Learning English for the Japanese is considered a rote chore for many—especially those living in rural districts which might see a foreigner maybe once a year, if ever. But with renewed emphasis on the language from the Government, more than ever books and guides on how to score on the TOIEC test sell like hotcakes.
Enter Nanami in Let’s Learn with Nanami! English Improvement Tips. Developers Media5 have already carved out a niche for themselves in the handheld department with more straight-laced TOIEC test titles, but their Let’s Learn With Nanami! series is uniquely set to motivate the geek cred crowd with the tried-and-tested method of… more costumes. The game (can we still call it a game?) itself is almost exactly like its more mainstream compatriots. Users will have to pass through levels of sample questions and texts from the TOIEC exams such as reading and translating passages, stringing together sentences correctly, listening comprehension and so forth.
Doing well in the Nanami series, however, lets players unlock costumes to dress up their English-teaching android. If the ears have not given it away, Nanami is an android made to revitalize Japan. The game’s background story is set in the (pretty near) future of 2031, where Japan faces massive unemployment due to the collective feeling of apathy that’s swept the nation, and Nanami is here to try to motivate everyone to get out, get moving and, well, learn English.
In the video above, English Improvement Tips boasts it has some 4000 English words and 1000 sentences/passages for users to get through, which will progressively unlock players costumes such as china dresses, school uniforms and swimsuits. Players can also set it to read out passages (for when it gets too crowded on the train) to listen in on, and even take part in real-time national ranking fights to prove who memorized their English better (Japan-only, on the Next Revolution social network service)
And, yes, Nanami is voiced by Kana Hanazawa, famed voice actress who was recently in anime shows such as A Certain Scientific Railgun and The World God Only Knows.
If you want to pick her up Chobit’s style, you can buy the game on Amazon Japan right now.