[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Re: discussion

Yaaaay, ジオルド faction :star_struck:

Well… at least it’s not 100% bad news, so I’m relieved. I was afraid I wasn’t gonna get any of these.

3 Likes

image

I’ve had a lot of fun reading the first 2 volumes of Asadora! by Naoki Urasawa yesterday/today. Been looking forward to read it ever since it was announced, and since 4 単行本 are out now, I finally decided to get started.

It’s a story that apparently spans a period of decades – from 1959 to the 2020 Olympics (wonder if they will be held in the story). It starts with the 1959 Ise bay typhoon, the most devastating typhoon in Japanese history that left 1,6 million people homeless and killed thousands. It is told from the eyes of 12 year-old Asa who is kidnapped by a shady man, a self-proclaimed “hero of the skies”, who turns out to be a fairly decent guy. After a few events that venture into supernatural/mystery territory (it’s Urasawa after all!), the story skips to 1964 with 17 year-old Asa training to be a pilot.

Great art and very well written, さすが浦沢先生! The local dialect also makes for an interesting read:

And now excuse me, I’ve got 2 more volumes to read.

P.S.: The title is obviously a reference to the famous Japanese morning dramas (asadora) – also called 連続テレビ小説 – that are typically about young girls growing up in turbulent times, turning into strong young woman. However, the title is written as あさドラ, highlighting the name of the heroine, and instead of 連続テレビ小説 Urasawa calls it 連続漫画小説.

13 Likes

I’ve been reading 安達としまむら and now I have kind of finished the series and kind of not. Kind of because the “main” story ended with volume 8, kind of not because there are still new volumes being published, but it seems like they mainly will be stuff like short story collections or things that the author couldn’t fit into the main story. I also noticed that volume 9 doesn’t have any illustrations, so I guess it’s possible that’s going to continue with the future volumes too(I don’t mind that much though, it’s not exactly like I read books for the illustrations).

I quite liked it :slight_smile: Reading a mostly kind of realistic(aside from the time-travelling alien character, though it’s not like that was too important in the grand scheme of things) romance after just having read fantasy stuff recently before that was definitely quite a change of pace :laughing: Of course, most of the volumes had weaker parts(I think I liked the entirety of volumes 3 and 8 though), but overall the series was definitely good enough to keep me reading. There were also some developments I was about uneasy about in volumes 5-7, but ultimately the story went in a direction I was pretty happy with. I also found most of the comedy elements of the story really funny, and other than that I learned which kanji 所謂 can be written with.

Comments and stuff(a bit long since it's about a whole series instead of just one book)

I think the scenes that stood out the most to me were Adachi’s almost chapter-long rant in volume 5, the one short story about if they hadn’t met until several years later(since both of them ended up with pretty sad lives and Shimamura especially seemed pretty severely depressed) in… I don’t remember if it was volume 6 or 7, the mist scene in volume 8(volume 8 was probably my favourite one overall, it was just generally nice that Shimamura’s narration felt noticeably happier and less annoyed at everything compared to some of the earlier volumes), and the interactions between Adachi’s and Shimamura’s moms(Shimamura’s mom is really one of the best characters in the series aside from Adachi and Shimamura), as well as the whole Christmas date which was all around hilarious (must have been incredibly awkward for Adachi and Shimamura to have the parents there during the dinner at the end of it though) in volume 9.

Other than that it probably took me waaaay longer than it should have to realise that Shimamura probably is somewhat depressed. Looking at things from that perspective also makes some of her behaviour from early in the series that seemed weird at the time feel like it makes a bit more sense in hindsight(for instance, while she seemed pretty uninterested in Adachi at first, looking back she still actually thought and cared more about Adachi than many other things in her life). That said, I guess it didn’t ever get that bad for her in the actual main series, but based on the “what if?” side stories it seems like her life(or rather her attitude to it) eventually would have become extremely bleak if she hadn’t met Adachi when she did(to be honest it was mainly that one side story that made me realise that there’s actually at least a few signs throughout the series Shimamura was initially headed in the direction, though since she actually met Adachi fast enough I assume that ensured it didn’t get as bad as it could have).

One thing that was a bit weird but also kind of impressive was that the author threw in a time-travelling alien just to establish the fact that the process of Adachi and Shimamura meeting, Adachi becoming a catalyst for Shimamura changing, and the two of them falling in love is something that’s literally such a strong fact of the universe they live in that it’s going to happen even in timelines where the world is ending(that was a really sad concept for a short story - meeting the love of your life two days before the world ends can’t exactly give much time to be happy together) or they live on different planets, or at least I assume that’s what the “what if?” stories and the dialogue at the start of volume 8 was implying. So apparently Adachi and Shimamura falling in love would happen no matter what else changed… the most impressive part is that I realised that particular development was foreshadowed all the way back in the second chapter of volume 1 :laughing:

Actually, related to that, as inconsequential as it was(since it wouldn’t really affect anything except the side stories), I have to admit I couldn’t help but think something like “So, if Adachi and Shimamura are going to meet no matter what, wouldn’t an easy way to change the “the world is ending” timeline from that one side story just be to put them so far apart that they can’t meet before the world ends? In that case the world would have to stop ending so they could meet”(or based on how the other stories went, maybe Adachi would end up saving the world to be with Shimamura). On the other hand, since it’s not explained exactly what powers Yashiro actually has I guess it might just have been easier to make sure that the world wouldn’t start ending in the first place. Especially since if the only constant is Adachi and Shimamura falling in love, I guess another possibility would just have been that the two of them somehow would survive just long enough to meet and fall in love while all other living beings die, which… would be even sadder than the actual concept of that side story.

While I’m talking about that kind of stuff anyway, I also kind of want to know what the big event that would happen 16 years later that Yashiro mentioned in volume 9 is(the character seems to show up in some of the author’s other books too though, so I guess it could just as well be related to one of them instead, there’s already been many references to anime and manga(even if I personally only managed to get the JoJo and Demon slayer ones), so wouldn’t be too weird to have one to the author’s own works too)

Regarding the ending, I was a bit surprised that the author decided not to deal with some things. For instance it seems like Adachi probably won’t ever fully learn to interact with people other than Shimamura completely “normally”(including with her own mom based on the epilogue, but I did also get the distinct feeling that Adachi’s mom wasn’t trying especially hard to understand her throughout the series so that outcome kind of makes sense) or how some trace of the jealousy thing still was still there(albeit much weaker than in the main story, but it makes sense for a ten years older Adachi to be more mature), or how Shimamura still seemed weirdly tired for how much she sleeps, but in some ways it also feels more right for those things to not magically change, especially since Adachi and Shimamura clearly are really happy together despite their individual flaws and problems.

As a closing comment, while I liked the series a lot, I’d say there were two main negatives: one is just how slow-paced the series is sometimes, the other is that it sometimes feels like the characters have to take turns getting development. That said, each individual volume was a quick enough read(it took me about 4-6 hours to read each volume) that I didn’t mind either of those things too much overall. Being able to read through it pretty fast also made it easier to remember stuff like idioms I looked up while reading.

Now that I’m done with that, I’ll probably continue reading 本好きの下剋上 next. (I’m also noticing a downside with catching up on a lot of ongoing series: the amount of new volumes of series I have to wait for the release of is slowly increasing :laughing: For now 安達としまむら is the only ongoing light novel series I’m completely caught up on though, but when it comes to manga I can think of at least two series I’d really want to read the next volume of as soon as possible)

11 Likes

Which series?

1 Like

I forgot to mention it in the long post so I’m saying it now instead: I’ve also noticed that Adachi’s hair is blue in a lot of official illustrations, which feels weird when it’s consistently only ever described as black in the actual text.


不可解な僕のすべてを and まちカドまぞく. Other than those ささやくように恋を歌う has also been pretty good so far, but a new volume of it wouldn’t be quite as exciting to me as for the other two.

5 Likes

In case anybody missed out on it: Voting is up for the next book in the Advanced Book Club!

If you’re interested, hop right in to cast your vote:

If you’re not interested: Sorry for disturbing! :bowing_woman:

7 Likes

This is one reason I feel I wouldn’t be able to watch the anime adaptation of 三ツ星カラーズ. Although Kotoha’s hair is blue in the manga cover artworks, it’s always pure black on the manga pages. The anime goes with a very blue blue.

3 Likes

They’d hardly be Mittsuboshi Colours if they had monochrome hair. :stuck_out_tongue:

5 Likes

Reached my goal! 42 hours of reading across 6 weeks. I did not complete the tadoku series but came close; a little more than one volume to go. By deep into level 4 my comprehension was noticeably down, but I was able to follow the major contours of the stories, which was encouraging. I am going to take 3 weeks off from any formal study requirements to attend to year-end festivities, but look forward to coming back in 2021 with a new reading goal. Have a great holiday season, everyone… :snowflake:

14 Likes

ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 made it to the 9th place of the 2020 bookmeter series ranking! (Note that the page below opens the overall ranking by default, not the series ranking)

I don’t really know why I feel happy about it, but I do!

10 Likes

Just a quick heads-up that currently there is a Murakami sale going on at Bookwalker (with a 30% cashback), plus a number of his books seem to be newly released as ebooks on Dec 18th (e.g. 1Q84, 神の子供達 and others).

5 Likes

Yeah!!

Ohhh… :pensive:

2 Likes

Yes, I know… But if you want to buy two books, you can first buy one and then immediately apply the cashback to the second one at least. (And then, maybe you want to buy a third one later :joy_cat:)

Thing is, I’ve been resisting the urge to add my card details on the site, and only used Apple Pay for purchases (you don’t get cashback for those for some reason). Firstly, I haven’t done it just to avoid giving my card details to too many places, and second, to avoid myself of getting addicted to buying too often. To be honest, I find the cashback system quite predatory. You get pressured into buying more with temporary points. Now I only mostly buy during “normal” sales, and I already have too many books :smiley:.

2 Likes

I have a separate card just for shopping online :sweat_smile:
It’s actually a digital prepaid, it doesn’t even have a physical form, it’s rechargeable and I love it.

4 Likes

Yep, those are two very good reasons. I can totally relate!

Yes, I fully agree. Although in practice it turns out that (at least for me) those points get used up quite quickly, with a new manga here and there, and there’s already no points left any more… But agreed, very valid opinion.

I will … not comment on this :rofl:

4 Likes

Virtual credit cards are your friend.

I’ve tried to look into it a few times, but haven’t yet found anything that isn’t moderately expensive or/and allows some anonymity. Just giving my personal information to more places hardly feels like a solution.

The main appeal for me is that if one website is compromised, I can cancel one virtual card number without canceling my actual credit card. One of the credit cards I have provides this service for free.

2 Likes

For me it’s around 5 dollars to create a card and a card lasts 5 years, but I guess the options depend on the country…
And I made a separate bank account for this service, so I’m feeling safe about my data, too.
Funny fact is, I didn’t want a regular account because of the fees, and they couldn’t offer me a virtual card on its own, but they could offer me a free savings account as my basic one. I find it ridiculous that I had to create a savings account to be able to comfortably spend money.

3 Likes