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



Shizuku Tsukishima is a middle school girl who loves to read. One day, she notices the name Seiji Amasawa on the library card in her favorite book. As it turns out, he’s already checked out and read every library book Shizuku is reading. What kind of person is he?


Physical: AmazonJP | AmazonJP | CDJapan
Digital: Amazon | Book Walker | Kobo | Rakuten

This manga has had a few releases over the years.

Images of covers of various releases
Year Format Cover
1990 Paperback image
2005 Paperback
2014 Digital
Warning: There are other releases that are not this manga!

Physical release of the animated adaptation as manga:

Digital release of the animated adaptation as manga:

Book about the animated adaptation:

Book about the animated adaptation:

Personal Opinion

This story is well-known due to Studio Ghibli’s animated adaptation, released in the west under the title Whisper of the Heart. If you’ve seen the adaptation, this gives an opportunity to see the source material.

Even if you haven’t seen the adaptation, it’s an opportunity to take a step into manga of the late 1980s.

Pros and Cons


  • Short story, spanning a single volume.
  • Furigana is used only on more difficult kanji. Readers who’ve avoided no-furigana material can transition more easily into reading kanji rather than furigana.
  • Ebook pages are a decent resolution (1075x1536).
  • Art style holds up well (unlike many comics from the 90s).
  • Lacks all the modern anime/manga tropes.
  • Has an animated adaptation.
  • Occasionally, cats.


  • Not all kanji have furigana. Readers who are first starting to learn kanji might prefer a pick with full furigana use.
  • Many readers will have no idea what a library card is.
  • Difficult for me to think of cons for =(


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