Advanced Japanese Book Club // Now reading: 薬屋のひとりごと - Next: 海辺のカフカ

Nah, looks fine for me. BTW I found the wikipedia page for the movie (which contains nothing but the cast) but the cast contains the names of the characters! And they claim the guy’s last name is Nitta :joy_cat:

2 Likes

Oh, that does bring up the correct Kanji! I’ll just go ahead and assume whoever wrote that/adapted the movie has it right then and change the name. :wink:

2 Likes

At least the director seems to be Japanese. I suspect he would have noticed :relaxed:

2 Likes

Oh yeah. I was thinking more along the lines that this might be a case of a no furigana multiple choice name like in Konbini Ningen. ^^

2 Likes

くま クマ 熊 ベアー

Author : くまなの (Not their real name, I assume)

Summary

Japanese

引きこもりゲーマーのユナが、いつものようにファンタジーRPGゲームにログイン! すると、可愛いクマの装備を身につけて、自分が知らない森の中に!? 装備も変だし、レベルも1に戻ってるし、ゲームがバグった? それとも、まさかの異世界に来ちゃったの!? クマ装備はへんてこだけど、かなり強くて手放せない。冒険者ユナ、最恐クマっ娘として爆誕です!

English

(By the US publisher)
A dedicated gamer and antisocial shut-in downloads an update to her favorite fantasy RPG–only to find herself sucked into the game world for real. Reset to level one and equipped with only a cute bear onesie that grants her impressive abilities, Yuna sets out to explore her new reality–even though the fact that she can’t seem to take the bearsuit off gives her paws, er, pause!

Length : 306
Category : faster pace

Availability

Amazon
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

This is the first volume in a popular series. I got interested in reading it when I noticed it was often in the top charts for light novels aimed at women. It was also one of the only book at the top of the chart that did not involve being reborn as an 悪令嬢. Turns out it’s an 異世界 anyway, but fine. Additionally, it turns out that the US publisher is marketing it toward men instead, so I guess it would interest a wide public?

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Short (for this club), so we can just enjoy not spending ages on a single book
  • Popular series

Cons

  • I’m sorry I only suggest 異世界

Pictures/Sample

Bookwalker sample

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

11 Likes

風の谷のナウシカ

Author : 宮崎駿

Summary

Japanese

「火の七日間」と呼ばれる戦争によって巨大産業文明が崩壊してから千年。
荒れ果てた大地には「腐海」と呼ばれる有毒の瘴気を発する菌類の森が広がり、
衰退した人間の生存を脅かしていた。酸の海のほとりに、海から吹く風によって
腐海の毒から守られた「風の谷」という辺境の王国があった。そこでは、王女のナウシカを中心に人々は自然を尊び平和に暮らしていたが、大国トルメキア軍の侵略に遭い…。

English

The story is set in the future at the closing of the ceramic era, 1,000 years after the Seven Days of Fire, a cataclysmic global war, in which industrial civilization self-destructed. Although humanity survived, the land surface of the Earth is still heavily polluted and the seas have become poisonous. Most of the world is covered by the Sea of Corruption, a toxic forest of fungal life and plants which is steadily encroaching on the remaining open land. It is protected by large mutant insects, including the massive Ohmu. Humanity clings to survival in the polluted lands beyond the forest, periodically engaging in bouts of internecine fighting for the scarce resources that remain.

Nausicaä, a young princess, has an empathic bond with the giant Ohmu insects and animals of every creed. She fights to create tolerance, understanding and patience among empires that are fighting over the world’s remaining precious natural resources.

Length : 128 pages 1
Category : Fairly slim, but with potential to continue

1 For volume 1, at least. Amazon says it’s 136 pages, and while the last page is certainly numbered 136, the first page is inexplicably numbered 9 - and it’s literally the first leaf in the book.

Availability

Amazon: Volume 1 only - Seven-volume set.
Can’t find an e-book.

Personal Opinion

Well, it’s one of the classics of our era, ya know? Plus, we can finally put to work one of the kanji that WaniKani teaches but has no vocab for (by which I mean 駿).

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Well, it’s pretty.
  • Each volume is comparatively short, giving us convenient places to stop if we want to stop.
  • Lots of dialect practice, I’ve heard.

Cons

  • Well, no e-book.

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One



Additional Pages



Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

6 Likes

What does “L” mean? :sweat_smile:

Why though? :joy:

Amazon’s old shipping policy was 350 yen per book flat price, whereas now it’s weight based. For most items, that’s a huge savings (since it’s usually now only 100-150 yen per manga), but the set would now be 1400 yen because it weighs so much. Just thought that was interesting. This manga was so dense that it was even hard to read in English, so I don’t particularly want to suffer through it in Japanese.

2 Likes

You’re right, I shouldn’t judge. It’s probably written 球磨菜野.

3 Likes

I have that book and it’s somehow also one of the two I considered nominating if I felt like nominating any books… so I’m pretty surprised to suddenly see it nominated anyway. Less work for me :slight_smile:

6 Likes

It means that there’s an L too much there. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

The other book I was thinking of is 352 pages and you almost had me considering nominating it for intermediate instead since it’s another fast and easy, and just within the stated limit of 350. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

4 Likes

I made a recommendation in the Intermediate club as well, so いいの!

3 Likes

Moving away from the heavy stuff for a bit :slight_smile:

すべてがFになる - THE PERFECT INSIDER

Author: 森 博嗣 (もりひろし)

Summary

Japanese

孤島のハイテク研究所で、少女時代から完全に隔離された生活を送る天才工学博士・真賀田四季。彼女の部屋からウエディング・ドレスをまとい両手両足を切断された死体が現れた。偶然、島を訪れていたN大助教授・犀川創平と女子学生・西之園萌絵が、この不可思議な密室殺人に挑む。新しい形の本格ミステリィ登場。

English

Sōhei Saikawa, an associate professor of architectural engineering, and Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of his mentor, travel to a remote island. While there, the two work together to solve the murders of a prominent artificial intelligence researcher and the director of the lab located on the island.

Length: 524 pages
Category: easy&fast

Availability

Amazon
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

This is the first book of the renowned writer MORI Hiroshi who was professor of engineering during the start of his writing career; later he decided to become a full-time writer. He has written dozens of books, and his genre is usually called “science mystery”. My hope is that a professor of engineering can get the science aspect across in a convincing way. Especially this book seems to deal with computer stuff quite a bit, so I’m looking forward to finding out how realistic it is and how dated it feels (the book was written in 1996).
The book (which was awarded a prize by the way) is the first of a 10-part series, but I expect that it can be read on its own.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Popular book
  • Popular author
  • Mystery novel

Cons

  • Not sure how much people will enjoy it if they don’t like computers and science.

Pictures

Note: the pages here contain slightly more text than the original pages as I took them from the ebook.

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

8 Likes

I voted for the language I could see in the example pages, but my lack of science knowledge might very well make this a much more difficult read. :thinking:

Come to think of it, the same is true for a lot of these. Oh well. :upside_down_face:

4 Likes

I’d expect us to have nice discussions around the science bits if things turn out to be that hard to understand :upside_down_face:

5 Likes

Enough of the hard stuff? Here is a book candidate for you!

狼と香辛料 (Spice and Wolf)

Author: 支倉 凍砂 (はせくらいすな)

Summary

Japanese

行商人のロレンスは、馬車の荷台で麦の束に埋もれて眠る少女を見つける。 少女は狼の耳と尾を持つ美しい娘で、自らを豊作を司る神・ホロと名乗った。 「わっちは神と呼ばれたがよ。わっちゃあ、ホロ以外の何者でもない」 まるで経験を積んだ大人のような話し方で、ロレンスを巧みに翻弄する少女。 「お前は、本当に神なのか?」 最初は半信半疑だったロレンスも、やがてホロが旅に同行することを承諾する。 そんなふたりの旅に、思いがけない儲け話が舞い込んでくる。 近い将来、ある銀貨が値上がりするという噂。 疑いながらも、ロレンスはその儲け話に乗るのだが……。

English from Wikipedia

Spice and Wolf’s story revolves around Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old traveling merchant who peddles various goods from town to town to make a living in a stylized, fictional world, with a historical setting with European influences.[6] His main goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, and he already has been traveling for seven years while gaining experience in the trade. One night when stopped at the town of Pasloe, he finds in his wagon a wolf-deity named Holo who is over 600 years old. She takes the form of a 15-year-old girl, except for a wolf’s tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest, who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Holo has experienced increasing isolation and disillusionment at the townpeople’s move away from her protection towards their own methods of increasing the harvest. She is especially hurt at their forgetting of the promise made between her and a farmer when she arrived in the village and their criticism of her as a “fickle god” for needing to replenish the soil with smaller harvests. Because of these changes, she wants to… (skipped the rest to keep the tension :wink: )

Length: 329 pages
Category: fast&easy

Availability

Amazon
BookWalker

Personal Opinion

It’s a very popular light novel series among forum members, so I would like to read it as well.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Light novel, so it should be an easy read contents-wise
  • Contains a lot of economics vocab, I was told
  • Long series (vol. 17 is called “Epilogue” but then there are 5 more volumes after that, the most recent of which was released in Dec. 2019)

Cons

  • Long series, still ongoing

Pictures

(The pages are taken from the ebook but they seem to match the real pages rather well, judging from the number of pages in the ebook.)

First Three Pages of Chapter One

序幕:


第一幕:

Additional Pages


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

10 Likes

I just started reading this last week, and it can be quite challenging at times. I always get the gist of what’s going on, but sometimes the sentences can be roundabout and confusing.

4 Likes

Checks current nominations

Category 1: easier reading, faster pace
86―エイティシックス―
本好きの下剋上
くま クマ 熊 ベアー
マスカレード・ホテル
容疑者Xの献身
風の谷のナウシカ
海辺のカフカ(上)
騎士団長殺し 第1部
すべてがFになる
Category 2: harder reading, slower pace
雪国
午後の曳航

:thinking:

This should be the “we could read hard stuff but let’s face it we just want to have a good time” club.

19 Likes

Are you saying you want more hard stuff?

checks bookshelf

6 Likes

Them’s fightin’ words. Put up your dukes nominations!
Checks own bookshelf

10 Likes