かがみの孤城 Week 4

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Week 4

Start date: November 27th
End page (bunko): 117
End percentage (bunko): 28
End phrase: 鏡の向こうにぐん、と手を伸ばした。
Last week
Next week

End page may be a bit off, look for a “flower” break.

Discussion Rules

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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:



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19% comment





This part makes me so sad. Why can’t Kokoro just enjoy the things she enjoys? :cry:

21% question


What does the どうせ家に帰ったってすることはないし part mean?

Also, why is のに added to the end of the last sentence? To me it feels like it clashes with the だって at the beginning of the sentence.


帰ったって = 帰っても

“Even if she went home, there wouldn’t be anything to do anyway.”

I’d translate the のに as “even”. She doesn’t want to be seen as greedy because she doesn’t even know how serious the others are. Implying that if the others would already be searching for the key, she’d feel less reluctant to do so.


This week was longer than expected. Masamune and Subaru looks super friendly. I never thought Masamune would have been the intellectual type though ha ha
I hope the others are all nice. I’m expecting a death game for the key. Hunger game kinda.
The story is still wholesome till now



Having a bit of trouble with this one. So, when I plug it into deepl, it tells me that it’s the smell people don’t like (of water and dirt), which from context makes sense. But isn’t 嫌い modifying 人? Need help parsing the first part especially.


It helps if you consider the version where 嫌い isn’t modifying something. 彼はあの匂いが嫌い means “he dislikes that smell”. The subject (が) indicates what is disliked. When it modifies 人 as in this sentence, あの匂い as the subject is left implied since it’s stated later. But it’s really saying (あの匂いが)嫌いな人. Additionally, rather than the topic (は) indicating who dislikes the smell, it’s the modified noun (人) that does the disliking. So people dislike that smell.


Right, and then the meaning becomes 嫌いな人 people who hate it (the smell) もいるかもしれない might also exist, right? (In contrast to Kokoro who does like it.) At first I thought it a bit of a non sequitur that the same sentence continues with an explanation of what causes the smell, but I guess that it is implied that people might dislike it because it is caused by dust (hence “eww, dirty”)?

Yes, absolutely and I think it is pretty well done how the author just drops another small reason why we should dislike Sanada. (Leading up to a bigger reason, no doubt.)

For me, the first half was going pretty smoothly but then the conversation with the boys took a lot longer to translate. Is it just me or is Masamune’s speaking style harder to understand? It might be part of his character? That his speaking style is rougher because he doesn’t go to school?


Yep, you got it.

I don’t think the two are necessarily related. It’s saying that she likes the smell despite it coming from a mixture of water and dust. But I don’t think it implies any specific reason for why others might dislike it.

Answer to wiersm

I think he just talk more casually. He is harder to understand but I think he might just be more casual/yankie speaking. Maybe from video games or something. He is so good at school and did 3 kind of school at the same time so I doubt it’s because of his lack of schoo;

About Masamune

Yes, the casualness of his speech must be it.

Since I had trouble understanding him, let me check what is going on: he’s not going to school because he and his parents believe that (teachers at) normal schools are not good enough? And so he is just doing home schooling and a private school in the evenings?

I got the impression that his overly casual way of speaking might be connected to him not going to a normal school (so he has not been “drilled” by the teachers to use respectful language). But maybe that’s just my head canon or maybe I just misunderstood. I guess that they would probably be pretty strict at a private school as well :upside_down_face:


I liked this week’s part. It feels like the story is really getting underway after all the introductions (although the introductions were fun too) and there were some serious conversations.

Some things that intrigue me at this point in the story (besides the obvious question of who/what is behind all this):

  • Why were these children chosen? (Just wait and see, probably)
  • Why will this take a year? Finding the key/room must be quite the undertaking! (Unless it has been anticipated that the kids will just not come/goof off most of the time :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:)

Some details that I liked this week:

  • I liked how the kids just easily switched from discussing a serious topic (Masamune’s reasons for not going to school) to how cool his video game systems were. That feels very in-character for teenagers.
  • I liked how the castle doesn’t have toilets. After all, fairy tales don’t have toilets in them, right? :joy:

Things like this are examples of good writing, to me. Every little choice that author makes gives the impression of Kokoro’s as a girl who has no confidence in her own tastes. She qualifies her own feelings with 気がします, and can’t talk about things she likes without qualifying that others might not like it. I totally grok her pain.


Glad to see I’m not the only one found some of the dialogue difficult! Only managed to finish this week yesterday. But then again, it was also a pretty long page count, so maybe it wasn’t so much difficulty as just… long, ha. Looking forward to slightly less taxing week.

Some random thoughts about plot:
  • My guess for where the key is: inside the stomach of the wolf/girl. This would fit in with the fairy tale theme of little red ridding hood. Although it does sound like this isn’t the first group of children to come to the castle… what if the wolf changed with every group? As in the person who finds the key then assumes the role of the wolf? Probably way off, but that my theory so far, ha.
  • I like how we are seeing different reasons for why the kids are not going to school. I feel that it somewhat ties in to our discussion about the parents reaction and how different parents would act in response to their children not going to school. For Masamune, the parents are skeptical about school so its a completely different experience then for Kokoro.
  • Judging by the books in Kokoro’s room and the slamming down on the piano keys coming from somewhere else, it seem that the rooms each contain something that is meaningful but somewhat painful for each of them. Hoping that we learn more about each room as we move forward.

Some cool theories :+1:

I’m actually not sure anymore whether I still buy the wolf girl’s story that there have been groups of children before. It’s just my personal hunch and not based on much (so probably wrong) but something about that just doesn’t add up. On the other hand, the idea that the last day of March the castle is closed because the ‘escape room’ has to be reset for the next group, is pretty funny :smiley:

I think last week was the longest page count of the whole schedule, so it should be better from here on out!


On page 106, マサムネis talking about whether Kokoro goes to school and I’m have trouble with the particulars.

For example, he says いや、もし学校行ってるんだったら、そんなやつと話合わないかもなって思って聞いただけだから。
I read this as meaning I just asked because, if you go to school I thought you’d might not want to talk to guys like us . I’m interpreting そんな奴 as being from Kokoro’s perspective-- like he’s sort of quoting what he thinks she’s thinking. But I am very unsure of this.

A bit late, he ends his rant by saying

I really can’t make sense of this sentence, can anyone break it down?


I took it the other way (that he’s using 奴 to refer to Kokoro), so that he’s saying that he’s just asking because he might not want to hang out with her if she’s the type who goes to school.

Edit: but your remark does make me hesitate a bit. However, a bit earlier he also refers to Kokoro as あの人 (which is specifically called out by the book) so that’s why I thought that this was a similar situation.

イケてる means to be cool
通り越して is beyond
ホラー is a horror
So the full sentence becomes “It’s a horror that’s beyond uncool” :smiley:

I thought this was a pretty nice part. マサムネ has some pretty interesting opinions of the school system and expresses them in interesting ways.


Yeah, he’s talking about his own opinion here. If she went to school, he’s thinking they might not get along, which is why he asked. He’s very blunt. I’m a fan. :smiley:


Page 108, スバル


Is that 合う合わない part a grammar point? And why is it followed by はある, as if it were a thing?


It means “everyone has things they (are and) aren’t good with”. Also see here: 合う合わない

You’ll sometimes find constructs like these with two opposite words (e.g. 好き嫌い).


I’m liking this novel so far - Kokoro’s perspective is super fun, not least because of how her own preconceptions colour her impressions of the other kids and of how limited the information she is given is. It’ll be interesting to see where the story takes its premise - I wonder when the fact that the participants can sneak into each-other’s rooms will come into play!

Just one question at around 14%:

Should be something along the lines of: “As I said, it would be best if we were to find the key, secure it, and then didn’t open the room of wishes until just before March.”, but I have no idea what 確保するだけ確保して actually means. Securing only the securing?
(Edit because I only noticed now that 会う会わない was already discussed above)

Lastly: 心が弱いわけじゃない。
I see what you did there, author.