[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Your review system looks great to me! Im terrified of producing output, probably more so since I havent been to classes and have only once (when i was just starting) spoken Japanese to someone… Maybe in the future with more confidence and speed I can write reviews as well :sweat_smile:

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Thank you! Also, I relate to that way more than I’d like, and I did take classes… Just getting myself to put anything in Japanese here was a struggle. :sweat_smile:

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I think I got that in a way. I was just thinking, if you use the same phrases for your reviews each time, then maybe eventually those phrases stop being words and become symbols of their own for you. Plus, it saves you from establishing the meaning of the system of symbols and others from trying to understand what it means. (TBH I would not think of looking at somebody’s profile to find an explanation for symbols they’d use in their reviews, but maybe that’s just me…)

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Okay, 鹿の王 III is done :slight_smile: At the start it was a bit of a drag, because more and more details of the issue at hand were unearthed and looked at from different angles, and I found this to be quite strenuous and repetitive (probably it was just me because I did not fully understand all the fine details that were conveyed, I guess). Anyway, it got better in the second half, and towards the end more and more things started coming together in sometimes quite unexpected ways, and of course lots of Chekhov’s guns were at least brought into view again. Now I’m looking forward to the last part and how everything will be wrapped up in the end.

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For my second clear in the “other” section, I’ve just now finally finished Persona 5: Royal. I started it immediately when it came out back in December but only made it past the first boss before I had to put it on hold and my PS4 into storage. One silver lining from this COVID quarantine is that I’ve had the opportunity to get back to it. It was a 100% playthrough with all coop stories maxed and the new “true” ending completed, and I clocked in at 270 hours to the minute (though I know that number is actually very much inflated because there were times I’d leave it idling and running up the clock…turns out that the dialogue review screen doesn’t actually pause the in-game timer.

It’s definitely the most difficult thing I’ve read to date so I’m feeling quite accomplished. Not sure what I’ll move on to next but I think I’ll give games a break for a little while, or at least pick something I can play on a handheld console so I’m not tied to the TV.

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Just finished volume 9 of DanMachi. It was a reasonably good read, the author’s writing is still improving. Most of the usual problems with fan service are still here also why do you feel the need to describe the sway of everyone’s breasts? Well, to be “fair” that only happens once per female character in this book :expressionless:
Another thing that was a bit annoying (or, let’s say, less fun) is that one of the cool feature of the book is that you get to see characters progress in a neat numerical fashion, but no progress happened this time since character mostly just stayed home… Are they also in quarantine? :anguished:
I liked the premise of this book, though, the fact that some monsters are sentient. But I really can’t understand why ベル stopped being able to properly fight monsters in general after that. Even if they have a conscience just like you, you fought actual humans and demihumans until as recently as the previous volume, and you attacked people before in a way that would have killed them had they not miraculously dodged the attack (volume 6). So, doesn’t look like you had problems then. It takes another character to spell it out for him, “if someone tries to kills you, you just try to kill them back”. (Obviously an oversimplification in general, but you don’t really have the opportunity to tell people “can’t we just talk about this” in the dungeon)

But, yeah, still fun overall. This book is also the start of a new arc according to the afterwords (well, not surprising considering it introduces a lot of stuff), so more on that next time I guess.

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How else do you expect to find out? :stuck_out_tongue:

Could be worse of course. You could be watching the anime adaption. :wink:

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I finished 空ろの箱と零のマリア earlier today (took about a month). It had its ups and downs, but overall I’d say it was just okay. I don’t regret reading it, but it wasn’t good enough to make me want to keep reading the series right away. The story was interesting, if a bit convoluted and bland in the end.

Next I think I will try 狼と香辛料, but I’m not exactly sure when. Maybe I’ll start it in a week or two.

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Just finished 神様のメモ帳.

It is a story about a troubled schoolboy (surprise!) who gets involved with a group of people who call themselves NEETs (plot twist: they are not NEETs) and a gang of self-proclaimed yakuza. During the course of the story they together try to find the source of a strange new drug which has become popular on the streets of their town. So, this is a kind of a detective story, but the large part of it is about our main character trying to find his place in society.

Overall, I quite liked the story. It wasn’t stellar, but not bad either. The characters were rather interesting though, looking forward to learning more about them in the next volumes.

In terms of difficulty, the book wasn’t easy. I was hoping that moving from medieval settings was going to solve many problems with understanding, but then I saw all that slang and references to modern Japanese society and thought: “Here we go again”. Also, one of the characters loves pseudo-philosophical rants which made reading quite painful at times.

While reading this book I also learned that reading on a phone with bookwalker app is better than reading from a computer screen and that reading mode actually makes reading more pleasant.

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I haven’t updated here for a while, mostly because I haven’t been reading much of anything. Except I played the first two months of Animal Crossing: New Horizon entirely in Japanese. Then because I wanted to read something I could get a finished feeling for quicker, I paused Sailor moon to instead read the first volume (of two) short stories collection from 渡瀬悠宇, called The Best Selection.

It is interesting because 渡瀬悠宇 have always been my favorite mangaka because she made my favorite manga series, Alice 19th. (I expect when I’ve read more of the manga series I now own… if they ever manage to get out of Japan :roll_eyes:… I might have a new favorite). But I’ve read her series Absolute Boyfriend and didn’t find it that interesting and now after reading the four one offs in this volume, I’m starting to think that Alice 19th just happened to combine a lot of my favorite elements and fit me perfectly, while the rest of 渡瀬悠宇’s work seems pretty middle of the road (to me, everyone’s taste is different). (I haven’t read her most famous series, ふしぎ遊戯, because it is 18 volumes long and if I had bought them back when I was reading manga in English… it would have been so expensive. :cold_face:)

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Yesterday I finally finished 君の膵臓を食べたい, and I absolutely loved it. It took me a while to start, but yesterday I read the entirety of the last 100 pages or so in 1 day (albeit over the course of a few hours) because I just couldn’t wait to finish it (because it was good, not in a completionist sense). It’s a beautiful story, and with finishing it I think I can safely say I know what kind of stories I enjoy reading in Japanese. 四月は君の嘘、君の名は、おおかみこどもの雨と雪、and
君の膵臓を食べたい easily top my list of favorite books in Japanese, so if anyone wants to share the actual name of the genre, I’d love to know :joy:

Without spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen/read it, the book centers around the theme of not taking the time we have for granted. It just happened to line up with some events I’ve got going on back home in the states (nothing serious, but still had an effect for sure) so while I don’t think I can call this book my favorite so far, it was definitely the most impactful story I’ve read up until this point. I highly recommend it to anyone who (like me, it seems) enjoys stories that rip your heart out, stomp it into the ground, and then spit on it.

This was also a new record for pages/day for me in Japanese so I’m really excited about that as well! This also makes my 8th novel this year, which is technically behind the quite lofty goal I set of 24 for the year (ie 12 by the end of June), but still over a book/month which I’m quite happy with. I’ve also told myself I’m not allowed to buy any more 鬼滅の刃 until I finish at least one more full novel, so hopefully that will help push me a bit closer to my goal.

Now, onto some slightly easier books before I try to tackle 獣の奏者!

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Wait, so there are no zombies?

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You’re thinking of the spin off 君の脳を食べたい

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I think they turn into zombies in the sequel, but I haven’t read it so I don’t know that for sure yet. /s

And now volume 10. It was a direct continuation of volume 9, to the point that chapter numbering didn’t reset to 1.
So, obviously, I still like the premise. Also this volume went full on tragedy. Even though I’m in spoiler mode, I don’t want to give too much, but anyway, the main antagonist has a curse that puts target in a battle frenzy, attacking the closest target. Of course, he used it on Bell’s girlfriend the dragon girl before releasing her in the town. And of course the usual group of major heros, among which was アイズ, was there to “stop” here. I loved the scene were Bell saved her and everyone got confused. So, to not get killed as a “friend of monster” or something, he had to say “this is my kill, leave her to me”. That’s barely better, though, since they just decided to ignore him instead. But it bought enough time for the cavalry (the other sentient monsters) to get there, leading to an epic, ~120 pages long battle scene between crazy high level characters and monsters. Of course, destruction ensued, and a lot of people blame Bell and his “selfishness” for that. Way to go from hero to pariah.
Anyway, that was a long book (430 pages or so), most of it was fighting, but it wasn’t too bad. The situation kept evolving and the stakes with it, so it never felt like it was dragging on. And the situation isn’t really resolved at the end, so I guess we will still be talking about that in the next volume? Only one way to find out!

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I’ve been reading a children’s history book on the side, and today I finished it. It contains 28 stories of ~6 pages each, but with large font and pictures, so I guess it’s more like 2-3 pages in a normal book. It is the first book of two and covers the history of Japan until ~1500. So I figured it would be a nice thing to read a chapter a day. Turned out that the chapters were way harder to read than I had imagined because they were full of persons’ names, place names, and political roles that I had never heard of, plus of course other words I don’t know yet, so it got a bit tiring at times to try to figure out which is which. Also, most of the important historical events ranked around war, scheming and these things, so usually at least two parties were involved, but often many more. It was a bit difficult to keep track of all those actors and of who did what to whom as the narration was often quite terse due to the space limitations. Also, and this hurt my pedantic mind quite a bit, they did not give the exact dates when something happened, but rather described them as e.g. 今から千二百八十年ほど前のことでした。Which is fine, but - what is the baseline?? Very annoying.
So I guess while I got a high-level overview of Japan’s early history, I probably missed out on or misunderstood many details, but that’s fine for now. I will take a little break from history and then proceed to the second book which covers the newer history, and I hope that I will be able find more connections to already-known names and events.

Fun anecdote: The book seems to be written for elementary school children, judging from the lack of kanji. Which of course leads to entertaining hiragana parsing games :sweat_smile:
I think I bumped into the following construction a few times until I fully grasped what was going on:
神がみがいた。I initially parsed this as 神が磨いた。and was quite confused as to what it was supposed to mean, but after discovering (on other occasions) that they don’t use the repeater and write the second kanji in hiragana (!), it became clear that it was actually 神々がいた。 :joy_cat:

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@NicoleRauch @Ditto20 @Kyayna @Belerith

hopefully. Been meaning to read it, but I’m not sure if I can get through it on my own / without a schedule to keep me going
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Any movement on this yet? I have no idea how to run a bookclub, but I would be interested in doing this one!

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I don’t think there’s been anyone seriously working on putting one together… I’d join if it was happening, but I won’t be able to help organise one unfortunately :disappointed:

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I’d also join :slight_smile:

Running a book club is not difficult, just propose a schedule, have everybody agree, and then set up the weekly threads (or whatever you see fit for it).
One slight drawback might be that it is not available as ebook, so everybody would need to buy the physical book. But if you are ok with running it even with a small number of participants, that’s fine then.

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+1 from me too! I read the first book in English a year ago but lost interest as I mostly started reading other things in Japanese. Maybe I’d read it through this time :stuck_out_tongue:

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