Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 夜カフェ

The Househusband home thread is up! :smiley:

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Weird specific ask. I am about to finish reading 時をかける少女。I’m looking for a similar level novel with a gay lead. I guessing that’s a tall order though…

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So you’re looking for a Japanese kids book with a gay lead? Not sure you’ll find something like that. You may have to step up to light novels, but light novels do vary a lot in terms of difficulty, so maybe you can find one at a difficulty that works for you.

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I’d definitely take light novel recommendations. I like that 時をかける少女 has all the ふりがな but if I have to do without it I can manage.

I haven’t actually read it yet, but I’ve had 私の推しは悪役令嬢 on my radar. And again I haven’t read it, but 安達としまむら is pretty popular. 裏世界ピクニック is pretty popular as well. Afraid I don’t know if any of those are on the easier side though.

(I’ve read a few yuri manga but not any light novels.)

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Maybe you can get some more recommendations if you ask over in the [2021] 多読/extensive reading challenge thread? The folks in there have read all sorts of light novels and stuff.

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Wait, just to clarify, @amagi, do you mean the general meaning of gay (as a colloquial way to say LGBT+) or as in actually gay men?

(If the second one, none of @seanblue’s suggestions fit :sweat_smile:)

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Would manga work for you as well? I think there is plenty more options :slight_smile: .

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安達としまむら is both easier in style (less complicated grammar and word choice, more furigana) and less ridiculous than 私の押しは (general spoilers for that: it’s a game insert, and the basis for MC’s feelings is her love of that character in a game. I’m fine with that, but there’s no ‘progression’/development on her side in vol. 1. I’ll say that there were hints at progression on the other character’s side, and I feel like MC as well will grow from vol 2 on, which I haven’t read yet.) Can’t comment on 異世界ピクニック.

Another that came to mind is what turned into the first intermediate level book club, I believe? No. 6. I haven’t read it myself yet so I cannot comment on difficulty. It has scifi elements, which may or may not make it more difficult. :thinking:

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I feel like it’s on the harder side since there’s no furigana and it deals with Japanese urban legends (including the one that inspired the design of the tall vampire lady in Biohazard).
In terms of relationship, well, the main character falls under the asexual umbrella and gets (very slowly) into a relationship with the other main character (lesbian). Tension happens when said lesbian character wants to get physical but main character isn’t having it.. That’s where we are as of volume 6. I have no idea of when the next volume will come out (it’s very slow).

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First of all… I love you all.

@seanblue Of Course I should have asked you. 裏世界ピクニック Definitely sounds interesting.

@Naphthalene Both, (I do know that seanblue tends to only read female lead stories based on their LGBT Book Club recommendations.)

@FirstMate-san I can more easily find manga, But the reading levels can varying widely, and sometimes the grammar is too broken to be readable by lower level readers. I was hoping to find a light novel with furigana like 時をかけれ少女 with any LGBT lead that I can use for LGBT+ book club. So L, G, B, T, etc leads are all fine for that purpose. But I know that’s a big ask. For my own personal collection I am open to Manga recs.

@Belerith I’m looking into イエスかノーか半分か
NO.6 Sounds promising too. Of course it’s already been read though. So we wouldn’t need to read it again.

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Top choices:

  • やがて君になる (primarily L)
  • 放浪息子 (primarily T)

Other good ones:

  • お兄ちゃんはおしまい (T; just a silly comedy and not serious in any way, but pretty funny)
  • おとなになっても (L / B; but there’s a lot of non-LGBT aspects too)
  • 徒然日和 (L; pretty light story, short a sweet at 3 volumes)

On the fence:

  • ぼくらのへんたい (G / T; I’ve read 3/10 volumes so far, but bought the rest on sale. Way more sexual than expected and one of the characters makes me uncomfortable, but I’m invested in one of the other characters, so I’ll probably finish it)
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Another one that comes to mind are the Sayaka novels (a spinoff trilogy from やがて君になる). Having read the original manga is kind of needed though

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I see! I think of the ones I’ve read, 安達としまむら is the one with the most furigana. As for manga, i can definitely second @seanblue’s recs for やがて君になる (I’m on the last volume of the manga and it has been such a good journey. Definitely looking forward to the spin off novels too) and 放浪息子. Also ぼくらのへんたい. I think I know which character makes them uncomfortable, and I get it. But I loved the manga in the end. Bought them on a sale as well and finished all 10 volumes rather quickly. :’)

I just remembered another one I’ve 積読’ed away on my bookshelf. It’s not suitable for your purposes, but perhaps you’re interested for your own collection. 美しいこと by 木原音瀬 doesn’t have a lot of furigana, but the style didn’t feel too difficult. I only read the first few pages though because (I think) I nominated it for a book club. (Or wanted to at least.) I bought it because it had a bunch of good recommendations online and I liked the premise. ^^

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Sounds interesting! I’d definitely read it on my own.

I looked at the proposal guidlines for the intermediate club and that includes a clause that after 3 polls with less than 20% of the votes a work gets removed. Now I could not find any such rule for the beginner’s book club but looked at the last 3 poll results anyways and a couple nominations did consistently poll under 20%:

  • Ao’s Island and a Cat
  • Koizumi-san Loves Ramen
  • My Hero Academia
  • Magi
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It seems that Radish applied such a rule at certain points in time, but I don’t know which exact rule that was. But I was also wondering whether we should move some of the nominations to the “retired due to unpopularity” state. If you’d like to establish a clear rule here as well, I think nobody would object to it :+1:

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Well, if we’re not sure when it should be applied, maybe we’ll skip it this time around. :stuck_out_tongue:

(The fact that one of my nominations is in the at-risk list is pure coincidence, I’m sure…)

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I have added the rule the intermediate club uses to the guidelines

Books that fail to score at least 20% on the last three round of voting will get automatically removed.
This approach ensures that the list remains reasonably small and dynamic.
You may nominate a removed book again, but please think about it before hand. Do you think there’s reasonable interest for that nomination?

and removed the 4 manga I mentioned in my previous post. This shrinks the list down quite a bit but I’m confident that we will get plenty of new ones until the next poll rolls around.

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Hey @Toyger I’m not sure whether you noticed that your nomination - Death Note - was (finally) picked :tada: and will be read soon-ish (i.e. from January 22nd if I did not miscalculate)? Are you still up for running the book club?

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