Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now Reading: Tamamo no Koi!

Obviously, I’m a bit late for nominating a book for this round of votes, but I figure I’ll get this nomination up while it’s on my mind!

可愛いだけじゃない式守さん ・ Miss Shikimori is not just cute


From Amazon:

Shikimori seems like the perfect girlfriend: cute, fun to be around, sweet when she wants to be… but she has a cool dark side that comes out under the right circumstances. And her boyfriend Izumi loves to be around when that happens! A fun and funny high school romance with a sassy twist perfect for fans of Nagatoro-san and Komi Can’t Communicate !

Shikimori and Izumi are high school sweethearts. They hold hands walking home from school, they flirt in the halls, they tease each other. But Shikimori knows what she wants, and how to get it, and she can turn from cutie to cool in an instant.


Amazon JP

Personal Opinion

I think this is a pretty good fit for the ABBC for a few reasons. It has furigana throughout (well, mostly, we’ll get to that later), text density (with at least one exception, which I’ll post in the preview) is generally manageable, and there’s no major curve balls for grammar or vocabulary which I ran into. I picked the first two volumes up when they were both free on Amazon a couple weeks ago, and I read the first volume in its entirety in about an hour or two, during which time I only had to look up a couple of words here and there. Overall, this is just a cute, fun little read with the same comfortable vibes of からかい上手の高木さん and それでも歩むは寄せてくる, both of which were previous ABBC picks. Even if this is not selected as a pick, I’ll likely continue to read the series (certainly through the second volume, at the very least!)

The first volume is currently still listed as free on Amazon JP, though I’m not sure how long that will last. If you are interested, and you use Amazon, I suggest picking it up immediately! Bookwalker no longer lists either volume as free, unfortunately.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Most of the kanji has furigana (there are a couple of exceptions)
  • Text density is fairly low
  • Grammar feels quite simple; I certainly didn’t come across anything out of the norm for this group
  • Chapters are quite short. First few chapters are all 4 pages. The rest are 8 pages.
  • The first volume is fairly short. I think it comes out to around 96 pages of actual chapters, though the in-between chapter pages have varying levels of text (never more than couple of sentences, though).
  • Light-hearted and easy read


  • (For some this could be a con), it’s definitely slice-of-life, so if there’s an overall story, it’s slow-burning, and only small hints in the way of full-on plot advancement. Definitely like それでも歩むは寄せてくる in this way.
  • Some kanji do not have furigana, mostly background text and in-between chapter blurbs. I am fairly confident that each of the kanji that didn’t show up with furigana, did show up at some other point in the manga with it, though! It’s just it doesn’t have it every time.
  • Some of the background text is actually necessary to understand a joke, and some of it is handwritten and a little difficult to parse. Nothing crazy, but I could see it being an issue for some newer readers.
  • Not sure if this that much of a con, but the series is still ongoing, so any spin-off book club would eventually run out of material to read and be waiting on more releases.


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Final page of chapter one, just for posterity:

First page of chapter 2 is fairly representative of text density throughout:

A quick example of one of the in-between chapter blurbs (one of the locations where kanji lacks furigana, though I would be happy to make sure that the vocab sheet has any kanji that shows up in the blurbs!):

And finally, a quick example of some of the background text (lacking furigana):

The exception to the rule with text density I mentioned above:

If I need to add any other images, let me know!

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters