MissDagger's (Final?/Ultimate) Study Log

Hi everyone! Welcome to my corner!

Not the first time I make a thread for my studying. See previous attempts threads here (my one year in Japan at a Japanese school) and here (my failed attempt at motivating myself to get to 60, ending with me in basically the same place I started :joy:).

Today (June 1, 2022) I just leveled up to level 35 which I think is the highest I’ve ever been, and due to my recent activity on the forum, I thought it might be nice to have a place where I can endlessly ponder about what I am doing in Japanese, and also a place where I can gather together some different resources and organize some information for my own use (and maybe it would be useful to others, who knows?!?!).

Some obligatory topics:

Why I'm learning Japanese

My first interest in Japanese things, like so many others came from anime and manga. Although at the time, I didn’t watch or read a lot of it, because it was expensive. Importing from the UK and USA, to get English translated manga and subtitles. '00s was not a kind place to want to indulge in those things.

I imagine it is a bit better now. There should also be more Swedish translated stuff that should be cheaper to get a hold off.

We’re talking my mid teens here.

Then as I was at uni/college, I had the opportunity to take a course called Japanese art, architecture and visual media. I thought to learn the history of manga/anime, but it turned out that the part that actually interested me was the art and architecture part. (It probably didn’t help that the literature on manga/anime that was chosen was so dry, I’ve found watching paint dry more interesting. It was a study in how to take an entertainment field and make it the opposite (aka unentertaining).)

Basically, I fell in love with wabi-sabi, how traditional and modern culture and aesthetics where being mixed, and just in general Japanese thoughts on architecture (as presented by the literature we read, don’t know how accurate it is since I haven’t read about these topics in Japanese yet).

I also fell in love with Japanese gardens and their design. The stillness and tranquility they create. And after visiting some, I’ve also fallen in love with having a cup of matcha with a traditional sweet while visiting those. (If you visit Tokyo, definitely go to Hama-rikyuu garden (浜離宮恩賜庭園).) I’m more about the wandering gardens, the create a miniature version of landscapes gardens, then zen gardens. Although I do like zen gardens too.

It was from this place, the desire to learn Japanese grew from. I wanted to be able to read what Japanese architectures say about the topic in their native language. I want to read further about the history of Japan, and its art. Not to mention learn about Japanese gardens from original sources!

And I want to be able to read manga. Because I’m a bookworm, books and light novels will also happen (but I didn’t decide to learn Japanese for those). And anime will probably be watched, but once again, not an intrinsic motivation for learning the language.

If anyone who’s just read that have any recommendations on books (in Japanese) about Japanese gardens, architecture, or history, please tell me. :heart_eyes:

Since then, other reasons for Japanese have come about. Like reading books and light novels. As an author, reading fiction from other cultures broadens my views on story and storytelling. And is more inspiration which there can never be too much of.

In the same vein, I would love to read Genji, since it is supposed to be the first novel ever written. But maybe in a modernized version. I don’t think I’ll ever feel compelled to learn how to read Japanese that old.

I’ve also fallen in love with a lot of Japanese food. More so with the parts of the food culture that haven’t been become popular outside Japan yet (well, I love ramen, but beyond that), such as okonomiyaki, katsu and tonkatsu, donburi of different varieties, and more. (Risky admission: I’ve never been a sushi fan, the texture of raw fish just isn’t my thing, and shellfish’s texture bothers me whether cooked or raw. :joy:)

My history up until now in learning Japanese

Alrighty then!

This comes in a few different parts.

Part 1
In my early twenties I did two consecutive courses on Japanese. And I felt like I barely managed a pass (more so on the second course), although I’m pretty sure I got more than a passing grade both times.

However, I can honestly say I came away from those courses not really feeling like I knew anything.

When the second course ended, I stopped studying and basically forgot everything, even how to read hiragana.

Part 2
I went to Japan for language school for one month in 2014; was it that long ago? :scream: Time flies…

September, Fukuoka. If I could give advice, September is still too hot and humid in 九州, go somewhere further north if that is the month you want to spend in Japan. GenkiJACS was great though.

I lived with a host family and if I could give advice there too, you’ll probably get more out of it if you already know some Japanese (so maybe do it towards the end of your Japanese language stay, not at the start) also having some social anxiety/anxiety in general makes this part very hard to enjoy. Emotionally I’m in such a better place now, I’d get so much more out of it. What can you do? :woman_shrugging:

Since it was just a month, we didn’t get very far language-wise. And once I came home again, I forgot almost everything except hiragana. I still remembered hiragana pretty well when I came back to Japanese so when the inevitable learn hiragana/katakana first period came, I could focus on katakana and finally pick it up.

Also, I’d love to visit Fukuoka again. Both to revisit some places, and to explore some more.

Part 3
Not entirely sure how to divide the next bits, so might just become one veeeeeeeery long part.

In 2018, late October, I found Wanikani! :crabigator:

And I think I knew from the beginning that this was my real chance to learn Japanese. I was never very interested in speaking, almost solely on reading. And without kanji, that would never happen. Which I think is the reason I always dropped Japanese again after my first couple of attempts because I just couldn’t see it working out long term.

At that time I was also in the process of applying for a 1-year student visa to study at a Japanese language school (again).

I had hoped to speed through a lot of levels before I got to Japan, but my predictable non-consistency reared its head and I got to level 10 in April 2019 (I believe it was then or possibly May) when I’d already moved to Japan, which I did at the beginning of the school year (aka early April or possibly end of March). (It was 3-4 years ago, but feels like a lot more, 2020… 2021…)

If you want to read about my experiences during that year, this thread of mine I linked before covers it to some degree, I can’t remember how much.

Throughout my year in Japan, I slowly leveled WK to 20 (if memory serves). Also certain 2020 things made me cut my touristing at the end of the year. :sob:

Part 4
I guess this is a good place to break. So up until the end of part 3 I had hit about level 20 of WK, maybe a bit more. I’d also read 結婚しても愛してる with the ABBC. I’d probably poked at some other reading things. I 多読 read Alice 19th, my favorite manga from my teens which I’d only read in English before, but I bought in Japanese. I really love that manga because I love the art style, the story, and the magic system is based on words. What more could a writer ask for?

I’ve read a few other of Yuu Watase’s manga series, but haven’t liked any others as much. I never did read her most famous and longest works.

Anyway, I got back from Japan rather abruptly, and then I didn’t do much with Japanese in a consistent way. I dipped in for a while, and somehow got to level 33ish, then last year I got back into WK for a couple of months, but bounced off again. Playing an MMORPG takes so much time…

Then I stopped playing the MMO about Oct/Nov last year and as 2022 rolled around, the desire to get back into Japanese rose. I started chipping away at the review monster I had (I’ve never used vacation mode) and reset my level to get rid of all levels were the kanji/vocab were barely into guru (or lower) when I paused last.

Spent a few months slowly reducing the pile, and towards the end of March, I was starting to see the end of the pile. (I wasn’t super consistent to be honest.) At the same time, I was like, I need to remember why I want to learn Japanese. It isn’t to learn kanji, but to read.

So I joined the Read Every Day Spring 2022 Challenge, beginning in April. Getting back into reading, also for real renewed my desire to study Japanese. So I kept reducing the review pile and also cleaned up some lessons from previous levels that had been added since I did lessons last.

And somewhere in the middle of that challenge I started to work on level 33, and leveled up twice, finished reading all the graded readers I owned and finished Yotsuba& 1, and then here we are at level 35 and 4/7 chapters of Yotsuba& 2 read.

Part 5
Hopefully I will never have to fill this in separately, instead this thread will serve as the record of this. And on into the future…

My hatred of the extra empty lines that selecting "Hide Details" makes as if I don't know how to press 'enter'

No, but seriously, it is annoying as hell as someone who ruthlessly formats even the parts of posts that no one sees but me.

At least this little thing made me learn I can put < hr > tags inside detail tags. Noice.
Also just accidentally hit cmd+s, I do that a lot when writing long posts to make sure I don't lose anything. Doesn't work as intended. :joy:
Also, it is super annoying that detail tags close in the preview when you edit the text in them. Sometimes I think I should write the stuff and read through it before I put it under a detail tag, but then when the text gets really long it is as annoying to highlight it all.

Decisions, decisions…

The reason I’m writing this is because I participated in the Read Every Day Spring 2022 Challenge; here is my home post. And as I participated fully, I started to get to know people here. I do know some people since before, especially @RoseWagsBlue (obligatory tag to welcome you to my new thread! :yellow_heart:).

(Here is my Bookmeter for those curious about my Japanese reading.)

I think this is the first time I feel like I’m finding my place in this community. I’ve been active before, even was a regular for a while :open_mouth:, so yes, at one point I occasionally participated in the poll thread. *cough* Sorry, don’t want to accidentally invoke the madness.

I’ve even dared venturing into the small language questions and grammar questions threads. :scream: The nerve of me. :joy:

Sometimes I amaze myself.

(This gif so perfectly describes my feeling of well-done-but-also-what-do-I-think-I’m-doing-?!?!)

I think I’ll reserve the first two posts for the useful links and stuff, otherwise I will forever be scaning this first post for the info I’m looking for. :joy:

PS. If you caught the fact that I’m a writer, you might be able to figure out what kind from the length of this post. I don’t do short. (Well, I do in my career, but rarely with posts. :rofl:)


Right a study log should also like tell about how I’m studying Japanese, current resources perhaps mention old ones. You know, ACTUAL STUDY LOG STUFF. I forgot that aspect, hahahaha…

So *clears throat* my current study routine is very simple:

  1. Wanikani
  2. Read native material (see next post)

That is it. 'k, bye! :wave:

Eeeh… you wanted more? FINE.

Wanikani details

Let’s start with some stats and we can go into other things after.

WKstats pictures 2022-06-03

Scrips I use (except those I use for aesthetics and such):

  • Jitai (for multiple fonts in reviews)
  • Double-Check (for fixing typos and dealing with leeches (will explain below))
  • Lesson Filter (probably my favorite script, it allows me do mix kanji and vocab lessons and decide how many of each)
  • ConfussionGuesser (I waited probably a year or so after this was made before installing it, that was silly of me; on wrong answers it tries to guess what you confused it with, very accurate in my opinion)
  • Keisei Phonetic-SemanticComposition (best script for learning patterns of 音読み)
  • Review SRS/Level Indicator (I love it, but worry I might use it to guess a word from knowing how long it should have been in my review queue, hasn’t happened yet though, so probably baseless worry)

Right, so I have a pretty casual view towards WK, meaning I’m not strict. I write a similar meaning, but not an accepted one; I fix my answer. All typos definitely get fixed.

I just don’t see a reason to punish myself.

After I got above level 20, I started to notice true leeches showing up for me. Those would be words that just aren’t sticking. I look at them every time and I’d have no clue. Or I’d always confuse it with something else.

There also started to be words I’d get wrong because I didn’t pay quite enough attention, so I misidentified one kanji for another, and therefore typed an extremely different meaning from the correct one. And I’d go “doh, I know that”. And nowadays I correct that. Because I wouldn’t mistake strawberry for recession if I read the words in context (to be clear, those aren’t really similar in Japanese, but random very different words I picked to illustrate my meaning). So for me, it doesn’t make sense to have a lot of extra reviews of a word because in isolation I might mistake it for something else.

In the same vein, I always correct my leeches after I’ve identified them as such. Why? Because I realize that SRS will not be the way I finally learn those words. Seeing them out in action, in texts will make them stick eventually. Or I might find the perfect context for the word and after that I never have to look it up. Either case, failing the review on WK repeatedly only gives me more work and frustration.

WK is here to help me learn kanji so I can read. And if any particular word isn’t sticking very well, then I’d take it out if I could, but I can’t so I make myself type the right answer and let those words continue to rise towards burn status.

SRS is a tool to help me learn, and when it doesn’t help, I’m not gonna beat my head against the wall. It is entirely possible that I completely quit SRS Japanese once I reach level 60. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Or I might decide to tackle a top 5k most common words or a 10k deck (with wk words taken out obviously). I’ll see.

Other tools/websites I use and I have used (that I might get back to)

Bunpro: I’ve found it very helpful for grammar, and after I’ve finished WK, I’ll probably get back to this, to solidify more grammar. Even though, maybe producing grammar in this SRS way is a bit overkill (and hard at times). However, I’m still happy I bought a lifetime subscription many moons ago.

Torii: An SRS program that I really like (for Japanese only). If I decide to get back into do a 10k frequency deck, this is probably the program I will use if it still around/works.

Basic Dictionary of Japanese Grammar: When I first bought this book. I never used it. And then when I was reading during the Read every day spring 2022 challenge, I found myself turning to it to solidify my understand of some grammar points that I’d learnt ages ago. Now that I’ve seen grammar a few times, I can really appreciate the nuances I can start picking up. I will probably go ahead and get the other volumes.

Midori: Dictionary app for iPhones/iPads only. Really good. Costs a small amount and have been worth it to me. The thing I used a lot in the beginning was the ability to draw kanji without needing good stroke order (if you completely disregard stroke order and have a really complex kanji, it will struggle, but you almost have to draw the kanji from last stroke to first and mix it up a lot for that to happen). Nowadays I use romanji (lazy) search as well as kana search. And I just noticed it has a translate mode I gotta test for laughs. :joy:

Google translate, DeepL, ichi.moe: I’m not claiming these three have the same quality, and early on before I could separate a sentence myself ichi.moe was a savior. For any translation website/app, there is always a danger of them getting things incorrect. I use them occasionally to double check meanings or if a sentence really stumps me (I hope it can help me get on the right track; this only happens with sentences were I know all the words and I still don’t get it). Use sparingly and carefully, is my advice. (Although early on I relied a lot more on them to help get basic understanding.)

I struggle with remembering any other resources I’ve used a lot, but I’ll add stuff here when I’m reminded of them.

My routine looks something like this currently:

  • Do reviews and 12ish lessons* after I wake up (like an hour after I wake up)
  • Do reviews at some point in the afternoon
  • Do evening reviews a couple of times
  • Read at some point during the day, happens differently almost every day
  • Hang around on the forum too much :joy:

*With the lesson filter script, I divide my lessons between kanji and vocab. Thereby making my load even throughout a level, since vocab lessons will unlock as kanji goes guru. I typically do 3-4 kanji lessons and 8-9 vocab lessons, to a total of 12 lessons as I mentioned above. Radicals I do as soon as I level up or at my first lesson batch after level up (those would be on top of the 12 lessons I do). Towards the end of a level I might do a few more lessons to have as much finished as possible when I level up, but without creating an unusually large pile (so up to 16 lessons).

Will link to any significant/official (aka from me) updates for this study log here:

June 7 (June 8 additional commentary)
June 14
June 26
July 5
July 16
July 25
August 5
August 16
August 27
September 5
September 13
September 20/21
September 28
October 4
October 12
October 21/22
October 25
October 30
November 3
November 7
November 11
November 15
November 19
November 23
November 27
December 1
December 17 (level 60 celebration thread)
December 27 - Grammar and Listening resources - see the following comments from awesome people for more ideas
December 28 - 2022 Review of Reading!

2023 Goals
January 16
January 25
February 9, an addition to the update, and a small update on Feb 9 update
March 4
March 18
April 2, addition about what Japanese (monolingual) dictionaries I bought the very next day
May 4
May 14
June 9
June 20 Most likely my last review done on WK. 懐かしい〜
July 11
July 24
August 7

Forum challenges and other (non-book club) threads I’ve participated in a lot (those with start/end dates are in chronological order, those that don’t have that are not (surprise!)):

MissDagger's (Final?/Ultimate) Study Log - #259 by MissDagger


Reading Corner

Here is all about my reading in Japanese. And to find out what I own, am reading and have read, my bookmeter is the place.

So where to begin… As I mentioned in the first post, my reasons for learning Japanese has to do with wanting to read things in Japanese. Manga and non-fiction on Japanese stuff (gardens, architecture, history, etc.). But by now, I’m excited to read anything that sounds interesting.

I started my reading journey with graded readers, specifically the Ask Graded Readers (physical form mainly). While reading those, I also poked my head into some book clubs here on WK, although mostly reading books/manga that had been previous covered. The couple of times I tried to actively follow along, I fell off after only a couple of chapters. (Hoping this propensity will end since I’m planing to join several book clubs in the next few weeks/months.)

Currently reading

This includes series I’m currently in the middle of, even if I’m currently not actively reading the next volume.

Orange :tangerine: by 高野 苺, active WK book club
ルーパーズ :infinity:, visual novel, WK club

夜カフェ :cake: by 倉橋 燿子 and たま, 2/3 volumes (I own) read, WK club
ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂 :candy: by 廣嶋 玲子, volume 1 (WK book club)
よつばと! :sunflower: by あずま きよひこ, 2/15 volumes read (WK book club)
美少女戦士セーラームーン :crescent_moon: (完全版 edition) by 武内 直子, 4/10 volumes read (WK book club)
結婚しても愛してる by 白虎 :cupid: , 1/3 volumes read (WK book club)
10分で読める物語 二年生 :rainbow: , read the first 2-3 stories/poems

My (most likely) next picks for reading, and a bit on how I pick them

I never do things by half measure (something that more often works against me than for me…), so when I was getting to a level of Japanese where I could think about reading native material I… I went a little crazy. I also took the opportunity to buy a lot of manga when I was in Japan since it is very cheap there (especially second hand).

Which is why at present own more than 200 volumes of manga, plus a few books. Oops…?

Most of these are getting the original manga of anime series I’ve watched (Sailor Moon, Chobits, Rurouni Kenshin, Ouran High School Host Club). And while I’d love to tackle Kenshin next, I’m not quite ready for the historical setting and the vocabulary that will bring. Ouran High School is one I’d like to read soon-ish because the manga goes further than the anime, and also there are a few light novels too. There it is more the number of volumes. I’d rather be even better at Japanese before tackling that series.

So with almost 200 options (okay, so most are in series, so I don’t have nearly that many options), I need a strategy for how to pick my next thing.

When I was close to finishing the last volume of the Ask Graded Reader set, I made a poll in the Read Every Day Spring Challenge thread, asking for advice for what to read next. At that time, I was partway through the second story arc of Sailor Moon (so the option for Sailor Moon was to mainly finish that).

The results was thus:

Yotsuba& won, with 銭天堂 as second (as the only book option, some choose it to choose a book). Sailor Moon was next which surprised me because I’d mentioned how I struggled with the uneven difficulty (due to lacking vocabulary used by the baddies in that series).

From this poll, I decided to first start reading Yotsuba& because it could turn into something I read on the side when I wanted something easy and fun (and yes, for me by now it is fairly easy). After reading about a volume and a half, I got back into Sailor Moon and finished the second story arc.

Not entirely sure what I will choose to focus on next, if it will be to continue Sailor Moon or go to another pick for a while. Perhaps Zenitendou considering how popular that was.

Of all the books I have, there are a few in a special category for me. I have books that I’ve bought that I am interested in reading, but I also hesitate for some reason. The Ask Graded Readers towards the end is a great example; it was nice to have something with just +1 challenge, but many of the stories and topics was just a tiny bit on the dull side (although not all of them). These are the kind of books/manga that are great to read as part of the RED challenges, at least to always tackle at least one.

Below are those titles in my possession with the reason I’m hesitant about them:
魔法陣グルグル (1), this was a random old manga I bought for 10yen, so no idea if it is any good, but the art seems nice, and when I’ve paged through it, it seems funky (in a good way)
Learn Japanese with Stories-Japanese Reader Collection by Clay and Yumi, I bought this because it was cheap and parallel texts are often recommended, but I think it might fall in the same bucket as graded readers, I don’t actually know if I’ll like any of the stories enough
10分で読める物語 二年生, this is a graded reader but for Japanese children, and I’ve read a couple of the stories in this which seems interesting, but basically falls here due to previous experience of graded readers rather than anything inherent
10分で読める伝記 2年生, graded reader for Japanese children, again, will I enjoy it? I don’t know
齋藤孝のイッキによめる! 名作選 (1年生), and same again, Japanese graded reader for Japanese children

I hope to add these in every so often, so I can get to reading them. If I truly decide I’m not enjoying them, only at that point will I permanently strike them from my to-be-read/reading list.

TLDR; I don’t actually know what my next pick will be. Orange or Zenitendou, or continuing with my current series only (Sailor Moon and Yotsuba&). Also hope to add book clubs such as BBC and possibly IBC (even though I think the pace might be a bit more than I’d like to commit to), and also the Japanese only book club and possibly the VN “book” club.

Books/manga I've read

This will be focused more on series or significant (for me) books. If you want to see the full list, the bookmeter link is above! (In fact if you check that you will notice I’ve skipped several)

Ask Graded Readers, level 0-4, volume 1-3 (of each level) (WK book club)
にゃんにゃん探偵団 by 杉山 亮 (WK book club)
結婚しても愛してる by 白虎 (not finished the whole series yet) (WK book club)
美少女戦士セーラームーン (完全版 edition) by 武内 直子 (not finished the whole series yet) (WK book club)
よつばと! by あずま きよひこ (not finished the whole series yet) (WK book club)

Why didn't you mentioned ありす19th among read? You've read the whole series...

Before I started reading manga in Japanese, so when I read manga as a mid to late teen (I kinda fell off the wagon because it was so much more expensive than other books), Alice 19th was my favorite series.

It brings together a lot of things I like: handsome guys, pretty art style, magic, word magic, character driven stories. It just manages to have everything I like.

I’ve read this series many times in English. And to try and hit my reading goals in 2020, I decided to 多読 read it. But since my vocabulary at the time had about 0 magic words in it, all those parts I really didn’t understand at all. I knew what was happening because I’ve read the story so many times in English.

But honestly, I want to reread this in full comprehension mode. I want to see how different it feels to read it in Japanese vs English. I might actually have to reread the series in English because I haven’t read it in English recently either.

So while I flew through all the volumes in about a week, I didn’t gain anything more from it than I would just rereading it in English, if that makes sense. That is why I didn’t add it above. When I do my full comprehension read, I will though.

Reviews of some things I've read (am reading)

I’m keeping these spoiler free. If I want to add any spoilers, those will be hidden, promise. :blush:

Ask Graded Readers

I posted my review in the graded readers book club, right here. I don’t have much to add to that. I have left reviews of most volumes, noting which stories I liked the best in each volume. Searching for my username in that thread should bring them up.

That post also contains my recommendation when it comes to which levels of graded readers are actually necessary, and which can be skipped if wished. Although I’d probably do the recommendation differently if the previous book clubs didn’t exist here on WK. All those past book club readings are so valuable.



Absolutely gorgeous art, and cats! What more could you ask for? Very nice and cozy mysteries. Fairly easy with the hardest part being parsing some long strings of hiragana. Not riveting/thrilling mysteries, definitely on the cozy side, but very enjoyable. Aimed at children, so don’t expect any super complicated mysteries, but also children story logic do applies to a degree. :joy:

Definitely recommend if you like the art. And it has a book club here on WK.



In many ways I feel like this was the first manga I read. (I read Chi’s Sweet Home first, but that one doesn’t have much text.) And it was my crash course in casual Japanese, with all of this contractions. Considering I barely knew the grammar if I’d seen it in more polite/formal Japanese, it was a crash course in more than one way.

I really enjoyed it despite the challenge. I’m a huge romance reader, and I’ve wanted to read about a relationship after the couple gets together. And that is exactly what this manga is all about. Telling the tale of already being married and still being in love; it’s right there in the title. (And not falling in love after marriage, aka arranged marriage trope.)

I look forward to reading the rest of this 3 volume series. Only read the first volume so far. Also have a book club. (Only the first volume so far though.)


Sailor Moon

At the time of writing this review I’ve finished the first two story arcs. That means 26 chapters (4/10 volumes of the kanzenban edition). I bought it because I save part of the dubbed anime as a kid. Only parts of the first story arc, I think. So nostalgia played a roll, and the art is gorgeous.

I’ve learned from ChristopherFritz that Sailor Moon was made to become an anime, and it is noticeable in the pacing of the story. It can feel very rushed at times, and character moments don’t happen unless they are explicitly needed for the story. So I don’t feel like I know the characters very well.

The story is good though, and when the characters get to interact and do their thing, it is so incredibly good. And did I mention the art if gorgeous? Seriously pretty.

Difficulty-wise Sailor Moon and the 戦士 are easy to understand most of the time. The bad guys though… they use vocabulary words (nouns and verbs) I haven’t seen at all, because they aren’t used in every day Japanese. And the baddies get a lot of room to talk to each other and also monologue during confrontations. Those parts are often so hard that I know one or two words (max) in each sentence, and have to look up so much it doesn’t become comprehensible. Therefore I don’t read Sailor Moon with full comprehension in mind, although outside scenes with baddies I can usually manage that (or close enough).

At present I would recommend it with caveats, those are listed above. It does have a book club and especially the first story arc have grammar questions and answers (arc 2 didn’t have that many, don’t know if that changes with later arcs).



I’ve seen this recommended so many times, and the premise made me wonder why: girl with father moves into a new neighborhood, and the manga is about the girl’s daily life. Slice of life.

But but but but, that description doesn’t at all cover why anyone should read this manga series! The reason?


Yes, capital letters were necessary. Honestly, I either chuckle or laugh out loud through most chapters (almost from start to finish).

The language is very casual, so difficulty-wise if you have no experience with casual language it will be a slog to start. Because Yotsuba (the titular girl) slurs her words like children do and also says things wrong at times. The dad and most other characters use casual contractions that can be pretty incomprehensible to start and make it hard to figure out what grammar structures are being used.

But, the WK forum to the rescue! There is a book club! For volume one and two, a lot of questions will have been asked already (and answered). Although if they haven’t, don’t be afraid to add them. (I can’t speak for later volumes because I haven’t read them yet and therefore not the WK threads on them.)

So while I’m not sure I’d recommend it as a first manga (not sure if I have such a recommendation yet because dang, casual language is a slug to learn all at once like that), it has good support on the forum making it a good option for an early native pick. And it is so funny. Worth picking up for that reason. (If you find kids funny with their weird questions, their extremely literal take on things you tell them, and the crazy things a kid will do unless you teach them differently, then this manga is for you. If you find all of that tedious and annoying, then maybe not…)


Some useful links with book/manga recommendations in genres I like (one of the thread I started!), as well as threads that help with picking books and such.

I actually haven’t looked through the last two links, but I plan to do that for those that look interesting to me. Although considering my bookmeter 読みたい list is already pretty big, I don’t think I need more recommendations. :joy:


Glad that you’re giving this another go! I’m looking forward to following your study log! I think this time, you got this :wink:.

If you don’t mind using scripts, someone created a userscript for the forum that keeps the details tag open in the edit window. Just a nice quality of life improvement :blush:.


I am so happy about this. I read your whole Genji novel explanation. Sound great!

I am sorry that I have not emailed lately. It seems like it was my turn to mail, and I let the ball drop. It is work and garden season, so I have been distracted.



@fallynleaf Life saver! Thanks for the script, also I’m glad to have you with me. :smiley:

I should probably add a section about how I use WK, and what I’m studying and how I’m studying, huh? Oops… feel like a mandatory section of a study log, ね? :joy:

@RoseWagsBlue Don’t worry too much about it. I have this email buddy where we try for monthly emails but fall short most of the time, and we decided we should stop feeling guilty about it or always apologize about late replies. Instead we just pick up the conversation where we left off. I think that will work great for us too, no?

This is important stuff. :blush:


OK. :slight_smile:
Actually, I have a list of people that have been put off too much lately. Anything that I do right now means there is some other thing that is not getting done. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

And it better be Spring there by now!

1 Like

Yes! Spring has arrived. Lawn mowing season has started. My apple tree has not bloomed yet but I can see the white/pink buds. Soon though!

1 Like

Lycka till. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

For those following this thread, I just spent an hour or two updating the second post with my study routine, study resources (present and older) as well as links to some threads I’ve participated in a lot.

If you, after checking out any part of that post, think “But don’t I remember MissDagger hanging out a lot in X thread?” or “MissDagger used X resource, I’ve seen her endorse it, come on, where is your memory? Need SRS for that maybe?”, please let me know. And if your thoughts were more kindly phrased in your mind, it pleases me. ^________^

Edit: Forgot to add the book clubs and book club-esque threads I’ve participated in. I meant to add them to the reading post (post #3, not yet done), but really no reason not to have them among the other links. They’re there now.

2nd Edit: Tack så mycket @x90PT :smiley:


Good morning, Miss Dagger.


Good morning! How are you today?

I’m getting close to finished with updating and fleshing out the first few posts. :blush: Very happy about that.


I see that. :slight_smile:
Did you get my email sent to different address than usual?

1 Like

Yes, I did. :slight_smile: I meant to reply yesterday but forgot because I spent so many hours reading Sailor Moon. :sheepish:


Not to worry! I was just making sure that the other email still worked for you.
No pressure either, this is a nearly 2 year away event! We are just starting to think seriously about it. We have another friend who travels frequently. We will see her this weekend, and see if she would like to meet us for a few days in Tokyo.
Also, I have a new internet friend in Tokyo. She knows all of the gardens and such. She has offered to show us around, and come and rescue us if we get lost on our own. So that would be more on the side of us maybe spending some of the trip in Tokyo.
Kyoto is still the main place for us though.


Yeah, that other email is my main one (or will eventually be).

I took the year wrong. :woman_facepalming: I read it was 2023. :joy:

I’ve been to a few of the parks in Tokyo and couple of parks. There are many beautiful places there.

Kyoto will forever have a special place in my heart. :green_heart: It still feels strange for me, how such a large city, still had the small town feel. I can’t wait until I get back either.

1 Like

Phew! I’ve now finished Reading Corner too! What I’m currently reading, what I’ve read, some reviews on what I’ve read, some other things and links to some recommendations and such I hope to check out (and have checked out).

As soon as I post this, I will add a sentence on when I do WK lessons (and how I divide them between kanji and vocab) which I failed to add to the second post (the one about my studying).


I bought the series in English for the same reason, but I didn’t get very far. It was physical books and I’d started the transition to digital soon after.

I sold that set and managed to get through the first eight volumes digital (again, in English). But then I got into reading manga in Japanese, so that’s as far as I reached…

Maybe I’ll pick it up in Japanese and start over from the beginning once again, in hope of finally reaching the post-anime material =D

If I remember correctly, this is another series with long chapters (50 pages). It’s way different from some of the series I’ve been reading lately with 5 to 16 page chapters!

There are just so many series waiting to be read…

Well, you already know that =P

I’ve noticed you’ve mentioned Orange. That one’s on my to-read list as well! I originally held off because some of the main characters looked very similar to the main characters in another manga I was reading. I finished that other series, but I haven’t gotten to Orange yet. I’ve heard it’s a really good series, though!

It’s crazy how varied the vocabulary is in that series!

I used Yotsuba& for the same purpose. After I finished it, I found 三ツ星カラーズ to be comparable in difficulty to use as my “something easy”.

Sounds like Saint Tail was for me. While I did know a lot of words, and I picked up some along the way, I was mostly able to 多読 it because I’d read the English release and had seen the subtitled anime a few times before.

Now that I have more vocabulary, I’ll probably read it again eventually. But I’m slowly going through the anime (with Japanese subtitles) for listening practice, so I probably won’t re-read the manga for a while yet.

I didn’t notice if you’ve mentioned Natively before, but if you see a series you’ve read before and a series you want to read both on there, you can get a rough idea of the difference in their difficulty. For example, Sailormoon has worked its way to “level 28” difficulty, whereas Orange is sitting at “level 22”. There’s a very good chance the latter will be a much easier reading experience than the former.


Oh, someone else interested in Ouran! I’m probably not getting to it this year, just so much else I want to read, and I have several shorter series I can use as more practice. I know when I peeked at the first volume that the first chapter was very long, but I think the others were a bit shorter. But that is from memory. Also I’m not sure I’m ready for another series with long chapters right now. :fearful:

Maybe we could read it together in 2023 or something? Would be cool to set up even a mini club for like the best anime ever. (I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched Ouran… xD)

I’ve heard the same. In fact I picked it up from the slice of life recommendation thread I made. And I keep hearing good things about it when I mentioned it in the Read Every Day thread.

I’ll check it out. :+1:

Natively showed up at a time I wasn’t spending much time on Japanese/WK forum, so I’m unreasonably suspicious of it, in the way of: where did you come from and why is everyone so enamored? :face_with_monocle:

I’ve taken after my dad that if something gets too popular (too quickly) I view it with suspicious and ignore it. :joy:

I see the value of it though, it is just… I already have a bookmeter and there is only so much time, you know? However, I am slowly, as slowly as I possibly can, being converted to thinking it might be good to have an account.

Even before then, it does sound like a great idea to check difficulties so I can have a better idea of what I’m getting myself into. :blush: Thank for that tip!

1 Like

Although it’s been a few years since I re-read those first volumes in English, I feel like the longer I wait to tackle it in Japanese, the more I’ll appreciate it.

If you remember, let me know when you’re ready to read it, and we can coordinate. There are a few “read at your own pace” clubs out there that use one thread for discussing the whole series. It might even attract a few other readers.

By the way, Natively lists Ouran at level 28, the same as Sailormoon(!) The site’s ranking system is based on user feedback by comparing two manga and saying which was easier/more difficult to read. The levels aren’t precise, and they may shift a little as other people read volumes and grade their difficulty. I think it’s a pretty good system for comparison.

It looks like the manga doesn’t actually list chapters in the table of contents, which makes it a bit more difficult to tell!

But browsing volume 8, the first few chapters are 33 pages, 29 pages, and then 30 pages. Still a lot, but not nearly Sailormoon level length.

The answers you seek are available! =D

The nice thing about Natively is you can look up manga on it even if you don’t have an account. You’ll only get results if someone has requested the series be added, and the grading may be tentative until a few people read the series and grade it.

The main reason I signed up is to get more manga added to it and graded, to help others find something around their level. I did previously sign up for a couple of Japanese sites for tracking my reading, but I found those to be pointless for me, since I already track my reading locally (just what I’ve read by the year I finished it). With Natively, I’m contributing something that can help others.

If someone is happy tracking their reading on another site, especially if they have a lot of recorded data already, it’s probably better to stick with what they are already using. (Unless they have another reason to switch, such as wanting to help add data to Natively.)