三ツ星カラーズ — Week 1 Discussion (ABBC)

Well, I feel like I’m coming late to the party.

Alrighty, here we go. Real-world locations. (Vaguely considered a manga-anime correlation comment too, but it’s been too long since I watched the anime…) But oof, page numbers - thanks for the guide, @ChristopherFritz


In any case, as previously mentioned, pretty much the entire manga takes place in either Ueno Park, or the adjacent Ameyoko.

From the top, the panda-shaped mailbox on the front cover is here. The very first panel of the chapter appears to be somewhere around here.

I’m not sure the カラーズ secret base is real, though if anyone else thinks they can find it…

Page 7, the police box is here, and let me tell you, it is an absolute tragedy that this chapter doesn’t show the building in its full glory.


Is anyone else as slightly weirded out as I am by the elementary school girl wearing a top that reads “Kiss & Hug”?

(Well, that was a short reading…)

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Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for the discussion!!! It’s all been so helpful, and I’m learning soo much already. I actually have a question about the book cover, here:

  1. First a process question: I tried to find the very first word by typing all the pronunciations for “life” that I could remember. I knew what iki was, but I couldn’t find the first kanji in the dictionary. I finally got out Google Translate and it said that this translated as “cheeky” or “fresh” and then I realized that it was the pronunciation of “fresh” or “nama”. That’s how I finally found the word in Jisho. Anyone have a better process / tool that doesn’t involve Google Translate to find words where you don’t recognize the kanji or know the pronunciation?

  2. So the first two lines: I think this translates as something like “They’re cheeky and (sarcastically) darling, how cute!”. Is that close? I think the first de is a connector. Is that right? And then the にくいらしくて … is that turning it into an adverb??. What am I missing?

  3. Okay and then the last line has me pretty perplexed. Here’s my stab; please correct me!

平和なの - I think this is peace but then made into an adverb by the な and then made possessive by the の. So this would read something like “Peace’s”.

平和を - I think this is peace again and the を makes it the direct object of the sentence’s verb.

守る - I think this is the veb “to protect” in its dictionary form, so non-past (thanks, Cure Dolly!) – “does protect” or “will protect”.

のは - I know the は makes this a topic sentence, so everything before this is being presented for comment. Something like, “As for protecting peace’s peace…” But why the の here before the は?

我らが - My jisho tells me that われ is “I” or “me”. I’m curious why this isn’t 私 or 僕は – what’s the meaning difference with this word choice? And then I think that the ら is making it plural, but if that’s right how come it’s not たち? So if I’m right, that would be “our”. And then the が is making this the subject of the sentence.

カラーズ - And then this is Colors, but I don’t understand what this is doing here. I think it’s just an exclamation.

So putting it all together, this would mean something like, “As for protecting peace’s peace, it is ours – Colors!” And in trying to put that into something somewhat English-like, my stab is “It is our [job], the Colors, to protect the peacefulness.”

Appreciate any and all thoughts and corrections. You all are awesome!

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i think you’re missing the 上野 (ueno district) in your sentence, so the sentence would sound something like: protecting the peace in peaceful ueno, we are colors!
which sounds kinda tongue in cheek.

as for the 我ら, it sounds a bit edgy or “chuuni” when kids use it, atleast that’s what i think when hearing characters like megumin and her family from konosuba use it, like they take themselves unecessarily serious.
i might be misremebering and conflating this with 我が though.
somebody correct me if i’m wrong.

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I was a little freaked out by the splash art on page before the contents page, for what it’s worth.

Just so I’m on the same page, we’re talking about 生, right? Well, there are actually quite a few different methods you can use, so hopefully one of these works for you.

One of them is looking them up the traditional way, using radicals. Jisho.org has a button to show radicals in the search bar, and they’re organised by the number of strokes they have. But to use this, you sort of need to know the radicals already - I know some of them, but there are a lot I have trouble with.

Another is to try drawing them. Jisho supports this as well:


This works best if you can follow the normal Japanese stroke order - just try to get the right number of strokes, and the rough direction correct. It’s not so fussy about scale and proportion, as you can see above.

Another method I have used is something called a SKIP code, which is something Jack Halpern came up with. If you’ve ever worked with search trees, it’s kind of like that. You pick one of four basic Kanji shapes, which are nearly all dividing it into two pieces. Then you count the strokes in each piece. This can be nice because some programs let you say things like “I think it has 4 strokes… plus or minus one” if you can’t quite make it out (e.g. this skip search tool here at the sci.lang.japan page). (Jisho supports SKIP too, but I think it’s a secret.)

Finally, sometimes I know some kanji in a word but not others - in this case I sometimes use a wildcard search. You mentioned that in your case, you knew the 意気 part already. This search, “?意気 #words” will match any one character + 意気 (小粋 is included as it has a variant form, 小意気), and “*意気 #words” will get you any number of characters + 意気 (e.g. 小生意気). You can keep building from there - e.g. “??気” is “any two characters followed by 気”. Hope this helps.

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Just to append to this, in cases where I know the kanji, but maybe not the reading that’s being used in the word, I will type the kanji in a reading I DO know, and then just delete any other kanji around it that don’t fit.

To use the example of 生意気, if I didn’t know the なま reading, I would type in something like, 学生 (がくせい), and then just delete the 学 kanji, and fill in whatever parts of the kanji I do know (in this case, you knew 意気, and could just fill that in afterwards), in Jisho’s search bar, and that will net you the reading and definition. Of course, this only works if you know at least ONE reading of that kanji, and you have a Japanese keyboard installed on your phone, or an IME on your computer. In cases where you don’t know any readings or don’t have a way to type Japanese, search by radical with Jisho is usually your best bet. (Drawing is also an option, but usually not a great one. If you don’t know the stroke order, you will almost never get the correct result, and I find it discriminates against small handwriting like mine, even if the stroke order is correct, so I have to go out of my way to write the kanji about three sizes larger than I usually would in my normal writing)

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This の is a “nominalizer”. That means it is turning the whole phrase that comes before it into a noun. It’s an important concept in Japanese grammar. I’ll let Tofugu explain.

Colors is the name of the group the girls have formed.

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So the first two lines: I think this translates as something like “They’re cheeky and (sarcastically) darling, how cute!”. Is that close? I think the first de is a connector. Is that right? And then the にくいらしくて … is that turning it into an adverb??. What am I missing?

it’s basically the same for にくいらしくて how you explained it for the first word, it’s the て-form, which allows you to connect clauses.
for nouns like you said, it’s で, for a suffix/i-adjective like らしい it works by removing the い, and adding く and て.

pretty sure you nailed the meaning.

https://www.bunpro.jp/grammar_points/adjective-て-noun-で

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Fun fact: the group’s logo is also the word “colors”.

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Thanks for this =D

I was trying to pinpoint them all myself (including areas that show up later), and while I was able to find many, some I’m not certain of. It doesn’t help that I’ve never been there, so I’m left looking up photos and Google Maps aerial images, and trying to match them up…

I’ve seen similar-ish on shirts for kids, especially if it’s a Valentine’s Day themed shirt, so it didn’t stand out to me beyond “English words on an outfit in a Japanese story”.

Use the extra time this week to recall your earliest reading experiences, and to reflect on how far you’ve come along since then =D

I think others have already covered better methods, especially when you have a physical manga, but another option to know of is Copyfish.

It’s a desktop browser extension that works on images, so if you’ve taken a picture, you can use it on that. Not all images will be readable by it, but this one looks to be understandable to Copyfish:

Screenshot_20211114_044100

From there it’s copying it into Jisho (or ichi.moe) for the translation/breakdown.

Thankfully the kanji within the manga has furigana readings!

I’ve read before that ら shows an amount of humility, whereas たち is neutral. But I’ve never delved into it, so I just sort of go with the flow of knowing both are plural, and I’m probably missing out on a nuance.

Until you realize the reason peaceful Ueno district is peaceful may very well be because Colors is keeping the peace :wink:

Another option is if you remember it from WaniKani, search for the English word there to locate and copy the kanji from.

To add to this, the reason that の is before は here is because は can only be attached to a noun. Since the text being used as the topic is a whole clause (not a single noun), the clause needs to be turned into a noun (which is what の is doing) so that は can attach to it to make it as the topic.

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It was already said before, but I can agree:
As a person who mainly read Soreayu before, I also felt this manga is a bit more difficult.
For some parts I just feel like they speak some weird dialect or something (which makes it hard to read), but it’s probably just the being super coloquial part I guess.

For now I only read briefly through the first chapter, but might come back later to take a more detailed look. A lot of questions were probably already answered. :slight_smile:

Edit: I just realised I read the whole first chapter, but was only supposed to read the first half of it! :sweat:

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I don’t think I’ll be joining in for this book club overall but I might try to check in every now and then to help answer stuff if I can

Regarding 我ら

我 is an old personal pronoun meaning “I”, and ら makes it plural. Personally I don’t think I’ve come across 我たち before and that feels like it would be weird to me - but I’m not going to say it would be impossible

I think in general most cases where pluralising suffixes are involved, there is one or the other that tends to be used and that’s the safest choice to go with

我 itself kind of gives a feeling of grandiosity and maybe a little pomposity. Kind of like when they’d say it out-loud they’d be puffing out their chests. You’ll often see villains in stuff like shonen manga speaking with Japanese resembling classical Japanese for similar reasons

One of my favourite examples that gives a flavour of the kind of vibe I’m thinking of is from the manga 破壊神マグちゃん (known in English as Magu-chan: God of Destruction) where the titular Magu-chan is an ancient eldritch god from the ancient past who speaks using classical Japanese:
image
You can see the use of 我 here for the personal pronoun

我 is also interesting because 我々is another plural version meaning “we”, and 我が(わが)is the possessive form

The TLDR here is that in a modern setting without a bunch of fantastical elements, all you really need to know is that it’s an older version of the personal pronoun that still gets used for dramatic effect and gives a kind of grandiose and maybe slightly pompous vibe (imagine people whipping out “thee” and “thou” in English to sound theatric)

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Further question on this translation

Is the “after all” a particular quirk of Japanese? In English, I would expect that phrase to only come between two things a single person was saying - “[point A]. After all, [point B]”. In this case however, it’s being used to start a reply, and I’m not sure how that works in terms of the translation. Would it be relatively close to translate it as something like “but” instead? “but that isn’t a big problem, is it?”

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Let’s set English aside for a moment and look at what is going on with だって.

When だって appears in the middle of a sentence, the clause ending in だ is a noun sentence. The って is used for quoting, a casual version of と.

Essentially, you’re (directly or indirectly) quoting a “[noun] is [noun]” statement by someone/something, then you make a comment on that statement. And if you’re starting a comment by quoting something, there’s a good chance you’re about to say something contradictory.

(Example in English: “You say cats are better, but you only have panda posters on your bedroom wall.”)

When used at the start of a sentence, the だ references back to what was said before it. In this case, you’re not repeating what was said (direct quote), and you’re not restating what was said (indirect quote). Instead, you’re using だ to basically reference the statement, って because it’s quoting, and then you continue on from there.

(English in English: “Cats are totally better than pandas.” “You say that, but you only have panda posters on your bedroom wall.”)

By the way, notice how these English examples I’ve included use “but” in them? That’s why you’ll see “but” given as a translation for だって, even though だって is closer to “you say ___”. Resources that say だって translates as “but” are really giving you a scaffolding for understanding. Eventually, you reach a point where you no longer need that, and you can relearn a lot of early grammar from a Japanese perspective.

Now, a statement won’t always contradict the quoted portion. Sometimes it will build off of it, or support it. This is where we use “after all” in English, such as “After all that was said, it’s clear that pandas have cooler posters than cats do.” And as you say, in English this is something a person typically says after their own preceding statement, not following someone else’s. (But it can still be said after someone else’s statement in some cases in English!)

This “you say that, but” versus “after all that was said” distinction doesn’t exist in Japanese the same way it does in English. But for a natural-sounding English translation, I do agree that “after all” is probably not translation to use for this panel’s dialogue.

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Page 6 notes from me (let me know if double-posting is frowned upon, I haven’t used forums in ages)

I love him


He looks a bit like my brother

Sacchan comes to know fear

This sentence has been talked about already, but I had some questions about the word order. To me it looks like the だ splits the bubble into two sentences - 化け物だ and 完全にこれ, but then the second part doesn’t seem to have a verb. I was wondering if instead it was more playing around with word order? I did latin at school and I know that some languages let you mess around with word order for emphasis. So either I’d translate it ‘It’s a monster! Completely (a monster)!’ or ‘This is a complete monster!’ (but with word order shenanigans).

Sacchan shares with the rest of the class

There are a couple options for translations here which make sense to me - Sacchan passes the note over to Kotoha saying ‘It’s incredible/awful/truly (monstrous), isn’t it?’ (not sure which translation of すごい fits best here), and then Yui cuts across saying either ‘This really isn’t the time!’ or ‘There isn’t time (for this)!’

Kotoha, destroyer of worlds

Not much to say here, except that Kotoha is instantly my favourite. Presumably the の here turns it into a question something like ‘Should we kill it?’

Group Chat
  • The こ at the beginning of Yui’s sentence I’m assuming is just a stammer due to her sheer terror of Kotoha (warranted)
  • My guess at the full panel’s translation is:

Yui: We can’t k-k-kill it!
Kotoha: But we have to violently kill this monster.
Sacchan: Well then, would capturing it be ok, Leader? (I’m assuming at this point that Yui is the leader?)
Yui: Yes, that! Let’s do that!

Operation Start!

My translation: ‘Alright! Commence Great Operation Capture the Monster!’

And a response to @ChristopherFritz - Ah, I see. I guess maybe a good natural (and almost literal) translation for だって in this case would be something along the lines of “That said”? “Cats are better than pandas.” “That said, you only have panda posters”. It can be used to counter or build upon a point, and either by the person who was talking previously or someone else.

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As a general statement on forum use, the only thing to be mindful of is that if you are replying to multiple people at at once, it’s better to reply to all in one post, rather than doing a separate post to reply to each. This is done by selecting the text from a post you want to reply to, then select “quote” from the pop-up that appears. Doing this, you can quote+reply to multiple people in a single comment.

Aside from that, sometimes, you’ll post something. Then later you’ll want to post something else. But no one else has posted since you last did, so now you end up making two post in a row. This is okay as well.

Your interpretation is completely correct. The これ refers to ()(もの) just as you suggest.

For the dialogue here, Yui says the すごい line, and Sacchan says the “no time for” line. Viewed this way, does the dialogue make more sense? If not, I can definitely go over it.

Correct.

From a grammar standpoint, there’s a nuance that Yui knows something (what she wants to do about it), and Kotoha doesn’t know that something (what Yui wants to do), so when she asks, the の changes the sentence from “(We) kill (it)” to “(It is that) (we) kill (it)”. However, it’s clear to a Japanese person that this is spoken with rising intonation (a question, rather than a statement), for “(Is it that) (we) kill (it)?”

Correct.

For this translation, I’d place the stammer on the “We”. The stammer isn’t on a specific word so much as it’s at the start of the response. (I think an argument can be made for the way you wrote it, though, so take my words here with a grain of salt!)

Going with your translation as a basis, I’d change it as “But this kind of monster needs to be violently killed.”

I went for “this kind of” as a translation for こんな (where “this” would be この). For べき I favored “needs to be”, but I’ll admit that when I see this used when reading, I don’t think out how it may be conveyed in English, so this may not be the best way to word it.

My own translation would probably be, “But a monster like this needs to be beaten to death.”

I think that does capture it most precisely. Naturally when translating into English you’d want to consider what overall sounds best in English, but “that said” is always my mental starting point when translating a だって-starting sentence into Enlgish.

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…ha! Same! I didn’t realize until your post, that this was the case. I thought it odd that the vocab only made it to half the chapter, but just shrugged it off and added in some words as I read afterwards. :sweat_smile:

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I just started reading and I’m already unsure if I’m following the conversation. On page 4 the second panel, when ゆい says じゃなくて大変なの she is dropping the thought of なにそれっ and kind of continues the 変なメガネ sentence. Making it mean “its not weird its great”? Not sure which of the translations of 大変 one would use here.

Hope someone can alleviate some of my confusion, Thanks

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I don’t have a ton to say, because I zoomed through this one a little casually as a break from the stuff giving me a headache, but I do appreciate ChristopherFritz pointing me to this club. Seems like a really cute manga; I enjoyed their banter with the cop. I’m half making this post just so I’m not silently off lurking, but I don’t have too much of substance to say. Although…

I likely need to eventually come up with a proper, longer term solution, but for now, I love the convenience of this website: Multi-Radical Kanji Search (WTK-Search)

It’s the only place I’ve found that allows searching by wanikani radicals, since many of them are fabricated for this site. Very convenient.

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I interpreted it as the なにそれっ being an initial response to the 変なメガネ, and the じゃんくて大変なの as attempting bringing the focus back to what she was originally coming in to talk about.

Basically:

Explanation

じゃなくて is a casual form of the conjunctive ではなくて that means, essentiallly, “Not A but B”

In this case, the “A” is the 変なメガネ that was just being talked about, with the “B” being the issue that Yui is bringing to the Colors’ attention.

So,

"What the heck?..
“Not (implied: the strange glasses), but (implied, and as yet unknown to the reader: the panda-like cat) is bad!”

That was my reading of it, anyway. Others might have a different interpretation.

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I’ve been there. :slightly_smiling_face: I definitely saw the police box, but if I saw the panda mailbox, I didn’t take a photo of it…

I did see this one outside Hanayashiki, though. :grinning:

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