可愛いだけじゃない式守さん・ Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ❤️‍🩹 (Absolute Beginner Book Club) - On Week 12!

Welcome to the 可愛いだけじゃない式守さん・ Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie Book Club!

This is the main thread for reading the manga along with the Absolute Beginner Book Club here on the forums. If you have a bit of experience with Japanese, but you are still easing into reading, then this would be a good place to start! If you have questions about whether or not you think you’re ready, feel free to ask them here, or in the ABBC main thread, but also please check out @ChristopherFritz’s guide for joining the Absolute beginner book club.

Even if this is your first manga, don’t stress! We have plenty of people here who are more than willing to help answer any and all questions you may have.

可愛いだけじゃない式守さん・ Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie

If you want to see a preview of the manga before you start, check the Nomination Post here!

Also be sure to check out the book on Natively!

Where to purchase

Digital: Amazon JPBookwalkerKobo
Physical: Amazon JPCDJapanMangaRepublic


Week Start Date Chapters Page Numbers Pages with text
Week 1 December 16th 1 3-8 4
Week 2 December 23rd 2 9-14 5
Week 3 December 30th 3-4 15-26 12
Week 4 January 6th 5-6 27-38 11
Week 5 January 13th 7-8 39-54 10
Week 6 January 20th 9 55-64 8
Week 7 January 27th 10 65-78 12
Week 8 February 3rd 11 79-88 8
Week 9 February 10th 12-13 89-100 10
Week 10 February 17th 13.5-14 101-114 12
Week 11 February 24th 15-16 115-130 15
Week 12 March 2nd おまけ 131-141 11

*Note, all page numbers are based on the ones indicated in the manga itself, the digital version seemingly adds 4 onto this, so page 3 becomes page 7, 10 becomes 14 and so on*


Thanks to @ChristopherFritz for generating the vocabulary sheet.

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

The sheet was autogenerated, so if you see something that you think shouldn’t be there, feel free to correct it, or at the very least ask in the week’s thread.

Discussion Guidelines

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the book than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) needs to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as coming from later sections.
Instructions for Spoiler Tags

Click the cog above the text box and use either the “Hide Details” or “Blur Spoiler” options. The text which says “This text will be hidden” should be replaced with what you are wishing to write. In the case of “Hide Details”, the section in the brackets that is labelled “Summary” can be replaced with whatever you like also (i.e, [details=”Chapter 1, Pg. 1”]).

Hide Details results in the dropdown box like below:


This is an example of the “Hide Details” option.

The “Blur Spoiler” option will simply blur the text it surrounds.

This is an example of the “Blur Spoiler” option.

Posting Advice

  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked. As the threads get longer, it becomes more convenient to use the Search function, which is located in the upper right corner of the forum. It is the magnifying glass which is near your profile picture! The best way to search is usually to type part of the sentence you are confused about, and select “in this topic”. This will show you all posts within the current thread which has that string of text.

  • Be sure to join the conversation! It’s fun, and it’s what keeps these book clubs lively! There’s no such thing as a stupid question! We are all learning here, and if the question has crossed your mind, there’s a very good chance it has crossed somebody else’s also! Asking and answering questions is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, so never hesitate to do so!


Will you be reading with us?
  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Maybe
  • No
0 voters

If you have already read the book but will be following along with the club, please select “Yes”

How will you be reading?
  • Digital
  • Physical
  • I’m not sure yet
0 voters

Don’t forget to set this thread to Watching in order to be notified when weekly threads get posted!


Additional Polls

Have you joined book clubs before?
  • This is my first book club
  • I’ve joined the Absolute Beginner Book Club before
  • I’ve joined the Beginner Book Club before
  • I’ve joined the Intermediate Book Club before
  • I’ve joined the Advanced Book Club before
0 voters

(Select the highest that applies)

What’s your reading experience?
  • This is my first manga
  • I’ve read other manga, but only easier ones than this
  • I’ve read other manga or books around this level
  • I’ve read other manga or books that are harder than this one
0 voters

(Select the highest that applies)

Don’t be afraid to say that this is your first book club or your first manga. That’s exactly what this club is about! Also don’t be intimidated if you see a lot of people saying they’ve read other manga or books that are harder than this, as that just means there’s more people who will be able to help you when you have questions. :grin:

(Thanks, @TobiasW, for this poll format!)


Some things to keep in mind while beginning your first manga

  • The biggest thing to be aware of is that when you first start reading, it’s likely not going to really feel like reading as you know it in your native language. It’s much closer to doing a puzzle. You’ll be seeing and deciphering bits of information that you recognize and trying to match it up with the things you don’t know to try and pull meaning from the context. It’s going to be an exercise in patience, and it won’t always be easy. It might not seem like it in the moment, but you are learning and picking up information. @ChristopherFritz has mentioned many times in many places throughout the forums that the brain is a pattern-recognition machine. He’s right. As you continue to read and expose your brain to the grammar patterns, it will pick them up. Some grammar points will come more naturally than others – they’ll be obvious in context, or the English explanation will be all it takes to understand it. Other points, you might see 10, 20, 30 or even more times before it sticks. I still have grammar points that I forget and have to look back up, even now. It’s a totally natural part of the process, and we’ve all gone through the stage where we’ve wondered if it even counts as reading when you are spending that much time with the vocabulary sheet, or grammar resources, in between looking at the pages of the manga. It does count, and if you stick with it (as long as you are enjoying the process at least some!), it will net results. Those results will come a little easier if you make sure to utilize the resources I’ll be linking below and to ask questions in the discussion threads!

  • On that note, when you come across things that are difficult to understand, please, please, please feel free to ask in the discussion threads! If you have a question, there’s a good chance that somebody else does as well, and even if there wasn’t somebody else with the same question, answering the questions is a great way for some of us to take a closer look at something we thought we knew, and realize that there was some nuance we were missing. Asking and answering questions is a fantastic way to learn, and it’s a big reason why I’m a bit of an evangelist for the book clubs. It’s such a fantastic resource, with a wealth of knowledge that is just waiting for you to access it! The biggest thing I always like to stress is that there is no such thing as a silly/stupid question in learning environments. Every question is a good question, no matter how basic it might seem!

  • Be aware that sometimes you might come across a sentence that just makes no sense and you have no idea what it is. In those cases, of course, always feel free to ask about it in the thread, but also consider moving past that sentence and reading the next one or two. I can’t even count how many times I’ve looked at a sentence and wondered, “What the heck is this character saying?” only for another character to ask the other character the exact same thing because what was said was essentially nonsense or some complicated jargon that the author will break down and explain in the following panels. :joy:

Something that may be worth mentioning: While I don't know if it will show up in this manga for sure, it could come in handy: sometimes the furigana on a kanji is NOT how that kanji is actually read (a situation known as 義訓 (ぎくん). For more information, click the arrow!

It is quite often the case that, if the furigana doesn’t directly match the kanji, it’s an attempt to insert some double-meaning and make a joke.

From “The Way of the Househusband”, in which 包丁, referring to a kitchen knife and which would usually be read as ほうちょう, is given the furigana ヤッパ, a slang-y term that is used by Yakuza members to describe a blade (like a weapon, not just a normal kitchen knife, generally). A lot of the humour of this manga is directly related to other characters misunderstanding this character because of how he speaks. The kanji is used to indicate to the reader that what he really means is a kitchen knife, but the furigana is what he says out loud, hence the concerned reaction of the gentleman to whom he is speaking.

More commonly in shounen manga, however, and something you’ll see in games quite often as well, is that something like attack/skill/technique/magic/etc names will be written as English words, or in katakana, and the kanji will be explaining the basic “idea” of what the attack actually represents. You’ll also often see this for organization names and the like, or unique in-universe titles/events.

From Tales of the Abyss, where 神託の盾 (which would be read: しんたくのたて if the proper furigana for those particular kanji were used “Shield of the Oracle”) is called オラクル or “Oracle”. (Incidentally, the group is called “Oracle Knights” in the English version of the game). As with the Househusband example, the furigana indicates what is being spoken by the character, and the kanji indicates to the audience what the actual meaning is.

From Cardcaptor Sakura. 封印解除, a made-up compound of the words 封印・解除 (actual furigana for those kanji: ふういん・かいじょ), given レリーズ as furigana, which would be the English word “release”.

Grammar and Vocabulary Resources

Here is a list of the resources that I found absolutely invaluable when I first started out reading.

For unknown vocabulary, if it isn’t already in the vocabulary sheet, whether they be all-kana or kanji, I tend to use:

Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary

It’s an intuitive interface, and you’ll find a lot there, though it doesn’t have everything, so keep that in mind! One major pro, though it doesn’t necessarily pertain to this manga, given that it has furigana, is there are “Search by Drawing” and “Search by Radical” options, so even without furigana, you should be able to find a kanji on that site!


英和辞典・和英辞典 - Weblio辞書

Is also a great source for finding words. It will also often give you a great list of example sentences, so you can see those words in context!

The downside is that the interface is primarily in Japanese, and if there’s a way to change that, I’ve not found it yet (also haven’t bothered to search around for it much), so it is a bit more difficult to use than Jisho, though the interface itself remains intuitive.

For looking up grammar, I’ll either literally just type the grammar point + grammar into google. (I.e., “てくれる grammar”), and look at those results, or I’ll consult a few different sites:

Bunpro has a free grammar reference (the only paid portion of the program is the SRS, I believe), and has decent, concise explanations of many grammar points.

JLPT Sensei | Learn Japanese & Study for the JLPT (日本能力試験の勉強) is pretty decent at breaking down grammar points and giving example sentences, though much like Jisho, it doesn’t have everything! It does have a very intuitive interface, however.

Maggie Sensei is very good at breaking things down in a way that’s easy for me to understand. One of the big downsides, however, is that she is very much a “wall-of-text” explainer, and with all the different colors she uses to color-code grammar points, the site can quickly give you a bit of sensory overload. Ctrl+F is your best friend on her website, in my experience, though once you find what you’re looking for, she does a good job of breaking those points down.

Organic Japanese with Cure Dolly - YouTube If you aren’t much a fan of reading your grammar, and have better luck with videos, this channel comes highly recommended by a number of people. In my experience, she does a good job of making some particularly difficult points make sense, once she stops pontificating on how her method is the best method. I also have a hard time with the voice, but the downsides are definitely outweighed by the upsides of her explanations.

Japanese Language Stack Exchange For some of the more difficult grammar questions, sometimes the best results are in Q&A forums like stackexchange or HiNative! I always take these sites with a grain of salt, but they can be useful in finding some answers on the off-chance that nobody in the book club knows an answer for sure! (One of the fun things about Japanese is its ambiguity, after all, so even when you think you know something, sometimes it’s hard to be sure!)

Ichi Moe. It does a fairly decent job in breaking down sentences to individual grammar points and words, so that you can maybe piece together meaning from there. This is especially useful when you come across a sentence that you just can’t crack the logic behind, as it separates everything out in an easy-to-read manner, and also can often tell you if something is an idiom! It’s not perfect however, and especially once you hit more slang-y Japanese, or you put in names, it starts to not do the job as well. My suggestion for sentences with names: replace the name with a pronoun like 彼 or 彼女. This just helps the parser out a little bit and can give you a better result sometimes!

Finally, the weapon of last resort: a translator. Sometimes you might find that you have a very difficult time parsing something, and there’s just no way it’s making sense. In desperation, you turn to Google Translate. If you’re lucky, it spits out something comprehensible. More often than not, though, because Japanese is such a contextual language, it requires more context before it could possibly help you out. If you absolutely feel that you have to go to a translator, I would recommend DeepL Translate over Google Translate, hands-down.

I’m going to supplement this with this major warning:

It REALLY should be your weapon of last resort. You will almost always get a better answer talking it out with the book club, with people who are reading the same book as you, than from a translator which doesn’t have any context to the situation from which you are feeding it a sentence. This is especially the case in Japanese, which relies so heavily on context. The translator can break down to a few different scenarios:

  1. You put your sentence in, and the translator gives you an answer that makes sense, and it’s actually correct. (Best-case Scenario)

  2. You put your sentence in, and the translator gives you an answer that doesn’t make any sense, and it’s wrong. (Bad scenario, but not the worst-case)

  3. You put your sentence in, and the translator gives you an answer that makes sense, but it’s WRONG. (Worst-case scenario)

The problem is, that if you are fairly early in your Japanese journey, you might not be able to differentiate between Scenario 1 and Scenario 3, and you’ll go on with a misunderstanding on how a phrase is used, or what it means. That’s why I say it’s absolutely a last resort, and should be avoided, but I’d rather give a link to a translator that’s a bit more accurate than Google to try and equip you a little bit better.

And the last little bit of my rambles here will be talking about the Search Function that is part of the forums here.

While the discussion threads are excellent resources, if you’re maybe chiming in a little later, it can feel like an absolute chore to read through every post trying to find the answer to what you need – especially if the book clubs are as lively as we want them to be! :wink:

But fear not, the Search Function will get you taken care of. It’s quite easy to use and relatively robust (at least as far as forum search functions go)!

Using the Search Function

You might have no idea what I’m even talking about. No worries! The search function is really easy to find. You can either use Ctrl + F while in the forum (on Windows; I can’t speak to Mac for sure, but I assume it’s just Cmd + F) to open up the search, or you can simply click the magnifying glass that is next to your profile!

If you used the keyboard shortcut, it will default to searching in the specific thread. Otherwise, if you use the magnifying glass, just click the bit that says “in this topic”


From there, it’s super simple. Just type what you’re looking for.

My usual advice for using the search function is to use a section of the sentence that you have questions about. You can search by page number, if people are marking their questions and answers correctly, but sometimes, that gets missed, so it’s better to search by text, in my opinion.

As an example, say I had a question about a sentence in the first chapter of Teasing Master Takagi-san: 「ゆがんじゃったのかなー、ちょっと西片あけてくんない?」Let’s pretend I have no idea what 「じゃった」is specifically.

I go to the thread to see if that question has already been answered. There are over 500 posts in that week’s discussion thread, so reading through every single post is hardly an option. I would just pull up my handy-dandy search and type ゆがんじゃった (the more you can narrow it down while keeping it unique to the sentence that you are searching for, the better. It makes it easier to find instances where somebody asked a question, but maybe didn’t post the full sentence. In this case, I chose ゆがん as the presumably unique part of the sentence that will keep it relevant to my question, and of course, I included じゃった since that is the part I have a question about in this hypothetical). I am then given a list of each post that has that exact phrase, complete with previews that can make it easier to judge which comment is likely to have the answer I’m searching for:

In this specific instance, it looks like the question was originally asked by VikingSchism (since that’s the top result), with an answer by Phryne. Looks like it could have used more explanation, though, since it continues to get discussed. You’ll start to recognize some faces and names answering questions – pretty much every time, if you see an answer by ChristopherFritz, it’s worth clicking, and that’s certainly the case here as well. :wink:

And… that’s it. It’s really that simple. Use the search function by typing portions of what you have questions about, and you’ll have an easy way to click through a couple of posts instead of a couple of hundred. :grin:


So, a fun fact: like Horimiya, Shikimori is another manga which started life on Twitter. Unlike Horimiya, however, Shikimori wasn’t re-written for the actual manga release, so you’ll find that volume one has a fairly repetitive pattern of very short strips - page one, Izumi does a thing; page two, Shikimori saves him from the thing; page three, Shikimori strikes a cool pose. It’s not until volume two that the series actually starts developing a storyline. So if you get through this volume and want to continue the series, there’s a reward. :slightly_smiling_face:


(This is also a huge treat when making a schedule, because there is a new chapter every few pages)

The history of chapter page counts in the Absolute Beginner Book Club.





Now onto the usual “early book club talk”. Currently planning the schedule, it is in fact nice, that the chapters are (usually) this short - most are actually in the 4-8 range - but man, is this manga text heavy sometimes.

Because it’s quite short, I’m aiming for a 12 week schedule currently, but advice is welcome.

Sofar it looks like this:

Week Chapters Pages with text
1 1 4
2 2 5
3 3-4 12
4 5-6 11
5 7-8 10
6 9 8
7 10 12
8 11 8
9 12-13 10
10 13.5-14 12
11 15-16 15
12 おまけ 11
For those that either are curious or want to suggest a better schedule, data
Chapter Pages Pages with text
1 6 4
2 6 5
3 6 6
4 6 6
5 6 6
6 6 5
7 6 3
8 10 7
9 10 8
10 12 12
11 10 8
12 4 4
13 8 6
13.5 10 8
14 4 4
15 4 4
16 12 11
おまけ 11 11

(Yes, there are only about 18 text free pages)


Here’s the link for the vocabulary list:

Key points:

  • This is not yet complete.
  • I removed duplicate entries per chapter.
  • There are likely names and mis-parsings of names that need to be removed.
    • I removed the name 「和泉」 as I happened to see it, but I haven’t checked for others as I haven’t pulled up a name list for the series/volume.
  • I basically skipped over all handwritten text.
  • I have not yet split chapters into different tabs. That’s the last step, as cleaning up the list before splitting is easier.
  • Columns that are useful for the initial prep of the sheet but are not normally kept have the prefix “TEMP_” in the header.
  • Sorting shouldn’t be needed during the initial cleanup, but if it’s utilized, then sorting by the “TEMP_SORT” column restores the order-of-appearance sorting.

I’m really liking using Ichiran over Juman++ for this. I see an entry for 「心が狭い」, which Juman++ would split up, resulting in separate entries for 「心」 and 「狭い」. I feel having a single entry for “narrow-minded” is better, especially for an ABBC-level vocabulary sheet.

Everyone: The spreadsheet is “open” for editing, but please don’t do anything with it yet unless you know what you are doing! The remaining tasks pending are:

  • Remove names.
  • Split across tabs.
  • Glance over entries for anything that stands out as likely wrong and confirm with manga.

I plan to continue after work Monday.


This spelling just bugs me so much. Like, 泉 is already read as いずみ, so what benefit does the 和 bring to the table? I keep wanting to read it as わいずみ…

Yeah, I’ve been noticing parsing to that effect in the Horimiya vocab sheets. Though it probably doesn’t help that they frequently omit the particle.


But the start date is already decided isn’t it? Maybe could be a useful info to have in the title or first post


It is, but the schedule isn’t, I’ll place it into the title momentarily

1 Like

The translations already look much higher quality. Some of them are a bit long, but no 10 line translations like with the wiktionary method. Really neat


I’m still need to figure this one out from Detective Conan:


Yeah, I intended to clean those up but didn’t get around to it for Horimiya…

The only issue right now is if Ichiran has multiple matches, I’m pulling only the first one. But maybe that won’t be the worst of things.


Today, I learned the title for this series is 「可愛いだけじゃない式守さん」, without a 無.



I copied it off of @MrGeneric I’m pretty sure, it was defo strange, but who am I to judge how authors name their work.

…or did I? Can’t find a single reference, might have hallucinated it


Wasn’t me. :eyes: I’ve always just used ない, for sure.


Forgive me for I have sinned. I picked up the book a bit to see how it is, handwritten stuff and everything, and welp, that’s another book on the finished pile.


Sofar everyone seems to be happy with the schedule, but I’ll place a reminder here for those that didn’t see it yet


Stupid question here (I’ll have lots of them!) - I’ve never bought a Kindle book from Amazon.co.jp before. Am I going to have a problem with digital rights, being from the US? The .jp website isn’t recognizing my email address, so I suspect I’ll have to set up a new account. Any comments/helpful advice?

1 Like

Amazon has individual accounts for each country*. So you will need an entirely new account. This is only an issue if you have a kindle and you’ve already bought books on another account, because you won’t really be able to access both libraries easily.

As for rights, technically it’s against TOS, but amazon certainly won’t do a ton to stop you unless maybe they catch you distributing the books for free. It will ask you sometime to prove that you are from Japan, which happens after a couple purchases, but even an ad ridden slow vpn can solve that issue, and I never had that come up ever again.

* mostly, some countries share, like central europe or something