Gundam Aggressor - page 78 - well fought!

¥15,000 will get you an awesome kit, like the MG Sazabi…this seems like a good idea. Thanks, and hopefully I can level up enough in the coming months to join y’all!


:joy: Genius!


I’ve started typing up the text of Gundam Aggressor in preparation for January and have discovered that there is a lot of it, and that the Japanese is difficult, really, really, difficult!

If I try to read it line by line starting January, I’ll drive myself insane by February! So what I see myself doing is relying almost entirely on Google Translate to follow the story, and using this thread to breakdown and analyse just one sentence or line of dialogue per day - simply for the sake of language learning.

But what to post in this thread?

  1. Do I post the entire text from the page each day? After all, typing it up doesn’t take too long, I have to do it anyway to use Google Translate, and it would help anyone reading along, or…
  2. Do I post only the sentence I breakdown and work on each day?

What do you think?

Don’t use Google Translate. D:

And post all the text! :smiley:


Since Japanese relies so much on context I also think it might be good if you post all of it.

How much text is there per page?

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How long do you normally spend doing a breakdown? How much content do you want to do a breakdown for each day? What happens if you encounter a page where you know most of it?

For example, I did a breakdown of two pages from Flying Witch in which I was very familiar with most (if not all) of the content. It took me forever to write up, so I stopped after two pages. (I really wanted to get more like six done, but just didn’t have the time for it.)

If I didn’t know as much as I did on those two pages, I’d be looking up what things meant, or looking up what I kind of know to make certain I’m understanding and portraying it right, and that would take me half the day for those two pages. I’ve experienced that with the few pages of a reading guide up on one of my web sites, wherein I not only wrote up material, but went back and cleaned it up, and redid the formatting a few times.

Since you’ll want to keep going forward, and not keep cleaning up the earlier posts, my recommendations would be:

  1. Determine how detailed you want each day’s posting to be. Will you translate the whole page, and break down just a few lines? Or just provide a line or two with breakdowns and translations of those lines?
  2. Don’t repeat yourself. That is to say, when てる comes up, you can write a bit about 「VERBて + いる」, and about the dropped い. But the next time てる comes up, rather than rewriting it, you can link to what you wrote before, or quote what you wrote before, or just say, “This came up in post 12. Have fun scrolling up to it if you need a refresher.” Joking aside, if you spend too much time repeating the same grammar over and over again, you’re taking away from your time writing other things about the material.
  3. Feel free to repeat yourself. If there’s something you encounter that you don’t feel comfortable with your understanding of, and then you encounter it again later and start to understand it better (or someone helps by providing useful information), don’t hesitate to talk about the grammar point again. It’ll help you learn it better, and that should be your ultimate goal here. (Everyone else is just along for the ride. If they’re reading along, they’re free to post in a way that helps with their learning.)

Everyone has a different writing style (and you’ll use your own), but here are a few links to my personal blog from when I read through ごちうさ volume 1 last year, and occasionally posted about it. These posts were intended only for me, but posting them online gave me a reason to push to do a write-up, which gave me a push to learn grammar I might otherwise have been lazy and didn’t put effort into (or skipped):

When I went through ごちうさ volume 1, while my goal was one four-strip comic per day and sometimes I would type it up that day, I typically tried to get comics typed in advance. Especially if I had time to get four or five pages (upwards of ten strips), I’d be assured that that’s just one less thing I’d have to do in a day. (And a year later, I still occasionally find a typo to correct in my transcript.)

Are you including furigana readings in your transcripts, or just the kanji? If you’re doing kanji only, I recommend keeping at it like that. If you’re including furigana, consider whether that’s adding too much time if you’re able to type it at a good pace. The only reason I did furigana on mine is because I wrote a tool to convert it to a web page afterwards, but doing a search text for a word written with kanji+furigana is difficult.

I don’t think it’s necessary to post all the text as if anyone else is reading along, they should have a copy of the book as well. You also want to ensure that the main portion of the post (breakdowns) are not competing for attention. One possible strategy is to post all the text, including (possibly spoiler-blurred) your translations alongside, and then include a breakdown of certain parts of the page’s content.

As for Google Translate, sometimes it’s nice to use it to get a gist of what’s being said, but I’ve seen it be very misleading or incorrect at times, and completely skip over some words at other times. You don’t want to “learn” something based off of a bad Google Translation, and continue misbelieving what a bit of grammar means.


Thanks guys! Your feedback and ideas are so useful!

My only worry is that you over-estimate my abilities! I’ve been “reading” the manga on the train to and from work every day for a week or two and the amount I understand raw is very, very little. To read this without cheating would be a full-time job! I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew.

However, I think you are right - the best thing would be to post all the text each day (it’s perhaps four or five sentences on average) and then, underneath, a breakdown of one of those sentences.

This would mean that I’m working consistently, daily, on at least some of the text, and - by providing all of it in each post - would put it in context (and allow others to also participate more easily if anyone wishes to do so).

Thanks again - I can see what I’m doing much more clearly now!

PS: @ChristopherFritz - I had no idea you had these websites, they are amazing!


I just had a thought… if I post all the text for each day’s pages… will that be copyright infringement? I hope not, but what do you guys think?

(I’ve not actually typed up that much so far, I’ve been busy with other reading and with life, but it’s just a month to go now and I thought I ought to get cracking so as to give myself some leeway when it starts… and then this little problem occurred to me… am I breaking copyright by doing this?)


I read up on law around copyright infringement in this area last year. Being in the US, I focused on US copyright law Title 17, Chapter 1, § 107 (educational use).

I don’t know what Japan may have along the lines of fair use, but at least from a US copyright perspective, the less you copy, the better. By excluding the artwork (only providing transcripts), you’re already leaving out a huge portion of the work.

Do you plan to write up your translations and breakdowns and thoughts for every single line of dialogue? What happens if you reach a line containing grammar and vocabulary you just covered? If you’re doing one page per day, will you have time to type up breakdowns or everything, or will you need to pick just a few sentences to write about, and skip saying anything about the “easy” ones?

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve (barely giving any attention to) writing a reading guide where (in the four or so pages I’ve actually completed) I’ve been transcribing, translating, and breaking down every line from page of a manga. But being only about four pages in, I haven’t yet reached the point where I may skip over sentences because they’ve been covered earlier in the guide already.


Thank you so much…

I was planning to read a page a day, and make a breakdown of at least one sentence each day. Much as I already do in the existing bookclubs I participate in. Possibly skipping the easy ones, definitely skipping the difficult ones, and trying to learn something from each day’s work - as well as follow the story.

I thought it might be a good idea to include all the text from the page in each post. But now I’m worried in case doing so breaks copyright.

I think including the whole text isn’t necessary if you’re not writing something on the whole text. Anyone who’s reading along will be buying the comic and thus will have the full text available.


I think you are right!

How about if one day, from one page, I post the entire text and translation (much like we posted translations to every line of text in なぜどして for example) - I guess that will be okay?

So, I’ll post text when I either (a) translate it, or (b) break it down. Much like what we do in the clubs now. What I won’t do is post text that I haven’t worked on in some way.

Nice one, thank you so much for your help @ChristopherFritz!

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I read a bit about copyright law, as well as asked a friend who studied Law in college, and we came to the conclusion that intent matters, and it being educational and you not making money off of it means you’re pretty much in the clear. Also distribution that might affect sales or image and stuff like that, which you’re not going to do.


That’s how I feel as well. But I really want to make sure. In other clubs it isn’t a problem as there are lots of people and so each line gets discussed. Here I doubt there will be many other people, if any, joining in and so the only justification for posting text that I’ve not worked on is to provide context. Well, all I can do is start in January and see how it all works out! Thank you so much @Kazzeon!


A friend of mine will try to find volume one on her trip to japan. So I might lurke around here XD

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I hope she finds it! That would be great! Nice one! :smile: :+1:

Page 4

2020 - Happy New Year everyone! It’s gone midnight here in Japan so the new decade has started, and it’s time to make a start on Gundam Aggressor! Happy New Year to anyone reading along!

Mobile Suit Gundam Aggressor
Volume 1

第1話 -アグレッサー
第2話 - はじめての戦場
第3話 - 親子愛
第4話 - 戦場のトラウマ


  1. Aggressor
  2. The First Battlefield
  3. The Love of a Parent and Child
  4. Battlefield Trauma

This being the first post in a long series, I doubled checked everything, and while doing so came across a very useful Q&A on Stack Exchange on the difference between はじめの and はじめての. Seems that はじめの refers to first in a list or sequence, while はじめての shows that the noun which follows is being experienced in some way for the first time.

This is, I think, the only page without furigana, but no problem, a look at page 107 tells me that 親子愛 is おやこあい. Looking at the individual kanji - parent & child, love - the meaning seems fairly obvious, and I’d assumed it would be a popular word, but I was surprised to find no entry for this in Jisho, and only two examples of it in Reverso. I asked the resident expert about this and she said it is a word, but not one she hears often. She looked in her Japanese dictionary and found 夫婦愛, a much more common word, but not 親子愛. I like this word.


Page 5


オレ - I, me
は - subject particle
よく - often
戦う - fight, wage war
理由を - reason + object particle
人から - from people
尋ねられる… - to ask, to inquire, in passive form
“I am often asked by people why I fight”

“From Zeon, from the Federation, it’s the same question”
Question: The meaning is clear enough here, I just wonder abut the grammar of も. Why も…も and not と for example. I guess it has something to do with coming from both sides.

なぜ - why
ジオンから - from Zeon
寝返って - betray, and…
連邦で - Federation + で
戦っている - fighting
のかと… - ???
“Why [have you] betrayed Zeon and are [now] fighting for the Federation?”
Question: Not sure about the のかと at the end. Is it the explanation particle, an embedded question particle, and a simple “and”, or perhaps the quotation particle?

“Where is [your] loyalty?”
Question…. The same! What is that のかと??

I’ve asked on HiNative, and if any good answers come along I’ll edit this post to include them!

Anyway, I think this is a great opening and, looking at the pictures too, the book takes no time at all in setting the scene. This is no “immature teenager finds himself in mobile suit almost by accident” beginning, as we might expect, but someone who has already long been fighting. Here we go…!


In this sense, think of と as “with” or “and” and も as “also”.

I can’t really explain why one would be used over the other, but here’s a bit about using も that maybe will help a little:

Compressed into details for length.

も on the other hand is basically は, but with an inclusive meaning.

Consider the following sentences (I’ll use English to make it clear):

  • “Fredは, he is learning French.”
  • “Garyは, he is learning German.”

If you remove は topic change in the second sentence, you get “Fredは, he is learning French. He is learning German”, and you think Fred is learning both languages. By changing the topic with は, it becomes clear that the “he” learning German is Gary.

But, what if both are learning the same language?

  • “Fredは, he is learning French.”
  • “Garyも, he is learning French.”

Again, if you leave out the も, the topic change, you have “Fredは, he is learning French. He is learning French.” We need to change the topic over to Gary for the second sentence to make sense.

We could use は, but that’s a little off:

  • “Fredは, he is learning French.”
  • “Garyは, he is learning French.”

Since Gary is also learning French, we use も in place of は. And because everything after the は/も is the same, we can even leave that part off entirely:

  • “Fredは, he is learning French.”
  • “Garyも.”

We can also put the two topics together in a single sentence, but when doing this, we need to use も on both of them:

  • “FredもGaryも, they are learning French.”

For me, personally, just the feel I get from it, I would read と as Zeon and the Federation being grouped together in some way, like there’s some relation between them. On the other hand, も I feel as them being two unrelated entities that happened to both be doing the same thing (which looks here to be both asking the same question).

I’m not certain about the と, but I feel you are right about the のか. For the explanatory の, you can often insert こと (“thing”, conceptual) after it to make it a little more clear:


Here, everything I’ve placed in parenthesis is a modifier of こと, meaning “the thing which is (why having betrayed Zeon and fighting in the Federation)”.

The か means the speaker is saying this to theirself, as self reflection, a question. They are asking theirself, “why is it that (etc)?” Crossing this out as I think it’s a poor wording of mine. If you have any questions of か, that’ll be something to read up on =)

I’m not certain about the と, but it can be a quote like, “(I ask myself) why is it that (etc)?” Keep in mind, I don’t have the material, so I’m not able to discern based on visual aid for context.

This can be the same thing. If と is indeed a quote marker, then:


Something like, “I’ve asked myself, on the topic of loyalty, where does it exist?”

Question: Is this person asking why someone else betrayed and where that someone else’s loyalty lies? Or did the speaker do the betrayal, and they are asking theirself why they betrayed and where their own loyalty lies?

Followed by a flashback for the next 20 chapters, showing how the lead character started out as an immature teenager who (almost by accident) finds himself in a mobile suit :wink:

Edit: Re-reading the quotes above, it sounds like the questions may have previously coming from people in Zeon and people in the Federation. The と makes sense if the speaker is quoting questions they’ve received.


Wow! Thank you so much ChristopherFritz! What an amazing reply! Thank you!

What I want to do now is get busy making notes of everything you’ve said, but we are off out to the in-laws today and I’m in a mad hurry. But tonight I’ll spend some real time going over your post. Thank you so, so much and have a wonderful day! Thank you!