What Does That Japanese Stuff in .hack//G.U. Mean?

OmniM was curious about what some Japanese text in .hack//G.U.:

Here’s some screenshots that have Japanese lettering in them. I’m sorry about the low quality of the pictures (I took them using a 3DS). Half of the pictures are composed of special attacks while the others have background art and one picture shows a character’s back. I know some of the photographs are little off (it’s not easy to take photos of a fast-paced action rpg), but most of them are clear. Oh yeah…I also took a picture of the game’s opening (the first one) but I’m afraid the letters are hard to make out. Oh well. Anyway, thank you and keep working on the awesome website!

Okay, let’s take a look!

I honestly don’t know what this is; it would make sense if it’s part of a longer word (like “beam” or “big” or something), but by itself I guess it’s just onomatopoeia for a high-pitched sound or shriek.
At first I thought this was ベベーッ, which is a snorty/farty sort of sound, at least from what little I know. The angle it’s written makes it look a tiny bit like ブブーッ though, in which case it might be onomatopoeia for a buzzer-like sound, like “bzzzt!”

Given that the horse thing is snorting I assume it’s the former, but maybe there’s more to this character/situation than I know?

“Life (is a) paper balloon”
“Shounen Bike” or “Boy Bike”, with the “bike” referring to a motorcycle or motorcycle-like vehicle.

The rest of the text is a bit hard to read in full. It’s something about a world.

“Badass Chim”
This could be many things, but it seems to be the name “Katsura”.
Literally “Destruction Reverse Sword Dance”.
Literally “Gale Twin Blade”.
Something like “Dual Swallow Counter”. The “swallow” here is referring to the bird, and a “swallow counter” is a technique name used in judo, kendo, and other martial arts. A kendo demonstration is here.
Literally something like “Tiger Berserk Attack”.
This one’s a little tougher as the second character can mean a bunch of different things and has some Buddhist connections in some of them. The meaning I take at first sight is “One Kill, Twin Moons”, but if anyone has any extra insight, let me know!
“Race Select”
“Tengu” – more info on this supernatural creature here.
“Celestial Burial Lotus”
This is something like “Chain Attack” or “Combo Attack” or “Linked Attack”.
The English text on here is mostly right, although the kanji gives it more of a “godly might” feeling than “divine”.
This is a bit weird to phrase in English, but it’s something like “Shave/Cut Three Combination”.
Sinobi is almost certainly just an alternate romanization for “shinobi”, which is another word for a ninja.
The Japanese here is the same as the English – Apkallu.

Whew, some of those are tough! But hopefully .hack fans will find some of that interesting! It’s been a loooong time since I played any of the games, and I can’t even remember if I got very far. If I can’t remember I guess not 😛 But I do remember enjoying the concept and ideas!

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  1. For the second one, I definitely lean more towards ブブーッ, if only due to the angle of the ッ suggesting the angle of the rest. At least, I read it as “bu buuu” before even looking at the text.

    Not knowing anything about the games, that fifth one may be a weird spelling of “Jim”. I know ジム would actually be “Jimu”, but I seem to recall that the “chi” sound more closely approximates the usual J sound in English.

  2. Oh man, this is actually pretty neat, thanks Mato!
    Oh .Hack, how disappointing and annoying you were once GU came around…though I’m sure the original games don’t hold up as well today 😡

  3. Thanks for translating those photos, Mato! It’s interesting that some of the pictures have several meanings behind it (like the Rengeki and the Twin Moons pics- I didn’t don’t know it had some connection to Buddhism!). I guess it’s no surprise at the thirteenth pic-he does look like a tengu, but I took a picture of him because he’s the only character that has some kanji on his clothes.


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