[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Right. At this point, I don’t feel that much difference between reading things in French, English, or Japanese (either in terms of difficulty or in terms of lack of motivation). I think I am paying the price of going through the challenge of reading 100 books (in Japanese) in a year. Going through the 5~10 last books definitely felt like a chore despite being actually content I do enjoy usually (and did indeed enjoy) but the fact that the goal was in sight really kept me going. Now that I’m done, I’m really feeling like I’m crashing down.

Anyway, let’s play is also a thing I like to watch, indeed, so why not.

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Manga Time Kirara MAX sale on Bookwalker and points back on Amazon. See my other post:

https://community.wanikani.com/t/general-manga-thread/36339/216?u=seanblue

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I’m three episodes in, and it’s pretty fun so far!
Re: fan service, well, female armors are definitely on the skimpy side, but that’s how it is in actual MMO, so at least it’s true to life…
What is less realistic is that no one is screaming “plz nerf” while crying tears of blood so far.

… I wish I could eat as much cake as I want for absolutely zero calories.

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Did someone say ゼロ・カロリー!?

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Last year I read a ton of manga, in part because the amount of time I could read Japanese novels in a day didn’t fill up the amount of time I could read Japanese in day. This year my brain’s limit on Japanese novel-reading has expanded, and most days it hits both the amount of time I can read Japanese and, simply, the amount of free time I have to read. And it turns out, if I can read one or the other, I’ll almost always pick the novel. This means that even though I’m in the middle of series that I want to get back to, I don’t end up reading manga. However! I am right now in a novel slump of sorts! And it’s possible I am letting that state continue longer than it needs to because oh hey, reading manga is also fun. :grin:

I also just think I need to be more choosy with what manga I read (<–a theme of the last couple of years). In pursuit of that, today I took a look at my list and told myself to categorize some as low priority (rather than which ones I wanted to stop reading), and bam, a whole bunch got put in the low priority folder, lol. Goodbye, (titles redacted), I will come back to you if/when I actively feel like it. I have shuffled them out of view so that I don’t feel any weird guilt about pausing on them.

For novels, I’m in the middle of four. So far I’m keeping up with the weekly readings of すべてがFになる. Every couple of days I poke at 君の名は and/or 青桐. I wasn’t in the mood for either today, so I read a bunch on 獣の奏者 3. Of these four, one is a (caught-up-with) book club, one is a (I don’t care very much about this and am behind but let’s poke at it sometimes) book club, one is more difficult than what I usually read, and one can be heavy. Therefore, between the four of them, I’m not hitting my reading quota for the day and can read manga to make up the difference. The six volumes currently on my manga tablet are 鋼の錬金術師 1, ダンジョン飯 1, 日常 1 (not yet started), よつばと 15, スキップ・ビート 6, and 魔王城でおやすみ 3. I’m ahead of my novel-reading goal pace for the year, so I guess I’ll let this in-between kind of period go on a little longer. It’d also be nice if I could get my in-progress novels down to two. (Now that I’ve posted these good intentions I’ll probably fall headlong into the next 伯爵と妖精.)

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… What did I just watch.

Oof, yeah, female high priest (forgot her name) from 炎帝の国…

Anyway, the anime was fun indeed, thanks @seanblue for the suggestion. The Japanese is also very easy to understand (I thought), except when voices are distorted (e.g. demon form メープル or ガラクタの王), then my understanding drops to near 0 somehow :joy:
I just reflexively bought the first 10 volumes of the light novel… The first season covers the first 4 volumes or so…

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Yes, it was the first anime I tried watching with only Japanese subtitles and I found it pretty easy. Thankfully the subs let me follow along even during the distorted voice scenes, but I rarely needed to reference the subtitles overall, which was nice.

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I’m quite late to the party, but I’ve added myself to the list. I think 12 is quite doable with my current speed, but as I’d like to go to the JLPT in December, my priorities might shift over time.

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Alright, I’ve entered my name in the wiki :smiley:
I’ve almost finished my first Japanese book. Kiki will be my second.
I’ll be quite busy in a few weeks, not sure if I can keep up the current speed (as slow as it already is) but this will keep me accountable!

I hope I can look back at this someday and think how much I’ve improved haha

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this manga looks SO cute! i’ll look for it the next time i’m at bookoff :cowboy_hat_face:

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is this okay to post? this is what i’m reading today lol. 259 page 小説。

this is the first book i’m going to be reading without looking up any words at all!!! yeah all the books and manga i’ve read so far i’ve looked up all or almost all the unknown words… this time i just want to challenge myself to go through a book dictionary-free and see what that’s like lol. i need to raise my tolerance for ambiguity!!!

btw does anyone here do most of their reading without a dictionary? do you feel like your vocab is still growing at a good pace even having 1~3 (or more) unknown words on each page and not looking them up?

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And I finished volume 1, which corresponds to the first 3 episodes. It’s interesting to see the design decisions they’ve made for the anime. They merged events, changed a bit the order and skipped a few things, but it didn’t feel weird. Instead, the books feels more diluted in comparison :confused: In terms of writing, it’s also not quite there. I’d say it’s on par with Kuma4.
I’d give it a 6/10, especially for that price, but at least it gives me a tons of stats and boy do I love numbers, especially when they go up.
Plus, well, I already bought the next 9 volumes. That also happened with Kuma4 now that I think of it.
So I guess I will eventually keep reading it.

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I did tell you that I suspected it would be a bad LN. :rofl:

Have you ever considered, I don’t know, just buying one volume to start..?

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Takamaki An in Persona 5 just asked me
「係長、課長、部長ってなんとなくで分かるんだけど…時々、どれが上だっけ?とか思わない?」
And I’m like

Girl
You have no idea

foreigner blues

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週刊プロレス talk

(@fallynleaf)

The biggest news this week is the “賛否両論を巻き起こした2冠統一問題” with the reveal of the new IWGP World Heavyweight Belt and Ibushi’s sudden defeat.
I was expecting more commentary about it than there is, but perhaps it’s still too recent news for full features. 拳王 talks about it in his column and likes the new belt, saying it looks like a Kamen Rider transformation belt and is “今っぽい,” fitting for the younger, lighter, more elegant athletes at the top of the NJPW scene right now. But he points out inserting “World” into the belt’s name doesn’t really make sense since IWGP already has “International” in it.
At the end of the magazine, in a spotlight about Okada returning to the title picture, Okada has a similar sentiment where he says it’s a world-class championship because IWGP=NJPW and it’s the most prestigious championship in the world because of that, regardless of whether “world” is in there or not.

AJPW’s Champion Carnival is starting up, so there’s a big interview with Jake Lee, along with surprise entrant Shinjiro Otani and a funny one with Izanagi where he uses his mystic powers to predict various outcomes.
Last year the Champion Carnival, G1 Climax, N-1 Victory, and 5 Star GP were all at the same time, so since I thought being WFH because of the pandemic this would be my one chance to do something like that, I watched all of them. The Champion Carnival was the one I liked the least, but it did win me over hard on Kento Miyahara, and I’m feeling a bit wistful seeing it’s starting again… Now I have more context about the wrestlers, and might appreciate people like Suwama and Ishikawa more, and I am still WFH after all…

The centerpiece of this issue is an overview of 8 men’s wrestling promotions, with a faction guide showing the full roster, champions, and summaries for each. The charts are very cool, and I thought the most interesting bullet point was the “最大のセールスポイント” so that’s what I’ll list out here.
The promotions are:

  • 新日本プロレス
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。ビッグマッチ攻勢
    (which is probably why I’ve cooled off NJPW the most in the pandemic era… The audience went such a long way towards giving a “big match” the aura of an earth-shaking event)
  • 全日本プロレス
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。ヘビー級の厚み
    (the champions here are still beefy boys, while other promotions these days are usually much more open to different styles at the top. I think knowing this was what to expect going in might have made me more receptive last year - Suwama isn’t typically how I picture a wrestling champion nowadays)
  • NOAH
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。武藤の“味”
    (武藤 as in Keiji Mutoh, to be clear. Talking about his dynamism at his age and the road of title defenses ahead)
  • DDT
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。プロレスの本道
    (with Jun Akiyama as new champion and head coach, the keyword is “本道” and further establishing DDT as a promotion that can sell on pure wrestling merits and not just as a variety show)
  • DRAGONGATE
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。新ウニットが続々誕生
    (I guess Dragon Gate frequently forms new stables, such as the recent マスカレード and ハイエンド. I don’t know anything about Dragon Gate, but Shun Skywalker comes up a lot in these magazines (and the pull-out calendar included in one issue that I put on my fridge) and it looks potentially cool. It’s also the promotion that inspired Mayu Iwatani to become a pro-wrestler, so there’s that.)
  • 大日本プロレス
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。デスマッチXストロング
  • FREEDOMS
    最大のセールスポイントは。。。心に刻むデスマッチ
    (Rina Yamashita is a tag champion here, that’s cool! I saw her in a death match in Ice Ribbon and was very impressed)
  • みちのくプロレス
    Michinoku Pro doesn’t actually get a listed salespoint, but it looks like the place to go for 東北 regional wrestling, and The Great Sasuke doing a lot of zany fun stuff. I’d watch that!

Maybe they’ll do the women’s promotions next issue, that’d be cool.

The historical column is about the start of the Inoki era as in 1967 he returned to Japan and rescued Giant Baba from a dastardly attack by a group of foreign heels including Waldo Von Erich (not actually a Von Erich, luckily for him) and Butcher Vachon. Apparently following this Inoki (in his 20s then) was called 若獅子 for a time. I don’t know how long or how extensively, but I assume that’s where the term “young lion” for trainee wrestlers in NJPW comes from! Neat!

Maki Itoh’s column is about her twitter getting hacked!
Apparently it happened from an Instragram phishing ransomware message that she clicked on because it said her account broke the terms of service and she was worried it was because of all the raised middle fingers and swearing and whatnot. So in some ways it’s a relief it wasn’t real and she can post freely. She hopes whoever the hacker is, they make a living in a happier way, and if that doesn’t cheer them up, then they could try watching her wrestling.

There’s a big interview with 男色ディーノ as he’s challenging Akiyama in DDT.
I don’t know if new users know this, but for a long time Wanikani’s mnemonic for せい involved the wrestler/comedian Razor Ramon Hard Gay, before it was changed as people were understandably confused and uncomfortable about it. I haven’t watched enough DDT to know what to think about Dino, but it’s probably a good thing WK didn’t use him as a mnemonic for だん!
The interview seems pretty sober. He talks about being a Peter Pan figure trying to keep DDT from growing up vs. very serious adult Jun Akiyama.
(there’s a couple other DDT interviews I didn’t have enough context for to get a ton out of)

There’s a column about an upcoming Hana Kimura memorial show :cry:
It talks about Kyoko Kimura’s efforts to preseve Hana’s legacy, her lawsuits and non-profit Remeber Hana, and they also interview a wrestler named Asuka (朱崇花, not that ASUKA) about tagging with Hana pre-Stardom and appearing in the memorial show.

In a rare additional WWE coverage, there’s interviews with Io Shirai and Asuka (this time that ASUKA) in the leadup to Wrestlemania week. Io talks about how she’s ending up a babyface for this title defense because she’s found babyface or heel, she’s respected by the fans and she’s touched by that.
Asuka talks about nearly missing wrestlmania because of a concussion and teeth-related injury and surgery. This is where I learned the word 脳震とう. Reading this much about wrestling, I’m honestly shocked it took this long :grimacing:

There’s an ad for the New Japan smart phone site, which has weekly diaries from various wrestlers. I actually haven’t checked these out! I just kind of assumed they’re region locked in some way, but who knows.
In any case, there’s a list of the diaries here, and all of these titles crack me up! They all somehow perfectly match each wrester’s personality. The air quotes around YOSHI-HASHI slay me and I don’t know why.

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BookLive provides random discount tickets. In this case, I had “buy up to 10 books at 20% off”, which is very rare, so I wanted to maximize the impact :upside_down_face:
I see now how it was a trap.

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Buy ten books and get 20% off… or buy one book and get 90% off. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thank you again for this!! And the NJPW diaries actually aren’t region locked! I have a friend who lives in America who is able to access the diaries. From what I’ve heard, there’s a lot of fun content in there!

I didn’t watch the Champion Carnival last year, but I did watch the G1, a good chunk of the N-1, and eventually the 5 Star (albeit a couple months removed from when it initially happened). I can’t imagine watching all four at once, wow! Admittedly, AJPW hasn’t hooked me yet either, but knowing my track record, all they need to catch my interest is a story centered on a dramatic tag team betrayal. I also know a few folks who are watching the Champion Carnival right now, and they’re enjoying it.

Rina Yamashita recently wrestled a match in TJPW that was fantastic! It was Hikari Noa’s first hardcore match. I write a lot of very informal essays about wrestling, and I wrote one about this match, accompanied by some gifs.

I didn’t know that WaniKani used to use a mnemonic involving Razor Ramon Hard Gay, that’s interesting. And yeah, Dieno is… complicated. I have a lot of mixed feelings on his character, but I did really love his feud and match with Jun Akiyama (I wrote about it in depth if you want more context for the interviews). And here’s a post with my thoughts on Dieno, at least. The short version is that I like the character better now that I have greater familiarity with DDT, but I still dislike the gimmick and think it’s irresponsible.

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Yeah, it was an especially stressful time with the pandemic and what felt like the entire coast on fire so zoning out to wrestling while working or putting together gunpla was surprisingly soothing. It was too much though, haha. My main takeaway (other than getting into Stardom) was just that I don’t think you’re really supposed to watch all the shows in a round robin tournament like that. A lot of the point seems like it’s that anyone on the tour gets to see cool important match-ups, even without following the rest of the tournament. But I do like it as a cross-section of a promotion I haven’t kept up with before, though!

Thanks for the links! I agree with you about Dino’s gimmick! Like it seems on balance definitely not-great to bad, but I’ll certainly take crass and kind of gross over actively hateful any day, and it seems like it clears that bar at least. Which isn’t always a guarantee in wrestling. The Akiyama feud seems like a fun encapsulation of DDT, and boy the next issue of the magazine sure has some choice pictures from it… I learned some stuff from your post too, so thanks!

I think I remember seeing some pics of that Yamashita TJPW match in the magazine too! I should remember to watch it. If you feel like tracking down her match with Risa Sera in Ice Ribbon I’d definitely recommend that too. It involved a motorcycle and…

...whatever this is

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I definitely relied on wrestling to get through the pandemic, yeah, though man, the cognitive dissonance of watching a high-contact sport during a pandemic did get to me. But wrestling gave me things to actually look forward to and a reason to get excited for the next week or month, and that’s more than I had with anything else. And I actually really love watching all the shows in a round robin tournament, haha! I think it’s the best way to fully understand and appreciate the full narrative arc of the tournament, since usually tournaments have a whole bunch of stories going at once, and each match builds to them for each wrestler. However, watching more than one tournament at a time sounds incredibly grueling! I am glad that you found Stardom that way, though!

And omg that picture! I have a hard time watching deathmatches, but there’s a lot that I love about them conceptually. I recently learned that Jun Kasai did a series of Shakespeare deathmatches (the shows were apparently a combination of music performance, acting, and wrestling), and sadly I think they were only recorded on limited release DVDs, but there are some reviews of them out there. Here’s a review of King Lear, which taught me the word 流血, and which apparently featured a deathmatch on a bed of roses. I believe the other two plays they did were Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.

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