レンタルおにいちゃん - Week 13 Discussion (Absolute Beginners Book Club)

レンタルおにいちゃん Week Thirteen Pages 161-173

Start Date: 31st October

Last Week: Week 12
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Vocabulary List

Created by @ChristopherFritz. Please read the editing guidelines in the first sheet before adding any words!

*Created by @nfive. Contains list of grammar points for the week with links to Bunpro explanations.

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It’s the final week of volume one! Well done to everyone who made it this far, especially if this was the first time you’ve finished a book in Japanese!!

A big thanks to everyone who has been a part of this book club. To those who asked the questions, to those who answered them, to those who helped fill in the spreadsheets.

Obviously a big thank you to @ChristopherFritz both for recommending this book in the first place, and for such detailed answers to questions along the way. As others have suggested your answers on these threads could be downloaded and published as a small textbook!. Thanks as well to @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz who once again was there on a regular basis with some really helpful answers and insights. And to everyone who contributed - thank you all!

Look forward to joining some of you on the next book - 10 Minute Readers - Biographies starting next week.


Although I still have week 13 to read and for sure will ask some questions sooner or later, I too would like to express at this point my deepest gratitude to all of the organizers and “expert-answer” members of this bookclub, which, for me, was the starting point to reading native Japanese material . @Micki and @ChristopherFritz, a million thanks for all the effort you put not only in giving detailed and caring answers (which, as some people have said, could perfectly be in grammar books; I´ve archived them myself -by the way, this gratitude also goes to @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz-) but also in coordinating everything, from chapter and page division and thread management to spreadsheets and grammar docs, which made it so rewarding to just sit down and enjoy the reading and the successive discussions. It was a real pleasure meeting you all through here!! Also many thanks to everyone who participated in whatever way and at some point asked a question which turned out to be the same doubt I had. It was very comforting to know I was not the only one lost at some point in difficult grammar or vocab.

Since I love these type of slice-of-life/drama mangas and I was really captivated by the story, my intention is to try to continue with the next volume of “Rental Oniichan”. In this regard, is there anyone else willing to continue? I ask it just in case so that we can keep in touch (through whatever means) to discuss difficult grammar points, etc. and, in a certain way, “read together”. Four or six reading eyes are mightier than two! However, this is, of course, a 100% no-obligation proposition. It´s just in case someone is in my same situation.

Of course, this doesn´t mean I won´t peek at some point into the biographies!!

Once again, many thanks to all of you and let´s enjoy week 13!! :smile: :smile:


My first time reading this volume, there were some areas of grammar that I sort of read right past, as I understood enough of what was going on to not realize I didn’t know some of the grammar. The questions have been great for me to stop and carefully review, and it turns out some were really difficult for me to answer!

I’ll be posting a “Rental Oniichan Reading Club” thread at the end of Week 13 for continuing the series! Be sure to put the home thread on notification, so you’ll get a forum notification when I post it:


Ohh I was missing all the info on the home thread!! My mistake, sorry! But I´m so glad to see there will be a Rental Oniichan Reading Club! I´m also so intrigued by the Kansai dialect. It will be so interesting to tackle it.



Yey~! \=^.^=/


Thanks to everyone who’s made an effort putting this book club together it’s been great!


I’ll take the opportunity now to thank everyone who’s been contributing to these threads over the weeks. It’s been so incredibly helpful and I’ve learned so much, particularly around casual speech which isn’t covered heavily in the textbooks I’ve seen.

Unfortunately life got in the way again for me and there was a two week period where I didn’t get a chance to pick up the book. I figured I could skim read it and try to catch up with everyone but I wanted to keep on with the method I’d used up to that point of going back over sections and making notes for myself along the way.

I am going to finish it soon but I realised I wouldn’t catch up now before everyone finished. So I’m staying at my pace and I’ll get there!


I finished it today and it’s been a pleasure reading with everyone else and seeing all the helpful posts and replies!


Well, well, well, I finished!!! I´m so happy to have read my first book in Japanese :partying_face: :partying_face: Nonetheless, and in line with @kousei22 spirit, here are some questions in case you guys can clarify me certain points where I´m not 100% sure.

Page 161

Even though I get the gist of what Oniichan is saying due to the fact that it is a summary of Kanami´s tragic situation, I´m having some problems with the grammar. My first problem was trying to figure out where one sentence ended and where another started and how were they in fact modifying each other (if it was the case). I made the following division:

  1. お兄ちゃんに傷つけられて寂しくても, 誰にも頼れず独りぼっちでいる.

  2. 家族とわかり会えず独りでいるのは

  3. 本当に辛いから

  4. 放っておかなかった

Number 3 is giving the reason for number 4, but is the 辛い referring to everything in 1 and 2?

And regarding specific grammar points, I remember in one of the first threads we discussed the ず form, which meant something like “verb not being in a certain state”. In this case, I see it goes with the potential form too. My problem is when connecting both ず forms (頼れず and 会えず) with the 独りぼっちでいる and the 独りでいる, respectively. Since the former is a noun, I thought in the first case all that came before could be a relative clause, but since 独りで is an adverb my theory collapsed.

Also, why is the のは only in 3 and not at the end of 1 as well?

Here´s the whole translation I got:

Even though her brother hurts her feelings and she is alone, she is in a loneliness in which she isn´t able to rely on anyone. Because it´s very hard to not being able to understand yourself with your family, I couldn´t neglect this situation.

Page 169

お金を払ってレンタルをしているのは, お兄ちゃんを本物だと思ってしまわないため.

Just wanted to check the translation with you guys, because I´m not sure of that お兄ちゃんを本物, especially as why the を is there. I got:

Paying him money and renting him is so I won´t stop thinking I have a real brother.

Page 170


Is this correct?:

Even if you call me as usual (the way we were doing it till now)

Page 171

This is more of an interpretation question, which for me could have a direct impact on Kanami´s thinking at this point concerning both Oniichan and Rental Oniichan:


Is this てしまう the long form of the ちゃう or the construction that appeared before in p. 169 which meant: to stop doing something? Because if it´s the latter it would mean that Kanami is already thinking much better of her Rental Oniichan (despite the fact that she doesn´t want to) I translated it as:

My thoughts on Rental Oniichan will have to stop surpassing those of my Oniichan.

And finally, how could we grasp in the translation the nuance of that ように?

Many many thanks in advance!! :pray:I hope this also gets to help people that may be battling with the same doubts and questions in these final hurdles


My understanding is that certainly 3 is the reason for 4; 辛い however, seems to me that it’s being applied just to the the subclause in 2. So, 2 there is setting a topic using the は particle, where the topic is the subclause 家族とわかり会えず独りでいる (“Being alone without being able to comprehend each other in the family”). Number 3 is the statement being made regarding that topic (本当に辛い => It’s really tough/difficult).

Grammatically speaking I don’t see number 1 being directly related to 辛い, though certainly it serves as a preface to 2+3+4.

The の is used as a way to convert a sentence into a noun, then は turns that “noun” into the topic of the sentence. This means that after using の you are building a new sentence over the subclase. 家族とわかり会えず独りでいる + のは is something like "The fact that ‘家族とわかり会えず独りでいる’ is (very difficult / tough) ".

In Number 1, we already have a full, complete sentence. Oniichan is not trying to turn that sentence into a subclause and add additional information by embedding it into a bigger sentence. That’s why there’s no need to use のは here.

I don’t quite recall that conversation about ず meaning “verb not being in a state”. I’ll try to find it and edit if necessary.

ずに is a grammatical construct that means “without doing verb”, and it’s similar to ないで. (Tae-Kim link)

When a verb is using this ずに construction, it can normally be connected to the rest of the sentence. The に can be dropped; if it helps you mentally, dropping the に kind of adds an implicit coma to the sentence:

家族とわかり会えず、独りでいる => To be alone, without being able to comprehend each other in the family.

誰にも頼れず、独りぼっちでいる => To be completely alone, without relying on anyone.

I am also having trouble figuring that を there. One of the possible uses of を is to mark the object of one’s emotions, but this is often used with verbs that express feelings like かなしむ or something along those lines, so I’m not really sure if that’s the use case here.

My translation here is.

Paying him money and renting him is so that I don’t end up thinking that he’s my real brother.

So here 普通に (normally) is being used in contrast with calling someone for the purpose of renting. So 普通 refers to the normal way normal people would call over their friends or relatives. This comes from context from the previous sentence

もしレンタルが負担だったら => If the rental is a burden (for you),
普通に呼んでくれてもー => even if you call me over normally (I will still come).

Yes, てしまう is the standard version, ちゃう is the more informal contraction. てしまう means to do completely or to do accidentally without meaning to. I believe the second meaning is the one implied here. So, if we remove the ように, we have the following translation

Thoughts towards Rental Brother not accidentally (without Kanami meaning to) surpassing (real) Brother.

Here is where ように comes into play. In one of its possible uses, it means “to do things in such a way that” (BunPro link, Wasabi link)

Adding that to the translation we have

(I need to do things) In such a way that my thoughts towards my Rental brother don’t accidentally surpass my real brother


In my experience, this difficulty can last a long time. At least, I’m hoping it gets easier one day!

(Note: I corrected the spelling of おにいちゃん in the quote above.)

The noun marked with を is the direct object of an action. This means it goes with a verb. For that reason, I parse the comment part of this sentence as:


I read this as Kanami is the one thinking (思う), 「本物だ」 is what she’s thinking (marked by と), and おにいちゃん is who she’s thinking it about. (I agree with @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz’s translation.)


Ohh sorry, sorry! This was my fault. I misinterpreted a discussion in week 5 concerning できず (p. 56 in the book). The negative aspect of this form was at the back of my mind, but got that “verb state” out of nowhere (I should have checked the thread in detail). If anyone reads this, please forget about that “verb-state” thing! :sweat_smile: :pray:

And I´m assuming once one does the jump from manga to light novel the difficulties rocket up, since there are no pictures to help! (Although maybe there are more punctuation marks, which now I´ve noticed how blessing they can be).

Many many thanks both @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz and @ChristopherFritz for your breakdowns!! Everything perfectly clear. Just one more tiny weeny thing:

Why did the mangaka choose to differentiate between 独りぼっちでいる and 独りでいる? I´ve seen @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz marked the difference with “to be completely alone” and “to be alone”, respectively. Does a noun imply more emphasis than an adverb?


I’m trying to appreciate the emotional impact of the ending, but the cynical part of me is thinking, “Of course the final sentence contains another, more confusing instance of ~てしまう.” It’s like a grand finale to my struggle with that construction throughout the book. :sob:

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me get through my first book in Japanese! I’m going to try and keep up with Volume 2 as well.


Thanks guys! Loved reading this one :slight_smile: I read all the posts which help greatly (even though I never post much) .

I’ve already got my book ready for the next club, see you guys there!


Finally finished volume 1, looking forward to reading the next volumes in the series :blush:


Fell off the horse for a few weeks, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. This last chapter was a treat to read through all in one go.

My sincere thanks to the organizers of this book club. While the initial chapters were a real struggle, with all the new grammar, I definitely feel an improvement in how I actually read the long strings of sentences now.

It will no doubt be a struggle to get through the remaining 3 volumes without having the community support and translations behind them, but the story is just too good to drop it now.

Thanks again for being such a great help in making this book club a reality and giving beginners like myself the boost to get in the world of reading Japanese text. :bowing_man:


You don’t have to read the next books alone! We’re doing a spin off club to read the rest. The schedule for the second book is up over here


:astonished: Oh wow!

Well that’s great news. Will be jumping into that one then! :smiley:


Just finished reading! As school started back up for me I found that I no longer really had time to do super deep into every little sentence as before, but I still feel like I’ve learned a lot!

Question regarding the ending:[spoiler]

Asahi (rental brother) told her how he wanted to try and help her with her lonliness and it seemed to make her happy. Then we get to see Kanami realzing to herself that she probably won’t ever go back to the way her relationship was with her “real” brother.

Then I got a little confused. Did she tell Asahi that she’ll be alright from now on and doesn’t need the rental brother anymore? That they shouldn’t “cross paths” anymore? But then the game over with her real brother on the next page kind of implies that he’s just lost her to Asahi.

The line that made me think this was レンタルお兄ちゃんへの思いがお兄ちゃんを超えてしまわないように。

Upon second reading I realize she might be telling him jokingly that HE shouldn’t cross paths with her real brother again. But I’m not sure.

Edit: After reading Fitz reply I now realize that I also got rental brothers name wrong. oops lol