[2023] 多読/extensive reading challenge

Well to be fair, it’s 文庫本pages or whatever which I think are shorter than a normal books in English, for example.

I checked and it looks like average native speed is said to be 36,000/hr. So over 60% faster than me. So I’m definitely not fast, per se, unless I’m being compared to learners. And I mean that’s the average, right. If we were to poll the amount of people who read at least 50 light novels per year, for example, im sure the number would go up.

Again I’m not necessarily unhappy with my reading speed. Like when I read I don’t feel like I’m going slow. But I do see a lot of room for improvement and it feels like something that has practical benefit.

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All that wall of text just to be wrong about my theory :sweat_smile: (But making crazy theories is the fun part)

The author also mentioned in the afterwords that it’s the end of the part they published on 小説家になろう, but that the sales were so good that the publisher asked them to continue. “So everything from now on is original material”, they say. I checked the preview, and they’ve made herculean efforts to keep the interesting gimmick in… but that does feel a bit forced. I’m not super convinced by what I have seen; that doesn’t mean it won’t be good, but considering the price, I’m going to pass on that for now.

Time to catch up on book clubs, and then maybe 獣の奏者?


I’ve finally finished 「作家」と「魔女」の集まっちゃった思い出, the Eiko Kadono essay collection.

Just like Nahoko Uehashi’s essay collection I found bits and pieces very interesting, but prefer cohesive biographical works. In this particular case I already knew a lot about Kadono and since the essays were from a 20+ year timespan, it wasn’t without repetitions.

Recurring themes were Kadono’s life in Brazil (at a time when traveling overseas wasn’t really a thing), traveling, her childhood, the loss of her mother, witches and the 見えない世界. She’s definitely lead an interesting life and it’s cool to see that a successful writer like her initially didn’t even consider writing as a career – it was only when her old teacher approached her to write a book about her years in Brazil that she realized how much fun writing can be.

Her first book of fiction was published in her early 40s, so that’s definitely not an early start. At the same time it goes to show that it’s never too late to start.

Overall I enjoyed this book, but maybe half of the essays weren’t that intriguing.

That being said, I already consider getting my next essay collection: Final Fantasy XIV Naoki Yoshida’s weekly columns for the Famitsu magazine have been published in three volumes (so far) and I’m very interested. I haven’t even played Final Fantasy XIV, but I really admire Yoshida for his dedication and approach to work.

Do it!


Oh, I’ve seen those covers on Amazon Japan but didn’t realize that’s what those were. Now I’m interested; let us know what you think if/when you read them!

Chronicles of Light has been on my to-read list; I need to jump on it before the English reprint comes out.


So I recently discovered that apparently some of my local Japanese grocery stores and onigiri shops have sections with used books for 2 euro a pop (nani?!) and… well, several hours later my bookshelf is a little fuller :sweat_smile:

I’m curious whether anyone has read stuff from Nishimura Kyoutarou, the Moribito series or a mysterious book called 時間エージェント. It’s a title from 1975 and has a Wikipedia article, but obviously I don’t want to spoil it for myself :stuck_out_tongue: .

Then it makes it two of us. I also will definitely not inquire further about the title and will for sure not purchase it in the following days :joy:


Wow! Sounds great :slight_smile:

Not yet - but he seemed to be popular and won a few prizes. And while browsing his Wikipedia page I learned that he died not even two months ago :cry:

I haven’t read this series but here in the forums we read a lot from the same author, namely 獣の奏者 (Kemono no Souja) Home Thread and 狐笛のかなた (Koteki no Kanata) Home Thread and a few of us also read 鹿の王.

Haven’t heard of this book or author, but the author seems to have written a lot of science fiction and mystery, so it sounds promising at least :slight_smile:


Yes, I was saddened by that as well :frowning: . But his books might be interesting to me as I’m kind of fond of detective and crime fiction in Japanese.

Ah, I wasn’t aware 鹿の王 is from the same author! Thanks for the thread links!

Yes, that book and a couple of others in one of the grocery stores I visited come from https://www.shinchosha.co.jp/ which seems to be big on mystery, supernatural, fantasy and science fiction. I might check other books in their catalogue if 時間エージェント proves to be interesting!

Lots of new words in 時間エージェント and it will take some time to get used to the writing style, but in general it’s very light prose and not so much kanji.


I finished this month’s Harta!
ハルタ 93号

This one was special to me for a couple reasons, the first being a close friend suddenly got really into Dungeon Meshi and read everything up to the most recent chapter in scan form right before this issue came out, so I got to share excitement for it with them and see if I could read up to the new chapter without skipping to it in the magazine before fan translators put something out which was fun, and the second being that I knew this issue had the debut of an ongoing by 田沼朝, an author whose name I recognized from one-shots I particularly loved in previous issues!

That debuting series is called いやはや熱海くん, and I enjoyed it a whole lot! It’s about a high school boy who gets confessed to a lot by girls, but has crushes on boys. I think Tanuma is very good at giving characters life with realistically awkward but interesting dialogue and fun (but not outright goofy) facial expressions. The characters and general tone are laid back and a bit stand-offish but also very warm. I haven’t gotten around to translating any more manga for fun and to share with friends since I did this author’s first Harta one-shot, but this made me want to find time to do that again. Anyway it’s a very promising start, and I’m happy for the author to get an ongoing! Looks like it’s on an every-issue schedule too which is means a nice additional thing to look forward to each month for me.

A 読切 that stood out to me this time was 逢魔が時より by 古月よしこ, about a strange encounter on a train. The art and eeriness were fully developed enough I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a follow-up in the future…

And this strip from ようこそにんげん by しりもと seemed very relevant to Wanikani! I’ll have to quote the last panel next time I burn an item! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

manga report

  • あさドラ! (3-6)
    These are really good! I had no idea how things would develop going into the series, and it turns out the directions it go involve kaiju and pro wrestling so it’s safe to say it’s up my alley! Seems like it’ll be a fun roller coaster ride. I’m very very curious about how the zipper angle is going to develop. Oh also – one of the physical volumes (I think 5? I especially liked that one, I think) has a really cool insert - a reproduction of the illegible scrawled note about the monster weak point, which I thought was a nice special touch.
  • メトロポリス
    This is the 1949 Osamu Tezuka manga that I read before watching the 2001 movie adaptation. I enjoyed it! It’s very much from Tezuka’s earlier period, where he was doing very broad but also very fun and inventive sci-fi adventure stories - at some point quite a long time ago I read an English edition of another from this period, called The Mysterious Underground Men, and this feels quite in line with that. I didn’t look at the date carefully beforehand, and from my impression of the movie before watching it, I was definitely expecting this to be more like a later Tezuka work like Pheonix, so it was a nice example of Tezuka’s work’s timelinessness that while I could tell it was earlier than that, I absolutely would not have guessed it was from 1949. The whole thing is so bursting with life, and there’s a lot of stunning crowd shots with fun little things put into every corner. But it does feel much more like light fun entertainment than a big weighty story.
    Which made me especially curious to see how the anime adaptation written by Katsuhiro Otomo would be – and they do go in a very different direction, making pretty much a wholly new (and visually stunning) story inspired by the original rather than directly adapting it. It’s cool and definitely worth checking out, but I did find myself pining for things dropped from the original, like the gender-swapping, or the part where someone wears the skin of Micky Mouse.
  • 波よ聞いてくれ (2)
    This is developing in an interesting way! We get to hear the first part of the protagonist’s radio show, and I just sort of assumed from the first volume it would be like, a soapbox or call-in type of show where she’d voice a bunch of aggressive opinions or something, but it turns out it’s a semi-scripted faux true story drama, about her murdering an ex boyfriend, and there’s aliens and stuff, which is a much weirder and more interesting direction than I was expecting. I’m reading more, but it’s slow since there’s a lot of words and the topic of Sapporo local radio DJing isn’t necessarily an inherent page-turner.
  • テラン 2022 (WINTER)
    This is the second issue of Terang, the magazine of all one-shots that fill in the gap months in Harta’s release schedule. It’s neat, and I liked reading it! And I’d still recommend it as a possible way to get a sense for Harta’s vibe in a standalone way. But I confess there weren’t particular stories that jumped out to me as needing to highlight.
  • ダンジョン飯 (2)
    I’ve read this one before! But this time I read it out loud! Interesting to get to see Dungeon Meshi from a few different new perspectives recently… The party can be really pushy to each other about eating monsters in the beginning! I suppose that never quite stops but I do think the comedy being mainly “let’s get Marcille to eat stuff she doesn’t want to eat” tapers down as more of the series’ heart develops. I think when I read this originally in English I was at the stage of “oh huh! there’s something more fun here than your average video game logicish fantasy comedy” from episodes like the mimic.
  • ヴァンピアーズ (7)
    Quick and fun! It seems like a future arc is developing so I’m seeing more how the series could continue for a while after this one.

For most of this year so far I was really churning through the manga volumes focusing quite a bit on the number. But I got tired of how it felt like I was pressuring myself to read short and quick things instead of long or slow things, so I recommitted to my stated numerical goal of 0. Still plan to read plenty of manga I’m sure!


Is the cover of a specific series in the magazine or just a random piece of art? It looks really cool!

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Random piece of art!
The covers for Harta are all unrelated to any particular series, which on the one hand lets them stand on their own more and give the magazine a cool, cohesive feel… but on the other hand is too bad because I agree, they’re really cool!
The magazine used to include a fun little “cover story” - a minicomic to tie in with the cover, but they redesigned recently and now just sprinkle elements of the cover around stuff like the table of contents. It’s a really slick presentation!

The illustrator for this one is named 染平かつ and I think they’ve done a lot of (all?) those recent ones.


The first volume was free on Booklive, so I just grabbed it, because why not.


Speaking of manga, I was trying to keep track of what I have read with Natively, but it’s a bit harder than expected :sweat_smile: Mostly the fact that natively might have editions with a different number of volumes than the one I am reading and the fact that I cannot mark re-read.
(Also, I sometimes forget to mark a volume read when it gets added after I requested it, but I think I am fine). So (note to self) I have to remember my actual number is natively +1 right now.


And I just read it. While the cooking parts felt a bit long at times, the whole crew is pretty interesting and absolutely hilarious at times.
In particular, マルシル is my favorite.

I need to learn her skills for when I get unexpected administrative tasks

POV: you meet a random Naphthalene after two all-nighters trying to meet a deadline

And just random sass


I’m glad you enjoyed it! :grin:
It’s all up hill from there if you do keep going! It’s definitely one series where everything improves beyond the first volume as the characters deepen and the artist gets more comfortable drawing them.



I will! Not sure when, though, as I have yet again 17 unread novels and a bunch of manga.
How does that keep happening.
I might have bought more than I thought during the February sales. Well, it didn’t hurt my wallet so much in the end either, so, success?


Speaking of buying too much, I’ve bought a few series on sale recently, and I’m still trying to find the time to finish them all. I have:

  • 4 volumes left of ぼくらのへんたい (just finished volume 6 last night)
  • 3 volumes left of うらら迷路帖
  • 8 volumes left of とつくにの少女
  • 2 volumes of 海色マーチ (entire series, haven’t started it)
  • 3 volumes of 愛しの花凛 (entire series, haven’t started it)

Plus I have a few other single volumes I bought on sale to test out series that I haven’t gotten to yet.

Not to mention I plan to buy another round of physical manga in about a month (just waiting for the final volume of Blend-S to be released). I’m mostly planning to get my usual stuff: a handful of Manga Time Kirara volumes (no new series though), とんがり帽子, etc. I’m debating making it a bigger haul than usual though by buying the last 5 volumes of 少女終末旅行. I’m torn, because I didn’t love the anime or the first volume of the manga, but I find the world intriguing enough that I want to know what happens. I thought about reading it cheaper digitally. But the digital version kind of sucks. So I’m more likely to read it either physically or never. I’m not worried about the cost so much as the book shelf space it’ll take up… So we’ll see. I figure I should at least reread the first volume before deciding.


I think this is probably the funniest typo I have come across so far


浮かび → 笑み? If so, that is a weird typo indeed.


This one is stumping my ability to make stupid jokes by taking those mistakes literally. I’m trying to picture in my head what an 浮かび would look like and what happens when you get a facefull of it.


I read the first volume today and I loved it.
Plot-wise, it wasn’t that special maybe, but the world and the characters are amazing. I love the drawing style too!

Not gonna lie, at this point I’m considering the following plan

  1. Disregard previous plan to finish owned books first
  2. Binge ダンジョン飯 and とんがり帽子
  3. ???
  4. “Why do I still have 15+ unread novels?”