You’re so right. It’s shameful, I don’t even have a favorite クワ…
Finally finished 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 and uh, it was fine, but good lord I’m starting to feel like all these books (the ones I’m reading, not specifically the ハルヒ series) are enjoying dancing around the idea of an interesting concept way too much?
Maybe I’m just reading to many books that are only intended to be slightly beyond slice-of-life while expecting fantasy/sci-fi, but it almost feels like a full-blown trope at this point that Japanese books introduce a supernatural concept, give a couple teaser scenes that feel like they’re foreshadowing an actual significant event, only for there to either be no event at all or the event to be spectacularly insignificant in both what actually happens and impact on the overall story.
If anybody has suggestions on books with a little more action, I’d gladly take them It’s not even really that I don’t enjoy slice-of-life (I actually love 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 to pieces, not sure if emotionally devastating stories technically count as slice of life or not though), I just need to find a better way of knowing what I’m actually getting into when I choose books, it seems.
I may also take a break from the novel side of 多読 to make more time for the book clubs I’m in and my 漢検 studies until that passes and I can drop that studying for a while. Ain’t nothin’ gonna stop me from continuing to read 鬼滅の刃, though.
What kind of action are you after, i.e. what genres do you generally like? If you’re into crime thrillers, there seems to be a gazillion of books out there… Just start with one author and Google will suggest other authors
What I also did to collect recommendations was to read book reviews, e.g. have a look at culture trip or Japan Times (they both review English books so you need to find the names of the originals through Wikipedia or the like) or http://www.tsundokureader.com/ (reviews Japanese books). I also asked a lot of Japanese people (e.g. my teachers at language school, or people I met during my travels) what their book recommendations would be, and I got the most awesome answers The monthly Bookmeter recommendation email lists also contain interesting picks. Last not least, there seems to be a book award for almost every genre, so find a genre you like and check out the winners.
Curious to hear what you will come up with!
魔法少女育成計画. The first volume was pretty good, but really difficult for me. I enjoyed it enough that I would like to read volumes two and three (which make a two part story) at some point, but I decided to wait until I got a little better/faster.
I virtuously didn’t start the next volume of the villainess light novel series because I wanted to catch up on book clubs and read some of my other novel, and now it’s been a few days and I have not only not started light novel #3, I have read nothing but manga, period. This is the opposite of the goal.
Volume 13 isn’t any better. It’s a semi-direct continuation of the previous volume (basically, they are still in the dungeon and have to just go back to the same place they were during the previous volume). Mostly a succession of boss fights, with just a little bit of background on リュー and the dungeon. Interestingly, the book has mostly avoided killing people so far, and to keep the killing offscreen when it happened. But this time, nope. Many adventurers died left and right, and it was pretty graphic. The volume ends on a cliffhanger, because why not: Bell is half dead, with no equipment nor potion on floor 37 (the start of the 深層). Also, one of the previously mentioned boss is coming for him, and another one is targeting the rest of the team. I guess we can expect some more fighting next time.
Why are you still reading the series then? There’s so many light novels to choose from. Or is the abundance of choice the exact reason to continue with something familiar?
Cross-posting this poll to see who’d be interested in reading other 上橋菜穂子 books after we finish with 獣の奏者 book 2 in December.
I took a break from 狼と香辛料 after chapter 2 (about 30% done the book), partly because I wanted to read something just published in English and partly because it was too hot outside and that’s where I was doing most of my binge-reading. But now I’m having trouble getting back into it… Maybe I’ll just take it easy for a few weeks until 本好き starts, and then I’ll pick 狼と香辛料 back up if it wins the next round of Advanced Book Club. I don’t know…
The series has been generally good so far, so I hope it will get better again. Also, there are only 2 published volumes left. Might as well keep going
One week later, and I’m happy to report this was a success! I read six volumes of 外つ国の少女 and one of 女神異聞録ペルソナ. Some days were slower than others (I neglected to factor in my brother’s wedding…and my bridal party duties…into the time planning), but it wasn’t too bad. I even stayed up to date on the 夜市 book club on top of it all.
It’s kind of funny…I picked 外つ国の少女 to read for this sprint because it had been pretty easy up to this point, but around vol. 7 it suddenly took a change from the laid-back “girl and her monster” pace and turned into full-on political intrigue complete with a lot of fantasy worldbuilding. Fortunately it was still manageable. I really really need the next volume to come out though. The ending of this one was such a tangle of emotions and I’m super invested in seeing what happens.
I think at this point I’m going to dial way back on my manga consumption and just read things as they catch my fancy. I’ve been wanting to do more audio immersion so I’m thinking I’ll start watching Haikyuu (a friend of mine has gotten really into it recently). Plus my little sister has overtaken me in Persona 4 so I should probably get back to that…
ハイキュー has become a fun problem to have. In the last two days I’ve read four volumes. Maybe I should just go with it and blitz through all 40-odd volumes and then catch up on everything else when I’m done? If I did focus on ハイキュー, since I already have a pretty good buffer on my manga pace it’d be fine to give my time to novels afterward for however long it took to catch up. Or I could try to take a break from this and catch up on novels now, but ハイキュー is not friendly about providing places I want to stop, at all. Eh, it’ll work itself out. (looks nervously at novel book clubs)
I almost wish I’d consigned my soul to ハイキュー reading earlier, since right now it seems like the world is full of ハイキュー spoilers waiting to get me. I wonder if subconsciously that is part of my frenzied-for-me pace.
In terms of book clubs and having too many of them, it might be turning out okay! For the intermediate one, I’m not drawn to the manga and I’ve already read the book, and I’m not drawn to the beginning club’s manga either, and then I’m not going to read 1Q84. I’ve also already read Harry Potter in Japanese, though that one’s far enough out it might not have been a problem. This means I’m only starting a new thing with the advanced book club, and part of me is kind of thinking I’ll drop out after a week or two, idk. (Or maybe I’ll love the book and keep going the whole way. Either way good!)
… If I did decide to try to break ハイキュー’s terrible spell, it’s possible the only thing strong enough is 乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった 3.
I just noticed 乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった is on Kindle本ポイントキャンペーン aka you get 50% back from your purchase as Amazon Points. Not a straightforward sale, but I actually decided to give it a shot because valkow and Naphthalene seem to have so much fun with this.
Because you don’t think you’ll like it?
Now that I have completed and reviewed the N3 grammar rules on Bunpro and have progressed halfway through N2. What free resources, i.e. books, should or could I use to improve my 日本語?
At your level, I was mostly focusing on manga.
You can check those available for free on things like booklive or bookwalker.
There are also some manga publisher who put the chapters online (instead of having a magazine), so you can basically read everything for free (you just won’t have access to the bonus chapters that are only in the volume release). For instance https://comic.webnewtype.com/
Yes, I recommend reading Haikyuu! Have been reading this as my first manga series in Japanese, and is now on volume 37. Since the world is full with spoilers around every corner, it is basically your fate to read Haikyuu now too :3
Read books! Watch anime! Play video games! There’s a ton of stuff out there.
For reading I like manga a lot, and pretty much every ebook store has a section where you can find free stuff, from 立ち読み (reading the first chapter as a trial) to entire free volumes to get you interested in a series, you can get a lot of practice. BE ADVISED that a lot of the free stuff in these places can be on the erotic side of things, so be careful where you are when browsing.
- MangaZ - mostly out-of-print and everything is free
- HontoJP - my personal preference due to their nice browser reader
- Bookwalker - haven’t used it myself but lots of people like it
- Sokunomi - ditto above
- Cmoa - a recent find for me; you can read some stuff without even creating an account or checking out
My personal preference is Honto.jp, and here are a few series I would recommend that happen to have some free offerings at the moment:
- 甘々と稲妻 - really sweet slice of life with a lot of cooking. The first three volumes (out of a total of twelve) are free right now
- ACT-AGE - cool drama anime about method acting (one volume free)
- 阿波連さんははかれない - Hilarious comedy manga about two weirdos both misguidedly trying to help each other acclimate to school (one volume free)
- 約束のネバーランド - Dark fantasy series (you’ve probably heard of it; the anime got pretty popular a while ago). I don’t want to say much about it but it’s good. (one volume free; the manga just ended recently)
- DR. STONE - High-octane action comedy with science of questionable authenticity (one volume free)
I check every few days to see what’s new and I’ve found a lot of great series this way. You won’t be able to read for free forever, but it’s a great way to get practice with no investment while you’re trying to find what you like.
There are lots of places to watch anime online (with Japanese subtitles even) but I’ll leave you to find links for yourself since I don’t want to run afoul of any rules regarding piracy. If you watch in your browser you can use something like Yomichan on the subtitles to help you effortlessly look up vocabulary. Otherwise, you can use one of the free (ad-supported) options like Crunchyroll, just make sure to turn off English subtitles.
Free videogames are harder to find, but some websites have stuff available either to download or to play in the browser; as one example, here’s 被虐のノエル on ゲームマガジン. Let’s Plays by Japanese people are also good – they often read dialogue aloud so you can practice your listening and your reading at the same time. Here’s a playthrough of Persona 5: Scramble on a channel I’ve watched a few times.
If you find that something is too difficult, don’t feel bad about dropping it and moving on to something else! You gotta find that sweet spot where you’re learning and also having fun. If you’re really struggling, a good way to ease yourself in would be to start with something you’re already familiar with – replay a game you know, but in Japanese this time; binge an anime with English subtitles, and then read the manga it was based on so you can learn without getting lost. Keep up the momentum and you’ll make progress as long as you stick with it.
@Aislin I hope you enjoy it! <3
@seanblue I’m not sure if I’ll like it or not, and even if I do, it might not be enough that I want to make the time commitment when I’m already reading a lot of things. I might like it but decide to read it later.
@Redglare It does kind of feel like the universe is pushing it at me! I happily accept.
Actually, regarding DanMachi, the last two volumes have gone “missing” from the public library, so I can’t rent them Well, nevermind then.