You all seemed to enjoy getting to know MoeGamer site mascot Midori last week, so it’s high time we gave her best friend Yumi the opportunity to introduce herself.
She doesn’t speak a lot of English, however, so Midori will be joining us to assist where necessary. Let’s see how this goes…
Pete: Thanks for joining us, both of you.
Midori: Hi again, onii-chan!
P: Remember, this is Yumi’s moment, Midori, you’re just here to help.
M: I know, I know.
P: All right. With that in mind, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself, Yumi?
P: You like games?
P: Video games?
P: What about board games?
P: What is your favourite video game?
Y: …Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu.
M: She means Dodonpachi Resurrection.
P: I know what she meant. Hmm, I didn’t have you pegged for a shoot ’em up fan, though, Yumi.
M: She’s really good. She doesn’t like to brag, though, so she refuses to save her replays or upload her scores to the leaderboards.
P: That’s unfortunate.
P: So what about board games, Yumi? What’s your favourite there?
P: Shush. Let her answer.
Y: Space Alert.
P: That one where you have to listen to the CD and do things in real time?
P: And who do you play that with?
Y: Midori and Penelope.
P: Of course. That game’s very communication-heavy and frantic. Do you have any trouble with it, given that Penelope’s first language is English?
M: She has an elaborate series of gestures and shorthand that we’ve learned to understand without the language barrier being a problem. It’s very efficient!
P: That’s good. Do you remember to do the computer and look out the window?
M: I usually end up doing those things because she doesn’t trust me to do anything important.
P: Doing the computer is important.
M: I want to fire the lasers!
P: That doesn’t surprise me.
P: So, we’ve established that you like board games and video games…
P: What else can you tell us about yourself?
Y: Part of you.
P: Like Midori?
P: How so?
Yumi frowns, clearly turning something over in her mind and pondering how best to express herself. This probably wouldn’t be a problem for her in her native language, but since we’re conducting this interview in English due to my own limited Japane–
Y: I’m essentially a manifestation of your feelings of social anxiety and fear of being negatively judged. I represent your tendency to clam up when in an unfamiliar situation, perhaps appearing surly and uncommunicative to an outsider, when in fact you’re just feeling terribly, terribly uncomfortable and unable to get a read on the situation. It can be difficult to understand the emotions, body language and facial expressions of others at times, so sometimes it feels like it is easier just to keep quiet and provide sufficient responses to appear at least semi-polite without allowing the conversation to develop too much.
M: I… err…
P: It’s okay, Midori.
M: No, I’m just… I’m just so proud!
P: I know, right? Good job, Yumi.
P: I guess your English isn’t as limited as I originally thought, huh?
M: It’s kind of news to me, too, onii-chan.
P: You’ve been working on it since the GameCast?
M: Don’t feel too bad, onii-chan; you mentioned in both of those cases that while they were good for memorising phrases, you wanted to learn a bit more of the underlying grammar and whatnot to get a better understanding of the language.
P: I know, but still. I should still make some time to do some actual studies.
M: You got the two kana alphabets pretty down pat though, right?
P: Yeah. A few katakana still give me a bit of grief, but hiragana– wait, you two have somehow managed to make this about me again, haven’t you?
M: Is it really all that surprising?
P: I guess not. Given that the pair of you are, as we’ve established by now, manifestations of particular aspects of my personality and general sense of “self”, it’s perhaps not too much of a stretch for any attempt to get to know you actually turning into a way for people to get to know me a bit better.
Y: You get it.
P: Has this all just been a flagrantly transparent attempt to talk about myself somewhat?
M: We’re cuter than you are, though, onii-chan.
P: That is true.
P: So, uh… given the nature of this column, does this mean anyone who likes either of you actually thinks I am their waifu?
M: No, onii-chan, we’re our own people in our own right. We may have been born from you, but we’ve developed our own quirks, personalities and way of being, totally independently of you.
P: Not… entirely independently.
M: Yes, mostly.
P: I guess you have sort of had a life of your own a bit. I didn’t really plan out how you’d develop, it just sort of… happened.
P: And the GameCast was a big part of that. I should definitely do some more of those some time soon, it was fun to spend time with you.
Y: …Visual Novel Maker.
P: That’s true, it would be a good project to put that through its paces, wouldn’t it?
P: Thanks, Yumi. You’ve given me a renewed sense of vim and vigour today.
M: What about me?
P: You too, I guess.
P: I’m joking!
P: Okay, time to finish. You know how I feel about tildes.
Y: Thank you.
P: No, no, thank you, Yumi. Let’s do this again soon!
Y: Ja ne!
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