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November 23rd, 2009 | EarthBound, Images, Itoi

Yesterday Itoi’s site/company held a small event about IT stuff and broadcasted it online. While waiting for things to get set up, he would write little messages to show the webcam. One of the messages included one of his signature weird-looking Mr. Saturn sketches:

Mr. Saturn is saying “Just a moment please”, written partly in kanji. Mr. Saturns aren’t supposed to know kanji (the MOTHER games are 99.9% kana-only) so Itoi also included the note “This is a fake Mr. Saturn that speaks in kanji”.

Not really noteworthy, but still kind of neat to see him still doing his Mr. Saturn doodles 😛


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15 Comments to Itoi’s Mr. Saturn Sketch

Antiaverage said on Nov. 23, 2009

Heh, I’m glad you posted this. Thank you.

Curiospasserby said on Nov. 23, 2009

I’m glad Itoi still remembers things like that, even now. Btw, does it actually make a difference what way something is written in japanese? Like, does it change inflection, or meaning maybe?

Mato said on Nov. 23, 2009

Mostly it changes the way it feels I guess. There usually isn’t any real meaningful difference if you write something in kanji or kana or a mixture of both.

Anon said on Nov. 23, 2009

Now, my knowledge of Japanese is limited to “I know a few Hiragana characters” and little else, but…
If something is written in kanji, I think there can be some “puns” for lack of a better word.

Using XXXHOLiC as an example, the main character’s name is Watanuki, but in kanji it can be spelled “April 1”

santiagoff said on Nov. 23, 2009

That’s kinda cute =3

20thCenturyBoy said on Nov. 23, 2009

He thinks of Mother every day, and eventually he’ll make another game.

That’s the way I want to think of it.

PKSTARMAN said on Nov. 23, 2009

Itoi looks old now… Maybe it would be good to have some vacations.

>( ^ . ^ ) said on Nov. 24, 2009

“This is a fake Mr. Saturn that speaks in kanji.”

lol, Itoi’s weird…

Linkzcap said on Nov. 24, 2009

It’s funny because I get it

Vinny said on Nov. 24, 2009

What does his company do? All I know of the guy is the three games he made. His company must do other stuff.

LucasTizma said on Nov. 24, 2009

Ha ha. I like it. 🙂 I love little stuff like that. 😀

It’s my impression that using kanji can also help novice noobs like me to separate “real words” from connecting or grammar words when reading. That’s just me.

Leonardo Boiko said on Nov. 24, 2009

LucasTizma: You’re completely right. Kanji might be difficult to learn, but once you do it makes Japanese much easier to read, since it doesn’t use spaces to separate words.

If you write using only kana, itslikewritingeverythingalljumbleduplikethis. Further, kana doesn’t even differentiates the tones that help in separating homophones in spoken language, so it can be really hard to tell what’s happening.

Mother 2 and 3 are kana-only by design. When reading a large kana text, the temptation is great to start speaking it aloud. Dragon Quest was kana-only because of technical limitations. Itoi, sick in his bed, trying to make sense of the kana jumble, would narrate the game to himself: «Hero defeats the Slime! Hero gains 3 EXP!» That experience was important to him, and he wanted to recreate it for Mother fans, so Mother avoids kanji. That’s why the manual is so keen in having you sing along the game —it’s the proper way to experience it =) And that’s why he has to note that this is not a real Mr. Saturn. The real Mother 2 world is kana.

For the curious, read the full story here: http://www.largeprimenumbers.com/article.php?sid=mother2

Anonymous said on Nov. 24, 2009

Ha! This Mr. Saturn looks funny and it’s hilarious how Itoi labeled it fake. Itoi will never run out of his humor.

Axl-fox said on Nov. 25, 2009

that Fake Mr. Saturn shall become the next internet MOTHER meme

Frank said on Jan. 24, 2010

Lol 😀 Just noticed that one of the pouches says ”On myös kilttejä karhuja” and it’s finnish and means ”there’s also nice bears”


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