The last post was months ago, and I’m not exactly contributing to discussion, so I feel bad for posting this. But I wanted to let people know that Bookwalker has all available volumes for 200円 (+ tax if you’re in Japan) through the 25th. I’m not quite at the level of reading this yet, but for that price, I’m glad to have them for when I am ready. Maybe I’ll join you all eventually!
That’s quite the sale! I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever seen GochiUsa on sale before. Thanks for sharing!
Just curious, but when do you think you’ll try reading the series?
It might be a while. There’d be a lot of kanji lookup involved, I’m sure. Grammar-wise, I’m officially at Lesson 13 of Genki, but I’ve skimmed the rest of Genki 2 and am already at least somewhat familiar with all but a couple points just from reading as it is. Unless you think that’s good enough to jump in.
When I read the first volume, I was probably around level 40 on WaniKani and had similar (maybe slightly more) grammar knowledge compared to you, and I found it pretty hard. Lots of kanji and word lookups. Probably 30-60 minutes or longer per chapter (I don’t really remember at this point). I took a break after volume 2, but when I came back for volume 3 after about 9 months, having read 2 books and 16 volumes of other manga (and continuing to level up in WaniKani) in that time, I found it much much easier.
So in summary: if your WaniKani level accurately reflects your kanji knowledge, I’d definitely recommend waiting for a while. I think @ChristopherFritz tried reading it at a really early level and might be able to give a more direct assessment.
Yeah, I think I was at wk level 14 or so before I reset last time, so still definitely a kanji beginner. I’ll see what ChristopherFritz has to say before making a decision, but I will probably have to wait a bit on this one. Really, I just couldn’t help letting anyone interested know about that awesome sale.
Back in high school Japanese language class near the end of the 1990’s, I can’t recall (even considering my memory always having been bad) that we ever really had any useful learning of grammar. Even back then, I loved English grammar very much, so I can’t imagine I would forget learning grammar in Japanese class, besides all the ways to “conjugate ます”.
Fast forward a decade and a half, and I tried using some guides (such as Tae Kim), but nothing really “worked” for me to “get” the grammar. Then one December, I noticed that ごちうさ (which I’d seen the first season of on DVD) had a manga, and it was only available in Japanese.
I decided that that would be what I use to formally start to actually learn grammar from. I would read through it, look up every kanji, every vocabulary word, and (most importantly) every bit of grammar I encountered.
I was essentially going in blind. I had a meager but fair understanding of a handful of particles, but I lacked a lot in everything else (except that I carried with me a vocabulary of around 2,000 words). Spoiler: The Venn diagram of words I knew and words in the volume did not overlap nearly as much as I had expected them to.
For the most part, I went through one four-panel strip per day, with 200 four-panel strips in the volume. Some days I spent half an hour looking up kanji, transcribing, looking up words, and looking up grammar. Other days I spent upwards of two hours. Early on, I was also writing up blog posts to help me absorb the grammar and vocabulary.
- I learned a lot of grammar along the way.
- I picked up new vocabulary.
- I spent way too much time looking up kanji.
- I forgot most of the new vocabulary I learned, even though I did daily Anki reviews for over a year.
- I learned zero new kanji.
The following year, I joined WK, and joined the book club for Shirokuma Cafe, at which point I felt like I was starting from scratch on grammar. Yes, I’d learned and retained things from learning alongside reading ごちうさ, but I lacked enough exposure to really know them.
Thus, for anyone starting out on reading, I highly recommend holding off on ごちうさ. Instead, pick an Absolute Beginner Book Club manga to begin with, and build up your grammar from there. (Alongside any formal method you’re using, such as Genki.)
With the exception of maybe Chi’s Sweet Home, you can make just as much grammar progress from an Absolute Beginner Book Club as with ごちうさ, and you’ll have a support system built in to provide answers to any questions you may have, and to provide supplemental details and information.
Regardless, whatever you read early on, you should only expect marginal progress on learning and understanding grammar. It takes time seeing the same grammar over and over in different scenarios to really get to know it.
As for me, I plan to re-start GochiUsa volume two once I finish up WaniKani level 30 minimum. Based on volume one’s kanji, I figure that’ll put at having had exposure to about 90% of the kanji in it. (Whether I remember all the kanji I’ve learned from WK…)
So with roughly level 14, it wouldn’t be hellish, but it would still be quite a bit of work as far as kanji goes. Vocab is probably going to be the main issue.
I think I’ll hold off for a bit on this one since I’d rather my experience of it be as much for pleasure as for studying. Thanks for sharing your experience!
You’d only be looking up about 450 unique kanji =D
And after completing level 30, that’s still about 205 kanji not yet covered. I definitely look forward to the day I reach level 60!
“Has everyone finished buying up physical copies of the original A5-sized release? Good. Here’s the first two volumes fit into a B5-sized release for your bookshelves.”
(I’m still digital, though. Decided to read through some more pages of volume two before bed last night, and somehow I made a decent amount of progress! WaniKani has served me well thus far!)
Where do you see the quote about the sizes? Or are you just assuming what the new size will be? B5 seems to be the original size in the magazine, so I guess that would make sense. But confirmation would still be nice.
Personally, the A5 size is good enough for me. I’m unlikely to buy the new version if the bigger size is the only change. On the other hand, if it also comes with all the original color pages, then I might seriously consider it. In the magazine, I believe the first two pages of every single chapter are in color, but in the currently published volumes, only the first several pages of the entire volume are in color. So getting all the original color pages would be a huge upgrade.
Also, the first two volumes are only 120 pages each, so there’s an extra 16 pages in this new version. I wonder what for. Some full page exclusive art would definitely make me more interested.
There was an announcement for this release back in May that said it’d be B5. I think today was the reveal of the cover and exact release date.
Let’s see if I can find it…
Well, there you go! =D
I wonder if it will get a digital release with the color pages in color. It disappointed me so much that the color pages were in black and white for the digital release (same as physical). “Luckily” I’ve only bought the first two volumes in Japanese so far, just in case!
Side-note: The quote was my own silly writing about re-buying volumes, but based on having seen that this release would be an enticing B5. I own three releases/two sizes of Sailormoon (plus digital), but I think that’s enough multi-buying physical manga now that I’m digital.
Edit: Various sites list “Complete Blend 2” for a September 27 release (one month after Complete Blend 1). But no indication of digital that I can see yet.
Good to know, thanks! I heard about the other announcements, so I’m not sure how I missed this one! I’ll still wait to hear reviews and find out what the extra pages are before I decide to buy. But in the end, I’ll almost certainly buy them and use it as an excuse to reread the series.
Apparently the Complete Blend versions are going to cost 2500 yen each, compared to 720 yen for the regular volumes. At about 3.5 times the cost for twice the content, that’s a bit pricier than I was expecting. I thought it would be more like 2.5-3 times the cost. But honestly, with how popular the series is, they will still certainly succeed at that higher price point.
By the way, another thing I’d like to know is what paper material they will use for the color pages. There’s probably a good chance it’ll be the same glossy pages as the regular versions use. But Aria the Masterpiece used this really nice non-glossy paper, which I think is so much better, so I’m hoping they actually use something like that instead of the glossy paper.
Cover for Complete Blend volume 2 has been revealed.
I got my copies of Complete Blend! It’s basically perfect. The only problem is I’m scared I’ll damage it when I read it!
The paper is about the same quality as the regular volumes, except the color pages are much better than before. The color pages in the regular volumes are this awful, fragile, highly reflective glossy paper. The color pages in Complete Blend are slightly reflective compared to the black and white pages (might be from the color ink, not the paper itself), but the paper is not glossy and is sturdy like the black and white pages. It’s very similar to the quality of Aria the Masterpiece, just bigger page size.
I do plan on reading these, but probably not until four or five of them are published. I’ll take that opportunity to reread the entire series from the beginning.
Left: Most common size for manga.
Middle: A normal volume of GochiUsa.
Right: Complete Blend
Also, for anyone who doesn’t know, volume 10 is coming out on December 25th. Since I just bought a whole bunch of manga I won’t be buying it right away (shipping costs are insane when not buying in bulk). But I’ll probably get it around April-ish of next year, at which point there should be several more volumes of manga I read available to buy.
Here’s the cover:
Can I take a moment to complain again (if I’ve already done so) about how the ebook uses grayscale for the color pages?
I think after reading かがみの孤城 and maybe learning a little more GochiUsa-specific kanji (based on appearance anime subtitles), I’ll be re-reading volume 2. (When I read the first some-number-of-chapters, I was still in the mid-to-late-10’s in WaniKani level. I mostly coasted on recalling some scenes from the anime.) Then once I’ve re-read volume 2, I can move on to later volumes, and catch up in time for volume 11 (or 14 or something) to be released.
Edit: And this is why I didn’t buy volume 3 yet. Complete Blend has had a digital release:
I suppose I’ll buy the first one and read it from the start when I feel ready (as per timing mentioned above) before move forward in reading.
But, ouch on that pricing for digital. These contain just two volumes on one, right?
Original release: 880 円 per volume.
Complete Blend release: 2,750 円
That’s over three times the price! For color pages… I’ll check out the preview later.
The ebook for the original volumes or the ebook for Complete Blend? Are you saying the ebook doesn’t match whatever the printed version does? If you’re just talking about the original version and it does match the printed version, I think that’s fair. It wouldn’t be right (in my opinion) to give exclusive better content to the digital version.
These each contain two volumes, yeah. As to the price, I had the same thought at first as well, but it’s not just the color pages. It’s also bigger paper size. Obviously that doesn’t matter for digital, but again I think there’s a general tendency not to give too much of a discount to the digital version, lest people stop buying the print version. Based on the dimensions, it’s about 1.4 the size of the original. 880 x 2 x 1.4 = 2,464. So it’s not really far off from the exact proportional cost.
In any case, do keep in mind that not every chapter has color pages, and when it does it’s (almost?) always the first two pages. The opening pages of each original volume (which are included in Complete Blend) are also in color, but those were in color in the original volumes anyway so it’s not really anything new. So without counting, I’d guess there’s about 30-40 color pages in Complete Blend volume 1 that weren’t color in the original print of the first two volumes. Since the page size doesn’t matter digitally, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the extra cost for the color pages.
The original monthly manga release had color pages.
The original printed volumes…I don’t know if it had colored or grayscale pages. Having grayscale makes sense if you’re trying to keep the cost of the printing process down.
The original e-book had grayscale. Choosing grayscale over color doesn’t make sense to me, unless there is a file size limitation by e-book stores. (But if that was an issue, then it would apply to the Complete Blend release as well.)
If the original printed volumes were grayscale, I still think digital should be color. Don’t limit the e-book version because the print version went the cheaper route. (Just my personal opinion. I understand and can appreciate fairness arguments, even if I disagree.)
And now that I’ve downloaded the preview, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two at 100% scale.
I might be able to read the table of contents now!
These pages added for the volume release are in color in the original e-book release.
However, these ones that start a chapter were in black and white in the original e-book release.
And a naturally grayscale page.
The pages do come over bigger in the new version, that’s cool!
And yeah, the original volumes were greyscale other than a few opening pages that were original to the volume (only in early volumes) and the first few pages of the first chapter in the volume. So even the pages that were originally color in the magazine are greyscale in the volume. That means the digital version is the same as the printed version, for better or worse.