All About Japan

Anime-Inspired Question Makes It Onto JLPT

Anime Learning Japanese Evangelion Otaku

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a standardized test, compromising of five different levels (N5 being the easiest, N1 being the hardest) and consists of a reading and listening comprehension as well as a vocabulary section. One year, the Japan Exchange and Education Services got creative and incorporated a popular anime series.

Even if you didn’t understand a word of the Japanese, if you’ve watched the anime Evangelion, then you probably recognized it right away. While not taken directly from the anime, the dialogue is heavily inspired by the show. The characters are the same (“Commander” Ikari and “Asuka”), and the voice actors are pretty close too. The fact that it’s sandwiched between a robotic woman explaining that this is question fifteen and then giving answers to choose from at the end just makes it all the more surreal.

For those curious, the dialogue is basically someone telling the commander that a giant monster has infiltrated their systems, and the only weapon left to fight it is their own untested mech Unit 04. The commander says he’ll pilot the unit, but is then cut off by the girl Asuka who says she will pilot it instead and runs off.

The question at the end asks who is doing what: (1) The commander is going in Unit 00, (2) The commander is going in Unit 04, (3) The girl is going in Unit 00, (4) The girl is going in Unit 04. So yeah, just your everyday Japanese being tested here.

Some netizens were reasonably skeptical that this was real, but Japanese twiter user @SomniaChina gave the date it was used (December 6, 2009), as did others who remembered it.

In the end, if you’re planning on taking the JLPT, don’t expect any anime-based listening questions. This was likely just a fun thing they did to send off the old level system and is certainly not representative of what the test is like.

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