[2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge

I started このはな綺譚 volume 4 per the poll results. (Sort of. It was tied for the top spot in the non-4-koma poll when I picked it.) It’s such an up and down series. Some of the chapters are funny or interesting. Others kind of just exist. But if nothing else it makes for good practice. The main character being naturally polite and being a 仲居 means lots of ultra-polite language. And the author likes to use less common kanji / word spellings, like 仰る instead of おっしゃる. So it helps with getting more exposure to that kind of thing.

Once I’m done with このはな綺譚 volume 4, I guess I’ll move onto the clear winner of the 4-koma poll: そらコミュニケーション. I still know almost nothing about this series, so hopefully it’s good! It’s apparently such an unknown series that it’s not even listed on AniList or MAL. And I’m one of only 11 users on Bookmeter tracking the manga. :sweat_smile:

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Finished 伯爵と妖精 11! I don’t know the exact amount I read today, but I’m pretty sure I broke my daily record. I read 100+ pages (over a long period), took a break, thought about the ~80 pages left… and decided it had to be done. It took most of my day, but it was worth it!

Anki: added 59 cards, with 31 caught by the duplicate checker to be bumped up the priority list. :+1:

Continuing keywords

1 あいつは優雅な大悪党: mythical sword and merpeople
2 あまい罠には気をつけて: fog man and kidnappings
3 プロポーズはお手やわらかに: proposals, kelpies, moonstone
4 恋人は幽霊: spirits/possession, medium, selkies
5 呪いのダイヤに愛をこめて: diamonds and goblins
6 取り換えられたプリンセス: pirates, changelings, dragons
7 涙の秘密をおしえて: banshees, death omens, betrayal
8 駆け落ちは月夜を待って: short stories*
9 女神に捧ぐ鎮魂歌: war, dreams, confrontation, 夢魔*
10 ロンドン橋に星は灯る: self/selves, London Bridge, amnesia, climactic battle
11 花嫁修業は薔薇迷宮で: roses, デーン族 (type of 妖精), communication and intimacy
(* these ones have a bit more information given in their first posts)

12 紳士の射止めかた教えます: ?

I was ready to give myself over to the series until I reached another good pausing point, but this one turned out to be a strange case (in a way I liked very much) and I’m again at a good pausing point after reading it. With help from the advice and calculations of @seanblue, I’m starting to think I could risk a 本好き volume now and then (more precisely, I decided to allow myself a volume per month, at maximum, because if I did a volume a month starting now I’d read the hypothetical volume 35 at the end of 2023, which would give me, again hypothetically, a good buffer so that I’d never run out, with an easy-to-remember rule and hypothetical room to spare). However, I’m well and hooked on 伯爵と妖精 to the point that as long as I have more of it to read, I’m not feeling the pinch of needing to find other stuff, so I could also just wait until 伯爵と妖精 finishes grinding me into a paste of love, anxiety, and laughter, and then give myself over to 本好き. As usual when I’m feeling indecisive (and not prepared to throw myself on the mercy of a deciding poll), I will probably put the next volume of each (plus maybe a spider book) on my reading device(s) and see what I end up falling into. No matter what, I plan to keep going with ミステリと言う勿れ, because, oof, yes, I am already hooked. :curry:

eta: Actually, because now I am curious, a poll! This is not specific to my current reading, just a question in general.

  • I enjoy being invested in multiple series at a time.
  • I’d rather finish one thing I’m invested in before getting into another.

0 voters

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Popping in to let everyone know that the 妖怪の子預かります series (written by the same author as the 銭天堂 series, but significantly more advanced) is currently on sale on Japanese Kindle for anywhere from ¥331 to ¥385 per book, or you can purchase the entire 10-book series for about ¥3500 ($32ish based on current exchange rates). The first book is also free on Kindle Unlimited for anyone who has that!

Edited to add: These books are typically about ¥850/book, so about 60% off. And here’s the link to them that I also forgot: 〈妖怪の子預かります〉 (全10巻) Kindle版

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Ooh, I saw that it was on unlimited but not that the whole series was on sale. Guess I’ll have to give volume 1 a look soon! Thanks for the heads-up!

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I didn’t vote in the poll since I can’t decide! :persevere: On the one hand I like churning through a series, but on the other one of the major benefits of tracking reading to me is that keeping up with a lot of stuff at once is way more feasible since you won’t forget where you were… both fun!

ハルタ83号

There’s two new series starting in this issue.
My impression of the first one, 虎は龍をまだ食べない by Hachi Inaba, is that the author is great at drawing tigers and dragons fighting - but maybe less good at drawing large breasts that look like they exist in the physical world?
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I thought the second, 涙子さまの言う通り by Lunlun Yamamoto, was a really strong start! Sets up a mystery laden with ominous nobles and secret societies. Tonally, it reminded me a ton of Suspiria, but set in early Showa-era Japan, which is a combination I’m definitely up for.

It’s very hard for me to tell if any of these series are LGBT manga, both because this seems like the kind of magazine to relentlessly tease lots of potentially gay couples without making it explicit (Dungeon Meshi for example, has basically zero up-front romance, but plenty of ship material), and also because starting in the middle of a series, for all I know the characters are all related or something. Anyway, all of that is a lead-up to say that the chapter of ふろラン is 100% just two women being physically very close in a shared bath and then going on a nice date to an amusement park.

I’m still very much enjoying watching each of the series develop, and seeing the ratio of series where I know what’s going on slowly tick up as I catch up, new ones start, and old ones end.
The Dungeon Meshi chapter very much made me want to read ahead to see what happens, and I kinda want to catch up on this so I have more bandwidth for other magazines… so I might read more sooner rather than later.

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A quick stock-take of where I’m at with things:

  • 本陣殺人事件
    I quickly fell deep into this, and want to churn through it. There’s tons of Japan-specific architecture, tradition, and history terms, with lots of meticulous description, so it’s definitely a slower one speed-wise… ~60 pages into the ~200 page main story and ~400 page full volume

  • らんま1/2
    Ranma’s awfully fun – I feel like there’s a memorably funny visual gag on practically every page, and I’m jealous of Akane’s outfits. It’s definitely more episodic and tonally static than plot-driven though, so it’s ending up best as a cool-down in between heavier stuff. I’m on volume 7 of I think 20 and seem to get through about a volume every few days.

  • ダンガンロンパ
    Halfway through; very mixed feelings! I love feeling nice and accomplished solving mysteries and answering questions with time-limits in Japanese… don’t really like any of the characters or how they’re used in the story. There’s also some gender baggage I’m sure I’ll describe in more detail later… I was tempted to stop after the last session, but I have a harder time dropping story-driven games, so I’ll give it at least another shot or two.

  • 龍が如く維新
    I’ve played just enough of this to fall for it! I love 龍が如く and silver-age Superman style “here’s a story featuring people from history except they all look and act exactly like our regular cast” stories, so I love this. And the sword/gun combat styles are really fun! Looking forward to when this is my main game going for a good long while.

  • 週刊プロレス
    I’m behind by a chunk of issues again! Hampered by my being cool on wrestling lately, and having a lot of exciting things to read…

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I have fond memories of reading exactly 38 volumes of Ranma. Are you reading a jumbo edition? :slight_smile:

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Yep! They’re thicker than the original editions for sure.

(Inuyasha slipped in for reference – that’s the size of the older ones)

I actually got a random scattering of the original editions for free a long time ago, and tried to cross-reference chapter numbers to figure out what volumes of the new edition to get to fill in the blanks… but that’s a miserable exercise and eventually I just got all the new versions (I didn’t know about bookwalker at the time). They’re nice, anyway!

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They do look really nice!

I never liked the jumbo editions they had here (in Germany), but so far the bigger Japanese volumes I’ve seen have been nice to look at, and not too big.

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I have the fondest of memories
I want those just to sit on my shelf

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I feel pretty much the same way! Probably a lot of people are in the middle. I get more into the “finish this thing before starting a new thing” when it is a thing I get really super invested in, like 伯爵と妖精 and 本好きの下克上. If it’s the spider books or はめふら or stuff like that, where I have fun and want to keep reading but it doesn’t grip my soul, I can read however many at once. :grin: Also if it’s different mediums (like novels and manga), it seems to be on different tracks in my brain.

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Ha, the ghost of your edited-out question made it into the e-mail notification, so I was formulating an answer in my head during my morning routine! So I’ll answer it anyway :smiley:

In Japanese I only really got to practical novel-reading pace last year, so I don’t think I’m really quite at “grind through a series” pace yet the way I am with manga now. So that’s why of the novels I’ve mentioned reading, they’re all #1s with no #2s yet.

On the “itching to try” front… I’m really curious what those 女神転生 novels are like, I still haven’t read any Kiki’s, I’m curious about 帝都物語 (without really knowing anything about it except that it’s influential), I bet the latter volumes of Legend of Galactic Heroes really pop off, I got into reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms in English this year and like it a lot so at some point I want to read the 吉川英治 version of 三国志… and I mean, you can trust that I’ve quietly marked down plenty of books people are reading so 本好きの下克上, ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖, etc. are definitely in the hopper too…

In English, I’d probably put my novel series recommendation points all in on Ancillary Justice! I don’t think it’s an extremely obscure pick (won a bunch of awards), but that series has probably my favorite protagonist ever! Does a lot of really interesting stuff with perception of gender and the self across a sprawling sci-fi universe. I noticed a while back bookwalker has Japanese editions (starting with 叛逆航路), and at some point down the line I might try reading them out of curiosity to see how it translates…

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What’s that one about again? I remember it being mentioned before.

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I think it’s a mystery about books or something. I remember it sounding cool. For more detail than that, someone will have to chime in who’s read it. :slight_smile:

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It’s literally what @rodan said, involving old (and usually expensive) books. It’s hard to describe in more details before my first coffee, but I’m pretty sure I have linked my reviews of the books in the drop down under the big table at the top of this thread.

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Was on amazon and saw this bad boy in the recommended. Love me some new releases

Does anyone know how to like…get notified when the new book for a series gets released? At this point there will be a few I’m looking out for but idk how to know when they get released other than randomly seeing it in recommended.

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Sometimes you can follow a series or author, though I don’t know why it’s not always available. For example, on the ご注文はうさぎですか series page:

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But the カノジョに浮気 series you’re asking about doesn’t have that button for some reason. You could always reach out to their customer service and ask if you want. They have English support if you don’t feel like asking in Japanese. :stuck_out_tongue:

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When you’re reading through old posts by @Naphthalene.

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I was still young and innocent.
I’m still curious about かがみの孤城, by the way.
One day.

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A couple of quick Harta loose ends:

I read the just-released third volume of 煙と蜜 to finish catching up. I don’t have anything new to say about it, except that I especially like the chapters that don’t have anything to do with the engagement angle.

I also saw that the first collected volume of another Harta series, 帝都影物語, came out recently, so I read that to catch up on it as well. It’s quite good! I’m not head over heels for this series, but I don’t have anything particularly bad to say about it either, it’s just solid!

It’s about a plucky body double for a (fictional) imperial prince trying to do his best to adjust to his new role and navigate court intrigue.
It can be a bit hard to tell apart the body double from the prince in the art sometimes… but I suppose that goes without saying!
If the premise sounds interesting to you, and you want a manga without a giant number of back volumes to catch up on, it might be worth checking out.

I also like that a fictional Japanese (?) emperor quite naturally gets a fictional era name:

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Ah, the perils of an awkward, introverted second-guesser on a site with visible edit ghosts, lol. Still, in this case it worked out for me! Thank you for answering. <3

I enjoyed googling the things that you put on your itching to try list! It sounds like you’re not going to run out of stuff pretty much ever. :blush: And ooh, Ancillary Justice! I’ve read the first one (two?) of that back before I got more serious about not reading in English. At some point I’ll definitely have to get back to it. Have you read the Murderbot books, too??

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