Well, for those of you keen on learning the language then here are some sites that I`ve found useful when studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) – wiki link for JLPT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Lang…oficiency_Test:
This one here is a site which will convert kanji into hiragan or romaji and give the english meanings as well as a details about the particular word.
The next site is very useful for studying for the JLPT (lvl 4-1, 1 is the hardest). They have past exam papers, listening comprehension material and various quizes too.
Another site with JLPT learning material:
Crash course in basic Japanese for those of you desperate to meet Eriko, Akiko and Kumiko.
An audio phrase book.
In addition to these I find that the best way to learn Japanese, or any other language at that, is to listen to as much music and videos as possible to familiarize yourself with the sounds + find something in that language that will keep you interested like Chatmonchy music, Anime, other jpop, drama etc.
If you are still at school then try to go on an exchange trip to Japan (some exchanges are for 1 year while others can be as short as a week).
This usually isn`t cheap but it will be an excellent opportunity to put your skills to practice and immerse yourself in the culutre and language.
The more you listen and watch various media the quicker you will catch on to the language and improve pronounciation and comprehension. If you do this in addition to traditional studying methods then you are on the right track
For you guys here your passion for music and anime should make learning the language all the more enjoyable so you`re lucky in that respect.
Regarding JLPT, you should be able to find out more about it and possibly get past exam papers from the Japanese consulate (that`s where i got my study material from in New Zealand anyway) in your area.
If you`ve done Japanese at high school through `till your final year then you should be able to start at lvl 3 as lvl 4 may be too easy for you.
The JLPT is in my opinion a much better indicator of your Japanese skills with lvl 2 probably being graduate level Japanese and will allow you to participate in exchange programs at university . lvl 1 is native-speaker level and you are expected to know somethin like 2600 kanji plus a lot of difficult vocab. (probably enough to be able to read and understand a japanese newspaper).
If you read through my long post then thank you and I wish you the best of luck in your studies.
**Edit: Another good one for Kanji – http://www.1nichi1kai.com/