Happiness Week 2 - Absolute Beginner Book Club

Happiness Book Club - Week 2

Chapter 1 (part 2) ・ Pages 20-42

Start Date: March 12th
Week 1: Link
Week 3: Link
Home page: Link

We’re reading volume 1 of this manga as part of the Absolute Beginner Book Club.

Vocabulary Sheet

Building the vocab spreadsheet for the book is a joint project and everyone is welcome to contribute. Please read the instructions on the first page if you are doing this for the first time.

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please blur / hide any major events in the current week’s pages (however early they occur), like so: texthere
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number, and check before posting that your question hasn’t already been asked
  • Join the conversation — it’s fun!
Page numbers for ebook readers

The page numbers quoted by ebook readers often don’t match the print version of the book. This is usually because they count the front cover and inside front cover as pages 1 and 2.

We’ll be using the original page numbering from the print version. These will be found on the bottom corner of some (but not all) pages in the digital version.

Often subtracting 2 from the “ebook reader page” will give the equivalent “print version page” but you’ll need to check your edition.

Participation poll

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m planning to read but haven’t started yet

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If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion, please select ‘yes’!


I accidentally read this last week but I think this portion of the chapter is a lot easier than last weeks. A lot shorter dialogues/mostly pictures. The story is starting to get interesting now was a pretty intense scene when the girl attacked the MC.


First of all congratulations to all of you who stuck through your first chapter of a Manga in Japanese!
The reading this week was much less dialog heavy and more on the visual side. So what was everyones most liked page or spread? (The upwards melding face on p28 was my fav)

Unrelated to anything but I suspect that Tatsuya is actually a wordplay on つたや a bit like when they say McDanald or something for McDonald.

Still not too sure what the meaning of the title is. Even after finishing chapter 1 we haven’t established much yet at all.
I’m interested to hear any theories!

Don’t forget to feel free to add to the vocab sheet or ask questions if anything new arises.


An interesting end to the first chapter. Definitely went much faster than reading the first half (less dialog).
So I’m assuming he will become a vampire now. Wonder what the vampire rules/lore will be in this manga.

My exact thoughts. Some people were also talking in the last discussion about this name being written, so now we have an exact answer.

Definitely a reference to the popular DVD rental place, TSUTAYA, in Japan.


This is more painful to wait for than a weekly release manga, because I know I could easily read ahead but I want to keep pace.

Time for a (short) translation


Where are you going? It’s only half past 11

ah… I forgot to give back a dvd
Ill come back in a bit (lit. I’ll go and come back for a bit)

Well, I’ll take you there (*)

I’ll be fine, besides, I’ll come black shortly

Be careful

* I’m not 100% sure about those, but I think this is an unfinished sentence saying “I’ll take you there’s and come back (with you) since (I’m your mom or something)”


“it would be great if they died”…

This is my (probably faulty) interpretation of that か there


… A bird?
no, isn’t that a person?

…a ghost…

maybe they are jumping off (as in a suicide I assume)

Skipping a bunch of sounds and “痛い” here


do you want to die…


become like this?

I don’t want to…


are you ok?

it hurts, it hurts
it’s too bright

the light! Turn off the light!


Are you ok, Makoto?

I’m thirsty…


Thirsty? (lit. Your throat is thirsty?)
I’ll bring some water


A very short part, maybe splitting the first one off earlier would’ve been more balanced, but 仕方がない. The art is nice though


This weeks section of the chapter was fun to read, and the art is lovely.

I’m having trouble deciding between the lovely full page picture of the vampire girl on p32, and her creepy smile on p34.


I’m just getting started into week 2’s reading (I was on vacation in UK at start of week 1 and had to catch up - thank you vocab list gods! - and then had to rein in my impatient self to keep going into week 2 material :rofl:)
Which is a long way to say, this is my first time reading a manga in Japanese, and I’m enjoying it immensely, in the company of everyone else. Great questions in the discussion thread :+1::+1:
My feeling / expectation is that we will start to catch up with the foreshadowing at the beginning, and then move on with the story - so glad bookwalker had volumes 2 & 3 available gratis as well. Looking forward to see how this develops :grinning:


Just finished this part! Aside from the kanji I didn’t know (which I had to look up on jisho & use the vocab sheet) this was quite easy to follow through.

What I’ve understood from p. 32: At this rate, will you die? - Or…
p. 33 Will you become like me? - and he responds I don’t want to die.

So I’m thinking that there are two things that will happen after a bite. (1) Die from blood loss. (2) become a vampire. I think that there are a few factors that go into (2). Most likely how early they found a victim and brought them into the hospital + the willpower of the victim to live.

Maybe that was why the previous guy died? Because although they brought him to a hospital, maybe he didn’t have enough will to live?

I wonder how Makoto’s family will react, seeing that he’s immediately showing signs of being a vampire.


Really enjoyed this part: great art and it doesn’t dilly-dally before getting straight into the action. Plus, a lot easier to read than the first week, as most of the vocab is known to me and there aren’t any long complicared constructions like last week’s “the thing that I was made to do”. The font that the vampire speaks in did trip me up a little with 同じ, which I didn’t recognise as being that kanji until I read the furigana and thought about it.

However, I do have a few questions about grammar:

  • Pg 20: どこ行くの - is the の on the end of this a question-marking particle, or is it nominalising the verb? What’s the difference between this and simply asking どこ行く?
  • Pg 20: じゃあお母さんおくってくから - presumably, there’s a dropped が or は. Is this a common colloquialism?
  • Pg 20: すぐ帰ってくるし - what’s the し doing here?
  • Pg 35: DVD返さなきゃ - I assume this is the short way of saying 返さなはいけない?

Oh, and 幽霊 is a great word with some lovely kanji (especially if you ignore wanikani’s name for the 幺 radical).


Hey there,

  1. The no is inquisitive here (probing for information). She sees that he’s leaving which prompted this question. It is used as a question particle here. It makes the question a bit “stronger”. It’s hard to describe it but that’s basically the nuance between the two questions.
    If you’re asking “Where are you going next saturday” you would probably not use the no except when you were prompted by some kind of thing said previously to shoot this question for example.
    Maybe someone can explain it better than me… :frowning_face:

  2. Dropping は is pretty common, dropping が not so much yes.

  3. し is an emotive particle for giving a reason. Kind of a bit like から but weaker and more emotional? (し Particle | Japanese with Anime)

  4. close it’s casual for 返さなければ(いけない)


There are many explanations for の at the end of questions depending on where you look - that’s it’s an informal question marker, that it’s predominantly (but not exclusively) female. I think in this case it seeks explanation, like a much softer “(and) why?” at the end of the main question.

Excerpts from Japanese the Manga Way on の as a question marker


What are your thoughts on that book? Useful の?


Japanese the Manga Way you mean? I like it a lot, and I’m glad I have it, but I’m not sure how indispensable of a reference it is. As a beginner I found its approach too fragmented to be immediately helpful, although I did have fun reading it. As a more experienced learner I find most of it too simple, but I do find myself going back to it for some nuances every now and then. It’s really nice that it takes panels of actual mangas and bases its grammar explanations on them.


This week was nice and simple, and I appreciated the timing of the callback to the quote about hoping those kids would die, right before thinking he was about to die. Just now learning that から could also be “because”, not just “from”.

The above explanations for の made a lot of sense. That was my second question, so thanks for the thorough explanations!

Are the up-the-skirt shots fairly consistent through this series, or did this first chapter cover most of what was forewarned in the home post? Trying to figure out if it’s safe to keep reading when studying around other people.


I flew over the second chapter yesterday and he does pretty wierd shit there too.

Though I don’t remember a direct upskirt in the second chapter at least. I think the images without context are safe for that chapter at least.

1 Like

Super excited seeing everyone’s thoughts and questions streaming in!

Decided to take the time to really soak in the visuals and sound effects during the no dialogue panels. I ended up visualizing the blood sucking scene too vividly that I started regretting cause I was making myself uncomfortable :joy: I can still hear it, ughh. And I’m sorry but I also kind of laughed at how the last thing Okazaki was thinking of during his seemingly dying moment was how he needs to return the DVD. I’m sure there are more important things to be thinking about.

For me, it’s page 24 where the vampire is lurching in. Gets creepier the more I stare at it.

Questions regarding page 20

じゃお母さん 送ってくから…

I’m guessing 送ってく is the case of い being dropped from 送ってく?

大丈夫だよ すぐ帰ってくるし…

Would すぐ帰るし work in this statement as well?

If so, what’s the difference between 帰る、帰っていく and 帰ってくる? I’m getting the vibe of “go home” vs “come home”, but I’m wondering if anyone has a more concrete explanation for when to use which. Is it related to the speaker’s position?

Attempt at answering

That’s how I interpreted that as well

Yeah this whole “directionality” thing doesn’t really exist in english much. Like you said it has to do with your current position. They all mean “go back”. It doesn’t have to mean your home necessarily. Just a place where you have “originally been”.
This probably leads into your next question being whats the difference to 戻る ^^. It’s another nuance thing with modoru meaning basically you are turning back to your starting point the same way you came. Anyway going on a tangent here so on to your original question.

The first one is just a plain statement.

The second implies your “go back place” is somewhere else. For example you could use it if you are at a bar and are saying to your colleagues you are returning home. The “direction of returning home is away from here”. (Though simple 帰る is probably the thing most japanese say in that situation, since it is implied you are not living in the bar…)

The last one is the opposite meaning you “return back” in the direction of here. Marking your point of origin as here.

So all in all I think your intuition about it is pretty spot on from what you wrote.

In that specific case the tekuru makes it clear that he is returning home. I mean given the context it is probably not really necessary to specify it but it’s apparently just the natural thing to say.
It makes it extra clear that the returning is referencing the home he is currently in and not maybe some other place (grandparents or whatever, though you would probably specify it in that case too…).

Ramble ramble ramble. That were some HARD questions you asked. For sure not my strongest knowledge area in japanese ^^.


When you’re leaving home, you always use くる (see いってきます). So I think 帰ってくる is the only natural way to say it, 帰る on its own being somewhat directionless. In general くる is used for moving towards the speaker, in place or in time, and いく means moving away from the speaker, in place or in time. You will come across them in all sorts of combinations where in English they wouldn’t be needed.

I like this answer on Hinative (translations are mine):

(gradually approaching something/someone)
(gradually moving away from something/someone)
(he gradually goes away towards his home)
(he gradually goes towards his home, either by coming closer or by moving away)


I quite liked p. 24 (or 25 I’m not quite sure) where the vampire fletched her teeth. That was really cool and I’m really glad that I was able to read through a full Japanese manga chapter. I look forward to the vampire plot further developing!

What do you think will happen with MC, will he bite his family, will he get his DVD back???