[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

From a Mandarake invoice by the way:

  • The payment is due in 5 days.
    (If this is the second time you have received this email due to an order change, it is due 5 days from the first time you received the invoice email).

Your order may be canceled if the payment is not made within that period.
If you have any problems with your payment, please contact us as soon as possible by replying directly to this email.
Please be aware that customers who have too many order cancellations due to request or non-payment may become blocked from shopping with us in the future.

So it sounds like it would just be replying to the invoice “Sorry, I underestimated the shipping, can you cancel” or something. I’m sure they’d be understanding about that from a new customer or occasionally, just not if if it keeps happening.

And yeah, no indication that I noticed about any kind of possibility for consolidating the orders before shipping. The original pricing is so drastically cheaper than “lone Japanese-language listing on American Amazon” pricing, which has been my last resort sometimes in the past, that I don’t mind too terribly, but this is one order where the shipping ends up more expensive than the actual books.

Hoping with this I’ll have cleared out my last “actively annoyed this isn’t more widely available” cases and won’t be drawn back with temptation very often…


Don’t we need to read the bible first to truly get how everything relates? :thinking:


Ah, sounds like you’re volunteering for an executive summary :rofl:


Haha, I wouldn’t believe you without the proof. All the Japanese spouses from other threads say this word is never used😆


Maybe I can make up the difference with this 魑魅魍魎 that I just came across


My resolve to wait on 伯爵と妖精 8 failed perhaps an hour after making it, but it turns out it’s a volume of short stories, so I feel like there might still be hope to catch up on the book club in-between, maybe. I’m usually impatient with these kinds of volumes but already I am really enjoying this one. For one thing: リディア/ケルピー backstory!!!


I finished the second volume of the infamous 新妹魔王の契約者( テスタメント). I had bought them physical in Japan when I was younger and it was exciting :sweat_smile:. The art style is super high quality (nitroplus), but exceedingly エロい. It is so ridiculous it’s hard to take seriously, so it was actually a fun read :no_mouth:. Plot was surprisingly good, and the main character wasn’t annoying. I think two volumes is enough for now, although they had a sale on BW for 100 yen each volume (the final volume got released after a long hiatus) so I have them all there.

Book had a surprising amount of furigana, sometimes even excessively. The author also tended to gravitate towards writing everything usually in hiragana in kanji (like 勿論、筈、等、僅かな、かも知れない). Pretty straightforward read; I’d recommend it even for less experienced readers and who aren’t avert to raunchy scenes.


I read another manga magazine!

This time it was 月刊!スピリッツ, which it seems is a monthly companion to the weekly ビッグコミックスピリッツ.

I picked this one because after Dungeon Meshi, the currently-running manga I’d be most excited to read a new chapter of would probably be 映像研には手を出すな!- and while that’s partly just because it’s one of the few series I read the volumes of recently enough to say I’m keeping up with it regularly, I do also really like Eizouken in both show and manga form!
Ironically though, because it’s surprisingly difficult to tell which chapter is in a magazine until you buy it… this particular issue’s Eizouken is the last one I’ve already read, not the first one I haven’t read that I was aiming for. Oh well!

In any case, I thought I would do the same rundown I did for ハルタ, in case anyone here is curious.

come eat the vibes waffle

What's in 月刊!スピリッツ 2020年3月号

I talked a bunch a few days ago about manga, magazines, and the “seinen” classification. And I have to admit, this feels more “seinen” than ハルタ - both because it wears it on its sleeve more (I think I caught it in some interviews or magazine copy), and because the overall tone is slightly… rougher I guess?
It’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t feel as… airy? As Harta?
Like, the slice of life stuff is a little less sumptious, the emotions a bit more neurotic.
But there’s definitely exceptions and I still think it’s pretty gender neutral at the end of the day. You be the judge.

重版出来! by Naoko Mazda
I read this one and then paused for a pretty long time before reading the rest in a big burst, so I don’t remember it so well, sorry! It’s a manga about publishing. Seemed straightforward and a bit mundane so it was hard for it to leave an impact without getting to know the characters from the beginning.

うどんちゃん by 河合克敏
It’s a very cute gag comic about yokai made from noodle dough and their fellow forest denizens! Here they hold a sports festival.

映像研には手を出すな! by Oowara Sumito
Eizouken’s great! If you ever want something in the “just girls hanging out and doing stuff” genre where the girls are emphatically not sexualized or made for moe and just seem like real, fun people who are fun to hang out with and enthusiastic about their interests, Eizouken’s a good fit!
The main difference from the anime adaptation to the manga is they played up the actual anime production parts in the show, and also it’s easy to miss the life the voice actors have to the characters (although they did such a good job I can practically hear them in my head). But the manga makes up for it by going in some really fun directions after where the show left off!

へんなものみっけ! by Sawara Tomo
This one I didn’t follow super well (it’s 41話) but it seems like it’s an archaeology/ethnology manga!
It seems like it goes pretty hard into those kinds of areas if that’s your thing.

プラネットガール by Oishi Hibi
One thing I noticed is that this magazine is a lot more thorough with the recap annotations added to the manga than Harta.
Which is good, because I probably would have missed that the cute child in this one is an alien, and there’s a big-overarching sci-fi plot of some kind, because it’s pretty much a “characters with simmering romantic tension take a cute child to the festival” chapter in form and content. It’s fun, but I am curious about the sci-fi…

なおりはしないが、ましになる by カレー沢 薫
semi-autobiographical work about trying to figure out one’s mental health situation and trying to recover from crisis and joblessness. This chapter includes summary explanation of things like ADHD and autism as the protagonist seeks a diagnosis.

三日月のドラゴン by 長尾謙一郎
karate manga!
It seems like next chapter he’s gonna have to rescue his girlfriend with karate.

こころのナース夜野さん by 水谷緑
(semi-)non-fiction (?) case study accounts from a nurse in a 精神科病院, talking through situations with parents to get to the bottom of a situation in an empathic way.

きまじめ姫と文房具王子 by 藤原 嗚呼子
A little bit of romance, and a LOT of enthusiasm for stationary. This seemed fun to me!

デカニアラズ by Kenji Hayakawa
At this point in the magazine, I thought the magazine’s niche was “boring, but in a good way slice-of-life.” But then this is a cop/yakuza thriller about murder and revenge.
I confess, I’m not really a fan of the art style.

グッバイ、ノーベル! by 竹充 ヒロ
A young author is possessed by the ghost of an established writer who suddenly died.
Hikaru no Go but for literature?
It sounds like this was the penultimate chapter.

君の背に青を想う by 薄場圭
All of the one-shots are at the back in this one, and with these, the magazine gets significantly more explicit and more emotionally fraught.
This one covers puberty, abusive parents, and coming of age, through the lens of tattooing. The art style is interesting - sort of reminds me of Scott Pilgrim.
I think there’s a moment or two in here that are really great, and it’s an interesting complete work, but I’m really 100% into it otherwise…

君の曖昧 by 文野 紋
So this one-shot is pretty much Wandering Son, but in high school.
A high school girl contemplates her feelings after finding out her boyfriend’s blonde wig.
It actually plays out really sweetly! It’s sexually explicit, but in a fumbling, real-feeling sort of way. It’s only a brief one-shot in an otherwise unrelated magazine, but it might be an interesting one to seek out, especially if Wandering Son is your thing.

ギブ子ちゃん by 鈴木夏菜
This one is a lot of fun and has a really nice art style, but it does play around a lot with teasing teacher/student romance, stopping juuuuuust short of leaning all the way into it. Not 100% sure how I feel about that, but it is a fun one-shot.
Student pesters teacher to take care of her in her arm-cast after he accidentally knocks her down a flight of stairs.

海月 by Kawakami Hiroto
This is another very gender-y one-shot, but I kinda don’t like this one…
It’s a love-triangle where a straight boy cross-dresses (and awakens/questions complicated gender feelings) because of a crush on a lesbian girl, and meanwhile a gay boy has a crush on the cross-dressing boy.
It isn’t handled awfully, and I appreciate the messiness of the whole thing… but it feels to me like a situation where they came up with the contrived love triangle first, and worked backwards from there, rather than exploring emotions that were close to them, you know what I mean?

想像シェアハウス by 土屋光太郎
This one’s pretty silly! An orphan and a sad old man share a house together?

Overall, I’m not hugely enthusiastic about the magazine from this one issue, but I don’t regret the time I spent, and I’ll probably read more issues at some point (if only because it would feel a little silly to buy it for Eizouken and then not get any new Eizouken…).
I’d say the biggest advantage it has is it really does feel like anything could feel at home in there - it reminds me a bit of American indie comics, in that a lot of these would feel at home on a library shelf with D&Q or Top Shelf or whatever. The one-shots also felt like whole works, rather than try-outs or vibe checks, which I enjoyed.
But I probably don’t need to mention which magazine remains my favorite (so far)…


I have finished ―メニー・メニー・シープ〈下〉(the second part of the first book/story of 天冥の標).
It was really good, as expected, however, boy that ending.
I went “w… wait, what?”, then I started reading the afterwords.


… well fine, yes, you got me.

Also, the book has introduced a bunch of characters and factions, just to pretty much kill everyone. What is this, space game of thrones?

In any case, based on recent discussions, I think @NicoleRauch would definitely like this series :grin:


In that case, I’m not going to read your spoilers :grin:

Would you like to submit it to the Advanced Book Club, maybe? Sounds like it might be an interesting entry.

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You should definitely not read any of that. And I’d really like to hear what you thought of the book, if you read it. :slight_smile:

As for making it a book club, I’m not so positive about it.

  • it’s a book from the library, which does not work well with book clubs (that’s painfully obvious now). I’m also not planning to buy a book I read for free (at least not until enough time has passed for me to forget part of it)
  • I’m also not very good at participating when I have already read the book (in the 本好き and 1Q84 threads, I’m just posting variations of “I can’t say anything without spoilers”). At some point I tried posting what I was thinking at the time, but since I knew it was wrong because I’m ahead, it felt weird.
  • Neither the end of the 上 part nor the end of the complete book are good places to stop. That one is less of an issue, since people can just keep reading or make an offshoot though.
  • I already have more than 5 nominations I want to read in the club. I’m not even voting for one of my own nominations right now for that reason.

Would I recommend the series? Definitely. Would I take responsibility by nominating it? I’d rather not :sweat_smile:


14 is sure something.

14 chicken

I’m enjoying the ride but It’s going slowly because I have to pause every couple of chapters to degauss my brain.


Be careful, as I heard that degaussing too much can cause failure or explosion. I can’t find a reference at the moment though, so that might be an urban legend.

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Since it’s out now, I’m checking if you already started it :upside_down_face:

I also saw that @Belerith apparently started playing RF4 and RF5 simultaneously? :thinking:

My first impression for RF5: Why. Characters. Can’t. Use. More. Kanji. It’s so bad, I even had problems with telling the ははおや from the rest of the hiragana sentence. :expressionless: It’s not like I don’t know this word.
Amount of kanji/hiragana ratio varies from character to character and I already like the kanji people more.
リヴィア is most troubling, because she’s responsible for the main story. At least she sometimes has the decency to say some words with katakana to help with distinguishing…

As for the gameplay/setting, at first I wasn’t sold, but now I’m warming up and getting involved. :cherry_blossom:

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They’re using the kanji they know - I’d say, but I don’t think that’s it. :joy:

I got rf4 on sale, thinking I’d like to give that a try in Japanese. But replaying a game isn’t as much fun to me, so I quickly gave up on that.

Rf5 is a lot of fun though, I really like most of the characters and found it engaging from the start, more so than rf4. :thinking:

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So, I finally got around to read the first two volumes last night. I was hoping for it to get picked by the intermediate book club, but following that conversation the other day, I just gave in.

First thing I’ll say is that I do like the art style a lot. It shows you can have err stimulating body lines without having to show any skin. Meanwhile, the book also has full frontal nudity in a way that didn’t feel lewd. So props to that.
Second thing is that I really love the atmosphere, especially the scenery and sense of space. And I hate looking at it on a computer screen. So I’m probably going to get everything on paper instead.


Finished 伯爵と妖精 8! It was a short story collection, and I enjoyed it, as always.

I kept track of words this time: 75 total added to my flashcards, coming to about 0.3 per page. (I did the math wrong on that at first and had doubts about my whole Japanese learning career.) I probably looked up just a bit more than I actually added to anki, so maybe I look up a word every other page with this series at this point. Of those added. some were split from one original thing (like 寄宿 and 寄宿学校 both got added from 寄宿学校, or 詩神 and ミューズ with the former as kanji and the latter as furigana). From 75, 44 showed up tagged duplicate after I ran the checker. 3 were ones I’ve already learned, which always irks me. I fixed up those cards all pretty in the hopes they’ll stick better next time. 3 were ones I’d learned but with a different reading: 合点, 万, 某, so those got differentiated. 7 were ones where the card was complete and I just had to unsuspend it into the learning queue. (Those are my favorite.) 24 I had to complete the card first (mostly copying in the Japanese definition from the ever-handy yomichan). And then 13 were ones that were fully completed AND unsuspended already, which means at this point I’ve looked them up in at least three different things. These ones frustrate me, because they’re already in the learning queue, all ready to go, but my queue is over 2,000 cards and I’m only learning 4 a day… so my new plan is to reposition those to the very front of the queue so I’ll learn them in the next day or two. Hopefully this will help me cut down on this sort of duplicate. Of the 75 added, 31 were things I hadn’t looked up in anything else before, so they’re now suspended, lurking in my anki until the day I see them in something else and they get finished and ready to learn.

Continuing keywords for my memory

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 (music/souls/bargains, how リディア met ケルピー, Cinderella/flower fortune-telling/pixies, elopements/Leanan sídhe, how both spent their Christmas day pre-#7)

9 女神に捧ぐ鎮魂歌: ?


Popping back in because, uh, it’s been a year :sweat_smile:
Was incredibly behind earlier in the year, but apparently I’m back on track to finish 7 books in 5 months (assuming I finish Kino before June, which I should)? Amazing what you can accomplish when you’re not actually stressed about what/how much you’re reading! I’ve also read 9 books in English, but obviously not tracking them in this thread.

Last book I read after I finish the 獣の奏者series was 人生はアイスクリーム, which I read at a friend’s request as a heart-shattering book in the same league with おおかみこどもの雨と雪, 君の膵臓を食べたい, and 君の名は. It was definitely a sad story but OOF I was not ready for how dark it was.

Ice Cream Spoilers (TW: self-harm)

The book opens with the main character describing how he’s been starving himself to death after the murder of his wife and daughter in order to avoid tipping people off to the fact that his death is in fact a suicide. Enter his older sister and niece who show up to take care of him. Turns out the niece has some crazy form of telepathy she calls “Youtube” that allows her to live the entire life of any person she touches in an instant. She’s 5. At one point she describes that she’s had sex with hundreds of people as a reason for why she doesn’t care to live in a plea to the main character to kill her too, before he kills himself… Yea… I almost stopped reading but I was already so invested I didn’t want to quit. The book ends with them both (kind of?) deciding to give life a try because reading is great (M E T A). Very weird book that idk if I can recommend or not.

Currently reading キノの旅 and it’s actually pretty nice! Decided to read higher quantities of varying books rather than 鹿の王 leading up to the N1 this July, as I felt like that would probably be better for a more well-rounded vocabulary.

Here’s to reading, and good luck to everyone on your goals!


For those who are interested in this book, I just noticed that it’s currently heavily discounted (in money, not in cashback) on Bookwalker (and probably elsewhere?).

Whaddayamean, don’t they feature nice stories about medieval fantasy in N1? :sob:


Ha, I saw you’d rated them when I looked at Natively yesterday, but just assumed you’d read it years ago or something!

I totally agree - that book is like… all but 100% atmosphere. Not very much… happens? But the scenery’s beautiful and the characters have a nice time, and that goes a really long way.
And I agree too - it doesn’t feel lewd. It plays around enough with different kinds of intimacy that I was worried at times it was going to turn that way or that the author intended it as more lewd than I was realizing, but I think the quiet pleasant vibes do win the day, especially by the end of the series.

There’s some really fun and memorable stuff in later volumes, so I hope you do continue with it! I think of the physical editions as a little hard to come by, but that’s probably not true in Japan!
(if anyone’s curious to try for free and didn’t see my other post about it, these two volumes are free to keep on bookwalker for a couple more days)