Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now Reading: Granny Girl Hinata chan!

For future reference, for the “Will you be reading with us” poll, an option along the lines of “I’ve already read the book, but I would like to take part” would be a nice to have.

Hope you had a fun trip btw!

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I meant to edit that in, but alas, I have to always forget something, or else people will think I’ve been doing this for a while or something; for now, since people have already voted, I just put that usual disclaimer about just selecting yes if you’ve already read along but intend to take part in the club. :joy:

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Also, for anyone interested in joining us for ホリミヤ that hasn’t purchased their copies yet:

There is currently a sale on the first 3 volumes on Bookwalker, and it looks like that goes until 7/28, so if anyone is looking to purchase still, now is probably the time (the same sale is on Kobo and Amazon JP)

Edit: Thanks @MissDagger for remembering to update the Master List as well. I would have probably gone a couple weeks before I remembered. :joy:

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Moved this over into its own thread, because it makes a bit more sense there. It also has a few new features.

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Could someone please share the link to the site or the dictionary that allows you to parse a sentence that is in kana and makes no sense?
I know I’ve seen it before somewhere in the book clubs threads but I can’t seem to find it anywhere and I’m stuck.

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if you paste a kana sentence into jisho sometimes it will be able to break it up and figure it out, but I think a lot of people also use DeepL to help break things up a little bit. Can give you some hints for tenses or vocab, just enough to get you started in figuring out what’s going on.

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Thank you!! I ended up finding it finally, it was Ichi Moe, I’d forgotten the name completely and I was going insane :laughing: I love that you can just input the whole kana puzzle and it helps a lot parsing it bit by bit and it tells you what each thing is.

DeepL is good but it doesn’t go in depth on the grammar structure of the sentence like ichi moe does, both are very useful tho.

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While we’re at DeepL/AI… I’ve had a lot of success with the ChatGPT prompt “Explain the parts of the sentence in English:” followed by the Japanese sentence to have it break down a sentence. Occasionally it needs a “Explain … in more detail” if one of the explained “parts” is too big.

Ichi.moe is fantastic too though, and at least it doesn’t make explanations up like ChatGPT occasionally does :laughing:

Obligatory disclaimer: ChatGPT occasionally makes stuff up while sounding incredibly confident. If you learn something new there, always check if you can find other resources about that new grammar/word you just learnt and double-check if it makes sense.

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Sounds good but for some reason I don’t have access to Chatgpt, it doesn’t take my Chinese phone number and my home country number is dead, so no Chatgpt for me :woman_shrugging:

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Hello everybody i just joined the book club ! I’ve also created a natively profile i linked below :

Don’t hesitate to follow me and i’ll follow back, i believe it will hold me more accountable to have a community on that platform.

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Welcome! I really like the home page of Natively for that reason too, on the left, easy to update my reading progress, and on the right, fun to see so many people actively reading. Once in a while I also see books that intrigue me and add them to my to-read list too!

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Oh cool, thanks for the tipp. I’ve seen that site before, but actually didn’t even know, that you could have a profile there to track things you are reading/viewing. Just created an account as well, and you are welcome to add me as well :slight_smile:

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Great idea! Following everyone here :sparkles:

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The Beginner Book Club is currently holding a vote on what to read next. If you want to try and read some somewhat harder titles have a look:

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If you’re planning on reading along with volume 2 of 「ちいさな森のオオカミちゃん」, we begin today!

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Okay, time to ask a hard question.

So, I’ve been on the hunt for ABBC compatible books, as we all do of course, and I certainly combed through quite the number of light novel manga adaptations, all with questionably long names. I’m yet to find a single one I’d be perfectly comfortable with nominating, and this post is the result of that.

Just look at that number, my poor wallet

image

The biggest issue right after nonexistent furigana, or just generally hard books, is fanservice. I’m not comfortable with nominating a book with any level of fanservice, not because I’m a prude, but because I don’t know if others would mind.

So question, what would be an ok level of fanservice to nominate?

In case big questions are hard to answer, here’s a bunch of manga that are sadly in this category, with polls(!!!)

All polls are anonymous.
Examples included in detail blocks.


We’ve already talked about Nagatoro many times before. I personally adore that manga, because it’s just very cute.

quick summary

Naoto is a high schooler who’s one of the few members of the schools art club. One day while eating, a group of high school girls, including the titular Nagatoro, find the manga he drew, and tease him for it. From that point, Nagatoro uses her “senpai” as a sort of plaything.

The manga itself starts a bit rough, but it’s quite cute. It’s in the same-ish genre as Teasing-master Takagi-san, but for a bit more of an adult audience.

Nagatoro specifically has quite a bit of fanservice, the worst of it is probably a bath scene, where only the fog and the water surface act as censorships.

examples


Would you be ok with this?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Second up is *checks notes* “Alya sometimes hides her feelings in Russian”.

Now this, this would be really funny. Because there is in fact quite a bit of Russian in the book, with Japanese furigana.

quick summary

Alya is a Russian-Japanese girl, who recently transferred over from Russia to a Japanese high school. She speaks both languages fluently, but from time to time, she says stuff in Russian, assuming that nobody understands it. Her seat-neighbour is our protagonist, who just so happens to have spent a good part of his childhood watching Russian, so he understands it (don’t question it), but nobody knows that. Incidentally, Alya tends to say very cute things to him in Russian.

This is very much a classic Tsundere story, I particularly enjoy the dynamic between our two main characters.

Issue is, the manga has an entire extended chapter dedicated to our protagonist putting a pair of tights on the girl, that then turns a bit horny, and then ends in a panty shot.

examples

image


Would you be ok with this?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Next up, “Call of the Night”. First of all, this is a “maybe” nomination right now. For some reason, my manga analyzer doesn’t load up right, so gotta give the servers a bit of break, but I don’t think it was that hard, gotta see.

Post edit: Manga analyzer fixed itself, seems a tad bit long, seemingly a bit harder than Ruri, (though only because of the length). Probably will not nominate it, but I’ll leave this here just as an example.

quick summary

Kou is a student, who develops insomnia, after he starts disliking going to school, and he starts going out at night, walking around town. He meets an odd girl named Nazuna, who shows him all kinds of things at night. Also, she’s a vampire, who really enjoys Kou’s blood.

This entry arguably does not belong on the list, because it does not have any direct fanservice (unless you consider a bare stomach fanservice). The main thing with this, is that sex is in fact a very common theme, heck, one of the main pillars of the story. Which can result in some weird situations, but this is generally ok in my mind. But might as well ask, before I fully check the difficulty.

Would you be ok with this?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Last but not least, this will be a bit harder to do, because I haven’t yet read this. But here we go.
“I don’t want to work my whole life, and I got attached to my very popular idol classmate”

Do you even need a quick summary after that title? You might ask the very relevant question of “Gorbit, why is this the second idol classmate manga you want to nominate?”. I’d love to know that as well, my amazon recommendation list is borked.

quick summary

Rintarou is a student, who dreams of becoming a full-time househusband. He has a very popular idol, named Rei, as a classmate (as we all do of course). One day, Rintarou, feeds the starving Rei his food, and with those househusband skills he cultivated up to that point, sweeps her off her feet. She then promises to pay Rintarou 300,000 yen a month if she could eat his cooking every day.

Seems cute, can’t say much more, I need to read it before I nominate it, but difficulty wise it seems to be a bit below Ruri, both in length and just words and stuff.

Now, this is the one I’m most confident would fit the club, because the amount of fanservice is minimal, basically, while sleeping, the girl has her underboob showing for 3 or so frames, and there’s also a shower-ish thing. I’ll include literally all of these in the examples section.

examples





image

Would you be ok with this?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

Yes, I’m indeed very brave for making this post

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For a moment, I thought this sentence was the name of a light novel, and it sounded rather interesting.

That’s why I focus so much on (temporary) freebies.

Of course, the best finds (such as Ookami-chan) I don’t think were freebies when I found them. And normal free previews (single chapter, or several pages) often don’t tell enough.

For the most part, I am :person_raising_hand: (I even wrote a userscript for Bookwalker so I can easily hide a whole series when I see a cover with questionable imagery.)

Don’t ask me how I ever made it through Love Hina, mostly enjoying the series. And yes, having read it in English, I’m considering reading it in Japanese eventually.


I’m personally fine sitting out a book club here and there (the list of series I’m in the middle of is growing thanks to the book clubs), but if I were an Absolute Beginner looking to read my first native material, it’d be discouraging to have it be overly and overtly fanservicey.

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That’s great, it wouldn’t be a discussion, if it was a one sided mosh pit, so glad that there are active members on the other side of the spectrum.

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I’m personally okay with all of those, but I’m okay with a lot in terms of fanservice :smile: I do recognise that’s not going to be the case for everyone though.

I’d say there’s not really a hard line of what’s okay to recommend and what isn’t, but that’s both because everyone’s different in what they consider acceptable (some may be perfectly okay with panty shots but not with sex talk, for instance) and because it’s not just about the kind of fanservice but also how much of a focus it gets. On the whole Nagatoro has a fair bit of lazily-excused fanservice for the sake of fanservice, while Alya has some fanservice but is on the whole mostly just a story about an adorably awkward girl who struggles to express herself - to the point where to me, the fanservice barely even registers.

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This is also my thought.

I’ve read and really enjoyed two of the series on here (nagatoro I am completely caught up on, and call of the night I read up to about chapter 150), but idk if I would have wanted to read them at the slow and more analytical pace of a book club. Nagatoro largely becomes more tame as the series goes on, but parts of that first volume are definitely pretty rough in that regard. Call of the Night has sex and intimacy as a pretty constant theme (not really as much “fan service” though? iirc at least).

Fan service really turns me away from manga only if it’s not being used in some way that actually helps the story. If it’s just “ah here’s some boobs bc we know our readers will like boobs” then I generally lose interest. In nagatoro it’s two kids who do not understand how to flirt, or even how to know that they are interested in someone, trying to fumble their way through their first attempts at romance, sometimes going well past the line of what’s appropriate, and in call of the night the relationship between romantic love and sex/intamacy is a pretty fundamental question the series plays with, as kou tries to figure out what love is, if it’s not simply the later

Other than that, if people are struggling with horimiya then call of the night is way too hard for the ABBC lol. Nagatoro is an approachable level, though imo

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