Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: シャドーハウス

When the chapters are as short as this, we can just read 2 chapters a week. If my math is correct, a chapter is about 8 pages and reading 16 pages per week is fine especially since it seems to be one of the easier manga. With Death Note (maybe not the best example since it was arguably to hard/much for this club) we read ~25 pages a week. Night Cafe is reading about ~10 pages per week and a book is obviously a lot more dense.

I guess Night cafe is a bit of an outlier since it is really long compared to the things we usually read. In this specific case it might be a good idea to start the next book right after Night Cafe ends without a week break, since the last week seems to only be 3 pages, which includes the afterword.

For the shorter clubs I have simillar worries as Nicole.

8 Likes

Normally, I would try to finish a whole book. Even if I came across something else interesting, I would just defer it to the reading queue. But, if the book club picked a new interesting one, I would have to read it concurrently - increasing my workload, wanted or not, but can’t just give up either.

Nonetheless, it is of course possible to read a few books at the same time, but doesn’t that make it easier to give up on the more difficult-to-chew stuff?

JoJo also has partial Furigana.

Also, I saw quite a few interesting books, just a few posts up here :smiley:

2 Likes

That’s an option as well. I just didn’t want to impose that because 4-koma tend to be denser than regular manga (even if ひとりぼっち is lighter than most 4-koma).

@ChristopherFritz Since you already read ひとりぼっち, do you think 16 pages per week would be okay for beginner book club or would it likely be too much? (Let’s say the first two weeks were just one chapter each and then after that was two chapters per week.)

2 Likes

Definitely! Its on my to read list :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I had originally nominated this in the ABBC, but it was suggested - and in retrospect I absolutely agree- that it would be a better fit here, so as promised I’m bringing it over here:

ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 (GeGeGe no Kitarō)

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Summary

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)

Availability

There seem to be two editions of the manga. They both feature the same first story, but the rest of the stories seem to be entirely different. The Kodansha edition is smaller (7 stories/ 195 pages) and the stories seem to be in better chronological order, so I think this is a better fit for the club. But, it doesn’t seem to be available in paperback as far as I can see. The alternative is the Chūōkōron edition with 13 stories at 380 pages. We could maybe select some of the stories if we were to read from this one.

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

Personal Opinion

I think this is a fun way to learn about Yokai. This manga is a classic, and there have been lots of adaptations and other stories based on it. It’s targeted to children and it’s classified as comedy horror, so I assume it doesn’t get too scary or gory, in case anyone worries about that. I really love the background art too.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • It’s full of fun Yokai!
  • Furigana throughout and language seems straightforward
  • Fantastic art
  • Plenty more to read if you like it

Cons

  • It is an old manga so may feel old-fashioned?
  • The subject matter may not appeal to everyone
  • Possible confusion with different story collections on the market

Pictures

First Three Pages 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

8 Likes

I did consider that (which is why I never brought it up before).

Most people who make it to the end are probably more seasoned readers who can handle it.

And some people who make it to the end won’t even be interested in the next pick.

But for people who are reading their very first (or second or third) beginner-level-paced native material, and are interested in the next pick, it can be difficult for them. (I certainly don’t mean to suggest we make the reading experience more difficult or stressful!)

It would require a little extra leg work when deciding the start date by checking if anyone in the current club is interested in the next club etc., which just complicates things further.

It’s hard for me to say because when I read it (just the first volume so far), I was initially transcribing everything and translating everything to a text document. Then I dropped the translations maybe a quarter of the way in, and I don’t recall if I finished transcribing or not. These actions slowed me down considerably.

For manga reading ability, I’m probably at the midway point between beginner and intermediate, which also makes it difficult to judge.

All that said, I think if the series had furigana, two chapters per week would be doable for Beginner Book Club, based on prior manga we’ve read. We had a similar pace for One Week Friends, and we only lost about half the readers from start to finish (which is actually a pretty good attrition rate!)

Without furigana, it’s hard for me to say because I typically avoid the clubs for non-furigana materials, or I join and only make it through one chapter. (This changes for me with Mokuro, though!)

5 Likes

Another-yokai related nomination. I don’t know if there’s a limit to how many nominations can be available at the same time, so please disregard if it exceeds the limit.

妖怪ギガ

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Summary

from Wikipedia:

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.

from Amazon:

本作は美麗なタッチで描かれる妖怪達が
愛嬌たっぷり、アイロニーちょっぴり
多趣多様に彩られるオムニバスとなっております。
人間達を手玉に取ったり、取られたり…
愛くるしい妖怪目線の話の数々をお楽しみください。
連作となっている「クロ」シリーズでは昭和モダンの頃合い、
淡い恋の行方もお楽しみいただけます。

Availability

CDJapan
Amazon
Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

It mainly caught my attention because of the art, I really like the depiction of the various yokai. It’s a collection of stand-alone yokai stories, interspersed with chapters from a longer story of a (probably made-up) yokai named クロ and its relationship to the man it attached itself to. The few stories I read so far are subtly humorous and クロ is rather sweet. Not sure if all stories follow this pattern.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • It’s full of fun Yokai!
  • Furigana throughout
  • Beautiful traditional-looking yokai depictions
  • A mix of short stories and a longer story arc

Cons

  • A mix of short stories and a longer story arc
  • The subject matter may not appeal to everyone
  • Some characters in the digital version may be somewhat hard to make out clearly

Pictures

First Three Pages



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

10 Likes

Can you redo the poll using the one in the template from the OP? You somehow managed to use poll options that haven’t been used in like two years.

5 Likes

Oh, sorry. I copied the poll over from the ABBC. Is it okay to change it now though, when people have already voted?

2 Likes

It will reset the votes, so tag the people who already voted if you reset it so they know to vote again. It’s not the end of the world, but the choices were changed a while back to be focused on “effort” so the options were more consistent. I’m actually surprised the ABBC is still using the old options.

4 Likes

I get a message that I can’t change a poll after the first 5 minutes… :slightly_frowning_face:
Never mind, did it.

I’m so sorry everyone who already voted, but I had to reset the poll. Could @MrGeneric , @VikingSchism , @polv , @_Mae and @Wildjinjer please vote again? (and sorry if I’m forgetting someone).

3 Likes

Does it let you delete the poll and add a new one?

3 Likes

Yes, that’s what I did in the end. Deleted, saved, then added the new poll.

3 Likes

You need to add name=poll2 (or any unique name), after [poll , if default no-name doesn’t work.

5 Likes

For the record, you can also add a second poll in the post and then delete the first one. Polls are numbered so when you add the second one it will get a new number which will then allow the post to be saved immediately. (It’s not recognized as the same poll being edited.)

6 Likes

God Bless the Mistaken ( 神さまがまちガえる)

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Summary

Kon lives in a world that bugs out regularly—every morning may bring a new surprise. But with Kasane, a researcher who studies this phenomena, he knows that each day will at least be interesting! Read the first chapter of God Bless the Mistaken the same day as Japan!


すこし不思議がいっぱいの、非日常的・日常ライフ!

起きたら街がジャングルになってた、右を向いたら左を見てた、いつもの階段が一段増えてた……
周期性例外事象、通称"バグ"に満たされたこの世界では、そんなことは日常茶飯事。
シェアハウスの大家にして"バグ"に心躍らせる研究者のお姉さん・かさねと、
彼女とひとつ屋根の下で暮らしながら助手を務める中学生の男の子・紺は、
へんてこな世界で今日もおかしな一日を過ごします。

『やがて君になる』完結から2年――仲谷鳰が描く完全新作、待望のコミックス発売!

Availability

Physical: Amazon | CDJapan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

This is the new Manga from the Mangaka of Boom into you. It plays in a world that regularly bugs out and weird things happen. The atmosphere is very relaxed and at least the first 2 chapters remind me of Flying witch a lot, at least in the way it makes me feel.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Furigana (yeah)
  • Some great art
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Super new the tankoubon came out today (might also be a negative)

Cons

  • Only has one volume so far

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One


Additional Pages

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

15 Likes

I didn’t realize this was coming out today! I literally have a package of manga that shipped today… I would have preordered this one too if I knew it was being released. I honestly know nothing about it though, just that it’s by the same mangaka who wrote Yagate Kimi ni Naru. But that’s enough for me to give it a try at least.

6 Likes

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 under “Current Proposals” in the first post for more details on each option, including links to sample pages which will help you gauge the difficulty.

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 more 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 16th of July, right after we finish reading 夜カフェ. 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, June 5 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.

  • [2.20/L25] God Bless the Mistaken [short Manga]
  • [2.90] 妖怪ギガ [Manga]
  • [3.13/L20??] ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 [Manga]
  • [2.50/L23] Shadows House [short Manga]
  • [2.25/L19] Whisper of the Heart [short Manga]
  • [2.85/L23??] Deep Sea Aquarium MagMell [short Manga]
  • [2.86/L25??] 5分後に笑えるどんでん返し [Book]
  • [2.08/L25??] Unexpected Endings After 5 Seconds [Book]
  • [2.00/L24??] Full Moon [short Manga]
  • [2.80/L24??] Mashle: Magic and Muscles [Manga]
  • [2.56/L25] Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun [short Manga]
  • [2.70/L24] Ranking of Kings [Manga]
  • [2.00/L25] ひらめきはつめちゃん [short Manga]
  • [2.45/L27] The Promised Neverland [Manga]
  • [2.69/L20] Rainbow-Coloured Photograph [short Manga]
  • [2.71/L25??] This Art Club has a Problem! [short Manga]
  • [3.08/L24??] Scary Lessons [Book]

0 voters

13 Likes

If one of the regulars could change the title to the following, that would be great!

[Now Voting!] Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 夜カフェ

5 Likes

Hmm, seems like none of my top picks are particularly popular haha - looks like people really want a short manga. Moved one of my picks to Shadows House since that seems like the best of the current frontrunners. Can’t say the current frontrunner Nozaki-kun partiuclarly appeals to me though

5 Likes