Hunter × Hunter 🐸 (Absolute Beginner Book Club) - Starting on the 27th of August

Google translate is usually quite bad at this, try deepl, that gets you way better results.


Hi everyone! First community post from me (woo!) XD

I really want to join in on this as I’ve been looking to join a book club for a while now and love HxH, but in everyone’s honest opinion would it be a bit too much for me as a mere LvL 4 person?

In terms of my general skills at the language I would consider myself an absolute beginner, having studied for only 3 months so far, though I have been going hard at it during that time. Still, I am not delusional and realise that I am basically still very much a complete beginner with years of intense study ahead of me. Having said that, if it would be possible to read along with HxH at this level and still get anything out of it at all then I would be very happy. I’m not sure how realistic that idea is though.

What do you guys think? Would it be a pointless endeavour at this point? Or do you think there’s still benefits that even absolute beginner’s like myself could get out of it? Or would it just be a demotivational exercise in frustration? XD



Depends on you really, but we generally tend to say, that you should have gotten through at least something like genki I (and II maybe), or tae kim’s guide. Without those, unless you like to read a sentence and then google for an hour, I wouldn’t really recommend it. Without that, it will be difficult to even recognize the verbs and such.
Having weak kanji or vocab knowledge is usually the lesser of the problems, because of the vocab sheet, but of course, that can be frustrating as well.
Try reading one or two of the sample pages. If you feel like you could read the entire thing at that speed without giving up, then try.
Of course the club won’t go away after the fact, even if you come back in 3 months or even a year, you can ask questions and someone’s bound to answer.


I appreciate your candour =) I feel highly motivated by what you have told me; it gives me a goal to reach by the starting time of the 27th Aug! I am half way through Genki 1, so I can prioritise finishing that and also Tae Kim’s guide (which i am also currently using as a resource), and though I realise I will most likely still struggle like crazy it will still be a nice reward for an intense month of study in prep for it and should act as good feedback as to whether or not i went about studying for it the right way.

I think as well; the aspect of the book club i would value the most is the actual reading along with everyone, rather than coming back later once it is all done and soloing it. I could talk to people that way and hear how they work everything out and just have some more live learning, as well as experience a live community of other Japanese-language lovers and HxH lovers!

As for reading speed and what that would need to be to count as comfortable reading; I have no idea how to conceptualise that XD I wouldn’t know what would be considered too slow, or what the rate of speed is supposed to be relative to the amount of time I’ve spent learning Japanese. I’m guessing you mean how slowly I would find myself reading before I got bored? Like the 1 hour per sentence example?

That reminds me actually! Sorry if this is a basic b**** question, but how can we look up unknown kanji from the physical copy of the book? I have no idea how I would go about inputting that info in order to search for it and find out what it means. Would that only be possible if there is furigana for me to use to search with?


It depends on a lot of factors, even reading experience funnily enough, you can expect to read faster by the end of the book club even if you didn’t spend a single minute studying. But it also depends on how much you can concentrate and such, so you wouldn’t know until you try to actually read a page or two.

This is not a physical only issue, the digital version is a bunch of images, so you can’t copy and paste text from it.
The manga has furigana though, so don’t worry, if you type that in, you can either have you ime suggest the kanji version, or the dictionary site you use.
If for some reason there isn’t furigana on something (this happens on signs in the background a lot), then the tried and true method is radicals. You already met the wk version of that, though real dictionaries use different ones often.

also, most of the time, unless you are a very early reader, the vocab sheet will have those as well (usually, not always)


Here’s a tool for converting manga / comic images to HTML, which will allow Yomichan and text selection. I haven’t used this yet, so YMMV!

Edit: I started using this, and it works quite well. Make sure you go into extension settings for Yomichan and allow access to file URLs.


In addition to what other people have said, I also just use Google Translate a lot. You can write the kanji with your finger and google is quite good at picking it up!


I recently started using mokuro + yomichan and it works great! Not perfect, but it makes it so easy to look up 90% kanji/vocab (but it doesn’t always help with grammar). The vocab sheet is still helpful though, as experienced readers will try to put the meaning specific to the text when there are multiple meanings.

Other online tools I’d recommend if you haven’t heard of them yet:

For reference, when I decided I wanted to read my first manga with the book club, I studied as much grammar as I could in a little over a month. I had only done a few chapters of Genki I before. I found Cure Dolly’s lessons clicked with me more, so I watched the first 20 or so lessons before the book club started reading.

When I started reading (Teasing-master Takagi-san), it would take me sometimes an hour to finish a page. You can do it though! Over time it does get faster. You can always ask questions if you get stuck, or skip over a part if you get the general idea.


I’m looking to give the Absolute Beginner Book Club another try. I first dipped my toe in with 三ツ星カラーズ but found I wasn’t able to keep up with the time commitment since I was attending university at the time. I also hadn’t done much grammar study so I was kind of lost in the small portion of the book I did read. The premise of this book also just sounds more interesting to me.

I already have an Amazon JP account, so I was thinking of just ordering a physical copy there. Amazon JP won’t sell me a digital copy. :confused: If I’m going to participate, I might need to go ahead and order a copy now since they’re saying it might not arrive until like the 22nd (unless I pay more for faster delivery.)


Is it giving a reason as to why?

The most common one would be if you haven’t set up a Japanese address (either a fake one, or an import service of some sort that some people use). Otherwise, sometimes a VPN has to be turned on every once in a while to trick the site into thinking you are in Japan.

(Of course, this is only if you want a digital copy. If you prefer a physical copy, ignore me! :stuck_out_tongue:)


In my case it just says “The Kindle title is not currently available for purchase.” I don’t know if it matters, but I currently don’t have a JP address on my account, just my US address. I do have a Tenso account that has a real JP address, might that work?

I’m kind of torn between physical or digital, but if there’s any difference in text/image quality I’ll take the one that’s higher quality. I like digital for the “doesn’t take up space” factor, but there’s also something nice about holding a paper book in my hands.


This is probably the issue then, the tenso account should work.

The digital copy should have a better text quality, but others said, that it isn’t much more readable, than the digital version


Yeah, you have to have a JP address to access Kindle titles, so that’s the issue for sure.

As far as quality, this is an older manga, so the print version will likely have clearer text. Newer manga, the differences tend to be negligible, but that varies by publisher.

(@Gorbit99, beat me to it. :stuck_out_tongue:)


Let me try adding my Tenso address to my Amazon account and see if I can purchase the digital version. If the text quality isn’t to my liking (like if detailed kanji or small characters are hard to make out) then I’ll try a physical copy.


no need to purchase it twice, I already linked a picture about the quality here


Hm, some of the kanji is kind of hard to make out, but the furigana seems readable…enough.

Yeah I think I’ll try the Kindle version. Now to take on the task of figuring out how to enter my Tenso address on Amazon :joy: :sob: It’s rather confusing. I know Tenso gives you a guide for how to enter its address on Amazon, but the guide might be a wee bit outdated in terms of what the address field names are called.

Edit: And before anyone says it can be a fake address and still work for purchasing eBooks, I’d like to actually enter it correctly. Outside of letting me purchase digital content, it’ll also theoretically allow me to purchase physical items from vendors that can’t ship to the US. Somehow it never occurred to me that I could use my forwarding address with Amazon. I is the stupid sometimes :sweat_smile:


…I added a JP address, but it’s still not letting me purchase the Kindle version…

Do I have to set the JP address as my default address or something?


I think so, yeah, this is why ideally you have a separate account for jp stuff


Hm. It works fine for me if I switch my Canadian address to be the primary, but you can try defaulting to the JP address and see if that resolves your issue, yeah.

Further up, I linked a step-by-step process for this, so maybe you can check and see if some step is being missed.


Ah, so it looks like I hadn’t done a couple of those steps. I didn’t set my region to Japan under my digital content and devices settings (didn’t realize that was a separate thing from your shipping address), and I didn’t have my iPad Kindle app logged into my Amazon JP account.

I just got the free sample of the Kindle edition sent to my iPad as a test, seems to work great!

Thanks for the help! :+1: