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

One more nomination, before I forget.

ヒナのままじゃだめですか? / Can’t Hina stay as she is?

Natively 20 (But I’m the only one’s rated it so far)


5th-grade student Hina has a secret she can’t tell anyone - she started menstruating 3 months ago. But her days of keeping it secret from her single father and her friends come to an end when one day, after class, her classmate and childhood friend Daichi notices blood on her chair… is she still a child? Or is she an adult? A serious coming of age story about a girl on the cusp of puberty.



Personal Opinion

Puberty in manga is mostly romance or more often sex comedies, but this is one of the few works I’ve seen that deals with it very seriously, but without being overbearingly clinical or grim. There isn’t a hint of fanservice, but it’s still a sweet story with some rarely-seen-but-still-useful vocab as Hina and Diachi deal with the mysteries of growing up in their own independent way. From a learning perspective, most of the language used (besides the specialised vocabulary) is about grade-schooler level, so despite the more serious tone it’s still fairly comprehensible.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Experience a relatively complex subject in an approachable way
  • Mostly kid talk dialogue that is relatively understandable once you have the vocab down (and some slang)
  • No fanservice, treats its subject matter very seriously
  • Cute co-protagonists


  • No furigana; you will need to be able to do kanji lookups, OCR or to rely the vocab sheet
  • Art isn’t the best I’ve ever seen to be honest, though I think the actual storytelling doesn’t suffer because of it
  • There’s a certain level of character interiority to this that can be a bit difficult to parse at times (the very first page is a bit of an example)


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Chapter 1 on Author’s twitter
Chapters 1-3 here

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Substantial effort
  • So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know
  • I am an experienced reader, so this is not much effort for me
0 voters