Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: ウスズミの果て

Vote for the next book - now!

Can I vote?

If you are interested in joining the next book club we run, you can - and should - vote!

Please look open the details “Snapshot of current proposals” below for more details on each option, including links to sample pages which will help you gauge the difficulty.

Snapshot of current proposals
Manga - さよなら絵梨

さよなら絵梨

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 23

With his mother dying, Yuuta attempts to capture her last days on his phone. After her death, Yuuta heads to the roof of the hospital to commit suicide, but a meeting with a strange girl leads him on the path to making a movie.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.43 [7 votes]

Manga - 古見さんは、コミュ症です。

古見さんは、コミュ症です。

Nomination Post
comic.pixiv
Natively - Level 25

On her first day attending the elite Itan Private High School, Shoko Komi immediately receives an overwhelming surge in popularity due to the unprecedented stoic beauty and refined elegance her classmates perceive her to possess. However, only Hitohito Tadano, an exceedingly average schoolboy who sits next to her, discovers that behind her bishōjo appearance, Komi has a severe communication disorder. Tadano learns that Komi’s goal is to make 100 friends, and resolves to help her reach her goal.

Phsyical: AmazonCDJapan
Digital: KoboBookwalker

Difficulty: 2.11 [9 votes]

Manga - Slow Loop (< 8wks)

スローループ

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 20??

Since childhood, Hiyori Yamakawa has witnessed her father’s various eccentricities, but one activity she has always loved doing with him is fly fishing—a complicated yet rewarding method of catching fish. Even after his sudden death, Hiyori still visits the seaside in her spare time, savoring the joy that her father’s memento brings her.

Three years later, Hiyori’s mother decides to remarry and arranges a dinner with her fiancé, his daughter, and Hiyori to celebrate. Anxious and wanting to pass the time, Hiyori goes to her usual fishing spot when a rather energetic girl named Koharu Minagi suddenly appears before her. The two soon become acquainted, with Koharu taking an interest in fly fishing herself. However, their meeting is more than just a coincidence: Koharu turns out to be Hiyori’s future stepsibling, which is only the beginning of treasured memories the both of them will reel in as they foster their sisterhood.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
E-Book: Amazon | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.14 [7 votes]

Manga - Blue Box

アオのハコ

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 25

The series focuses on Taiki Inomata, a student at Eimei Junior and Senior High who is a member of the boys’ badminton team. Every morning, he trains alongside his upperclasswoman and fellow crush Chinatsu Kano, who is on the girls’ basketball team. However, Chinatsu moves in with Taiki’s family when her parents leave Japan to work abroad. With Chinatsu now living with him, Taiki aims to slowly develop his relationship with her as they both strive to make it to the national championship with their respective teams.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 1.75 [8 votes]

Manga - 妖怪ギガ

妖怪ギガ

Nomination Post

Written and illustrated by Satsuki Satō, Yōkai Giga was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from April 26, 2017 to November 24, 2021. Shogakukan collected its chapters in eleven tankōbon volumes, released from September 15, 2017 to March 17, 2022.
The series was recommended by manga author Inio Asano. Gō Sasakibara of The Asahi Shimbun commended the depiction of the yōkai creatures presented in the series and compared Satō’s detailed art with humorous touch to Shigeru Mizuki’s work, the late manga artist and yōkai specialist known for GeGeGe no Kitarō.

CDJapan
Amazon
Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.91 [11 votes]

Manga - ゲゲゲの鬼太郎

ゲゲゲの鬼太郎

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 22

GeGeGe no Kitarō focuses on the young Kitarō—the last survivor of the Ghost Tribe—and his adventures with other ghouls and strange creatures of Japanese mythology. Along with: the remains of his father, Medama-Oyaji (a mummified Ghost tribesman reincarnated to inhabit his old eyeball); Nezumi-Otoko (the rat-man); Neko-Musume (the cat-girl) and a host of other folkloric creatures, Kitarō strives to unite the worlds of humans and Yōkai.
Some storylines make overt reference to traditional Japanese tales, and others involve Kitarō facing off with myriad monsters from other countries.
The series was created in 1960 by Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai.
(adapted from Wikipedia)

Amazon (Kodansha) ebook
Bookwalker (Kodansha) ebook
Amazon (Chūōkōron) ebook and paperback
Bookwalker (Chūōkōron) ebook

Difficulty: 3.11 [9 votes]

Manga - Deep Sea Aquarium MagMell (< 8wks)

マグメル深海水族館

Nomination Post
comic.pixiv
Natively - Level 25??

A tale about a modern deep-sea aquarium employee in Tokyo!What’s living in the overwhelming darkness deep within the sea? Take a glimpse into this strange world about a boy working at a deep sea aquarium.

Physical: CDJapan | AmazonJP
Digital: Kobo | Bookwalker | Kindle

Difficulty: 2.85 [13 votes]

Book - 5分後に笑えるどんでん返し

5分後に笑えるどんでん返し

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 25??

A collection of comical short stories with surprising endings.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Bookwalker | Kindle

Difficulty: 2.86 [7 votes]

Manga - Full Moon (< 8wks)

満月をさがして

Nomination Post
comic.pixiv
Natively - Level 24??

Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Koyama dreams of becoming a singer to reunite with her first love, Eichi Sakurai. However, she is afflicted with sarcoma (a cancerous tumor in her throat), which affects her ability to breathe well and sing loudly. Her tumor is curable only through a surgery that could damage her vocal cords. At the same time, her grandmother hates music and is completely opposed to Mitsuki’s wish to audition. Mitsuki’s dreams seem impossible to achieve, until one day she is visited by two shinigami, Takuto and Meroko, whom only she could see. Takuto and Meroko inadvertently tip Mitsuki off that she has only one year left to live.

Physical: Amazon JP | CD Japan
Digital: Kobo | BookWalker | Kindle | EbookJapan

Difficulty: 2.00 [9 votes]

Manga - The Promised Neverland

約束のネバーランド

Nomination Post
comic.pixiv
Natively - Level 27

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.

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

Difficulty: 2.45 [11 votes]

Manga - Rainbow-Coloured Photograph (< 8wks)

にじいろフォトグラフ

Nomination Post
comic.pixiv
Natively - Level 21

Aoi Yamabuki is a shy high school student who’s incredibly self-conscious about her blue eyes. Living with her older sister, a popular novelist, the girls’ lives change when a young foreign girl comes to live with them.

CDJapan | Amazon JP | Kobo | BookWalker

Difficulty: 2.69 [26 votes]

Manga - This Art Club has a Problem! (< 8wks)

この美術部には問題がある!

Nomination Post
comic.pixiv
Natively - Level 24

A girl with violently too much common sense, a boy whose sole ambition is to draw the perfect 2D bride, an addlebrained ghost member, and an always sleeping president - what is wrong with this art club?!

CDJapan | Amazon JP | Kobo | BookWalker

Difficulty: 2.71 [28 votes]



Please take difficulty into account

Some people do find that reading a work they love or know already is inherently motivating, but please be realistic. Look at the samples and compare to others. Remember that both language and density contribute to difficulty.

Difficulty Scores

For most items we list two different difficulty scores. They are displayed in [] in front of the name of the book/manga. The first score is determined by the polls within the nomination posts. These polls only take previews into account and are very tightly bound to the people that give feedback in the polls and are therefore not objective measures of difficulty. The second score is the Natively level (if available), because of the rating system the ratings without ?? should be reasonably accurate, but the levels with ?? are just an initial guess that must be taken with a pinch of salt.

When will we start and how many will we pick?

We will likely begin reading on the 18th of February, a week after we finish reading 月刊少女野崎くん. If a short manga (expected less than 8 weeks) wins we will also read the second place option following that without holding another vote. (The short manga determination is not final since it is based on limited information and might change)

How does the vote work?

The poll will be closed on Sunday, December 25th at the latest.

You can vote for up to 5 options.

You can change your vote at any time by clicking ‘Show vote’ at the bottom.

  • [2.43/L23] さよなら絵梨 [Manga]
  • [2.11/L25] 古見さんは、コミュ症です。 [Manga]
  • [2.14/L20??] Slow Loop [short Manga]
  • [1.75/L25] Blue Box [Manga]
  • [2.91] 妖怪ギガ [Manga]
  • [3.11/L22] ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 [Manga]
  • [2.85/L25??] Deep Sea Aquarium MagMell [short Manga]
  • [2.86/L25??] 5分後に笑えるどんでん返し [Book]
  • [2.00/L24??] Full Moon [short Manga]
  • [2.45/L27] The Promised Neverland [Manga]
  • [2.69/L21] Rainbow-Coloured Photograph [short Manga]
  • [2.71/L24] This Art Club has a Problem! [short Manga]

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