Let’s Look at the Kanji and Ice Cream in Animal Crossing: New Leaf!

A good while back BB Gang Zombie asked some questions about Animal Crossing:

Animal Crossing: New Leaf leaves a few furniture items untranslated and I was wondering if it said anything worth wondering about and also why ice cream case and milk case are included in the “spa” set if possible…?

First, here’s the “Kanji Tee” in action:

Congratulations! You have found this secret text! As a reward, you should buy yourself something nice!

The kanji character here is , which means “forest”. This makes sense, as Animal Crossing is known as Animal Forest in Japan.

As for the ice cream case and the milk case being part of the “spa” set of furniture, it’s actually pretty simple. The original Japanese text calls it a “hot spring” set, and in Japan a common part of any trip to a hot spring or a public bath is to have some sort of nice cold, dairy treat afterward to cool off, whether it’s some sort of ice cream treat or some sort of flavored milk. I’ve heard there are historical reasons behind this custom, but I’ve never really looked too much into it.

Anyway, as that’s not really a custom we have in the West (or at least here in the States), the connection between the dairy furniture and the spa stuff isn’t as clear. I’m guessing the localizers just figured no one would notice or care 😛

You know, I’ve never actually been to a public bath, a hot spring, or a spa here in America – IS this dairy custom common here too? It could just be that I’m unaware of that aspect of American culture. If anyone knows, let me know in the comments! And if anyone has more info on how this Japanese custom first started, definitely share that too!

Also, while we’re at it, the ice cream case and the milk case both have kanji on them too!

Go eat some ice cream now!Go eat some ice cream now!

They both say 山内牛乳, which means “Yamauchi Dairy”. It sounds like it’s a reference to good ol’ Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former president of Nintendo!

9 Comments
  1. Gotta love how you could make up the kanji from that blurry screenshot. That takes skill for sure 🙂

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    1. Yeah, it wasn’t too hard given the context of dairy stuff, without that it might’ve been tougher. I often have to decipher handwritten scribble kanji, so this wasn’t too bad 😛

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  2. Considering what happened to Mr. Yamauchi recently, it’s nice to have his name honored in the game like this. Rest in peace, Mr. Yamauchi, now let’s all have some ice cream.

    I think I may have to try and get my hands on one of these furniture items now.

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  3. I don’t know if it’s a custom or not. The Japanese just really love ice cream. XD

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      1. Well that explains it then.

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  4. I’ve been to a few hot springs, and I’ve never noticed an ice cream finisher. Not that I’d complain, mind.

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  5. Also: check-plus on not getting that kanji on a shirt. Maybe as a gift for somebody you don’t like very much.

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  6. I’ve seen that custom a couple of times in anime & manga, and I suspect those times are because they did something with it.

    In the anime of Ichigo Mashimaro, a character says something funny while the others are drinking their milk to make them spray it. In Hidamari Sketch / Sunshine Sketch, a character has milk *before* the bath, shocking the others. (And then the anime has her do it a second time, to similar effect.)

    Reply

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