[2024] 多読/extensive reading challenge

I bet she would. Reckon she’s the Senshi of Yuru Camp.


Waa, I’m so glad!!

The credit to pass on goes wholly to @MinovskyArticle on twitter who I recently doublechecked turned me onto Dungeon Meshi (rather than the other way around). Truth be told for a bit there I was just picking up stuff in Japanese that Minovsky tweeted about, and it wasn’t a bad way to go at all.

The recommendation I’m pushing on everybody these days is いやはや熱海くん, which isn’t really anything like Dungeon Meshi, but it’s my absolute favorite of the series I discovered by reading Harta, the magazine Dungeon Meshi was published in. The draw is chill, extremely natural-feeling but just interesting/poignant enough to feel ‘literary’ scenes of Kansai-ben dialogue. The (like 18-page) short story that hooked me on the author is fully readable in the preview for her short story collection on bookwalker and I think it’s a fantastic barometer on if her style would appeal to you. (To my great chagrin) I haven’t yet had anyone mention taking me up on reading that story that way, but I did get some positive comments from friends when I translated that story specifically to share with them.

Otherwise – I just finished Dorohedoro, and while it’s gorier and wieirder than Dungeon Meshi, it shares some of the unique fantasy-world-building aspects and good-natured gourmet friendship-building (albeit specifically for gyoza).
And I haven’t read any Frieren yet but that seems to be the other one that frequently gets mentioned in terms of really good dungeon-y fantasy manga with recent anime adaptations so I’m certainly very curious.

Otherwise otherwise – Hakumei and Mikochi, also from Harta, may be a good pick for specifically the warmer, quiet slice-of-life type parts of the fantasy. It’s got chapters about curling up to read a library book, trying out a new dish from a restaurant, that kind of thing. Nothing like Dungoen Meshi’s adventurey blend though…


How about 空挺ドラゴンズ, published in good! Afternoon, which is similar to Dungeon Meshi in that it has a recipe you can try at home almost every chapter, provided you happen to have some dragon meat on hand.


Oh that was nominated for the Intermediate Manga Club. I also bought the first three volumes on sale, but I figure for now I’ll wait to see if it ever wins. If it takes too long I’ll read it on my own though.


I’m actually reading that right now sort of alternating with Dungeon Meshi, and yeah, it does sort of hit some of the same niche, despite the totally different tone and stakes, haha.

Honestly, as far as media that is similar to Dungeon Meshi goes, my personal recommendation would be to play actual Dungeons and Dragons! Reading the manga has made me really nostalgic about some of the wild things that have happened in some D&D campaigns I’ve participated in…

I feel like that aspect of the series is something you likely won’t find anywhere else, including actual video games or media based on D&D, because the plot points in the manga that would equate to creative rule interpretations in actual D&D, and the often unconventional use of spells and tools, is the kind of thing that happens all the time in the tabletop game, but considerably less in media that’s inspired by it, which tends to take a more straightforward approach to the setting.


In Japanese?


I mean, if you can find other players who want to play in Japanese, sure, go for it :sweat_smile:. I’m not sure how many of the source books have been translated, though, so that might be a potential obstacle. But D&D is really entirely what you and your specific group of players make of it, so anything is possible if there is a will to do it.


(but if you like the narrative elements i think something like dungeon world or blades in the dark are far better systems than D&D)

1 Like
(derailing the thread with TTRPG talk)

Yeah, D&D as a system leaves a lot to be desired for sure. My favorite edition is a heavily homebrewed AD&D/2nd edition blend that I inherited from a friend who got it from his uncle who has been playing heavily for decades. And I do really, really enjoy that version of the game, but I’ve had mixed experiences with more modern editions…

I have gripes with both Dungeon World and Blades in the Dark as systems personally, haha, but I won’t begrudge others for enjoying them!

I will say, though, that specifically for Dungeon Meshi, I think D&D is the best approximation just because the specific kinds of things they do in that manga are things that D&D’s idiosyncratic ruleset lends itself to. You could do it in a more open system like Dungeon World, but the way that the party composition is set up, and how like traps and such function in the dungeon, and tracking rations and buying resurrections and all of that, those are very much classic D&D qualities.

Even the whole basic premise of a party basically trying to be self-sufficient and asking the DM if they can eat the monsters feels exactly like something a real D&D party would do, haha, which would require the DM to scour the monster manual and and determine a bunch of new info and rules for how they could navigate that. And things like applying regular combat and travel-based spells in unconventional ways, or using traps in unconventional ways, those are things that I think the D&D rule set in particular lends to because it’s so weirdly detailed about totally random stuff, and someone could close-read part of a spell and get it to do some real weird stuff that was surely never intended by the game developers (I have literally dozens of examples from my own experience).

I think that aspect of bending the rules a bit is sort of the charm of D&D’s clunky system. Because it’s so complicated and kind of messy, the system kind of lends itself to unexpected things growing in the cracks of the system like weeds flourishing in cracks in pavement. That’s sort of how Dungeon Meshi feels to me.

Having looked at the (extremely long haha) list of media that inspired 九井諒子 to make it, I can totally trace a lot of old school D&D influences through the literal D&D sourcebooks that she read as well as the many video games which took inspiration from D&D over the years, and I can see how someone who has been exposed to all of that might come up with this kind of story despite never having played D&D herself.

She totally has the brain for it, and I bet she’d make an awesome DM (or a player!) because the kind of creativity in her work is what makes D&D into a genuinely really cool and interesting experience. I don’t think I’ve seen any other media capture what my favorite D&D campaigns have felt like to me as well as Dungeon Meshi does. And, conversely, I don’t think I’ve seen any other media match the vibe of Dungeon Meshi as well as actual D&D does (besides some actual play podcasts and such).

For what it’s worth, I’ve played a whole bunch of different systems (though for Dungeon World and Blades in the Dark, I’ve only experienced them through actual play podcasts that used those systems), and I’m generally in agreement that D&D has a lot of flaws and isn’t the one-size-fits-all TTRPG it tries to present itself as, but in the case of recommending a TTRPG to a Dungeon Meshi fan specifically, I do think that D&D matches the experience closer than any other system, yes.


I’ll consider it. Volumes 1-3 are on the front row of my bookshelf (stacking everything two layers deep because I have no space), so I should be reminded of it from times to times.

She absolutely is.

Alright, it’s now on my wishlist :stuck_out_tongue:

And that too

Aaaaand that too. Let’s go.

Well, I did buy volumes 1-3 based on your recommendation a billion years ago, so I should probably get to at some point, huh.

Same, but I guess I’m mostly nostalgic of having the freedom to spend 6 hours straight with friends just seating all together around a table.

I tried to organize that on the forum when I came back to WK in 2017? 2018? But it didn’t work out :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I do live in Japan, so that sounds easier to find than people willing to play in English. :thinking:

AD&D and D&Dv3.0 have a special place in my heart since I spent so much time playing them, but they aren’t my favorite. In terms of goofy role-play, Paranoia XP is probably my favorite (remember, citizen, happiness is mandatory), followed by INS/MV (I think that one is French only, though). In terms of min-maxing/number crunching, Anima RPG is my favorite (it’s also the most recent I played, back in 2008~2010)


Reading Akagawa so you don’t have to …

This is an excellent distopian story about Japan sliding into a fascist dictatorship Definitely the best Akagawa story I’ve read yet.

On the other hand, this is the worst Akagawa story I’ve read (there is some stiff competiton for that honour). I get the feeling that Akagawa had a bunch of un-connected short stories that he didn’t know what to do with, so he just mashed together to form one novel. The stories weren’t great to begin with, and the result is just a confused mess.


Sounds interesting – I’ve put it on my wishlist.


As an added bonus, the ending actually makes sense. I think Akagawa must have had an extra strong cup of coffee that day.


You have no idea how much I appreciate this :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I see this thread gets visited a bit less nowadays :frowning:

To 久しぶりに post here, I’m all caught up on 私、2番目の彼女でいいから again. I wonder if anyone here has tried picking it up? I posted about it awhile back and was really enjoying it.

As always the series is an absolute clown fiesta of degeneracy that makes me want to wash my eyes with fire. The 大学編 is actually a lot more tame than the 高校編 though there is still some extremely questionable stuff and no shortage of immorality still. The series does seem like its coming to a close though?


It’s actually a miracle no one has been murdered yet. I was actually really hoping the MC would get killed by one of the girls, but I think I’m so used to his degeneracy at this point that it’s not a big deal anymore. As weird as it sounds, there is one girl who he hasn’t slept with and I actually think he’s going to pick her. Like it just seems like too much of a coincidence? Like maybe the author is trying to have their “first time together” be special. Anyways, that happens to be the girl I like the most so clearly I’m biased.

My prediction though: they are sleeping on girl #4. She has untapped crazy potential. Everyone thinks that she’s like just silly airhead girl, but I think she has potential to be a big problem. My prediction is that things are settled with the other girls, MC picks girl #2 (who he hasn’t slept with), and then it SEEMS like a happy ending, then girl #4 claims that she’s pregnant with MCs child. In the scene where they slept together, she said she was on the pill but she also lied about other stuff in that scene and just in general she seems like she would pull off that act of deperation. If that’s the case we might see a full blown school days situation.


Yes, I don’t know about the others, but I have been keeping track of my reading through Natively and posting my usual rambling over there instead. I can’t even be bothered to update my stat in the table anymore.

I just came here to say that I finally read 私の推しは悪役令嬢。(the volume 1 at least), thus closing my 悪役令嬢 period (at least, I’m not planning to add any more 悪役令嬢 series to my 積読)

Edit: going down memory lane (i.e., the thread), I found the message that pushed me to read that book one day™

It just took me 2 years and some change.


I’ve got accumulated notes on June’s Harta:
ハルタ 115号

Various manga:
ガイコツ書店員本田さん (3-4)
地縛少年 花子くん (3-4)
地縛少年 花子くん (5)
地縛少年 花子くん (6)
地縛少年 花子くん (7)
YAWARA! (15)
YAWARA! (16)
YAWARA! (17)
YAWARA! (18)
YAWARA! (19)
YAWARA! (20)
ドラゴンボール (8)
ドラゴンボール (9)
海が走るエンドロール (1-2)
スキップとローファー (2)
こわい本 (1)

A video game:
Strange Telephone

And a novel:

I feel a little bit guilty for mostly just dumping links to the notion site I made these days, but if you want more of that for some reason or are just dying to fully catalog all the media I interact with in Japanese there’s also the extensive listening thread, pro wrestling thread, and harta thread.

These days I’m mainly trying to drum up giving habitual attention to reading more prose and making progress in the various very good but very long things I’m in the middle of, including Like a Dragon 8, 木村政彦はなぜ力道山を殺さなかったのか, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and the Kindaichi mystery novels I’m behind on for the book club.


With things like this I usually do the “staring at kanji” thing and instead of subvocalizing, I just grasp what the words mean by the kanji. Stuff like 下流地域. Like, that’s basically Chinese at this point.

On a more book related topic. I finished reading the somewhat ecchi, but not so really novel

I’m actually looking forward to vol 2, but got other things to read in the meantime:

I would call this a N1 novel, honestly. It’s not strictly the vocab, but the kanji which are way above N2 and the way the novel is written it assumes you have a native-ish understanding of world geography, cultures, etc. The plot slaps. It’s the best parts of Minority Report and Ghost in the Shell.

This one’s also incidentally more N1 than N2. Lots of adult slang, especially from the protagonist. Interesting dynamic between our protag-kun and the titular girl. Possibly a harem later on. OL galore of course.


All caught up on 陰の実力者になりたくて now. Man, I mean I could get how some people may not like this kind of story, but its so up my alley its insane. Like I would go as far as to say this might be my favorite series ever (both book and anime) from a pure entertainment standpoint. Its so freaking stupid and I love it. Its like so dumb and ridiculous and doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but still manages to be interesting and have me genuinely interested in what the MC will do next. Like it truly feels like we are living out MCs fantasies with him and share the same excitement for his future that he feels. And I don’t know why, but it makes it feel so much better that he still thinks of them all as fantasies and isn’t actually some “mastermind”. It’s such a weird balance between him and his underlings (who he doesn’t even realize are actually his underlings) but it somehow makes me like MC and the whole premise a lot more.

On vol 6

This was a bit of a different volume than normal. Previously MC created an alter ego “Secret Agent John Smith” to live out his fantasy of printing counterfeit money. He also had the alter ego “ジミナ セイネン” and his classmate suzuki where he basically pretended to be weak and then make the ultimate reveal at the end. Honestly I loved all of those. All of them kinda still had MC as the narrator for his parts though. This time, MC made the alter ego “jack the ripper” the assassin clown who kills corrupt nobles in a secret group. What was interesting was we never actually got to see any of his scenes from the MCs perspective. In fact, we never actually got any confirmation that jack the ripper was actually MC until the very end. Instead, MC was more playing the role of the typical mob character who points out certain clues that jack the ripper left and decoding messages. It was actually weird to see MC draw so much attention to himself. The other characters even were pointing out how weird it was that MC was noticing all that stuff. Very out of the ordinary for MC who wants to remain as on the downlow as possible.

I picked up unnamed memory 3 and 週に一度クラスメイトを買う話 2 and I’m probably going to go with the latter first. Book 1 was alright, but we’ll have to see the direction it goes. Its like…really weird. Theres some weird power dynamic sadism stuff going on. So long as like that kinda goes away or doesn’t get any more potent ill probably continue reading. But we’ll see.


This seems like a good place to brag[*] about having reached the milestone of having read 300 (non-manga) books in Japanese. I go by my booklog count for this.

This was a close fought race between 日本語で読むということ | L40??, セーラー服と機関銃 | L31 and 悪魔が来りて笛を吹く | L38 – I expect to finish both of the others over the weekend, but it was 日本語で読むということ | L40?? (a collection of short essays and other non fiction pieces by the novelist 水村美苗) that made it over the line first.

[*] If you know it’s taken me 20 years it doesn’t sound quite so impressive :slight_smile: