地球星人 🌏 Book Club ・ Week 7

地球星人 ・ Week 7

Week 7 15 January 2022
End page 124
End % 38
End phrase End Chapter 2
Pages 21
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  • I’m reading along (I’ve read no further than the end of this week’s section)
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Vocab Sheet

Anybody should feel free to add to the vocab sheet. Read the guidelines on the first sheet- even if a word is not yet included you can use the spreadsheet as a tool to get help.

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネトバレ. 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) need to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as such.

Discussion Questions

Feel free to use these questions as a framework or a starting point for responses. I also encourage people to post their own discussion questions!

  1. What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!

  2. What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?

  3. Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?

  4. Is Natsuki’s suicide attempt justified? What other options does she have going forward? Why is she so calm after being caught by the adults?

  5. How does Yuu’s reaction to Natsuki’s suicide attempt tell us more about his character and situation?

  6. When the adults found Yuu and Natsuki, how did they handle the situation? What could/should they have done differently?

3 Likes

I found the first paragraph of this week’s reading hard to read. It seems pretty clear to me that Yuu wasn’t truly on board with this. He only went along to make Natsuki happy, but seemed very uncomfortable. He may have consented, but it wasn’t enthusiastic consent and if that’s your benchmark (which for me it definitely is), one could say that Natsuki abused him.

The next part wasn’t much better! My first reaction to discovering Natsuki’s suicide plan was “o no, poor child”, but then that quickly made way for anger. It’s unfair for Yuu to be put in that position (having to find her dead body when he wakes up) and also unfair for her to break her promise to him that she would try to survive. It’s ironic that Natsuki’s inner monologue goes: おばさんは大人なのに由宇を使って生き延びないと生きていられないじゃないか、と言いたかったけれど、私は言葉を飲み込んだ。 Isn’t she using Yuu much the same way his mother is using him? As an ‘emotional support animal’ who doesn’t get a say of his own?

I can’t judge her too harshly, because she is a survivor of abuse herself and only a child. I am sure that whatever she is doing is the best she can manage with the limited mental/emotional bandwidth she has…

For all the misery in this week’s reading, I did chortle when Natsuki said 「おじさん、セックスをしらないの?」:joy: The adults should’ve been worried that Natsuki seemed to think having sex is normal for children. Especially when she mentioned adults wanting to have sex with children, plus the fact that her parents have actually noticed her behaviour has changed. Her mother should really have made the connection to what her daughter has already told her… But these people have not been blessed in the parenting skills department :roll_eyes:

Also, the nerve of them suddenly saying 「学校のお友達が悪いのよ。あんな知識がある子じゃないもの」 when they have only ever compared her to other children unfavourably up to now!

9 Likes

Well, this part was instense.

I wonder why Murata chose to place that scene right next to the grave. Was it just to make the whole thing (even more) cringeworthy? I suppose there is a life and death juxtaposition there. Or maybe it is foreshadowing for the attempted suicide later, and the juxtaposition is between the natural death after a full life and the sudden, self-inflicted death of a mere child.

When Natsuki started taking the pills, I was outraged on behalf of Yuu. I imagined him waking up, naked and vulnerable, after an experience that must have been instense if nothing else, next to her dead body. How could she not care about shielding him from that? It was a pleasant surprise that his reaction was dynamic and decisive instead of confused and fearful. I immediately knew he had had to save his mother from the same thing - what kid his age would instantly recognize the attempted suicide for what it was, and know what to do to stop it? It was good seeing him take the initiative, he has seemed kind of passive in all his interactions with Natsuki so far, willingly going along with everything but not really initiating anything himself. For once he seemed strong and in control, although for all the wrong reasons. Poor boy hasn’t had much luck with the women in his life so far.

I had to look it up, so here's what a ラムネ bottle looks like, if anyone's wondering:

The adults’ reaction there at the end left much to be desired. Of course they are in shock, but when your child does something like that, and even tells you outright about adults wanting to have sex with children (so why can’t children be allowed to do so on their own initiative), you sit down and have a serious conversation instead of shouting and locking them up. Especially the mother should have made the connection with what she already knew but chose to disregard. But then I never really held out much hope for the mother. Hopefully the father at least will try to have that conversation with Natsuki later on? Although from what I’ve seen of him he may feel too awkward to do it, even if he feels the need, and would probably leave it to the mother. So there’s probably no hope at all.

Oh my, the boldness, the cheek with which Natsuki answers back to the adults when they’re discovered! She’s crossed to the other side, just doesn’t care any more. She claimed ownership of her own body, she was determined to die and nearly did, so the shocked adults are only comical to her at this point.
「おじさん、セックスをしらないの?」
「私、さっきから少しも騒いでないよ。騒いでるのはお父さんたちだけだよ」
「子供はセックスしちゃいけないの?子供とセックスしたがる大人って、たくさんいるのに。子供同士だと駄目なの?」
「反省することなんて何もない。暗いのだって怖くない」
私が従順ではないことを大人たちが嘆いている。そのことが滑稽だった。
And yes, the adults lamenting how she’s not obedient, when obedience was exactly what made her vulnerable…
So I guess she’s not going to be obedient any more. Or even polite. She’s outspoken, rude, even a little unhinged, indifferent to any consequences. So much is bound to change now - her own attitude, but the way the others treat her too. How will tomorrow be for them all after this day? They surely can’t go back to business as usual as if nothing has happened, right?

Did I understand correctly that Yuu hid the wedding vows in Natsuki’s shoe? If so, Yuu probably got a more lenient treatment than Natsuki after they were found out. I guess his mother just can’t be bothered, or maybe it’s more acceptable for a boy? In any case, the fact that he hid it for her to find seems to mean that he doesn’t resent what happened, and is telling her that their vows still count. Which makes me feel a little better, because he had every reason to feel used and resentful.

I have two language questions this week:
  • 「準備がいいね」
    Does this mean “You are well prepared” or “Enough with the preparations”?
  • あんな知識がある子じゃないもの
    Not exactly sure how to understand this. “She knows such things”?
7 Likes

I took it to mean “she isn’t the kind of kid who would know such things”. That’s why they think her knowing about sex must be due to her friends’ bad influence.

The former makes more sense to me.

7 Likes

That was probably my earliest I’ve ever finished a week’s section. I didn’t plan to suddenly read all of it in the middle of the night but it sucked me in.

Well, this was...

…pretty hefty stuff. Knowing Murata, I first thought Natsuki about to try to kill Yuu when she started to talk about 内臓 and how she wants to get into his skin (or was it the other way around?)
Obviously went in another direction.

I was just a bit confused about the time when they dozed off and when Natsuki tried to end herself. I first thought they slept until dawn, but later it was written it was still dark. I guess the candle was enough for Yuu to see her drinking from the bottle?

Language question

『口』以外の全部の場所で、由宇にさわりたい」This means she wants to be touched by Yuu, right? It would be を if it meant she wants to touch him? Kind of throws me off for some reason.


Oh, this is an interesting thought. I think so too. Especially curious about how her “relationship” with her teacher is going to look like from now on.

Probably a rhetorical question, but that’s my understanding as well. Kind of a relief, really. I was afraid he would be upset at her for some reason but him keeping up their vows like that was really nice.

Also agreeing with Phryne regarding the two language questions. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I also thought this was going in a very different direction at first. :see_no_evil: I’m glad it didn’t, for all that the direction it went isn’t pretty either. As for which way, maybe a bit of both?

I understood it as she wants to touch (to feel?) 由宇 with everything except for her mouth. It’d need to be passive form if it was the other way around.

5 Likes

Oh the passive, true. I got it right then, yay. I just want completely sure anymore. :exploding_head: Thanks!

I’m not sure anymore if it was explicitly stated?

1 Like