Introducing Natively - A free community book sharing site with over 9800 popular books graded by difficulty

No worries, that all makes sense. I think for me the primary boon of having the stories surfaced on Natively would be – as you mentioned – having all of my current Japanese reading tracked in one place. And while stories in Satori Reader can be grouped by difficulty, aggregated difficulty is a little more obscure. I’d also be interested to read user reviews because some stories may be easier or more difficult depending on how one studies, and what resources one uses to study.

At any rate, it’s no deal-breaker; just a nice-to-have. Thanks for your consideration!


Ah, okay, it makes sense that it wouldn’t be high priority.

Yes that would work

Mainly better difficulty ratings. The most that anything is broken up on Satori level-wise is Easier-Intermediate-Harder (and then Assorted, but that’s not really a difficulty level). But difficulty within those levels can vary a lot. I think the Natively level system would help people figure out the following:

  • if you’ve read this Satori story you can read that manga, light novel, etc.
  • the inverse of that: if you’ve read these graded readers, manga, etc, you can read this Satori story
  • better understanding the difficulty differences between stories. E.g., Sakura and Suzuki is a much easier story imo than Akiko’s Foreign Exchange, but both are simply marked Easier
  • related to that, knowing which story to start with once you’ve finished all of the stories in a level (e.g., once you’ve finished all of the Intermediate stories, which of the Harder stories would be easiest to start with?)

Other than that, tracking in one place would be great! And seeing stats (right now Satori only has a heatmap, unless there’s a stats page somewhere I don’t see). But my main thing is being able to see difficulty levels

But like @Tranquil-Lo said, it would be nice to have, but isn’t essential. It’s totally understandable that it’s not a priority or if it might not be added at all.

Thanks for considering it, and thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into Natively!!


Thanks @Tranquil-Lo & @meagstudies.

Yes, I can’t say how soon I’ll be able to add them, but that context really helps a lot! It shouldn’t be terribly difficult to add, but as you might imagine, there’s a long list of stuff.

I’ll try to add when I can! :slight_smile:


Adding on about Satori Reader – I think it’s been long enough for me already that I’d be hesitant to try to rank their difficulty so I don’t think I’d use them, but I would have LOVED if Satori Reader was on Natively for one simple reason: having a scale that placed native content against them. I was reading a little manga, but for me personally at least, Satori Reader was kind of my transition material into proper Japanese reading. So if they were on Natively I could get some guess at what level of reading I was managing and see how near / far various native stuff was from it.


Right! And there’s a good case to be made that Natively provides a ton of value to people just beginning to dip their toes into native content. That’s a pretty big barrier and originally my impetus for founding the site, so any way I can help certainly makes sense!


Of course I do understand that a forum needs some kind of rules but it still makes me sad that people actually need rules for interacting with each others.

The rules are not that important it’s more important how the rules are applied. Imo the most important thing is that the rules apply to everybody in the same way.

Actually I personally don’t like how the mods run the forum. They allow even controversial topics sometimes but once people start to express the wrong opinion the topic gets closed immediately.
Sometimes members of the forum break the rules and the mods look the other way, while people like me get a warning because of every little thing or get a message being accused of spreading so called “Conspiracy Theories” just because I dared to question the official narrative. This is the reason while I hardly participate on this forum any more, only in a few selected threads. If you don’t want people to talk about a specific topic just don’t allow said topic problem solved.

How will the movie thing work? I’m not sure if most of the movies I watch are even available on amazon.


I agree! I won’t lie though - this will be an evolving process. I will be starting out with pretty minimal rules and only implement rules as things become issues. I’ve never run a forum before so the rules I’m starting out with will be simply inspired from Discourse’s default policies along with some topic guidelines. The community input will also be a big factor as they will be helping to moderate the policies. Overall, I only favor adding a guideline if it’s a problem.

I do very much agree on preemptively limiting topics, rather than moderating opinions. In general, I want the forums being focused on media and Japanese learning… but I will allow other non-political topics starting off too and we’ll see how it goes. I expect there won’t be much forum activity to begin with, so it’ll be easy to monitor.

As for the WaniKani moderation, I’d love to hear some specific complaints if you have time, maybe via email? ( I’ve mostly been on reading & learning focused threads (book clubs) and I appreciate how positive the communities are, but, as I’ve said before, I’m inexperienced with regards to moderation so examples you didn’t like would be really useful.

One thing I am wary of is how contrary opinions may be more likely to escalate into an inflammatory tone, leading it to be moderated. I’m not entirely sure this is a real phenomenon (contrary opinions having more inflammatory tone), but I’d imagine people giving contrary opinions would be more on edge in general. Everyone does have an obligation to be a responsible thread participant, but I don’t want tone moderation leading to idea moderation.

I really do appreciate how concerned you are on the moderation. Like I said, we can talk a lot more on moderation on the platform once it’s running. I’d love to hear about your experiences :slight_smile:

I’ll be relying on TMDB, so you’ll be able to request anything from there. I believe TMDB has a pretty extensive collection, but I may also allow MAL / AniList links as well if TMDB seems like it doesn’t have good enough coverage.

I was going to do this callout later, but if anyone wants to search on TMDB for some of their more obscure movies / tv shows / anime and report back, I’d love to hear the results! It’d help me gauge how much data input we may have to do.


My experience via Plex is that TMDB has pretty much everything. I just checked some obscure anime I’ve watched and they are on there, though one has a poster that is most definitely not from that show. :joy:


I am hoping that is the case! Makes my life a heck of a lot easier :sweat_smile:. Thanks for the check.

1 Like

This is a good way of wording some of the situations I’ve seen.

Even without getting specifically political, various topics can come up where people are vocal about something being the right way, and when someone expresses a different view, they’re suddenly one against many.

In this kind of situation, “the many” will always have some people with skill in arguing their position, and if “the one” doesn’t, then suddenly they’re put into a defensive position having to defend their “wrongthink” and they’re really bad at it. (I’m speaking generally across various conversations I’ve seen here, and not about any specific person.)

In this specific subset of cases, you get “the one” going all out and disregarding all manners, and that leads to people who are not interested in the conflict to mark posts by that person for moderation. This leads to tensions rising all around until the thread ultimately gets closed.

I’m unaware of any “better” solution.

I’m glad I ran a message forum back when such things didn’t exist =D


I don’t know anything about @natsuha’s situation, but in general, one issue here is that the mods can’t keep up with the forum and will usually only intervene when tagged or when posts are flagged by the community. I hope you’re going to get help moderating, otherwise you probably want to keep things as minimal as possible :sweat_smile:


Right, this is what I was imagining. Even if they are good at arguing, it still can be overwhelming to argue against everyone’s points at once.

I’m not sure of the solution either except to perhaps emphasize in guidelines that this is an issue to be thoughtful about. But it’s food for thought… one of many things i’m sure.

Right! Yes, I don’t know exactly how all the moderation will work yet. Obviously, I hope some users will be inspired to help moderate, but if that’s not enough I’ll have to hire some part time employees… we’ll see.

It’s one of those things where I’m sure it won’t be an issue for a long time and then all of a sudden it gets out of hand! It’ll be a little bit of a rollercoaster ride at points, but I’m looking forward to it :slightly_smiling_face:


If you start with only Natively-related categories (discouraging extreme off-topic discussions) you might minimize moderation needs. For example, only have categories for:

  • Natively
    • Subcategories as needed
  • Reading
    • Maybe subcategories for each reading classification you have like “Light Novels”, etc.
  • Watching
    • Maybe subcategories for each watching classification you will have like “Movies”, etc.

I’m sorting by difficulty descending. This is the second page, and it’s obviously not right.


Hah! I had something similar recently but couldn’t reproduce it later on. Will try it out once more to see whether I can get the error back.

1 Like

Thank you for catching that!

Yes, this was a problem for your particular library it seems… レンタルおにちゃん was still listed as level 18 in your search database.

I’ll go ahead and fix this particular item for you.

A detailed technical answer on what went wrong

Basically, wherever you need search something on the website (personal library, book search), I create a separate fast-search database (ElasticSearch) that I need to sync to the main databse. For your personal library search data, the rating level there for レンタルおにちゃん wasn’t synced properly for some reason… it was listed at lvl 18. Confusingly though, when processing the search results I pull all the book information from a different cache which I then use for display (I don’t store all the book information in the search database… only critical fields used for filtering).

Therefore, the sorting was done on the incorrect data from the search database, but the book data still showed properly because it was drawn from a different, correct cache.

In order to make speedy search, it gets complicated with all the databases that need to be synced! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hah, I caught my sorting issue in the act :smiley:

My finished books, sorted by difficulty level (ascending), look like this right now:

Flesh&Blood was initially ranked at L30, and after some reviews of mine it seems to have been bumped to L31, but the sorting mechanism does not yet know about this, it seems?


Thanks for the extra data point!

Yes there definitely seems to be a bad data sync here. I’ll look into it :slight_smile:

1 Like

When I sort my library by rating, how does it sort when the rating is tied? It seems really arbitrary right now. I see no pattern for alphabetical order, book order, completion date, difficulty, etc.

Also, you may want to remove the “other” buckets from the two rightmost charts. The more one reads the more they are likely to dominate the pie. For comparison, Bookmeter shows the top ten, without an “other” bucket.


Hey Seanblue, Myne is awesome.

Ok, that’s all I had to say goodnight. x)