三ツ星カラーズ — Week 1 Discussion (ABBC)

I’m really excited - got notice that my hard copy is set to ship out of Japan, and since it was sent via FedEx, I am assuming it is flying which means it might get here soon… I noticed that it came from Sennan-shi - which I just learned in Level 3 means Sennan City! I have been reading along with the comments in this thread and keeping up reading more about grammar, along with pushing my vocabulary along with WK (yes! hit level 4!) I have to say - I am looking forward to the end of week summary. I am already learning so much! I have to say that I have been at this for about 6 weeks and feel like I have learned more than in my entire college year of Japanese.

My plan (so as not to get too far behind) is to parse out a few of the sentence with notes from this thread and see if I can do some on my own next week


Yeah, manga often uses spaces in places of commas (which is a little bit annoying - I mean, you’ve got a perfectly servicable comma you could be using) and omits full stops (which is particularly annoying when it comes in the middle of a bubble).

Heh, and right afterwards, here’s the perfect example of what I’m talking about. I reckon it’s two sentences without a full stop.


That line specifically has me very curious. Since か is at the end of one line, it looks like it can be two separate sentences in one word balloon.

But then, the subtitle for the anime goes:


As in, it’s all on one line in the anime subtitle.

So, is it a question, stop, then a statement (command)?

Or, is the question a modifier modifying the verb?

For now, I’m assuming the latter, but I need to pay more attention to this sort of thing in my daily reading.

The good news is that whether it’s two sentences, or one, the general meaning is still effectively the same, so it doesn’t matter too much. For first-time readers, there’s a lot of other grammar to put more focus into learning. (And you all will recognize them as they’ll come up again and again.)


thank you for all the kind words and encouragement, sorry for the moaning.
another resource that I have been using is bunpro’s grammar points - mainly because I’ve been using it for a bit (halfway through n4). Just checked and it’s searchable without signing in.


What I did with my first manga is pretty similar to your google doc. I would copy every sentence into a document, break apart every word in the sentence and add a definitions / grammar info. That info goes in bullet points right below the sentence. Then I would try to put together a meaning from it all before moving to the next sentence.

Over time, maybe during the second manga I read, after getting a grasp on grammar I felt like literally copying down every definition every time was getting in the way of me remembering words. I wasn’t reading the Japanese when understanding the sentence, I was be putting together the English bits that are my notes into a meaning. So I started to write down less and less definitions and grammar. Nowadays if I can keep enough in my head to understand the sentence only looking at the vocab sheet, I only write down an English translation.

I still write down a fair amount of definitions, but not at a “sentence breakdown” level of defining most every word. Well… unless it’s a hard sentence, which still happens fairly often :sweat_smile:.

That’s just what worked for me. I’m sure others have different methods. Everybody has to find what works for them. Just keep asking questions and reading replies in the book club and you’ll find that eventually you’re asking a lot less questions. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Tagagi-san was my first manga! I can confirm it gets a lot easier, even if it takes a few books to notice a big difference.

I struggle with this too. Sometimes I’ll translate a sentence but not really think the meaning makes sense in a story, then go through the forums to find out that I had the meaning right but wasn’t confident enough to think it actually makes sense in the story. I can’t remember any particular examples now, but this for sure happens when characters make jokes.

Something that I’ve been trying to keep in mind lately: even if this whole manga were in English, I wouldn’t quite understand all the nuance. Who is speaking in that bubble? What exactly does that person mean? Maybe it’s clarified later, maybe it just went over my head, or maybe it’s just unclear. Of course that happens a lot more when reading in Japanese, but I know it will get better over time!

I don’t really have a solid grasp on many sentence ending particles and filler words myself. I think you’re right that it can help with determining a character’s intent. Like the difference between よ and ね (linking to a Tofugu article because I’m probably oversimplifying a lot): either assuming the listener doesn’t or does already know what you mean can have a lot of impact on how forceful something sounds, depending on the situation. Speech styles can help distinguish characters too, which somebody talked about earlier in this thread.


This is now available here:

I opted to go with a narration rather than line-for-line translation, so that the focus is on what’s happening, and not the specific dialogue. (Questions for week one dialogue can still be asks here in the week one thread!)

Just wait until you see my week one summary. I tried to keep it short.


And speaking of week two, the week two thread is up:


Notes on Page 8!

Saitou's intel

Saitou does an exposition:

‘Regarding this (creature) - it’s a thieving cat.’
‘Recently, reports of items being stolen by this panda-looking cat have increased.’
‘Still, since we would want to catch it if we could, maybe we could arrange for the peace of this district to be protected’

I’m not 100% sure about the translation of the final sentence, or even if it’s Saitou saying it, but I think he’s sorta going ‘well… if you wanted to help, maybe we’d appreciate it’

The girls head off

As the girls walk away, Yui remarks ‘This really is a big incident!’ and Sacchan replies ‘Well, let’s search the high street first’. Then, as they head off to the high street, Sacchan turns back and calls out ‘Hey Saitou, cheers!’. I’m assuming from Saitou’s reaction here that Sacchan is again being rude (presumably with the first-name-no-honourific, and using the shortened version ごくろう instead of ご苦労様でした?

Breaking it down
  • ま = essentially like starting with “well” in English
  • だ = refers back to what he just said in the prior panel
  • から = from
    • だから = from that (that he had just said) = therefore
  • (つか)まえる = to catch
  • よう = intention to do
    • (つか)まえよう = intention to catch
  • もん = もの = thing
    • Similar to how こと represents an intangible thing, もの represents a tangible thing.
  • なら = if

I’m not good at explaining this usage of もの. (I need to form better grasp on it myself.)

But this specific usage of a clause ending in a 「volitional verb + もの + なら」 is used when speaking about if one was to do the action in the clause, with the nuance that it’s unlikely to be doable. We might get a similar nuance of this into an English sentence by using the word “actually”.

Putting all this together, maybe something like:

“Well, because of that, supposing you were actually to catch it…”

The second half of this sentence utilizes Colors’ mission up front:

  • 「この(まち)平和(へいわ)(まも)る」 = to protect the peace of this district
  • られる = the “ukemi” or “receptive” form of the verb (often confusingly labeled “passive” in textbooks).
    • (まも)られる = “(the unspoken subject) receives being protected (by Colors)”
  • こと = as discussed in a prior comment, this makes a noun out the concept that modifies it (the clause just before it)
  • に = marks the noun こと as the dictionary the following verb goes toward
  • なる = to become
  • xになる = to become x

(か+も+な each have long explanations on their own, but due to time constraints, I’ll leave them be for now.)

“…it becomes that the district receives protection.” (The かもな parts add a nuance of “maybe” to this.)

All together: “Well, because of that, supposing you were actually to catch it, then maybe it becomes that the district receives protection.”

Of course, this sounds a bit odd in English. To get something smoother sounding, we need to break away from the Japaneses structure fairly radically. But we’re not learning English, so I’ll skip that.

At a macro level, he’s spoiling them a bit by telling them doing this, it will help support their mission (as opposed to just telling them off like he tried at first).

New term for me! Where I live, the term “main street” is commonly used.

By the expression on her face (especially the eyes), I think the 「ごくろう」 was said a bit smug, as he helped he girls out after all, even though he clearly didn’t want to at first.


Ah, I think I get it, thank you! I did a bit of misparsing there, looks like (reading ま・だ・から as まだ・から etc.

I think maybe high street is a UK-specific term? But yeah it means basically the same thing, ‘the place where all the shops are’


We sometimes use it in Australia, but yeah, it’s mostly UK-specific.


So I have two questions about this sentence on page 8:

1.) I saw the natural English translation above which is really helpful, but I’m still a bit confused about how to go about breaking it down, specifically with how って fits into it. Could someone please look at this and tell me if I broke it down the right/wrong way?





((って) Regarding the said thing of) things stolen by this panda-looking cat,


Consultation (with the police) is increasing.

2.) Why is 増える in the て form?


って is a colloquial version of the quotation particle と. In this sentence, imagine it putting このパンダみたいな猫に物を盗られた into quotation marks to modify 相談. That makes このパンダみたいな猫に物を盗られたって相談 into one unit meaning “things stolen by a panda-like cat” consultations, or more naturally, consultations about things stolen by a panda-like cat.
As for you second question, てんだ is a contraction of ているのだ (reference:List of Japanese Contractions | Japanese with Anime) Basically a whole いる is missing there, mostly because it can be derived from context. The consultations have been increasing recently, they haven’t just increased and stopped, so 増えている, not 増えた.


Thank you so much, this helps a lot! Bookmarking that resource.

So then, would it be ungrammatical to leave it out and just say このパンダみたいな猫に物を盗られた相談 to describe the type of consultations? Like how you’d say 彼に買ったシャツ? I’m thinking it might be wrong to do that but I just want to make sure. Again, thank you!


I’ll let someone more knowledgeable to answer that.
My gut feeling is that it’s not ungrammatical, just a slightly different nuance? Not sure though.


FWIW, I agree that it’s grammatical, and while I’m not positive, I think the shift in nuance is from a second-hand knowledge type of thing with the って i.e., “consultations about things said to have been stolen by a panda-like cat”, versus a more firm “consultations about things that have been stolen by a panda-like cat” without the って, which would imply that Saitou has seen the cat stealing things himself.

I’m going by gut feel, for that, though, so I would definitely want confirmation from somebody more knowledgeable.


I’d say your explanation is pretty much spot on. It’s the difference between discussion about X, versus discussion about people saying X.


Hey there! I have some minor questions left – as the major ones were already proficiently answered by the brilliant minds in this thread!

Page 6
そうだ じゃあ 捕獲(ほかく)ならいいかリーダー

What is this ならいい construct? I tried to power my way through this grammar point, and broke it down like this:

My breakdown

捕獲(ほかく) - capture
なら - if
いい - good

Literally: “if capture, good”, which you could also interpret as “you should capture”.
Therefore, my translation ended up being: That is right, ok. Leader, should we capture [it]?

Page 7


My question here is more specifically about the クンガキ. The vocab spreadsheet gives stupid brat to it; but is the police officer really calling 3 small children stupid brats? Or is there another, more subtle meaning?

I don’t know, English is not my native language so I may have the wrong interpretation of it, but I found it kinda too harsh.


Your breakdown is pretty much how it goes.

In Japanese, a lot of grammar goes along the lines of “X + conditional + good” or “X + conditional + bad”. You’ll see いい for good or fine, and bad may be ダメ, or いけない, or ならない. These often get translated as “should do X” or “should not do X”.

For the 「 捕獲(ほかく)ならいい」 portion, I’d go with, “It’s fine if we capture it”. The whole line starting from じゃあ, I might go with, “Then, if we capture it, that’s fine, Leader?”

Typo alert: This is ソ.


クソガキ is defined as:

  • “A child who does pranks (いたずら) and mean mischief ((わる)さ).”
  • “An expression used when badmouthing a child.”

For a different translation than “stupid brats”, I think “(little) troublemakers” is a good choice.


So that’s why I couldn’t find it anywhere, only in the vocab. spreadsheet! Gosh, I’m bad with Katakana… Thanks for catching it @ChristopherFritz, and I like your “(little) troublemakers” suggestion :slight_smile: