Yes, I saw that, but couldn’t quite figure out if it was chapters, books or whatnot. Thanks for clearing it up though!
The main reasons I find the series hard to recommend are that it took me most of the way through the first volume to get hooked, so I could see people giving up before that point, and also #3, the romance, is maddening. I personally mostly find it maddening in a fun and strangely satisfying way, but I could really, really see other people wanting to throw the book across the room, lol. (The blurred spoilers are not very spoilery at all, but I wouldn’t have wanted to know that feeling going in, so. Actually, it might have made me not want to read the series, so I guess it’s good I didn’t have someone clue me in.)
If you do end up trying it someday, I hope you like it! I am completely hooked now, so I will keep mentioning it.
I finished 裏世界ピクニック 3 and that was terrifying (for me). Way to directly target one of my phobias, book. At times, I tried to keep reading while covering my face. Well, as surprising as it sounds, that did not work.
Anyway, I’m going to refrain very hard from buying more books in that series since they are published very slowly and there are only 6 volumes published so far.
For my audiobook goal this year, I’ve been going with what’s easily available and/or inexpensive, not worrying about avoiding things that I would avoid in print. My reasoning was that my listening comprehension is so much poorer than my reading comprehension that I could put up with whatever. I guess I should be glad, but I’m learning that my listening comprehension is not actually poor enough to make that true, lol. I miss a lot, but I catch enough to be irritated if something is blatant. From now on I will choose more carefully. I’m thinking listening to things I’ve read before is my best bet in this phase.
I spent a few more evenings focusing on 週刊プロレス and… I actually caught up!
Relatively detailed description of my experience with the magazine in general to mark the occasion
(@fallynleaf wanted to be notified when I talked more about wrestling)
週刊プロレス’s made up of these parts:
These are the bread-and-butter. Recaps of the whatever shows happened in the week, from all the different promotions, spread throughout the magazine. I never really read these in detail, but the headlines and captions are a fun source of some flowery language, and the pictures are an interesting glimpse into a lot of promotions (and a regular glimpse of some gnarly death match stuff from Big Japan and Freedoms).
WWE always gets at least a couple of pages, and I was happy to see AEW show up more frequently in recent issues, although the coverage is almost exclusively about KENTA and the Japan side of the women’s tournament - the exploding barbed wire match for example just got a note that the explosions weren’t as big as Onita’s (lol) but it was still a good match.
A number of wrestlers have regular columns in the magazine (usually in casual interview format), and they aren’t always all that interesting, but I like how they reflect each one’s personality. Tanahashi’s column is very fun and good-natured but very self-conscious about the passage of time, Maki Itoh’s is thoughtful, self-deprecating, and ambitious, Kenoh’s is arrogant and heelish, Naito’s is, obviously, tranquilo. Iwatani’s “Buchake Talk” is the odd one out for being oddly written not from her perspective like a gossip column about her, but it’s a fun one still.
Genichiro Tenryu also has an occasional column with an older veteran’s perspective (I hope his medical issues clear and that can continue!) and there was another columnist who I didn’t know previously (and can’t remember the name of right now) who stopped because he left to go overseas, possibly to WWE.
News and Industry Commentary
I was curious what the tone of the magazine would be going in, and my takeaway is it’s not especially critical. When there’s commentary about goins-on, it’s pretty much always written from the perspective of a key person via description and interviews. So like instead of “here’s why AJPW is struggling and what they need to do” it’ll be (something like) “AJPW president says the corona crisis brings struggles and opportunities and they need to move forward” - that kind of thing. The match reports also don’t have star ratings or anything like that, but some positive acclaim comes through in year-end awards and who gets attention in features, etc.
I’d be very curious to know exactly how much of that is like, who the reporters are impartially interested in, and who the promotions make available because they want to push them. But either way it seems pretty accurate, in that for example, the magazine seems (correctly) very high on Giulia. And in some ways after getting all my wrestling news through the internet… it’s nice to have a less overtly jaded source sometimes…
There’ll be a few big features in each issue, usually at least one I’m very interested in and read all the way through, and a couple I’m passively interested in and skim depending on how I’m feeling.
A good example of the usual format is the feature building up to the hair-vs-hair match between Tam Nakano and Giulia recently - it was a lengthy (very good) interview with Giulia, an interview with Tam, an inset about past hair vs. hair matches in women’s wrestling, and then comments from a bunch of various wrestlers and industry people about their thoughts on doing a hair vs. hair match in the Reiwa era.
Other memorable features include a rarely recurring one that spotlights a particular championship belt and goes through its entire history, and a feature about the use of fluorescent light tubes in deathmatch wrestling and if it should stop because LEDs are replacing them and so the ones used in matches are brittle and more dangerous (and also because they’re extremely gnarly in the first place). My very favorite feature I’ve read so far is the one for Stardom’s 10th Anniversary that went through the history of the promotion in pretty significant detail with lots of interviews. That was a great pairing with the Mayu Iwatani book I read recently.
One aspect I enjoy a lot, is there’s a couple regular bits that dig into the history of Japanese pro wrestling - a weekly “this week in pro wrestling history” type of thing that’s usually about the 60s or 70s, and a page where they spotlight interesting back issues of the magazine (I think to try to get you to sign up for their app?).
In America, I feel like even in fan circles, there really isn’t a lot of pre-1985 historical consciousness about the sport… I suppose since there wasn’t really a national presence in the pre Rock ‘n’ Wrestling territory days. But my impression is that in Japan, the Rikidozan era and then the Inoki and Baba era still loom so heavily across the industry that you don’t get that “in the beginning Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan created wrestling” effect. So anyway, it’s cool to get a glimpse of that each issue, even if I don’t have the historical context to understand it very well.
In the end I think what I get from these is much less like… startling revelations? And more just an added weight of context and assurance, if that makes sense.
Sort of like listening to commentary - if one guy hits the other and the commentary says something, if you don’t know what he said you might think “man I wish I knew what he said” and then you go out and study the language for years and come back and it turns out he said “boy he sure hit that guy.” You know what I mean?
On the one hand, you feel like you could have guessed that, but on the other… you couldn’t have guessed that! You didn’t know the language!!
This is like that - I didn’t need to read Japanese to be able to tell Tanahashi is gregarious and heartfelt, and that’s basically the gist of the information his column conveys. But it’s nice to know that anyway. Having that reassurance plus slowly accumulating more and more context about wrestlers and their backgrounds and feuds with each other really does go a long way.
It’s also introduced me to lots of potentially interesting performers too of course. I’ve never seen Sareee wrestle, but I hope she does really well in WWE because she came across as talented and extremely hopeful here. Sometime I’d like to give Nico Nico Pro another shot or try to follow Ice Ribbon or SEAdLINNNG or Freedoms or Big Japan or Dragon Gate or Michinoku Pro or Marvelous or 暗黒プロレス組織666, etc.
One last note - it sounds silly to say, but since I’ve never lived in an area that runs a lot of big wrestling shows, and I’ve only been to a house show once (and was kind of ambivalent), I didn’t really think internally about pro wrestling as a live event, until reading these and seeing how much was geared towards telling you when and where shows are and how to buy tickets, about appreciating arenas and the live experience, etc. That’s a good reminder, especially with live audiences still half robbed from us.
It goes without saying that I would like to try seeing one of these shows live at some point.
A part of me does still feel a bit silly to have renewed this subscription when I definitely have a catastrophically large amount of other things to read, especially since finding bookwalker means I even have a source of other magazines I was curious about.
But at the end of the day I always do enjoy reading each of these issues, and I can be proud that my reading speed grew so much in such a short time that I could catch up - even if that may be as much or more due to learning which parts of the magazine I don’t mind skimming than improved comprehension. I’m hopeful that sitting and reading through the magazine each week will be a fun addition to my weekly routine, instead of just picking it up and putting it in the pile.
This is so awesome, thanks so much for tagging me! I really appreciated reading this. I see wrestlers posting about having stuff in the magazine, and I’m always so curious what the content of those pieces is like. I’m really looking forward to someday getting to the point where I can read issues myself, but in the meantime, I’m very grateful for your insight! It’s very inspiring!
I have finally finished the manga series that kickstarted my Japanese reading journey!
On top of that, the final volume turned out to be the 100th entry I’ve read and added on my account on Bookmeter so far
A special celebration: 一冊二milestones
I am nowehere as advanced as some people here, but today I finished the first volume of CardCaptor Sakura!
I was very motivated by the fact that I kept seeing kanji I had just learned. Of course there were still plenty of words I didn’t know and Kero’s Kansai dialect was quite a challenge, but it was a fun read.
Onward to the next volume!
This is the main reason I haven’t tried reading the series yet. I probably will at some point, but not right now.
Kansai is a really fun dialect though, and it shows up in so much stuff it’s basically mandatory at some point
just read ラブコン at some point
Yeah, haven’t read or watched that yet either.
I’d argue that light Kansai shows up in a lot of stuff (so I’m used to the watered down version), but I don’t see full blown Kansai dialect in very many anime and I don’t recall ever seeing it in a book or manga (not that I’ve read all that much).
Funny you should say that…I just finished reading うちの師匠はしっぽがない vol. 1 this week and it has a lot of thick 大阪弁 (it’s about 落語). 京都寺町三条のホームズ had a decent amount too. I’ve actually considered starting 極主夫道 because they apparently use it all the time, not like I need more series on my backlog or anything.
I read an issue of ハルタ magazine - specifically volume 80 from December 2020 (because it’s the first one with an uncollected chapter of ドンジョン飯 in it), and I had a really nice time!
I think Harta is a treasure trove for anyone interested in interesting manga aimed at adults (in terms of pacing and difficulty, not explicitness). Especially if you’ve any interest in things like calm slice of life, special interests and hobbies, historical fiction, fantasy, light yuri, gourmet, fashion, etc. They seem to tend to have a mixture of those kinds of elements.
It’s also about 1000 pages (comes out monthly), so there’s a lot in here.
Since this thread is full of a bunch of literary rubberneckers, I thought I’d give my impressions on every comic in the issue in case any of them pique your interest.
It’s just one chapter of each, and this is my first time reading almost all of them, so they aren’t deep impressions! But I’ll throw in pictures to convey the vibe a little.
What's in this issue of ハルタ
先生、今月どうですか chapter 4 by 高江洲弥
I remember this one as being about a young woman who’s a new landlord of an apartment building for some reason, and she’s gotta interact with her unusual tenants and do favors and stuff to keep everybody happy. But with a stranger and more laid-back than that sounds like. It looks pretty and has a fashion-y charm.
ホテル・メッツァペウラへようこそ chapter 3 by 福田星良
Emotions and mystique as a young man with a mysterious past works in an upscale hotel in Scandinavia. Didn’t leave a giant impression on me, but it seems like a slowburn so I’d be curious to see where it goes!
ふるラン chapter 8 by 石田裕揮
It’s a manga about running and then taking baths!
If you want to read about two women who run together and take baths together, read this, otherwise do not read this, I think it’s pretty straightforward.
生き残った6人によると chapter 5 by Kazune Yamamoto (switching to romanization for the author names because speed)
This one is 100% Terrace House + Dawn of the Dead. A gender-balanced group of young people get stuck in a mall during a zombie apocalypse. Cute premise!
瑠璃の宝石 chapter 9 by Keiichirou Shibuya
It’s a geology manga!
You know how some manga are just like, a slightly fictionalized excuse to talk about the author’s special interest? This is that, for geology! I don’t especially care about geology, but I enjoy the format and accrued some rock facts and vocabulary (not just in Japanese…)
This kind of manga always makes me a little sad the mainstream American comics industry got so intensely glued to superheroes.
百徳の幸 by Yusei Ito
This is a one-shot!
It’s fine! It’s about a sprite who wants to reward a good dude but he doesn’t seem to want anything.
帝都影物語 chapter 3 by Fumika Higa
A period piece about a body double!
It’s a lot more about wistful emotions and homesickness than epic tragedy, but it still reminded me of Kagemusha anyway because of the subject matter. I’d be happy to read more!
ドンジョン飯 chapter 70 by Ryoko Kui
This is my favorite manga! It’s great! Give it a shot!
(don’t start here though it’s uh, pretty heavily in the thick of it)
峠鬼 chapter 15 by Kenji Tsurubuchi
This one was intriguing fantasy adventure, but it was difficult for me to read because this was an obviously plot-heavy episode (it’s a big villain monologue mainly, about stuff I don’t understand jumping in at the middle like this), and also it’s heavily steeped in (I think) folklore. I’d be curious to see what it’s like from the beginning sometime.
山を渡る chapter 19 by Tetsuo Utsugi
This one seems like Laid Back Camp, but for mountain climbing. Also less of an emphasis on the relaxation and more on the social. Seemed like a nice time.
紙一重りんちゃん chapter 15 by Lychee Nagasaki
I found this one quite odd. It’s an unusual yonkoma, and I couldn’t really tell what the premise was from this chapter alone.
真柴姉弟は顔が固い chapter 4 by Mariko Kikuchi
This one was a really big stand out to me!
The art style’s really crisp, and the content heartfelt and nice, about a girl trying to figure out how to get another girl (who has a crush on her) to open up. I’ll have to look more into it after this!
I’m gonna paste two pics since I can’t pick.
金曜日はアトリエで chapter 14 by Sakura Hamada
This one was fine - guy has a crush on this girl he knows, and they walk around town.
I actually didn’t notice until now, but the one-sentence summary/slogan for the series says one of them is an artist and one of them is a nude model. Huh! I should probably read those more closely next time… I did not infer that context whatsoever from the chapter, and wondered how they knew each other.
クプルムの花嫁 chapter 7 by namo
This one seemed pretty cute! It’s about a young couple who are engaged and one of them is a metalworker.
I feel like that sentence explains nothing but also it explains everything about the chapter.
アンリの靴 chapter 8 by Mai Kawamoto
Cobbler manga! It’s a manga about cobbling! You’re damn right I don’t know anything at all about cobbling but would happily watch manga characters feel a bunch of emotions about it.
二コラのおゆるり魔界紀行 chapter 23 by Asaya Miyanaga
I’ve read the first chapter of this before in English, and enjoyed it! It’s got a very different vibe from most manga, and it’s a cute one. Apparently this is the penultimate chapter! I’ll have to catch up some time. Looks like it’s built to a nice ending.
ことり文書 chapter 2 by Miki Amano
Manga about a clumsy maid! Does a nice job of endearing you to the protagonist and the lady she serves.
落し物日和 by Misaki Araki
Very short but pretty nice one-shot about bad luck causing opportunities to reconnect.
煙と蜜 chapter 21 by Hiroko Nagakura
Period piece (… Taisho maybe?) where a young girl has a crush on a grown man and has to pick an outfit to go on a trip with him in. I don’t know yet how to read that relationship, but there’s nothing intensely untoward here and the guy has a… villain vibe to his character design, I’d say. So I’d imagine things get complicated or contrary to expectations. Or I could be misinterpreting things (reading a random chapter is weird like that).
ハクメイとミコチ chapter 79 by Takuto Kashiki
This is one I’ve read (the first volume of) in English!
And I’ve since bought the series in Japanese because it seems really really good! As I recall, it’s basically about this lesbian couple (or at least permanent housemates) who are extremely tiny and live out in the woods and do odd jobs for other extremely tiny wood denizens. It’s very peaceful and builds a wonderful little world.
夜の名前を呼んで chapter 4 by Tama Mitsuboshi
I had kinda mixed feelings about this one. The girl at the center of it is endearing (and likes books), but I wasn’t sold on the dynamic otherwise and it feels a little um… Witch Hat Atelier-y but not as gorgeous (which is unfair). The hook at the end though was interesting (and probably comes up in earlier chapters…)
アビスアジュールの罪人 chapter 3 by Akihito Tomi
Mermaids! Doing mermaid stuff!
A really nice fantasy, almost sci-fi-ish atmosphere here.
ミギとダリ chapter 35 by Nami Sano
I wasn’t that into this one, but to be fair my enjoyment with series I didn’t know already was often inversely proportional to the chapter count, which makes sense! It’s about two twins, and from what I gather it’s sort of a Hanna type of situation - escape from some kind of lab, mysterious telekinetic powers. Something along those lines.
I actually didn’t put together why they’re named that until just now. Sheesh!
極東事変 chapter 13 by Aguri Ohue
So this one… I would have to read more and probably study more history to really evaluate. It’s about Japanese patriots after the war who have been purged from public office and instigate the masses against the American occupied forces.
Which is obviously a very fraught subject! I don’t want to knee-jerk react to it in one direction or another, and for what it’s worth, it seems like the book’s take isn’t kneejerk either. I’d be curious to see where it’s going.
九国のジュウシ chapter by Kouhei Nishi
This was actually another standout for me.
It’s got a very odd vibe that’s hard to put my finger on, with art that sometimes reminds me of those great SNK fighting game box covers. It’s a historical drama, I think maybe with real characters, not fictional ones (I was reading these quickly), but amped up with a mix of zany and violent that reminds me of Golden Kamuy or maybe a Vinland Saga. A lot of decapitations. Very curious about this one.
昴とスーさん chapter 27 by Natsuko Takahashi
It’s a baseball manga* AND it’s a yuri manga!*
Also I think it might be a time loop manga???*
I did not always do a very good job of gathering the basic premise of a long-running manga before trying to vaguely gather it from context.
* Editor’s note: I’m probably wrong about all three parts of this.
ヴラド・ドラクラ chapter 23 by Akiyo Ohkubo
Honestly, expecting Dracula, I was kinda underwhelmed. I didn’t follow it very well, but it’s likely just that it’s a slower burn than can come across great in random single chapter format.
不思議の国のバード chapter 7 (?) by Taiga Sassa
This is one I didn’t read very carefully because I think I bought these volumes sight-unseen in a sale already! It looked interesting!
I still think it looks interesting.
Similar to A Bride’s Story, it seems like, in that it’s largely about observing local customs, just in this case it’s period (… Edo? Meiji? Taisho?) Japan
冥府が来た！ last chapter by Misaki Koshitani
At first I wasn’t into this but it grew on me… it’s about befriending the devil. I’m very not clear how many chapters there were to this, since it just says this is the last one. So I wasn’t sure how closely to read.
はなやっこ chapter 27 by Ayumi Hara
Fun yonkoma! Three women in bit of a love triangle run a flower shop. The art’s nice too!
東京城址女子高生 chapter by Kanae Yamada
This one is like Laid Back Camp, but instead of camping, it’s a “visiting castle ruins” club!
My mom looooooves (European) castle ruins, and growing up she took us to them constantly, so there’s something very nostalgic to me about this premise. It seems like you would need to take your time with it and really appreciate the places they’re visiting and history they’re mentioning to get anything out of it though, and reading one chapter in the middle of a bunch of others over an afternoon, much like as a kid who’s tired of hiking and just wants to go home (sorry Mom), isn’t the ideal setting.
This is one I’ll have to check out and see what I think in volumes. It might be some fun support for studying Japanese history (it seems like it would be incomprehensible if you don’t know any history).
碧いホルスの瞳 chapter 38 by Chie Inudoh
This seemed too high of a chapter number for me to follow what was going on, especially this deep into the magazine. But I’m baseline definitely interested in reading a manga set in Ancient Egypt, and I notice now the tagline is 男装の女王の物語, which sounds intriguing.
やさしい異星人 by Reika Aihama
One shot about a cute alien on Earth being bullied by humans at work.
As you might imagine, things do not work out for the bullies in the end…
西部高校あおぞら弓道部t final chapter by Sawako Arashida
Archery manga! This is the final chapter so I only barely skimmed it, figuring I would not have the archery knowledge to appreciate the intricacies presumably tied artfully to the character’s story arcs.
音嫁語り chapter 69 by Kaoru Mori
I actually skipped this because I’ve read a bunch of Bride’s Story volumes in English and really enjoyed them, so I want to catch up in a more linear way sometime! It’s a really lovely and evocative series though, about daily life in historical central Asia.
P.S. apparently this and some other series are moving to a new spinoff magazine, 青騎士. I hope that ends up on bookwalker!
北北西に雲と往け chapter 47 by Aki Irie
To be honest this was past the point where I’d probably been reading too much manga for the day so this one made the least strong impact on me, as it looked like a lot of talking between characters I don’t know.
That said, the art looks really nice and the slogan is about a 17-year old detective living in Northern Europe? I’m curious about that!
ヤギと羊の王冠 chapter 5 by Tetsuya Nakamura
Beer brewing manga! Express your emotions through the power of German beer styles!!
紅椿 chapter 17 by Hirona Takahashi
I didn’t really know what to make of this one! It was the most overtly risque, with a lot of the chapter involving tickling a voluptuous woman. Also a dog-girl was in the background? I think it’s about modeling.
… And that’s it!!
The back had some nice illustrations, reader comments, previews, contests, etc. and an interesting essay about proto-“otaku” culture (before it was called that) around the start of Gundam, comiket, etc.
Whew, that was… more than it was in my head!
Going in I was very unsure if I would be able to handle jumping into things in the middle, since I’m usually all about starting at the beginning. But it turns out I was able to let go of that pretty easily.
Until recently (until I joined this thread actually), I read a lot of manga and comics checked out from the library in English - just anything that looked even mildly interesting. But I stopped because I realized I was reading a bunch of manga in English every weekend to turn them in when I was much more excited to read manga in Japanese.
This filled that loss of a broad swathe quite nicely! And it’s already made me look into sampling other periodicals…
P.S. I counted it as a manga volume in the chart.
@Redglare Congratulations!! How did you like the end of the series?
@rodan One of my very favorites! I hope you like it whenever you give it a try.
Haikyuu ending, many spoilers
There were certainly both good and bad parts, I feel.
Time skip was fun! Ninja Shouyo in Brazil, random Oikawa encounter, Kenma turning out to become a youtuber, pro gamer and CEO of his own company… Lots of good stuff. I like how it wrapped up and tied together stuff related to Hinata and Kageyama’s past as teammates. And I like that we got to see Kageyama’s childhood memories, the ending showed that he found people that were better than him, someone that would put up a good challenge, as we could see from their first match after the time skip. Some pure, good rivalry. Time skip really does something to people, hehe, many of them has gotten so stronk!
One thing I didn’t like as much was that there were sooo many characters being accounted for in the end. I didn’t care for all the minor characters (like those that were not as memorable), though I can understand that other fans might be grateful for getting to know what each character chose to do after high school. Makes sense to end it like that.
And while time skip was fun, I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see Hinata and Kageyama as 2nd and 3rd years students, only some in-story photographs. I’d love to see more dynamics between the main characters and across each of the teams.
All in all, a pretty okay ending in my opinion You finished the series a few months ago, didn’t you? What are your thoughts on the ending?
I haven’t been reading a ton recently but I did read the sixth volume of まちカドまぞくjust now and (major spoiler)in a way it’s kind of cool that the misunderstanding was in the opposite direction of all the others in the series so far and Suika was seemingly just a much much worse person than you were led to believe and also really creepy(I guess it’s probably safe to assume that most of the demons that used to be in the town are just plain dead now). It’s probably my favourite volume so far, so I kind of hope the anime will get a third season after the upcoming second one since I think the second to last chapter of vol 6 would be cool to see animated
Momo not being Japanese also retroactively solves some of the issues I had with how it felt like she took stuff literally weirdly often in previous volumes or sometimes misunderstood stuff/caused misunderstandings due to word choices.
I’ve also noticed that the aside from the art style having changed a bit(in a way that works better since I think stuff like child Momo’s arm and Suika melting almost definitely would have looked worse in the original art style), the author is also playing around a lot more with the panel layout(which isn’t something I feel like I’ve seen a lot of in 4koma). More specifically there was a bit of objects stretching over multiple panels, panels that don’t have any borders to fit larger images, single panels that take up the space of several normal ones, etc.
Regarding actual book reading I’m also nearing the end of volume 1 of Sword Art Online Progressive and I hope the upcoming movie stays somewhat faithful to the book… but neither the trailers nor the main SAO anime are really giving me too much confidence in that department At least it will probably look pretty though.
Interesting! Bookmarked this post for June 2022:p Hopefully I’ll be ready to give the magazine a go around then:)
I still have the first two volumes sitting on my bookshelf, but it’s just so dense!! I did enjoy the anime, which I watched after deciding I wasn’t going to read the manga. I wish I could read the manga, but I still just don’t feel like reading that much text in a manga…
It’s an impressive one manga volume