JBC's 秋の牢獄 (Autumn Prison) Discussion Thread


Honestly, I’d been feeling for a while we weren’t going to get anything ‘satisfactory’ (in terms of explaining what exactly and why things were happening). However, I did enjoy the ending we got and found it satisfactory in terms of the story and Ai’s experience. I’m personally a fan of these non-endings you find so often in Japanese fiction. I like the lingering sensation they leave you with and I often find myself thinking about them days later. There’s a passage in one of the last chapters I definitely want to re-read (Ryoichi’s little monologue) since I think the nut of the whole thing is contained somewhere in there and I incompletely understood it first time round.

Here’s hoping the next story’s as good as this one!


I know that sensation. The number of times I’ve looked something up while reading and then rolled my eyes as a level 1 vocab word (which I really, really do know) pops up are too many to count.


I guess not. No matter. We should be finished the first story by now, so I’d say go for your questions while the story’s still fresh in people’s minds. Especially since we’re moving on to an unconnected second story - might be difficult to switch between the two.


Questions for Autumn Prison

  1. In the last part of the book, we learn that Yurie ends up becoming a replayer herself, however Aoi sends her on her own way. Do you think she should have done more knowing her own experiences and loneliness from being a replayer? Explain your reason why.

  2. What did you think about how the book ended? Do you believe Aoi woke up on November the 8th? If you do, will she remember her experiences as a replayer? Do you think she will be able to integrate back into normal society? If you don’t think she’ll wake up on November 8th, what do you believe happens to her?

  3. Were there any aspects of the story you felt should have been fleshed out more? Do you think a sequel would be even interest or possible? If so, what type of direction would it take? If not, why?


YOSH. I did it. First relevant multi page story that is not a manga that I finished in japanese and actually understood :D.



  1. I think she already did plenty by relaying all her information to Yurie. She said she wasn’t pissed about the whole boyfriend thing anymore (don’t believe her, why bring it even up), but I think after having all these experiences with the other 3 members of the ingroup she was just too detached from Yurie to do anything else.

  2. I think overall it’s a good ending if you don’t change any other aspects of the story. And I definitely think for what the story wants to accomplish it’s totally irrelevant what happens after that point. Which brings us to

  3. No definitely no sequel please. It’s a contained story and even if I would have liked a different story I don’t think reviving it would do any good.
    If we change an aspect of the story (flesh it out more possibly) it would have to be why the group brakes up at the beach on 八丈島. Maybe i’m not a detached enough Japanese person to understand why, while they are all happy and even say so, just the threat of loosing one another is enough to break the group apart? I mean sure 隆一 says he was always thinking about leaving and just didin’t find the right moment yet… but still… really that part resonated like 0 with me.

It was a nice read but I don’t really get the message of the story. And I feel like the author inteded it to have a message. There’s more than one conflicting ideas about what the “morals” are supposed to be so I would appreciate a take on this from any of you too :smiley:.

EDIT: @Snowflying You were pretty spot on with your travel idea btw. They just took like 200 repeats until they thought of it somehow o_O

EDIT2: added some more people to the key characters. If i forgot something or a description is off, please correct


For me this is also the first story that I finished in japanese and I enjoyed it very much.

  1. I think Ai was too tired of this life and she just didn’t care about Yurie, because after living all these days Yurie has become just a stranger for her.
  2. The ending is perfect. I think she just ceased to exist, just like the other replayers before her. The general messege for me was, that they all were already dead when they had become trapped in this “prison”. It was just a matter of time for them to understand, that whole their life as replayers was pointless in the first place.
  3. There are many things that one could add to the story, but I think it is good as it is. No sequel, this is the end.

  1. I think that if Ai had done more it would taint yurie’s experience. Ai has already had her chance, she knows it, and is ready to move on. Let yurie have a chance to experience the mystery and find her own answers.

  2. I choose to believe she wakes up on the 8th of November and goes on to live her life normally.

  3. If there were a sequel, and I don’t think there should be one, it would have to be from a replayer in yurie’s group, the next generation as Ai called it.

While I have some trouble with ambiguous endings, I think this one works well. I think Ai finally learned the value of true relationships, something she didn’t seem to have in the beginning, and she has people she is eager to meet up with again.


Hey everybody. Just joined in. よろしくお願いします。This is great! I read the first chapter of part 2 like saiakuma did, and I am already sucked in (though I agree, I am totally lost in certain parts with a quick read-through).


Always feel free to post questions about the first chapter of part 2. Since we began reading it this weekend you don’t even need spoiler tags :D. Remember: It not only helps you to understand the story better, but also improves the comprehension of everyone else, and especially the person who is answering your questions!

Ah and welcome to the club!

PS.: haven’t found time yet to dig into the chapter sadly ^^


“微かに花の香りを含んだそよ風がやさしく吹いていた” I think this would roughly be “a faintly flower scented wind was gently blowing” but what I am wondering is what exactly is そよ doing there? Is it like a そう?


そよ風 is a fixed phrase meaning “gentle breeze”

そよ itself means “with a slight (breeze)”


“ここを通り抜ければ池のある公園に出る” How do you know when the 出る means “to enter” as opposed to “to leave”? Is it purely situational? I feel like this has to mean “If one were to pass through here, one would enter a park with a pond” or some such, but I don’t know any real reason to say “enter” as opposed to “leave” except for a gut feeling.


出る is such a nice complex little word with a lot of meanings.
Take a look at https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/152769/meaning/m0u/出る/
specifically the point 1オ.

It seems to be a common theme when having a description to encode “to come to, to arrive at” in english by using conditional + 出る in Japanese.

I would say you just have to be careful to remember this usage exists, and if it is used in that way, I think it is hard to confuse with “to leave”. Your gut feeling is an indication of that.

EDIT: forgot to tag @patjennings24


In this case it would carry the nuance of entry. Typically exit would get use をでる.

So the sentence would read,
“If you pass through here, it will lead to a park that has a lake.”

EDIT: By the way. I’m not sure if you’re using a paperbook or an e-book, but if it’s a paperbook, please leave a page number so that people can find the areas you have questions about quickly. I’m aware this is on the first page of the new story, but it’s best to get in the habit of doing it.


Thanks. Unfortunately, I am using an e-book so I am not sure if they match up with the paperbook. Here, let me check. That previous quote was page 62 for me. Is it the same for the paperbook? If so I will definitely start leaving page numbers.


I totally understand. I’m using a kindle so I don’t have page numbers at all, but I can also search for sentences, so it’s no problem on my side. Perhaps if you provide your provided page number and the context going into the sentence it might help those who don’t have e-books to perhaps help.


Here is my attempt at a rough translation of chapter 1 of part 2 (pg. 62-63 in my edition). I figured it might be interesting to compare with your own translations/impressions once you have already read it. (Also, fair warning, this is probably brutally wrong in multiple places). It was a spring night. A hazy moon was floating in the sky. On the way back home from drinking at my friend’s house, I was walking through the nighttime town in a carefree manner. Sakura blossoms mostly fallen, a faintly flower scented, light wind was gently blowing. In a slightly tipsy mood, experiencing a freeing sensation, I enter the quiet residential area. A few hundred meters after, near my own place, so to speak, I turned my feet towards a slight detour in the neighborhood park. There wasn’t any especially strong reason that this became my objective. Somehow or other, returning home was becoming disappointing. There was no one waiting for me at home. Passing through near a woman’s college, I entered a secret path, or, on could also say, a thin alley. It was the type of path that was not wide enough for cars and was likely only used by the area’s residents. If one were to pass through here, one would enter a park with a pond. I was thinking in such a way: sitting on a park bench while listening to music with my headphones, I would watch the waterfowl etc. return home. Surrounded by brick walls at a place where it is curving towards stylish western buildings, this small path became strangely dark at its perimeter where the street lights’ illumination does not reach. The path at one’s feet is being covered by cherry blossoms mixed up with fallen leaves. If one were to look up, one could see a canopy of new green sakura, zelvoka, and cedar trees’ leaves. Did this path always have such an atmosphere? I absentmindedly thought as I was turning toward the park. The dark green becoming denser created an unnatural feeling.

  1. I think Yurie wasn’t her problem, just like Ai was not Yurie’s. And she gave Yurie plenty of information, she seems better off than Ai since she learned everything at day 3. Again I probably would have done the same, I find it hard to hold a grudge at all, so I definitely would not have been mad at her, but I wouldn’t have stayed for her since she couldn’t do the same for me.

  2. I’m not sure what I believe, I do appreciate ambiguous endings, I think they are beautiful and it encourages a wide range of interpretations which are always interesting, like @NickNickovich’s . Though for this story I guess I just really wanted to know, are they dead or moving on? And I also wanted to know the reason for it all, because I really like the type of story that leaves hints, and then at the end you see how everything connects and its mind blowing, like Madoka magica, and future diary ect. But this was not that kind of story, it was like the leftovers and Colorless. So after getting over my frustration I appreciate this ending. I think I interpret it like the concept of death because like the replayers, they avoided it for a while, they guessed what was on the other side but they could never know until went and once they did they could not come back. Whether she died(ceased to exist) or moved on to November the 8th(the after life), I can not guess.

  3. Like I said I would like to know why they are there, and the true purpose of the White goblin dude. I also wish we could have gotten to know the characters better, like that guy who snapped and hit the lair. That was pretty random and I think there would have been to time to explore the mental state of more characters than Ai and Inukaisan. I thought the things they did, and how they reacted were interesting. It’s always interesting to go through the same situation, and treat it differently, and to see the results and to see many sides to people. Like Re:zero, Before I fall, Stiens gate, ect. For this story, I suppose another story could be written about the next generation of replayers since I think it’s more about developing characters rather than a dynamic plot, and maybe explain the reason for the occurrence. I don’t see a reason to follow Ai again if she’s still alive.


I heart madoka!


Do you guys tend to write out translations when you read? Or do you find it more pleasant and time-efficient to just read and glance at a dictionary now and again without worrying about being exact? I am trying to figure out what approach I should use.