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

Reminder to everyone that if you want to nominate more books/manga for next time around, now’s your chance. Check out the first post to see what’s already been nominated and to see the template for how to nominate something new. Voting will take place mid-January.

Personally, I’m rooting for 放浪息子.

3 Likes

Even though I’m not reading anything in the bookclub right now I would lile to nnominate the Manga あたしンち。

It’s main target audiance might me children, but I came to quite like it. The first Manga has around 130 pages and consists of around 32 short stories which are always about daily family life and quite funny. There are lots of furigana and even I was able to get what the storys where about. So maybe someone more experienced then me might take a look at it and say if this might be an option.

Edit: It’s full color, btw

Wrong template. sry

あたしンち

Summary

Outrageous misadventures of an almost normal family with a housewife, her husband, and their two kids Yuusuke and Mikan. Wacky humor about this weird family’s daily life.

Availability

https://www.amazon.co.jp/あたしンち-1-けら-えいこ/dp/4040666933/ref=pd_sbs_14_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=4040666933&pd_rd_r=5260d156-0639-11e9-b41d-dff7fa1c5563&pd_rd_w=x5hVr&pd_rd_wg=z0kea&pf_rd_p=cda7018a-662b-401f-9c16-bd4ec317039e&pf_rd_r=ABVK5FTW8TVXBJFM858X&psc=1&refRID=ABVK5FTW8TVXBJFM858X

An ebook is aviable on amazon.co.jp I don’t know where else to get japanese ebooks.

Personal Opinion

I did watch the anime and trasnlated it for crunchyroll germany. First I was skeptical, but the Anime ended up beeing quite funny. I bought the first volume of the manga and it’s a fun and easy to read manga. The manga is around 130 pages long and consist of 34 short storys about daily family life.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • lot’s of furigana
  • daily life conevrsations
  • actually quite funny

Cons

  • might be a bit childish for some

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

image image image

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

But I don’t know if my poor heart can take reading that again! It might take me back to the poor, lonely, closeted queer I was at the time! ; p

On the other hand, I already own most of the manga.

Hmm. Emotionaly security, financial security…
:balance_scale:

2 Likes

Oops, I accidentally voted, but I didn’t even read the book. Can I retract my vote or something?

北欧女子オーサが見つけた日本の不思議

(Nordic Girl Åsa Discovers the Mysteries of Japan)

Summary

Convenience store onigiri are way too handy! Why is it that Japanese girls can call just about anything “cute?” The guys at host bars are so hot, they’re like real-life anime characters! These are only some of the mysteries Swedish manga artist Åsa Ekström discovers in this journal comic about her journey from Scandinavia to Japan, which is jam-packed with surprises and laughs!

Availability

Amazon:

E-book:

It’s also availble in original rudimentary form for free (and without the bonus material the tankobon version includes) on the author’s website, though I’d be extremely surprised if the ones on the website are identical to the ones in the book. It’s possible there’s cleaned-up versions later in the blog, but I don’t have time right now to search:

Lastly, if you want to cheat, and read it in English (though again without the bonus material):

Personal Opinion

I encountered the English version linked above first, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I feel we’d enjoy it because it’s about the experiences of a foreigner discovering Japan, which I’m sure we can all relate to.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Short and punchy 4-koma format
  • Funny and relatable
  • Uses normal, regular day-to-day language

Cons

  • No furigana. Volumes two and up use furigana (at least for speech bubbles and narration panels, not for the bonus material), but this volume doesn’t have any.

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

IMG_4841 IMG_4842

Additional Pages

IMG_4843

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

2 Likes

Just vote for the “I don’t know” option.

4 Likes

Decisions decisions. I quite liked the anime and look forward to seeing where it started (since the anime started from the middle of the manga).

2 Likes

You can press “hide results” at the bottom of the poll, and change your vote.

2 Likes

Oddly enough that’s why I didn’t watch the anime. I watched start of the anime and was like “what is thisssss all the good stuff has already happened nooooo”

2 Likes

aww everyone’s so supportive. Be expecting lots of late “I looked this up but still can’t figure it out!” questions with page references. :slight_smile:

8 Likes

I didn’t really know much about the manga or anime when I decided to watch the anime. All I knew was the manga was made by the same mangaka who made 青い花 and that was enough for me.

I just wish it wasn’t 15 volumes, because that’ll take forever to read through!

1 Like

Hmm, maybe not as long as you think. If I remember correctly (I might not) I think it tends to be kind of light on text, actually. She has a very subdued and subtle method of storytelling, where she often even cuts past what would be an emotional confrontation, in what I felt was always a really smart move, because some confrontations can’t be realistically portrayed - or if they could, they’d be so unpleasant to watch you wouldn’t want to anyway. Does anyone really want to overhear an entire argument between two 10 year olds? Do you want to hear the talk someone’s unsupportive parents have with their ‘son’?
Not really. You can imagine the important parts.

I remember respecting the storytelling a lot.

3 Likes

Yeah, I can understand that. From the anime alone, I really liked the way the story was told and the way the characters were portrayed. They felt more “real” than most anime characters.

2 Likes

I have one more I haven’t suggested yet, but if I do, 1/4 of the suggestions would be mine :rofl:
Still might, but I do want the other suggestions more :wink:
I was thinking of maybe suggesting “My Hero Academia”, but think the others are better anyway.

Another one I’ve wanted to suggest, but didn’t own yet, is “Attack on Titan”
I just wanted to look, found a good deal on volume 1-27!

Bought it, and got this mail shortly after: “This book is written in Japanese. It is not English edition. Is it OK?”
I bet they have had more than one accidental buy :rofl:

I might suggest it once I get it =)
Feel free to do it now if you have it (and want it), cause I won’t get it in another 3-4 weeks, which will be too late for this vote =P

2 Likes

My problem with shounen action manga (even more so than anime) is that basically nothing happens in the first volume. They are too slow, which is why there’s inevitably several dozen volumes.

1 Like

Don’t worry, that is NOT a problem in this one! :rofl: (Attack on Titan)
The best part of the story is in the first volume, and very action packed (action that actually goes somewhere) from page one O_o
(I went to look at the English version to confirm before commenting, if anything the first volume here gives you so much it is worth reading even for those who don’t continue)

Also have much less manga specific words (some, but no where near as much as magic/ninja ones does)
The specific words are fairly relatable anyway: 巨人 (giant/person) = Titan. And some military lingo, but that is mostly later on.

1 Like

一週間フレンズ (Manga)

Summary

From MyAnimeList ( https://myanimelist.net/anime/21327/Isshuukan_Friends )

Sixteen-year-old Yuuki Hase finally finds the courage to speak to his crush and ask her if she wants to become friends. The object of his affection, Kaori Fujimiya, is a quiet and reserved girl who cuts herself off from everyone and does not spare him the same blunt rejection she gives everybody else.

Some time after, Yuuki finds her eating lunch on the roof where she secludes herself during break. He decides to start meeting with Kaori every day in the hopes of beginning to understand her better. The more time they spend together, the more she begins to open up to him. However, nearing the end of the week, she starts to push him away once more. It is then revealed to him the reason for Kaori’s cold front: at the end of the week, her memories of those close to her, excluding her family, are forgotten, as they are reset every Monday. The result of an accident in middle school, the once popular and kind Kaori is now unable to make friends in fear of hurting the people dear to her.

Determined to become more than just one week friends, Yuuki asks her the exact same question each Monday: “Would you like to be friends?” Because he knows that deep down, Kaori wishes for that more than anything.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]

Availability


An ebook is available (same link) and you can also read the first chapter (look inside)
edit: adding these links as the look inside seems to be clearer:

Personal Opinion

I haven’t read the manga, but I watched the anime and it was one of the easiest to understand anime I ever watched in Japanese, especially the first half. (I think the manga might be a bit more challenging because most of it seems to be 4-koma and rather condensed) The vocabulary is mostly everyday vocabulary that learners usually learn pretty early on. Later on as the story progresses some more memory-related terms pop up, and it get’s a little bit more difficult, but especially the start is more slice of life than anything else. I personally also found the story cute and wholesome and while not the most compelling overall, I can see myself reading it as well. There’s also both an anime adaption and a (live action) movie around, for people who enjoy that.

Format-wise from what I’ve seen in the first chapter it seems to switch between 4-koma and not-4-koma, but I’m not sure if this goes like that through the whole manga or not.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Everyday vocab
  • Furigana
  • Quite wholesome story
  • I think it actually has quite a lot of speech, so lots of material to actually read

Cons

  • Might be not the most compelling story out there?
  • has quite a lot of text for a manga at times, might seem overwhelming when you get started

Pictures

The pictures don’t seem to be very clear, but @NickNickovich mentioned the ebookjapan und bookwalker versions look cleaner

First Three Pages of Chapter One



Additional Pages




a

When it’s not 4-koma it’s usually more scenic, and less text-heavy:


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

4 Likes

If the attack on titan manga starts like the anime, it will be a really nice volume 1

1 Like

Looks cute, although with such a ridiculously specific and arbitrary condition, it would have actually felt more realistic if it was magic >_>