Little Charo – Final Thoughts and Extras

I can’t believe I finally got all the way through Little Charo! It took about 3/4 of a year, but I finally did it! Just keeping on track and moving forward with it without stopping was the hardest part. But I think it all goes back to what I said in one of my very first posts. Just having a well-defined goal and constantly keeping track of what you are doing is half the battle. For all I know, no one even reads this blog, or was following along in the game with me, but the most important thing that the blog has done for me is to just give me goals and to easily let me see what kind of progress I was making. Throughout this time, I have definitely seen a lot of improvement to my reading speed AND comprehension.

I’ve got a few extras and some statistics regarding Little Charo that I would like to go through now.

First of all, I have my fully-completed save file. If you are playing the game in the DeSmuME emulator, you can load this save file to access everything. This might be handy if you are having trouble unlocking some of the bonus episodes.

Also, here is a zip file containing CSV files of all of the scripts from the spreadsheet. It also includes a kanji frequency report and word frequency report generated by cb’s Japanese Text Analysis Tool. Let’s take a moment to look at some interesting information from these statistics:


  • Little Charo contains 1300 Kanji.
  • About 300 of them appear only once.
  • About 80 Kanji make up 50% of the Kanji that you will see in the game.
  • Less than 500 Kanji will cover more than 90% of the Kanji that you see in the game.
  • About 650 Kanji will get you to 95%.
  • It surprisingly does not use several Kanji that are taught early on in Japan, such as: 円, 貝, 岩, 汽, 弓, 算, 寺, 池, 麦, 里, as well as many of the Kanji for numbers.
  • It uses 30 non-jōyō Kanji.


  • There are 6500 unique words contained in the game.
  • 2700 (a little over 40% of the words) only appear once.
  • Only 33 “words” will take you to 50% coverage (but these are almost all particles and grammatical structures).
  • It takes 1210 words to reach 90% coverage.
  • 2525 words get you 95% coverage, and the remaining 5% of words all occur 3 times or less.

I am still not completely finished mining sentences from Little Charo, so I will probably be finishing that up over the next few weeks. Although I have read everything, I’ve still got about 6 chapters that I want to review in more detail. So, I will probably be taking a break from posting anything here for a few weeks while I finish that up. Afterwards, I’m not sure what’s next for me. I would like to start another project that will not only help me learn more Japanese, but can be beneficial to others as well. I’ve got a few ideas in mind, but nothing set in stone yet.


4 thoughts to “Little Charo – Final Thoughts and Extras”

  1. My God, this is simply amazing! I have been playing 16-bit JRPGs with Japanese-English script translations at hand (Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, etc.), but a game specifically made to learn English is a completely different story. This, and the files you made available online for free is simply GOLD! Thank you SO much!

    1. It’s definitely worth the playthrough. I go so much more benefit out of this than any other games. Be sure to pre-study the vocabulary lists I made for each chapter, as this will make it way easier to follow for you!

  2. Just discovered your Little Charo posts… and for me this is really great. I ordered the game + Japanese 3DS yesterday… I’m going to study your vocabulary lists to help me play the game. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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