[Looking for nominations!] Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃






Nagisa Yamada is a bored teenager who finds everyday life extremely unappealing – thus she plans on joining a Military School as soon as possible.

A strange new student named Umino Mokuzu, who claims to be a mermaid, transfers into Nagisa’s school and, much to our heroine’s bewilderment, soon begins to follow her around incessantly.
Initially, an annoyed and discomfited Nagisa strives to avoid any encounters with Mokuzu. But she soon begins to comprehend the pain and sadness concealed beneath this strange girl’s cheerful and carefree demeanour.


Personal Opinion

I stumbled across this light novel by stumbling across its manga adaption, actually. The manga was fantastic, had really great story arc and amazing character development and exploration.
As for why in the book club, I felt like it was very different from a lot of the other nominations already there (at least the ones I’ve caught up on), so it would make for an interested addition. It’s a dark psychological thriller. It’s a very good conversation starter to say the least, and would make for good discussion material outside of Japanese.

I never did any research as to whether the manga followed its source material, so I can’t say much about what’s going to be in the book, but the author is also wrote the manga, so I have high hopes.
If I assume they are quite similar, I should mention that there are potentially triggering scenes in there. I found it was done very tastefully, but it does deal with quite heavy topics, such as (if you don’t care, don’t read this, since it might count as spoilers) child abuse and severe violence.
I wasn’t sure if this is okay as a nomination because of the above paragraph, but I figured I’d post it anyway and if not, it can be taken down or no one will vote for it, which is also fine.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Quite short (about 200 pages)
  • Very different from Kino (variety)
  • Makes you think and gets you emotionally invested
  • Good character study


  • Potentially triggering with a bit of gore (very necessary for plot and not overdone though)
  • Very different from Kino (new vocabulary?)


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

(excuse the thumb)

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters