Intermediate Japanese Book Club (Coming Soon: 地球星人)

Huh. In my memory of the episode, this was mentioned but not shown. Question is, was the scene deleted from the version of the episode I watched, or did I just delete it from my memory?

I can’t hear you…

Yeah, that’s what I loved about this series - despite the cutesy, almost moeblob characters, it’s kinda dark and gritty. Plus, it’s got backgrounds that almost rival Shinkai.

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世界から猫が消えたなら (If cats disappeared from the world)

Summary

Japanese

僕は生きるために、消すことを決めた。

今日もし突然、チョコレートが消えたなら, 電話が消えたなら, 映画が消えたなら, 時計が消えたなら, 猫が消えたら, そして, 僕が消えたなら
世界はどう変化し、人は何を得て、何を失うのか
30歳郵便配達員。余命あとわずか。
陽気な悪魔が僕の周りにあるものと引き換えに1日の命を与える。
僕と猫と陽気な悪魔の摩訶不思議な7日間がはじまった―――

消してみることで、価値が生まれる。
失うことで、大切さが分かる。
感動的、人生哲学エンタテインメント。

English

My own summary:
A 30 year old mailman finds out that he has cancer, and doesn’t have much time left. When he gets home, he meets the devil who proposes a deal: for every day the devil adds to his life, he will erase something from the world.
The book explores how the man’s life and relationships change with every item “erased” from the world.

Availability

Novel
ebook

Personal Opinion

I loved the movie enough to buy the novel, and would love to read it with a book club! It’s slow and thoughtful, and has a bit of romance, friendship, supernatural (kinda time travel), and cats. I was able to watch and understand the movie for the most part (without subs) and the first few pages of the novel seem very doable.
I highly recommend watching the movie, regardless!
Not to be confused with 世界からボクが消えたなら, which I believe is a spin-off based on the MC’s beloved cat’s perspective

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Appeals to a wide audience
  • Could make a nice “first actual novel” read in Japanese
  • Theres a movie on Netflix Japan/Amazon Video with NO english subs (trailer), and the book was published in English recently. You can try those before committing.
  • there’s a manga adaptation but I haven’t read it so I can’t comment on it
  • it has 7 chapters roughly 30 pages each, which would be easy to split up into 10 or 15 pgs/week

Cons

  • no illustrations
  • its kinda sad (but so is life)
  • you might end up adopting a cat

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

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Can you edit your nomination following the template in the first post?

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I’m in love with the synopsis. Is the book the original source material or a novelization?

Edit: I think from the title of the trailer the movie is the original?

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From the Wikipedia page it looks like the novel came first.

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Is… is this a horror story? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Okay then.

@pensei
Having watched movie, which do you think is a better experience? The book or the movie? Judging by the size of the book I bet the movie was able to adapt it well.

Is water wet?

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@seanblue fixed it, my bad!

@AngelTenshi The book is the original, but the movie is great as a stand-alone.
I absolutely loved the movie but it did feel like a lot of the MC’s backstory and relationships could have been fleshed out so I’m guessing the book is better. Also, I recently started the novel and I’m not sure if things weren’t explained well in the movie or the Japanese just went over my head, but the book explains the supernatural bits much better.

@Belthazar ikr :sob: and the MC’s cat is quite crucial to the story so cat lovers rejoice

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Okay sounds like book it is then. I hope we chose this one.

@pensei Also how’d you find the movie? This is the kind of content I’m looking for. I keep googling best Japanese movies or popular Japanese movies and all that comes up is studio ghibli and old samurai films.

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I was fed up with jdramas and tried looking for a movie on netflix with a title i could actually read. The movie cover had a cat and one of my favorite actors so i clicked :slight_smile:

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Should I stop paying attention to bad reviews? I tend not to bother reading/watching things that get a lot of bad reviews.

I’m going to say yes? Some of my most favorite things are hated by a lot of people. And some of my most hated things are loved by a lot of people. Example: I loved the Tv show revolution and everyone hated it. I hate frozen and everyone loves it. It happens. ’

And for what ever reason japanese people seem to be over critical and negative towards books and anime? (At least for the books we keep looking at) I just wateched mirai no mirai yesterday, it was a very cute film. I wouldn’t say it was the best but it took a different approach to the time travel thing and I really liked it. But look at the reviews:

compared to america’s perception:

I really can’t get into any J dramas either. For some reason I think the acting is very bad and over dramatic. I tried the new boys over flowers, good morning call, and others I can’t remember. BUt on netflix I watched Switched last year and it was soo good. It really surprised me. It’s the first Jdrama I enjoyed. It’s about an overweight unattractive girl who steals the body of a popular girl. I thought it would be fataphobic and saying how horrible her life is now that she’s fat but it’s actually very heartwarming. It surprised me, first few episodes I was making fun of it but by the end was I was speechless. I watched it with Japanese subtitles, it’s also pretty easy to understand.

Edit: I wrote this fast and didn’t proof read it in order to get back to my homework fast. I’m fixing it now…

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I remember thinking it was just okay. But I think partially I set my expectations too high because the creator’s previous work (Supernatural) was so amazing.

I take that into account already actually. If a book gets around a 4/5 on Amazon Japan, it’s actually a good sign, whereas it would seem a bit low on Amazon.com. A 3/5 is awfully low though.

I did watch it when I was 14, might not be as good as a remember it.

Yeah 30% gave it 1 star and 27% gave it 5. And for the other movie I watched 44% gave it 1. Now that’s ridiculous I mean the movie was different from what I thought it would be, it wasn’t as exciting but it was far more adorable and heartwarming than I expected. They need to calm down I’m not listing to them anymore. :joy: Still excited for the no cat world book, Those Japanese people don’t know what they’re talking about.

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I didn’t realize the reviews where that low :cold_sweat: but if it makes things better, the first few reviewers were comparing the novel to Kimi no Na wa (which the author directed). The later was much more detailed in it’s supernatural elements and plot, while the former is more about exploring the character and mortality in general. So the reviewers might have had the wrong expectations coming in. The concepts of time and parallel worlds are kinda used as a plot device, but are not as fleshed out as in KnNw or The girl who leapt through time.
Also, the novel is really short.

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Hi there!
I would like to join the club for reading and did not find a better place than this to come and say 「はじめまして」.
I have purchased a digital copy of the current book, キノの旅 and will try to read along with everyone.
よろしくおねがいします!

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Nice! Welcome!
This is indeed the right place (the home thread of Kino could also work, though).
よろしく!

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Aaaaand done.
So, yeah, I wonder what others think about it.
I was also worried the pace would feel too slow to some, but I guess it works well at keeping a large number of people involved, and I haven’t been feeling particularly frustrated about it, since I have other things going on anyway.

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I’m still in the middle of chapter 4, but it does seem like things are going well. The pace is working perfectly for me. I’ve been busy with other stuff (WaniKani, grammar study, scripts, 放浪息子), but I still have enough time (more or less) to keep up each week.

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I think the format of the book itself helps. Each chapter is its own story and we go through a chapter every two weeks, so it doesn’t take too long to see how things turn out. I think it would be much more frustrating were it a single big story arc.

But what do I know, it might turn out to be something like that later on :thinking:

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