Cells at Work! 🦠 | Week 3

Week 3 10 December 2022
End page 42
Pages 14
Previous week Week 2
Next week Week 4 (Coming soon!)
Home Thread Cells at Work!

Vocabulary and Grammar

Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.

Discussion Guidelines

Everybody should feel free to post and ask questions–it’s what makes book clubs fun! But please do not post until you are familiar with Spoiler Courtesy!

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the book than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) needs to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as coming from later sections.
Instructions for Spoiler Tags

Click the cog above the text box and use either the “Hide Details” or “Blur Spoiler” options. The text which says “This text will be hidden” should be replaced with what you are wishing to write. In the case of “Hide Details”, the section in the brackets that is labelled “Summary” can be replaced with whatever you like also (i.e, [details=”Chapter 1, Pg. 1”]).

Hide Details results in the dropdown box like below:


This is an example of the “Hide Details” option.

The “Blur Spoiler” option will simply blur the text it surrounds.

This is an example of the “Blur Spoiler” option.

Posting Advice
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked. As the threads get longer, it becomes more convenient to use the Search function, which is located in the upper right corner of the forum. It is the magnifying glass which is near your profile picture! The best way to search is usually to type part of the sentence you are confused about, and select “in this topic”. This will show you all posts within the current thread which has that string of text.

  • Be sure to join the conversation! It’s fun, and it’s what keeps these book clubs lively! There’s no such thing as a stupid question! We are all learning here, and if the question has crossed your mind, there’s a very good chance it has crossed somebody else’s also! Asking and answering questions is a great learning opportunity for everyone involved, so never hesitate to do so!

Page numbers

The schedule is based on the page numbers that sometimes appear on the bottom of the pages. Both the Kindle and the BookWalker versions seem to be 2 off (44 instead of 42)

Last page of the week

Live Readings

Live readings are currently not organized. If you are interested in organizing one, tell me and I’ll update the post.

Discussion Questions

  1. What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!
  2. What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?
  3. Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?


Will you be reading along with us this week?

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m still reading the book but I haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m reading this book after the club has finished
  • I’m no longer reading the book

0 voters

If you’ve already read this book but are still going to join the discussion, please select “I have read this part.”

Don’t forget to set this thread to Watching in order to stay abreast of discussion!i


Box transcription time ! :package:

肺 / Lungs


Organ holding the role of taking in oxygen from the air inside the body and taking out carbon dioxide in the air. In other words, the place we do the breathing

毛細血管 / Capillaries


Fine blood vessels linking together arteries and veins

肺胞 / Alveoli


The place where the gas exchange between air and capillaries is carried out.


There is a total of approximately 300 hundred millions in both lungs.

I will read this chapter in two sittings since this week is pretty busy both days and evenings. The two remaining boxes will have to wait Wednesday or Thursday.


I filled the vocabulary list for this week. Please feel free to add and correct …

遊走細胞 / Wandering Cell


Cell that moves freely within the tissue

被包性細菌 / Coccoid bacterium


Bacteria that use capsules to protect themselves. Streptococcus pneumoniae is like this too

Finished this week chapter, I like the art, it’s very dynamic !


Just to see the attention to detail the creators have.

The part where the virus hides in the package of our red blood cell is actually based on real life. There are plenty of places where people go through the anime mainly and explain what is that we’re seeing. The Science behind “Cells at Work!” Episode 1: "Pneumococcus" - The Active Scientist. If you want to skip the easier explanation and skip to the difficult words, it’s all based on a 2013 study, that showed that these viruses use red blood cells to hide from the immune system Streptococcus pneumoniae Invades Erythrocytes and Utilizes Them to Evade Human Innate Immunity - PMC


Good work Makushi! When you write it out without furigana you make me realise how quickly i would tap out if there wasn’t any :sweat_smile:

Anyway, just popped in to say I am still here and I should finish this weeks chapter today! Im hoping I organise my self better so i can contribute more to the upcoming week’s conversations and maybe delve more in to the grammar of some phrases (my weak spot). :smile:

And congrats Gorbit on getting to level 5!


You’re welcome, I guess I could add the furigana in the forum but I am way too lazy for that ! haha
I’m also glad there’s furigana in this one !


There’s a userscript, that automatically adds them, based on what you typed: [Userscript] Forum: IME2Furigana


Hi! I have a few questions on this week’s reading:

page 40


Just confirming: I guess とは means something around To think that…, doesn’t it?
So, the full sentence should be:

I couldn’t believe to think that you would be hiding in the red blood cell’s package, but…

Also, what would the 丁寧語 (formal speech) equivalent be?

page 41


No clue. My feeling tells me that the usual (や=“for example”, “also”) takes a form of “if not she, then you are also okay” vibe, like:

You also suffice to get killed

Since the 肺炎球菌 is running out and opting for others, that would even make some sense… for me at least. But I feel very vague about this.

page 42


  1. How can ここまで (=until here) mean “Like this”? Why not このように?
  2. How does the じゃ fit in here?
    I feel like じゃ is one of those questions that beginners always ask :laughing:
    Usually I get it, but, for some reason my head has problems recognizing the grammatical pattern of it here (Is it a contraction? What would it be in 丁寧語?)

While the Manga was extremely hard at first, the chapter got much easier now from week 3. I still take an enormous amount of looking things up, but I could theoretically skip this part.
I feel like I start to understand things instinctively, even though I cannot match what grammatical pattern might be used occasionally. Do you usually go on if you understand it, or do you also fully break down the sentence to understand how this argument is grammatically structured? :thinking:


と here is just the quotation particle, literally: «“Impossible”, I thought». And the second part just “clears” up what that impossible to think thing is. So in natural translation, “Never would I thought, that you would be hidden in the red blood cell’s package”.

It functions as a sort of less formal だ in this case. “You’ll do, I’ll crush you”

I’m not completely certain, but I don’t think it means “like this”. More like “so far”. “So far it’s so powerful that…”

You need to interpret it as a contraction of では, 接近戦では → “As for in close combat”

That’s the usual rythm, reading at first is slow, then you get used to the writing style and you speed up quite a bit. It happens in your native language as well, it’s just far less noticable, since you already read fast enough.

I read for the sake of reading, not to have a grammar lesson personally. If I can suss out the meaning without knowing exactly what makes it tick, I just go on. I just hope that that will build an instinctive understanding of grammar, and I’ll be able to read without having to think about why something is the way it is.

Pg. 40

とは is a particle (or combination of, technically) that has a couple different uses. It can be used to indicate surprise/disbelief, or it can be used to define/quote something or ask what something is, all dependent on context. I think the first use is a bit of both quoting and expressing surprise.

I think you roughly have the sentence. I would probably phrase it more like,

“I didn’t think it was possible, but… to my surprise, you were hiding in the red blood cell’s package.”

Or something along those lines.

As far as the 丁寧語 equivalent…do you mean of the sentences or the grammar point? Because I don’t think とは would have a separate 丁寧語 form, since it’s a particle.

For the sentence, you would just change the verb form to 隠れていました, essentially. But it would sound strange in this context, imo.

Pg. 41

It’s actually two separate sentences, and this is a や as a sentence ender. や as a particle can be used in a few different ways:

  1. Calling out to someone: お前や、ここにおいでよ!

  2. Order or invitation: もう止めなさいや!

  3. A casual assertion, ala よ, though や is generally more masculine/rough.

  4. As a replacement for だ in Kansai dialect.

I believe the third is what is happening here.

Roughly, “You’ll do fine! I’ll definitely kill you!”

Pg. 42

ここまで can be used to mean something like: “to this extent”. In this case, it modifies the 強力, so “It’s power to the extent that (thanks to the と acting as a quote) you can’t use close quarters combat.”

To break it down in more detail:

ここまで = To this extent

強力 = power

だ = copula

と = quoting particle

接近戦 = Close quarters combat

じゃ = particle, abbreviation of では

手 = means/technique

出せん = 出す in an abbreviated negative potential form (出せない → to 出せん).

For 丁寧語, again, you usually don’t change particles. では is often used more in writing than speech. Even pretty formal speech will trend towards じゃ (though, では is also fine. It’s just quite stiff). This is another sentence where 丁寧語 doesn’t really make sense, given that it’s an intense fight. But you could theoretically word it:


When I first started reading, I had very little official grammar under my belt, so every sentence was a grammar lesson. Now, I just read to read, unless I come across something I can’t puzzle out from context and have to do some lookup. Neither approach is wrong, it’s just a matter of what you want to get out of it, essentially.

I wanted the intense grammar study early on so that I could understand how everything worked because I wasn’t using a textbook for grammar (couldn’t hold my focus enough to be useful). Now that I pretty much just understand that grammar thanks to hitting it harder early on, my reading is just reading, instead of study. My main focus on reading now is trying to increase my speed and reducing the internal reliance on translating back into English for understanding. Though, the latter is pretty well gone now, I find, which is exciting! When I answer questions, I usually have to stop and think about how I should translate it now, whereas originally, I would have had a translation handy from my read.


My reply comes with a delay since I didn’t find the time to read in the last 4 days, but still wanted to write thank you both for your very detailed answers! :slightly_smiling_face: