This is 石原碓海
Ishihara (surname) Usumi (first name)
He is the character I use in Mahjong Soul. When I load up the game, he says the following:
You can see in the image it is translated as: “Ah, we have met again. What are you up to today? Mind if I join you?”
…but what is the Japanese he actually says? Let’s try to unpick it.
He starts “YIH!”, which I assume is just a general exclamation. But a “YIH” sound doesn’t really exist in Japanese in the strict sense (there is only や ya, ゆ yu, よ yo) so how do we even write it? I suspect it is a casual/morphed pronunciation of いい = “ii”, literally meaning good or OK and perhaps here is a positive exclamation that he is pleased to see us.
Next it gets a lot easier. He says what sounds like “ma dai da na” which – with help from Locksleyu of Self Taught Japanese – we think is this:
“mata aeta na”
I met you again
So the game’s “we have met again” translation makes total sense.
Next he says what sounds to me like “kyō wa nani s’na?” and Locksleyu has again helped identify as:
“kyō wa nani sun no”
what are you doing today?
As they neatly translate it in the game: “what are you up to today?”. Locksleyu wrote about these transformations in an article here. Interesting reading!
Finally Ishihara says what sounds like “ore mo ishosh’d ee?” (notably with a question inflection at the end, much like in the previous sentence). I believe this is:
“ore mo issho shite ii”
literally: me, too, together, verb to do, good/OK
This is the clearest of all the sections for me. It feels very natural that this means “Mind if I join you?” and I like how the tone of the いい at the end is used as the way to make it a question. I believe that’s a bit softer than a formal か question indicator.
So, although the clip is only 5 seconds, there is a lot we can analyse and learn!
You will notice that today’s cover image is some profiteroles. Surprise, surprise, I made them! I have mentioned before that I like to make profiteroles.
This links together with Ishihara Usumi in a funny way because he is actually a pastry chef.
I really enjoy Mahjong Soul but there’s a bit of a problem with it, which is that the game is absolutely rammed with somewhat risqué cartoon girls. I fully understand that is the company’s revenue model – having “unlockables” in-game which encourage “whales” to pour money into loot boxes (or I suppose in this case “gacha“) to unlock the characters/costumes – but to be honest that weeb waifu laifu isn’t really my bag and I find it a bit cringe. I’m happy to play Mahjong on a really slick web client and I love the game, but I’d been hoping for a long time to unlock a character I could use that was just…kinda a “normal guy”.
I was reluctant to put money into the game but I did purchase a $5 “fortune charm” which grants various daily bonuses for a month and essentially helps you unlock a character.
I wasn’t having much luck but then, on Boxing Day, I unlocked Ishihara.
I hadn’t really seen this character before and I was intrigued. “A pastry chef?! What? Haha, well he’ll do fine” and I replaced the awkwardly-subservient cat girl that I’d had to use as a default character up to that point.
But then I remembered that only the day before I had made profiteroles for our Christmas Day dessert. Hey! I’m a pastry chef too! This “Ishihara” guy is perfect.
What is amusing, however, is that his lines absolutely align with the general “dating sim” subtheme (main-theme?) of the game and it’s very entertaining that he seems to be hitting on me. Dude! I’m fine, let’s just play Mahjong ay? (But perhaps I’ll share some in future entries and do a similar analysis breakdown of what he’s saying.)
Image credit: They are the profiteroles I made for Christmas 2020! 🙂 (I’m trying to use images that don’t have potential license issues – even though no-one has ever contacted me about using their IP, I look back on some of the older entries and think I was a bit cavalier with borrowing photos, even if I did think at the time that linking to the sources was a fair exchange of publicity for image use…)