Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 耳をすませば

I have that one as well. 時をかける少女, 悪夢の真相, and 果てしなき多元宇宙. I didn’t expect this when I bought the book, it was a pleasant surprise. The better one I think is 時をかける少女, but the others I found entertaining too.

I don’t even know my sleeping schedule anymore, it’s a mess :laughing:

Today I woke up at 1 PM (about half an hour ago where I live) so there’s that.

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About the format, I enjoy answering questions, but I notice in 時をかける少女 there’s not a lot of discussion about the actual book I think because there’s just not that much to talk about. It it was it is, and is pretty fluffy. If we were going to read 放浪息子 on the other hand, for example, I think there would be a lot more to say.

I agree. The problem is that the book is simultaneously fast (all those cliffhangers) and slow (not much happens in each chapter).

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:ballot_box_with_check: Honestly don’t feel qualified to vote in the difficulty polls. I haven’t got the foggiest idea how to judge difficulty.

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Fushigi dagashiya Zenitendou - ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂


Zenitendou is a mysterious candy shop that can be seen only by people hoping for better luck. The shop is full of fascinating sweets that make wishes come true. All the sweets presented by the owner, Ms. Beniko, are just perfect for the customer and work wonderfully. However, one should follow the instructions very carefully… You never know what can happen if someone doesn’t eat them correctly, or worse, gets carried away.


Amazon jp:

Personal Opinion

I spent the winter holidays in Japan, and as I was sitting on a train I saw a girl reading this book and enjoying it so much, that I couldn’t resist dropping something on purpose just to have a peek on the cover. And yes, I was able to read (most of) the title! When I googled it I was very surprised to find out that the series has its own website and a youtube video with a brief introduction of the candy shop:

I watched the video, and it looks really intriguing to me!

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • The book is aimed at elementary school children, but according to various reviews it is also enjoyable for adults. It also has 4.8 stars out of 5 on amazon japan! (31 reviews)
  • Every Kanji has Furigana
  • Every chapter of the book is about a new adventure caused by a particular sweet. So even if life gets in the way and people stay behind, they should always be able to skip chapters without missing out too much (disclaimer: I haven’t read the book though, so I can’t tell for sure)
  • It’s fairly short: It has 150 pages so it won’t take forever to read (for a comparison, Toki wo kakeru shojo has 160 pages). And for those who like it there is also the rest of the serie to read :slight_smile:
  • It seems to be a manageable choice to read an actual book and not just manga (nothing against them - I enjoy them too!)
  • Great video: Why settle for solely reading? With Zenitendou you can also train your listening comprehension! :laughing:
  • Exclusive for Japanese learners/ speakers/ readers! (as far as I know). Have your family & friends ever asked you the purpose of studying Japanese if pretty much everything that’s interesting or popular enough gets translated? Well, prove them wrong! You and only you will be able to tell what consequences people have to face when they eat too many sweets. (Other than cavities and diabetes.). And your fellow book club members, of course :slight_smile:


  • Not on floflo
  • It doesn’t really help you practice Kanji beacause of the Furigana
  • As far as I know there’s neither an English version, nor an anime that could be used for reference. The video doesn’t have English subtitles eather ;(


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

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


It’s actually about half that length. :slight_smile:

Oh really? I just looked at the number given on amazon :sweat_smile:

It has some short stories included too, so the actual main story is not all that long.

Oh I see :slight_smile: I just have the kindle version, so if anyone tells me the right number, I’ll update it :slight_smile:

I think there’s also an element of spoiler-avoidance. I don’t know the plot of the story exactly, but I’ve seen the anime and in the past have read the Wikipedia page for the book, so there’s a limit to how much I can speculate on future events. Perhaps books without anime adaptations would naturally have a little more discussion as a result.

Raionus would probably add it if it were picked though :slightly_smiling_face: it’s not a given, obviously, but at worst we could nominate it to be added and then all vote for it on Patreon :stuck_out_tongue:

@Elenakiyomi I think 時をかける少女 proper is about 120 pages of text, for comparison.


That book looks pretty easy (too easy for me probably). Plus since it’s targeting kids it’s missing a bunch of kanji. I need to finally read a book with proper kanji usage.

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This absolute jumble of romaji standards packed into a single word makes my soul hurt. Only way you could have made it worse would have been to write, like “shyōjou” or something. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hahah sorry! I just know how to make things appear correctly in Japanese :sweat_smile::joy:


Thanks! I think I’ll keep the total 160 since I suspect that there are a bunch of pictures in this book, but I don’t know how much space they take

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Yeah, it’s tricky to compare properly without actual copies of both :blush: your nomination certainly looks like it would have a few pictures.

I think it may be a bit too easy for me, but the description seems right up my alley (got a bit of a petshop of horrors vibe from it actually) so I’d definitely read it if it was selected… And maybe if it isn’t. Thanks for pointing this one out!


The summary reminds me so much of ショコラの魔法! (Amazon JP Link)
It’s a manga about a witch chocolatier who makes chocolate that fulfills wishes, but also takes something valuable from you at the same time. Also one chocolate flavor / backstory per chapter, I think. I don’t know if there’s an English version, I read some volumes of the German translation of the manga, and found it really cute :slight_smile:


That looks pretty good. I think it might make a more simple book (maybe too easy?). Definitely an interesting concept

The poll will open for the next book in about a week, so take the chance now to read the samples for the nominees and vote in their difficulty polls.