ChristopherFritz's Study Log

off topic

Thank you for asking! I also saw that and wondered what the heck Christopher was on about! Like you, I only knew Baader-Meinhof to mean the RAF, though I didn’t know much about them until I saw that amazing movie made about them a few years ago!

I thought about asking myself, but assumed I’d missed something obvious (yes, likely about some manga Christopher was reading) and didn’t want to bother anyone with my questions!

But I’m glad you did! And thank you @ChristopherFritz for clearing up the confusion! I’ve just learnt something interesting about American English here!


Which manga is this? :eyes:

Also thank you again for sharing your study log format! I’ve been using it religiously.


「異国迷路のクロワーゼ」 aka “La croisée dans un labyrinthe étranger”.

It was originally released as two volumes, and later there was a re-release that fits the entire series in a single volume. It also has an anime adaptation (which is where I first encountered it).

More details


Set in 19th century France, in the metalworks shop owned and run by Claude. When Claude’s grandfather Oscar returns from a trip overseas, he brings home with him not only a variety of Japanese goods, but also a young Japanese girl named Yune. Yune adores France, and took the opportunity to travel to France to work at Claude’s shop as a かんばんむすめ.


I suppose the series qualifies as “slice-of-life”, as there’s no overarching storyline. There are threads of story that take place over the 8 chapters and 7 mini chapters, but it’s mostly about the trouble Yune finds herself in (or causes) living in a foreign land.

Series Length

Apparently the mangaka went on hiatus, so the series was sort of just left off. Fast-forward about a decade, and she passed away due to an illness =(

That said, based on what I saw back when I watched the anime, I don’t expect the series to feel “incomplete” at the end.


異国迷路のクロワーゼ 1 (Volume 1)

異国迷路のクロワーゼ 2 (Volume 2)

合本 異国迷路のクロワーゼ memoire (Volumes 1 & 2 + bonus)

I just read that this re-release has content not in the original release. Looks like I’ll be setting aside room in my budget to re-buy the series to get that extra material!

異国迷路のクロワーゼ キャラクタートリビュート

A tribute release, with works by various authors. Includes a mini-series that the mangaka did that takes place after the series. If the mini-series isn’t in the combined re-release manga, I’ll have to make room in my budget for this one as well…

異国迷路のクロワーゼ Le cahier d’ Yune

This one seems to be a novelization of sorts. I’m not ready for this level yet!


Thank you!!! It sounds interesting.

Pet peeve question, do they write Oscar as オスカー or オスカル?

It looks Thank you!!! It sounds interesting.

Pet peeve question, do they write Oscar as オスカー or オスカル?

It looks ちょっと高い on Amazon, but maybe I can find the volumes at a BOOKOFF or someplace.

The names are written as one would expect:

  • クロード (Claude)
  • オスカー (Oscar)
  • アリス (Alice)
  • カミーユ (Camille)

That’s pretty reasonable. I’m reading ベルサイユのばら right now and Oscar is written as オスカル which annoys me since that’s not the French pronunciation.

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Is that this one series I have on DVD that I haven’t watched yet?

As for the manga, here are some sample pages to give an idea of its difficulty level. It starts out very difficult up front as it’s giving background for the time period and whatnot:

Sample pages.


Yep, that’s the one!

I studied the time period, so I’m pretty familiar with the setting. I find it’s a bit easier to read because of that. The part that trips me up is figuring out the original names of famous people from the katakana :sweat_smile:

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Reaching the end of July, it’s time to review my recent progress.

SRS Rᴇᴠɪᴇᴡs


I’m continuing to do my daily reviews, which is typically about five to 15 cards, without doing lessons. Although I’d like to start adding words for kanji I recently learned in WaniKani, it’s a bit cumbersome to do so, and I’m lazy, so I haven’t.


For a number of weeks, my WaniKani reviews were getting worse and worse. I’d be spending longer and longer on reviews, and would routinely score below 50%, sometimes below 30%.

I kept at it until my apprentice dropped to about 70. I intended to let it drop to 50 and keep it there for a while, but as my number of reviews when went down each day, my percentage correct slowly went back up again. Once I was routinely getting about 60 to 80% correct, I started doing vocabulary lessons. That’s pushed my apprentice back up to around 100, so I’m cutting back on lessons (still plan to do at least one per day) to keep it from going over 100.

Vɪᴅᴇᴏ Wᴀᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ

My “watch all of Sailormoon” is progressing slowly, as I’ve just watched some of the live action series, and haven’t progressed too far in the anime.

For shows watched with subtitles, I did watch through Bunny Drop recently, and am working through Non Non Biyori Repeat.

Bᴏᴏᴋ Rᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ


I’ve been just barely falling behind in 「魔女の宅急便」, but I think my latest method’s working out for me, and I’m back on track.

I’m reading in Japanese as well as the 2020 English release, with the 2003 English release handy for comparison. I read a paragraph in Japanese, then the same paragraphing in the 2020 English release. This lets me instantly catch anything I missed from the Japanese.

Next, I read the following paragraph in the 2020 English release, then read it in Japanese. This makes it a lot easier to understand everything (outside of vocabulary I need to look up).

I don’t now if this method of reading through will be harmful in the long run, but I do know that I won’t be able to use it for the rest of the books in the series. I know someone will arrange to continue the book club going for book two and beyond, so I’ll be able to be able to read “without cheating” then. For now, my goals are to keep up pace, and to finish a book.

Mᴀɴɢᴀ Rᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ


I’ve just about finished volume two.


This series randomly jumps between “this is so easy to read” type scenes and “what exactly are Akatsuki and Aika talking about?” type scenes. I’m looking forward to continuing with the series.


I’m still on track to shelf this series after I (eventually) finish the first volume.


I like the series (having read it in English and watched the anime), but there’s just too much dialogue for me and I don’t have the stamina to follow through it all.


Another I’ll shelf after finishing the first volume, as I’m only barely following along. Some scenes the dialogue becomes too heavy for me to follow.


I’ve wanted to check out the anime for some time, but it’s only available on Blu-ray in the US, and I don’t have a Blu-ray player. Although now that the DVD player in my computer recently died, maybe I should consider replacing it with a DVD/Blu-ray player… If I watch the series with English subtitles, it should become easier to re-read volume 1.


It’s been a while since I last read, as the book club reading pace is two months per volume. I need to see where I left off, because I think there’s just one week left for the current volume!


I’m still waiting to reach the part where the anime left off, because that’s going to test me on how much of this being an easy series to read is based on my advance knowledge of what’s going on.


This is the first of the easy series I’m reading to be finished. (よつばと! is just about there, but I expect volume 15 to release by the end of the year.)


After an amazing final volume, I expected I’d miss reading the series, but the book club for it begins in a couple of weeks, so…

Aside from that, it feels good to “complete” a series.


I started reading volume 1 on something of a whim, but I’ve been wanting to read the manga for some time now.

i-0022x i-0023x

…however, I may need to shelf this series for a bit longer if they keep putting in so much dialogue! Some pages it’s exhausting just to make it through a single page!


I’m still keeping up with one chapter per week!


I’m going through a story arc I have no advance knowledge of (never seen in the anime or read in English), which makes the current story arc the most difficult yet for me to follow.


I’ve been trudging along slowly with this one. The slow speed is probably due to knowing the series is so short.


I do feel like I’ll have to re-watch the anime after, just because I remember liking it so much.


I’m down to just two more chapters left, then it’s waiting for the next volume to come out soon.

If I get a Blu-ray drive to replace the deceased DVD drive in my computer, I may just have to look into getting the anime for this series (which isn’t available on DVD here in the US).


I’d started out so slow on reading this, but have really picked up speed in the past week.

Most of the kanji I know (about 85%), so the lack of furigana hasn’t been slowing me down. Between reading this and last year having read「となりのトトロ」, I’m going to have to start thinking about which Studio Ghibli movie I want to read through next.

Even though the kanji use (versus hiragana) differs between the cinema manga and the movie subtitle scripts, I’ll probably run the movie scripts through my WaniKani kanji analysis to which is the next best choice for me to read. I’d really like to read 「耳をすませば」‐wait, isn’t that one based on a manga? Yup, sure enough. Well, there’s another item for my wish list!


I haven’t made any real progress on grammar, but at the moment I don’t mind. I do want to get back to watching CureDolly videos daily soon, though!


So. Much. Reading! :astonished::star_struck::clap: Good on you!

Your log was fun to read in this format too. :slight_smile:



I accidentally leveled up =(

My current system:

  • Complete reviews three times a day (morning, afternoon, night).
  • Do at least one lesson per day. (Just became a whole lot easier with that level-up.)
  • Focus on level 23 vocabulary first.
  • Keep apprentice near the lower end of 70–100 items.


So far I seem to be keeping on target for my reading goals (including the Kiki novel, somehow or other).

I’ve been trying out some reading tracking sites. I’ve found Bookmeter to be a bit too cumbersome for me to want to use, even though I like how it tracks number of pages read. I like Mangare’s interface of “stacking” a series, showing only the current volume being read, but it’s focused on manga and doesn’t have page counts. (And I think it doesn’t support reading through two volumes of a series at the same time.)

In the end, it looks like I’ll probably just stick with my own HTML+CSS bookshelf, which may be a bit of work to keep updated, but I enjoy it, so it’s time well spent.

Here's how it currently looks.


That’s a really neat bookshelf! :open_mouth:


Love this!! I’m also focusing a lot on reading manga at the moment and recently finished my very first one (so happy, it really felt like a milestone). I mix between the Keep reading (Tadoku-style) and Compare with English Translation methods. I honestly don’t have the time or energy to look every new thing up, haha, so that method wouldn’t be very effective for me personally. But I do mix these two reading styles with using vocab SRS-flashcards (on Memrise), if there are any, to still learn new vocab that frequent in the current manga I’m reading (Yotsubato&). I think, no matter which method one decides to try, the important thing is to read. And read. And read some more. Progress will follow! Your study log is very motivating, thank you for sharing it! :smile:


Which volume? If you need any help, take a look in the bookclub, and if you would like to join us for the weekly live reading, you’d be more than welcome!


I’m reading vol. 1, just started ch. 4 so I just got started. Such a cute story though! Thank you! :smile:


In another thread, I mentioned that one thing I’d like to do is a “Japanese the Manga Way” style breakdown of panels from comics. Although it may be more proper to say Mangajin style.

Mangajin is a magazine that I only learned about recently. In each issue, various four-panel Japanese comics were shown, along with:

  • a word-for-word breakdown of the Japanese text with English meaning
  • a literal English translation (when applicable)
  • a polished English translation
  • detailed notes on various aspects of grammar used in the strip

Now, I’m too lazy to actually do much for this, and it probably isn’t copyright friendly (even if I’m using free 立ち読み previews), so I know I won’t actually get anywhere with it. But, it was fun enough to slack off from reading manga for a day to write up some code to be able to take simple input and make an image out of it:

The layout and breakdowns are heavily copied inspired by “Japanese the Manga Way”.

Could be a fun weekend project to continue with, if I weren’t so lazy…

But for the remainder of this week, I’ll be catching up on this week’s manga (and Kiki) reading.


You want to pitch this to a publisher. Seriously.

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Introverts and lazy people don’t pitch things, and I’m both =P

Especially when I’m just building off of the layout and such from “Japanese the Manga Way”.

Aside from that, the main issue is in areas where I’m not confident in how to translate something. I’ve no doubt mistakes would be made!


I know just what you mean (I’ve written some books in the past, but never pitched them, promoted them, or anything), but it’s a pity. I’m sure it would be great!

The nice thing about weekends is I have all day to get in as much reading as I can.

Now if only I got to any reading today.

As a follow-up to my screenshots of a “Japanese the Manga Way” style manga translations above, I spent today telling myself I’m too lazy to try doing that for one whole manga page each weekend.

What would the advantage of writing up the details on page of manga dialogue each weekend be?

  1. Writing out what I know in a succinct way lets me see what I know well, and what I need to learn better.
  2. Being able to write brief-but-detailed explanations can help me in answering forum questions about the same grammar.
  3. Making myself write up notes on every kind of grammar upon its first appearance in a manga forces me to better learn the items I find myself struggling to explain. (Like spending over an hour reading up on 「[verb]ても」 to be able to even begin try to explain it.)

The fun part of course comes up front, coming up with a basic text file format to write up the translations and notes, writing some Ruby code to convert the file into an HTML file, and writing some CSS to style it all to look similar to Mangajin’s full-page translations.

I think the end result isn't all too bad.

(Please ignore the typos.)

I’ve opted to dispense with the panel images (even if it’s available in free previews from e-book stores), just because if I put these online, I want to decrease the chance for copyright infringement issues. (Of course, even translating a copyrighted work is a form of infringement in the legal world.)