[Now Voting!] Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 耳をすませば

Is this your try to get me back to the book club? :eyes:

Get me back? Was I ever here? :joy:


I haven’t used Genki, but it could be tough with only most of Genki I. I imagine you’d be better off getting at least partway through Genki II, but I can’t really say.

Have you read through the sample pages for the manga? That could give you a better idea.

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Ahaha :joy:

Awesome, thank you so much! :purple_heart:

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Thanks for sending me this! I think you might be right though. I can understand most of it, but it’s a bit slow so I won’t get much enjoyment out of it. I’ll read along with the book after that though!


I remember reading the first book years ago and think “wow, this is weird”. My Japanese wasn’t great at the time so I might have missed something but still, what with the drool thing. (Them scissors skills though)

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Yep, I like it because they don’t treat it as something weird. It’s a pretty straight-forward romcom other than that.
Really liked the art, and mostly the atmosphere that the author always gets out in his works.

I need to relearn a LOT of Japanese. A book club would be an excellent place to start! Not sure how to sign up, though.

You just did. Grab a copy of the book and join in. :slightly_smiling_face:

The home thread of the book we’re currently reading is here - it’s got links to the threads for each chapter, so you’re free to start from the start or jump in at where we are. I suggest the former, though - threads are still available to ask questions in.

(Splinter groups are also reading Yotsubato and Aria, if you’d like to read those as well or instead, but we’re a fair bit futher ahead on those, so there’s a bit more catching up to do.)

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To add to @Belthazar’s excellent reply, we’ll be starting to read Natsume probably in November (see the OP for details) if you’d rather start at the same time as everybody else.

We’ll also be voting on the next book/manga to tackle at some point in the next few weeks, I imagine, so you could watch out for that if none of the current options appeal to you :slightly_smiling_face:

Speaking of which, I really need to find the time to nominate Girls’ Last Tour and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time…


Anyone ever nominated 甘々と稲妻 (aka Sweetness and Lightning) before? Considering giving that one a shot…

I didn’t have access to the anime of Girl’s Last Tour, so if the difficulty looks manageable I’m keen for that one.

@Belthazar I don’t remember it being nominated. I wasn’t super keen on the anime to be honest, but I can imagine it might make for good reading material so long as the daughter’s speech isn’t too childlike :thinking:

It’s not too bad. Check out the sample pages, though there’s admittedly not too many actual manga pages there.

Also, no furigana…

I haven’t tried the anime yet past the first episode, but I’ve been enjoying the manga (in English) a great deal.

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Girls’ Last Tour also doesn’t have furigana, but it didn’t seem too bad. I’ll be sure to post a lot of page samples so that it’s representative of the difficulty.

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I’ll check them out, thanks :+1:

Sounds like we’re gonna have quite a number of furigana-less nominations this time round!

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The next book’s thread is up ^^


I think the proposed schedule had chapter one down for two weeks, to make it a bit less intense :thinking:

I like the addition of the durtle :durtle_love:


Ah okay, that makes sense!

Heheh, thanks for noticing :purple_heart::durtle_the_explorer:




ときどき、自分のことが、わからなくなる。たとえば、みんなと笑い転げながら、ふっと、作り笑いしている自分に気づいたとき。相手によって、態度がころころかわっていたり、強気でいたかと思うと、すぐに弱気になったり……。こんなわたしでいいのかな? いつか、ほんとの自分がわかるのかな?
――わたし、朝比奈柚は、ダンス部と蓮先輩にあこがれて、流星学園中学校に入学したの。同じクラスの葵ちゃんは、意志が強くてカッコイイ。桃ちゃんは、笑顔がかわいくて、だれとでも仲良くできちゃうコ。自信がないのは、わたしだけ? でもね! ダンス部で、チーム・ギャラクシーに選ばれるようにがんばるよっ! 友情、恋、部活、すべてはこれから。柚の中学校生活スタート!

Half-rushed, not completely literal and kind of awkward English translation(so apologies for any mistakes/weirdness, and feel free to point it out):

Sometimes, I feel like I can’t understand myself. While everyone else is laughing, I suddenly notice myself letting out a forced laugh. According to others, my behaviour is changing rapidly, I may act really confident and then become timid right afterwards. I wonder if that’s okay? I wonder if my true self is changing?

I’m Asahina Yuzu and I have entered Ryuusei Academy Junior High School, which has the dance club I longed for together with Ren-senpai. The dermination of Ooi-chan in my class is really cool. Momo-chan’s smile is cute enough that she could become friends with anyone. Am I the only one that doesn’t have any confidence? But! I’ll do my best to be selected for the dance club’s “galaxy” team! Friendship, love, club activities… it all starts from here! This is the start of my junior high school life!


Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/ポレポレ日記-いざ、流星学園へ-講談社青い鳥文庫-倉橋-燿子/dp/4062855127/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537556892&sr=8-3&keywords=ポレポレ日記
Ebook: https://www.ebookjapan.jp/ebj/399417/

Personal Opinion

I personally thought it seemed interesting, so I’m hoping someone else will find it interesting too. Judging by the first few pages, it also appears to be one of the easiest books I’ve tried to read.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


Fairly easy and not as much text on each page as other books I’ve tried reading.


Is an actual book that is about 180 pages long, so much more text than in most manga.


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

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



As requested, and for anyone else interested, here is the front cover of the edition of Penguin Highway I bought:

It’s the standard Kadokawa Bunko edition, and is presumably a re-release to tie in with the anime. I thought I was getting this cover:

Old Cover


Also, for interest, here are some other books (Aria Masterpiece edition, a standard Aoi Tori book, and Kiki) for scale comparison. It’s basically the same size as that edition of Kiki but fatter.