Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん・Next: Spy x Family

Thank you! For~~your mystical powers~~ SnowFly-SAMA :wink:

P.S. The book is in transit

I have to back out. Just got the date for my finals and it’s a lot sooner than I expected. So no time for reading japanese books anymore… :sob:

Good luck with your finals! There’s always the next time once you ace them tests!がんばってます!

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Just doing my duty :+1: Welcome to the club~~~

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For anyone using the Memrise course, I’ve just added a couple more levels to get prepped for chapter two. I split it into two parts since the first few pages have a lot of difficult words in a very short space of reading.

Hope having done chapter one will help with this week.

Edit: Oh, and I guess it must be the 6th everywhere by now. Finally time to begin! (Maybe we should have a little ceremony.)

Edit 2: Was going to post a ribbon cutting gif but it seems more appropriate to leave the honour to @AngelTenshi Thanks for making it happen, by the way!

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I love the idea of a Japanese book club to read and discuss together. However, I’ll skip this first book as it doesn’t really appeal to me, but hopefully can join you all after this first one. Happy reading :slight_smile:

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I’m pretty sure I won’t make any deadline for reading. I just started work again and I haven’t been able to work with the book for over a week. I’ll still be present, just not current!

I’m so excited to start this, you guys! :smiley: I’m leg-bouncing in anticipation to start the discussion :smiley:

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So, is the deadline for the first chapter, the 13th? I think it would help
to set a time zone as well. How about JST? XD

I don’t know if we need deadlines to finish chapters. Just keep up as much as you can. The start times are more for the discussions to prevent spoilers and keep everyone roughly at the same place.

Something I’m noticing, by the way, is it’s good to reread passages as much as you can. I’ve read Nezumi’s first little section about four times now and each time I notice new little details I hadn’t picked up on before.

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No problem, thank you for joining and for your help adding ppl, making a memrise, and for answering questions. That goes for everyone, it wouldn’t be a club with out any members. Thank you !

Uh, would this count for ribbon cutting, ripping I guess ?

And I’ll get the discussion thread up momentarily.

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I just added a link to the discussion thread in the bottom of the OP. If the group does split to allow for a slower reading group, we can link that on the same line. : D

Here’s hoping I can get far enough with Genki II that I can join for Book 2… but more realistically Book 3. ^^;

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Awww… 頑張ってください!

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Okay so far the only person to pitch something new was @riccyjay (also if you could, can you add your books to this post to keep everything together? I can’t get the formatting from your post since I can’t edit your post. But i’ll make this one a wiki so you can add the books.)

So I I’ll put the poll up for the next book tomorrow or the day after if there are no more suggestions. Also if there is a book from the previous list that you want to give a better pitch for please do so.

I also want to pitch a few books. (which will be mostly copy+paste)


Title: ドアD (Door D)
Japanese Level: ☆☆

Synopsis: Yuna and her 7 university tennis club friends were kidnapped and woke up in an unknown room. With only one locked door, and water filling into the room fast, they must figure out a way to escape before they all drown.

There’s a lever that opens the door. But it only holds the door open while pulled. One person will have to remain.

And this is just the start. Through a series of death trap rooms, and chances of survival slim, each other’s humanity will be tested. Will the group make it out alive? Will anyone make it out alive? And what awaits upon getting through the final door?

First Page
imagehttp://japaneselevelup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Doa-D.jpg

Why it might be a good choice:

  • It sounds interesting, it’s a psychological Thriller. What more you can ask for, am I right?

  • It has a Kindle version

  • And apparently easy Japanese

  • 絶望

Why it might not be a good choice:
“A lot of 山田悠介 (Yamada Yuusuke)’s works get highly criticized online because his ideas can seem a bit outrageous and his writing is way too simple. The fact that his works sell so much despite this negative criticism just fuels even stronger criticism” - the guy who the article describing the book

Source


Title: 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison)
Japanese Level: ☆☆

image

Synopsis: We all have thought at one point what it would be like to live the same day over and over again. The possibilities, the ramifications, the fear, Bill Murray… Ai has just stepped into that world. She has entered into repeats of a fine Autumn day. Every day resets at exactly 11:30PM, where she wakes up the same day.

It doesn’t take Ai much time to give up hope, as she sits in utter loneliness on a bench at her university. The bench she’s sat at for the past 25 repeats in a row.

Until something new happens. Ryuichi approaches her and tells her to come with him to a meeting place in the park. There he introduces himself and others to her. They are “Replayers,” and she is not alone. A group of 20+ Replayers gather every day at the park, to share in the experience. Some have been replaying for only a few days. Others have been there for hundreds.

Replayers start disappearing. It could just be that they decided to leave the group, but the appearance of a wandering white figure, referred to them as the “White Nobleman” starts to trouble them. All the Replayers have seen his appearance as he wanders around the city. His mysterious, ghost like figure is only visible to them.

What is his identity, and is he behind these possible disappearances? More importantly though, is there any way out of this repetitive cycle?

Why it might be a good choice:

  • Again, It sounds interesting

  • It has a Kindle version

  • And apparently easy Japanese

  • Short read (128 pages)

Why it might not be a good choice:

  • Not sure, but :+1:t4:

Source


Title: ネガティブハッピー・チェーンソーエッヂ Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge

Synopsis: This is by the same author as Welcome to the NHK and seems to contain some similar themes. However, it has a Kindle edition and is aimed at a youth audience so ought not to feature some of the more questionable content some people were worried about.

Story is about a high school boy who is riding home on his bike one day and comes across a girl fighting a man wielding a chainsaw. From what I can understand this is not really explained and is more a representation of the boy’s desire to find someone to ‘save’. The two team up and form a bond while the girl continues her nightly fights.

Why it would be a good choice:
[Pretty much the same reasons as Welcome to the NHK (see above)]
Adapted into a live action movie we could watch for comprehension
Youth novel so shouldn’t be overly difficult
Has Kindle edition

Why it might not be a good choice:
Stupid title
Total unknown - I have no more knowledge about this than what’s written on Amazon


Title: アフターダーク After Dark

Synopsis: Murakami’s shortest and probably easiest to read work. Set over the course of a single night and the first (I believe) of his novels not to be written from a first-person 僕 perspective, this centres on two sisters - one asleep in a mysterious room and viewed through a camera, the other out and about in Tokyo where she encounters various unusual characters including a jazz musician and a love hotel manager.

Why it might be a good choice:
Chance to read Japan’s most famous contemporary novelist in the original
Set in Tokyo so good look at a real Japanese location
Set in the real world
Short, one volume novel
Metaphysical aspect should create good discussion
I suspect several people may have read it in English, which will aid comprehension

Why it might not be a good choice:
Some people just don’t like Murakami
Tendency to blur line between dream and reality may be confusing
Lacks ‘excitment’


Title: Classics Club

image

Synopsis: Oreki Houtarou is a self-proclaimed “energy-saver”—that is, he refuses to actively waste energy doing things that aren’t necessary. Though he had no interest whatsoever in participating in any clubs upon entering Kamiyama High School, he was commanded by his older sister, Tomoe, to join the club she was once a part of, the Classics Club, as it was in danger of being abolished due to its nonexistent member count. Together with his old friends Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, as well as with the elegantly ladylike and curiously inquisitive Chitanda Eru, the newly reformed Classics Club ends up finding themselves involved in all sorts of mystery-solving escapades. Houtarou quickly learns that life in the Classics Club, just as Tomoe had promised, would be an interesting one indeed. And so begins the “Classics Club Series”.

Pros:
It’s the same length as No.6 (224 pages) and it’s available on the Kindle. Also, not only was there an anime adaptation in 2012, there’s also a fan translation of the novel available online for those who would like some extra assistance with comprehension.


Previous books:

キノの旅

Kino wanders around the world on the back of Hermes, her unusual, anthropomorphic motorcycle, and discovers that the world’s imperfections hold its true beauty.

はたらく魔王さま

Do you want fries with your hellfire?

Being soundly thrashed by the hero Emilia, the Devil King and his general beat a hasty retreat to a parallel universe…only to land smack in the middle of bustling, modern-day Tokyo! Lacking the magic necessary to return home, the two are forced to assume human identities and live average human lives until they can find a better solution. And to make ends meet, Satan finds gainful employment at a nearby fast food joint! With his devilish mind set on working his way up the management food chain, what will become of his thirst for conquest?!

ほしのこえ

In this timeless, interstellar love story, the power of love must conquer the distance of outer space. Rated for teens.

魔女の宅急便

Kiki is a resourceful, spunky girl who follows her maternal tradition to be a witch. She possesses only one gift of witchcraft – the power to fly. Like all young witches, she sets out at age 12 to find a town of her own. With her ever-present companion Jiji – a cynical and faithful black cat – Kiki departs on her broomstick and arrives at a big town near the ocean. Though nervous at first, she soon sets up a business delivering packages.

Kiki meets all kinds of people and has many adventures. She befriends the thief who stole her broomstick and saves the town’s traditional New Year’s marathon with some courageous and timely flying.

Throughout, Kiki’s confidence and self-awareness grows as she learns to value her unique talents. And with Kiki’s help, the townspeople realize that everyone has some magic that gives them their own special character and vitality.

This is a charming and delightful tale that is reminiscent of children’s favorites The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy and Astrid Lindgren’s Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. Black and white line drawings sprinkled throughout reveal the humor and warmth in everything Kiki does.

君の名は

Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a small town in the mountains, has a dream that she’s a boy living in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy in Tokyo, dreams he’s a girl living in a quaint little mountain town. Sharing bodies, relationships, and lives, the two become inextricably interwoven–but are any connections truly inseverable in the grand tapestry of fate?

Written by director MAKOTO SHINKAI during the production of the film by the same title, your name. is in turns funny, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching as it follows the struggles of two young people determined to hold on to one another.

怒り

A grisly unsolved murder links three seemingly unrelated people in three different Japanese cities.

クリムゾンの迷宮

From a rising new star of horror comes a killer read that will make you lose track of time and reality. The Crimson Labyrinth is a wicked satire on extremist reality TV in the tradition of The Running Man-if that indeed is what it is. Welcome to THE MARS LABYRINTH where things aren’t what they seem. Welcome to the world of Kishi, where the plot is as gnarly as the humor is twisted.
When an unemployed former math major wakes up one day, he wonders if he’s somehow ended up on the red planet. The good-looking young woman with aid-she says her name is Ai and that she draws erotic comics for a living-seems to have no clue either as to their whereabouts. Their only leads are cryptic instructions beamed to a portable device. Has the game begun?
There is no reset button, no saving and no continue-make the wrong move and it’s really GAME OVER. In the cruel world of THE MARS LABYRINTH, mercy and compassion are only for the weak or the very, very strong. The stakes are nothing less than your life-and apparently a lot of money.
If you’re a fan of Lost or Battle Royale, don’t miss this one

やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている

Hachiman Hikigaya is a cynic. “Youth” is a crock, he believes–a sucker’s game, an illusion woven from failure and hypocrisy. But when he turns in an essay for a school assignment espousing this view, he’s sentenced to work in the Service Club, an organization dedicated to helping students with problems in their lives! How will Hachiman the Cynic cope with a job that requires–gasp!–optimism?

時をかける少女

One of Tsutsui’s best-known and most popular works in his native Japan, The Girl Who Leapt through Time is the story of fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Kazuko, who accidentally discovers that she can leap back and forth in time. In her quest to uncover the identity of the mysterious figure that she believes to be responsible for her paranormal abilities, she’ll have to push the boundaries of space and time, and challenge the notions of dream and reality.

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Autumn Prison sounds really interesting to me!

I kind of want to suggest a book, but I also don’t want to… because I feel the reading level is probably higher (maybe? it’s a 文庫 but has specialized language)… and I get the feeling I’d be the only one really into it. Plus, if it got picked… I think I’d rather make my suggestion for the next round (for the third book). Especially when Autumn Prison sounds so intriguing.

Done. I didn’t include NHK since I think it’s actually rather a lot more difficult than No.6. Plus I’ve almost finished it now and would prefer to read something new.

Quite like the sound of both ドアD and 秋の牢獄. I think given the general response so far to No.6 it would be good to consider ones like this that have been recommended as easier.

I’d like to make a suggestion! Before I stumbled upon this book club, I was actually going to start reading Hyouka by Honobu Yonezawa. It’s the first volume of the Classics Club series. The synopsis is as follow:

Oreki Houtarou is a self-proclaimed “energy-saver”—that is, he refuses to actively waste energy doing things that aren’t necessary. Though he had no interest whatsoever in participating in any clubs upon entering Kamiyama High School, he was commanded by his older sister, Tomoe, to join the club she was once a part of, the Classics Club, as it was in danger of being abolished due to its nonexistent member count. Together with his old friends Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, as well as with the elegantly ladylike and curiously inquisitive Chitanda Eru, the newly reformed Classics Club ends up finding themselves involved in all sorts of mystery-solving escapades. Houtarou quickly learns that life in the Classics Club, just as Tomoe had promised, would be an interesting one indeed. And so begins the “Classics Club Series”.

I started reading a bit of the beginning while waiting for the club to start and it wasn’t difficult at all. For reference, I’m aiming to take N2. It’s the same length as No.6 (224 pages) and it’s available on the Kindle. Also, not only was there an anime adaptation in 2012, there’s also a fan translation of the novel available online for those who would like some extra assistance with comprehension. Or it could be fun to try comparing some of the translation decisions against the original as a group…?

Just thought I’d toss in my two cents! Even if we don’t end up voting for it, I really enjoy mysteries so this is something I’m sure I’ll end up reading anyways, haha. (8

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@AnimeCanuck Yeah it’s okay, you can pitch your book next time. I’d hate for it to get picked and then we read it with out you.

@riccyjay Is NO.6 really that hard? I feel like I’m struggling with it just like I struggle with any book I attempt in Japanese. I want to say it’s as difficult as Kino’s Journey, but I’ve only read a few pages of each. I’d call the satori reader and the Tobira articles comfortable reading, and the other two are a struggle. But I don’t think it’s overly difficult. (again, have only read a few tho, does it get increasingly difficult?) Pokemon was hard though. The bad kids keep using obscure slang and dialect that was hard to look up. I had no idea what they were saying.

@bakugou I know this, I saw the first episode of the anime a while back. The mc is the the geek. I never finished it though. I’ll add your book to the list.

Yeah, same for me. It’s not too hard. In fact, it’s about the perfect difficulty. I can just about get the gist with no assistance, but there’s lots I can learn by checking properly on a second read through. However, from what I remember of the ‘what’s your ability’ poll earlier, you and I were in the higher range of levels.

In terms of it getting more difficult as it goes on: the language doesn’t really get any more difficult, but - like any book - if your understanding of previous scenes was imperfect, it can get a little more confusing when past events / characters are referred to. I think that’s why Kino’s Journey is often recommended since each chapter is pretty much a self contained story.

So, yeah, I’m happy to go for something of a similar difficulty, but probably not more difficult for now. I think I’ll probably vote for one of the two you suggested actually. Good link to the Jalup page with other books, by the way. Quite a few there I’d consider reading, too.

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FINALLY, IT’S TIME!!

I assume we can use the :open_book: symbols now?? :grin:

I’m ready to get my readin’ on

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