Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: TUGUMI・Next: おばちゃんたちのいるところ

Ueno駅 (JR上野駅公園口, right?) is so, so good. I read the recent English translation as part of a different book club back in February.

But I could see how the difficulty rating is justified. There are many references to Buddhism and esoteric religious references, forward and backward jumps in time and perspective, things that give the impression of floatiness, timelessness.

That said, I also bought a Japanese copy to eventually read lol.


Oh thanks for the full title! Was too lazy to copy it over properly :innocent:

Glad to hear you liked it! I also heard good things about it, that’s why I bought it at some point. Apart from the story, I also think the author herself is interesting as she is a citizen of South Korea but was born and raised (and still lives) in Japan, and also writes in Japanese.

It must be really good, as it won a prize (geared towards translated books).

Yeah, I have a hunch that’s where the emphasis belongs :upside_down_face:


I actually know the English translator for this! She’s the wife of a friend, was very nice to see the translation get so much praise! I’d prefer to read it in Japanese first but definitely plan to read the translation as well.


:exploding_head: That’s truly amazing!

It’s truly a small world haha.


The beginner book club is currently voting on what to read next. If you want to add another book club to your list and/or want to read something easier for a change, have a look!


Thanks for deciding on the next books so early. I am currently in Paris and was able to buy both of them in a Japanese bookstore. This will be the first time i am joining the book club and i am excited :slight_smile:
I’ve read a lot of Japanese manga before but actual novels scare me ^^’ good that the next one will be a manga that will help me get going i hope.
If you need more suggestions at some point, the frist volume of the xxx Holic manga might be nice.
It doesn’t have any furigana (except for names) which is rare for manga. So it might be good kanji practice while also having the visual support of a Manga.


Hey, welcome to the community, and especially to the book clubs! :hugs:

Glad this worked out so well for you! - And that’s exactly why we usually determine the next pick about 6 weeks before the start of their club - it’s difficult to get a copy for all those who prefer to read paper books.

Please feel free to nominate your favorite books or manga to the club! Please make sure to check out the Proposal Guidelines in the first post, and then you can copy and fill in the Proposal Template that’s also there. Post the result in here, and it will get included in the next poll. We currently have 12 proposals out of a maximum number of 20, so there’s enough room for a bunch of them :blush:


It’s actually not that uncommon. Just depends on the target audience for the series/magazine. Probably about half the manga I read have little to no furigana. Granted, my stats are skewed by reading so many Manga Time Kirara series, but still, point stands.




Author: 赤坂アカ (Drawing: 横槍メンゴ)
Page count: 223
Natively: 30



「この芸能界(せかい)において嘘は武器だ」 地方都市で、産婦人科医として働くゴロー。芸能界とは無縁の日々。一方、彼の“推し”のアイドル・星野アイは、スターダムを上り始めていた。そんな二人が“最悪”の出会いを果たし、運命が動き出す…!? “赤坂アカ×横槍メンゴ”の豪華タッグが全く新しい切り口で“芸能界”を描く衝撃作開幕!!


“In the world of showbiz, lies are weapons.” Goro works as an OB-GYN in the countryside, a life far removed from the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, his favorite idol, Ai Hoshino, has begun her climb to stardom. The two meet in the “worst possible way,” setting the gears of fate in motion! The amazing Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari team up to depict the world of showbiz from a completely new perspective in this shocking series! (Taken from Manga Plus)


Physical: Amazon | CD Japan
Digital: Kindle | Bookwalker

Personal Opinion

This book is very hard to talk about, because it takes a very long time to set up the premise and subverts expectations multiple times. That is part of the fun of reading this manga so I want to keep it vague. I would suggest not looking at the wikipedia summary since it spoils part of the setup.

Onto the work itself. It is a rather dark and more realistic look at the entertainment industry in Japan and some of its shortfalls. I have to be honest it took me 2 tries and a very insistent friend for me to really get into it, but once I was hooked there was no letting go and it is probably my favorite currently serializing manga. The story is by the author of Kaguyasama and the art by the author of Scum’s wish and has practically exploded onto the scene.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Very popular (anime was recently announced)
  • A gripping story with a few surprises
  • Great to look at if a bit busy at times
  • A seemingly more realistic look at the entertainment industry in Japan


  • A lot of entertainment specific vocabulary
  • Takes a while to get going
  • The subject is not for everyone


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Bookwalker preview

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

@NicoleRauch As to not monopolize the nominations I think it is probably a good idea to remove my Just Because! nominations. Judging from the last poll results the chances of that book being selected are slim at best anyways


Oh, don’t worry about monopolizing - we still have a lot of space in the proposals list. I mean, ultimately it’s of course up to you, and looking at the past two polls, it doesn’t sound like the most popular book, but you can never know :slight_smile: Either it gets kicked out in the next poll anyways, or it comes back to life, who knows - I’ve seen books being picked that were on the verge of being kicked out, so nothing’s impossible.
So please decide for yourself, but don’t feel pressured because you nominated a second book.
(I think my proposal record was 5 books at the same time or something :innocent:)


Good to know i might have to find some more grown up manga then. I read about 220 manga while i was in japan which is why i thought most had furigana.
But none of them are super sophisticated :P. I mainly read shonen manga that have furigana and even most nsfw/adult series i read had furigana which surprised me. In my defense i was 17/18 years old at the time so i had a typical teenager taste.


I will do that as soon as i am home again and have the book in front of me ^^


If you ever want specific recommendations, feel free to ping me in the [2022] 多読/extensive reading challenge topic.


Do you think you could tell me the name of the library ? I am going to Paris next week so i would gladly grab the book there as well :slight_smile:


The store i went to is called Junkudo.
There is also two Book Offs that have a japanese section, though they sell mainly french books now. There used to be a big japanese only book off and it was amazing but sadly it’s gone T.T
‘Book off’ is a Japanese used book store chain so it is pretty cheap, you’ll probably not find the book club books there but it’s a cool place to check out if you want to maybe buy other Japanese books/manga or just to browse.


I can see three Book Offs in Paris (Quatre-Septembre, Châtelet and Bastille). Are you saying that only two of them sell Japanese books? Would you know which of them?


i have been to the quatre-septembre and that one definitely sells Japanese books and manga. The website said the chatelet one also sells Japanese books. The other one only mentiones French and English so i am assuming they don’t sell Japanese books.


Would be weird if it didn’t, given its location, I think :smiley:

Thanks very much for the info! I’ll be in Paris next month, so I’ll make sure to go there :+1:


I mostly went to the that one because that’s were the big Japanese book off used to be and because it’s close to rue Saint-Anne which is full off Japanese restaurants, being surrounded by Japanese store signs is so cool, it’s like i can suddendly speak the language (because my French is reall bad:( ). And it’s also within easy walking distance off Junkudo.