We’re reading volume 1 of this manga as part of the Absolute Beginner Book Club, starting March 5th 2022.
Makoto Okazaki is your run of the mill high-schooler, a perfect bullying target. One night, on his way to return a DVD to a friend, he notices a person on a nearby rooftop. The person lunges at him and bites his neck, drinking his blood. The attacker, a beautiful girl, then asks him: “Do you want to die or become like me?” He decides to live…
We’re reading this as the Absolute Beginner Book Club. This book club aims to help readers who are new to native Japanese content successfully read their first book. It will be helpful if you have completed the first volume of a beginner Japanese textbook such as Genki 1 or Japanese for Busy People. That’s around the standard required to sit JLPT N5.
If you’re not at that level yet but interested in reading along you are still very welcome to join. You might need to look up more vocab and grammar, but we try to help each other by compiling a shared vocab list and answering each other’s questions. This is probably one of the most approachable books we’ve read in the Absolute Beginner Book Club in terms of difficulty.
We create a reading schedule, with a set number of pages to work through each week. Each week we create a new discussion thread for that week’s reading. In those threads we discuss everything from vocab and grammar to the characters and story. We try to help each other by contributing to the shared vocab list, by answering each other’s questions and by keeping each other motivated.
It’s quite a visually driven story so that are sections where there is no dialog for several pages. Most of the dialog is casual Japanese spoken between friends. If it’s your first manga this will introduce you to a lot of common casual contractions of speech. These may be tricky at first but you’ll soon get used to these with the help of the group.
Virtually all the kanji have furigana, so you don’t need to be at a specific Wanikani level to enjoy reading. You’re going to get some practice in reading katakana words, in fact you’re going to be hit by loads of them in the first couple of pages!
If this book were a movie it would probably be a PG-13. As you’ve probably guessed from the cover it’s going to be a bit gory at times (yes, that’s blood around her mouth not lipstick…)! There are also some sexual references including looking up a girl’s skirt and out of shot masturbation.
Get yourself a copy of the book (see “buying the book” below)
Click on the participation poll below to let us know you’re planning to join in
Set this thread to “watching” so you get updates on the group (go just past the last post in this thread, click on the grey box that says “normal” or “tracking” and change this to “watching”)
Page numbers for ebook readers
The page numbers quoted by ebook readers often don’t match the print version of the book. This is usually because they count the front cover and inside front cover as pages 1 and 2.
We’ll be using the original page numbering from the print version. These will be found on the bottom corner of some (but not all) pages in the digital version.
Often subtracting 2 from the “ebook reader page” will give the equivalent “print version page” but you’ll need to check your edition.
If you’re new to buying Japanese digital books then Book Walker is a relatively straightforward option that is popular among forum users. Purchases can be read on a tablet or computer. Here’s a brief guide to getting started on Book Walker.
If you want to buy on Kindle be aware that you’ll need to register your device specifically with the Japanese store. Here’s a guide to using ebooks from Amazon.
- I’m planning to take part in this book club
- I’m not sure yet
- Not for me but enjoy reading!
If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion, please select ‘yes’!