レンタルおにいちゃん - Week 3 Discussion (Absolute Beginners Book Club)

I think he is reflecting his role as a rental 兄, so he wonders whether he will be able to be good in his role i.e. always have a smile for her.


To add onto that, on page 31 we see お兄ちゃん a bit lost in thought- as if he’s having second thoughts about the rental arrangement, or perhaps the situation Kanami is in. Either way, it’s a messy, unhappy situation and he’s clearly aware of that. Even so, he’s providing a service, and this line is him reflecting on that need to provide a good service: in this instance take Kanami’s money, even though morally the whole arrangement is a bit gray.


Page 26 Middle Panel


I read this as something like “I did not raise my voice at this child.” But it doesn’t really make sense? I figured I must’ve missed something here.

Page 27 Right Panel


“I want to cure her wounds” ? Did I read it right? And if I did is there a better way to put this?

Page 27 Left Panel

家族のいない辛さは 痛いほどわかるから

What does the いない mean in here? I assumed it was something like “Having no family is painful”? And then he goes on and says something like “I understand that pain because…”?

To be honest most of this inner dialog was hard for me, but the fact that I could grasp some of it shows progress so I’m not complaining :+1:


Spoilers for page 29 and 30
This is more a content question than a reading question. On page 29 Rental Brother says (assuming I understood it correctly) something like “Kanami hasn’t given up hope on her brother yet. So that’s why I can’t get used to this.” It seems to me that he doesn’t want to get to close to her, because he thinks she’ll go back to hanging out with her original brother once they’ve mended their relationship perhaps? This is even further reinforced on the next page when he says “Rental moments won’t be needed anymore.” I just thought it was interesting and kinda added another layer to their relationship. Thoughts?


You’re missing the たら conditional at the end there. If I had not called out to this girl…

Looks like you got it. There’s also the てやる there. やる acts much like あげる for doing something for someone else, with the nuance of it being for a younger or socially “lower” person.

家族がいない would be the relative clause being used as an adjective here, and の sometimes replaces が in clauses like that. I don’t have a source for that, maybe someone else can elaborate more.


Page 26

You can think of these words as an expression:


That’s one thing I like about this story as an ABBC read. While most of it will be fairly simple, it has these moments where an absolute beginner is thrown into the middle of a lot of grammar and vocabulary they may not know. If anyone’s lost on it all, be sure to ask questions. And if anything is confusion (such as @tomwamt’s mention of a relative clause acting as an adjective), don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Page 27

Here’s a source =D

Here's the full details.

In a Japanese verb sentence, the subject is who or what is performing the action of the verb. The predicate is the verb.

The subject of a sentence is always marked by が. Consider the following sentence, which I’ve added parenthesis to only as a visual aid:

  • アジサイの(花がsubject)(咲くpredicate)。
  • The hydrangea’s flowerssubject bloompredicate.

The subject is 花 (はな, flower), and the predicate is 咲く (さく, to bloom).

You can also embed one sentence into another, making it an adjective that describes the noun that follows it. The embedded sentence is called a relative clause. Here is an example sentence:

  • 港のsubject)(見えるpredicate)丘がある。
  • There is a hill where (the harborsubject)(can be seenpredicate).

Here, the embedded sentence is 「港見える」. However, it’s in a relative clause which modifies the noun 丘. As I understand it correctly, you cannot have two が subject-marking particles within a single sentence, so this would be incorrect:


Instead, the が in the relative clause becomes の:


Feel fee to be (@_@)

By my reading, the rental big brother is thinking “Kanami hasn’t given up on her brother yet. That’s why I cannot be a part of her family. I can only be a rental brother. I can only be with you through a rental relationship.”

I take it to mean he’d like to be able to be in a real big brother role for Kanami, but that’s not possible while Kanami still believes in her real お兄ちゃんbig brother. So our おにいちゃんbig brother can only help her out as a rental family member.


Page 27

I’m more like :’(
I just don’t understand at all.
Please bear with me while I try to work it out!

  1. この子の傷を癒してやりたい
  2. 家族のいない辛さは
  3. 痛いほどわかるから
  • この子の傷を癒してやりたい
    この子の傷を - this child’s wounds + object marker
    癒して - to heal, to cure, in て-form
    やりたい - want to do (for her)
    I want to cure this child’s pain (for her)

  • 家族のいない辛さは
    家族 - family
    の - complicated stuff about how の is standing in for が
    いない - isn’t there (doesn’t have?)
    辛さ - pain
    は - topic particle (so the topic is the pain of not having a family?)
    the pain of not having a family

  • 痛いほどわかるから
    痛い - pain
    ほど - extent degree
    わかる - understand
    から - because
    because I understand how painful (that is)

  1. この子の傷を癒してやりたい - I want to cure this child’s pain (for her)
  2. 家族のいない辛さは - the pain of not having a family
  3. 痛いほどわかるから - because I understand how painful (that is)

I want to cure this child’s pain because I understand how painful it is to have the pain of not having a family.

I’d like to help this kid 'cause I know how tough it is not to have a family.


Looks like you’ve worked it out pretty well!

Sometimes I find it easier to grasp a Japanese grammar concept by finding something similar in English.

In English grammar, we have what’s called an “adjective clause”. Some definitions for English grammar:

  • adjective: a word that modifies a noun by limiting its meaning. Examples:
    • interesting poem
    • many novels
    • these ideas
    • football game
  • clause: a group of words that has a subject and a predicate (verb).
  • adjective clause: a clause that modifies a noun. Example:
    • “Magazines that inform and entertain are my favorites.” (The adjective clause tells what kind and modifies Magazines.)

(Definitions and examples from: Grammar and Composition Handbook, High School 1, Glencoe, McGra-Hill.)

When you write “the pain of not having a family”, you have:

(the painnoun) of (not having a familyadjective clause)

There are many kinds of “pain”. What kind of pain is being talked about here? The “not having a family” kind.

For Japanese grammar, rather than “adjective clause”, you may see “relative clause”. In this sentence, it’s the same thing:

「(家族のいないadjective clause)(辛いnoun

There are many kinds of 辛い. What kind of 辛い are is being talked about here? The 「家族がいない」 kind.

However, we cannot use a subject-marking が in a relative/adjective clause, so we need to change it to の:

However, we cannot use a subject-marking が in a relative/adjective clause when there is already a subject-marking clause in the main sentence, so we need to this one to の:



I don’t think this is 100% true though, right? 猫は頭がいい生き物です is a valid sentence, because there isn’t a が anywhere else.


I’m sure you are quite right. (I’m very much still learning, and appreciate the insight. I cornered myself into not seeing the forest for the trees.) I’ve edited what I wrote to be more accurate.


Page 31
上手 じょうず
上手く うまく

We learnt the first vocab in level 2 and I was happy to recognize that this here was the adverb of it and so I didn’t look it up. Now I am wondering why the reading is so different.


I think someone in Japan’s history decided to give the reading うまい to as many kanji as possible. 旨い、甘い、美味い、上手い、巧い…


The base form is the い-adj 上手い, usually (but not always) written in kana as うまい. I was going to write about the other forms buts @ChristopherFritz is too quick…


I don’t doubt your explanation, but would I have been totally misunderstood by a japanese person if I had said
じょうずく ?

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Thanks for your reply! I see that I definitely should start learning outside WK :slightly_smiling_face:

I can’t say for certain, but I imagine it would be similar to someone in English saying “goodly” or “catly”.

I almost always have ichi.moe up, so it’s easy to hop over and drop うまい in to get a full list =D


My favorite way for learning a language (read a lot of books without worrying too much about grammar) doesn’t seem to work for japanese! Or at least I should rely on audio books!
I’m kidding. But honestly, I wasn’t prepared to come upon so much grammar discussions here.

You can’t expect to get a complete understanding of Japanese grammar while reading your very first Japanese book. “One” is perhaps not enough for “a lot”. :wink:

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It definitely would sound unnatural, as Christopher already pointed out.
You’d be able to pick out the reading by looking at the whole element: 上手. Since it has that okurigana attached to the kanji stem, you should know it’d be using a kunyomi reading shouldn’t be using the onyomi jukugo reading of the kanji characters.

edit: read Belthazar’s reply, this is a case of jukujikun


How is うまく the kunyomi reading for 上手く?There is neither う as kunyomi for 上 nor ま as kunyomi for 手. At least not in https://jisho.org/search/上%20%23kanji and https://jisho.org/search/手%20%23kanji.