コンビニ人間 🍙 Week 2 (IBC Primer)

Week 2 of コンビニ人間


コンビニ人間 (IBC Primer) :rice_ball: Home Thread

Previous Part: Week 1
Next Part: Week 3


Week Start Date End Page (PB)* End Kindle Location End Percentage Ebook End Phrase Page Count
#2 Jun 24th 16 112 6% 大人はほっとしたようだった。 6

The end phrase is bolded, which means that this week ends in the middle of a section/chapter. So the stopping point might be a bit rough and you need to keep more of an eye out for it.

Proper Noun Readings

Name Reading Notes Proof
古倉 ふるくら Main character’s last name Furigana
恵子 けいこ Main character’s first name English version description
菅原 すがわら Part time employee at コンビニ Common reading
いずみ Supervisor at コンビニ Common reading

Vocabulary List

Please note that this vocabulary sheet was created for earlier コンビニ人間 clubs. The PB (paperback) pages should correspond with PB page counts in our schedule, but the weeks and schedule table won’t. This was created for the original IBC schedule. Example: the vocabulary for Primer week one, two and a couple of pages of week 3 will all be under original IBC week 1, so in the week one tab.

Please don’t change this sheet to correspond with our schedule, but do feel free to add to the vocabulary sheet if it is missing something, please read the editing guidelines tab before doing so. :slight_smile: If you are unsure how to add something or which page it falls on, post it in the thread instead and we’ll figure it out together!

Discussion Guidelines

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the book than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) needs to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as coming from later sections.
Instructions for Spoiler Tags

Click the cog above the text box and use either the “Hide Details” or “Blur Spoiler” options. The text which says “This text will be hidden” should be replaced with what you are wishing to write. In the case of “Hide Details”, the section in the brackets that is labelled “Summary” can be replaced with whatever you like also (i.e, [details=”Chapter 1, Pg. 1”]).

Hide Details results in the dropdown box like below:


This is an example of the “Hide Details” option.

The “Blur Spoiler” option will simply blur the text it surrounds.

This is an example of the “Blur Spoiler” option.

Posting Advice

Obs! Do note that the physical version seems to come with zero page numbers (yes, zero, I saw none while flipping through a good portion of the first volume). So alternative means of identifying page might be needed.

  • When asking for help, please mention the page number (if you can), and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked. As the threads get longer, it becomes more convenient to use the Search function, which is located in the upper right corner of the forum. It is the magnifying glass which is near your profile picture! The best way to search is usually to type part of the sentence you are confused about, and select “in this topic”. This will show you all posts within the current thread which has that string of text.

  • Be sure to join the conversation! It’s fun, and it’s what keeps these book clubs lively! There’s no such thing as a stupid question! We are all learning here, and if the question has crossed your mind, there’s a very good chance it has crossed somebody else’s also! Asking and answering questions is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, so never hesitate to do so!


Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

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

0 voters

Past IBC Thread Links

This week is fully covered by IBC week 1.

Don’t feel like you need to look there to see if your question(s) have been answered before posting here. There is no obligation nor expectation that you will look there first.


I started keeping track of the proper nouns, here’s what I have so far:

Name Pronunciation Notes
古倉恵子 Keiko Furukura Main character
菅原 Sugawara Part time employee at コンビニ
Izumi Supervisor at コンビニ
Page 15 question

I found it hard reading this sentence to decide whether Keiko pulled the teacher’s skirt and knickers down or her own. The agreement from the previous group was that it is the teacher’s, and then this is confirmed later in the text when Keiko gives her (amusing) explanation.

Presumably the way Japanese grammar works means that the two verbs connected by a て form (走り寄る and 下ろす) must both link to the 先生に - i.e. it is implied that both actions are carried out on the teacher?

Im guessing if it were Keiko’s skirt and knickers that got pulled down, it would demand a “自分の” before スカート.


Also page 14 I read 用具入れ as “tool bag” when using the vocab sheet, but I think “tool shed” or “tool cupboard” makes more sense. An image search for 用具入れ brings up pictures that look like small freestanding tool cupboards - either indoor or outdoor versions.


Google Images is very helpful, isn’t it? I also use this website. However, I don’t always get results.


Oh right! I have that (from previous clubs) in the main thread and had meant to include it in the weekly threads, thanks for reminding me! :slight_smile: I think I’ll update it with your more detailed notes!


Finished this week’s reading! I could follow along just fine most of the time, but few things tripped me up:

Page 13 (PB):
I’m aware that this has already been covered in the previous discussions of this book and I read all of it, but I still… just don’t get it :melting_face:. What exactly is せっかく? Did the bird go thourgh great pain to die? So does せっかく describe 死ぬ? Something along the lines of “(why can’t we eat it?) in order to die, it went through great effort/ through great pain”. Or is it 死んでいるのに, therefore せっかく (so two separate thoughts in one sentence). Something along the lines of “(why would you want to bury it? Eventhough it is dead… what a pain/what a waste”. In the previous thread I saw translations closer to “because it is already dead” or “since it is already dead” but from my understanding のに is used for two opposing statements (eventhough A, B; despite A, B), so I am not sure if a translation based on logical conclusion (because A, B) is correct?

Page 15 (PB):
Who is confused here (しどろもどろになった)? Does the main character become confused because she is told that violence is not okay? Or are the adults confused/irritated that they need to tell the main character that violence is not okay?

Page 15 (PB):
I don’t really get the first part here. What I have so far: “Eventhough everyone called the teacher to stop with a grim face, she did not calm down, so I thought I would silence her, went up to the teacher and pulled down her skirt and panties.” What I am unsure of: 皆が means that “everyone” is the subject, but what is the action? is it 言っても? Alternatively, I was thinking that “皆が悲壮な様子で止めて” is quoted as a whole, which would mean that the action would be 止めて. Meaning the children have to stop their actions/misbehavious? Who is having the grim face? The teacher or the children? Why is it 止めて? If the kids are calling out the teacher to stop (or if the teacher tells the children to cut it out), wouldn’t the intrasitive 止まる or やめる be used? (I know 止める can be read as やめる, but it is usually written in kana only, as far as I understand).

Thanks! :blush:


I read this as “even though it went to the trouble of dying”, rather humorously. So this bird went to the trouble of dying all by itself, and we’re letting it go to waste, something like that. :grin:

This is half the sentence. Before it comes 先生は戸惑った様子で. There is nothing to imply a subject change, so I’d say it’s the teacher who is しどろもどろ.

皆が is the subject of 言って, and 悲壮な様子で is the way they’re saying it. I don’t know why you think 止めて should be intransitive. They want her to stop what she is doing. In English we say “stop it” too, after all.


I didn’t read this as humorous but as expressing disappointment.

It’s an unfinished sentence with the second half being implied - “we’re not going to eat it”.

Maggie Sensei lists two uses of せっかく + verb + のに:

  • Showing your disappointment / Complaining when you made an effort to do something or went out of your way to do something (after all the trouble) , you didn’t get desirable results.
  • When you feel bad when you wasted the efforts someone went to do something for you.

So - This bird has been through something difficult, and is dead, and yet even though its suffering could bring us the pleasure of eating yakitori, we’re not going to eat it!

I quite liked Ginny Tapley Takemori’s translation for this sentence, which adds the implied half of the sentence that is missing in the Japanese - “But it’s dead! Let’s eat it!”

What omk3 said. And also the two sentences before are important context - 「先生、ごめんなさい!」「やめて、先生!」

Takemori pulls these two quotes into the sentence in her translation: She wouldn’t calm down even when everyone started begging, “We’re sorry miss!” “Please stop miss!”

“Begging” perhaps a nice translation of “saying in a pathetic (悲壮) manner”.


I missed that in the main thread, thanks for doing that. :+1:

I wondered about putting my list into the vocab sheet, but I thought there was something a bit spoilerish about seeing what characters were coming in the future. I like the idea of just keeping a running log of who we’ve met in the weekly threads.

Proper nouns always catch me out, especially if the character list gets quite long, or if characters are sometimes referred to by their first name and sometimes by their second name.


I completely agree. I neglected to note that it is humorous to me, no humour was intended by the child narrator (although I could argue that the writer does sneak in some humour here and there). せっかく has to do with taking the trouble/wasting effort. The wasted effort in this case is made by the bird, which is what I found darkly funny, as if the bird went and died just to offer them food and they’re wasting its sacrifice. I don’t think she pities the bird or cares about its suffering at all, just that it did something that would bring them some benefit and yet they’re not taking advantage.


The reviewers’ quotes on the cover of the English version tell me this book is hilarious! I don’t think we saw any of that last week, but there were some really funny moments this week. And like you say some dark humour as well.


This was an interesting contrast to week 1’s reading.

Reading this section and Keiko’s flashbacks, it sounds like she was quite the 変わった人. She grew up being the nail that sticks out, and now here she is doing the most robotic job as a conbini employee. It will be interesting to see at what point she changed or if she actually changed and she’s just really good at performing now.


I ended up quite confused on first reading because the two anecdotes from school seemed to run into each other and I thought that it was all one episode with the attacking with the broom and the pulling down the teacher’s skirt. Re-reading the section in one go it all made much more sense, and I certainly had a chuckle. I thought the last couple of sentences were quite sad - the narrator has decided to mask in order to fit in, and chosen to suppress all of her own thoughts and actions.


Wow I had so much trouble understanding this week’s part compared to week 1 lol. Here’s a plot summary to those who might find it helpful (including the bird, fight, and teacher/skirt anecdote):

Story opens with a really interesting emphasized sentence

コンビニ 店員 として 生まれる 前 の こと は、どこ か おぼろ げ で、 鮮明 には 思い だせ ない。
“Things before I was born as a convenience store are foggy here and there, and I can’t remember them clearly.” Certainly a strong way to describe any occupation imo

Bird anecdote:
When she was a kid and hanging out at the park with other kids, they found a small blue bird dead on the ground. When other kids were crying and saying how miserable the poor bird must was, she picked it up and walked to her mom and said “Let’s eat it”, just after her mom says let’s bury it and give it a funeral. Her reasoning being that the dad loves yakitori so they can cook it and enjoy. Every mom was shocked and “目 と 鼻 の 穴 と 口 が 一斉 にが ばり と 開い た” - eyes and nostrils and mouth all gaped open :), all she could think was - is one bird not enough?

Fight anecdote:
Two boys at school broke up in a fight, and the classmates were all trying to tell them to stop. Furukura thought that naturally, the quickest way to stop them would be picking up the shovel that was nearby and hit them in the head (wasn’t wrong ofc). And of course got her mom called to the school and a talk (and lots of apologies).

Teacher/skirt anecdote:
This one I wasn’t super sure about, but scene opens with the teacher angrily knocking the attendance sheet on the table and yelling, and everyone crying and apologizing/telling her to stop. I think she’s angry at how many people are missing classes and students were feeling guilty. Anyways, Furukura thought since everyone was yelling “stop”, she’d do that, so she walked up to the teacher and pulled down her skirt (her reasoning being that she saw in the movies that women get quiet once their skirts are pulled down (wut)). And of course got another talk.

She eventually found it easier and not bring so much trouble for her parents if she just followed directions, imitated everyone else and suppressed her own actions. She saw that everyone was relieved when they saw the more “sensible” version of her.

Hope that helped someone somewhat :).


On top of the great answers you already got here, what helps me understand せっかく is that it seems to often (always?) describe a (rare) opportunity that should be used.

For example, in the manga Ruri Dragon, a character tells her friend that she thinks the friend should talk more to her classmates despite not liking it and/or being bad at it, because: せっかく高校入れたんだし. (Which I feel is a bit hard to translate, but to me seems like it expresses that they finally got into high school, and this is a (rare) opportunity that should be used.)

Thoughts on this weeks' part

Whew, this was fun, but also hard to read for me. Not because of the language barrier, but because I really feel for both the poor protagonist who doesn’t understand what she’s doing wrong, and the poor mother who can’t understand what her child is thinking and probably feels flustered, embarassed and judged. I’m so glad to read that our protagonist grew up in a loving household despite all this!

And the episode with the bird is interesting. We wouldn’t eat that bird for a multitude of reasons, but first of all because eating that bird would feel wrong (because it’s cute, and because we aren’t used to seeing that kind of bird as food). Chickens on the other hand are fair game I guess. That kind of thing might be hard to explain to a child who doesn’t instinctively understand it, huh.

My favourite part was when our protagonist was like “Ah, I understand the problem - it’s not enough bird to make a meal! I guess I can get more…” :laughing:

Page 15

I really had a hard time with this part as well (though, from what I’ve seen so far, I wasn’t the only one). As far as I also understood, it is not explicitly said why the teacher was angry, right? All I got from it was also that the teacher, who was hysteric, was hitting the attendance sheet on the table and shouting, which made the students cry out. But if I also missed something, please let me know.

pg 15

Yeah I had a hard time with this part too, although reading this thread has helped. I also don’t think they explicitly say the reason the teacher’s mad.

I’m thinking it could be that it’s not said why because Keiko herself doesn’t understand why her teacher’s mad and the reason’s not important, all that’s relevant to her is that everyone wants the teacher to stop.


Yes I believe you’re right that there wasn’t explicit statement on why the teacher was mad.


So what I get so far is that our protagonist discovers that she is excellent at stopping other people, but then realizes that maybe she is the one who needs to be stopped… so she stops herself.


I think there’s a possibility that it was trying to convey that she’s such a literal person that when people yell “stop” she tries to make that happen too

1 Like