三ツ星カラーズ — Week 2 Discussion (ABBC)

thank you, actually have done that bunpro lesson! thanks memory…

it might just be me but I find it incredibly difficult to attach a secondary meaning to something once I’ve learnt it a particular way initially.


All Japanese grammar guides…

Parse Japanese sentences by looking at particles; を object, は topic, が subject etc etc

Manga be like




Don’t worry about that, it gets easier with practice and frequent exposure.

Forgot to answer about the よう part. This is basically ように, with に again confusingly omitted. It can often be very simply translated as just “to”.

I definitely feel that manga are harder to parse than normal prose. The text density may make it look easier, and there are pictures to use as reference, but the writing is certainly full of traps for beginners, what with omissions, contractions, lack of punctuation, unfinished sentences, etc etc.


Makes a lot more sense. Have been doing bunpro lessons on よう、ように、ような、みたい、みたいに、そう、そうに、そうな so everything is like to me at the moment!


phew, and finished for the week.
first time I’m trying to translate fully…

thank you for help & you patience @omk3 @MrGeneric @ChristopherFritz especially


Thanks for all the discussion up to this point! Page 11 and 13 were especially tricky for me!

I still have two questions of my own:

Page 13

I’m not fully confident about my translation of:

My translation so far:
お前たちの: your
活動: activities
内容: contents
何: what
だった: was

Put it together: What was the nature (contents) of your activities?

My main question here is about 活動内容. Why is there no の? I understand that in Japanese there are compound nouns but usually they have an entry in jisho (which is not the case here…). Is the の just omitted? Is there a rule which nouns can be compounded and which ones have to be connected with の?

Page 14


I think I understand what 琴葉 is saying, but I’m unsure about a couple of things:
ブッ: ?? :face_with_monocle: not sure at all what that is supposed to mean… My current theory is that it’s the katakana version of ぶつ (to hit, to beat) with a small つ. But could be something else entirely as well :man_shrugging:
殺したかったんだ: I feel that I know too little grammar for that one…
My current breakdown:
The verb is 殺す (to kill). た: indicates past tense. かったです/かっただ: would like to, want to.
wanted to kill
So the thing I’m missing is ん. In my very rudimentary understanding, this is either a form of the explanatory の or a form of the negative ない. In this case I would go with the latter, although I currently have no idea how to distinguish the two meanings (any suggestion for ressources on this topic are highly appreciated!)
And then, of course が is still left… I have no idea what to do with this particle in this sentence… It’s placed after a verb, which can’t be the subject of the sentence… so :woman_shrugging:

Putting everything together: I didn’t want to beat you to death.
But I think it probably says: I don’t want to kill you anymore. To me, the past tense doesn’t seem to fit into the sentence…

TLDR: I have 3 question about what 琴葉 is saying:

  1. What is ブッ?
  2. What is the meaning of ん in 殺したかったんだ?
  3. Why is there が at the end of the sentence?



ぶっ殺す=to beat to death, to kill
There’s also ブッ as a prefix, meaning strongly; violently; quickly; suddenly​, and yes, it comes from 打つ as you correctly guessed, as they share the same kanji, if kanji is used at all.

殺したかった is the past form of 殺したい, want to kill.

ん or の is usually called explanatory の. It basically bundles everything before it into a single unit, making it something like “the thing is that…”. It does have an explanatory tone even in English, but it’s not always used to strictly explain.

As for が, that’s a “but”. It’s often used at the end of sentences with nothing following it, and its role is to soften the tone.

So putting it all together, “The thing is, I wanted to brutally kill you, but (I’ll keep you as a pet instead/ I got over it/never mind that)”


I don’t have an answer for this, but in a situation like this I like to do some web searches and see how many results there are.

Search Results
“活動内容” 16,000,000
“活動の内容” 22,500,000
“活動の内容” -“活動内容” 19,200,000

It looks like both with and without の have many results. At best, we can infer that 活動内容 is fairly common usage.


Thanks! That makes more sense!


One thing to keep in mind when reading how I “translate” things: Unless I am breaking down a sentence piece by piece, and then Frankenstein-ing it together to keep the Japanese grammar 100% intact so as to explain a specific point, when I give a translation, it’s already been filtered through English grammar, so it’s more of an interpretation than a direct translation. The reason why my interpretation for that specific sentence sounded more natural is because I have skipped the step of “Here is the exact Japanese structure” translation and gone straight to shuffling things around for the English structure and giving a natural-sounding English sentence.

To give an example, if I were I to “show my work,” so to speak, on the sentence you were asking about, keeping the Japanese structure intact:

Breakdown example

見たとこ = short for みたところ, “judging from appearances”

お前に = “you,” with a に particle attached, indicating the verb is being done to this

懐いてる = 懐く, in て form

みたいだし = みたいです, casual form, with a し sentence ender, which is sometimes used to give a reason, the English “so” works fairly well as a similar device in this context

I would consider that one “unit”, and stop there to get:

“Judging from appearances, to you (the cat) seems to be becoming attached, so”

Then I would move on to the next “unit”

悪さ = “mischief”

しない = “to do”, in negative form

よう = I took the “way; method of” meaning, it’s a suffix that turns the preceding verb into a noun

しつけてやれ = しつける in conjunctive て form + やれ in command form, so “do training,” roughly

Second unit becomes, with more twists and turns required than the first:

“(In) the way of not doing mischief, train (the cat).”

Putting both units together:

“Judging from appearances, to you (the cat) seems to be becoming attached, so in the way of not doing mischief, train (the cat).”

Which is really awkward and wordy, but (mostly) retains the Japanese grammar. After that, I just sorta go to what sounds intuitive, and it’s not a far leap to the more natural:

“By the looks of it, it’s grown attached to you. Train it not to misbehave.”

I dropped the extra “seems to be” because in English that “by the looks of it,” or “judging from appearances” covers that, and it’s redundant. I also sort of changed the tense of the “becoming attached to,” to a more past-tense “has grown attached to”, just because that sounds more natural in English. As for why I dropped the “so” conjunctive, honestly, that was just me forgetting about the し, to an extent. We don’t necessarily need the “so” in English, though, since that second sentence following the first sort of implies it, in my head (though that could just be because I’m vaguely aware of the し existing, and thus ascribe that to it. Perhaps out of context, it wouldn’t sound as if it has any implication at all.)

Regardless, that’s the basic process that I would go through when interpreting into English. It was how I broke things down when I first started out, and even now, if I run into a particularly difficult sentence, I’ll do that, but for the most part, nowadays when I read, I’m actually just reading, not deciphering, to use @ChristopherFritz’s terms, and like when reading English, I just sort of “know” what the sentence is trying to say without having to go through that process, though admittedly much more slowly than I comprehend things in English, and I run into far more Japanese sentences that I have to think about than English ones, as well as often having to re-read to catch mistakes (like thinking that Kotoha was the one speaking, just as a recent example).

The best comparison for how my reading feels nowadays I can think of is it’s like reading a highly technical/specialized textbook or research paper in my native English. I know what most of the words mean, excluding some jargon, and I understand the grammar mostly, but when put together while describing a difficult subject, I have to slow down and pay more attention, and have to either look up or guess from context what the jargon or certain words mean. Simple Japanese now feels like highly-complicated English to me, if that makes sense? I’m bad at analogies and explaining myself. Haha.

The tl;dr of that breakdown, by the way, is that the reason why my translation didn’t sound as clunky is because it wasn’t a direct translation so much as an interpretation.


A perfect analogy, actually. That’s exactly what reading Japanese feels like for me too! The words are mostly known (or easily looked-up), the grammar is mostly there, but putting it all together still often takes considerable mental effort. :slightly_smiling_face:


To catch a criminal, you have to be able to think like one. The crawling was cute. Got a bit of whiplash when it cut to the criminal post - capture, but the clues were there all along! And here I just thought they had those glasses cause they’re whacky and it’s fun to write in something whacky.

Not much to say on the reading front, it’s a comfy read but I still have issues with a few nuances that were already covered by all the conversation in this thread, so thanks a lot to everyone answering AND everyone asking things. The couple things I wanted to know had already been asked, which made this very simple <3.

That してみたかった took me embarrassingly long to work out because my brain has an absolute mental block about line splits in manga that aren’t very cleanly separate words. Something I have to work on forcing myself to look at for sure. Don’t tell anyone :shushing_face:


If I could like this twice, I would have done. :grinning:

I understand your point completely, when reading basic graded readers now, I can comprehend it without having to break it down literally.


I’ve got a few small questions about the verb in the last panel of page 10. First, I can’t tell if it’s 踏んでろ or 踏んでる. The last kana has a little curl but it’s not closed… it’s ろ or る?


Assuming it’s 踏んでる, I think it’s a te-iru form (Kotoba is stepping on her), but why it’s not 踏んでいる? The places where I looked for the te-iru conjugation didn’t mention rules about dropping the い.

If the verb is 踏んでろ, I have the additional question of… why ろ? I only know いろ as the imperative form of いる, but she’s not saying “don’t step on me!”, my translation was “You’re stepping on me!” so the imperative doesn’t seem to fit.


It’s る. With enough exposure to comics, you get used to the various fonts that get used. Some of them are really crazy, and some are a bit difficult to read.

Examples from other manga:

i_0085x i-102x

The い in て+いる gets dropped often in speech. It’s really common, sort of like how in English we typically say “can’t” rather than “cannot”, and “won’t” rather than “will not”.


If the little curl is there, it’s always る, regardless of whether it’s closed or not.


Wonderful discussion, thanks again for all of the questions asked here as I had many of the same when I read through it earlier this week. Also realizing that this time things that weren’t clear were more often because of implicit meaning by things not explicitly said or me misreading a few particles (particularly に vs. は) so it’s feeling like progress!

I have a few smaller questions that I think are answered yet.

  1. Page 10, 4th panel: This was already asked by @basoomie but I don’t think it was answered: Why is there a な in これはなこうやって猫の目線になることで?

  2. Page 11 first two panels are しってる and だろうな which translate to me to “I’m knowing” and “right”. Why are we using the て form in the first panel, and is だろう being said by Kotoha or by Sacchan?

  3. Page 12 3rd panel: おやじもしかしてそのメガネ. I’ve translated this as below, but I feel like I’m missing some context.

  • おやじ: Old man
  • もしかして: Maybe
  • そのメガネ: These glasses
Pg. 10, 4th Panel

I’ll quote past me to answer the first question.

Pg. 11, First Two Panels

知ってる is in て form because that’s the correct way to say you know something; you haven’t stopped knowing it, so it’s not in the past, and it’s not something you are going to learn because you actively know it. So, て form to indicate currently being aware of something.

だろう is being said by Sacchan. I would say that the meaning is closer to the, “I thought you’d say that!” meaning than the “Right?” meaning. It’s a bit sarcastic. In English, the exchange might sound more natural if worded this way,

Sacchan: “Kotoha-chan, you’re stepping on me!”

Kotoha-chan: “I know I am.”

Sacchan: “I bet you do!” (with a vitriolic/sarcastic tone)

At least, that’s my take. Somebody else might disagree.

Pg. 12, 3rd Panel

You have the translation exactly right, but I think the context you’re missing is that you haven’t tied it into the next part of the speech bubble. It might help if you inserted a は topic marker after the bit you translated:

おやじもしかしてそのメガネ (は) パンダみたいな猫盗まれなかったか?

“Pops, weren’t these glasses stolen by a panda-like cat?”

It’s just that in casual speech, particles like は often get dropped, so because of that, Kotoha didn’t use it in her speech.


@MrGeneric already did the heavy lifting here, so I’ll see what I can add to that.

One of the visual clues here is the shapes of the word balloons.

Kotoha’s word balloons across the rest of the page, even when she’s speaking with a raised voice, all use the regular rounded shape.

In the middle panel, we can see Sacchan’s word balloons have straighter lines, and sharper edges. This matches her dialogue in the top and bottom panels, where it’s otherwise not clear who’s speaking due to lack of a tail on the balloon. The shape of the balloon signifies that Sacchan’s not speaking normally, but may be crying out or struggling/straining.

(Yui’s word balloon does as well, but other elements make it clear that it’s Yui talking in the final panel on the page.)


Yeah, it’s basically a thinking noise. Pretty much exactly how you’d use “y’know” in casual English - as a pause while you compose the rest of the sentence in your head. “Well this is, y’know, like, getting a cat’s-eye view.”