Me coming from an English native language background, I always enjoy breaking a sentence down into its topic-comment pair.
Here, we have the topic 「ヒーロー」. The comment will be something about the topic of heroes.
Side comment: Why do I say “heroes” (plural) rather than “hero” (singular)? It comes down to context. It may seem strange for us learners that Japanese doesn’t specify singular or plural, but it’s actually not as weird as it may at first seem. When it comes to English, all plural tells us is that it’s more than one. But “heroes” (plural) doesn’t tell us if it’s referring to two heroes, or three heroes, or a hundred heroes. And just as “heroes” doesn’t distinguish between how many heroes it as (aside from being more than one), 「ヒーロー」 similarly does not distinguish between how many.
Back to Sacchan’s line, her comment about heroes is:
We have の which turns the clause before it into a noun, so let’s look at that portion on its own first:
The core of this clause is 「働く」, which as a sentence on its own would mean “They (do) work”. The subject is often unspecified, as it’s known by context, so I went ahead and used the pronoun “they” which similarly doesn’t specify who the known-by-context subject is. (Since the topic is about heroes, we can infer in this scene that heroes are the subject who are working.)
The particle だけ specifies a limit. It’s saying what it’s attached to (ピンチの時) is a limit. Here, the limit is essential “when in a crisis” (“pinch time”).
If when you do work is limited to when you are in a crisis, then you get 「ヒーローはピンチの時だけ働く」, “Heroes only work when in a crisis.” You’ll find that this だけ limit is often translated as “only”. The words 「だけ」 and “only” have different meanings/uses, but they overlap. You can’t always use “only” as a translation, but you often can.
Now, that’s not the end of the sentence. We’re taking 「ピンチの時だけ働く」 as a noun (thanks to the の) after it, giving us “working only when in a crisis” as our noun.
Attached to that clause-as-a-noun is ではない. I’m not good at explaining this one, because I never formally learned the grammar behind it. My understanding is that the normal noun ending (copula) だ is short for ではある, and the negative (じゃない) would then be ではない. In other words, “isn’t”.
Because the clause is turned into a noun, that means this is a noun sentence: “(Subject) is (noun).”
Putting this all together, and sticking a bit to the Japanese structure, “As for heroes, it isn’t that they are working only when in a crisis.”
And since heroes don’t work only when in a crisis, these little heroes are having a training day today.
This use of って is used to make a topic out of 「かくれんぼだ」, similar to the function of は. Since って is used for quoting, it’s sort of like saying “speaking of …” or “talking about …”. Essentially, “Speaking of hide-and-seek, doesn’t it make for good hiding and seeking training?”
In the sense that she’s establishing a topic that she then makes a comment on, you can definitely say that this って linked the two sentences together.
「東大デモクラシー」 is a difficult one, as Sacchan is bungling an expression: 「灯台下暗し」, “it is darkest under the lamp post”.
She’s saying since this she and Kotoha are hiding on the other side of the tree where Yui is counting.
And yes, lines like this are a nightmare for us learners of Japanese as a second language. I credit this posting for helping me out on this one. (Warning: Contains spoilers.)
Her Nintendo 3DS system has a function where if she passes by someone else who has a 3DS and the same game as her, they’ll exchange game data, which can give her an item or some other advantage. Following that, Kotoha in panel three laments that this doesn’t happen often in the park.
立入禁止, meaning “entering forbidden” (“off-limits”).
By the way, 入 vs 人 was my very first ever misread kanji back when I was starting out learning Japanese. This was back when computers in the home were still rare, so all my exposure to the two was written, and 人 looked more like a backward 入.
As for the sign, anyone out there with a physical copy who can read the small print on it? I see it starts with 上野, but I can’t make out the rest.
Oops. I’m using the extension to auto-add furigana to my kanji on here, and it sometimes misses furigana on longer kanji. I failed to check for that one, as I got distracted by the tiny kanji that’s illegible on the digital version of the page. I’ve corrected it now; thanks!
There’s something strangely satisfying when you type a word into the vocab sheet and the little stars in the frequency column appear! And also disappointing when you thought you were typing in a relatively common word and no stars appear…
What is Yui doing on page 48?
Page 50 - The sound effect says ミーンミンミーン - I think this is the sound of cicadas in the background:
Page 52, panel 2: このゲームはちゃんと血が出る, is this This game is very violent (because a lot of blood is coming out)?
Page 53, panel 3: でも公園より外には出ないよね. This one is confusing me in part because I only know より as “less than” from Genki’s lesson for より and のほうが. I guessed But I don’t think to leave the park but DeepL gave me But you don’t go much further out than the park
As always, thanks for the help in getting through this!
I prefer to think of より as roughly “compared to, in relation to”. Looking it up on Jisho or any other dictionary you’ll find it can be used in lots more ways than just with のほうが. This phrase would be “But in relation to the park we don’t go outside” , or more simply, “But we don’t go out of the park.”
There’s some debate because Gravatar says it was public data. I opened my account there like decades ago so I don’t remember what settings I used but I’m pretty sure I’d have never agreed to having my email made public. So I just nuked my Gravatar account for good.