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
I’m getting closer and closer 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
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.
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
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 )
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 I guess I just need to read this faster!
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.
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.
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
for me, as a gay (& trans) person reading this stuff, what I’ve found is that ‘queer’ material aimed for a straight audience and not written by a person that is queer itself can be alright and fun sometimes(I love Yuri on ice as much as the next person lol), but it is way more likely to fall into stereotypes, both in terms of plot and characters. So yeah, for me it’s definitely not an automatic strike out if something isn’t written by someone that is themselves queer/of the identity they are writing about…but I kind of always expect there to be innacuracies and stereotypes so that’s why if I can read something that is written by queer creators then I will, and why I tend to be a bit more apprehensive going into things that don’t have that ‘authenticity’
I mean, there is definitely this (I think it is labelled Bara?) but there are starting to be more works that are queer stories by queer creators that definitely aren’t just about sex. One good example would be ボーイズ・ラン・ザ・ライオット which is written by a trans author and is just about some gay and trans teens trying to start a fashion brand. Or works by Kamatani Yuhki, like しまなみ誰そ彼 (Our Dreams at Dusk). Lots of emotions, would reccomend
Only read page 27 and page 28 of かがみの孤城 today. Took me about ten to fifteen minutes. I’m hoping to have more time to read tomorrow and over the weekend — I’ll aim for an hour tomorrow, right after work, when I don’t feel like studying.
Well, there’s BL, but I’m not sure if the authors are usually men or not. Also they are often in the R18 category. Plus, there’s the whole 腐女子 thing (girls who like to read BL), so it might even be by women for women for all I know
In terms of gay stuff in the seinen category, 弟の夫 was pretty good. In the more general queer sense, I liked 不可解なぼくのすべてを (although it had simplifications, but I thought it was generally fine). That last one had romance, too, so my conclusion is that categories make no sense whatsoever. At times, it feels like an editor just rolled 1d4 or something.
Oh hey ボーイズ・ラン・ザ・ライオット is indeed in the seinen category too! I liked the first volume, still had no time to get around to the later ones.
Admittedly I don’t pay attention to (or even really try to find out) whether an author is queer or not (plus even if they are, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out), I just go, “Oh, this story sounds good, lemme try reading it,” and it’s either:
b) has an otherwise good story but is ruined by grossly-drawn sex scenes (not even considering any gross tropes there may or may not be, just the art itself)
c) ooh, no, don’t like those tropes
…which is why I generally don’t buy BL manga in Japanese unless I’ve already read it or it’s by an author I’m familiar with, so I hope I didn’t make a mistake with 星だけ lmao. Well, it was less than $14 with shipping, which is about the same as an English manga volume new, so, at least if it is, it ain’t too much of one.
I’ll check those out, thanks!
Ooh! I don’t remember where I’d seen that explanation of the categories, though it was likely an article somewhere (since I don’t remember it being tumblr), and for all I know it coulda been older. Did definitely seem to fit what I’d observed, though. I’m glad that’s starting to change!
FukaBoku is already on my list (or I thought it had been, but I didn’t see it on my bookmeter, so it is now!), and I’ll check out 弟の夫, too.
I continued on with chapter 4 of 魔女の宅急便 and read from page 71 to 78.
Finished chapter 4 of 魔女の宅急便 and read from page 79 to 87.
Today I started chapter 5 of 魔女の宅急便 and actually read 18 pages. I think there are about 5 pages left in this chapter. I’ll keep them for tomorrow, since I will be busy then and this amount sounds doable.
Hmm, I mean ones that stick out is there always needing to be a super femme and a super masc person in a relationship, or the gay (or particularly trans) characters just having misfortune upon misfortune piled upon them. Or just the story always being a coming out story which is fine but I’ve seen that five million times haha. Or sometimes it’s just the kind of language that’s used where I’m like “okay a straight person definitely wrote this lol”. But in fairness, I’m picky enough that most of the things I have read (even those targeted at straight women like free! or given) have been a good fun time
Nice! Will add it to the list! thanks for the recc!