Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now reading: Horimiya // Reading Next: Miss Shikimori is not just cute!

Honestly, it isn’t that big a deal in my opinion. It is nice, but if someone is planing to read with the club, they’re probably planing to vote anyway, so not being able to check the result without also casting a vote isn’t a problem. Just nice for the future. (I’m just a curious cat… Meow :cat2: )


Well, it’s also the default behavior of the poll, so all I have to do is not go anywhere near the section next time. :rofl:


If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my doing book club posts and polls, it’s this: If you’re certain you’ve done everything right, it only means you’ve missed your mistake :wink:

Edit: For example, no one mentioned that the July 2nd chapter of Flying Witch said to start it on July 27th. I caught that a week later.


The poll looks broken for me too. I’m on Chrome.

edit to add: if I cast a vote I can see the results and it no longer looks broken.


I had the "NaN"s appear after clicking “Show results” but not voting yet. Then it just fixed itself after a minute without reloading the page. I’m on Firefox, so probably not a browser issue. Seems to be a discourse bug, but at least we can still vote fine.

I’m not sure any other discourse community uses polls as heavily as we do. :rofl:


Fwiw in the other clubs we monitor how well the nominations are doing in the polls, and if they are below a certain percentage (which differs depending on which club it is) three times in a row, it’s dropped. I don’t know whether such a rule would make sense for this club, as it might be more difficult to find suitable material so you might not want to drop too much each time, but that could be adjusted via the cutoff percentage.


I just quickly put together a listing of votes over time in case it helps decide on anything to drop off:


I’ve definitely felt it’s more difficult finding suitable material for this group. We’ve never had huge numbers of nominations. We’re at 14 at present which might be the highest we’ve had. For that reason I’d been quite reluctant to follow the pattern of the other groups and drop nominations in the past.

I’ve also been wary about the difficulty level slowly creeping up (I think we’ve done well at avoiding this looking at the natively levels for past picks). This has been another factor in not dropping nominations if we have material of the right level.


Imo one can always bring back dropped nominations, if the number ever goes below like 6 or so. Though I’m in the process of looking through books I’d like to read and checking if they would fit this club.


So when’s the spreadsheet about this coming? :eyes: I’d expect it to have like spikes, the difficulty slowly creeping up, then dropping when people realize that it’s too hard. Natively scores are also probably heavily influenced by book clubs, so over time the difficulty of books in book clubs will be rated lower on natively. (especially if they weren’t popular before)


I’ll be doing my part with a very ABBC-friendly manga nomination before the next poll after the current one =D

Edit: It looks like I can reproduce the NaN on the poll now. Can’t reproduce with the same poll loaded onto my own Discourse forum (which is a couple of versions out of date), so I’m guessing it’s a relatively new bug. Discourse devs doing their part to help @MrGeneric transition into a new role =D


Well, I could say it’s all their fault and move on… But I’m still the idiot who managed to change a default setting and not notice doing so, so I think I still have to take the hit on this one. :laughing:

As for the discussion about dropping things and the difficulty creeps, I definitely share those same concerns.

I wouldn’t want to drop too much because we do have a lower amount of nominations flowing in. I’ve got some manga that I have considered posting here, but I have some concerns. Maybe I should suss out some opinions here.

いじらないで長瀞さん is one I considered nominating, but I worry it borders on being too inappropriate. It doesn’t have anything super explicit or anything, but it definitely makes quite few “lewd” jokes, and it has some suggestive posing and the like, so while the difficulty level feels perfect, the content perhaps does not, and I would rather err on the side of caution there. I wouldn’t want anything that makes people uncomfortable!

The other potential pick comes from an anime I watched recently called 阿波連さんははかれない that was incredibly easy to understand with JP subtitles, and I immediately pulled up the manga thinking it would be a great fit because the language was so simple that I wasn’t even looking up anything as I watched, but it lacks furigana, which I feel like might be a deal-breaker for this club. Having furigana makes things significantly more accessible (though I suppose this problem is somewhat solved by vocab sheets…)

What do y’all think?

Regarding the potential for a difficulty increase, I especially worry we will make a Death Note style mistake here, which might be a bit more of a harsh slap in the face for Absolute Beginners than it was for the Beginner club. I don’t want to scare anybody off of reading. But so far I think we are doing a decent job of keeping it accessible; it’s just difficult to judge when you are no longer in that Absolute Beginner position. (Side-note: This is why it’s important to vote in the difficulty polls, especially if you are relatively new! The curse of knowledge is a real 面倒くさい!)


I would poll this sometime. I would join that book club for sure, but yeah, the first few volumes are a bit of a fanservice fest sometimes iirc


いじらないで長瀞さん - I had a flick through a few chapters. I don’t think there’s anything worse in there than what was in ハピネス.

阿波連さんははかれない - looks very accessible in terms of grammar and text density. I agree maybe the lack of furigana pushes it out of ABBC. Could perhaps work with a vocab sheet as long as someone is prepared to make one! I seem to remember Wanikani encouraging us to read without furigana as early as possible.

It sounds like several people have suggestions for new material. Maybe not dropping nominations has held back new ones coming through? あたしんち and Wanted have both been there since the start of the club without ever being close to being picked that I remember.


Thanks for linking those. In retrospect, I should have done that since I was asking for opinions, instead of making people look for them. :laughing:

If I were to put up 阿波連さんははかれない, I would definitely be creating a vocabulary sheet to go along with it (similarly, if Shikimori-san gets selected, I would be sure to have any of the furigana-less words that show up between chapters and the like compiled in advance). If Nagatoro-san doesn’t seem any worse than ハピネス (I didn’t read along, so I’m taking your word on that!), then I’ll go ahead and suggest both for the next poll.

I wasn’t really holding off on those two because of existing nominations, personally; both were because of the doubts I had about them being good fits here. Nagatoro-san for content (difficulty is honestly perfect. It’s easier than Takagi-san, imo, and Takagi-san was a great pick for the club), and Aharen-san due to the lack of furigana; though you are right that Wanikan does encourage reading without furigana as early as possible, and that’s a fair point, for sure.

The only other nomination I held back on was 五等分の花嫁, and I discussed the reasons for that somewhere in this thread. (Text density and potentially too difficult being the main concerns there). So, I can’t speak for others, but it’s not existing nominations hanging around keeping me from suggesting new ones; it just goes back to it being a bit difficult to find suitable material for the club that is also engaging and doesn’t run the hazard of being too difficult. :sweat_smile:

However, seems that at least the two most recent thoughts might be okay picks, after all (with 阿波連さん being somewhat doubtful, but the difficulty polls can be the final decision-maker as to that), so I’ll go ahead and throw them into the running after this poll. (That does mean that I’ll have 3 potential picks going at the same time, so I’ll probably not nominate any more after that unless we end up with really slim pickings! Also, kinda funny that all 3 will be names :laughing: Shikimori-san, Nagatoro-san, Aharen-san…).

I didn’t realize we had so many legacy picks still floating around. That really is unfortunate. I mean, it hasn’t slowed the club down any. We still are regularly picking books to read, and things are still going perfectly fine, but it is a bit troublesome that some picks have been around for 2+ years without having been selected. Maybe we should try dropping some more nominations and if people really want them, they can renominate. That could drum up some more interest for those picks, too, seeing a new nomination post for it; maybe by virtue of them being old picks, that’s part of the lack of interest? I’m not sure.


My only reason for holding off is because of upcoming book club duties. Hopefully everyone else with suggestions is posting them when there’s a call for nominations. I feel it’s beneficial for older, less popular nominations to give way to newer nominations.

Y’all are almost making me think I should have recommended Whisper of the Heart here rather than BBC :wink: (That one has partial furigana use and I feel is great to help those trying to transition to material without furigana.)

One thing I didn’t include in my spreadsheet is the items that were picked. I wonder what the average number of polls a nomination appears in before being picked. I believe レンタルおにいちゃん, 三ツ星カラーズ, からかい上手の高木さん, and それでも歩は寄せてくる were all picked on their first polls.

Hm, now I’m curious…

Edit: From what I see, the last five polls favored brand new nominations (and Rental Oniichan bypassed the polling process).


In the first volume there’s:

  • a scene with a reverse anime fall (page 78) with a bunch of suggestive stuff happening afterwards to the main guy
  • some neck stuff (page 98) that’s very suggestive
  • teasing while modeling with a bunch of thigh stuff (130)
  • and of course it ends with a bath scene with prolly the least amount of censorship you can get away with while still being technically sfw.

Of course all of this with added suggestive language.
I love the series, it’s really a joy to read, especially in the later chapters where the horny gets toned down in favor of cute and romantic. The first volume is honestly the closest to a fanservice compilation, after that it does get better.

This is why I said that it should be polled.


Oh, yeah, I have read the first volume of Nagatoro-san, so I was definitely aware of all that, and I definitely enjoy the series too (having only read the first 3 volumes, because they were free; I’d be happy to continue the series at some point. I just had other priorities!). I just meant that I didn’t read along with ハピネス, so I have no idea how suggestive that series was.

I just know that a lot of people don’t particularly care for the kind of humour that Nagatoro-san uses, so that was my main holdback (and the bath chapter was high on the list for “Hmm. This might toe the line too closely”), but I agree. I’ll put it to the polls. If folks don’t want to read it, they just won’t vote for it, right? :stuck_out_tongue:


I thought about nominating ギャルと恐竜 (“My Roomie Is a Dino”). I really liked the first few chapters. I didn’t nominate it because I haven’t read the rest, and after flipping through the pages I saw a few big blocks of text in later chapters, so I’m not really sure if it gets too difficult. I should have spent more time looking into it though, since the natively score is 18. I’ll definitely nominate it for next time unless I actually get around to reading it and it turns out to be a bad fit.

Regarding 阿波連さんははかれない, I would be hesitant to pick a manga with absolutely no furigana, just because it’d be intimidating for first-time readers (even with a vocab sheet). I haven’t actually looked at the book though. I would think a book with some furigana and some plain kanji would be perfectly fine.

ハピネス has a fair amount of violence (mostly people getting beat up pretty bad). As far as sexual content, it’s mostly suggestive in the first volume, with a few times when guys are being kind of creepy but nothing happens, and one scene with brief off-screen implied masturbation.

I think ハピネス is definitely more mature than Nagatoro-san.

Personal thoughts about Nagatoro-san

I might be biased because I only skimmed the English version, I haven’t really read it all the way through. Personally think it’s a little problematic because the teasing + sexuality gets into some non-consensual territory. It’s less explicit technically, but they don’t really treat the sexuality in a mature way. It seems that she’s always really mean towards him in a way that’s not really resolved? sorry… we all have our own sensitivities, and apparently this hits mine.

Can anybody more knowledgeable about the series tell me if my take is accurate? Do things progress in later volumes in a better way?

To be clear, I’m not trying to keep anybody away from nominating it. Looks like a good difficulty level.

Unnecessary detail about ハピネス I typed up anyway

In the first volume:

  • Guys creepily looking up a girl’s skirt as she goes up the stairs (page 15)
  • Off-screen masturbation (page 19)
  • Panels of almost looking up a short skirt (page 72). (Okay, so this actually has to do with the plot, but the imagery is still there).

Later volumes seem to be a bit more explicit (sex scene with no actual nudity shown in volume 2, implied off-screen sex in volume 3). Of course we’re still working our way through volume 3 of 10, so no idea what happens later.


I think it’s a good fit for this club. I’ve read through the first volume. It’s pretty light on text, uses simple language and grammar. Wholesome series with cute art and just a neat slice of life manga in general. Sure uses a lot of casual speech and some slang, but nagatoro does it as well.