Each week, we will aim for approximately 25K characters. Some most weeks will be longer or shorter, depending on appropriate breakpoints! Check this section in each weekly thread to see the stopping point. There is the possibility of some mild spoilers some weeks, so be aware!
This week runs a little longer at ~27.6K Characters
This section will have the list of choices that you should select if you are following along exactly with the book club. While you of course can read the VN however you like, it will be really difficult to contribute to the discussion threads if you are reading a different arc than the club, so please keep that in mind!
This week's choices
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.
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.
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).
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
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!
Didn’t feel as hard for me to read this time, either it’s a little easier or I’m getting better (and reading a fairly hard book at the same time so it helps by comparison). Probably both, heh.
Exciting week! It’s growing on me more with each read. This one made me enjoy this group of primary characters a lot more. We finally got much more out of Naomi than clumsiness, and it was nice to see how this group can manage to proactively investigate. Granted, that had to happen by a participant just bumping into them to start it, but still! I get the feeling when it comes to it, Rinka’s not really going to be nominating anyone. It’s nasty business. Maybe there’ll come a time when she manages with a character like the guy who threatens to literally kill babies, but I’m not sure. In the end I have to imagine there’s SOME sort of subverting the game possibility for a true ending, but who knows.
Speaking of 12, he’s setting up to be quite the antagonist and it’s likely he’s coming for her next. In the end we’re gonna find out he has some intense set of circumstances and while he’s managed to turn off empathy to stay alive, I feel like the way he was careful to not actually injure people and the like is going to mean he’s not QUITE as bad as the VN is setting him up to look. I mean these are still terrible actions but more that the unfeeling psychopath side is as least somewhat a façade?
I assume we’re on our way to seeing Kamebuchi get nominated, so we’re not entirely done with this sort of arc, but the way the weeks have been divided has felt surprisingly clean and nice for dividing story sections so far. First we stopped right after the true introduction of the death game, then the arc for the next death, and now we had a week basically entirely spent on her. Pretty good!
There’s something making me feel oddly suspicious about Maou, the way she’s being shown but largely sidelined and her curt responses to Miharu.
Come to think of it, I have no idea where this VN branches given that we’ve been making choices. I stayed totally in the dark as to structure and that part is kind of fun because my guess would be that so far this stuff is all common route type events that always happen, but I really have no idea.
Oh yeah, and fun fact! I brought up the kanji for 帝王切開 in the film club discord and pocketcat taught me it’s probably related to cesarean section’s connection with Caesar. That’s wild.
I feel like the tactical play here would be for Rinka to nominate Kamebuchi to stop 12 doing so and getting the free card out of it, but I agree that’s not likely unless somebody pushes her into it (maybe Naomi?)
Not finished with this week yet, but my thoughts after reading some on the bus to work this morning:
I’m really glad Rinka has Naomi to help her with some of this. And I’m glad she had that moment of “Wow, we’re really doing this” when they’re in the cafe looking at books about pregnancy. 'Cause yeah, that’s pretty dark - getting some books with your friend from the library after school so you can figure out the cause of death of a pregnant woman you’ve never met and make sure she dies.
Also, when they were reading books at one point, Rinka’s like “Wow, Naomi already got through 3 books and I’m only partway through this one!” Rinka, I highly doubt Naomi actually read through 3 medical books in 2 hours. I think she just knows how to skim a book and you don’t.
I was surprised with how quick Naomi was to help. When she was first introduced she gave off really weak vibes so it was nice to see how determined & proactive she can be. I’m starting to like her more after this weeks reading.
The stuff with 12 this week was a little silly to me. Breaks into the hospital and threatens to start killing babies if he doesn’t get info seems a bit over the top. I think even Rinka said it, if he went down that route, he’d likely end up in jail for the remaining weeks and effectively eliminate himself that way since he wouldn’t be able to gather information anymore. I can’t blame Keiko for giving in though, watching someone kill your baby even if it would get reverted later would be too much for anyone to handle.
Overall a good week though, I definitely prefer Rinka’s PoV so far. Guessing Keiko will get nominated coming up and then maybe another PoV switch? Not sure how often the game will switch between characters but if it stays with Rinka for a while I won’t complain
Upon reading this sentence, I felt the same frustration and exclaimed “Tell me about it!” Well, it was reassuring to discover that even those whose native language is Japanese struggle with reading when they don’t engage in it frequently.
I hope we get more backstory on #12 and it’s not just “He’s a coldblooded killer. He just wants to survive”. Like, he’s gotta have a 未練, too. Not that any amount of backstory will necessarily make him a super sympathetic character, but I’d really like to understand why he’s doing all this.
He also mentioned having an information network… curious what that’s about…
He is going to get dangerous the more he eliminates people, since he’s going to slowly accumulate information from each person he ‘kills’… what a scary ‘game’ Paruka’s hosting. Poor Rinka and Naomi…
Speaking of Paruka, I am curious if she’s the one who set all this up or if she’s just the 司会 (I can never think of a good English equivalent to that word) and is just playing her role… though even if she isn’t the ‘mastermind’, she does seem to enjoy it.
Not quite done with this week’s reading yet - I got distracted by other stuff (like my in-progress replay of the Ace Attorney series) this week. Though, based on the screenshot of the ending point for this week, I’m probably right at the end of this week’s section, based on where I got up to on the bus this morning.
The pace we’re reading at seems pretty leisurely, which is nice. It fits well with my habits of doing visual novels before bed & on the bus rides to work.