Welcome to Week 1 of ロジカとラッカセイ ・ Rojica and Rakkasei!
It feels like forever ago that I suggested this book for the Beginner Book Club. And then, after a super close poll, it actually won, and here we are! Week 1, finally time to start!
If this is your first book club, you’ll find a few pointers on how to get the most out of it below, and hopefully answers to a few questions you might have. I hope it’ll help you, and if you have any other questions, whether about the book or about the club itself, don’t hestitate to ask them.
I’m glad you’re joining me on this strange journey that is ロジカとラッカセイ, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did the first time I read it!
I know that some of you might be feeling shy, or don’t want to bother others with their questions, but you don’t have to worry: People love answering questions. You’re making the thread more lively, and you’re also helping everyone who has the same questions. Please, ask a lot of them!
Here’s what to you need to know:
Please include the page number: [details="Page 54"]Your question goes here[/details] (See “How should I post my questions?” in the FAQ below for more.)
Check if your question has already been asked. (See “How can I quickly find out if my questions have already been asked by someone?” in the FAQ below.)
Please mark any spoilers for the current/future chapters like this: [spoiler]text here[/spoiler])
Also, it’s fine to only read the thread, but consider participating at least a little, even if it’s just short posts like “This is really hard, but I’m giving my best!” or a “Wow, reading this chapter was fun.”. It’ll help you feel more part of the club which makes it easier to stay motivated, and it’ll make it easier to ask questions later if you have some.
Some general advice
Don’t give up just because you have to look up so much that it “doesn’t feel like reading”. That’s how we all started, and if you keep at it, you’ll get better. (There’s more on this in the FAQ below under “Is it too early for me if I have to look up a lot of grammar/vocab and often don’t understand sentences?”)
If we’re too fast for you, you can go at your own pace. Post your questions in the appropriate thread for the pages (see the schedule) then. You’ll get answers surprisingly quickly!
Google: Great for finding more about grammar/expressions if you can identify them. (Example)
ichi.moe: Tries its best to identify parts of a sentence for you. (Example)
DeepL: Tries it’s best to translate a sentence for you. Sometimes helps to point you in the right direction.
You can find out more about using these tools in the FAQ below under “How can I approach a sentence I don’t understand?”
About questions and answers
I have a lot of questions, but I don't want to be a nuisance.
Questions being annoying is a really common misconception. Luckily, the opposite is the case. Asking questions helps everyone:
The people who answer usually enjoy helping others and answering questions. Many people say that they are even learning a lot when they answer questions! And those who can’t or don’t want to answer them simply ignore them. So, literally the worst thing that could happen is that your question doesn’t get answered, and even that is highly unlikely.
All the people who have the same question will be really happy to see them already asked by you. It’s not uncommon to see people thank others for asking a question they had.
The thread gets more lively.
You get your questions answered - and on top of that, when you participate in the threads, you are probably more motivated to continue and keep up with reading!
So not only are you not a nuisance if you ask a lot of questions, you make the club better for everyone. Please ask a lot of them!
My questions feel really basic, and I'm kinda reluctant to ask them.
This is a club for first-time readers. No question is too simple or silly - we are expecting first-time reader questions. Please ask them, and help all the other participants who have the same question!
How should I post my questions?
Here’s a format I like to use, as an example:
Using page numbers helps anybody quickly go to the page, and typing out the sentence makes it searchable and provides context for those who want to answer. Sometimes they don’t even have to open the book to answer your question.
And here’s how to make it:
What are the ？？ on the trash sign?
"Let's fill it up... sort of into the direction of the corner"? I guess he might be talking about filling in the map?
Does Kon mean that there's no point in having the normal second floor corridor if it's not connected to the normal second floor rooms? And まともに is "normally"?
Two things to keep in mind:
Be sure to post it in the weekly thread to which those pages belong. You can find an overview over them in the schedule.
If you don’t use physical pages, mention it. Ebook readers often are off by one or more. Many books or manga have physical page numbers printed on some pages though - you can find one of those and count forward or backwards to your page.
How can I quickly find out if my questions have already been asked by someone?
Use the search function with “in this topic” selected to look up part of the sentence you are interested in:
About reading and understanding
Is it too early for me if I have to look up a lot of grammar/vocab and often don't understand sentences?
That’s pretty normal for your first book(s) - we all started out like that. If you keep at it, I promise you that you will get better.
Feeling strongly like that actually happened to me twice, once with my first Absolute Beginner Book Club, and again with my first Beginner Book Club. Both times I felt ill-prepared and like I’m not even really reading because I had to do oh-so many look-ups, and like I should give it up for now and try again once I’m better because there’s no point continuing right now.
Well, turns out there was a point. While I actually gave up that ABBC, I did power through this feeling and stick around for that BBC, and I’m so glad I did. I learnt so much, and once I was done I went back to try that ABBC book again, and this time I could actually read through it in a few days! (Still with many look-ups, of course, but by then I was totally fine with that.)
So… the solution is usually not stopping to read and going back to learning vocab until the feeling goes away - it’s to make peace with having to look up a lot.
I read a sentence. Do I know all vocab? If not, I look it up as I’m reading by typing the words I don’t know into jisho.org (vocab) or thejadednetwork.com/sfx (sfx).
Does the sentence make sense to me? If yes, I continue with the next one.
If I almost get it, but some details I missing, I try to google for those details (e.g. if I have never seen the sentence ending よね, I will google “yone japanese grammar”). If it that solves it, I make a bookmark of the info I found and continue with the next sentence.
If I can’t find out what the heck is up with the sentence, I transcribe it and stick it into ichi.moe, which will analyze the parts the sentence is made up of. Often that allows me to look up grammar or just solves my problems, and I continue with the next sentence.
If I still don’t know what’s going on, I put it into DeepL. If the automatic translation makes sense to me and fits in the context, I look at the Japanese sentence again and try to figure out how DeepL got there.
If I still can’t figure out the sentence, I check the weekly thread (if I’m reading with a club). Was the question already asked?
If so, I check (or wait for) the answer.
If not, or if the answers don’t help, I make a question with the sentence and my best guess of a translation.
if there’s no answer: My best guess at translating + asking a question.
How much should I try to understand?
That depends on three things: How hard the book is for you, how much time and energy you want to put in, and how much you want to understand.
If it’s hard and you only have little time/energy, try to understand the gist and learn a few new things each week. Remember to ask questions when you struggle.
If it’s hard, but you have more time/energy, go for as many details as you want to after you get the gist! Ask lots of questions, the community is a treasure trove of information!
If it’s not that hard but you still want to deepen your understanding, feel free to ask questions about more minor details you don’t completely get.
Pace and don’t overexert yourself. It’s more important to finish the whole book and learn a lot throughout, than to go for 100% understanding of chapter 1 and 2 only to be burned out and stop reading there. If you realize you can’t keep up what you’re doing, start doing less - you’ll still learn a lot!
And lastly, if you don’t actually care about e.g. getting all the details and just want to have a nice reading experience, that’s totally okay too and you’re still very welcome to read with us!
About the club in general
The club is too fast for me, or I'm starting late. Can I read at a slower pace?
Feel free to read at your own pace. If you have any questions, just ask them in the weekly thread they belong to (see the schedule here). It doesn’t matter if it’s been weeks, months or years since the club read that chapter - you’ll likely get an answer surprisingly fast. (And don’t forget to use the search function first to see if your question has already been answered.)
Am I doing the book club wrong if I'm __________________?
I think the only time you do a book club wrong is when you neither enjoy it nor learn anything from it. Do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
Any suggestions on how to get the most out of the book club?
For me, the best thing about the book clubs is that you can learn so much - but that’s only if you actually participate in the club. So, my recommendation is: Read the threads, and ask all the questions you have!
And if you feel up to it, answering questions is another way to learn a lot.
I love how energetic this is n_n
I was pretty initially intimidated by the lack of furigana, but it’s really not too bad with the vocab sheet and it’s forcing me to actually try to read the kanji. The big action scenes make me feel like I’m flipping through pages fast too and is helping to build up confidence
I yesterday already read a bit after finishing Ruri Dragon, and also thought that ロジカとラッカセイ was surprisingly… easy! Today I read the remaining pages of Chapter1, and despite that the longer discussions are in the later part, it didn’t change my first impression.
Looking forward to the upcoming chapters, its quite an interesting take on a Manga
I don’t remember any questions, but I will re-read the chapter before week2 again just to make sure.
I really love the world they’re in, it seems so serene (but as indicated by that black monster thingy, looks might very well be deceiving). It also seems like this is a post-apocalyptic world of some kind as the vinyl record is a “remnant of a past civilization”. This is so intriguing to me, I don’t want to wait until next week to continue
note about sfx/onomatopoeia on pages 8-14
I found it quite amazing how you could almost guess what’s happening on these pages by just knowing the meanings of those sound effect words. I never really tried to look up this many onomatopoeic words in manga before so I don’t know if they’re always this information dense, but I found it really awesome looking them up and seeing a really specific explanation that fits the situation of the manga perfectly.
This is what I mean:
ボコッ - thump / bump - disc hitting that black thing
ギギギ - creaking - that thing turning to face them (this adds so much imo)
トボトボ - walking wearily after upsetting event - Rojica and Rakkasei walking wearily after what happened
ぜー はー - pantsigh - they are exhausted
だー - dash / run - Rojica starting to run after the disc
ばー - extending a hand - Rojica trying to catch the disc
ズザー - skidding / squealing - Rojica skidding on the ground
たたっ - fast walk - Rakkasei running to see if Rojica is alright
I would also add Bunpro there. Their grammar list is public and feels pretty exhaustive. I only knew of it because someone mentioned it in the Ruri Dragon book club, and it became my main go-to-source to check up grammar details. The explanations on JLPT-Sensei are also good, but searching for the grammar is not as easy. I used Maggie-Sensei in the past, but I feel like the page could benefit from some nicely formatted CSS and HTML
Did I see comparisons to Adventure Time? I wasn’t quite expecting the vibes to feel that way so clearly, but it does. (I also misread アイザック’s name as アイーズ for a while which would 100% fit that jam). Not too many dict lookups, thank god.
Lit would be eg. ‘a startling form of play’ or something, but not sure what the best translation is here… ‘That’s no fun’? ‘That didn’t turn out so well’? Opinions welcomed.
Any ideas what the X/ペケ here is? This seems to imply it’s like “You’ve got three outs” or “three strikes”.
「腕の通る人は」… not sure. “People who would be able to put their arms through the holes in the record” I guess?
Also, the artstyle for Rakasei reminds me of the music video for 言って by よるしか, or maybe for the various endings of Bocchi. Also wtf is Rojika? A bird? A muppet? A punpun? Gal x Dino? Who can tell
Personally I do a lot of lookups on Hinative, and occasionally ask my own questions. It is all audience generated but you can usually find at the very least a good starting point, if not a concise explanation from someone out there.
I was a bit skeptical at first. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the story but I was wrong. I read the entire first chapter in one go because I liked the story so much. No furigana seemed daunting at first but I realized it also means that I don’t automatically read the furigana and skip the kanji.
I’ve started Manx book clubs and then dropped them because I lost my motivation along the way. So I guess I’m just commenting because I hope that this “investment” will keep me motivated.
I’m pretty sure it’s “terrifying”/“frightning”. They clearly enjoyed it as they continue to play, but it sure seems dangerous…
Well, I hope this will be the one!
You’ll get one for that one time where we’ll stop a chapter in the middle. All the other weeks, this one included, it’s just until the chapter end - read until you see 「おわり」 and those between-chapter filler pages (like page 24).
I wonder if the stuff in the foreground on page 21 is important or foreshadowing in some way. What looks like (I think?) a street/crossroads sign says 成り行き. And the thing below it says “NAZO” which could be 謎. Hmm
I know I’m not the only one wondering what Rojica is, did anyone else find it interesting that on pages 15 & 16 Aizaku used -san when greeting Rojica, but then did not use any honorific when greeting Rakkasei? Aizaku seems like an “adult” so it isn’t necessarily odd that he would drop the honorific with Rakkasei who is clearly a child, but I found it interesting that he did use it with Rojica. Rojica used -kun with Aizaku whereas Rakkasei used -san. I know honorifics aren’t a totally consistent way of identifying one’s relative social status (especially in manga) but I still found it interesting given that I have no idea what Rojica is actually supposed to be.
I was busy today so I only read about half of the chapter (I mean we have a whole week so there is no rush). So far it hasn’t been too challenging, but what stumbles me the most are conversational phrases and forms since I learned most of my Japanese from a textbook.
From what I understood, いかん is basically like いけない which is used with obligation (in this case “must not throw or shouldn’t throw”). So is いかん an informal version and why is there と in front of it? Someone, please correct me if I got something wrong. Thanks.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt, but this is what I think is happening:
The whole sentence is quoted, the quoted part is:
Not quite certain on this, but I think it means “not throw because you made sure of your surroundings”
And といけんね (whole thing is I believe a slangish way of saying いけない) is “you must do x”, or rather “if you don’t do x…”.
So “You shouldn’t throw that thing without making sure you don’t hit somebody” is what the text is trying to say.
Another breakdown I could see in a similar vein is
Nothing changes, except what’s quoted by the と