I did indeed miss the PM, sorry about that.
Oddly enough, the suggested fixed didn't seem to do much. I checked my non-unicode application settings, and they were indeed set to English. I tried running the game in applocale in both English and Japanese settings with no difference. I tried both with and without the font, and the text did change, but the boxes remain. I'll give it a try on a couple other computers and see if they have the same behavior, if so I'm willing to assume it's just a poor copy of the game to begin with. It did install the font though, but I uninstalled, tried playing, then reinstalled it and tried again. Weird stuff.
edit: hah, works fine on my girlfriends computer, so something is messed up on my end apparently.