コンビニ人間: Week 13 Discussion [END]

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コンビニ人間 Home Thread

Week 13

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Start Date: September 21st
Previous Thread: Week 12

Reading:

End Page (PB) End Page (HB) End % End Phrase Pages
161 151 95% 15

Word lists - Learn the vocabulary for コンビニ人間

Discussion Rules

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

Read-along Sessions

Come and read from the previous week’s section, join in the chat about this book or just lurk and listen. Readers of all speeds and abilities welcome - we are here to help each other out. Reading sessions will be held every Sunday at 9:30pm JST.

Week 13 session (in your timezone): Sunday, September 29, 2019 12:30 PM TZ

Participants

Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading the book but I haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m skipping this book
  • I’m no longer reading the book

0 voters

3 Likes

This is still a really sad ending, but I’m at least happy she stood up to Shiraha and decided to get her Conbini job back. I guess, there’s meaning in reaching the end doing what you love, satisfying what you think is your calling in life… Great book :slight_smile:

9 Likes

Is that a spoiler? That’s an actual spoiler isn’t it?

See I can learn!

I’ve been waiting all week for this thread - time to finish this book! :muscle:

5 Likes

It is, so don’t read until you finish! :joy:

2 Likes

I love how open the ending was. :smiley: I kind of expected things to not be resolve, what with how little book was left, and… Well. I’m satisfied. 恵子 standing up for herself for the first time was really something.

11 Likes

Finished! :tada:

I actually like the ending(!). I had no idea how this was going to end until the very end which is saying something. The whole story in general was nothing like what I had imagined it could be from the nomination summary but I quite enjoyed it. I think even though it is not how the usual “happy ending” plays out, it is a happy ending in its own way. Because although it may seem she is just going back to the start and nothing has changed and nothing is better, she has finally realized that it doesn’t matter what others think or that she is supposed to live in a certain way, because she is happy being in the コンビニ, because she is wholly a コンビニ人間 and she doesn’t need anything else.
Of course we could argue about how healthy that really is but as long as she is happy and she isn’t hurting anyone…? I mean this is still fiction.

(Does it show that I always get a little carried away when we finish a book? It’s the “I just read a whole book in Japanese” high. Brb marking it as read on BookMeter.)

10 Likes

This was my first time reading a (not-aimed-at-children) novel in japanese. It was definitely above my level and I struggled a lot with all the vocab and grammar I had to look up; however, the satisfaction of having finished it was well worth it.

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in this book club, and specially to all those that patiently answered all questions, whether they were asked by me or by someone else. I’d have probably given up long ago without your help.

心から有難うございます! 勉強になりました!

Random thoughts on this book

I mentioned this in a post before, and I knew from the start that the intermediate book club was above my abilities, but the premise of this book seemed really interesting, so I decided to take the plunge.

The book didn’t quite go in the direction I expected, but overall I feel quite satisfied with it. I kind of expected a more introspective book - an inner look at how 恵子 perceived the world considering her condition; her overall lack of empathy and her shallow feelings; more like a description of the inner workings of her mind rather than a series of events of her life.

While the book did deliver quite well in that front, I felt it didn’t go to the depths I wished. At first it seemed to me that 恵子 was a very rational person; she built a “normal” persona for herself by observation and imitation. In this regard, she seemed quite sophisticated in some aspects (like how she’d take note of what brands of clothes other people her age wore, then lookup in internet blogs about people recommending those brands and then buying other brands they recommended, so that she didn’t seem like a straight copy cat :cat2: )

Other times, however, it baffled me how little thought she seemed to have put into other matters, mostly in her plan to marry 白羽. Given that many of her “friends” were married, and that she probably had plenty of time to observe her sister’s (and even her parents’) married life, it seemed very naive of her to think that was going to work (I mean, that “marriage” wasn’t going to fool anyone and make her seem normal, and it didn’t).

There are several possible explanations for this, I believe (like how she felt very pressured by her friends and family, so she might have taken a rushed decision), but I’d have really like to read what exactly she was thinking when she came up with that idea, or why exactly she thought it was going to work. Then again, it is not like I achieved 100% comprehension with my meager japanese skills, so there are probably many things I missed that might explain many of the contradictions I sensed in the book.

Probably because of my expectations towards this books, the parts I enjoyed the most were this moments of introspection and observation; stuff like how she was more worried about 白羽’s snot making bubbles in his nose rather than his ramblings on the 縄文 era, or how she noticed the saliva from one her “friend”'s husband flying over the meat in the barbecue while she was being criticized and ostracized.

I think the saddest moments in the book were those where 恵子, out a sense of helplessness at being unable to understand, simply asks “why”. Why did she have to search for a husband? Why did she have to look for stable employment? I feel many humans simply come to accept those things, never finding an answer to why society works the way it does either.

I think the most brutal moment for me, where I finally realized the depth of 恵子’s condition, was in this week’s reading; when the 義妹 from Hell, tells her quite frankly that the best thing she can do for humanity is to never pass on her rotten genes. 恵子 just nods, and think that’s very logical. She doesn’t feel sad, or attacked, or hurt. The heck, she’s even relieved she doesn’t has to force herself to have children with 白羽. After I read that part yesterday I just shook my head, closed the book, and went to sleep, because it was just too hard to digest.

I am quite satisfied with the ending. I am really glad that the author didn’t go for a fabricated happy ending that would have probably been either hard to believe or extremely rushed. Her moment of epiphany feels in many ways magical as well as logical, and it was a lot fun to read her exploits as a コンビニ女神, short as they were.

In the end, we know things won’t get fixed for 恵子, but at least we know there’s hope she’ll find some sort of closure and satisfaction in her life. And I am happy to take that little light of hope with me so that I can go sleep feeling way better than how I felt when I went to sleep yesterday >.<

Sorry for the long rambling :sweat_smile:

13 Likes

I finished a few days ago but want to share my thoughts.

I’m happy with the ending too. Even if it seems a bit mundane to most people, it feels like this kind of life is good enough for 恵子. She does have enough of a backbone to do do what she wants, even if it’s not what society expects of her. It would have been nice to have a turn around from the sister, with her accepting 恵子 the way she is. I feel like they’ll never quite be understanding of each other - but that’s just how life is.

6 Likes

This is what the author should name the sequel.

2 Likes

Sorry for not staying active in all the threads but I did attend the read aloud and I’ve finished the book. I loved it and I recommend it. In my personal opinion it was a comfortable read. I could also relate to the protagonist a lot because I’m actually slightly autistic as well. So all the people trying to fix her and not knowing whats wrong with her, and her obsessing over something weird that no one else understands hits close to home. I’m definitely not as bad as she is and I’ve learned corrective behavior pretty well on my own, it was just nice to see a different take on the experience from mine even if it was from a fictional character. I’ve said this in the chat but I love stories that are kind of a snippet of life. One that isn’t focused on some goal or having the character undergo some kind of character growth, but is just a cut out of a moment in time that tells a story of someone’s life as it is. If I explained that correctly. Anyways お疲れ様〜

10 Likes

Finished my first book since elementary school. Good book, will try Haruhi next!
Great selection guys. The discussion helped a lot.

6 Likes