Offshoot Club: それでも歩は寄せてくる ・ When will Ayumu Make his Move? ♟ - Currently reading: Volume 14

Hi everyone! So the reading schedule is up and it will start from next Saturday! I thought we can start slowly, with just one 局 for next week and then two 局 as usual!

Please let me know if you find any error in the main thread - I did the page count on Bookwalker, so there may be some mismatch with physical copy!


Thanks to this book club i tried to read this as my first manga and i can’t stop reading it. Now i’m already finished volume 8 and catching up to the weekly shonen magazine release schedule :sweat_smile:

Looking forward to the 2nd volume and hope everyone have a great time! Seriously though i hope this club will continue until the series ends because it gets really interesting as the story progress :grin:


Oh no! The vocabulary list is missing!


Looking forward to finally read the next chapter :slight_smile:
Thanks for organizing this!


Hi all,

This looks pretty interesting since i love Takagi San and this is from the same author. However I’m worried about my level being enough to even try this.

I’m comfortable with hiragana and katakana, i’m still slow but i can recognize them without making mistakes, i know a little bit of grammar, going through minna no nihongo on a class and am at around lesson 12 which is more or less halfway through. My kanji knowledege is nonexistent tho, i probably can recognize around 5 kanji that pop up pretty often in minna no nihongo and just started doing wanikani level1… wanikani seems pretty good so far so i think i’ll end up paying for it.

So what was your level when you started reading ? Do you think I can give this a shot ? Or should i wait to learn more kanji/grammar before even attempting this ?


Since this manga uses furigana readings on kanji, you don’t need to know any kanji to read it.

I’m not familiar with what grammar Minna no Nihongo covers, but chances are you’ll face two things if this is your first time reading manga in Japanese:

  1. You will encounter a lot of grammar you haven’t learned yet. You might even start learning more grammar at a faster pace than in your textbook learning.
  2. You might not recognize grammar that you’ve already learned from the textbook. This is because it takes time and repeated exposure for your brain to build up pattern recognition of grammar.

These points also apply more or less for vocabulary as well. You’ll encounter a lot of vocabulary you don’t know, and you’ll find you need to look up most words you encounter. (If you start reading with volume one, which we just completed, there are existing vocabulary lists that help out with this.) Over time, you’ll start to recognize common vocabulary, since it shows up often.

I recommend giving reading a try, understanding that the first material you read will be difficult no matter when you start, forcing yourself to push through one whole volume, and then decide if you want to keep going on manga reading, or take a break to learn more grammar (via textbook) and common vocabulary first.

What’s your experience with Takagi-san? Did you watch the anime with English subtitles? Read the comic translated into your native English? Have you attempted reading it in Japanese?


Thanks for the answer !

That approach seems quite sensible actually, give it a try and if i feel i’m not ready i can focus on grammar/kanji and try reading again later. I see this is starting on saturday, does it matter if i haven’t read the first volume ? I don’t think I can catch up unless i read the first one in english which kinda defeats the purpose.

As for Takagi-san I watched both seasons of the anime with spanish (my native language) subtitles. I haven’t attempted reading it in japanese because it seems kinda… scary. I know i know, reading this would be scary too but at least if it’s a bunch of us struggling together and discussing about it, well, it seems a lot more fun and less scary than trying to pick something up on my own.


You can definitely jump in at volume two, and then read volume one in the future.

The main things to know are:

  • Boy and girl play shogi after school each day.
  • Boy likes girl, but won’t confess his feelings until his can defeat her in a game of shogi. (He’s a complete beginner, and she’s experienced at shogi.)
  • Boy always compliments girl.
  • Girl is certain boy likes her.
  • Boy deflects girl’s attempts to get boy to confess.

It’s sort of like the Takagi pattern: Nishikata thinks Takagi will trick him. Nishikata tries to avoid being tricked. Nishikata gets tricked.

In this series: Urushi thinks Ayumu likes her. Urushi tries to get Ayumu to admit he likes her. Urushi fails to get a confession.

In the beginning, it’s normal even if you spend over an hour on one page. There will be a lot of learn at first. You’ll be able to ask questions in the book club, and get a lot of information. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything happening in a chapter (just as long as you kind of follow). Most chapters are self-contained stories.

But if you stick with it, and keep learning, and keep reading, it gets easier. When you reach the end of the volume, you will be able to look at the first chapter again and see that it’s easier to understand than when you started.

Even after one volume, reading will still be difficult. But you will surely recognize the progress you have made, and will be able to keep reading.


Added, thx!

And thank you all for being here!!| o(>ω<)o


Alright ! Thank you very much for the detailed answer.
I’ll pick up the manga and try to read it with with you all.
See you soon !


Also to add, since you are a fan of Takagi-san (link to home thread), we are going to start Volume 3 of that series October 2nd, but there are discussion threads for Volumes 1 and 2 already, so if you were interested in reading Takagi-san in Japanese at all, that might not be a bad option to read and scan through the discussion threads for questions you may have. You’ll especially be helped in comprehension by already having an idea of the story – meaning you can focus a little more on the grammar.

I also (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) have all the discussion threads related to Takagi-san still set to watching, so asking a question in them will ping those of us who do, and somebody will definitely be willing to help. (:


Thank you for the suggestion. It’s good to know there’s also a Takagi-san reading club in here. I think I’m gonna start with this one since I already got it on bookwalker and I will take a look at Takagi-san later on if this goes well. I don’t think I can handle 2 mangas at once being a complete beginner.

So one last question before the actual reading starts, what resources do you guys use to look up stuff you’re not familiar with. I guess for words you can use a dictionary (if you manage to recognize what separates words in the first place, but oh well some trial and error should do the trick), it is quite convenient that all the kanji has furigana. But when it comes to grammar what do you use ?


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: