I finally (mostly) finished Flowers! I’ve been moving slowly, but I’m happy to be here. The true route is down anyway, I’m going back for the other ending. Was taken a little by surprise by some brand new earlier route scenes so I won’t totally finish it just yet like I thought I might. Soon, though! Another big milestone, each VN is a whole lot of reading. I did like Flowers! It’s well written. I still somewhat stand by my earlier thoughts that because I read so slowly, it might be nice to be reading something a little heavier on the mysteries and hooks to really keep me excited for the longish term. I always liked it but probably in part moved slower since I rarely had that “I need to know where this is going!” feeling, even though I think it was all well done. Definitely a better VN at native reading speeds. All the same, I’m moving on to the 2nd, so I liked it!
Damn I really didn’t expect that ending, really bittersweet. Given that there are 4 of these I’m sure that situation is going to develop. It really suddenly smacks you in the face with Mayuri leaving. I have to imagine she didn’t intend to / realize she was going to given how she was talking? Unless I missed something. Will be interesting to learn what’s up.
The only other significant bit of news is that my Splatoon team finally got sorted out; we have our 4. Feeling good about it, as I like them all quite a bit. We ended up so scattered across the world! East and west US, a Canadian, and someone in Europe (surprisingly not really noticeably laggy). Also half women, which reminds me how much more diverse I hear Splatoon is than most videogame communities. Must help that you can’t talk to people in game by default, because people who play videogames kind of suck most of the time
I’m still thinking of putting up a stream sometime (a lot of my teammates stream too, at least occasionally), even if only to save the vod for myself because the computer I’m using has some hard drive issues haha. Haven’t done any real organized scrims yet but we’re planning to soon, maybe this week? Still definitely working out better teamwork within the game’s matchmaking, all the same.
Yeah, that ending hit me really hard. Especially the line with Suoh praying to god for the very first time. After that ending, I had to go read the next one immediately to see what happens haha.
There’s some foreshadowing in the last few chapters about Mayuri’s disappearance although I didn’t realize it until after I finished the first game. I know they talked about how the Virgin Mary gets spirited away at the festival but I didn’t believe it’d actually happen until the end there. Everything seemed to be going so well for Suoh finally and then they took it all away from her
I hope you enjoy the other endings! I won’t say much until you finish it but uh, I did not like Rikka’s ending at all totally not still mad at her for the blackmail stuff I think the voice test lines change after you complete the game (maybe not in Printemps - its been a while since I played but definitely in one of them) if you want to check those out. I wouldn’t have known myself if someone else didn’t tell me since I usually don’t check those settings. I played the game before I was learning jp so I wouldn’t have understood it anyways but maybe I should go back and listen to them for practice at some point. They have some small but interesting details from what I was told.
One more quick update! So I’m making ok progress. I’ve stuck with it a bit more regularly, reading Flowers every day for at least my 3000 characters if not a bit more. The VN is taking longer than expected because it fills in a lot of other scenes on the way to the alternate ending, so I’m still only in like chapter 2 on my other run. No problem, I’ll get there. That’s the only Japanese I do now besides Anki and some scattered listening, but it is somewhere between an hour or two per day so it’s acceptable. When the clubs start up I may end up mostly only able to read them if I don’t make more time, but we’ll see when we get there. Shame about 告白 cause I do want to continue but it’s hard to get started on now because it’s not an easy read and I always end up in Splatoon instead haha.
Also, I don’t think this is anything I want to devote time to now, but that teammate I mentioned who is a translator (currently focused on languages other than Japanese in his paid work) told me he’s part of a translation group on the side that makes fan patches for older Japanese videogames that never got English releases, and that if I ever wanted to try it out I could join. It’s a cool thing to know I have access to anyway; I’ve always admired the people pouring so much work into those patches.
Well, I’ve been posting in the VN club a bit, guess I should say hi here again huh?
So yeah, was having a really bad period of arm pain that made me question my ability to keep doing a lot of things I wanted and generally just entered a depressed period with no energy, dropping the Japanese work I was already only tenuously holding on to. Was still playing Splatoon a lot, and I still am, so it truly won out, haha.
But now I’m doing this again. I picked it back up on the 1st and I’ve been deeply diving into learning once more. Still not doing Anki or anything, not in the mood, and hoping I can get by without but I’ll have to monitor progress longer term. Coming back hasn’t been so bad though, despite various lapses in readings. A lot of that has come back to my mind relatively quickly.
In fact, I read through the remainder of the 9-Nine- club I briefly dropped at a pace of over 10k characters virtually every day, going through a week’s worth daily more or less. It probably speaks to this VN’s lowish difficulty, but I was right around my best reading amounts for a VN with that. Now that that’s done and I’m in between clubs I restarted the novel 告白, which I was less focused on back when I started it because I was reading multiple things at once – but I made it to the 5% I stopped at previously in one day, and on my second day, I’m at 10%. The writing is a little complex compared to everything I’ve done before (that 27.5 average sentence length sure blows my previous VNs out of the water lol), but I’m getting through and following it. Seems like a good book.
So yeah, hello, guess I’m learning Japanese again. Listening practice is more sporadic and unstructured but I’ve done a bit of that as well and it’s fine? My reading is always going to outpace listening but I follow a lot of what people say on Splatoon videos or podcasts or whatever.
Just want to pop in once more to say that I’m already 1/3 through 告白! When they’re actually getting more of my attention, I guess I can make swift progress through novels. It’s getting easier. I get blindsided by sudden transitions of implied subjects and a few other ways certain sentences just seem too vague because I’m not quite following how certain thoughts can be expressed in Japanese I guess, but otherwise the reading is more or less smooth now! The unpleasant occurrences are piling up enough to make me squirm by now, but it’s been a great read, really compelling to see what’s coming next.
I have too much to manage with all the VN clubs coming up, but since playing videogames (yeah I should count at least 999 as one of those but it still feels distinct enough) is something I really want to do more of in Japanese, I’m thinking of picking up Octopath Traveler 2 soon. I’ve been doing my research and I think I can handle it. Definitely going to be some language I’m unfamiliar with, but it’s due to the type of setting and characters, and it’s language I really need to learn sometime if JRPGs are going to be something I can play, which I really want them to be. I tried picking Dragon Quest 11 back up but the game just isn’t compelling me enough, turns out maybe DQ isn’t for me.
I’m excited to make up for lost time, and in only about 2 and a half more months, it’ll be the 2 year mark
It’s honestly so good to see you back. I hope it means your arm is doing better, as well as mental health.
You seemed to have picked up reading really fast. I’m kinda impressed. When I’ve taken a break from things, I’m always super slow and very inconsistent when I try to get back. Oh wait, I feel that way all the time.
So yeah, super impressed here.
I tried to pick up something else as WK started winding down (currently about 20 reviews a day), but I’m miserable with it. I think SRS works really great for me early in language learning when every word is vital to understanding. Now? Now, I’m lucky if I see a new word again in the same volume.
Well, maybe except for VN regular vocabulary that does pop up once every chapter/every few chapters. But… even though I have word lists for most Loopers chapters and one big hulking one for Bustafellows, I feel no desire to dig through those to find the most repeated words so I can SRS them. SRS is just too boring for that amount of effort, which is why WK worked so well for me. Only had to show up.
Thank you! Yeah the problem with my arm never fully goes away, but it’s a lot more manageable right now. Hopefully that means something longer term, but these periods seem to come and go these days.
And yeah, reading is going well! I don’t track it but I’m definitely spending quite a bit of time per day, to be fair. Still, I reached the point where I was delaying starting back a little because restarting sounded like a pain with the stuff I’d have forgotten, and it’s not like I don’t have lapses, but overall it’s coming back really quickly.
I am reading pretty long form content now so that’s probably relevant, but I’ve still not really had this feeling. Definitely there are some oddball single use words, but it feels like the majority of the unknowns I come across now I have a pretty clear memory of having looked them up once or twice before when reading something else, if it’s not more core vocab being repeated. Definitely lower value than the early words, but clearly something worth prioritizing remembering. That said, so far I think my memory is working in the short term at least, words that do get repeated in 告白 are at least sometimes being recalled in later uses. So that’s encouraging so far, but we’ll see if it sticks.
My issue with SRS is a little different simply because I was always too lazy to think about the quality of the words I was mining, haha, I pretty much grabbed anything I didn’t know that caught my attention. But I’m just burnt out on spending the time doing those reviews (and how easily doing poorly on reviews can feel kinda bad) – no doubt in part because I went at near-max pace on Wanikani while also mining 20-30 anki words per day most of my time here, haha. I still don’t regret that because it accelerated me to being able to do what I can now though.
I definitely have some of this, mostly with what I’m calling VN vocabulary. Meaning I look something up for Loopers and see I’ve already looked it up for B$, and vise versa. The things I look up in manga don’t show up as having been looked up for either of the VNs except in cases I know I’ve looked up that dang word so many times already. xD
But to be fair, I don’t actually save away words for anything I’m reading currently, except the VNs. I guess I started that just to see how much I was actually looking up for Loopers since I felt like I was going crazy, and it kinda stuck for that, and then I started it with B$ to see how it compared, but I never divided that one by chapters or anything, so it is one huge list that doesn’t show if I’ve looked it up multiple times across chapters. xD
I wish I could still use SRS like I could in the beginning, but I think I’d have to set up a whole mining thing, or use word lists on jpdb or koohi, because if I try to learn random words right now 8/10 don’t stick and become instant leeches, and that just isn’t workable.
Ah well, I’m about to go on a long slow read of grammar, since I’ve started the A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar book club that will start reading next week.
I saw that! I was mulling the idea over a bit, but I feel like I’m really happy with the sort of intuitive way I’m getting some grammar in my head, so I at least don’t think it’s the right time for me to focus on polishing up nuances. I’m at a point where I’m increasingly able to at least get the gist of some grammar I haven’t even seen before because its construction makes sense. I do have those books and they’re great for referring to, though, and later on it might be the right move for me to make sure my general understandings are right. Hope you all have a great time though
I don’t have much else to add directly in response to your methods, though I was just thinking about how differently my brain approaches reading time if I am or am not mining things. Now that I’m doing nothing but reading (and a bit of listening) I do have to spend a little time stopping, looking at the kanji, at least half heartedly making some effort to commit stuff to memory – I imagine this sort of effort interrupting the reading would really annoy some people, and it was nice to be able to set that time aside with the anki cards. That said, the separation really did make me a little lazy about words outside the system I think? Some things came naturally because they were repeated many times or whatever, but being able to go “I don’t need to learn this right now” has its pros and cons. I guess we’ll see, need a little more time doing it this way. But so far so good.
Yeah, I totally get that. I seriously studied grammar 3 years ago, and I went up to the end of N3, and I feel like about now is a good time to try and get that nuance because the basics are solidly in place.
If it is a great time, it is because of the people I do it with, not because grammar is fun to read.
Same here honestly. Like I hope I’ve gotten far enough that just consuming and looking stuff up will get me there, I know that method should work eventually from experience with English, but I was also far more solid with English by the time I was just reading for fun and using a dictionary when needed. (A paper dictionary back in those days! )
Unfortunately I’ve been a little busy myself with starting employment recently but I’m glad to see you back
I definitely want to start playing more games myself - Like A Dragon Ishin has some alright listening practice at least. But definitely not a game I could do all in JP haha. At some point I need to get around to trying some more simple stuff (リズム天国 has been good, though it’s not exactly text heavy haha)
While I’m already posting, just want to add that I hit the halfway point in this book, 50% and 116 pages. It’s going very well!
Thank you! I didn’t get around to saying anything, oops, but I did check to see that you were still around! This stuff comes up, but glad to see you haven’t quit.
I’m so used to my nice instant lookups that games put me off a little more, but I really want to start doing them more. Ishin looks great, how are you liking it? I’m still behind on that and Lost Judgment, which I really want to play, but I’m in that stage of wanting to do them in Japanese, which is going to be so much effort. I bet Ishin could be especially rough if it leans into (psuedo) older Japanese.
I’m really enjoying it personally. I’m not super far in due to lack of time to play but I have spent a lot of time getting absorbed in substories and the Another Life sidestory (which has really encouraged me to do the fishing).
From my - admittedly limited - knowledge it doesn’t seem like it really uses old Japanese. The hardest part is mainly the specific vocabulary (although you may remember 幕府 from WaniKani haha).
Lost Judgment was fun but I do feel like it wasn’t quite as good as Judgment (which ended up being one of my favourite games in the franchise). The side content got a little exhausting in it (similar to Yakuza 5). Still, the gameplay is probably the best it’s been and The Kaito Files was a really fun little mini campaign so I did enjoy it overall
Thanks for the input! Yeah I figured it wouldn’t truly use older Japanese because you reach a point where even natives aren’t going to enjoy it, though I thought it might have the sort of Ye Olde language signifiers and older forms of words to grapple with. Seems maybe they opted to not do that though, which is nice for me. Specific vocab will always be tough though; I’m sure the other games have slang to get used to too.
Honestly I think I liked Judgment a little less than a lot of people, stuff like the max HP limiting and that incessant system where the bosses showed up and a guy nagged you over texts really wore me down over time. So that isn’t super encouraging. At the same time though, I was always happy to go along with 5’s digressions, to the point that it’s maybe my favorite in the series, so I just have oddball videogame takes most of the time.
I’m still so impressed with your ability to read so much every day, especially when dealing with chronic pain and such.
Haha, I’m still totally at the point of just grabbing whatever random words catch my attention . But the advantage for me is that since I’m still only mining from one domain (pro wrestling), the rate of new words I see when doing my translations is pretty low, so I can kind of afford to give those words a little more time. There are plenty of unique words that have only showed up once, but quite a few of them are pretty common in this setting, so I get a fair amount of reinforcement there, too.
Of course, I guess I by necessity have sort of the exact opposite approach of yours there, because the translations are extremely intensive reading by their nature, so I just have to go a lot slower in general because of that.
I’m also doing WAY less SRS than you were, though, which certainly helps. I’ve actually slowed down even further as I approach the end with WK haha. We’ll see what kind of regular Anki pace I end up settling into when I’m no longer doing new WK lessons.
Thanks! I’m happy to be doing this again; reading has just been pretty fun so far, so I’m going for pretty long sessions.
Single domain, in one way, must be nice. 告白 being a fairly grounded (just very dark) book, it really only gets me with scattered words at this point, but last night I started up Octopath Traveler 2 and spent over half an hour reading the little bios for the 8 characters. Admittedly I’m way too picky about not missing things and had to look up some kanji manually, but I certainly haven’t come across words like Inquisition (異端審問) in my normal reading haha.
It’s very cool that you’re still doing the wrestling translations.
Well, I finished 告白. That took me barely over a week! I’ve never had the space to just focus on a novel instead of balancing reading like 3 things at once, but this is definitely the quickest I’ve moved through reading something. Now I can focus on restarting 9-nine- and maybe put more attention into Octopath or something. We’ll see. I also need to see the movie based on this book; it’s supposed to be quite good.
Quick Natively review for those curious, but it’s nothing too special. I liked the book a ton, then it slightly wore on me eventually.
Very much safe to say I’m back and feeling like it won’t just be a brief return like I’ve tried in the past. Thus far I’m still happy about how words are sticking too, not feeling like I really need to change anything I’m doing just yet.