[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Coincidentally, I’ve been looking over CCS vocabulary today (although from the anime).

Knowing the 650 or so most common vocabulary words used in the series covers about 80% of the dialogue. (Again, this is based on the anime, but it should be similar for the manga.)

Aside from that, I imagine the closer you are to complete N4 grammar familiarity, as well as common colloquial speech, the smoother the reading experience will be.

You can start sooner than that, but anything you read will be an uphill battle. (But that’s all the more reason to start reading, and see what you need to learn.)

Have you seen the anime (subbed) or read the manga in English to the point that you feel (at least somewhat) familiar with everything that takes place in the series?

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You can always just give it a look!

Click 無料立読み

Edit: It’s pretty low res though so the furigana is pretty unreadable.

Also I would imagine that for a beginner, all the magic spell ritual stuff is going to be pretty incomprehensible or at least difficult. But the actual slice of life and plot stuff is probably not bad.

Edit 2: also apparently her magical animal thing speaks kansaiben


Well that would be why I don’t watch/read harems. :slight_smile:

This is the main reason I haven’t bothered reading Cardcaptor Sakura yet. I do want to read it eventually. I just haven’t felt like dealing with that much dialect.

Most dialect that shows up in your average manga is really half-assed. Like with kansai, it’s usually just いい → ええ, ちがう → ちゃう, いかない/だめ → あかん, some おる instead of いる, throw some でs and わs at the end of a sentence and use や instead of だ then call it a day.


Cascading Ctyle Sheets, of course.


I feel it’s more pervasive than harem, though. At the top of my head, ぬらりひょんの孫 is the perfect example, as it’s an action manga (just checked on MyAnimeList and it has no harem tag either) and has a main character with a dual personality (personality split?): one nice guy™ and one asshole. And he randomly seduces at least two of the main female characters (one with each personality, though).

I mean, sure. I recently watched Akame ga Kill, which isn’t a harem. But all the female characters certainly loved the mediocre male main character for no reason! (You forgot, the male love interest can be the nice guy, the asshole, or the boring guy).


Sure. But on the other hand, I’m lazy. I’ll get to it eventually.

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Kind of?

Although, stuff like Ranma 1/2, or Dragon Ball, or ストップ!! ひばりくん! all play off of gender stereotypes a lot and I (mostly!!!) don’t mind them so much (but certainly see why others might).

I guess if you think about it as three criteria:

  1. my personal fun of the series wasn’t ruined by feeling uncomfortable about gender-related stuff
  2. there’s nothing related to gender in here that makes me uncomfortable
  3. there’s nothing related to gender in here that would make me think twice about recommending it to anyone

Dungeon Meshi meets all 3 easily.

Something meeting 1 and 2 but not 3 would probably be like… Food Wars? I thought the constant fan service was juvenile but wasn’t really bothered by it otherwise.

A lot of stuff would meet 1 but not 2 or 3 - where I like it (and it might even be one of my favorites) but parts definitely make me uncomfortable, like Dragon Ball w/ Master Roshi etc., or how when trans characters show up in the Yakuza series it’s usually really bad. Or the occasional gay caricatures in Mother 3. Or even Wandering Son just because it’s so fraught all the time. If that makes sense.

It might be hard for me to think of specific examples that meet none of those criteria, since I’m not really all that sensitive to this stuff and if something does set me off I’d be likely to stop reading and not remember it. But there’s a lot of harem stuff and eroge premises out there that I’m sure would not be fun at all to me.
One non-manga pet peeve that sucks the fun out of a movie for me, is wife revenge movies where the wife only shows up in airy flashbacks with no dialogue or personality. I can’t stand that.

I guess that’s all I mean - anything that might be one person’s “huh… that’s a weird choice” but another’s “I had no fun with this because of this gross element”
Like not necessarily even outright bad stuff, just like - peanut allergies, some stuff’s gonna be a lot more unpleasant for some people than others.

Gender just seems like the most usually fraught vector for that kind of thing, and the one I’m most used to having to warn about to people I’m usually recommending things to… I guess anything else could slot in.
If it were race, Dungeon Meshi would get a “I have some minor qualms with how fantasy races are sometimes handled in character motivations, but it definitely clears the low bar set by a lot of canon fantasy in this type of setting,” Dragon Ball would get a “Mr. Popo is a problem,” etc.

I mostly just want to coax people into reading the stuff I like but also I’m always kind of worried I’ll cause people to read something they’ll be frustrated and dismayed by.

Metaphorically speaking, I don’t wanna recommend eating a bunch of brownies full of peanuts without a little label attached, and I want people who might die if they eat peanuts to be comfortable eating my amazing peanutless brownies by reassuring them.

I think I’m good on Dungeon Meshi though… I think it would be hard to be dismayed by it.
probably they do cook with peanuts at some point though, no guarantees there


I used to enjoy Ranma 1/2, until it suddenly occurred to me that pretty much everything about the inter-character relationships irritated me. :stuck_out_tongue:


Heh, it’s funny. I actually loved Ranma 1/2 as a kid (I actually read it before I even knew what a “manga” was), although it’s mostly because I loved the idea of the main character just being able to swap gender whenever and being completely unphased by it.
Then I grew up and realized that it’s full of err spicy depictions. That being said, it might be the nostalgia talking, but I’d definitely take Ranma 1/2 naked breasts scene instead of the random fan service showing technically more “appropriate” skin from a lot of other series.


Yeah, overall tone goes a really long way for me with stuff like that.

Like Ranma 1/2 is a total mess of やばい stuff on the face of it, but the gender swapping and everyone being (relatively) cool with it feels so freeing compared to the general baseline that I still think it’s fun. And everything’s a ridiculous amped-up martial arts fever dream anyway.
Hibari-kun is like that too - it’s very um, 80s about how it depicts things, but it’s also a story about a trans girl who’s really cool and great at everything, and the story never actually undercuts that, so the positive aspects win the day for me personally.

Or if I just already trust Son Goku and Kiryu Kazuma are good dudes I like watching, it’s easier to stomach any troubling parts of their adventures as exceptions and not the rule.

Art probably plays a lot into that tone too. Akira Toriyama and Rumiko Takahashi are like, all-timer fun action cartoonists, for example, so the “this is fun action” vibe is really powerful.

So I definitely agree! I think Ranma 1/2 just earns more trust overall and deploys the rampant nudity and convoluted gender/consent games at least a bit more thoughtfully than like a hypothetical generic dude-centric manga that’s just randomly lascivious in jarring ways.

One thing that goes a long way is everyone’s pretty much a badass in Ranma, including Akane, both Ranmas, etc. So even when they’re captured or whatever, it never really feels like control is taken away from them in a way that puts them down. It’s all just part of the chaos. And everybody has an edge against everyone else at some point.
A shonen manga with a lewd shot of a captured girlfriend whom the male protagonist saves doesn’t have that benefit. A harem story with bland protagonist dude as center of the universe tends not to either…

(anyway I’ve rambled a lot at this point!)


Hi, I’ve been lurking this thread for a long time getting book recs :eyes: I’ll join this challenge when I leave Japan and I’m not surrounded by Japanese 24/7

I was really glad to see this comment and a few of the other recent ones because you highlighted some of the difficulties I’m having with getting into more Japanese material. I’ll put Dungeon Meshi on my list, but do you (or anyone else) have recommendations or ways to avoid and sort through the material for people who aren’t super into the more uncomfortable gender stuff and fan service?

I’ve also seen so many “boring or mean guy falls into a fantasy world and everyone loves him” light novel and manga suggestions that I’ve become a bit wary of most recommendations.

I’m admittedly not much of a manga reader (I think I’ve read Full Metal Alchemist and Mob Psycho 100 all the way through and that’s about it…), but I would like to get more into it to build up some confidence before I attempt another novel.


Thanks for the response! That’s a good question – I’m not sure if I have a great answer, but I’d be curious to hear if other people do!

For me, I suppose the only tip would be to just seek out recommendations from people you trust well enough to be sensitive to that kind of thing. For me, I’ve picked up a lot of manga from my closest friend, and I trust them enough to know that if they’re recommending it, it’s either totally fine for me or they’ll have prefaced it with a warning or something.
Being able to ask them about it and discuss it goes a long way too.
(I got しまなみ誰そ彼, 不可解な僕のすべてを, Hibari-kun, 呪術廻戦 from that friend and have yet to read 青のフラッグ)

That doesn’t necessarily need to be people you know in person though either - if you can find a critic or a site or something like that that’s consistently good about stuff like that, that can help too. There’s a twitter user whose taste and perspective I click with quite a bit (it’s @MinovskyArticle), and honestly for a solid chunk through quarantine I feel like a major pick-me-up was just pumping money and language-learning enthusiasm into stuff recommended by either them or my friend.
(I got ヨコハマ買い出し紀行, サトコとナダ, Skull-Faced Bookseller Honda-San, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, and a lot of other stuff from people I relatively trusted talking about them on twitter)

I think generally, also (with probably exceptions), manga for older audiences are going to be at least less overtly trashy about that kind of gender stuff particularly. Finding a magazine that seems mature (like, emotionally mature) and looks like your kind of thing and then picking out series from it that strike your fancy could be a way to go (that’s kind of what I did with ハルタ before I just started reading the magazine itself).

Also, this is sort of an opposite tip - but (before I stopped to focus on Japanese-language manga) I loved going to the library and checking out a lot of manga volume #1s.
I would just kind of throw whatever in there - I would search the catalog by newly arrived for publishers like Viz or Seven Seas and then check out anything that looked sort of interesting. Most of it was unmemorable, but there were some fun surprises too, and you can feel kind of smug in a “knew it before it was cool” way when something you read and liked turned out to be a big deal and you didn’t realize…
But I guess I just mean, part of the fun of manga is a single volume can be very very low stakes. Not clicking with something didn’t matter so much that way and it felt fun to sort of “beach comb.”
If there isn’t a library (or manga cafe?) nearby, free ebooks on a site like Book Walker might maybe give some of the same effect (or at least I’m hording them in the hopes that it will…)
(I found ハクメイとミコチ, バルバラ異界, and I think the works of Tillie Walden (not manga but I really really like her stuff) from poking through the library like that)

(I honestly can’t remember where I first heard about Dungeon Meshi. I think either I came across it from the library and grew to like it and that’s how I came to trust the twitter user who posts about Dungeon Meshi, or the cause and effect was reversed and I tried it because of them)

Not sure how much that all helps, but good luck!


Me being like “I’ll never remember all those recommendations, I need to store them somewhere… Oh! I know! Bookmeter!”

Pretty spot-on depiction of how I feel about it right now.

Time to just dump everything into a single post instead.


I had the same thing happen when I went to go look for ideas for @cineebon. Just when we needed you most, bookmeter!


I’ve received the books today! Sent on 18th by DHL Express, delivered today. That’s just 2 days. Amazing considering it went all the way from Tokyo! (shipping cost: 2,280 JPY)

Really happy with the packaging too. Much better than the recent Amazon packages I received.

The books themselves are in perfect condition. Mandarake listed them as quality B (worse than A and S). To me they look unused. Each book is wrapped in plastic and has all the extra paperwork, like included promotional leaflets.

Overall, great purchase and amazing service. Of course, I’d prefer to buy new to support the creator but in terms of the product quality this seems just as good as buying new.


This is disturbing news… out of print books without digital editions are my last 積ん読 avoidance bastion…


That sounds expensive too :sweat_smile:

If I’m reading the prices right, it really does seem cheap…
not that I’m looking or anything…