Daisoujou's Study Log - It's the end maybe

Just finished reviewing a bunch of stuff on WK and Anki, and wanted a quick break to refresh myself before jumping back into studying. So, I’ve been wanting to do a post here looking ahead a little, and there’s no time like the present. As for my current progress, I should be levelling on WK again tomorrow. I’m starting level 8 I guess, though the difference in the level you are “on” and your forum level messes with me. I guess you aren’t officially a level (on the forums) until you have actually finished that level, so to speak. With any luck I’m starting on Genki 2 lesson 18 later, which is approximately the halfway point. I’ll admit to moving through Genki a bit quickly, but subjectively the vast majority of it is sticking well when I see it in reading, and these points are going to come up constantly so I don’t think I need to get them perfect right now. I mean, I make sure I understand what their meaning is to the best of my ability, but there are details about how exactly to form an expression I might need a refresher on or whatever, and that’s totally ok. I also finished all of the level 2 Tadoku graded readers! My abilities are progressing quickly enough that the new Tadoku levels tend to feel easier than the previous rather than harder, haha.

I’ve always generally thought the theories about language “acquisition” vs learning made sense, and it’s been my goal to transition to learning through interacting with “real Japanese” when possible. With any luck, that’s going to be the end of Genki 2. I have more things that I want to consume than I could ever get to, so no worries on finding materials. And if I’m learning the language, I’m not picky. For example, Terrace House isn’t the sort of show I’d probably watch in English, but I gave it a quick look after seeing it so frequently recommended, and I’ll probably try it later. Right now it’s very hard to understand, but I figure that’s natural. Luckily, trying to understand the language in itself remains fun and interesting for me, so I’m not hard to please.

With that in mind, I’m thinking about trying Satori Reader when Genki 2 ends. There is a bit of an itch in my mind to get to the most “real” Japanese where it’s not learning content at all, but it’s still a step up from textbooks, and crucially I think it’ll help ease the transition. There’s a whole lot to figure out in going from a nicely laid out book with lessons that build on each other into suddenly totally self-directed learning. I think I’ll be ready to make it work, but along the way I have to figure out how I want to structure my sentence mining cards (and actually learn to make them myself). I have to keep working on looking things up myself, getting a better handle for how confident I can be that I’m truly understanding what I’m reading, working out a new schedule for basically all immersion learning, etc. It’s a lot, so having a small safety net in Satori Reader as early training wheels appeals to me.

That said, it’s not like I’m ever going to stop at just doing one thing, so I think I’ll take some more fun materials to read somewhat more casually alongside my main studying tool, at the start. There are always the book clubs, youtube videos I want to watch, etc etc etc.

Which also brings me to some packages I wanted to share! So, a little while back I discovered Box of Manga and I have to admit that, frivolous as they can be, surprise boxes are kind of fun. Furthermore, I like that someone who certainly knows more than me about the difficulty of a text picks manga to send (there are IIRC 3 tiers of Japanese ability you can select). Knowing that shipping takes a long time, I signed up a little while ago, and just wanted to share what I got.

Right now I’m focusing more on other things, but especially after the textbooks are done, I’ll certainly be back to talk about how reading this stuff goes!


Log out and back in, and it’ll correct itself. There’s some technical reason for this “bug”. Since the forums are hosted by Discourse (the group that writes/maintains the software), WaniKani staff is probably has their hands tied on getting it to update when your level actually changes.

Me on a daily basis: “Do I immerse more Japanese, or get to more English language media I want to read/listen to/watch???”

I’m not experienced enough to say, but I feel a show like Terrance House is like a final boss in a video game. (Not to be confused with the secret boss that’s more difficult than the final boss, Classical Japanese.)

The main plus is probably furthering your ability to recognize how Japanese sounds. Initially, it’s just knowing how syllables sounds (especially the vowel portion), so that you can read it “properly”. But then once you start learning words and hearing them, you’ll start to hear specifically how each word sounds. Then eventually you are able to catch things like how あめ (candy) and あめ (rain) sound different.

I see アオハライド!


Log out and back in, and it’ll correct itself. There’s some technical reason for this “bug”. Since the forums are hosted by Discourse (the group that writes/maintains the software), WaniKani staff is probably has their hands tied on getting it to update when your level actually changes.

Oh, good to know. I’ve coincidentally never noticed it properly catching up or lagging by more than one level, so it never occurred to me that it might not be intended.

Yup, that did it, level 7 for real just in time to stop being level 7 tomorrow.

Me on a daily basis: “Do I immerse more Japanese, or get to more English language media I want to read/listen to/watch???”

Oh absolutely. And now my sort of related dilemma is, as Japanese language content comes around that I’m interested in, do I stick with the translation to relax and enjoy it much sooner, or save it for when it’s useful immersion material and I can experience it in its original form? Have usually leaned towards the latter so far because things I’m excited about will only be even more motivating, but I might be a long ways off from some of them. Like, I’m a big Yakuza games and related series fan, and I’m closely eying Lost Judgment… but that’s going to take longer than the 2 months until its release to be not frustrating, heh.

I’m not experienced enough to say, but I feel a show like Terrance House is like a final boss in a video game. (Not to be confused with the secret boss that’s more difficult than the final boss, Classical Japanese.)

It gets brought up a lot as good learner material so I think I was lulled into a false impression that it would be easy, but I’m realizing the better way of considering it is likely that it’s too casual and off-the-cuff to be anything but difficult, but persevering through that when you’re ready is recommended because it’s loads of exposure to natural conversation. It’s not easy, it’s… hard but practical.

The main plus is probably furthering your ability to recognize how Japanese sounds. Initially, it’s just knowing how syllables sounds (especially the vowel portion), so that you can read it “properly”. But then once you start learning words and hearing them, you’ll start to hear specifically how each word sounds. Then eventually you are able to catch things like how あめ (candy) and あめ (rain) sound different.

That’ll be great to keep in mind. I often only pick out isolated words, but I love to punch above my weight when it comes to video/listening content.

I see アオハライド!

Fantastic! I had no idea that was read in a book club. Huge thanks; that’ll be a helpful reference.


You can always do like I’m doing with Detective Conan: Enjoy it now in English, then by the time I’m good enough to read it in Japanese, I’ll have forgotten most of the material. (You might need to wait at least ten years before memory issues set in, though, at which point you might have mastered Japanese already!)

I currently aim to read things in Japanese that I wouldn’t read in English. For example, I enjoyed reading アオハライド in Japanese. It definitely held me interest, and I wanted to find out what would happen next for the characters. But it’s not something I think I would have read in English.

Almost like reading a manga while going through Genki =D

I can just imagine how great それでも歩は寄せてくる must be for Genki readers because, yay, someone actually speaks with です and ます!

It was an informal book club (for lack of a better term), that is to say, not a main “ABBC” or “BBC” pick. That means there was a smaller number of people reading along (just those interested in reading the series), and therefore less grammar discussion. (Plus it’s closer to BBC range, which can result in less grammar discussion.) But when you get to reading volume one, don’t hesitate to jump in with any questions you have!

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I know that Terrace House gets recommended here a lot, but you… might not want to watch the end of it. I’m sort of surprised to see so many people recommending that show without mentioning this, because I think it’s something people should know before starting it.

Warning, this is very bleak, and it mentions suicide and self-harm.

In 2019, a wrestler named Hana Kimura joined the Terrace House cast. I started watching when she joined because I wanted to see how the show dealt with the existence of wrestling kayfabe, which is very protected in Japan (basically they can’t directly talk about the fact that pro wrestling matches are scripted, even though everyone knows it). It was fun at first to see how it balanced wrestling kayfabe with sort of the Terrace House “kayfabe” (for lack of a better word to describe reality television “reality”), and I liked seeing a different side of Hana than we see in her wrestling.

In 2020, though, things got… rough. I was several episodes behind when this happened, but apparently a lot of Terrace House fans got really mad at Hana and decided they hated her because she was rude to one of the Terrace House guys (the fans wanted them to be a couple). So people started sending her death threats and just absolutely horrible messages.

Because of all the abuse she was getting from fans, Hana ended up killing herself on May 23. According to her mother, the nature of Terrace House and the way the staff handled the show contributed heavily to her death. Basically, the show instructed her to play a heel character (heel is a wrestling term for the bad guy or villain, basically), and she received horrible backlash for it from the fans of the show even though it wasn’t in her control. Wrestling fans were always really kind to her and loved her (even though she was a heel), but the reality television fans didn’t have that same awareness of kayfabe, so people sent her horrible abuse just for doing the job she was instructed to do.

Needless to say, seeing this happen in real time was really traumatizing, and I personally can never watch Terrace House again. The show got canceled because of this, and stricter anti-bullying and anti-harassment laws were proposed in Japan to hopefully help prevent this from happening to someone else. But the show environment of Terrace House was actively destructive to Hana, and personally I’m unable to put that aside no matter how good of a learning resource it might be.


Oof, I see. I hadn’t heard about that, thanks for letting me know. That’s awful. I skimmed through the Twitter thread you linked but… not feeling up to reading all that right now. Terribly sad. I’ll have to think about it I suppose.

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The time has come! :partying_face:

So, I finished Genki 2. I’m kinda sorta theoretically N4 I think? I mean I probably wouldn’t actually pass the test, but I remember people estimating that’s where Genki 2 gets you, roughly. I won’t lie to myself and you all: I’m shaky on parts of it. It doesn’t help that near the end Genki’s authors seemed to realize they missed some stuff and crammed it all in together. There’s a conjugation drought in the middle of the book, then they cram so many in the last few chapters that it’s super hard for me to untangle them, and it goes so far as them teaching the imperative form and how to make it within a footnote. I know they don’t want me to inadvertently use it on someone, but come on, I need to know what it is! Regardless, a shaky understanding is the first step, and everything there is so foundational I’ll get tons of chances to see it for real.

To be honest, somewhere in Genki 2 I got a bit fatigued with the textbook approach. It was still working for me, but came closer to feeling like something I was making myself do. I persevered though (minus some review stuff I should do), and now I can hopefully be free of the textbooks forever!

So on we go with the plan, read read read and listen listen listen. I had already started ramping that up, mostly dropped the graded readers now but in exchange I started reading Yotsubato 1. As always the book club thread has been an enormous help, and I need to look a lot of things up… but I’m doing it. I’m reading in Japanese. It’s not comfortable and it’s not easy, but it really didn’t take long. I didn’t expect to be here so soon. No doubt being pushed to try Ayumu as early as I did helped me get past the most painful part. :slight_smile:

Still feeling good about sentence mining from Satori Reader for now most likely, and it has the added benefit of syncing my exact kanji knowledge with WK so I can get practice reading the kanji I do know. Hard to get that elsewhere when you don’t know enough to go without furigana, but you can’t just… not see furigana when it’s on everything.

I also came across the 日本語の森 Youtube channel which teaches N3 and above grammar fully in Japanese and I think I’m already on the cusp of understanding the gist of it enough for it to be usable? I think I’m going to give that a little time, back off the specific grammar studying (outside of the myriad things I look up while reading) for now and accumulate a little more knowledge, but I’m excited at the prospect of learning some new grammar without relying on English explanations, and getting listening practice right along with it.

So yeah, that’s where I am. Lots of excitement about this transition point. Wanikani is still going well, mid level 9 (so almost out of the pleasants IIRC). There are a few words my brain doesn’t like… I’ve had to go to some lengths to disentangle 見分ける, 分ける, and 見当たる, but I think I’m starting to work through that. Overall, just feeling good about everything I’ve done!


I know this is a few days old BUT for your Genki 2 propblems Tokini Andy has GREAT videos that covers the grammar from Genki 1 & 2 and Quartet if you decide to move on to another textbook :stuck_out_tongue: So maybe giving those videos a watch might help straighten out some things you’re having issues with.

edit: i see you used to watch his videos now but IDK if you still do. Can always reference Tae Kim Guide for some extra explanations that might help (:


Yeah, thank you so much for the help! Andy was a fantastic discovery, especially in the early days to help me get confident and stick with it. I did continue his videos all the way through – I wasn’t super specific, but some of my issues relate less to understanding than simply remembering how everything works, especially with memory interference from so many conjugations all coming at me at once. It’ll get ironed out in the long term, but I’m absolutely grateful to Andy for getting me this far.


Well, barring no strange surprises, in about 2 days I’m going to hit level 11 and exit the pleasants. That’s pretty nice! Some patterns are emerging in certain words that are tricky to make stick or to distinguish – I swear there must be 20 words here that means some variation on “area” or “neighborhood,” and when an unusual reading slips in among a clump like that, I can tell that all my brain knows is to watch out for “that neighborhood word,” haha. Hopefully the SRS will handle it eventually. I want to know every word I can as well as I can, sure, but these are small issues. On the whole, my accuracy is high and I’m remembering kanji. Still pleased to be using this system.

I’ve settled into a better rhythm for how I do reviews simply by virtue of more time on WK helping me to understand how the levels are structured. I’d say I’m going at a brisk pace but not full speed now. My last few levels have taken more or less exactly 9 days and I think I’m content to carry this forward. Leads to very roughly 20 lessons a day, it fluctuates because I’m more focused on the breakpoints of finishing all the radicals one day, the kanji another, etc, but they’re mostly small enough fluctuations. Seems to work out well for me.

I know there’s nothing you can do but keep pushing through it bit by bit, can’t learn 2000 kanji overnight, but I am growing a little more antsy to reach a level where I will recognize more. See, in the past I’ve totally been able to brush off the time waiting for kanji because furigana exists and I don’t anticipate my reading level getting so good so fast that I need to rush to things without furigana. I am very excited to strike out into reading visual novels, but I can wait. The annoyance is just that, now that I’m doing sentence mining myself, a whole lot of very good words to learn are in kanji. And I’m still evaluating how I want to handle it, but for the moment, I’m not too interested in trying to early self-study kanji that I know is coming up in Wanikani anyway. But having limiting factors on learning words “too soon” isn’t fun either, y’know? I know getting comfortable with learning kanji yourself eventually is a necessity… but I’m level 10 so that feels a bit premature.

That said, I’m just musing on the challenges that arise. Overall, things are reasonably good. Satori Reader notes are teaching me a lot of things, and using with furigana tailored to my knowledge has surprised me at how comfortable I am with quickly reading most kanji words I got from this site. It’s working!

All of the above (plus anki for said sentence mining and genki word review) is my “main studying,” I guess. In my other time, which I still have quite a bit of thankfully, I’m plowing through Yotsubato volumes. I’m more than halfway through volume 3… the difficulty sure varies by chapter and who is involved (gotta brace myself for scenes all in the neighbors’ household), but I’m steadily working through.

I’m also grinding through Dragon Quest 11 bit by bit, spending literal hours making it to the point where I’ve fought my first few enemies, haha. That game seems to average like 4 words I don’t know per sentence, which isn’t the best, but they repeat certain words SO often that they’re pretty well embedded in my head. There are totally lines I just have to give up on, but overall even though I think it’s above my level, it’s not so far as to feel like a waste of time.

Can I just toss in here that I appreciate this community quite a bit? It’s a mixed bag online, and I owe some other communities a lot for lurking there teaching me the methods that are helping me to do this. But there’s a really not uncommon strain of more toxic elements among Japanese learners in some places.

Onward, to more learning…


You’ll be passing by me in the early 30’s, no doubt! (With previous my lesson pause to thrash leeches, I fully expect to hit the four month mark before leaving level 29.)

The good news is that at your current WaniKani level, you’ll already be able to recognize more than half of the kanji used (total usage) in whatever you read.

The bad news is, (1) the words you know sort of become “invisible” in that you don’t realize how much you’re recognizing, so only the kanji you don’t know stand out. And (2) half of the time when you see a kanji you know, it’ll be side by side with one you don’t, and :crabigator: says “come back at level 47” on.

I haven’t looked into what the ideal WK level for this would be, but if you wanted to try reading something that uses furigana only on some kanji, check out 耳をすませば (only one volume long) by 柊あおい.

Aside from it being the source material for a Studio Ghibli adaptation, it was nice for me to be able to read kanji without my eyes always attaching right onto furigana. (It also has some words in hiragana that you might expect to normally see with kanji.)

Sample panel.


So that’s what it is! I think I recall you mentioning being on a level for a super long time before. Was a little curious. I’m doing my best to steadily whittle through it all! I know (nearly) 3 months is still absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of this project, but the excitement hasn’t died down, not even a little.

Yeah, I know what you mean on point 1, so well. I generally have to work to consciously force myself to realize what it is I’m accomplishing. If nothing else, I am remarkably talented at setting my own expectations on a treadmill, set fast enough that I’m always falling short, heh. Being aware is half the battle, I guess, but I think when it comes to the challenges I mentioned having while reading, I have to realize that at the start of the book club, I made a point about how I was basically just sounding out words, lol. There are no doubt real struggles I’m having too, yet I think along with transitioning to reading as how I’m “really learning” came an automatic drop in how chill I could be about it. And I’m only now catching and forcing myself to re-orient.

Point 2 is a real shame too. Nothing to do there but press on. I had no idea that crabigator emote existed, though, sometimes you’re even incidentally teaching me things, haha.

Ooh, seems like a good idea when I’m looking for new material. That’s one of the few Ghibli films I haven’t seen yet. That panel looks pretty doable, anyway!

Along with how I was praising the community, I’ve really appreciated all the help you’ve given me specifically. You’ve been quite easily the single person out there helping me the most on this. It’s really kind of you to take the time to do all this.


It’s been over 2 weeks, figured I might as well check back in. I’ve kept up pretty well! Despite a rough week or so, I kept to a minimum of always doing all my reviews, and nearly always kept some small degree of forward progress going, even if it was less than usual. I’m a few days out from moving to level 13 on WK, right on the 9 day schedule I mentioned last time, I think.

Progress has gotten really encouraging in recent days! I’m up to starting volume 6 in Yotsubato, and it feels like around 5, I finally started to hit my stride for reading a little more comfortably. I’m feeling real progress, even if this manga loves to dive into fishing, or bugs, or constellations, or some other topics that leave me constantly checking a dictionary, haha. The core of it is starting to get a lot more sensible. Now I’m really looking forward to the day when my brain can start processing Japanese more like a language intended to facilitate communication, and less like a complex cipher made to obscure things, haha.

The same goes for my time on Satori Reader. I’ve already read through (the easier version of) Kiki Mimi Radio and Hole in the Wall. I plan to go through about everything on the site, probably, so I’m working through the very short stories in Sakura and Suzuki (harder difficulty this time, it’s more or less doable!). Reading the stuff on that site has quickly become very comfortable, so I’m hoping as I move to their relatively more advanced stuff, it provides a nice on-ramp to more native material. Sentence mining is still slow going; I take words as the opportunity comes – some days that’s only, say, 5 or so. I’m not stressed about the count, though, because I’m hitting Wanikani at a fast rate and getting lots of new vocab here. And, what’s particularly exciting, is I’m starting to recognize and remember words far more frequently that I didn’t specifically study. In the past I was troubled by how this seemed to not be happening AT ALL. Feels like I needed to cross a certain barrier of baseline comfort in reading for a month or so, before I could start setting aside space in my brain to passively learn words.

So that’s all great! Because I look to push myself too hard, I’ve been clawing forward in playing Dragon Quest 11 when I have the energy, as well. It’s not really that complicated in the grammar, but it’s so dense with unfamiliar words. It feels like this game is a step or two beyond what is truly productive, but I’m also very stubborn about playing a Japanese videogame and I happened to get a little fixated on this one. We’ll see, because some days it can be slightly demoralizing. Doesn’t help that I just unlocked the skill tree recently, and it turns out while the dialog has furigana, game mechanic stuff doesn’t. I have no idea what any of it says! Going to have to reference an English version or something, if I decide to keep overdoing it…

The last thing I’ve been doing, to not totally neglect listening (well beyond the audio on Satori Reader), is watching some N3 grammar Nihongo no Mori videos. It’s really exciting that, most of the time, I understand enough of it to get the point of what they’re teaching! I’ve found my retention for the grammar points is kind of terrible, but I guess that’s no surprise when I have to focus hard on the sentences themselves. For now, I’m just training my listening ability, and if I learn grammar along the way, that’s a bonus.

It’s really happening, I think.


17 days, seems about right. It feels a little tougher to update this these days because my Japanese studying feels very much like moving through more of the same, now that I’m getting pretty immersed in my post-Genki routines. That’s not to say I’m tiring of what I’m doing! Just continuing doing it and noticing some incremental changes eventually bit by bit, but with fewer real goalposts to look at and celebrate.

On WK, I’m mid level 14 right now, and you can tell I’ve figured out the pace that works for me, haha.

Some vocab is clearly going to be a little nebulous until I run across it in immersion, this bit is full of words like ideas, thoughts, impressions, hypotheses, etc. Lots of transitivity pairs are all striking at once now too – all things considered, I think I’m doing reasonably well, but it’s a tricky bunch of words.

I’ve moved to Kona’s Big Adventure on Satori Reader, the first I have done that they group under “intermediate” as opposed to “easier.” It feels more or less the right level for me at the moment, and I’m hoping the fact that it seems pretty equivalent to how I felt about Hole in the Wall or Kiki-Mimi Radio means that I’m improving quickly rather than that it’s not really harder, haha. Casually sentence mining as the words come, I’ve built up to a couple hundred in Anki now.

Yotsubato remains absolutely delightful; I’m currently on volume 9. The last few have felt easy enough that, while I do need the dictionary here and there, I’ve felt a lot less tethered to the computer for lookups and more like I can sit and enjoy it for the most part. To some degree I think that’s related to fewer instances of the adults chatting together in recent volumes, but as you can probably tell, I’m always good at finding some reason why it’s possible I’m not doing as well as I feel I am, haha. For real though, it’s been pretty nice. I want to finish the whole series because I love it, then I’ll see how moving up to a manga that’s a little more challenging goes.

On the other hand, I do think I’m dropping Dragon Quest 11 for the moment. That was always just an experiment and right now I think it’s a little more draining and frustrating than useful/fun, especially as they add on new game mechanics. The tutorials having no furigana doesn’t help. Nonetheless, just have to remember that putting something down for now means I’ve got something to go back to later, and hopefully surprise myself at that point.

Oh, and I’ve also had a lot more time when I need something to listen recently, so I’ve been putting on Nihongo con Teppei (non-beginner version). It feels like I’m still losing the thread of whole sentences a little too often, but I can pick up a good chunk of the stuff being said and at least a rough idea of what he’s saying about it. I’m totally far from good at it, but the ability to comprehend a degree of spoken Japanese at all has probably been the most sudden and surprising development in recent days. Not too bad!


Hey congrats!! It’s super exciting to see some progress, no matter how seemingly small or agonizingly incremental. Happy for you! :muscle:


Thank you! Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s happening, but it seems it is.

I just came across an old image I saved of some examples sentences from early Tokini Andy, back when I was definitely not too far into Genki 1. Was just happy at the time there was some chunk of Japanese in existence that I could look at and go “I can read all of that!” I knew it was super simple at the time of course, but it was something!

Looking back now, it already looks a bit like baby talk, haha. Just gotta trust the process, we’ll get there :slight_smile:


It’s me again! I should be doing lessons right now (and I will after) but I got some things on my mind that I wanted to type and that’s going to distract me.

Still rolling on with my usual tasks – review stuff in Anki/WK, do my WK lessons, read about 4 Satori Reader chapters per day while mining what I can from that, then what time I have remaining is spent in Yotsubato, Nihongo con Teppei, and whatever other immersion strikes my mood. On WK, I’m about halfway through level 16. I just finished volume 11 of Yotsubato and I’m really in love with this series. I’m excited to move onto my probably somewhat harder manga I have on hand, but I’m really going to miss Yotsuba.

Teppei is overall starting to get easier to understand and I feel like as I read the entire structure of Japanese is starting to make a little more intuitive sense to me? I’m not good at it, but I think I’ve consumed enough that when the sentences aren’t too complex, I’m inching closer to that feeling of using a language as opposed to solving a puzzle, heh.

One day I got it stuck in my head so I went out and watched My Neighbor Totoro. Sometimes the adults are hard to understand; people just talk faster than I’m ready for, but I picked up a big chunk of it. Helps that it is so frequently just small children’s utterences. The desire to strike out to “real Japanese” is growing more and more, which is nice cause I think I’m overcoming any mental hurdle I had about doing it. I decided to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service the day after – that one was a lot tougher, and I didn’t have the aid of Japanese subtitles like I did for Totoro, but I’d say I understood SOMETHING from more or less every line, even if only a word or two. Full sentence comprehension was occasional but certainly not nonexistent. I’m pretty interested in trying to read the book, some day.

I poked around at Clannad a little (which I played a lot of but not all many years ago in English), because I’m particularly excited about VNs, as I’ve always been pretty passionate about the medium. Sadly there are just so many kanji words I don’t know. I did set up text hooking for lookups, but even then, most sentences in the early narration had like 3-4 words I’m unfamiliar with, often with kanji I haven’t yet learned, and it’s a little beyond my working memory’s capabilities. I’m hoping a couple more months of Wanikani and working my way up with manga and the upcoming (relatively) harder Satori Reader stories will set me up to better claw my way through something like that.

It’s all good though. I try a lot of these things expecting to not quite be ready because I want to gauge where I am and set myself up with something I can return to later to see my progress. Wouldn’t want to get stuck not challenging myself, anyway. 頑張りましょう!


Have you been watching japanese anime with Japanese subtitles. It’s a good way for me to connect the sound with the Kanji. I posted about it using Edens Zero as a way to test both my listening and reading.


A bit, yeah! Thanks for the advice. It’s something I want to start spending more time on, I’ve just ended up deprioritizing it a little compared to reading, so far. Hard to find the time for everything I want to do. Mostly Shirokuma Cafe, so far, which is overall pretty pleasantly understandable despite all the words I don’t know.


I spent many many long sessions trying to find subtitles for Kiki’s. Eventually I decided I should make my own from a transcript I’d found years ago, but just as I was able to get started on that, I did another subtitle search and found one!

It may require retiming in an application such as Aegisub, but here’s a copy of what I found. I don’t recall where I found it.

If I remember right, I manually added the songs to the subtitle file. So if the timing is a bit weird on them, or the pacing (which words are on which lines) for the songs, that’s because of me…

Fun facts:

Totoro is about 1h 25m long, but if you extract only the parts with dialogue, you get about 25m of audio.

Kiki’s is about 1h 43m long, but extracting dialogue-only portions results in about 53m of audio.