Beginner Japanese Book Club // Coming Soon: The Way of the Househusband

No outside links rule is abit…
I would very much appreaciate it if you find a link and let me know :smiley: I think It might be better for me to get the pronounciation right while learning new words from books ( without going into Forvo every sec)

Yeah, I didn’t mean outside links in general, but rather outside chat platforms. There was an incident once related to private messages on these forums, so they disabled the private messaging feature. But they didn’t want people to just post all their Discord usernames and servers and simply shift the problem to another platform, so they discouraged that (to an extent) as well. But I think they realized they were being overly strict, which is why they’re more accepting of these outside discussions on Discord now.

Here’s an invite:

I don’t know what level you’re aiming for, but it seems like the current book clubs actively reading aloud include:

  • Re: Zero (advanced, light novel)
  • コーヒーが冷めないうちに (intermediate, novel)
  • ふらいんぐうぃっち (beginner, manga)
  • 暁のヨナ (beginner, manga)
  • ハイキュー (beginner, manga)

But keep in mind that all of the ongoing ones are in the middle of their respective series, so it could be difficult to jump in. But if that doesn’t bother you, go for it!

6 Likes

Wawawiwa , that still sounds abit harsh, atlist there’s something quite cool and nostalgic about having no PMs and using posts\replys only for communication., IZ GUT.

Wah, thank you so much for the link! I’l go through the しょしんしゃ and see if I can close the gap.

This is why they disappeared one day. I liked the private messages so it is sad that they removed them. I don’t know which incident it was but it mus have been awful to delete the private message

For people who wanted to try an intermediate level book, we are planning to read an award-winning best-seller かがみの孤城. The book is quite easy to read and could be a good transition from beginner to intermediate level. We are aiming to start sometime between September 25th and November 6th.

3 Likes

ささやくように恋を唄う (Whisper Me a Love Song)

Summary

高校入学初日、新入生のひまりは新入生歓迎会で演奏したバンドのボーカル・依(より)に、ひとめぼれという名の憧れを抱く。校舎で出逢った依にそのことを伝えるひまりだったが、まっすぐに気持ちを伝える彼女に、依はひとめぼれという名の恋心を抱いてしまい……お互い好きだけど、どこか微妙にすれ違う、ひとめぼれから始まる恋物語。(Bookwalker)

On the first day of entering high school, Himari Kino “falls” for her senior, Yori Asanagi, whom she watched singing with a band at the welcome party for new students. When Himari confesses her admiration to Yori, Yori misinterprets Himari’s feelings as romantic love. However, before Yori realizes, she comes to fall for Himari anyway, and promises to win her affections for real. (Wikipedia)

Availability

Bookwalker
Amazon

Personal Opinion

This is one of those manga that I could read in one go without getting fatigued. It is incredibly sweet (for some it might be to sweet) and has a good density for a beginner book club. The first volume tells one scene from 2 sides, which is a great way of reviewing your understanding of the situation. One downside might be that the first volume doesn’t end on a very satisfying note.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good density
  • Great art
  • No dialects

Cons

  • (No furigana)

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages

Bookwalker Preview

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters

6 Likes

約束のネバーランド (The Promised Neverland)

Summary

From IMBD: When three gifted kids at an isolated idyllic orphanage discover the secret and sinister purpose they were raised for, they look for a way to escape from their evil caretaker and lead the other children in a risky escape plan. … No child is ever overlooked, especially since they are all adopted by the age of 12.

Personal: Three protagonists, Emma, Ray and Norman, have been friends their whole life in Grace Field House, an idyllic orphanage. They live there with their siblings and Mama Isabella - and while they may not share blood, they are family. When a sinister secret plagues the three eleven year olds, they put into motion an escape plan that may save their lives, their siblings’ lives, and the world.

Availability

Amazon JP
CD Japan
Rakuten Books (Kobo)
Bookwalker
Comic Pixiv

Personal Opinion

I stumbled across this series ironically while browsing Netflix. I started watching the anime, and then I just couldn’t stop. The series itself claims it’s more dark fantasy/thriller/science fiction, but it has a lot of slice of life which makes it a really easy read. The characters are all super unique with different personalities and traits, and they all have separate motives that give unique perspectives on the plot - which I don’t think multiple characters sometimes do in mangas. Likewise, there’s a two-season series anime which covers the manga pretty faithfully, a Japanese live-action movie (with a possible second but nothing confirmed) and a future Amazon studios American version.

While I really like the characters, the whole story is also really interesting and easy to read. I’ve already gone through the first three tankoban which hasn’t been too difficult of a read. It does have some elements of fantasy but most of the story is based on and around human children attempting to survive the issues given to them, and there’s not much (if any) real hard-to-understand fantasy words.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Furigana on almost all of the Kanji
  • Easy to read and follow
  • Currently really popular in Japan
  • Anime and movie that follows the manga pretty well
  • Physical and eBooks are about the same

Cons

  • Some fantasy-based words
  • You’ll get attached to the characters and cry
  • LOTS of katakana (which is great for practice?)
    ((all of the character names for the kiddos are in Katakana!))

Pictures

You can trial the whole first chapter here on Bookwalker JP
(I also apologize if these images are a bit blurry; I tried my best with getting them but the furigana is really easy to read in most cases beyond what I’m showing)

First Three Pages of Chapter One

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Additional Pages

The fantasy elements happen pretty early on (chapter 1) and this is the extent of what surrounds them. Pretty standard fantasy Japanese terms, imo! Also may be a spoiler about what to expect the kids deal with!

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Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters

7 Likes

This is a series that often comes up as recommended when I’m buying manga from Kobo. Maybe not something I’d read on my own, but I would definitely join in if picked by the BBC.

It looks like the series recently ended, so there’s no worry about getting invested in a series only to have to wait for a new volume to release to continue reading.

One con I might add is, at least based on looking at just the several pages, there looks to be a lot of 熟字訓(じゅくじくん), furigana that matches the meaning of the kanji rather than the reading. Things like 勉強(テスト) for example. The reading gives all the information one needs for meaning, but if you don’t know the kanji and want to look it up, that makes it a little more difficult. (The vocabulary lists would help out with this, though!)

4 Likes

I read the first volume a few years back, and this annoyed me a lot. Unlike Aria, which used this occasionally and subtly, I felt like The Promised Neverland used this way too much.

3 Likes

I’d be tempted to remove those additional pages from the nomination post, I think that’s a bit too much of a spoiler!

1 Like

Quick heads-up to @Radish8 and everybody else who is eagerly waiting for the next poll and pick:

The Ogawa Mimei book club has decided to modify the schedule a little bit, and we will finish a week earlier than we had previously anticipated. To put a date to this, the club’s last week will start on Nov 20th and end on Nov 26th, and with the usual 1-week break between books, the next book could start on Dec 4th (right on time with JLPT, so this sounds like a nice reward for all the hard studying y’all took on :sweat_smile:).

Which also means the next poll should be right around the corner :man_dancing: :confetti_ball: :dancing_women: :sparkles: :rainbow:

7 Likes

Do we have a timeline on when we should start the voting? Just as a small heads up Radish has not been online in a while, I hope he will be back in time, but someone else might have to do the vote this time.

1 Like

Thanks for the heads up! I was already a bit worried because I hadn’t seen Radish in the forums in a while… I just hope nothing bad has happened :thinking:

Anyways! For the polls, the usual rhythm would be to end the poll about 6 weeks before the new book club starts, to give people enough time to buy physical books from Japan.
If the new book club should start on Dec 4th, that would mean its poll should end in a bit more than a week (i.e. around Oct 23rd), so I guess it could start some time next week? (Voting might take 4-5 days I guess…)

I don’t mind running the poll, but I’d be very happy if somebody else would like to do that :upside_down_face: (and maybe grow into the role of hosting the Beginner Book Club eventually?) Of course I’m available to answer questions and/or give advice if desired.

Let’s have a quick poll to see whether anybody is interested :slight_smile:

  • I’d be happy to run the next poll.
  • I’d be happy to run the next poll, but only together with somebody else.
  • I don’t want to run the next poll.

0 voters

3 Likes

If no one else wants to do it I would be up to host it.

5 Likes

I don’t mind running the poll. I have some other book clubs I am running as well, so I can just add it to the pile. But it someone else wants to get their feet wet that’s fine with me too :grin:

5 Likes

I wasn’t sure how to vote, I wanted to say the equivalent of “just right”, since I’ve read it in English I likely find it easier than if I was reading without that extra context, so I biased upwards to “moderate difficulty”.

1 Like

I have added the 2 new nominations to the main post. It would be great if everyone (who hasn’t done so) could go through the preview pages provided and :arrow_right: :arrow_right: vote on the difficulty :arrow_left: :arrow_left:. Especially the newer nominations don’t have enough votes!

@Phryne if you could do us the honors of hosting the next vote!

1 Like

The Way of the Househusband

Summary

Tatsu, an infamous and feared yakuza boss nicknamed “the Immortal Dragon”, retires from crime to become a househusband so that he can support Miku, his kyariaūman wife. The episodic series depicts a variety of comedic scenarios, typically wherein Tatsu’s banal domestic work as a househusband is juxtaposed against his intimidating personality and appearance, and his frequent run-ins with former yakuza associates and rivals. (Wikipedia)

Availability

Physical: CDJapan Amazon JP
Digital: Bookwalker Kindle

Personal Opinion

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this is better for the ABBC or BBC based on the first chapter. I went with the BBC since there’s no furigana and I’m kind of expecting slang in a Yakuza related manga. The premise seems pretty funny, and judging by the previews the language should be at a decent level. There’s also an anime and a live action series based on this manga, for those who want related listening practice.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Not too text heavy
  • Award-winning series
  • The ebook version has good quality, no tiny blurry characters as far as I could see

Cons

  • Yakuza themes - I feel like there might be a few characters speaking in heavy slang
  • No furigana
  • Ongoing series

Pictures

First Three Pages (with text) of Chapter One



Additional Pages



Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters

5 Likes

I’d love to join in this club since I already have the first two volumes :eyes: Hopefully I can finishing catching up in my other book clubs first if it gets picked

2 Likes

I think it’s quite an easy read if you’re used to slang/kansai ben. I can’t remember how long it took me to read, but it was the quickest first volume I’ve read by quite a long way…

also the pun in the title is great and it’s a shame it doesn’t translate into english at all

3 Likes