かがみの孤城 🪞 Week 16

Intermediate Book Club: Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: TUGUMI・Next: おばちゃんたちのいるところ
かがみの孤城 Home Thread: かがみの孤城 (Kagami no Kojou) Book Club

Week 16

Start date: March 5th, 2022

This week we are reading the second half of the 十二月 chapter, up to the end of the first bunko volume!
End page (bunko): 411
End percentage (bunko): 100 :smiley:
End page (tanko): I don’t know :sweat_smile:
End phrase: 一緒に、闘える。

Previous week: かがみの孤城 🪞 Week 15
Next week: かがみの孤城 🪞 Week 17

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number. If you are reading the ebook version mention the percentage.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun! :durtle:

Read Aloud

We will be reading on Sundays at 10:30PM Japan time (reading the previous week’s content). Here is the time in your local time zone:



Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.

  • I’m reading along (up to this week’s end page)
  • I’m already reading ahead (beyond this week’s end page)
  • I’ve read this book already and I’m here for discussion
  • I’m still reading the book but I haven’t yet reached this week’s starting page
  • I’m no longer reading the book

0 voters

Since we’re now halfway through the whole book, I’m also interested in how everyone is finding the book so far! I’ll post my own thoughts when I’ve finished this weeks reading.


I’m a big fan of the book so far. I love middle school dramas ( I feel liked I’m still processing my own middle school years, I guess), and the magical elements are a bonus. I love that there are surprises with clues–it’s fun to guess the next surprise.


About this week: Kokoro going to the mall with her mother is a good development both for their relationship and for Kokoro building up courage to go outside again. And now the crew has made a promise to meet up soon, at school no less! I guess we’ll know soon if the speculations from previous weeks were correct :smiley:. And regardless of whether they manage to meet in real life, it will be interesting to see what happens at school…

Regarding the book as a whole:

The book has certainly turned out different from what I expected. I had expected more tie-ins with fairy tales and more of a focus on the search for the key/room.

I can’t really say that I’m wildly enthusiastic about the book. I feel that the plot is moving very slowly and the book repeats itself a lot, but maybe it’s just that reading a book in Japanese is still slow for me (and there’s the schedule, of course) and maybe it’s just that repetitions stand out more when you’re translating from a foreign language.

The arcs of Kokoro and Ureshino were nice, though.

I still intend to keep reading. I want to know how this all ends and why these kids were brought together, and we still have to learn more about the others. I also have a feeling that the supernatural aspects of the castle will play a larger role in the second volume. All in all, there’s a lot still to come so it will be a packed second half.


Woops, I got confused with the schedule and thought this chapter was supposed to be read last week and there was one more chapter therefore I was late so when I saw it was the end I was like… oh well, I was so wrong I was right.

Since I don’t remember where the cut-off for this week was I’ll just say I really enjoyed this chapter and even though I agree with others that I expected the book to focus more on the mystery of the castle and the search I’m really liking how it’s turning out and I’m really looking forward to continuing with the second volume (although I appreciate the little break since I’ve been finding it hard to find time to read this week…again).


I will say that I read the book at my “normal” pace (took about 2 weeks for the first volume and 5 days for the second volume) instead of with the schedule specifically because I suspected it might drag reading at a slower pace. I definitely don’t regret reading it faster, and it’s currently my favorite Japanese book. (You can probably tell from how long it took me to read each volume that I enjoyed the second volume more, but I loved both and it’s really one book anyway.)


I want to give some thoughts on the reading experience so far as well.

While the orphan-castle pocket dimension, the fairy tale themes and the search for a wish-granting key seemed interesting enough as a premise, I didn’t mind that the plot mostly took a backseat so that we could explore different sides of the characters and their dynamics.
I feel like if the search for the key took center-stage, there would barely be any room for developments like “Kokoro has crippling social anxiety so she stops going to the castle for weeks on end the moment anything goes even slightly wrong with her new relationships” or “Ureshino makes himself an outcast, and the rest of the crew blame themselves to some extent once he leaves” or “Masamune gets weirdly upset when Kokoro says she doesn’t like RPGs, and they have a falling-out”. These kinds of conflicts work because the characters are treating the castle more as a place for hanging out than an arena for a battle-royale. Because they aren’t thinking about the castle and the other kids purely instrumentally, in terms of ‘getting their wish’ and fixing their life at all costs, there’s room for more intimate human drama that’s reflective of their struggles in the real world(s).

Which is to say, I’m liking かがみの孤城 so far, to the point where I’m actually a bit worried about where the second book will take things.
There’s a good chance that the narrative will switch into high-stakes mode, and that it will ultimately wrap things up neatly in terms of answering any burning lore questions, having the wish be used in a way that’s symbolically meaningful and results in a technically plausible happy ending of some sort and so on, … but I’m more invested in the human conflict now, and I would hate for it to be resolved extrinsically.


Wooo! I made it on time! Also, it seems like the perfect timing to drop my guess from “November”:

Guess they’re going to have some issues meeting :sweat_smile:
I do enjoy the book so far, even though, like others, it’s absolutely not what I expected.

Edit: the text in the quote just ignores all the spoiler text… you have to go to the post itself or use the drop down arrow to see it.


I finished this volume a long time after the club, but I guess this is the best place to pose my (mostly rhetorical) questions before I continue on to the next volume.

  • Did オオカミ様 ever say that being in that school is a condition for being allowed in the castle? Why do they all assume that if they change schools they won’t be able to go back, especially as リオン is actually going to a different school? Why not ask オオカミ様 directly what will happen if they change schools?
  • Why do they need to actually go to school for at least one day? Will they even be marked as present if they don’t enter their classrooms? Is it just to convince their (well, Masamune’s) parents to not change schools just yet, or is there some formality that I’m missing?
  • They were all so shocked by the possible loss of memory, yet no one thought that they could keep a detailed diary of everything going on in the castle so that they could read it afterwards? With names and addresses of their new friends if they so liked? Also, surely arranging to meet outside would instantly solve the problem of not remembering each other?
  • The lack of any kind of curiosity and investigation is infuriating. Is it possible that all these kids find themselves in a magical place, and not start asking all kinds of questions to see what they have in common and why they were chosen? Instead they just play games and never ask anything directly? However shy and reserved you are, this is way too hard for me to comprehend. These are special circumstances after all.
  • However much Kokoro has grown during this book, I find it unbelievable that she’s not horribly stressed out by the thought of even approaching the school building. She had a panic attack from just seeing an unknown boy in the school uniform not that long ago, and now she’s casually going to appear in school on the first day of term, where she’s bound to be spotted and discussed by several of her classmates?
  • I’ve seen several of you have this theory of the children coming from completely different years and it’s an interesting theory that would explain several things, and one that didn’t cross my mind at all. However, don’t they all go to the castle on weekdays only (or am I misremembering)? Is it possible that among all the other things they haven’t discussed in so many months, they never even casually mentioned what day it is today? Surely their days of the week should be misaligned?

Anyway, on to the next volume. I hope it holds at least a bit more excitement than this one.

Some answers/comments

I agree 200% with that. And it’s causing all the other problems/questions you mentioned too.


It depends. When こころ went the second time (after almost a month if I recall correctly), the one who play games (マサムネ? I think?) said that he is there every day (including week ends) but some are just coming and going.

I don’t remember them talking about specific days, no. If everyday is basically the same, it kinda all blurs together. That being said, there’s a shift every year of 1 day, plus 1 extra every 4 years. It’s possible to be aligned if you have a difference of 5 or 6 years, depending how many extra days happened in that period.


That’s very true, and everyone’s circumstances are different anyway, but I assumed that weekends would be harder for everyone since the parents/guardians would probably be at home much of the time.

Thanks for the answers. Forgot to add another thing that is driving me a little crazy:

We searched the whole castle and no key, some of them complained. Yet they all very naturally left out 6 whole rooms without a second thought, I assume because they’re “private”. These are rooms constructed by the castle, not their occupants. They just found them. How are they any more private than anything else? And even if they didn’t want to enter without permission, how did they never ask to visit? Or ask their “owners” to search them? These kids are masters at ignoring stuff.

Rant over :grin:


[quote=“omk3, post:9, topic:56099”]
Why do they need to actually go to school for at least one day? Will they even be marked as present if they don’t enter their classrooms? Is it just to convince their (well, Masamune’s) parents to not change schools just yet, or is there some formality that I’m missing?

I might be remembering incorrectly as it’s been a while since I read this but I remembered this bit as being not a formal requirement that they all go to the school but more of moral support/a show of solidarity to Masamune that they would all be there. And also having the perk that they want to meet each other, which I think tbh is the real motivation for most of them.


Yes it was for moral support, but why did Masamune need to be there for at least one day? I wondered whether showing up for the first day of term would mean that he would be enrolled for that term and therefore wouldn’t be able to move schools just yet? But it doesn’t make much sense to me. Surely you can move any time.

1 Like

Wasn’t it a deal he made with his parents? I can’t remember.

1 Like

Yes I think so, but it still doesn’t make much sense to me. Anyway. :person_shrugging:


I think he’s assuming that his parents wouldn’t transfer him mid-term. So by promising to go back to school the next term he convinced them to delay the transfer.


Yes, that’s it. He probably just intended to pretend to his parents that he was willing to go, then keep coming up with excuses for not going. And I just now realized that he didn’t think that he would be expelled from the castle if he changed schools, just that he wouldn’t be able to go because he would be at school at the time the castle was open. Silly me. :sweat_smile:

1 Like

For what it’s worth, I think he actually does fear that he might lose the “right” to go to the castle if he’s no longer associated with that school. Who knows though.