Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 葬送のフリーレン // Next: ウスズミの果て


(Nordic Girl Åsa Discovers the Mysteries of Japan)


Convenience store onigiri are way too handy! Why is it that Japanese girls can call just about anything “cute?” The guys at host bars are so hot, they’re like real-life anime characters! These are only some of the mysteries Swedish manga artist Åsa Ekström discovers in this journal comic about her journey from Scandinavia to Japan, which is jam-packed with surprises and laughs!




It’s also availble in original rudimentary form for free (and without the bonus material the tankobon version includes) on the author’s website, though I’d be extremely surprised if the ones on the website are identical to the ones in the book. It’s possible there’s cleaned-up versions later in the blog, but I don’t have time right now to search:

Lastly, if you want to cheat, and read it in English (though again without the bonus material):

Personal Opinion

I encountered the English version linked above first, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I feel we’d enjoy it because it’s about the experiences of a foreigner discovering Japan, which I’m sure we can all relate to.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Short and punchy 4-koma format
  • Funny and relatable
  • Uses normal, regular day-to-day language


  • No furigana. Volumes two and up use furigana (at least for speech bubbles and narration panels, not for the bonus material), but this volume doesn’t have any.


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