魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 7

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Starting date: March 18th
Finishing date: April 7th

:arrow_down: Start of the Repeat Club Discussion


Vocab Sheet: Original Club

  • キキ - a young witch
  • ジジ - Kiki’s black cat (黒猫)

Discussion guidelines:

  • Please use spoiler tags - [spoiler]like this![/spoiler] - where appropriate; anything from later chapters or the anime, and any major or interesting information from this chapter.

  • When asking for help, search the thread before posting to see if your question has already been asked, and write out the relevant text so that others can find your question (don’t hide Japanese text behind spoiler tags).

  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.

  • Have fun :slight_smile:

We’re discussing grammar, vocab usage and its context, checking if our reading comprehension is right, interesting plot/character development, etc.


Alright, first question of the chapter, though it’s a fairly unimportant one.

Page 139 blue book:

I think this is something like:
“No way, the present isn’t weird, you know? Something like a frog jumping out when you open it (the package), I would want to decline that kind of thing”

The second half was awkward to translate, but does that sound about right?

Also, I’m not getting all of this either, but I know it made Kiki even more upset/angry.

Something like:
“You were listening, but you don’t know anything.” Then something about all girls who about the same (as her, the speaker?) and then something I don’t understand.

I’ve only read the first two pages of the chapter (so I can’t help you yet, @seanblue, but maybe later!). I don’t yet know what the 秘密 might be.

But jeez… with all the eye-batting and bedazzled tongue-tying between these two in the first two pages… am I an awful person for wondering if maybe Tonbo really isn’t Kiki’s type? :blush:

I didn’t really get that impression. Care to give a few examples?

Well, when she first appears, the narrator goes on at some length describing the new girl’s beauty, from her graceful face framed by coils of dark brown hair, to the knee-high boots shining on her slim legs. Kiki sees her figure まるで空中に浮いているように眩しく — as if floating in the sky.

Trying to greet this beautiful girl, Kiki stumbles over her いらっしゃいませ. キキはすっかりあがって、ことばがのどからよく出てきません — Kiki thoroughly (あがって — rose?), and couldn’t get the words out of her throat well. The newcomer has a similar reaction; her throat clogged in the same way.

Then after Kiki tells her not to worry, the new girl nods and 黒い目を機借りと光らせると、わざとらしくゆっくりと瞬きをしました — her dark eyes flashing momentarily, she blinked [winked/bat her eyes] with deliberate slowness.

Now if a writer in English laid it on this thick, it would be clear they were setting up some romantic tension. I’m sure in Japanese it means no more than the girls are impressed with each other. And maybe the slow blink/wink is meant to foreshadow that the girl’s request is usual?

But hey, that’s what jumped out at me in the first two places, and what’s a book club for if not to discuss such things? :smiley:


Yeah, the first part is just the narrator, so I don’t think it really says anything about Kiki. For the part with Kiki’s statement getting caught in her throat, it does seem like Kiki was impressed with the other girl’s looks. It doesn’t have to mean attraction though. It could be envy or just appreciation. For the wink, it becomes clearer why she did that when you read on, as you expected.

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Well sure enough, there is no love lost between these two — clearly Kiki is fairly cheesed off, though I’m not entirely sure why (I think the other girl is just smug and insufferable).

But I’m having difficulty with one bit, on page 155 (red book):

I know せいいっぱい is “with all her might” or “all she could do,” and とげのあることば is hash words, so I expected this to be something like it was all Kiki could do not to say some harsh words. But I don’t understand あっさりす通りです at all.

And the very next sentence stumps me as well:
I get: On the contrary, the girl was not even staring intently somewhere, which makes little sense.

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That’s how I felt reading the whole section. I almost up to the line you’re asking about, so maybe I’ll have an answer for you later.

Did you have any idea on my questions now that you’ve read those pages?

I would have expected something similar to what you thought. す通り could be 素通り, meaning “passing through without stopping” or “passing by”. But that doesn’t seem relevant either. I was kind of hoping す was 酢 for “vinegar”, but I don’t see anything for that.

Isn’t the ではありませんか at the end just like ending a sentence with じゃないか? I think this is still saying the positive, not the negative, like:
“On the contrary, isn’t it that the girl was staring absentminded somewhere?”

So here are my own questions now, just a bit after @jstrout’s question. Page 140 blue book.


I found とでもいうよう meaning “as if …”, “as if to say …”, “as though …”. Though it’s missing the よう at the end, so I’m not sure if it’s the same thing. Also, I assume ふう is 風. So maybe this means something like saying that “embarrassment” is really giving off the appearance of having good feelings. But that’s making some big assumptions about the individual pieces of the sentence.



Why この自分 and not just 自分? Is there a subtle or significant difference?

I think this means something like:
“Even though she is the same age as me/Kiki, she looked like an adult the whole time and Kiki was suddenly shocked as if her chest was being pushed”

Ugh, I have so much trouble translating long sentences. I think this is close-ish. Basically, even though the girl looked and still looks adult-like, Kiki is shocked by her immaturity. That’s my thought on it anyway, but I’m not too confident in this, and the specifics of my translation are very awkward.

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I feel I’m a little behind you in comprehension, but in case two brains are better than one, here are my thoughts on your questions.

Basically, right, but of course this is Kiki talking, so I think the nuance is a little different:
“I assume the present isn’t something weird, right? If a frog jumps out when it’s opened, or something like that, I wouldn’t want to do it.”

I didn’t understand this too well either. The first sentence I read as: “I had heard of witches, but didn’t know anything [about them].” Then continuing, “All girls are about the same, doing things like that as play, don’t you think?”

I really don’t know what she’s talking about though. But yeah, it really ticked Kiki off. :slight_smile:

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Doesn’t Kiki already know what the present is at this point? Otherwise this makes a lot of sense though. It’s really hard to tell who’s speaking sometimes…

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No, not at that point. In my reading, this passage was two days ago (sorry I didn’t reply sooner!), and I just found out what the present was yesterday.


Yeah, I see now. I got confused because I thought 「あなた分かんない?こんな気持?」 was being said by Kiki (saying the girl doesn’t understand her own feelings). But I guess it was the other girl belittling Kiki.

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Yes, exactly. And then Kiki ますます イライラ して きました。:wink:


Just popping in to say I’m still alive but haven’t been well, so will probably be responding to things well after you have written them!

@Kyasurin Hope you feel better soon!

General comment on the chapter so far. I just finished the first section of the chapter (page 144 in the blue book), when Kiki and the girl finally finish talking. I’m not really happy with where the book is going lately. It’s getting into too much teenage girl drama at this point. Specifically, I’m not happy that Kiki is actually seeking advice from this obnoxious, childish girl. Kiki was annoyed at her for a while (and as far as I can tell is still annoyed at her personality), and yet she thinks this girl is somehow knowledgeable about how to interact with boys. I hope this doesn’t end with Kiki doing something childish to flirt with Tonbo.

On p. 161 (red book), Jiji comments that Kiki has been doing things slowly all day. Kiki responds:


I’m guessing this means basically “I could say the same to you, you know.” But I don’t quite see how to break this down. And what is とこ?

It does seem to be, at that. But I’m taking a beggars-can’t-be-choosers attitude here… it still beats studying isolated lists of vocabulary words, or the sort of contrived dialogs that appear in textbooks.

Is she? I didn’t get that. It seemed to me that Kiki rushed to avoid any such conversation near the end. Can you point out what you’re thinking of here?

That’s true at least. It’s still mostly enjoyable and it’s good to do something with real Japanese.

She was rushing to end the conversation. But also, how I understood it, Kiki made a specific request in return instead of what the girl was going to give. The girl gave a knowing response, which I took at advice about boys. I’ll double check and get some specific quotes for you later.

@jstrout I just reread the section, and here’s what I took from it:

Basically, Kiki asks the girl to tell her if Ai-kun finds her. The girl says that’s fine. Kiki says in that case she doesn’t need any other thanks/gift. Then:




So here’s what I think:

Perhaps I read slightly too much into this by saying Kiki was actively asking for advice. But at a minimum she wants to use this situation as “research” to see if it actually works. And I think this is likely so she can decide whether to do something similar with Tonbo.