皆様、こんにちにゃあ！Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, the only Japanese language and culture blog of the decade to be run by
cat-like alien twins and an apparently sentient robot computer. We’re your hosts, your Japanese language and culture guides of this decade and the next, Kiki and Koko! This year in which we are writing this, 2019年, will always hold a special place for SpeRaToBo and Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online. It will stand as the year that we decided to commit to you and established ourselves online as your source for Japanese language and culture. As the year just before we breech the temporal 玄関, genkan, into the 20s, we think back to the beginning of the year where we grappled with the decision to finally go out on a limb and do what we’ve always dreamed. We wanted to start something that was not only fulfilling to us that provided something new and special for as many people as possible. Without that driving force, we wouldn’t be where we are, today. And, even still, as we end the decade, there is much more that we have planned. While we don’t know what this coming year, let alone the decade, has in store for us —or for you lovely Earthlings—we know that we will continue to give it our all to give you our best.
But, before we look ahead to the future, we think it’s important to take a look back and have a look at what you’ve accomplished over this year! That’s right. Whether you’ve only just started learning Japanese when we’ve began the official Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online web pages, or you’ve only just begun learning a day or two ago, or maybe even if you’ve just started browsing the site this moment, we think it’s a wonderful motivator to take a look back at what you’ve done.
First, you really have to remember the goals you’ve set for yourself. Maybe, your goal was just to learn a little bit of Japanese for fun; maybe your goal was to keep your mind active; maybe you wanted to learn to write hiragana. Or, perhaps, you just wanted to learn some facts and perspectives from Japanese culture. At any rate, remember, learning Japanese language and culture is a journey. It’s about the experience, it’s about the engagement. It’s not always about the quantifiable number of things you’ve learnt. It’s more encouraging to think about what you’ve accomplished in terms of meeting your goals or even in realising which goals are realistic and which are simply too overwhelming for your current schedule or learning level.
This is a great time to browse through the previous lessons in order to see what you remember and what you may need to work on. During this, you can make an inventory on how long it takes you to learn certain things and the ways that worked best for you. We would honestly be very interested in hearing about this, as well. Everyone learns at different paces in different ways. And, we’ve never been ‘about’ the whole cramming culture when it comes to learning. Most of the time, when you literally cram things into your short term memory, it’s not going to stay with you after the examination for which you may be cramming. We’ve even noticed in our past, this method doesn’t even work for us as well as others we know. It may get you through the test, but if the test is to have long term access, then you may fail the test. And, that’s no fun! We still think having a relaxed approach to an extent is much more effective. If you do need many rules and regulations to keep you on track, then that’s useful, but it’s all about keeping the actual study/ revision sessions a relaxed fine dining experience rather than a frantic binge at 4am. But, if the extreme methods work for you, we also don’t want to discourage you. If that’s worked for you in the long term without any repercussions, then we guess it’s just up to whatever works for you. However, we do just hope your sessions are enjoyable with us, and that we can continue to provide enjoyable resources.
Now, after looking through everything that you may or may not have absorbed during the year, there may be many articles and lessons you haven’t even read, yet. But, no worries! We don’t want that to discourage you. You can start from wherever you’re comfortable. There will be future lessons where we reference the past lessons, so you can still continue to keep up with current lessons if you’d just like a taste of what’s to come, as we’ll usually link back to lessons you’ll need to be able to understand the current ones. It’s sort of a motivator to let you know where you’ll be in future.
Overall, we’re just so proud of any of you who have been keeping up with the lessons, or even those who have just started. Learning a new language, even if just for a bit of extra knowledge, is something that is above the scope of function which will broaden your horizons and open up a new world that has been hidden in plain sight. It’s something that will even enrich your native language and cultural understanding as well as truly begin to make you think about the Planet Earth as a global community. There are differences and there are similarities, but we all have a need to communicate. You’re creating a new channel for communication where you’ll experience things that you may not have imagined. And, in that, we do hope that this decade－well, this past yearーyou’ve at least begun to experience the benefits of our resources. If by only opening the shutters to a window of the world just outside the door, leading to a new life adventure, we feel you should feel equally accomplished. And, 2020 just may be the year that you crash through the window from the ground floor into a new worldーor leisurely open the door and take your first steps out.
In Japanese, 明ける, akeru, means both to begin a new year as well as to end a season or period of time. And, with this, we think we should take a bit of our own advice and have a look back at our own accomplishments during this decade. We’ll only focus on 2019, however, as we have actually taught and tutored in Japanese language offline during this decade. Except for QUIZBO™, however! He’s our new and special robot friend who has become incomparable in this year, and began leading lessons himself every Wednesday through his Word of the Week Wednesday corner, right here on Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online. Though, we met in 2018, it feels like he’s always been here, and we’re very happy to enter the new decade with him. So, he’ll get the gift of being able to present his favourites first~! We’re going to categorise the ‘accomplishments’ more so as our favourite things we’ve either contributed to on the site or created. We think this is a great way to end the year properly.
*Before we begin! Each of the sections are presented by their respective favouriters. So, when you read it, you’ll be reading their personal writing. And, this would be quite a lengthy article that would be difficult to traverse if it were at full length. So, for your convenience, we’ve put each list on its own page so everyone can get a quick spotlight. Ready? Let’s GO!!
Now, we didn’t want to put everything on its own page, so we’ve compiled some of our collective favourites for the main article.
Kiki+Koko’s Collective Favourite Articles of 2019:
After thinking about all of the articles individually, we both looked over some articles together and decided on a few that we thought were our collective favourites. Again, they’re not really in any particular order, but they’re definitely worth mentioning:
This doesn’t necessarily count as an article, but we were just very happy about the renovation that happened to the site about halfway through our time this year. It made searching for articles so much easier for visitors, and helped put the categories in stone. We may do another renovation during or after 大掃除, oosouji, depending on if we can make it even easier to browse.
[QUIZ] Hello!|Text RPG|Do You Know?| Japanese Greetings #1A and [QUIZ] Goodbye!| Text RPG | Do You Know? | Japanese Greetings #1B
We both agreed, QUIZBO™ outdid himself with these scenarios. We don’t know how we forgot about ‘goodbye’. They both really lent to having a fun read whether you’re doing poorly or doing well, and you’re learning all along the way.
Celebrating over 100 blog posts!! | Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online’ 100th Blog Post | 祝１００投稿目 | (114th Sitewide!)
Of course, we had to include this huge milestone. It’s basically the culmination of the year’s achievements to have reached 100 posts, but we’re already a third of the way to the next 100! So, we really have to be sure to appreciate the milestones along the way. And, we hope these have all attributed to your own milestones.
YouTube Premieres: Space Oddity || KiKi+KoKo LiVE and Let’s Talk!! || Autumn Project Vlog ||& Bowie Cosplay || 放送前 || KiKi + KoKo LiVE Behind the Scenes
Well, with the 50th anniversary of Space Oddity, this counts towards the decade. We quite enjoy playing music, and in future, hopefully, we’ll be able to perform again with original music and even more tribute songs.
Well, this not only represents the start of the radio show, but it also features one of our favourite logo tee shirts. We’ve already recorded more episodes of the radio show that should be released this coming year. We really want to do more of these, as well.
We enjoyed creating so many other articles, but we figured we’d at least give a quick bit of appreciation to the unsung heroes of these: the thumbnails! These were actually chosen by Indigo East, our gracious web host, but we think think these basically align with what we enjoyed as well. It’s always very difficult to choose between which thumbnails you enjoy the most when they feature your own face.
Favourite Thumbnails of 2019:
- Celebrating over 100 blog posts!! | Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online’ 100th Blog Post | 祝１００投稿目 | (114th Sitewide!)
This obviously holds sentimental value, but it was also a very technically intensive shoot. There was a lot of lighting involved– about six different light sources used to get that shot when usually it’s only two.
- 🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【寄付】+【祝儀】(+ Quick Tip and Busking Culture Corner)
This one just felt bright and colourful and fun, and it really illustrates what’s going on here. Just doing your best in front of whoever walks by and hoping it helps.
- 🔊 Baby, You Can Drive My Car | Basic Vehicle Vocabulary | SIDE B || Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Japanese Language Learning Essentials
This thumbnail seems reminiscent of some sort of 80s movie with the girls going out on the town, travelling to new places. The retro feel and contrast of colours as well as the composition is what makes this number 3. Though, it’s difficult to really put one above another.
- The Necessary Nebulousness of 「ん」(The Mysterious Maverick of Japanese Morae)
The look as a whole and the contrast between colours bright this to the top five. Also, the poses, shadows, and ん as a human added to this.
- 雛祭りとは？｜What is Hinamatsuri?
This was the first thumbnail that established the general aesthetic for the thumbnails from then on. It always holds the place as the origin of all the thumbnails.
- この魔法的な「です」とは？｜What is this magical 「desu」?（SIDE A）
This is always such a pleasant one that had to be included as QUIZBO™ has quite the perfect mahou shojo pose.
- YouTube Premieres: Space Oddity || KiKi+KoKo LiVE
In a way, this also was a catalyst for the general look for future thumbnails. The background of warped television scanlines stood as the first inspiration for a new aesthetic.
- この魔法的な「です」とは？｜What is this magical 「desu」?（SIDE A）
Looking Forward with 2020* Vision:
*20/20 is 6/6 in the UK
Even if we don’t know what may be coming this year or this decade, we do know we have a clear vision of what we’d like to do for all of you. We hope to continue to keep the current pace of creating useful and indepth Japanese language learning resources as well as expanding into other areas. But, it’s really up to you. If you’d like to see more content in the future so that others can have the chance to experience this, then please be sure to support the content. We’ve grown so much as a resource in our first year as well as in our methods. This is a really unique way to be able to teach and learn Japanese language and culture that gives the chance for so many people at any time, day or night, to learn at their own place wherever they’re comfortable or wherever they can afford to reside. Spreading the word and following the site supports the continuation, but leaving a donation in the tip♡jar allows us to provide even more. It’s not just providing these things to one person, it’s about providing them for everyone who has access to a computer, and maybe soon, those who don’t have access to a computer. We have many projects in the works that we hope to be able to release to you, and we can do our best, but it’s up to everyone. With your help, we can really do great things for everyone:
Support the content and our mission by subscribing, following, and more! We appreciate it more than you know~
We want to make sure we can continue to offer this and even more content for months and years, and hopefully decades, to come. Turning off your ad-blocker can do an immense amount! (Honestly, there are some great advertisements that are usually related to our content. It’s an easy way to support whilst doing nothing extra.) Even still, because many people use ad-block, advertising alone can’t cover the cost of running this site and surviving with food and shelter. If you want to ensure our survival for 100 more posts and longer as well as the continuation of the creation of new and even better content, feel free to leave a TIP in the TIP♡JAR to keep it going, or for long term contributions in increments, you can join our Patreon where our gracious host, Indigo East, usually posts behind-the-scenes, sneak-peeks, exclusive content, and more. And, we join in as well! Again, if you’d like to support our survival and the creation of more content to be made available to as many people as possible, you can also share the content! You can easily share via Twitter and Pinterest where you can retweet and repin respectively without even having to type! Gestures like that go a long way, and we appreciate it.
Thank you for joining us! We hope that you continue with us on this adventure, and we appreciate that you’ve chosen us to assist you on your Japanese learning journey into the coming decade!
Cheers to another decade! May you have a happy and rewarding new year!