Books, Manga or other Japanese reading material

Hello fellow WaniKaners. I have just reached level 20! Yay!
And the mail that followed suggested that I should begin reading some Japanese material in order to further improve on my Japanese reading capabilities. Which a thought was a great idea, as I feel I’m starting to have a solid understanding of basic sentence structure and kanji reading. That being said, with a plethora of different books and manga in Japanese, I’m struggling with finding something that will fit my level (Which arguably is not that high). Though I feel as if the most basic books might also be a tad bit too easy, as I’m all for looking up the parts I do not understand. Given of course I don’t have to look up every sentence…

Are there any material you feel might fit my current level of kanji knowledge? All suggestions are greatly appreciated, and feel free to suggest something that might be a little challenging as well!


Congrats on getting to 20!

If you’re looking for a challenge, the best thing you can do in my opinion is read a visual novel.

Now, visual novels are quite challenging and in some cases are more challenging than the average novel, but they’re very beginner friendly thanks to a few things:

  1. You can set up an interactive text hooker and parser to help you parse through sentences. These allow for basically instantaneous lookup of any word and the ability to copy paste it.

  2. You get to hear the voice acting and look at characters expressions which can help make things more comprehensible.

  3. You can go back and easily look at past text and listen to past dialogue as many times as you want since most VNs have a log feature.

  4. You move at your own pace unlike a movie or show

  5. In some cases, VNs are also available in english and you can toggle between english and japanese when you want to see if you understood something correctly.

I started visual novels around your level because I found reading yotsubato and other low level stuff boring. It was quite the challenge, but I learned a lot and it was more enjoyable to me.




That does indeed sound way more appealing than your standard book. Always wanted to read F/SN anyway, so I’ll be sure to give it a go! Thank you!


Six hours later, and still no link to the book club thread?

At level 20, you’re still fairly restricted to reading material with furigana, unless you want to spend time looking up kanji. If reading on a computer, this isn’t as big an issue. (And you’re looking up unknown words anyways.)

If you wanted to read something specifically without furigana, but might not be ready to read something completely without furigana, I found 耳をすませば to be a great compromise, as it has furigana on some kanji and not on others. It’s also on the easier side material-wise, if your grammar’s up to the N4 level.



The Studio Ghibli film is based on a manga?! For some reason I thought this one was an original film!

While I can’t comment on the manga itself, I do love the film. So if it’s a relatively close adaption, the manga is probably good too.

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The Ghibli film adds some things, and removes some, but overall it’s close enough that if someone likes the movie, they should like the manga. The movie puts the story on a grander scale (for lack of better wording), so it’s possible some fans of the movie would be underwhelmed by the source material. Myself, I enjoyed it very much.

The “sequel” movie with the girl who goes to the kingdom of cats is also an adaptation, and there’s a third in the series. I haven’t read these ones yet.

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Figured there was some sort of book club on here! Appreciate it!