📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

Aren’t a lot of BLs listed as josei, though? I know there are ones written for guys too, but it’s been my experience that a lot of queer stories are josei

I tried looking into that series the other day when it was first brought up to see if it was something I’d be interested in. It seems the first volume mostly just sets up the world/story, and the romance happens later. It seems it also gets very whumpy toward the poor MC in later volumes. And even though he’s 17, everyone seems to think he’s like 15, which makes the fact that at least one adult man falls in love with him even grosser. I have no idea if his actual love interest is also a teenager or not, but, I decided that even if his love interest is age-appropriate, the series wasn’t for me, so I didn’t try to look any further


Welcome! To both the challenge and the forums it seems. :slightly_smiling_face:

I love that image, and I think I have a new dream for my life now. Time to start checking waterfalls.

Summary post

Today I read about 7500 characters! Nice little bump upwards. Also late last night I decided to spend a little more time on the game and totally finished Umi’s route, so that’s even more significant progress! Today I started hanging out with Kamome:

She seems fun. Very playful character. Most of the time that leads to really short basic sentences that I can breeze through, though at times she starts speaking in ways I struggle with, stuff that I think is meant to be a little goofy. One of those very strong “do not copy speech patterns from this character” types, though that’s everyone of course to some degree, haha. Overall though, my first day impressions are that this is going to be a relatively easy route, which I appreciate. After this I expect the next one to be simple enough too, then we get to the two characters I’ve been putting off for anticipated reading trouble.

Anyway, her route involves a sort of treasure hunt, which seems like it’ll be a lot of fun. Total carefree summer as a child vibes (for now at least), wandering around looking for cool “secret” things.

I wanted to share another image in addition to "here's Kamome" so I'll collapse it for space

One nice little victory was reading that today. It’s not written in a difficult way, but I can recall when even the slightest font differences short circuited my Japanese ability. There are many super hard fonts or handwriting out there that I’m no good at, but it pleased me to be able to read all of that slightly handwritten style text.

The best new word I have is just 思いを馳せる (おもいをはせる). The Japanese definition I have is horribly long, but the translations on Jisho are pretty evocative themselves: “to send one’s heart out to,” “to think nostalgically upon,” etc. Not just any think but a real specific, meaningful think.


Day 21

Read another short Tadoku story about a foreign 学生 Ken working in a コンビニ and not quite knowing how to interpret what お客さん answer him when he asks if they need a plastic bag.


What tends to be the difference between the two? I feel like I hear that distinction made a lot but I don’t know exactly what it means

I do find it kinda weird that whenever there’s a manga about gay people written for women there like “has” to be an uke and a seme? I’ve only been in straight relationships before (kind of? it’s complicated but), but that seems like a very reductive/restrictive way to think about people/relationships.

There’s also the like “but we’re both girls/boys” trope that always comes up for some reason? Or like when the characters are only same-sex attracted for high-school purposes


Today I read 20 pages of わんわん探偵団 (1). The book is for kids but I already bought it one year ago for the reading club and because I was bored I started reading it yesterday. It’s way easier than my other books.


April 16th-20th :cherry_blossom: :cat2: :cherry_blossom: (Days 16-20)

Home post

Alright, I was hoping to return with a bigger update (and with more things to say), but I guess not. In these past few days I’ve read:

  • a few more NHK articles - but none of them stood out to me in particular (it’s the lack of cat).
  • a folktale (cat-themed), but the kitty died halfway through and I could not bear reading the rest.
  • and finallly, the first few pages of 小さな闇 by 吉本バナナ (the second short story from my book). This story is quite a bit longer than the first one by Murakami, and it is also signifficantly more katakana heavy. Reading it is hell. Interesting story, but what a damn painful read with those foreign words…
Some thoughts

This reading challenge has so far been a huge wake up call. While I can easily recognize majority of words and kanji I encounter, understanding them in context is a harder task. It’s clear that my grammar is lacking, and it just makes it harder to stay on track and complete my reading at the end of a long, tiring day.
To combat this, I was thinking of cutting back a little bit on the amount of time I spend on reading every day, and put some effort into grammar studies.


Summary Post

Day 20: April 20th
What did I read?: クマとたぬき
How much did I read?: 24 pages
How long did it take me?: 26 min

A 4-koma manga about…a bear and a tanuki :joy: The illustrations are very cute :blush: I think someone recommended or mentioned this manga in a previous thread but I can’t remember who :bowing_woman: Reading this made me realize that I’m kind of in the mood for something with more of a cohesive story, though. Might or might not read again tomorrow, kind of depends on how busy I am - these kind of manga are nice for those busy days ^^

Thought this page was particularly cute xD

Good words
  • 好奇心旺盛 (こうきしんおうせい) - brimming with curiosity
  • のんびり屋 (のんびりや) - easygoing person​
  • 険しい山 (けわしいやま) - steep mountain; craggy mountain
  • サギ - heron
  • 日向ぼっこ (ひなたぼっこ) - basking in the sun
  • 毛皮 (けがわ) - fur; skin; pelt
  • 寝相 (ねぞう) - sleeping posture

This is so cuteee D: sharkies~


Summary Post

April 20
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

I thought I was reaching the end but nope, apparently there are still 4 more missions. I’m also getting the Switch back tomorrow so finally returning to FF7 \o/ .

I might be testing an experiment soon. The yomichan topic the other day reminded me that I did look into making flashcards with yomichan some time ago. So I thought it would be interesting to have Houhou for Japanese to English SRS, and Anki exclusively for Japanese to Japanese. What I mean by this is that whenever there’s a definition I fully understand in Japanese, I add that word to Anki through yomichan (very convenient, automatically grabs literally everything). On the other hand, when I don’t understand the definition completely, I add it to Houhou. I don’t even know what will come out of this, but hoping it’s something positive. For science! I expect most of my cards in Houhou, but I would be happy if eventually it becomes the other way around to transition more and more from bilingual to monolingual.



I read the preview for 恋の仕方がわからない. This one actually doesn’t seem like it’ll be that difficult to read? I mean the preview gave me a headache since the print’s kinda small and I can’t zoom, but the writing itself wasn’t particularly difficult. Be easier than the other manga I’ve been reading lately (舞台に咲け!, GREEN). So I may be getting that one next time I order off of Amazon.

Also, a couple books I ordered off Manga Republic last week (星だけが知ってる and 春園ショウ’s art book Candy) arrived in the States today and should be getting here on Saturday! Maybe I’ll finish GREEN by then and will read 星だけが知ってる before starting クールドジ男子, as it’s just the one volume.

I read Seed 17 of GREEN. This one had way more katakana than usual as Wako-chan was helping out at Kayoko’s restaurant during the xmas season and many of the dishes were mostly or fully katakana, so it was a bit more challenging than usual.

I read 6 pages of 2.43, putting me at pg 72. I also rewatched ep 6 (with ENG subtitles though), which covers this chapter. It’s my second-favorite episode, after ep 8, which I’m not sure which chapter that is.

Obligatory rambling

We get explicit acknowledgement/confirmation that a good portion of Subaru’s outward personality is a mask! (Specifically: Though he’s a hundred times more naturally cheerful than Ochi, about half of Mimura’s affability is an act.) I wasn’t not expecting it, but it’s still nice, especially since, as this is from Ochi’s POV, it’s also confirmation that Ochi does know him well enough to tell (which I also already knew, but). Subaru’s good (although not perfect at it, though I’ve no doubt that he’ll get even better as he gets older) and people who don’t know him that well likely wouldn’t be able to tell he’s masking. There’s an upcoming scene where a reporter from Fukurou TV visits one of their practices, and in the anime you can see his mask start slipping near the end, although the crew of course doesn’t notice.

Oh my god, Subaru’s super tall (189 cm) and the reporter Mizuno is short even for a woman, so their height difference is “as much as two heads’ worth” and she’s gotta look up at him “with all her might” while he stoops down to accommodate her. In the anime, she comes up to a little past his chin. That would put her at about Ochi’s height, then, which is closer to being on the taller side for a woman (168 cm). Geez, just how short is she actually, then? 130 cm? She’s friggin’ tiny. (It looks like they got an actual Fukui TV announcer to voice her in the anime? That’s cool.)

The cameraman who hangs behind a bit just to talk about Seiin and how they might steal the crown from Fukuhou kinda pisses me off. “Fukuhou better stay on their toes, or someone might just take their spot. It gets boring if Fukuhou’s always a shoo-in.” I’m with Ochi, why even bother interviewing them then if it’s more interesting if they lose? I also don’t like how familiar he is. He calls Subaru “Subaru-kun” and he calls Mizuno “Mizuno-chan.”

lol Ochi wanted to sprinkle salt after the guy left.

Another thing that changed in the anime is that K校 became 小津(こづ)高. When I end up doing my translation for practice, I wonder if I should update the name or leave it…

Ah god, Aoki’s such a scheming asshole, I love him. I can’t wait 'til I get to this last scene in the novel. (Also, actual Aoki-Ochi interaction?? Maybe?? A guy can dream. I bet they’d get on fantastically, and by fantastically I mean not at all but it’ll be highly entertaining from a reader’s perspective.)

I read 壁の穴 ch 35-39. Kumiko gets pushed and made to spill her soup at lunch, and that’s not bullying? “Oh, it’s just 意地悪する (being mean), not 苛める (bullying), it’s not that big a deal.” Uh, that’s friggin’ bullying, my dude. No one stops going to school and can only work up the courage to go back again with their new friend Chuuya the house mouse hiding in their pocket because some kids are a little mean to them sometimes, but they do because they’re being bullied. I’ve never been particularly liked by anybody, I was always an outsider, and other kids would treat me rudely/snidely at times which only caused me to keep to myself even more, but I was never bullied. Ostracized, sure, but not bullied. Kumiko is getting bullied. I hope the story will actually recognize that and not stick to that ‘oh it’s just 意地悪’ because, what, it could be worse??

Some vocab of note:

条件を吞む (じょうけんをのむ) [expression, マ五] to accept the conditions
翌日 (よくじつ) [adverbial noun] the next day. I can finally remember the meaning, although I still don’t remember the reading, which is why I’m adding it today.
すっかり [adverb] all; completely; totally; entirely; thoroughly
根明 (ねあか) [な-adjective] innate cheerfulness
おそらく [adverb] perhaps; likely; probably; dare I say. I like how it sounds close to “most likely” and has a pretty similar meaning (in fact, whenever I heard it in anime before, I’d always thought they were saying a contracted form of that lol).


Posting in the evening again as tomorrow will be quite busy.

Today’s fun word is 侠客 which my Japanese dictionary didn’t have an entry for, but which my English one defined as “persons acting under the pretence of chivalry who formed gangs and engaged in gambling”. This is what you get when you google image search that term:

I didn’t quite finish re-reading the second half of Case 0, but I was happy with my comprehension for what I did read. The old newspaper quotes still trip me up, but I’m getting more used to the author’s style and picking up a lot more details this time around.

Bearing in mind it’s historical true crime and to not expand if you’re bothered by violent content:

Here are details

Basically this 鬼熊 bumps into people who know him, they try to get him to turn himself in, he’s like “nah, I will commit suicide. I’m either gonna get the death penalty or will spend my life in jail” so they’re like… “ok!” (?!). Then one of the dudes he’s hiding out with is like “Before you do that, talk to this reporter friend of mine” so he does, and he allegedly tells this reporter that his only regret is that he didn’t lay low for longer so he could kill 3 more people. He then tries to kill himself (via カミソリ), it doesn’t work, so his older sister’s husband brings some strychnine to poison him. Somehow firefighters are involved in all this, despite my close reading I still don’t know why. I guess they were just friends? Anyways, this motley group then dump him in front of the family grave ( he’s still not dead ) and the police find him, and he eventually dies. The family members can’t be charged with harboring a fugitive, but the fire fighters, the reporter, and the friends can, so they are, but their sentence is commuted it seems (執行猶予). They technically could be charged with aiding in suicide, but it seems they weren’t for reasons unstated.

I’m traveling for the next week so reading will be more scattered and I won’t be bringing the device that has this book on it. Hopefully I can maintain reading each day though, between paperbacks and ミステリと言う勿れ on my phone :crossed_fingers:


I read nine pages of “An Alligator in the Yard?”. This is the 10th book in the Level 0 Graded Readers, and it features the policeman called Ryou-sann. His day starts out in a routine, boring way. But then, a hysterical woman comes to the Koban for help and grabs Ryou-sann. He can’t believe there is really an alligator at her house. But when he sees it, he freaks out, thinking “Alligators don’t live in Japan”.

No new words!


㋃20 – Day 20

  • ジョジョの奇妙な冒険


I was really busy and tired yesterday. It seems like my workload for this week is mostly done and that my load for next week may be light?? And soon enough it’ll be Golden Week, so I’ll be able to relax some hopefully.

I’m looking forward to hopefully getting much more reading done tonight. It seems like I can finally do some WK reviews while at work for the first time this week.


April 20th (Calendar Post)

Finished volume 2 of my current manga today. I’m sad there’s only one more volume.

もし、恋が見えたなら => 70 pages (102 minutes)

Fun manga panel from today:



Also ran into this interesting vocabulary:



April 20
Conference day. Busy schedule.

Did reading in support of my essay writing, but I feel like that doesn’t count. So I read another level-two graded reader. This one was a thematic cousin to the previous one. A family has trouble being places on time. In the previous story, it was the mother who was struggling. In tonight’s story, it’s the son. Both seem to be better about it by the end though. よかった

Progress on Tadoku graded readers
44 / 44 level-zeros
12 / 12 level-ones
3 /10 level-twos
x / 18 level-threes

side note: i feel like this month is flying by. idk if it’s the checking something off every day, or if i’m just anxious about some upcoming deadlines lol


April 20 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

I’m getting closer and closer :eyes: Hard to say how much I have left since stuff keeps getting added on, but things are definitely happening! I’ve been busy so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play and reflect and such, but progress is definitely being made :+1:


Exciting! It’s been super cool to see you experiencing this series for the first time.

By the way, is Zero Time Dilemma coming next? I don’t know if you’re aware, but if I recall correctly, that game is pretty much all in more of a real time cutscene format. Might complicate things a little.


Yep it’s next! Oooh that’ll be an interesting challenge; I guess we’ll see how it goes :joy: I’m definitely much more equipped for it than before the first two games so that’s good at least!


Oh yeah, and that :joy_cat: :scream:

Ahem, I must confess this is probably my first encounter with anything romance-related afair… like, ever… like, in any language…
although I must confess I read half of my village’s library as a teenager so there might have been something in there, but it didn’t leave a lasting image tbh.

I see. Will have a closer look at the tags if I ever plan to read something like that again :grin:

Ah ok. It’s a pretty long series so that makes sense. Well, we’ll see how it goes.

Well, I also don’t know what it means (as I’m new to this whole genre) but my mental image is that the ones aimed at girls would be all like pink and fluff and romance and 可愛い!!! while the ones aimed at boys would be more … straightforward, maybe? Something like your average kitsch romance novel vs Bukowski, I guess? (If you don’t know the latter, it’s more like “and then we f*ed so hard that the flowerpots fell from the nearby shelf and dropped onto us” level - I read his books around 30 years ago but imagery like this still sticks :rofl:)
Now don’t get me wrong - I’m not particularly looking for Bukowski-style material but I’m definitely not looking for kitschy romance-material. So now I am worried that the pirates may have lured me into the kitsch alley :thinking: I guess I just need to read this faster!


:tulip: Day 20 :tulip: :house:
Read: ジャックジャンヌー夏劇ー
Finished: Third story 不抜之志, 27 pages
Time: around 2 hours
Finished the third story, and with that about half of the book. It’s interesting how all of the stories so far have been connected.

Story Thoughts

Yonaga’s story was kind of depressing to read, but still interesting. It took place at the same time as the last one, which explains why Suzu and Kisa couldn’t get a hold of him. Neji (it’s always Neji lol) asked him to help out at a toy store in his stead because he was busy heading for a hike in the mountain (explains why he was there in the last story.) There he ended up working as a rabbit mascot and dancing out front as advertisement.

Can’t decide if the rabbit is cute or kind of creepy lol.
This story was kind of a rough read because it focused a lot on Yonaga’s feelings of worthlessness and how he’s having a really hard time dealing with some feelings of inferiority. It did look up a bit at the end when he realized that all the practice he did with Suzu helped him in his performance as the rabbit and called him back to talk a bit and thank him. I guess this is kind of a one step forward two steps backwards situation considering this isn’t all resolved until things come to a head in the fall play.

Something I'd like a second opinion on (probably spoilers for the game)

So in the game the whereabouts of Kisa’s brother is left pretty vague, she mentions once that he いなくなった, and later she tells someone 連絡はとれないけど継希にぃ(つきher brother)のことだからどこかで元気にやってると思うよ which makes it sound like he’s 行方不明 or just dropped contact with his family for some reason. I was always super curious about what’s going on with that because it’s never resolved in the game.
In this story the person she told that to was thinking about his reaction to her saying that


This makes it sound like he’s probably passed away. Am I right in reading that the lie here is Kisa saying she thinks he’s probably healthy somewhere and she’s actually just putting on a strong front? At first I thought it was that she knew for sure but thinking about it more that would be kind of strange to lie about to someone who also knew him.

New Vocab

異物 (いぶつ)foreign substance; foreign body; foreign contamination; foreign material​
着実 (ちゃくじつ)steady; sound; solid; reliable; trustworthy​
尻餅をつく (しりもちをつく)to fall on one’s backside​ (funny coincidence, I remember this being discussed here a while ago)
百貨店 (ひゃっかてん)department store​
不可思議 (ふかしぎ)mystery; something inexplicable; wonder; miracle​
つぶら round and cute (esp. of eyes)​ ​
直立不動 (ちょくりつふどう)standing at attention; standing stiffly upright​
怪奇 (かいき)bizarre; strange; weird; mysterious​
見出し (みだし)heading; headline; title; caption​
追求 (ついきゅう)pursuit (of a goal, ideal, etc.); search; chase; seeking after​
運ぶ (はこぶ)to go (well, etc.); to proceed; to progress​ (never knew this meaning)
しなを作る to put on coquettish airs; to act flirtatiously; to act kittenish​
至らない (いたらない)imperfect; incompetent; inadequate; careless​
驕る (おごる)to be proud; to be haughty​


I think at least part of it is how the shounen, seinen, shoujo, and josei categories work. For shounen and seinen, there’s a pretty strict idea of what those are, and anything that doesn’t fit, even if it can’t exactly be called “shoujo” or “josei” either, gets labeled as “for gals” even if it’s not written for (or specifically for) a female audience. One of those things that shounen and seinen are not is romance, so anything where romance features significantly is gonna be shoujo/josei. That’s also why queer stories tend to be shoujo/josei, because they have more freedom in the stories they’re allowed to tell. (Although judging by the cover, Flesh & Blood definitely seems like it was written with a female audience in mind lol)

Of course, I don’t know how gay stories by men for men are labeled. Maybe there are more than those four categories. I’m not particularly interested in seeking those out myself though, so I haven’t looked into that at all. The ones I saw mentioned forever ago seemed like they care more about the sex, which I don’t really care about. I don’t mind if there’s some usually, but if it’s the main point? No, thanks. I’m here for the story. I care more for the emotions and whatnot lol I’m hella ace