I haven't messed around with the data that comes after the pointer, but I think I've found out how to re-point the pointers. I replaced the reversed hex address that came before the "08" with one that points to a huge blank area full of "00"'s in the ROM. Now, I can write anything of any length and have it show up in the game.
So, in trying to solve one problem, I ended up solving another. I still don't know what to do about the pause menu text, though. I agree that the graphics might be mapped rather than encoded, similar to the copyright info on the title screen that is made up of only the needed letters. This makes more sense because they were probably intended to remain static for the rest of the game.
Thing is, how would I go about "re-mapping" these graphics, if even possible for someone with no/basic skills like me? I'm able to change the in-battle exclaimations, the compressed fight menu graphics, dialogue, menu options, items... but this pause menu is really the last thing that I don't know how to change.
What's also peculiar to me is that "し" and "じ" appear on-screen but only "じ" appears in the graphics for the pause menu.