可愛いだけじゃない式守さん・ Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie ❤️‍🩹 Week 1 Discussion Thread (Absolute Beginners Book Club)

Welcome to Week 1 of the Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie book club!

We are reading as part of the Absolute Beginner Book Club!


Week 1 December 16 2023
Pages 3-8
Chapter 1
Next week Week 2
Home Thread 可愛いだけじゃない式守さん・ Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie


可愛いだけじゃない式守さ Volume 1 Vocabulary List - Google Sheets

Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.

Please note that this was auto-generated and might need some additional editing, but it should serve as a solid starting point. If you have any questions/doubts, please post them in this thread!

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So this manga kinda does the same thing as Horimiya, iwth random handwritten pieces of text dotted around the pages, but thankfully not in this chapter, so I’ll be taking @MrGeneric’s example, and finally learning how to read helping newcomers by transcribing it.


Still following book club tradition I see


Great. That is one of the first questions I had. I was writing up a post to ask exactly about that. Here is what I have so far.

Some of the things in the background look like they should be katakana words, but looking them up in a 辞書 either doesn’t yield any results or don’t really make sense. Is it just for stylistic effect or perhaps I’m just reading them wrong? I think maybe some of them are supposed to be onomatopoeia.

In the bottom pane of page 3 (background text spoiler):

The characters on the right look like ボソオツ and then in the middle バア。。。, and on the left ガン.

In the top pane of page 4 (background text spoiler):

The characters appear to be ム and スッ.

In the 2nd pane from the top of page 4 (background text spoiler):

Looks like ムー.

In the 3rd pane from the top on the left of page 4 (background text spoiler):

Looks like ガッ.

In the pane on the bottom right of page 4 (background text spoiler):

Looks like 7オオォ.


Yep, onomatopoeia, same as “BANG” would be in western cartoons. I don’t personally consider them handwritten “text” though, they are a bit special.

There is a magical method to finding these in the dictionary. First of all, place a と after them. 99% of the time, these will appear like that in dictionaries. Secondly, you might need to shift around some of the elongated stuff, they are often elongated after the fact (like how BAAAAANG or CRAAAASH would be written to indicate a drawn out sound).


that’s a small つ at the end for ボソオッ, and you need to get rid of the extra お to find

That middle one is actually just ハア, no dakuten. This is just a sigh.

ガン is one of those rare occasions, where in most dictionaries it’s without a と


That’s one big interjection, ムスッ

The second one is I think just ムッ

Third one is indeed ガッ
(And this time it’s not a cat)
Btw, this pane comes before the next one you list.

That’s not a 7, that’s ブ. Besides that, I believe this is just a car sound or something


And maybe this time I’ll read the handwritten text sections instead of skipping them like i did with horimiya


I mean, with Horimiya, you kinda had to choose between squinting at 3 pixels for hours or skipping handwritten text. I personally skipped it almost always…


This is also just the regular furigana in horimiya :upside_down_face:


This is super helpful. It didn’t even occur to me to treat the vowels as elongated, but it definitely makes sense when you point it out given that type of thing is super common in comics in general. Thanks!


Following up on the onomatopoeia:

p4 bottom right pane (background text spoiler)

Nice. I thought it was ブ at first, but when I couldn’t find anything I second guess myself and thought maybe the lines were just the typical lines pointing at the dialog bubble.

With your help, I found this stack exchange post about onomatopoeia for vehicle engines that claims ブオ(ー)ン or ブオオ is used when a car is going faster/increasing the speed which fits nicely with the context I think.

It also has some other variants for other situations.


My question is from page 3 (online version). Off to a lovely start, I know lol

Page 3


I know the 可愛くない means not cute. I’m not 100% sure about the rest of it. Also, I don’t know if that あ is small it looks like it though lol

I’m proud of myself because I understood a decent chunk of the speech bubbles text! So, hey! Didn’t get my soul completely crushed the first chapter.

Pg. 3

んだ = のだ, contracted (very often in casual speech, you will see の – and る sounds followed by a の – contracted into an ん). のだ is essentially “explanatory” in nature, implying that the speaker is introducing new information. In English, we would usually just have a tone of voice to indicate something is an explanation, but in Japanese, they actually have a sentence ending for it. I have seen this ~のだ phrased as, “It is that ~”, so that can be a useful (if clunky) reminder of what it brings to the sentence if you struggle to remember it is explanatory.

よなぁ = Yep! It is a small ぁ, indicating it is dragging out the vowel before, and is just an extra character for that purpose. With that in mind, よな is two sentence ending particles combined into one. You’ll see the same thing happen with よね, and the meaning of the two often overlap. よ adds a bit of assertiveness, and strengthens the んだ “new information” nuance. The な is essentially a more “masculine” (or slightly more assertive) ね. It basically just adds a slight “thinking out loud” vibe in this sentence, seeking confirmation to some degree (though of course, unintentionally, since he didn’t mean to say this out loud).


Wow super helpful, thanks ! :smiley: I had the same question^^
I often see なあ at the end of sentences in manga and now I know why !

Top left pane p. 5

I don’t understand あっ and ぶな : are they the beginning of some words ?

Except for these two things and the vocabulary I searched for, I understood the rest quite well, I’m glad :blush:


あぶない, just said like
That was…
Sort of


Further reading on のだ, with explanation and manga examples:


Hi all,

In the top left pane of page 3


Is the とても part the vocab word or the grammar point listed below.

How would one distinguish wich to apply?


  1. とても

That movie was really interesting!

The new employee works very hard.

Expresses an extreme degree of something. Very, remarkably, extremely.

Pg. 3

In all seriousness, a lot of Japanese “grammar points” are just vocabulary that is used in specific functions regularly. とても literally just means “very; really.”

Notice that in English, you could use them interchangeably in both of your examples.

“That movie was very interesting” means the same thing as “really interesting”

Similarly you could say, “The new employee works really hard,” and it would have the same meaning as “very hard.”

You don’t need to distinguish between whether this is とても the “vocab” or とても the “grammar,” because they are one and the same! :blush:


Thanks for explanation. Will help me when I come across more similar point.

Love the office reference.

@ChristopherFritz Thank you referring that post.


Hello! Excited to be trying the ABBC again! Life got very busy for me last spring, however I’ve been able to resume dedicated Japanese study this fall. I wanted to clarify my understanding on page 5 & 6

Page 5-6


I’m reading the まったく on the earlier page as a connecting statement, resulting in something like, “You really don’t bother me at all.”

Thanks to everyone contributing to this lovely resource :partying_face:


まったく is very commonly said just as is. It translates roughly to “geez”, or “for f**** sake”.
困らせる to be bothered, which is put into negative imperative (because of the sentence final ないで), so it’s actually “don’t bother me”, or more affectionately, “don’t make me work so much”
So I’d translate this whole thing as
Don’t make me work so much”