Informal Nisio Isin Bookclub 👩‍💻👩‍🎨👩‍🎓🧙‍♀️👩‍🍳 (Reading クビキリサイクル)

Started reading the book last night. Despite the vocabulary not being all that challenging, I had a bit of trouble piecing some of the sentences together. Hopefully it’s just a case of me not being used to his writing style, and my troubles will lessen as I make my way through the text.

On a slightly different note, the presence of a character list intimidated me. I have a feeling I’m going to be referring to it a lot just to check the furigana for names. :laughing:

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Just finished up chapter 1 last night!

The preface was really difficult for me. I think book beginnings in general tend to be difficult for three reasons:

  • You have to get used to a new author’s style (or even just a new book’s style like in 殺人出産)
  • Intros seems to be written in a more dense, “literary” style. (This was definitely the case for Your Name as well)
  • You haven’t built up any mental context yet for anything that’s going on. (Like who the heck is talking in all those quote blocks in the preface, or what they’re even “philosophizing” in relation to, if that makes sense)

That being said Chapter 1 is way easier. The first 5 or so pages were still a bit slow due to points 1 and 3, but by the end of the week’s reading it felt like decently smooth sailing. I might go back and reread the preface again to try to understand it a bit better.

I love the inclusion of a character list! I think every Japanese book should have one by law. It would be embarrassing to say how far into 殺人出産 I got before I could stop flipping back to the early pages to search for character name furigana. Also, I’m pretty sure 玖渚友 (くなぎさとも)'s name was mentioned about 30 times in chapter 1 and it took about 20 times for it to stick (I don’t know why but I found the reading of this name to be particularly unintuitive).

I actually decided to SRS the character names! I did it once before for Yuru Camp since I knew I’d be with that series for a very long time. It might feel like a bit of a waste of SRS bandwidth since it’s so particular to this book alone, but considering that names might be among the most high-frequency and most difficult words in the book, I think it will pay off huge dividends in terms of smoothness overall.

I definitely enjoyed chapter 1. There’s not too much going on yet but I’m curious to learn more about 玖渚 and about why they’re on the island in the first place. I don’t know if you’ve seen 物語 but I was picturing the conversation happening in a similar animation style :laughing:. The one downside of reading in Japanese is that I can’t mentally match the snappy pace at which the back-and-forth is probably occurring.

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Also I feel like the thread title is lacking a good emoji. Any ideas? (Sadly I could not find a guillotine emoji).

@Belerith I see you lurking :eyes:. Want to hop on this train?

Don’t tempt me :eyes:

How did you know :eyes:

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Week 2! Reading all of chapter 2 (of this part), stopping at chapter 3.

  • I’m Reading Along
  • I’m Catching Up

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Sorry I’ve been a little slow on クビキリ. This week’s been unusually busy, plus I’m in the middle of moving (hence why I still haven’t commented in 殺人出産).

Oh man I know how tough moving can be on Japanese learning! It took me months to claw my way back on top of my reading and SRS after I moved in March.

This week’s reading was kind of tough. I’m hoping I start getting more used to it soon! The biggest issues is that it’s just a vocabulary gauntlet. I think I’ve come across sentences where I don’t know a single word. I’ve managed to hang on so far though!

I had some notes with thoughts that I had throughout the reading but alas I don’t have them on me when I sit down to actually post. I like the characters so far- I’m a bit of a computer nerd so I actually found the dated conversation about operating systems and computer hardware enjoyable. I like Kunagisa as well (although I thought I was misreading something when ahe called herself “僕様ちゃん“. Is she serious or is she just teasing our protag?)

There was also a short story referenced in the conversation with 深夜 which was pretty cool. Again I don’t have my notes but I think it was called something like “There are Dead Bodies under the Cherry Trees”. If I weren’t so busy with this I would have tried reading it in Japanese! But in English it’s a quick read. Very surreal.

Next two weeks are combined for a total of 43 pages, which should provide for a bit more flexibility. I’ll try not to procrastinate!

  • I Just Moved so I’m a Bit Behind
  • I’m Reading Along

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One reason this book will take me so long is that it keeps sending me on little tangents. Last week was the Motojiro Kajii detour, and this week I’ve decided I need to learn how to play Shogi!

Hope things have settled down a bit! This week’s nice and short. I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable with "である” grammar over the course of the book so far. I’ll admit I’ve cheated a bit by glancing at the English translation now and then to confirm my comprehension–this is a lot harder than Murata! It’s definitely getting smoother as I go, though.

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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More interesting things I’ve learned about from this week’s reading: the origins of photography and of perspective in art, as well as the artist Gustave Courbet.

I love that we’ve gotten such in depth introductions to each character. I’m not looking forward to any of them getting murdered, or being a murderer! (although some already seem a bit insane)

@softlyraining I hope all is well! We’re definitely missing you in the bookclubs but I totally understand that life gets in the way.

Anyway, on to week 6. It’s really flying by.

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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I’m sorry for not responding! I finally have internet again. Things were kind of dicey with the move, but they’re finally starting to settle down. I’m impressed with how well you’ve been keeping up on the reading! I’m…very far behind. :sweat: BUT, I’m going to try and get myself going again. It might be hard for me to catch up completely, so I hope you don’t mind if my responses are all on past sections you’ve already read through.

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Psyched to have you back! While you’ve dealt with moving I’ve actually happened upon quite a bit of free time–I injured my wrist and can’t fly for a month :cry:. I figure it’s a good time to do some extra reading and maybe a bit of a sprint through some WK levels.

I’m looking forward to hearing your impressions! I’ve gotten kind of lazy with my responses over the past few weeks since I thought I was alone here. But I’ll definitely step it up again and include proper spoiler tags!

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A bit late to post this week, but I’m hanging on with the reading! Not much time to write much but I will say (very minor spoilers) things have started to get exciting. We get a bit of mystery surrounding the island’s newcomer and start to see some potential motives. The dialogue is dense but pretty much everything I hoped it would be from Nisio Isin.

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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Some random thoughts as I read:

This is the first I learned of the concept of Panta Rhei

I googled パーンテナ島 and every hit I got were Japanese speakers reading Kubikiri Cycle who had no idea what this line meant. I ultimately checked the translation and it was “Neverland”, which totally makes sense in context and makes sense with “パーン”, but I’m not sure why it didn’t show up in a Google search. Kudos to Greg Moore.

This chapter ended on a cliff-hanger! We finally get to learn why Kunagisa is really here, and can’t wait to find out what 事件 she’s referring to.

Here goes week 8.

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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Well it’s finally happened–one of the titular 首切り. The scene seemed more gruesome than I would have expected, partly because we’ve seen so much of かなみ, and partly because of how slowly I read in Japanese. It was kind of similar to the end of 殺人出産 in how vivid it felt. かなみ was probably my favorite character so far next to 玖渚.

I was thinking about crossing out the かなみ Emoji in the title, but I figured that would constitute a major spoiler. :sweat_smile:

I’m pretty sure グルーバーノルベルト and 「川」are made up. At least I couldn’t find what they were a reference to. It’s hard enough to get all the actual references in this book! Does Nisio Isin really need to make some up as well?

Anyway, on to week 9! Longest so far–we’ll see how it goes.

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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First of all I have to say, all of these characters are insane! They’re not going to bother calling the cops just so Iria can watch her crush solve a mystery?!

Things have really taken off this week, I actually finished the week’s reading several days ago because I couldn’t put it down, and the moment I finish typing this I’m going to get started on next week’s reading. So now that the mystery is underway, it’s time to start making guesses and accusations. Without a doubt Iria is the most suspicious person here. She brought all these people together and she’s the most likely to know secrets about the house and the island. She clearly has a motive–she seems to enjoy watching everything unfold as if it were her own personal detective drama. As for her alibi, she has 4 maids who seem extremely loyal and could be capable of acting on her behalf or corroborating false alibis. And of course freaking out about calling the police is a huge red flag. I’m honestly shocked that nobody has pointed a finger at Iria yet. The only problem is that right now this explanation seems a little bit too obvious.

On to weeks 10 and 11!

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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A bit late this week. I’m pretty happy that I mostly managed to keep pace even with 66 pages in two weeks.

  • I’m Catching Up
  • I’m Reading Along

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