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

Answer about A silent voice, Might contain small spoilers

I read it online so I can’t be sure of it but I believe it is.(First volume elementary school) I read the manga, I don’t know which one,manga or novel(if there is one), you are proposing for the book club. And I can’t help you with the difficulty since I read it in English. There might be some complicated stuff in it. Mostly complicated themes. If you think the first part is too depressing then you shouldn’t propose the book. This manga as a lot of intense emotional moments in it. It’s probably more pack with emotion than the begginer bookclub is used to but if people wants to read it you could just find some exemple pages somewhere.

Oh! and small trigger warning because some themes in it might be hard for some people. for example intimidation, bullying, social isolation, suicide, violence against children, etc

But again I found it to be a super nice story. I suppose you could just propose it and had a notice to it I guess?

I do hope I was of some use :stuck_out_tongue:

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@Belthazar @icefang97

Response

I don’t mind those serious topics myself, but it could be difficult for others. I’ll probably still nominate it and just include a warning.

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burning all that money :weary:

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Oh, we’re putting real spoilers now? :laughing:

What’s the deadline for making nominations anyway?

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Roughly the end of August, so you have time :wink:

The next pick will (likely) start on the 19th of October, so I’d like to open the home thread on the 9th of September. Voting realistically only takes a few days, but we need some time for people to rate any nominations that come in last-minute.

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聲の形 (A Silent Voice)

Summary

The story revolves around Shoya Ishida, a former delinquent who bullied Shoko Nishimiya, his deaf classmate, alongside his friends back when he was in elementary school.
(I think posting more of a summary than that gives away too much, so look up more at your own risk (if you’re somehow one of the people who hasn’t seen the film)).

Warning: A central theme of this manga is bullying, so keep that in mind when voting if you’re not comfortable with that topic.

Availability

Book: https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4063949737/
eBook: https://ebookjapan.yahoo.co.jp/books/206029/A000211753/

Personal Opinion

I think a more serious story would be a nice change of pace for the book club, since many of the past picks have been slice of life or comedic stories. The film adaption was really good, but I’m sure the manga has a lot of details that were cut from the film, so it should still be interesting even for those who saw the film.

EDIT (8/5/2019): Now that I’ve read the whole first volume I don’t really think it’s a great fit for the book club. The difficulty is probably still fine, but the material is pretty depressing, while not having any resolution (since that’s the point of the remaining six volumes).

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • More serious story.
  • Furigana for all kanji, which is typically good for beginner book club.
  • Contains colloquial language, but otherwise seems fairly straightforward.

Cons

  • May feel unsatisfying reading a plot-driven story since we’ll only read the first volume (out of 7).
  • Central theme may be painful or upsetting for some readers.

Pictures

Make sure to open the images in new tabs so the text is clearer.

Pages 7-8

Pages 16-17

Pages 26-27

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

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Show us a page where Shoko speaks? Uh, in the English version, page 76 is one example, but I don’t know if the page numbers are the same. To compare, chapter 2 starts on page 67.

I mean, it’s completely unintelligible to me, but I don’t think that’s a big deal. You don’t really need to know what the words are supposed to be to get the point of the scene.

Requested page

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It’s juuuust intelligible in English. I think that’s fairly important in later volumes, but flipping through it now, I guess it doesn’t matter so much for this one.

English version


Reads “And so I can’t wait to see grandma again”

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It could be objectively easier in the translated version. I wonder if someone like @Naphthalene could make sense of the Japanese version.

Gah! I love 聲の形, but the next volumes are so much better imo.

I would still read it again, I guess. Even though the first part is just tough.

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I am concerned that the entire first volume is in the past since that would mean all of the pain and none of the redemption.

For the record, that’s one reason I don’t plan to read at the book club pace, even if it wins. I plan to read the whole series at a reasonably quick pace, but I’ll still help out with questions if it wins.

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I’d suggest not nominating it in that case, but I guess the voting will tell if people want to read it.

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All I could make out of the Japanese version was 僕のおばあさんにも会えなく, although the English translator seems to think it was 会いたく
My local Japanese speaker added that if they had to take a leap of faith, わんて could be なんて, but that’s it. The whole thing just sounds like gibberish at first (and second and third) glance.

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Personally, I think this is the biggest issue. I read the English translation a few years ago and felt that the first volume was very tough to swallow.

Of course it was all worth it considering the type of story being told and the things we get to see in the subsequent volumes, but I think only reading the first one would not only feel incomplete, it would miss the whole point of reading something like this.

Then again, I guess it would be interesting for those who have seen the movie even if they don’t plan to read all volumes, and of course as japanese reading practice.

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“All I could make out of the Japanese version was…”

proceeds to understand almost everything

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When I first thought of nominating it I didn’t know the first volume was laser focused on that part of the story. But I’d already decided to nominate it, so I figured why not let the people decide.

Seemed reasonable to nominate something I thought could be interesting. As long as I hang around to answer questions I don’t see the problem. :man_shrugging:

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Do we want to look at trimming down our existing nominations at all before the next vote, or are we only planning to do that when/if we hit 20 nominations?

I’m inclined to say that 20 nominations is far too many anyway, but what do others think? I’ve gone through the existing nominations and I think there would only be grounds for getting rid of one or two right now, unless we get a lot more incoming nominations.

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While I support your sentiment to keep the number of nominations at a reasonable number, I’m not sure whether it makes sense to throw nominations out before voting. Maybe it would be better to remove the lowest-scoring nominations after each poll (or maybe those that scored worst over the last 3 polls or something, to get a more consistent picture)?

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I’m considering doing that for the intermediate book club, but at the same time low scoring entries have little to no impact since, by definition, almost no one is voting for them. So I have decided for now to just leave them in there until we get 20 entries. I figure we could do the same here.

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