our mega-tough ax-wielder with a heart of gold! He may be a bit slow (in more ways than one), but he’s really a good, loyal egg, and we’ve decided to keep him and this design we’ve come up with.

Ono’s design

jrpg japanese language learning character ono

Spoiler alert, but he’s a knight. (Like you couldn’t tell though, right? By his expensive-looking, kingdom-paid getup?) He’s got money for the good equipment, as well as starts off with the kingdom’s heavy armor set!

His color scheme is blue to complement a tinge of royalty. Also, I thought blue went well with his spikey, red hair that shows off all that (well-founded?) confidence just bursting from him.

Oh, and did I mention his massive muscles from years of training for his king?

The two main characters I felt inspired by when coming up with Ono’s design were Gatrie from Fire Emblem and Dekar from Lufia II.

Ono’s name

Like all of the other four heroes of JRPG Japanese: A Language Learning Adventure!, Ono’s name is based on the weapon he mains in. Since the Japanese word for “axe” is “おの ono, I figured if you have a character image to go with the weapon name, it’ll be easier for you Japanese language learners to memorize!

But of course, when you’re in the shops, Ono can use other big weaponry, too, that’ll be discussed in the book. But his starter weapon is his giant axe.

Where do you recruit him?

In Oukoku Kingdom. He joins after his prince – I mean “king” – gives him the orders to go with Ken on his quest to save the world.

Again, let’s go on a quick side-quest here and take a look at his hometown’s name. 王国おうこく Oukoku” is the Japanese word for “kingdom”. Oukoku Kingdom basically means “Kingdom Kingdom”, which I know sounds ridiculous translated, but hear me out! The same way I use weapons as character’s names comes from the idea that with a picture in mind, vocabulary memorization becomes quicker and longer-sustained.

The Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance also uses this naming system for a few of their monsters.

kingdom hearts dream drop distance komory bat
Komory Bat

kingdom hearts dream drop distance ghostabocky

kingdom hearts dream drop distance necho cat
Necho Cat
コウモリバット =
koumori batto

koumori (ENG: bat)
batto (ENG: bat)
Komory Bat (localized)
オバケゴースト =
obake gōsuto
obake (ENG: ghost)
gōsuto (ENG: ghost)
Ghostabocky (localized)
ネコキャット =
neko kyatto

neko (ENG: cat)
kyatto (ENG: cat)
Necho Cat (localized)

I’ll bet you didn’t realize you were learning Japanese while you came across the Dream Eater, Komory Bat! Translated, we have “bat bat”!

Ono’s speech style

Remember when I hinted in Ken’s character release that Ken would be “ぼく boku” because I have an “おれ ore” already in mind? Well, Ono’s my “おれ ore! The personal pronoun ore can be used by anyone who wants to sound masculine or crude. But you won’t catch him say “ore” to his king!

Though Ken’s speech is informal, more plain, and insert-yourself-into-the-story, Ono’s speech style is much more masculine, tough, and smug. If any of those words match you and your own personality, then reading his lines in the JRPG Japanese book will be right up your alley!

As a quick review, there are four playable characters in JRPG Japanese. Here’s our list of revealed playable character personality speech styles:

  1. Young, masculine, informal, humble:  Ken
  2. Masculine, informal, confident: Ono
  3. Young, feminine, cute, confident, informal: ? (Not yet revealed~)
  4. Feminine, formal, humble: ? (Not yet revealed~)

Ono’s three-word personality breakdown

  1. Reliable: after taking on a mission, he sees it through out of loyalty to his prince and friends who treat him well
  2. Funny: has a great sense of humor, even in tough times
  3. Strong: believes in his own strength and is optimistic to improve

The reason I give each character a three-word personality breakdown is because I want my characters to show certain aspects of language acquisition. I want Ono to represent a reliable loyalty (the ability to act out your assignments with consistency), a sense of humor (an absolute MUST as mistakes and confusion are inevitable), and an optimistic strength (recognizing that YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CAPABLE).

I’ve set these words just for you, hero, to help give you little nuggets of encouragement as you trek through your own Japanese language journey. I’m hoping, by having Ono in your party, his goofy optimism will be a good influence on you.

Three, random Ono tidbits in JRPG Japanese

  1. Ono’s stamina knows no bounds. He can stay outside and practice sword swings hundreds of times until he gets it right.
  2. Ono and the prince grew up together. Initially, their friendly relationship as commoner and royalty was frowned upon by members of Oukoku Kingdom society, especially given the fact that Ono, the trouble-maker, often dragged the prince into his shenanigans. Eventually, though, Ono won over the public’s affection and was welcomed into knighthood.
  3. You absolutely need to test your might against him in a mano-a-mano before he joins your team.

Ono’s bio is now up on the JRPG Japanese characters page! To get to know him better and get some Japanese vocabulary practice in while you’re at it, that should be your next stop!

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