魔女の宅急便・Kiki's Delivery Service 🧧 Repeat Club

Welcome to the 魔女の宅急便 Repeat Book Club

This book was originally read by the Beginner Book Club in early 2018. This thread is for a group ‘re-read’ in 2020.

If you want to take part… just buy the book and join in the discussion! We started on 27 June, so you have a little catching up to do. Please also set this thread to “watching” in order to receive notifications - click the bell icon just beneath the blue reply button.

We will be making ample use of the resources generated by the Original 魔女の宅急便 Book Club, including their pre-populated vocab spreadsheet and existing discussion threads, where many questions will already have been answered.

Buy the Book

Guide to different editions

Version 1 - has furigana (not full), and contains illustrations:

Version 2 - essentially no furigana, and no illustrations:

Kiki's Delivery Service 2

Version 3 - essentially no furigana, and no illustrations:

The eBook is effectively Version 2.

Check out the audiobook too if you’re interested in listening to the text as well as reading it.

V1 - Red Border V2 - Block Blue V3 - Balloons
V1 CDJapan V2 CDJapan V3 CDJapan
V1 Amazon V2 Amazon V3 Amazon
V2 Verasia

If you haven’t used Amazon JP before, note that you will need a separate account.
CD Japan has (slow) economy shipping options available so is usually cheaper.


BookWalker | Kobo | Kindle



Reading Schedule & Discussion Threads

We are using the discussion threads of the original book club, which were separated by chapter. I will post in those threads each week to indicate the start of our discussion, and post the link to that point in this thread.

Week Start Date Chapter V1 Pages V2 Pages V2 Count
1 June 27th 1・お話のはじまり 9 - 17 7 - 13 7
2 July 4th 2・キキ、ひとり立ちの時をむかえる 18 - 31 14 - 26 13
3 July 11th 3・キキ、大きな町におり立つ 32 - 44 27 - 37 11
4 July 18th 3・キキ、大きな町におり立つ 44 - 59 37 - 51 13
5 July 25th 3・キキ、大きな町におり立つ 59 - 70 51 - 61 11
6 August 1st 4・キキ、お店をひらく 71 - 84 62 - 74 13
7 August 8th 4・キキ、お店をひらく 84 - 98 75 - 87 13
8 August 15th 5・キキ、一大事にあう 99 - 110 88 - 98 11
9 August 22nd 5・キキ、一大事にあう 110 - 123 99 - 110 12
10 August 29th 6・キキ、ちょっといらいらする 124 - 137 111 - 124 13
11 September 5th 6・キキ、ちょっといらいらする 138 - 150 124 - 135 12
12 September 12th 7・キキ、ひとの秘密をのぞく 151 - 163 136 - 147 12
13 September 19th 7・キキ、ひとの秘密をのぞく 163 - 177 148 - 160 13
- September 26th Break: opportunity to catch up - - -
14 October 3rd 8・キキ、船長んおなやみを解決する 178 - 189 161 - 171 11
15 October 10th 8・キキ、船長んおなやみを解決する 189 - 200 172 - 181 10
16 October 17th 9・キキ、お正月を運ぶ 201 - 210 182 - 191 9
17 October 24th 9・キキ、お正月を運ぶ 211 - 221 191 - 200 10
18 October 31st 10・キキ、春の音を運ぶ 222 - 231 201 - 209 9
19 November 7th 10・キキ、春の音を運ぶ 231 - 240 210 - 218 9
20 November 14th 11・キキ、里帰りする 241 - 253 219 - 230 12
21 November 21st 11・キキ、里帰りする 253 - 265 231 - 241 11

Some members followed a ‘headstart’ schedule that began on the 13th of June to give them a more gentle introduction to the book.

If you have the old hardback edition of V1, itsjonw has provided a suggested reading schedule.

Vocabulary Resources

The original club put together a fantastic vocabulary sheet as they went. It has been locked so that it can’t be edited, but is fairly comprehensive.

We also have a fresh spreadsheet to use for this club. This will allow us to add extra information, correct any errors, etc. Please feel free to contribute following the guidelines on the first sheet.


There are several resources available if you'd like to study the vocabulary

There is a FloFlo list for this book now, although FloFlo is no longer being supported in favour of the newer Koohi. So, if you’re on the new site check out the Koohi list instead.

On FloFlo and Koohi, you could learn some of the most frequent words in advance, or use the list to learn as you read.

Sharpevil has put together a full Anki deck tagged by chapter so that you can add words as you go.

Finally, AmomentOfMusic has put together a Memrise course based on the vocab spreadsheets.


Are you planning to read 魔女の宅急便 with us?

  • Yes :package: :red_gift_envelope: :gift:
  • Nope

0 voters

If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion, please select ‘yes’!


Okay, following on from the discussion here, I’ve created a new home thread.

I think I’m going to propose a start date of 27th of June (slightly different from what I said in the poll, sorry). Does that work for most people? Also, this is probably the most advance notice a book club has ever had :sweat_smile:

Brace yourselves for the polls! probably only two, actually

Discussion Threads

Some thoughts on the discussion threads:

It might be a little messy using the existing discussion threads, but I think it would be super annoying for people if we generate two sets of Kiki Discussion threads on the same material.

I will post a big ‘new discussion starts here’ notice in each thread as we start.

Lots of our questions will hopefully have already been answered, though of course it would be nice if we could have some lively discussions ourselves. I’m not expecting anybody to read all of the posts in the existing threads before posting, especially the earlier and longer threads. However, it would be helpful if people could check - by searching for the page number - whether their question has already been answered.

Perhaps if a question has already been answered but there was originally some debate or discussion, it would be nice to write a little summary or conclusion post.


Reading Pace

I guess people are wanting to read this roughly at Beginner Book Club pace?

In the OP I’ve proposed a slightly shorter schedule than the one originally followed, because 26 weeks is a horrendous amount of time to spend on one book and I know the original group found they got much faster as they went.

We could potentially ramp up the speed much more slowly (spend two weeks on chapter 2, then four weeks on chapter 3, for a page count of 6-7-8-9-9-9), before hitting the ~12-page weeks.

Fair warning: this book has about 15% more text per page than 霧のむこうのふしぎな町, and 241 pages of text to Kiri’s 171. You can’t really avoid the fact that it’s a lot more reading unless we take a year. However, it should help greatly that there is already a well filled-in vocab sheet.

  • I’m happy with the 21-week schedule
  • I’d prefer a slow start (23-week schedule)
  • I’d like to read one chapter a week (12-week schedule)*
  • I’d like to go much slower (27 weeks+)

0 voters

*Fair warning #2: I don’t know if I can go that fast, so someone else would have to volunteer to run this. Also, I reckon you’d still want to consider two weeks for the gargantuan chapter 3, hence a suggested total time of 12 weeks.

‘Headstart Schedule’

Although we settled on the 21-week schedule, if you think you’d benefit from a slower start, NicoleRauch had the excellent idea that people could choose to start a couple of weeks early if they wanted.

I put together a suggested headstart schedule starting 13th June.



There are three editions of the book.

The schedule I’ve put up is based on the page numbers from my copy, the one with the block blue background. It would be helpful to know which versions everybody has, so that I can include page numbers from other versions as necessary.

If you have the eBook, you effectively have V2 with the block blue background.

Oh how I wish I had that beautiful balloon version :sob:

If you have the balloon version, please share whether it has furigana and/or illustrations.


Jealous? :slight_smile:


I voted no for participating (despite your disclaimer), but I’ll stalk the discussion as usual.


Yes :unamused: does it have furigana / illustrations?

Stalking always welcome (er, in this context) :+1:

Oh, and for anyone wondering - after nearly suffering an aneurysm trying to get the three images to behave in the OP I decided to use just the balloon one because it wasn’t represented in the original thread.


No furigana or illustrations if I remember correctly.


This version has some but not full furigana and illustrations. Most of the illustrations are small ones, and a few are full page ones.


Side question–is the Kiki we’re familiar with just one book in a series? I was searching Amazon and found this. I guess I never realized…


Haha yes, there’s a whole series covering Kiki’s life and eventually even her kid setting off to become independent, I believe. The Ghibli movie we all know and love is based on the first book.


To add, it’s a 6-book series, and every vendor I came across offered the option to buy the set (of the editions you linked). The one with the border is available as part of a boxed set.


I don’t see it mentioned specifically, but the ebooks don’t have furigana. (Same cover as the “V2” listed in the first post.)

Very loosely based on, right? Been a long time since I read the first book in English, but I remember thinking the Studio Ghibli movie in comparison was more of a “all new story based on the concept and characters” of the book.


Edition 4 has no furigana, but I think I can finish it in a week (if I tried):


Yes, very loosely. The movie has some resemblance to the first few chapters of the book, and then they just go in different directions. Mostly in that the movie tries to have a continuous plot, whereas the book is more episodic.

1 Like

Fantastic idea! Nothing like book club to motivate me to read real Japanese! Thanks for organizing everything. :hearts:


As it goes with most ghibli movies afaik. :joy: The only other ghibli movie/book comparison I can make is girl who leapt through time, and having read that first, I thought Kiki kept surprisingly close to the book.

1 Like

That’s not Ghibli though. :wink:


Oh!!! I’m in! =D
I got to like… 80-90% before I finally gave in (was supposed to just be a pause… but at this point I’m more motivated to start over =P )
Will be interesting to see how much more I’ll understand this time around! =D

It’s a 6 book set?! I think I only got 4… D=
I’ll have to double check later =P


Oh gosh, seeing these discussion threads maybe will make me read the full collection I bought a whole year ago xD Maybe I will race you all :eyes: One week in a day right, just like 時をかける少女 :DD

1 Like

What really? :open_mouth:

For me it’s always been part of the franchise… Mind, this was before I got into Japanese, so maybe it was also a bit ‘Japanese movie = Ghibli’… :see_no_evil:

Never mind then, I take it back. :joy: I’m glad we had this discussion!


The other Ghibli movie/book comparison you could make is Howl’s Moving Castle. Or Tales from Earthsea. Or Arietty. Or to a lesser extent (since Miyazaki didn’t write or direct that one) When Marnie Was There.

Or you could wait a few years and then compare How Do You Live? :slightly_smiling_face: