それでも歩は寄せてくる ・ When will Ayumu Make his Move? ♟ - Volume 1

Yes that’s what everyone else does! Why change a tried and tested formula? :grin:


Lol it definitely makes sense (๑・̑◡・̑๑) I’ll make sure to create the spreadsheet and thread for the first week tomorrow - before going to work otherwise I won’t be able till late evening ( ̄^ ̄)ゞ


:bell: The Google spreadsheet is up for all who wants to start adding vocabulary :bell:

Please, let me know if you can access and edit.

Edit: :bell: The first week thread is up now! :bell:


Yes that works great thanks. And thanks to whoever already populated week 1 with lots of words :+1:


Is the numbering of the pages different. On my book chapter one ends with page 10, not page 13.

Am I missing something?


It looks like there was a typo in the first post. I’m sure @Vanessa-san will correct it as soon as they have a chance.

Those who run book clubs will no doubt find that determining what to put down for the end of the chapter page number is more of an art than a science. For chapter one here, the last page is “technically” page 12, as that’s the page before chapter two begins. However, page 11 is just a list of moves from the shogi game played during that chapter, and page 12 is an artwork, so one may consider page 10 as the final page of the chapter.

Regardless, the listed count of 8 pages is a proper reflection of the actual content of the chapter.


Thanks for clarifying, I thought maybe the eBook numbering could be different or something.

So it should be 03-12 including the Shogi page and the page before chapter 2.


Dear Vanessa-san,

yes I can access the spreadsheet. <3
Love, Anabee


Fixed and thank you @Fennas to point it out!

Anyway, I’ve finished the first chapter for this week and now I’ll read through all your questions/answer to see if you have already spoken about my doubts! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧


Thank you for taking the time to stop by and tell me ヽ(:heart::heart:)ノ


Well, i have tried to “read” the first few pages and I am as lost as I figured i would be. The vocab list was very helpful but I am not sure I know enough to attempt to continue at this point. I think I am still too new to Japanese to get much out of it at my current level. I know I want to read it but its so hard for me to try and break down where a word ends and a particle begins. I feel like i would need a private tutor to really absorb what is going on, rather than trying to look up words to piece together a sentence, and then forgetting it 2 seconds later. Im wondering if it might be smarter to start learning the grammar proper by using the Genki system before trying again.

Basically i dont know if continuing to try and read the manga will help me or if i should go learn and complete Genki 1 first and then come back. Any suggestions and advice would be appreciated.


Between these two methods, some people learn better one way (following a textbook), and other people learn better the other way (diving in and looking everything up). It can take some trial and error to see which works better for you.

The book club allows for an opportunity to do a combination of both. You’re diving right in, but you also have breakdowns and explanations of the material, sort of like having a very targeted textbook formed by the discussion. (Be sure to check the chapter one discussion thread if you haven’t already.)

For you specifically, being six months into learning Japanese, my recommendation would be the following:

  1. At least lightly follow the book club. Read through the week’s chapter(s) as best you can. Based on whatever amount of anime you’ve watched, you probably have at least a very vague idea of how words sound (such as vowel pronunciation). But a difficult part will be knowing where words begin and end.

  2. Read up on the basics of grammar. Various available resources are:

Cure Dolly is my personal favorite of the various grammar guides I’ve tried. Videos are typically 10 to 15 minutes long. If you watched one per day, it would take only two weeks to go over most of the core necessities. It won’t all sink in right away (it takes time), but pretty much everything covered in the first ten videos, you’ll be seeing in the manga.

After maybe two weeks of reading along (as best you can) and (most importantly) reading the discussion threads, ask yourself: I’m I actually learning anything by following the book club? If you find you are learning bits and pieces along the way, it may be worth continuing along. If you’re not getting anything out of it, it could be worth holding off for a bit while you focus on grammar studies, then come back again.


i know exactly what you mean, i was at that point not long ago and i can say that it becomes easier if you have a baseline of grammar knowledge, not just basic particles, but a few grammatical constructs that you know of.
i personally went through all N5 points on bunpro before starting to read again and it helped a LOT.
but the actual parsing of sentences, understanding where one clause ends and the next begins, is gotten through a lot of trial and error and reading is necessary for it i think, just for getting exposed to lots of different sentences.
so i would recommend learning some grammar on the side.
but also, if you need someone to personally deconstruct the sentence for you, word for word, with every little particle and grammar point explained, even if it’s just to make it easier for you to search for different words or grammar, then really just ask, people love to help and get some practice in themselves, its a win-win for everyone.


I have been studying for years but recently moved back to US and am taking japanese the most seriously i have in my life. I am level 2, tried to read the first chapter but am very very confused. When i have some free time i am going to try and read again, pausing to look up the words (which will be very frequently,) but i feel like this may be the only way to finally learn something.

I also understand i should put the Vocab or useful phrases into an Anki deck, although i really dont want to, but i also understand i have to start doing what i havent been to get results i havent achieved.


This was me in 2018, wherein I spent several months working may way through a single manga volume, looking up every kanji (no furigana!), every vocabulary word (it was a fairly text-heavy manga), and every bit of grammar (many I had to learn from scratch repeatedly as they came up again).

Learning by reading is a method where your progress will be slow, then fast, then slow again.

It begins slow because you’re encountering a lot of unknowns, and it takes time to become familiar with them. It can leave you feeling like you’re not making any progress, ready to give up on reading, because it’s too soon to see your progress. You just have to keep at it.

The fast may not be until several manga volumes later. At this time, you’ve had a lot of exposure to common grammar, you’ve read up on it a lot, and you’ve gotten to know it. You’ve also learned a lot of common vocabulary through exposure. You find that you’re able to start reading simpler sentences (and portions of more complex sentences) without looking up the grammar. Many sentences require only looking up a few words to become clear. There’s a lot of grammar you’re still getting used to and looking up, but not nearly as much as in those first few volumes.

After several plus several more manga volumes, you’re pretty good at recognizing the most common grammar. Now you’re spending most of your time just learning less common words that don’t show up enough to help them stick. At this point, it feels like progress has slowed down again.

At this stage, it’s okay to not use Anki yet. You may want to focus more on learning grammar, and trust you’ll get to know the most common vocabulary words as they show up repeatedly from one chapter to the next.

The decision on when to start using Anki is when you’re ready to take advantage of either of its two main usages:

1) To help you recognize an unknown word when you see it.

This is similar to the frequency illusion, where if you’re planning on buying a certain type of car, you start to notice that type of car everywhere. You never realized it, but several of your neighbors have that same type of car. You see it all over the freeway. Sometimes it feels like half the cars in the grocery story parking lot are that type of car. In reality, that type of car has always been all over the place, but you never noticed until you were considering buying on.

Likewise, you can read a whole manga volume, and never really take notice of the word 普段(ふだん) (normal). However, if you make a card for it in Anki and review it occasionally, you may notice 普段(ふだん) starts showing up in what you’re reading. It’s because by using Anki, you’ve tuned your brain to notice the word.

When should you use Anki this way? When you’re immersing in Japanese enough that you’re likely to encounter these words. If reading a first manga is currently your only immersion, it may not be worth using Anki just yet.

However, if you’re also watching anime (Japanese audio, English subtitles), or playing video games with Japanese audio, it may be worth it to start adding high frequency (most common) words you don’t know, as you may suddenly start hearing them. Otherwise, if you’re only reading, I might consider waiting until I was a few volumes in. (Or else start with just a few high frequency words per chapter.)

2) To help you remember a known word until you see it again.

Once you learn a high frequency word, you’re likely to have the frequency illusion kick in, where you keep noticing the word everywhere. But if you’re encountering 50+ new words a week, there may be too much noise to notice any of them when they show up again in a later chapter.

In this case, it’s worth filtering out the lower frequency words and making cards only for the higher frequency words.

With enough immersion, you’ll notice those highest frequency words show up a lot. These Anki cards quickly outlive their usefulness, at which point they can be suspended, and replaced with cards for other high frequency words.


I understand how you’re trying to help me but grammar is, unfortunately, not what I need help with. I just moved back to the US from Japan** I’ve been studying Japanese on and off for about 16 years now. When I read manga (or anything, really) I don’t know what I’m reading because of vocabulary. I also don’t understand kanji at all except recognizing familiar characters like 今 or 食. Grammar is pretty straight forward at this point.

I appreciate your help but maybe I should’ve been more clear on what I need help with. I frequently pause to look up words because I don’t understand the kanji nor what they mean. (That is why I said Anki would be helpful.)

I don’t know what else to do besides take out my dictionary and work through this book club the old fashioned way. Any other help would be greatly appreciated!


In that case, maybe I should be looking to you for advice, センパイ =D

It sounds like the next step for you (on the kanji front) is to go all in on WaniKani, or a similar resource. If you make you way through the first 20 levels in WaniKani, you’ll be able to recognize 60 to 80% of the total kanji you are likely to encounter, and many of the vocabulary words that go with them. On top of that, a lot of not-yet-learned words become easier to guess the meaning of once you know the kanji in them.

Be sure to check out the book club’s vocabulary list if you want to save dictionary look-up time!


ありがとうございました!でも、センパイじゃないよー I think what I really wanted to hear from other users like yourself is that going all in with WaniKani is what I need right now. I am also a handful of chapters or so in another reading program called Japanese Uncovered. It is great reading material but I am not sure the lessons are going to help me stay engaged. The grammar is too easy although right now I am only a little over 1/4 completed with the program.

It’s difficult to find a program or mode of studying for where I’m at…

Anyway, I’ll stick with WaniKani and update you all on my reading progress! ごねん for hijacking the thread ><


By combining WaniKani for learning kanji, and book clubs (or other sources of reading) to ensure you’re being exposed to those kanji, you may be surprised at the progress you make.

I once did a kanji analysis on a previous book club manga (レンタルおにいちゃん volume 1), and found that by the time you complete WaniKani level 8, you’ll recognize more than half of the overall kanji used. Even the first four levels meant 20% kanji recognition. (Note this is overall kanji, including duplicate appearances.)

Granted, even at 50% kanji recognition (and even if that translated to 50% word recognition), you’re still left looking up half of the vocabulary. But once you realize you’re reached that point, it becomes easier to see that all you have to do is keep doing the same thing (advancing on WaniKani and reading) over and over again.

You can do this! Now that you’re getting more serious about Japanese, let this be what pushes you to make more progress in the coming year than in any year prior =D


Good morning everyone!
It’s about 7.30a.m. (gozen shichiji han) where I’m at
and I’ve managed to read chapter one whith the vocab sheet open next to it.
I mean, you know, calling it reading is a bold move, but at least I got the gist.
My next move will be to write out the japanese text and to try to really translate it word for word - wish me luck :grinning:
I’m really happy that I found this book club - thank you very much for all the vocabulary to everyone who participated! I needed each and every one of those entries :sweat_smile:
Have a great week, minnasan <3