[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Btw, I added myself to the table and I’m back to the reading challenge!

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Instead of chess, play shogi with Japanese people for extra language practice. :laughing:

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npnp, i feel you

Thats pretty dope. Do you have like a recording of yourself or something that you would be able to listen back to so you can compare when you hit that 100 lesson mark?

Yeah I feel you on that. I wanted to learn korean or mandarin, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy with splitting my time between one of those and japanese. Also funny that you mention adding chess as a hobby because I’ve been dabbling in that a little as well. Its a real interesting game and if all of my free time didn’t go to league and japanese I’m sure I would be a big chess nerd. Best of luck with getting to a level in jp youre satisfied with so you can focus on russian doe. 4 languages will be getting you into polyglot territory.

I’ve been chilling. I am working like 60+ hours a week right now, so I’m getting up at 2am to do my japanese. Don’t have as much time to work on it as I would like, but I’m still getting my intensive reading done. Like you said, I’m SRSing a lotta words and really just focusing on reading like I always have been. I haven’t had any particular goals per se, but I have thought it would be cool to read an entire book in a day and nowadays thats definitely something I can do. I’ve got a 3 day weekend for the 4th of july, so I might do it one of those days if it lines up well with me finishing a book or something. And lol, I don’t know if I would say I’m a beast at reading but I’m getting there. I’d say by this time next year I’d be at a point where I could call myself good at reading, but thats just a guess. Only way to find out is ganbare and see for myself.

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I just finished 魔法少女育成計画 book 2. It was really good overall. Still really hard, though it got a bit easier around halfway through. I just went back to the first page, and my kindle says it would take me 22 hours and 47 minutes to finish the book. I don’t know if that accurately reflects (roughly) how long it took me to read the book, but since it took me 26 days from start to finish that would come out to 50-55 minutes per day on average, which sounds about right.

Books 2 and 3 form an arc, so I’ll have to read book 3 to see how the story ends for these characters.

Comments on the story (major spoilers are blurred)

This book was a really nice change of pace from the first book (which I also enjoyed). The first one followed all relatively new magical girls all in the same city, as they were forced to play a seemingly innocent game that devolved into a battle royale. (Nothing said there which wouldn’t be found on the back cover summary of the book.)

By contrast, the second book follows a variety of magical girls with different backgrounds and different levels of experience. Some of them are the classic 正義のヒロイン type, while others use their powers for personal benefit, and don’t really help others. (Unfortunately the one I really liked who had her own anime adaption died early on from an accident. Huge wasted potential, even if it was a fine development to move the story along.)

Regarding the setting, most of the book takes place in a virtual world. It seems like this might have to do with the magical powers of the “master” who forced all the characters into this game, though it’s not entirely clear yet. This was also a nice change of pace, though I’m hoping it moves more into the real world in the next book.

Next is something in English, followed by either 本好きの下剋上 book 9 or 魔法少女育成計画 book 3 depending on my mood.

EDIT: I hit the highlight limit for 魔法少女育成計画 book 2, so I lost my last 170 highlights (about a third of them). That sucks… Another reason I need to get better at keeping up with my highlights while I’m reading rather than coming back to them after I finish the book.

EDIT 2: Oh, and the ending was a huge cliffhanger. Literally the last line of dialogue is the first line in the next book. I’m still going to take a break, but agghhh.

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I didn’t know there was such a thing on kindle. :open_mouth:

I finished ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生 – and I’m glad I did because I enjoyed the second half more consistently than the first.

I I think it would be a very tricky learning-to-read game – but by the same token, at it’s best it’s a very fun reveling-in-reading game, because following a bunch of convoluted trains of logic through weird mysteries and zany minigame quizzes is a great way to remind yourself you can actually maybe really can read some Japanese! I just wish I liked the story or characters more…

plenty more ダンガンロンパ thoughts

If you don’t know what the game is, it’s pretty much a Phoenix Wright style linear courtroom visual novel but with a zanier set-up and more frantic trial sequences. For me, those trials are by far the biggest draw of the game, and I think the system generally does a great job of leading you through a sequence of twists and revelations and accusations while generating appropriate tension. My favorite part of the game was the first trial because I genuinely didn’t know what to expect next, and so it gave me a wonderful seat-of-my-pants sense of accomplishment as I cleared each step.

This game is a great difficulty level language-wise for me, because I can completely understand it, and never really had any problems with the language (the time limits are also more generous than they seem, and a lot of sequences are pausable), but it’s hard enough that I’m still kind of amazed that I can handle it, and there’s plenty of vocab words still here and there to pick up.

If I’d played this in English… I don’t know if I would have gotten through it… At the end of the day, questions like “but can you spell the word knife?” are a lot more exhilerating in a language you’re actively learning!

But the approach to characterization is… garish… in a way I don’t enjoy. Everyone is played very, very broadly, and while on the plus-side, that provides plenty of fodder for zany murder mysteries, and the voice actors are clearly having a great time hamming it up (especially Genocider Sho), it doesn’t really make for… compelling human drama. The hardest part for me to get past is that, although the characterization isn’t really ever that mean-spirited (pretty much everyone is portrayed sympathetically in at least some capacity), the art style really makes it LOOK like it’s going to be mean-spirited. Like, one character’s design immediately made me think “oh no, it’s a comic relief ‘woman who looks like a man’ character,” because the design extremely is that, even if the character turned out to be deeper than that, and strangely heroic. Another character is an extreme caricature of a nerd and I just found them intensely unpleasant to read about, rather than like, funny or likable.

This approach also leads to some very uncomfortable gender stuff. A character is ‘revealed’ in death to have been ‘really’ a different sex than the gender they presented in life, after having been murdered by the one person they confided in about that discrepancy, and everyone immediately switches pronouns to their ‘real’ sex. On the face of it, that’s awful! But like the other characters I was talking about, in practice it’s at least less horrible than it sounds, because the character isn’t portrayed as like, a real life trans person, they’re portrayed as a timid boy who decided to dress as a girl to make up for being timid? And they wanted to get strong so they could earn their boy status again? And afterward an AI version of the character hangs out with everyone still and is crucially helpful at times? Like, what I’m getting at is that particular characterization is really really troublesome if you try to apply it to real life (i.e. it reminded me of the high rate of violence against trans people which isn’t what I want to be reminded about by a video game) BUT it’s clear that the game obviously has no interest in doing that itself (i.e. ‘boy who wants to be strong but isn’t so dresses up as a girl and wants to train to earn being a boy again but gets murdered for unrelated reasons first and then becomes an AI companion’ isn’t a thing that happens in real life I don’t think, it’s a thing that happens in convoluted zany mysteries, and that’s all this is going for).

So it’s a really weird case where across the board I don’t have much of a problem with the substance, but have major qualms with the form, if that makes sense.

Anyway, my worst time with the game was the third case, because of all the stuff I just described, but more than that, because I made the mistake of guessing who the murderer was ahead of time, and I didn’t care about the details. It turns out all those fun tense quiz minigames get extremely frustrating when you actively could not care less about which numbered hammer was used for what step of a convoluted process where you’re already positive you know who did it. I hated that case because of it, and it’s the only one that I failed initially and used a walkthrough to get through it faster.

That said, it was mostly my fault, and the experience taught me to be more patient and attentive to detail in the later cases, and that paid off. A really really important thing to remember, is the “kotodama” are EVIDENCE BULLETS you shoot AT a statement you want to DESTROY WITH FACTS. You are NOT bidirectionally comparing points of evidence to find contradictions. It is UNIDIRECTIONAL. If you don’t keep this in mind, some sections can be really really aggravating. But once I did, I had no problems.

In the back half, the characters thin out to a largely stable crew of relatively likable survivors, and that helped a whole lot with the consistency for me. The resolution to the overarching mystery, I thought was fine I guess. I’m a little miffed at the ambiguous ending and I wouldn’t say it adds like, new twists you’ve never seen before if you’ve read plenty of mysteries before, but it works fine for what the game’s going for.

I have no interest in the dating sim mode that unlocks after you finish it, but I enjoyed the game enough in the end to certainly be down for the second in the series (albeit with plenty of things I hope they improve). It probably sounds like I was really negative about it since most of the stuff to talk about is what I didn’t like, but I really did get a huge kick out of the trials!


Next, of course, is 龍が如く維新, but to make sure my conscience is fully clear before I treat myself I might try to finish the game I’m playing in English that I’ve been neglecting (Shenmue III) first.

Part of what motivated me to finish Danganronpa was that trying to read it and the Honjin Murders at the same time really overloaded me on mysteries for a bit there… Gonna let the mystery gland relax for a bit and then give Honjin Murders the space it definitely deserves.

For non-game reading in the meantime, I focused on the next issue of Harta - which was maybe a mistake because it was an especially long issue (they vary pretty heavily from ~800 pages to ~1100) and I liked the start of it a lot less than I have the others. Finishing it tonight was a really nice cooldown from Danganronpa though, so hey!

ハルタ 84号

This issue has, unfortunately, my least favorite thing I’ve read in ハルタ so far.
It’s an 80-page special about a boy detective solving a mystery on an island, and on the face of it, that sounds like something I’d really enjoy!
The problem though, is that the art style is… distractingly horny, is the only way I can put it. The boy detective is given exaggerated twink model poses, and one character gratuitously walks around in a sheer top that shows her breasts, which are drawn in that um, very tubular sort of hentai style.
I don’t really know what it’s going for, to be honest. It’s not my kind of my style, but I assume it’s someone’s?
I found it jarring because although the comics in the magazine have all been for adults, up to now it’s almost always been in the “… because a kid would find it dull” kind of way, not the “… because it could be mistaken for porn” kind of way.
It sounds like this is something like a quarterly installment of some kind of series, so I may grapple with my feelings about it again at some point. It’s a good reminder at least that I don’t actually know anything about the ハルタ editorial board and I shouldn’t assume I’ll like anything they publish just because I’ve enjoyed reading issues of the magazine in the past.

Everything else was the usual type of thing though!

One series I wanted to particularly shout out this time was “What Six Survivors Told,” the Terrace House X Dawn of the Dead style manga that’s been steadily growing on me. The first volume isn’t out yet, but when it is I’m sure I’ll grab it to catch up and likely recommend it fairly strongly.

Dungeon Meshi is tense enough right now that even if everything in the magazine were like that one story I didn’t like… I would still be keen to read the next issue…
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I loved this one shot about 殭屍 by Madoka Matsuzaki a lot!
Eerie and melancholy in all the best ways, and I am always 100% down for some hopping 殭屍

In this issue and the next, they’re showing the results of a manga contest with a cool name:
八咫烏杯
(“Yatagarasu Hai”)
It’s an impressive grab bag of various talented artists. I think the most memorable to me were the cute romantic short story about the mystery of why someone might carry an umbrella on a cloudless day, and the oddly gender-y story about (roughly) a god mistaking a boy’s harem manga for gender-swapping ideation and reworking the world based on it (although I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that second one) - but there’s plenty of other cool stuff in the mix too!
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ダンガンロンパ comments

I remember you mentioning playing ダンガンロンパ some time ago and I was always checking in your posts since then if you have maybe finished it :upside_down_face:

I was a little disappointed you didn’t enjoy it too much, because it’s one of my favorite series ever. I was pleasantly surprised to see at that end that you actually do plan to continue with the 2nd game. :hushed:

It’s true that the characterization of the cast is very over-the-top and I fully understand that not everybody can stomach that.
What always surprised me with each part is that I always liked the new characters. Every time I was sure “okay, it was too much of this type of design, no way I’m gonna like these new people, I’m ready for a burnout for the stylistics” and then I did like them. The End of 希望ヶ峰学園 anime included. Even if now I of course don’t remember details about every background story.

Btw, I played it on Vita (in English) and I can’t really imagine using any other controls setup. Doing trial minigames using the back touch controls was the best.
I actually did platinum trophy for the 1st game and the Despair Girls and was very close to the platinum for the 2nd (what prevented me was a glitch & random drops in one of the minigames). In the 3rd I was did a lot of the bonus content, but there was just too much of the stuff. But I’m not usually the type of person to go after trophies, so it was a form of love letter from me.
I also got two characters from the later games as a magnets on my fridge.

Why did you say it’s not a good learning-to-read game at all? Because it’s too hard?

I’m very happy it got re-release for Switch, because that makes it easier for me to maybe replay it in Japanese one day, although your estimation of the language level makes me wonder when it would be :wink: . And I’m interested in the bonus game, which I plan to play instantly after the release. I’m only a little sad that Despair Girls won’t be included. :frowning: I guess it wasn’t popular. :cry:

Edit: Why do you think that ending is ambiguous? Because you don’t really see the world outside?

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I’ve heard it’s different for different books. This was the first time I hit it though. :slightly_frowning_face:

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There’s even a copy limit too, though it’s fortunately really really high for most books(I hit it once while making my way through a really long book when I was much worse at reading, do that’s why I know)

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ダンガンロンパ

Ha, you must have shown impressive restraint about it, since I don’t think I picked up on it! (Or maybe I just forgot) :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I did actually enjoy it a lot more than it probably sounded! I loved the trials a whole lot (give or take some frustration), and didn’t dislike anything else to the point of muddying that, really.

I think what happened with the characters is around the halfway mark I was just especially grumpy that I didn’t like one of the cases, and just wanted people to get murdered to get to the next one… but I totally know what you mean about the characters growing on you after the first impression, because in the second half really I did like the characters fine, it just took me a while to notice it!

I think it’s definitely one where having gone through the first game, it’ll help a lot with starting the second on a better foot with that stuff, I suspect. (whenever I get around to doing that!)

I think I’ll go back and soften that since I shouldn’t have said “at all” - but yeah, I felt like the trials might be too stressful for someone not used to reading quickly, not so much because of difficult vocabulary, but just because of how much information it throws at you at once with a ticking clock.
If someone was determined to make it through I bet it would be really rewarding though!

And with your knowledge of and love for the series I think you should totally go for it!!

Oh yeah, I just kinda wanted to see the outside world! But I suppose that’s 希望 talking…

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I know I marked over 1500 highlights in at least one of the rezero books - that’s why I’m so surprised. Maybe it’s dependent on characters? I usually only highlight words, not phrases or sentences.
It’s probably a certain percentage of a book you can highlight and copy then. :thinking:

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In that case it must be because of Rem.

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238039568287399936

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It could be a character limit, yeah. In fact, the last highlight included a few characters before showing the “you reached the limit” message, so it seems likely that it’s a character limit.

I never intentionally highlight entire sentences, but sometimes my kindle is stupid. I delete those accidental highlights right away, but I don’t know if it counts toward the limit anyway.

ダンガンロンパ

Oh no, I wasn’t mentioning it, because I didn’t want to put the pressure on you. What I was supposed to say anyway, “did you finish yeeeet?” “play Danganronpa not this other thing” “but you aren’t abandoning Danganronpa, aren’t you?” :joy:

Not at all! …Depending how deep you plunge into the franchise.

  • 2 and v3 will get you bits about what happened to the original survivors
  • Despair Girls shows you a random city infested with underage Monokuma followers; Toko Fukawa is one of the main characters and Byakuya is damsel in distress during the entire game
  • anime I mentioned before “The End of 希望ヶ峰学園” - 未来 arc is all about well, Makoto’s future :stuck_out_tongue: (but anime goes after the 2nd game)
    EDIT: actually Despair Girls also should go after the 2nd game, the DG events happen before it, but may spoil one thing you shouldn’t know while playing 2nd @rodan for edit visibility

…Btw Makoto is too perfect and pure.



But are you talking about highlighting on the device, or about that file containing highlights you tried to extract previously and which was glitching?

If it’s just about number of highlights in the text itself then I don’t think deleted ones count because I do highlight entire paragraphs sometimes, but I never save any too long for SRSing or whatever, and I never reached the limit just by checking translations. Only when I was trying to copy/extract quotes.

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I highlight on the kindle itself, but then after a while that file says <You have reached the clipping limit for this item> instead of what you actually highlighted. It wouldn’t matter if the highlights properly synced with https://read.amazon.co.jp/notebook, but that still doesn’t work. So it’s like a perfect storm of things causing this.

But I’m going to try to look at it more positively, in that I would have hated my life going through 500 highlights anyway. :upside_down_face: And like I said above, I really do need to get better at reviewing my highlights as I’m reading instead of after I finish a book.

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ダンガンロンパ

Thanks for letting me know now, though! Since I’m especially glad I finished now! :smiley:
It would have been a real shame if I chickened out just because セレス didn’t hide her tracks well enough and my beloved 龍が如く was calling me…

I know the feeling though! I’m basically dying for anyone I know to get past a certain volume of Dungeon Meshi, but what can I say…

Glad to hear Fukawa turns up again in some capacity, btw! They were my favorite just because of how much fun the voice actor was clearly having with the role.

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I see, I thought that you maybe mean going manually through the highlights (by browsing through the text, not by using the file) and that these are also capped. :sweat_smile:

In that case I think that deleted highlights are still saved in the file :slightly_frowning_face:

Oh, I’m happy you like her :grin: I personally really like the tropes she was built from, but I was afraid she might be especially hard to withstand, even with what counts as Danganronpa “norm” :stuck_out_tongue:

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Deleted highlights do stay in the file, unfortunately. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean those deleted highlights count towards the cap. After all, I could still highlight the words in the kindle itself. So it might just stop writing them to the file at a certain point so you can’t copy large portions of copyrighted content. I don’t really feel like confirming one way or the other though. I’m just going to try my best to avoid this situation from now on.

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I just finished reading vol. 1 of 沖縄で好きになった子が方言すぎてツラすぎる, which I felt I had to mention just for the reason that I had no clue just how different Okinawan Japanese is from standard. The whole gimmick of the manga is that the main guy can’t understand a single thing the titular girl says, and I’m right there with him (even after comparing with the translation that is usually given, I’m often at a complete loss). It seems like even the Okinawan cadence is totally different, with tons of long vowels that I often struggled to even read in my head.

Give it a try if you ever found yourself thinking “Yuru Camp needs more Aoi”!

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