Offshoot Club: それでも歩は寄せてくる ・ When will Ayumu Make his Move? ♟ - Currently reading: Volume 11

I typically google the part of japanese, that I am not sure about, and just add “grammar” at the end. So something like “〜すら grammar”. Google generally gives me good answers if I search like this.
This does mean you need to identify the part that is the unknown grammar though.

I know people use things like, where you can type in the entire sentence and the site will break down the vocab and grammar for you. I barely used it though, so I can’t comment on how useful it is.

If you have trouble finding the grammar points, you can also ask in the bookclub threads! I guarantee someone will then explain it or link you a website that does. The more questions and activity there is in the threads, the better! :relaxed:


Thank you ! Did a quick test and that site looks amazing, gonna help me a lot for breaking down the sentences into its different parts which i’m not good at yet… who had the idea of not using spaces at all ? x)

Looking forward to start reading this on the weekend !


The good news is, it will get easier eventually. You’ll learn and get used to seeing particles, auxiliary verbs, and very common words not written in kanji. You’ll learn more vocabulary and more kanji. And keep reading. It slowly gets easier and easier.

When I see Japanese with spaces, it’s a lot harder for me to read.


It really does - at first it will all kind of blend together, but you’ll get used to picking out where particles are and where words end. Kanji play a very useful word in marking out word boundaries so spaces aren’t particularly necessary. There’ll still be some times where it’s not clear, but in general it really is just about getting used to it

5 Likes works pretty well for me, especially when I’m not sure how the words are separated. It’s nice that it breaks down conjugations and gives different possibilities. One thing to be aware of: If it isn’t able to parse a part of a sentence, a lot of times there’s some casual contraction it doesn’t understand (things like の → ん). Even if you don’t use, it’s worth a look at this Quick Contraction Reference

I use Jisho as my main dictionary. There are lots of other good options but I like the interface. You can look up kanji with it too, not that you’ll need to do that much in this book club.

For grammar, I usually use two different books (I find paper easier to look up grammar on for some reason, but I should probably get better myself at looking things up on the internet). If it looks like a particle the first thing I go to is “A Dictionary of Japanese Particles”. If it doesn’t appear there, or if it’s not a particle, I go to “A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar” (I only have the basic volume but there’s also an intermediate and advanced). With that said, I’ll still use Google a fair amount, similar to how Jiell does.

I haven’t found a great all-in-one resource for helper verbs. Over time I’ve gathered a bunch of info from different sources in my personal notes. A good place to start is the Tofugu article on Verb Conjugation Groups. At the bottom there is a list of “Related Grammar” that links to articles on common helper verbs.

If you like looking up sound effects, try The Jaded Network SFX Search. I skip looking up that kind of thing a lot, but it can be fun.

I admit I use deepL sometimes. Others have really cautioned against it because it can be completely wrong (where was that super recent discussion about this?). It doesn’t have much context about the story, and sometimes it’ll interpret a word’s meaning completely incorrectly. When I do use it, I’ll just take it as a hint, and go back to or Jisho to understand exactly what’s going on so I can work through the sentence on my own …or I’ll decide the AI translation doesn’t make sense at all.

If you haven’t seen The Ultimate Additional Japanese Resources List!, there’s a lot of good stuff there.

And of course, as others have said, asking the book club is a good option. People love answering questions here (thanks everyone!). A lot of times your question has already been asked, or somebody has posted their translation of the sentence.


You might be referring to this discussion which happened in the Wadahonara book club Prologue chapter


Yup, that’s it.


Wow so many cool resources in here. Thank you all for all the information. I’m taking notes of it, and bookmarking all the links to be ready for when we start reading the manga.

Really looking forward to it :smiley:


To very briefly expand, the fact that it’s often completely wrong is not the problem in my opinion – it’s that as a beginner, it’s impossible to know for certain whether it’s wrong or not.

Suppose you have a line that you think you maybe understand, but want to check with GT. If GT comes up with something plausible (i.e. not totally nonsensical), there are four possible outcomes here:

  • You were wrong, but GT agrees with you; you take this as confirmation that you had it right (BAD END)
  • You were wrong, and GT’s (different) answer is also wrong (BAD END)
  • You were right, but GT’s answer is wrong and plausible enough that you assume you had it wrong (BAD END)
  • You were right, GT agrees with you, and you take this as confirmation (GOOD END)

It’s a three-to-one chance of damaging your study process. A much better way to do things is literally skip stuff you can’t figure out. If you don’t know, then you don’t know. No worries! Make peace with not knowing stuff and push it off to your future self to worry about instead. Chances are very good that something you’re struggling with right now will be a piece of cake in three months.


Thanks for the reply @jacobalbano, I was considering mentioning you but was unsure on etiquette =D

I wanted to add/stress that even though I may appear to be disagreeing with Jacobalbano in the original thread, I think I actually pretty much agree with all of their points.

Even more so within the context of a book club, it will pretty much always be better to ask if you’re unsure.

Great writeup, and congrats on finishing Persona 5!


I would love to join but I’m still on vol.1 and I don’t think I can finish in 2 days :caught_durtling: T-T


:wind_chime: The Volume 2 thread is now up! For those new to offshoot clubs, we’ll have one thread per volume instead of one per chapter! :wind_chime:


Hello hello hello!

We’re almost done with それでも歩は寄せてくる Volume 2 (´。• ᵕ •。`) :heart: So now it’s poll time!

Do you want to proceed with Volume 3?

  • Yep!
  • I’m taking my time to finish Vol. 2

0 voters

If you want to proceed with Vol. 3, when do you want to start?

  • November 27th (one week after the end of Vol. 2)
  • December 4th (two weeks after the end of Vol. 2)

0 voters


All-in for Ayumu still, definitely. I voted Dec 4th just cause I’ll take every chance I can get to catch up on the too-many things I’m trying to juggle, but I can certainly manage the 27th if that’s what we do. Thanks as always for running this; I always look forward to the next week :slight_smile:


Thank you everyone for voting ☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

I have already set up everything for Volume 3, starting November 27th! (°◡°♡)



:wind_chime: ding ding, attention attention, please! Volume 3 thread is here for the bookclub starting on November 27th! :wind_chime:


So… it seems yesterday we started Volume 3, and here I’m now, ready for you-know-what right? (o˘◡˘o)

IT’S POOL TIME :tada: :tada: :tada:

Do you want to proceed with Volume 4?

  • Yep!
  • I’m taking my time to finish Vol. 3

0 voters

If you want to proceed with Vol. 4, when do you want to start?

  • January 22nd (one week after the end of Vol. 3)
  • January 29th (two weeks after the end of Vol. 3)

0 voters


The choice has been made! :postal_horn::postal_horn::postal_horn: We’ll start Volume on January 22nd!!
Thank you everyone who voted! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

In the meantime enjoy the last few chapter of Volume 3!! ( ◕▿◕ )


A good deal of Shogi terminology here that I have spent too much time in the rabbit hole trying to piece together. Even relearned Kifu notation and got my Shogi board out to play through their entire match. After watching a few youtube videos on 棒銀 and 四間飛車 I think I started to get the gist but I’d really love for someone with Shogi playing experience to explain what is going on.

pg 119

First of all, the furigana for 四間飛車 is 守り. So is 「得意の四間飛車じゃなくて」, “defense is not my strong suit.”? Or is it more like “defending 四間飛車 is not my specialty.”?
Finding it impossible to identify the furigana for 居飛車急戦. I’m guessing its set-up like 守り is, but even at 300% zoom I can’t figure out what it is. It looks like such an obvious kanji too its driving me crazy. :face_vomiting:
If 居飛車 is static rook and 急戦 is something like “attacking suddenly,” that sounds more like 守り.
Urushi wouldn’t be thinking that defense isn’t Ayumu’s strength, I don’t think. Volume 1 chapter 2 is all about Ayumu always playing Defense because of his Kendo training right?
I give up on this for now I feel like I crossed some wires somewhere in this rabbit hole

I loved that the end of chapter 40 and the beginning of 41 have no buffer. A polite よろしくお願いします followed immediately by:
パチッ It’s on!


Think in pairs! What goes with (まも)り? ()め.

I don’t know shogi (beyond the very basic basics), but it seems that 四間飛車 is a technique, which I presume (based on the furigana) is for defense. It’s probably something Ayumu normally does (as he plays defensively), but this time his opening move is 居飛車急戦, an offensive move.

Typically the furigana is what is actually said/thought. Thus, the first part of Urushi’s thought would be, “Rather than his specialty of defense, he’s using offense.” (The kanji lets us know what defense move he typically uses, and which offensive move he’s leading with.) And then her second thought balloon follows, “He wants to win that much, huh?”