コンビニ人間 🍙 Week 4 (IBC Primer)

Week 4 of コンビニ人間


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

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Next Part: Week 5


Week Start Date End Page (PB)* End Kindle Location End Percentage Ebook End Phrase Page Count
#4 Jul 8th 27 233 13% 私を正常な人間にしているのだった。 7

If the end phrase is bolded, it 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.

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

  • I’m reading along
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Past IBC Thread Links

This week is covered by IBC week 2.

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.


Just finished this week’s reading. It kinda felt that the tone of the book took a bit of a dark turn. In the beginning I thought that the main character is perfectly fine just working at a Conbini, but now I wonder if she maybe just settled for this kind of life because she felt she has/had no other options.
This week was for the most part quite an easy read for me. I have but two questions:

Page 25/26 (PB):
大学を出て、 そのままアルバイトを続けると言ったときも、。。。大学一年生のときは土日含めて週4日だったアルバイトに、今は週に5日通っている。

She works 4 days a week including weekends in her first year of university (2 days on the weekends and 2 days during the week, I assume) and now 5 days a week. Does that mean she finished her first year of university and then left for her Conbini job? Because at first I thought she left university as soon as she got the job, but then it wouldn’t make sense for her to work only 4 days and mostly during the weekend, right?

Page 26 (PB):
I don’t quite get this sentence. My translation:

Why it has to be a conbini, (why) it can’t be a normal workplace, I too did not understand.

Does that mean that she feels a compulsion to work at a conbini? Eventhough she has no other work experience? But if so, why would she even apply for other jobs? To make her parents happy?



I don’t think it’s helpful to join these sentences together like you have.

The first sentence is taken in context of the previous sentence. Which I read something like: When I first started working in a konbini my family were delighted. When I left university and told them I would continue working in a konbini, because I’d grown so much from the not much earlier version of myself who had hardly any contact points with the world, they continued to support me.

I think the next paragraph simply describes her working pattern in her first year at university and the now. In her first year at university 4 days a week (including weekends) and now (18 years in the future) 5 days a week. I don’t think it says anything about when she left university.

In the English translation these few paragraphs have been missed out for some reason, presumably in error.


I didn’t really follow the grammar in this sentence but I understood it to mean - I didn’t understand why a convenience store couldn’t be regarded as a normal work place.

I think she only applies for other jobs because she feels sorry towards her parents. She uses the term 申し訳なく思い.


Page 26(PB)

The vocab sheet defines 敷き as “suffix indicating room size (following a number of tatami mats)”

But I feel like 敷く (to spread out) would make more sense? As in: a futon that has been left spread out in a narrow six and a half tatami mat room

Page 26

That’s 100% also how I understood it.

Which part of the grammar are you unclear on, @Micki? Or is it just that you think that @Wizz translation doesn’t fit for you, so you think it has to be something else?

To me, the rough structure seems to be:

  • なぜコンビニでないといけないのか: “Why does it have to be a convenience store?”
  • 普通の就職先ではだめなのか: “Why is a normal place of work not acceptable?”

And then to both of these questions, 私にもわからなかった: “I didn’t know either.”

Admittedly, it also feels a bit weird to me, considering that in the very next sentence our protagonist explains why the convenience store is working so well: Because of the manual, and because she still doesn’t know how to be a “normal human” outside of it.

Maybe she means that she didn’t understand it back then, and only later realized that it was because of the manual?

To me it seems so far that she’s perfectly fine with it, and happy to (finally) be able to be a “normal human” there with the help of the manual. She even says she was (re)born there, and it seems that the only reason why she was even looking for other options was because she was feeling bad for her parents. I might be completely wrong there, but I’m not sure we’ve seen anything that suggests otherwise so far.


Just added a small correction to the quoted text.

Yeah, I struggled with this sentence and then moved on, as I know I need to accept some uncertainty in my reading if I’m going to read at a decent speed. I felt like I’d got the gist of the paragraph as a whole.

I didn’t get:

  • What’s happening with the ないといけない part - usually this goes on the end of a negative stem of a verb but there isn’t one (unless it’s で)
  • What ではだめ means - I know てはだめ but couldn’t fit it with the で
  • How the two か phrases fitted together - is it two questions listed one after the other, or is it an A or B list of alternatives.

Looking again I’m guessing the first part is である (it is), turned into でないといけない (it has to be), and that it’s two consecutive questions.

In context of the paragraph it feels to me like it should mean - I didn’t understand why it had to be a “convenience store”, and why it couldn’t be a normal place of employment.

Page 23


I’m having trouble with the 横についている社員が part. I understand she is a new recruit, and the part after the comma (she quickly put the merchandise in the bag), but I don’t really know what 横についている means.


I’m a bit confused with the usage of はずっとやています; probably because I haven’t seen it this way before. If I’m right, she is trying to say that they expect/it should be open every day at 10 from now on. やています, in this case would be referring to opening the store/performing the action (of having the store open?) I guess, but I don’t really understand the (nuance of the) choice of the verb

Page 23

There is another employee standing next to her. And I understood it, that this other staff member puts the bought things into the bag?
I first guessed that this would be a more qualified employee (maybe someone who already worked in another conbini before and can help if the new recruit doesn’t know what to do) - I often see this situation when a new recruit is trained in a discounter/Shop. But now I am not sure whether this could be also only one of the other new recruits?

I understood this as “Today from 10 o’clock! Em, and after this we run this business(have open) for forever”. (Yeah well…my English is really not good enough to translate this well lol). As in, this store is open 24/7 after the opening today.

But I am not 100% sure with both myself…so if someone else can clearify it more, that would be nice :laughing:

Page 23

Yes, that was how I understood it. I’m pretty sure it is the trainer/experienced worker.

I understood this as “Today from 10 o’clock! Em, and after this we run this business(have open) for forever”. (Yeah well…my English is really not good enough to translate this well lol). As in, this store is open 24/7 after the opening today.

Yes, something like - “from now on we will be permanently (continuously) open for business”

Page 23

Agree with others it’s a senior employee presumably from the main company who is training/supervising standing next to her and packing the bag.

I noted they refer to the trainee shop workers as 店員, and this person as 社員. My English translation called this person the store manager.

Just a small correction to your text there in case it causes confusion. I wondered if you misparsed the sentence as having the word はず?



I agree with the translations others have suggested. That やっています sounds so crude and informal compared to the way the senior employee replied!


Checking in on week 4 :saluting_face:
It was kinda funny to see the “1230 people highlighted this” for this sentence lol

その とき、 私 は、 初めて、 世界 の 部品 に なる こと が でき た の だっ た。 私 は、 今、 自分 が 生まれ た と 思っ た。 世界 の 正常 な 部品 として の 私 が、 この 日、 確か に 誕生 し た の だっ た。

I think it was a really great and interesting way to convey such a niche, specific feeling that’s almost physical. It’s as if you can hear the clinking sounds of the glasses, and the smooth robot-like movement. There’s almost a liquidy sensation to it I really liked.

Particularly with this section

眠れ ない 夜 は、 今 も 蠢い て いる あの 透き通っ た ガラス の 箱 の こと を 思う。清潔 な 水槽 の 中 で、 機械 仕掛け の よう に、 今 も お 店 は 動い て いる。

Looking forward to next week :).


I forgot to do this reading last week… I have no excuses. I just forgot. I finally did it last night :laughing:

Overall thoughts

I thought this bit was rather depressing for me as the reader. The character doesn’t seem upset about it, but it makes me sad that she’s limited to part time work and couldn’t move to something else if she wanted to. The way society seems to judge her for not moving on earlier and essentially forces her into one role. Maybe I share the same feelings as her parents do.

Also I also find it sad that that her primary motivation for staying at the konbini for so long is her desire to be a “normal human”. It makes me wonder what she really wants in life or if she’s even thought about that. I doubt she is actually happy living like this but doesn’t realize that. I wish she could be herself.

But perhaps I’ve been conditioned to think about this like society would and she truly is happy. Will just have to keep reading :slight_smile:

I had trouble with one sentence right near the end.

What is wriggling here? At first it seemed like the “glass box”… but I can’t picture that.


I think this doesn’t literally mean the glass box itself but everything related to it, i.e. mainly its contents.


I think wriggling is too literal a translation and doesn’t work. The English translation goes with “stirring with life” which feels like a nice interpretation.


Ah, thank you both!


蠢く(うごめく)(vi) to wriggle, to squirm, to crawl like a worm

In English it is also fairly common to say that a location is ‘crawling with activity’.
‘Stirring with life’ does sound nicer.