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

Almost anyone can edit a wiki. Can’t remember the exact level you need, but I think it is the one you get after a couple of days of first joining and posting on the forum.

The only thing you need a regular for (if you aren’t the poster) is changing the title. Only regulars (and up, like mods) are allowed to do that.


oh ok, got it! thanks!


Regulars can also make their own posts wikis. :slightly_smiling_face:


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 open the details “Snapshot of current proposals” below for more details on each option, including links to sample pages which will help you gauge the difficulty.

Snapshot of current proposals
Manga - スラムダンク (Slam Dunk)

スラムダンク (Slam Dunk)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 24

Hanamichi Sakuragi, infamous for his temper, massive height, and fire-red hair, enrolls in Shohoku High, hoping to finally get a girlfriend and break his record of being rejected 50 consecutive times in middle school. His notoriety precedes him, however, leading to him being avoided by most students. Soon, after certain events, Hanamichi is left with two unwavering thoughts: “I hate basketball,” and “I desperately need a girlfriend.”

One day, a girl named Haruko Akagi approaches him without any knowledge of his troublemaking ways and asks him if he likes basketball. Hanamichi immediately falls head over heels in love with her, blurting out a fervent affirmative. She then leads him to the gymnasium, where she asks him if he can do a slam dunk. In an attempt to impress Haruko, he makes the leap, but overshoots, instead slamming his head straight into the blackboard. When Haruko informs the basketball team’s captain of Hanamichi’s near-inhuman physical capabilities, he slowly finds himself drawn into the camaraderie and competition of the sport he had previously held resentment for.

Physical: Amazon | Verasia EU | Manga Republic | Kinokuniya US
Physical (Kanzenban edition*): Amazon | CDJapan | Manga Republic | Verasia (EU)

* 24 volume Kanzenban (完全) - includes more color spreads and nicer overall but twice the cost (currently) compared with the other options

Digital: not available

Difficulty: 2.90 [10 votes]

Book - 雪女 (< 8wks)


Nomination Post
Natively - Level 25

Digital & free: Kindle JP | Aozora | Vertical reader
Digital & paid: Bookwalker | Kindle JP with furigana (with multiple short stories) | Kindle US (with multiple short stories)

Physical (bundled with multiple short stories): Amazon JP | AmazonUS

Audio: YouTube

Difficulty: 2.71 [7 votes]

Manga - 先輩がうざい後輩の話 (My Senpai is Annoying) (< 8wks)

先輩がうざい後輩の話 (My Senpai is Annoying)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 20

Takeda, the somewhat crude, but caring senior, and Igarashi, the junior, that can’t be honest with him. Even today, Igarashi thinks that Takeda is annoying, but in reality, she doesn’t find him all that bad, and even though there are times, when he is annoying her, she unknowingly struggles with the distance between them. Both the story of Takeda and Igarashi, and the newly drawn story of the slightly more mature(?) Kazama and Sakurai are included!

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.58 [12 votes]

Manga - 舞妓さんちのまかないさん (Kiyo in Kyoto) (< 8wks)

舞妓さんちのまかないさん (Kiyo in Kyoto)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 27

This is a geisha district in the middle of Kyoto. Maiko comes home after working late at night, and lives in a shared-house called a yakata. Kiyo, a 16-year-old girl who prepares daily meals for the maiko at a certain house as a makanai-san. There is an unexpected reason why she became a makanai-san.

A warm human pattern is drawn through the backstage of the gorgeous entertainment district and the meal of an ordinary day. (translated from

Kiyo Nozuki and Sumire Herai are childhood friends who share a common desire to become maikos—apprentice geishas. When they join a maiko house, Kiyo is deemed unfit to be a maiko and ends up employed as a live-in cook.

Physical: Amazon JP | CD Japan | Verasia EU
Digital: Kindle | Kobo | BookWalker.

Difficulty: 2.77 [13 votes]

Manga - スキップとローファー (Skip and Loafer)

スキップとローファー (Skip and Loafer)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 22

Excellent student Iwakura Mitsumi has always dreamt about leaving her small town, going to a prestigious university, and making positive change in the world. But she’s so focused on reaching her goals that she’s not prepared for the very different (and overwhelming) city life that awaits her in a Tokyo high school. Luckily, she makes fast friends with Shima Sousuke, a handsome classmate who’s as laid-back as she is over-prepared. Can this naive country girl make it big in Tokyo with Sousuke by her side?

Physical: Amazon
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.31 [13 votes]

Manga - 夢みる太陽 (Dreamin’ Sun)

夢みる太陽 (Dreamin’ Sun)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 22

Shimana Kameko decides to skip school and run away from home after feeling overshadowed by her six-month-old brother and new stepmother. After leaving home, she stumbles over a man wearing a kimono who has apparently been locked out of his own house. Desperate to get back in, the man offers Shimana a place she can rent from him if she can fulfill three conditions: find the house key, tell him why she ran away, and have a dream.

Physical: Manga Republic | Amazon JP | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Kobo | BookWalker

Difficulty: 1.90 [10 votes]

Book - 手ぶくろを買いに/ごんぎつね 10歳までに読みたい日本名作 (Buying Mittens / Gon, the Little Fox)

手ぶくろを買いに/ごんぎつね 10歳までに読みたい日本名作 (Buying Mittens / Gon, the Little Fox)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 22

  • 手袋を買いに (Buying Mittens): When a cold winter comes to the forest, a little fox awakens one morning to the magic of a first snow-fall. His romp in the snow is cut short, however, when his cold, wet paws turn peony colored. What he needs, his mother decides, are some woolen mittens the size of his little paws. And so begins an overnight journey into the village where humans live…
  • ごん狐 (Gon, the Little Fox): Gon, a mischievous little fox, loves to cause trouble… but one day realizes that one of his pranks had gone a bit too far.
  • 花のき村と盗人たち (Hananoki Village and the Thieves)
  • 決闘 (Duel)
  • でんでんむしのかなしみ (The Sorrow of the Snail)

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle

Difficulty: 2.38 [13 votes]

Manga - ひとりぼっちの〇〇生活 (< 8wks)


Nomination Post
Natively - Level 20

Hitori Bocchi, a girl with social anxiety who has difficulty communicating with others. Before starting middle school, her friend Yawara Kai, who will be attending a different school, tells Bocchi she is breaking off their friendship until she can make friends with her entire class at her new school. Thus, Bocchi is left with the task of befriending everyone in her class before graduation.

Physical: Amazon, CD Japan
Digital: Kindle, Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.33 [12 votes]

Manga - さよなら絵梨 (Goodbye Eri)

さよなら絵梨 (Goodbye Eri)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 23

With his mother dying, Yuuta attempts to capture her last days on his phone. After her death, Yuuta heads to the roof of the hospital to commit suicide, but a meeting with a strange girl leads him on the path to making a movie.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.50 [8 votes]

Manga - スローループ (Slow Loop) (< 8wks)

スローループ (Slow Loop)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 28

Since childhood, Hiyori Yamakawa has witnessed her father’s various eccentricities, but one activity she has always loved doing with him is fly fishing—a complicated yet rewarding method of catching fish. Even after his sudden death, Hiyori still visits the seaside in her spare time, savoring the joy that her father’s memento brings her.

Three years later, Hiyori’s mother decides to remarry and arranges a dinner with her fiancé, his daughter, and Hiyori to celebrate. Anxious and wanting to pass the time, Hiyori goes to her usual fishing spot when a rather energetic girl named Koharu Minagi suddenly appears before her. The two soon become acquainted, with Koharu taking an interest in fly fishing herself. However, their meeting is more than just a coincidence: Koharu turns out to be Hiyori’s future stepsibling, which is only the beginning of treasured memories the both of them will reel in as they foster their sisterhood.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
E-Book: Amazon | Bookwalker

Difficulty: 2.14 [7 votes]

Manga - マグメル深海水族館 (Deep Sea Aquarium MagMell) (< 8wks)

マグメル深海水族館 (Deep Sea Aquarium MagMell)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 24

A tale about a modern deep-sea aquarium employee in Tokyo!What’s living in the overwhelming darkness deep within the sea? Take a glimpse into this strange world about a boy working at a deep sea aquarium.

Physical: CDJapan | AmazonJP
Digital: Kobo | Bookwalker | Kindle

Difficulty: 2.93 [14 votes]

Book - 5分後に笑えるどんでん返し


Nomination Post
Natively - Level 29

A collection of comical short stories with surprising endings.

Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Bookwalker | Kindle

Difficulty: 2.86 [7 votes]

Manga - 満月をさがして (Full Moon) (< 8wks)

満月フルムーンをさがして (Full Moon)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 24??

Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Koyama dreams of becoming a singer to reunite with her first love, Eichi Sakurai. However, she is afflicted with sarcoma (a cancerous tumor in her throat), which affects her ability to breathe well and sing loudly. Her tumor is curable only through a surgery that could damage her vocal cords. At the same time, her grandmother hates music and is completely opposed to Mitsuki’s wish to audition. Mitsuki’s dreams seem impossible to achieve, until one day she is visited by two shinigami, Takuto and Meroko, whom only she could see. Takuto and Meroko inadvertently tip Mitsuki off that she has only one year left to live.

Physical: Amazon JP | CD Japan
Digital: Kobo | BookWalker | Kindle | EbookJapan

Difficulty: 2.00 [9 votes]

Manga - 約束のネバーランド (The Promised Neverland)

約束のネバーランド (The Promised Neverland)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 27

From IMBD: When three gifted kids at an isolated idyllic orphanage discover the secret and sinister purpose they were raised for, they look for a way to escape from their evil caretaker and lead the other children in a risky escape plan. … No child is ever overlooked, especially since they are all adopted by the age of 12.

Amazon JP
CD Japan
Rakuten Books (Kobo)
Comic Pixiv

Difficulty: 2.45 [11 votes]

Manga - にじいろフォトグラフ (Rainbow-Coloured Photograph) (< 8wks)

にじいろフォトグラフ (Rainbow-Coloured Photograph)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 20

Aoi Yamabuki is a shy high school student who’s incredibly self-conscious about her blue eyes. Living with her older sister, a popular novelist, the girls’ lives change when a young foreign girl comes to live with them.

CDJapan | Amazon JP | Kobo | BookWalker

Difficulty: 2.69 [26 votes]

Manga - この美術部には問題がある! (This Art Club has a Problem!) (< 8wks)

この美術部には問題がある! (This Art Club has a Problem!)

Nomination Post
Natively - Level 24

A girl with violently too much common sense, a boy whose sole ambition is to draw the perfect 2D bride, an addlebrained ghost member, and an always sleeping president - what is wrong with this art club?!

CDJapan | Amazon JP | Kobo | BookWalker

Difficulty: 2.71 [28 votes]

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 reasonably 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 30th of September, a week after we finish reading スーパーの裏でヤニ吸うふたり. If a short manga/book (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, August 13th.

You can vote for up to 5 options.

You can change your vote at any time by clicking ‘Show vote’ at the bottom.

  • [2.90|Level 24] スラムダンク (Slam Dunk) [Manga]
  • [2.71|Level 25] 雪女 [short Book]
  • [2.58|Level 20] 先輩がうざい後輩の話 (My Senpai is Annoying) [short Manga]
  • [2.77|Level 27] 舞妓さんちのまかないさん (Kiyo in Kyoto) [short Manga]
  • [2.31|Level 22] スキップとローファー (Skip and Loafer) [Manga]
  • [1.90|Level 22] 夢みる太陽 (Dreamin’ Sun) [Manga]
  • [2.38|Level 22] 手ぶくろを買いに/ごんぎつね 10歳までに読みたい日本名作 (Buying Mittens / Gon, the Little Fox) [Book]
  • [2.33|Level 20] ひとりぼっちの〇〇生活 [short Manga]
  • [2.50|Level 23] さよなら絵梨 (Goodbye Eri) [Manga]
  • [2.14|Level 28] スローループ (Slow Loop) [short Manga]
  • [2.93|Level 24] マグメル深海水族館 (Deep Sea Aquarium MagMell) [short Manga]
  • [2.86|Level 29] 5分後に笑えるどんでん返し [Book]
  • [2.00|Level 24??] 満月をさがして (Full Moon) [short Manga]
  • [2.45|Level 27] 約束のネバーランド (The Promised Neverland) [Manga]
  • [2.69|Level 20] にじいろフォトグラフ (Rainbow-Coloured Photograph) [short Manga]
  • [2.71|Level 24] この美術部には問題がある! (This Art Club has a Problem!) [short Manga]
0 voters

If one of the regulars could change the title to

[Vote Now] Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: スーパーの裏でヤニ吸うふたり

that would be much appreciated! :pray:


Now’s our chance to get our fishing on. You know what they say: Give a man a fish and he’ll be fed for a day; read a fishing manga and he’ll, uh… be entertained… for six weeks, or thereabouts.

“Vote for Slow Loop”, is what I’m trying to say. :slightly_smiling_face:


Vote for a Book I say :smiley: (vs a manga)


If you haven’t voted yet you have until sunday to do so!


We always end up with draws that only get resolved in the last minute, don’t we


This one doesn’t need to resolve though. Since both are short manga, whichever one wins, the next one would be picked too. Unless an upset from third place or lower happens. :slight_smile:


Like, say, uh… twelfth place. :slightly_smiling_face:


Would need some kind of diagram to show how the votes intersect or don’t. Like I feel like if 20 people vote for book 1 and 21 different people vote for book 2 (so not the same people that voted for book 1), I feel like it would make sense to have two parallel book clubs?


I thought the same with the last poll (or was it the one before that?), where Kiyo and the winner had almost zero overlap between voters. (As things are at the moment, the top two have an overlap of three voters.)

But if Kiyo and Art Club were the top two picks and we were reading only one, it’s possible those who didn’t vote for the winner would still join in reading it. In that case, running two clubs may reduce the number of participants in the winning pick.

At least, that was my thinking when I noticed it last time.


Yeah, I probably would/will join the この美術部には問題がある club, even though I didn’t vote for it.


The winner is 舞妓さんちのまかないさん (Kiyo in Kyoto)

We will start reading on the 30th September. As this is designated as a short manga we will also be reading the second place which is この美術部には問題がある! (This Art Club has a Problem!), which was nominated what feels like ages ago in March of 2020.

@snowwater and @seanblue would you guys be willing to host the clubs?

Since 5分後に笑えるどんでん返し failed to get more than 15% in any of the last 3 polls it will be removed from the nominations.

Edit: Could one of the regulars remove the [Vote Now] from the title? Thanks!!


Now that the poll is over I have another matter that I think we should have a discussion about. Since Natively has taken a hold in our community we have had two different difficulty scores for each of the nominations. I was curious what the correlation coefficient between the two values is and it came out to about 0.19 that is not a very strong correlation. For better visualization I have also created a scatter plot

Since the premise of Natively is to vote after you have finished reading, the dataset is probably bigger and the method is more robust I would like to hold a discussion about removing the “local” difficulty poll and relying solely on Natively.


Fully removing it is not quite possible, there are books, that are not on natively, and there are certainly books, that are on there, but only have 2 or 3 votes, if even that much.


Sure. I’ll set up a thread later this week and propose a schedule, will also post it here when it’s up.


I personally don’t pay much attention to the difficulty scores either way, because from my relatively short experience with the book clubs, they don’t really correlate with how difficult I find a book, anyway.


Great, now I’m getting FOMO and keep wishing I’d voted for it :sweat_smile:.