ルリドラゴン ・ Ruri Dragon 🐲 (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

Yeah, you can absolutely just ask questions about chapters from past weeks in their respective threads. I’ve asked questions (and gotten answers) in book clubs I was multiple weeks behind on. It’s no problem.

It can even be fine to go into long-past book clubs for books you’re reading and see if your question has been answered there. You’re less likely to get an answer quickly in the thread by then, but you can still ask - or you can use the language/gammar question threads.

Just to add onto this: it’s good advice for sure, but keep in mind it doesn’t have to be books. Go on Japanese Twitter. Go on Japanese news sites. Read some random Japanese blog about food.

It doesn’t really matter what you read, especially as an absolute beginner. Just read. And I’d even argue that as you get better it becomes more and more important to step away from works of fiction and consume more natural Japanese, slang and weirdness and mistakes included.

Perspective from someone who’s read it: Ruri Dragon can pose a little bit of a challenge because of how casual/colloquial some of the dialogue is, but other than that it really is pretty easy. Just takes some getting used to certain things for a bit - but that’s gonna be a constant factor throughout learning Japanese anyway, and if something stays confusing you’re bound to get an answer from someone in here. That’s the beauty of book clubs.


It’s worth noting that “less … quickly” for a years-old thread is often a matter of “you might have to wait a whole day for a response”.

image is powerful.


I just thought I’d let some of you guys know that there’s a great app called PixelUp, which uses AI to upgrade the quality of low res images. I tried it out on page 14 of ルリ, you can zoom in on the text and see for yourself the difference it makes!


I also like checking pages on Wikipedia about things / people / places I know about :grin:


That’s so neat! Do you need to have the image as an image file or can you have the app working with Bookwalker on your phone?


Wait. You mean zoom and enhance is an actual thing now?!



The former. I’m just gonna screengrab and enhance all the pages I need each week in one go.


Yup, it’s basically a thing now. The computer guesses what the missing information would be based on years of trial and error testing with millions of images. Here’s a before and after for an entire oage if you’re interested. It isn’t perfect, nor does it need to be. It just needs to be more legible than the original.


Japanese twitter is one of my favorite ways to study honestly.


I did this using some specifically trained manga AI earlier, there’s even a pretty recent thread where I showed some results: Best quality digital manga? - #10 by Gorbit99

Depending on how you bought the manga (so basically anything but bookwalker), you can usually download it, remove the drm off of it if there’s any, and convert it to the raw images. Makes it effortless to run it through upscalers. Especially as I was using a tool that could just take in and process an entire directory’s worth of images at about 15 seconds an image on my machine.


It’s a pity I’ve already bought the book off bookwalker. In the meantime, at least I can do it through my phone, send it to my computer, and read on a big screen with my phone in hand to cover translations. Thanks for letting me know, I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the next book!


Would this book be okay for me if I’m almost done with Chapter 7 (out of 12) of Genki? I wouldn’t consider myself N5 level yet but I feel pretty confident with the grammar/vocab I’ve learned so far and I’m eager to start reading native material


It will be painful regardless of when you begin, so it’s best to rip off the bandaid as soon as possible. There’s still a good month until the beginning, so you can probably get a few more chapters in by then. Usually we recommend the equivalent of getting through genki, but it won’t hurt for sure. You might even learn some grammar points ahead of genki


You could always just give it a go! Honestly at your level almost everything is going to be hard, but a manga like this one is as good a starting point as any.

If you’re worried about spending money on a manga you might not end up being able to follow yet, you can read the first chapter or so for free on Bookwalker by clicking the 試し読み button, just to give you a feel for how hard it is. You can do that as part of the book club too, so you have help available if you need it, and then you can decide based on your experience.


@Gorbit99 @yamitenshi Makes sense! I think I’m gonna go for it and try my best :smile: Someone earlier in the thread mentioned Kinokinuya and I just realized that there’s one near where I live, so I think I’ll buy it from there if they have it in stock


If they dont have it in stock they can order it for you and it should arrive in time for the book club start


Also, that first free chapter of Ruri Dragon that was already mentioned is really long - we’ll probably spend 4 weeks on it. So even if it might be pretty hard for you, you can at least try to read it with the club for free for a whole month before commiting to buying the manga.

(And if it turns out to be too hard after all, you can join the Chiisana Mori no Ookami-chan club in a few months after this club ends. It’s easier than Ruri Dragon, but still, as @Gorbit99 said, the first manga is always hard.)

That’s a bit off-topic I guess, but I’m curious: Any accounts you can recommend, or other methods how you get the most out of your Japanese Twitter time? I never even thought about using Japanese Twitter to study.


Mangaka. :nerd_face:


I think that if your method is engaging to you and doesn’t burn you out, then it’s probably fine.

As for late replies, I’ve commented on a book club that was years old and still got responses :slight_smile:


As @Kazzeon said mangaka. Also vtubers, fan artist/ fan accounts for games you enjoy etc. Basically just follow the content you’ll find interesting. (I originally started my account so I could follow mangaka and games to see when things went on sale lol) I basically just browse my twitter whenever I’m bored. If I find tweets that I mostly understand, but am missing a grammar point/ a word or two I screen shot it and make a flash card. If I think it’s something useful to me, but has more than a couple things I don’t understand I usually like it so I can find it later. I enjoy it since it can see very real and casual often slangy Japanese. Plus tweets are generally very short so the amount of text isn’t overwhelming. I will admit my screenshot to flashcard making ratio is a bit skewed though.