Beginner Japanese Book Club // Currently Reading: Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Are we still planning to create a new thread to discuss proposals or keep that here?

If we’re moving them, we could delete them one at a time as they get re-proposed; otherwise, maybe just drop them as soon as we start Aria so new proposals are the focus here.

I can provide pictures for しろくまカフェ and 干物妹! うまるちゃん if needed, and 時をかける少女 next week. The first of those is very likely to stay in the running, I’d think.

Sorry, I click through every thread and voted just to vote. But seanblue is right, I haven’t studied enough grammar, so I voted honestly.

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I don’t see a reason to move it out of this thread, personally. Aria is only 9 chapters, so we’ll probably have to vote somewhat early to avoid a major gap between books. So we should probably make sure everything is renominated within 4-6 weeks. I think we should remove the old list by the time we do the poll for the next book after Aria.

As for those three books, if you want to renominate them, go for it. But please make sure to include the full details of the proposal based on the template that’s now in the first post. :slight_smile:

This might seem out of left field, but it’s working well as beginner-level reading practise for me.

I live near a Kinokuniya, and found a great series of graded reading books for children. Each book has about a dozen stories. I bought the sixth grade one, found it was too advanced, and stepped back to fourth grade. I’m finding it really good practise. The stories are by real writers, and there are both Japanese and “world” writers. The fourth grade book includes a very condensed Christmas Carol (about twenty pages of text), and an emotional story about an elderly man whose wife and child had been killed many years before in a bombing raid in WWII. Each story I’ve tried had plenty of unknown (to me) kanji, vocabulary, and grammar, and I’ve needed my tutor to untangle sentences I couldn’t make head or tail of.

The books themselves are attractive - good quality paper, very clear printing, and the furigana is not too much and not too little. Just $10.99 at Kinokuniya, which is a real bargain for what you get. Whoever’s behind this series is making a real effort to make reading attractive to kids.

I’m throwing this out there more as a general idea for language study, rather than as a potential Book Group candidate. But it might work well there too, because these are real stories and not at all trivial, at least at a beginner / low intermediate level.

Alright, I just read the pages you provided. I still had to look up a handful of words, but the sentence structure was very easy. Definitely much much easier than Kiki. Any book is still going to be a huge step up from a simple manga though because of all the adverbs and different ways of saying “he/she said” after dialog.

I still haven’t fully gone through N4 grammar, but there wasn’t anything I noticed that I wasn’t familiar with. @fl0rm Do you remember what grammar you encountered that you didn’t know? Maybe I just glossed over a certain grammar piece without noticing, or maybe I just happened to learn some N3 grammar outside of dedicated study. Either way, you got me curious.

Also, here’s my re-pitch for ご注文はうさぎですか.

ご注文はうさぎですか?(Is the Order a Rabbit?)

Summary

ご注文はうさぎですか is a 4-koma manga, which means that all the panels are uniform in size (read top to bottom in the right column, then top to bottom in the left column, just like a book).

From MyAnimeList:

Cocoa arrives at the cafe Rabbit House one day, excited for rabbits. She actually all but lives in that cafe. She meets lots of different girls there, including a tiny and cool girl named Chino, a tough and soldier-esque girl named Rize, a spacey and quintessentially Japanese girl named Chiyo, and the ordinary but dignified Sharo.

Additional Information

It’s a random slice of life comedy like よつばと!, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. It’s basically about five girls who work at various cafes, hang out, and do random things together.

Availability

From Amazon.jp: https://www.amazon.co.jp/ご注文はうさぎですか?-1-まんがタイムKRコミックス-Koi/dp/4832241192

My Personal Opinion

I’ve watched the anime adaption, and I would say it’s probably my favorite random slice of life comedy. I like all of the characters (which is rare in this kind of genre for me) and it’s pretty funny. Plus it’s super cute. :blush:

I read the first four chapters this week to get a sense of the difficulty. I would say it’s significantly easier than Kiki and slightly harder than Yotsuba. Some aspects are actually easier than Yotsuba (a lot less slang), and the hardest part is the kanji. There is a lot of kanji and very little furigana. With some use of a dictionary, I’d say I understood 80% or more of the first three chapters, but maybe only 50-60% of the fourth chapter.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Straightforward story with fun characters
  • Good kanji practice (very little furigana)
  • Short chapters (8 pages) so it should be easy to read 1-2 chapters per week
  • Good art
  • The anime adaption seems to follow the manga fairly closely, so people could watch it to get an idea of what they didn’t understand.

Cons

  • The genre might not be for everyone
  • Could be difficult to read for low level WaniKani users (very little furigana)

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Even more pages here: ご注文はうさぎですか miscellaneous discussion

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 just like to click polls

0 voters

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It’s also possible that we learned from different N4-ish resources and that I’ve forgotten stuff I don’t see very often. I’ve gone through Genki I and II, Tae Kim, and Jalup, and I picked up a lot through exposure, but kinda lost track of what I learned where.

I’m planning to re-read them later tonight or tomorrow when I have access to my grammar dictionaries anyway, so I’ll make a note of anything I look up. It was just minor stuff like particles that seemed out-of-place.

(The data about what the tests cover is based on observations, not insight into how they’re prepared; I’m considering Tobira to be “N3” for the purposes of labeling study materials)

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Most of this is pretty understandable, but there’s no furigana. Since I’d need to do lookups every few panels, I rate it challenging for me. I expect it’ll be just right by the time we get to reading it, however.

I’ve studied N4 pretty well from Tae Kim and BunPro. I still need to go through most of N3.

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Yeah, I understand that. Even at level 43 I have to look up a handful of kanji from that manga.

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Nice! It’s both cute and hilarious :slight_smile:
- せめてモフモフさせてー
- コーヒー1杯で1回です
:rofl: way to roll with the punches

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Yep! I’ve watched the whole anime adaption, and the characters play off of each other nicely. At this point I’ve read over half of the first volume, but unfortunately I still have to look up enough that some of the jokes don’t flow for me. Not to mention the occasional puns. Those go right over my head!

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puns are the worst! i sometimes see something and think “i understand that this is a joke, but i just don’t get it”
i feel so happy when i get jokes though hahaha

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Well you had me at “it’s probably my favourite random slice of life comedy”, so I’ve added it to my crunchyroll queue regardless of whether we ever read it :joy:

In terms of difficulty I think it would require me to look up a lot of words and kanji, but be fairly understandable grammar-wise once I knew what the words meant (and less slang than yotsuba, yay!). Plus it’s easy to parse what I need to look up.

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Could I be added to the book club list please :slight_smile: (if it’s still being updated!)

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I added you, but it is editable by anyone, like some other threads on these forums, so you can generally add yourself to groups and edit your status.
i put you in the ‘doesn’t have the book yet’ section because i don’t know if you ordered aria yet

Basic users cannot edit wikis.
It’s to prevent abuse/sockpuppets.
@mopsy747 You will automatically upgrade to standard user if you stick around the forum (post a bit, read a bit, like a bit) for a few days.

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oh i didn’t realise

@saiakuma Sorry for the trouble! Just ordered the book, the potential start dates dovetail quite nicely with when my current lessons finish so it’ll force me to keep studying…

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Plus we can continue creating vocab lists. If we ever actually read it as a group I’ll have already finished the first volume by then. Maybe I could go back and create the vocab sheet in advance at that point, or at least include all the kanji readings.

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The KR Manga Time imprint’s font OCRs pretty nicely and I’m planning to pick up what’s been released sometime in the next month or two anyway (even though I’m still struggling to read some of their other titles due to a lack of applied recognition practice), but maybe we can split the work of extracting the raw sentences, if it looks like it’s likely to get picked in a future cycle.

Even if it doesn’t get selected, maybe we can contribute it to Floflo.moe - A Wanikani-friendly website for reading and vocabulary for our own reading purposes.

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