[2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge

I read the manga in English and it was pretty good. I may reread it in Japanese at some point, but I’m in no rush.

I’m okay with 4-koma, but I’m reluctant to read something about music since I wouldn’t get to enjoy the music. Maybe I could read the college spin off / sequel since there’s no anime adaptation of that. :thinking:

1 Like

Thank you for starting this post. I’m excited to have found it and feel motivated to participate. I am setting a lofty goal that will be a challenge to meet: 5 newspaper articles a day for an entire year. Not NHK easy; the actual newspaper.

Here is a to a year of fruitful reading!

14 Likes

Just barely!

I really liked 新世界より overall. It had consistency in its own world. Usually when I thought something didn’t make sense, it really didn’t and that was addressed at some moment, leaving me with a feeling of satisfaction that I wasn’t actually overthinking and reminding me of the importance of details. The story itself was pretty good too, I think, with plenty of twists along the way and a lot of room for guesswork before you get to the actual answer. I’m not sure about saying any more than that because, you know, spoilers.

It was frustratingly hard sometimes, but not grammar-wise, I think. It was mostly difficult vocabulary or difficult kanji without furigana, either because f… fudge you, that’s why, or because they already gave you furigana for that word 500 pages ago, and you obviously remember it perfectly.

All in all, as a fantasy and sci-fi novel, I think it did it’s job really well.

This may be a meaningless number, but I’m proud of myself for having been able to finish this book within 2 years of starting to learn Japanese. It’s not like I was planning on doing that from the start, though :sweat_smile:

18 Likes

Was this the whole book or just the first part?

1 Like

The whole book, I know everything already :eyes:

4 Likes

This is still high on my list to read. But, uhh, maybe not for another year or two. :sweat_smile:

3 Likes

And you should! That’s amazing!

9 Likes

I finished the ジブリの教科書19:かぐや姫の物語 (Ghibli Textbook #19: The Tale of Princess Kaguya) (184 pages). Despite my initial expression that it was challenging to read, I made steady progress everyday and it only took me 8 days overall. With the exception of a passage about death and afterlife that contained a bunch of Buddhist terminology and concepts I was unfamiliar with, I encountered no major roadblocks.

The book itself is maybe a bit on the pricey side (1380 yen) for a small bunkobon, especially considering the early ジブリの教科書 were a lot cheaper and had more content, but for me it was absolutely worth the money.

Every chapter had someone else talking about the movie, the original fairy tale, the production or about Takahata and I found all of them super interesting. It was compelling to read in detail about the artistic techniques that were used to make the movie look like a 絵巻 (Japanese picture scroll) come to life, and touching how the people involved in the production remembered Takahata.

The book had chapters from Toshio Suzuki (Ghibli producer), Isao Takahata (director), the two artistic leads Osamu Tanabe (animation design/storyboard) Kazuo Oga (backgrounds), Yoshiaki Nishimura (producer), Joe Hisaishi (composer) as well as actors, authors and long-time fans and friends of Takahata. The book closes with an interview with Michaël Dudok de Wit (director of The Red Turtle and many award-winning short films), reminiscing about how he first met Takahata, how much he respects him and what he would talk about if they could meet again.

I now feel like I understand the movie and all the thoughts that went into it a lot better and have the deepest respect for all the time, work and love all involved parties poured into it, creating one of the most stunning and most Japanese animated movies ever that will, as Nobuko Miyamoto said, hopefully be remembered even in 100 years.

7 Likes

@Omun
I recently just picked up 逆転検事 myself! I’m on the 3rd case of the 1st game, currently. I played/watched Let’s Plays of all them years ago so the cases are vaguely familiar but the details still feel fresh and the trials are still challenging.

I was wondering how you were liking it since I see you play it a lot.

Also I recently stumbled across this site that explains the puns behind their Japanese names which I found super helpful. (I knew 成歩堂・御剣・矢張・小中大 right off the bat but didn’t get 松竹梅世 or 糸鋸圭介 lol.)

3 Likes

I started playing through 逆転検事2 at far too low a grammar level, I’m sure. It’s basically the crutch I’m using to learn how to read, but I really enjoy it! Even though above my level (especially the first case, things have definitely smoothed out some), it’s the only Japanese reading I haven’t lost motivation to work though however slow.

Have any accents and dialects been giving you grief at all? I sometimes groan when I realize how someone speaks. Heavy dialects. Buddhist terminology. Someone that speaks more like an old-timey samurai.

Very annoying educational.

I do love the huge variety of topics that come up. Every case has such different things to talk about. For a while, WK seems to be spying on me, and teaching me words just before they show up in my case. Best reinforcement of vocab!

Ooh, thanks! I’m sure I’ve failed to grasp several pun names already. :joy:

Gotta love that nominative determinism at work sometimes.

1 Like

Hmm I haven’t run into any yet that’s given me too much trouble. I’m on the 4th case of the 1st game and so far one character speaks in Kansai-ben but since I live in Kansai it’s fine. Another character I can recognize as speaking really pompously what with referring to themselves as 吾輩 and using the よう verb forms, but they speak few and far between so it’s not so bad.

It’s funny that you mention the samurai speak though. I haven’t run into yet in the Ace Attorney series, but the other series I’m playing has a character that talks like that. I recognized it only because a couple years back I visited a place called 映画村 in Kyoto which is like a Medieval Times but in Edo period.

The entire 2hr~ car trip there me and my friends were practicing trying to speak like a samurai: ending everything with ~でござる, etc. (We actually were referencing Tofugu’s guide, lol.) It ended up being a really hot day so there was barely any visitors at the actual theme park, let alone any samurai actors wandering around. We were pretty disappointed to say the least, haha. But on the flip side, though I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at it, but I’m definitely familiar enough with samurai speech.

3 Likes

It was very convenient that I had just run into something else where a bunch of boy playing with sticks did the exact same thing. :joy: Ending everything with ~でござる.

It was a good reminder, because I realized I hadn’t interacted with any media about that period in a long time. I’m not familiar enough with it right now.

Even though you didn’t run into a lot of character actors, was 映画村 worth visiting? ^^

2 Likes

It was definitely more skewed toward younger audiences and their parents. The “mazes” are really easy since they’re meant for literal children. So I would say kind of not really? But I don’t regret it either, it is kind of interesting and you can see the sets and stuff. It’s quite small though.

2 Likes

Halfway to my goal!
So here’s my half year in review*.
*I suck at writing reviews so this is more like my rambling for each book.

ペンギン・ハイウェイ

My 2nd Japanese book ever. I read it during my long winter vacation, while travelling through 3 different countries. It really was good when I had to wait 2 hours in line at Immigration.
The story itself was nice enough. The main protagonist was charming. But I don’t think I could read it again, if only because the amount of times the author has to shove a breast metaphor in and try to pull it off as it just being the main character’s quick. Yeah right.

魔女の宅急便

Cute book. Very different from the movie-version. I didn’t read it with the Book Club but I referenced their threads/vocab list after the fact.

クマのプーさん

My friend gave me this book a year ago after I reached level 60 in WK. I tried reading it but got burnt out by page 2. Which goes to show you boys and girls, kanji-knowledge ain’t nothing without grammar. The 2nd time around it was a lot easier. Well at least the sentences themselves were easier. The logic was a bit fuzzy. Just like any of those kinds of classic children’s books. It’s not exactly the sentence that’s the problem, it’s the logic. (I don’t think I would ever want to attempt Alice in Wonderland.)

君の膵臓をたべたい

Ugh. This book. So good. First Japanese book to grab me and never let me go. I still don’t like the ending as much but as a whole it was my first experience where it felt just like reading an English book. I don’t mean it was easy, but that I was emotionally gripped.

精霊の守り人

I love this book, the first book of the Moribito series. The more I read the sequels the more I realize how much I didn’t actually understand when I read the first one. But whatever. It still had a good time in reading it.

キッチン

First Japanese literature book I’ve read in Japanese. I previously read Banana’s Lake but in English. I liked this book, I really liked the characters. I definitely saw the shift in language between the aforementioned fantasy/children’s/YA books and Japanese literature. The sentences seemed plainer and yet their meanings felt harder to understand. Literature is something I struggle with even in English so reading it in Japanese is definitely a struggle. But I think this was a good one to start with.

闇の守り人

When I read the first one I was knew I this was the series for me. Kitchen was just a small break before I jumped into the 2nd Moribito book. I really, really liked this one. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just because I like Balsa as a character and seeing her go back to her homeland was interesting. Or the politics were interesting. Or maybe I was just happy that there was less overall “fantasy” involved meaning it was a lot easier to understand. Who knows. But I do like this book a lot.

コンビニ人間

This was such a weird book but I read it really quickly. I never knew where it was going especially toward the end. I thought it was just going to be a humorous memoir about working in a convenience store…but it’s totally not that at all. I’m glad it was picked for the Intermediate Book Club. I think others will enjoy it a lot.

蹴りたい背中

Another Japanese literature book. I picked it up because it was a Literary Prize winner and it had a female author.
It was easier book to read than Kitchen, I think. I think this may be because it has a younger POV. There’s not much of a plot but I think it’s the characters that really made me want to keep reading it. It deals with themes of bullying but it’s not clear-cut about bullys=bad victims of bullys= good, which I thought was really interesting.

夢の守り人

Sensing a pattern? This one was okay. I liked that it gave some background to one of the characters. However the current-day plot in it felt a little convoluted and boring. (Or maybe I just didn’t understand it very much.)

かがみの孤城

THIS BOOK. God it was so long and yet so good. My enjoyment of this book probably tops I Want to Eat Your Pancreas.
I think I sense of pattern, though, of equivocating easy to read=enjoyable. This YA was quite easy to read, the grammar was easy, the meanings weren’t vague. Lots of dialogue and short sentences. But I think I also enjoyed it’s theme about bullying as well. It took a more standard stance of bullying=bad but I liked the different ways it showed the victim dealing with it.
The fairy-tale story line really takes a back seat to it’s theme of bullying, IMO.

対岸の彼女

Another Literature-Prize-winning Female-Authored book. The first half of this book I really enjoyed but I’m not sure what turned me off toward the end of it. Maybe it was because I was reading it side-by-side with かがみの孤城 and it seemed a lot hard to understand, in comparison, but I stopped caring about the character as much in the latter half. I still think it’s a good book, despite my frustrations with it. The alternating POVs/time periods was particularly interesting.

舟を編む

Another literature book. I really do enjoy alternating between fantasy/YA and Japanese literature. While I’m reading one I get a craving to read the other. This book was also a mix. The amount of dictionary terms was tiring, the time skips and jumps were disorientating, but there’s one POV character that comes toward the end, that I really enjoyed and honestly the best part of the book for me. The main character, himself, was a bit boring.

虚空の旅人

This was the first Moribito book that didn’t have Balsa as the main POV. It, instead, focused on Chagum. Which was a nice but also the reason why I didn’t enjoy it as much. As always, though, the world building was fascinating. I love learning about each of the countries’ different cultures (even if it makes the beginning a bit frustrating as I try to remember all the terms/relationships.)

坊っちゃん

It’s a classic so I expected it to be difficult. It wasn’t so difficult since I read it using this very helpful page.
As for the story itself, eh. It started off good, but then I realized that the characters weren’t going to change in any way and the ending was pretty boring.

(Unrelated. I’ve been using excel too much and have gotten into the habit of Ctrl+Enter to make a new line. Which, in fact, means Submit in Discourse. Which also explains why I have “edited” this post waaay too many times.)

15 Likes

That’s an amazing list! I love reading your impressions! Many books I still want to read. 坊っちゃん is also the Soseki book I’ve been setting my eyes on. And I really want to start with 守り人, but I think after reading the last 獣の奏者, I’ll try 鹿の王 as it is shorter, newer and I want to read it before the movie comes out.

Looking forward to the complete list at the end of the year. :wink:

(Maybe I should also make a short summary list. Still at book 9, though.)

4 Likes

I didn’t know it was getting a movie adaption! Have they announced a release date? From my quick search I didn’t find anything, and it looks like it was only announced recently so that wouldn’t be surprising.

Nope. And since they didn’t, I assume it will be 2020, not 2019. I wonder how they will fit the plot of the books in one movie, or rather how much of the books the movie actually adapts and if they plan more than one movie. Considering how well the other two adaptions worked out as anime series, I would’ve loved to see 鹿の王 getting the same treatment, but if it works out in movie format, I’m also satisfied with that. In any case, I’m sure it will still take some while, so I don’t have to rush yet.

2 Likes

Hiho, extensive reading challenge crew!

Inspired by another thread somewhere else (@lopicake :+1:) and since the JLPT is finally done I’d really like to join you. My brain is a little bit fried today and I didn’t catch up with this whole thread. So I don’t know if I am supposed to enter myself in that large table on top and if so, I can’t decide on what goals I would put there…
But for now, as a start, I made a bookmeter account and next, will figure out how to use it. And that is all I’ll be doing for today. The only other thing I’ll do now is switch off my laptop and read a little :slight_smile:

9 Likes

Cool, I am now stalking following you on bookmeter.

5 Likes

Oh my, it has a follow feature. What have I gotten myself into! :smiley:

I have a not-so-smart question about bookmeter: is my impression correct that you can somehow log how many pages you read that day, not just when you finished reading a book? I was under the impression that that would be possible in the app and I installed it but I couldn’t find a button yet to do that.

Maybe I just misunderstood it. It is all in Japanese… :woman_shrugging: