📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

May 31 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

I was in an AI: The Somnium Files mood today so I just played a bunch of that. As is typical when I get into little language slumps, I started reading and was like “wow my brain isn’t doing this at all, there’s no way I can push through” and then I did and before I knew it I was all in again, who could imagine :joy: It helped that things got WILD, oh man. I think I’ve said the plot is really getting going like three times now but it’s really getting going lmao, I’m very invested :eyes:

AI: The Somnium Files stuff

Well things have not been going how I thought; I figured イリス would have the angst of her mom getting murdered since we saw that in our dream, but nope she’s super dead now! That was brutal! There are like different routes though so maybe different things will happen in those? I still don’t really think (ひとみ) is safe but we’re up to four dead so :man_shrugging: 応太(おうた) definitely didn’t do it, it makes no sense, but why him also? Why’s he still have both eyes? Many questions :eyes: Also very suspicious of the very specific kitchen knife his mom has but well, we’ll see if that’s relevant.

As far as 伊達(だて)… there’s definitely a lot to be figured out. There’s no way all these things being six years ago is a coincidence, and he just happens to also be missing an eye? Like we’ve never talked about why or how that happened, I guess because he doesn’t remember, but someone has to?? And イリス saw him in her somnium which doesn’t have to mean anything necessarily, but she also knew way more about the whole situation than she should have so who knows! I feel like his boss is perhaps hiding more than just “state secrets,” she seems weirdly like… melancholy about how supposedly unrelated the incident six years ago is to what’s happening now and also 伊達(だて)'s situation.

Basically I have so many questions and very few answers and I want to just keep going but I have to sleep at some point, rip :pensive:

And with that the challenge is (theoretically) over! I did complete my goal of finishing VLR and ZTD so yay! :tada: Looking back the only other thing I finished was ヴァニタスの手記(カルテ) but I was really focused on Zero Escape (and finals :sweat_smile:) so that’s not shocking. I’ve gotten about 15 hours in AI since I finished those, and I’ve started 海辺(うみべ)のカフカ with the bookclub, so I’ve certainly got things to work on. I think I did well with the Zero Escape games; very consistent improvement! 80-ish hours for VLR compared to like 100 for 999, and then down to about 30 for ZTD… I’d call that a successful challenge! :grin:

As always I’ve absolutely loved seeing what you all are up to; everyone’s accomplished so much! There’s a lot to be proud of in this thread :blush: Considering how much I babbled about AI today I don’t think I’ll be stopping my posts anytime soon lmao, I look forward to seeing you guys around in June or next challenge or whenever you feel! :grin:

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June 1

Read chapter 11 of Yotsuba& and I was laughing out loud through the whole chapter. Dad’s dance, Yotsuba drawing her dad and then deciding to add a beard to the drawing, and then the look at her sleeping dad. :joy: So many good looks in this chapter. Her panic eyes when wondering if dad would get angry, and then the look of Ena and the frozen expression of Fuuka about the mayonnaise/butter. Not to mention the poor postman/newspaper man and the person on the phone going “?!”.

I’ve always wondered why Yotsuba& was so recommended considering the summery most people give of the manga (a young girl and her every day life is usually what it boils down to). I don’t feel like anyone have ever tried to impress on me how funny it is. It is the kind of absurd situations you get with a child, because they will take you literally, or make leaps that make no sense to you because of vaster knowledge but when you think about it from the child’s perspective it makes sense. And then the surrounding characters are a mix of different people that just enhance the whole thing.

Also, forgot to mention (yesterday) Asagi’s appearance at the end of chapter 10. Stealing her mom’s いちご and then about to steal Yotsuba’s but then sees Yotsuba’s face and instead makes it into a silly this いちご went flying and now it landed back where it belongs.


I realized I forgot to thank @windupbird yesterday! Thank you! :tada: For making sure this challenge keeps going and for the wonderful calendar template! (Had to make my own for June, didn’t I? So I learnt there is a bit of work to even just adapting a previous one. Not having to make that for April and May was so nice. :blush: )


Already read a bit of non-fiction today too, and would have read some fiction in English except my ereader was out of battery. :low_battery: Hopefully later. ^^

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I haven’t caught up on recent posts here yet, but for those who are interested just wanted to quickly link the Japanese-Japanese (working title) Book Club thread that I just posted! (Gah, I feel so nervous!)

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Decided to continue with this, I’ll be reading No Longer Human each day for the challenge, not sure if I can complete it by the end of June for the Summer challenge to start, but we’ll see! (highly unlikely)
I’ll update my homepost with a June calendar. Looking at my emoji-calendar for this challenge it looks like there was a lot of foxes this time :fox_face: wonder what I should use for June :thinking:

Thank you @windupbird for hosting the thread again! And congrats to everyone was has participated, I like how much variety there is in everything everyone’s reading, always interesting to see!

And for those who are continuing:

:raccoon: タヌキ頑張って! :raccoon:

Onward to reading -


:tiger2: :books: The New Tanuki Den (it’s just the old one but now with more June): Date 20220601 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

No Longer Tanuki Progress: 0.01%
That felt like a lot more reading than just a fraction of a percent… this is gonna take awhile.

Verdict so far: that was pretty difficult. First time reading more… not sure of the word, but more literatesque Japanese over folktales and kids stories. The meaning of some of the sentences took awhile to work out due to the poeticness of them, it’s also a little heavy on the kanji, but not extremely so, thankfully there’s furigana for the more obscure stuff.


:seedling: Japanese found in the tall grass :seedling:

Learnthings

端書き「はしがき」ー foreword; preface; introduction
前後「ぜんご」ー About; approximately (can also mean front and back / back and forth / before and after)
従姉妹「いとこ」- Female cousin, same reading as 従兄弟 but different kanji.
「しま」ー Stripe; bar; streak
美醜「びしゅう」ー Beauty or ugliness; personal appearance or looks
満更「まんざら」ー not altogether; not wholly (not usually written in kanji)
謂いわば「いわば」ー So to speak; so to call it; as it were (also seen as: 言わば)
通俗「つうぞく」ー Popular; common
些か「いささか」ー A little; a bit; somewhat (not usually written in kanji)
頗る「すこぶる」ー Extremely; very much (not usually written in kanji)
呟き「つぶやき」ー Murmur; muttering (not usually written in kanji this is starting to be a running theme)
払いのける「はらいのける」ー To ward off; to brush away; to fling off

New Reading
「ほとり」ー Side of a body of water, like lake/river bank or edge or shore, sometimes also seen as: 畔

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June 1st!

I read Chapter 64 of Yotsuba today. It was a super cute chapter where she was learning how to make pancakes. Her struggle to correctly flip one over was very relatable :sweat_smile:

(Home Post)

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We did the Summer 2021 challenge for 2 months too~ :beach_umbrella::beach_umbrella:

Summer 2021: June-July
Autumn 2021: September-October
Winter 2022: January-February
Spring 2022: April-May

If you’re wondering about the Winter challenge, we decided it would be fresh to start a challenge on the first day of the year instead of having it during Dec-Jan. 2 months on, 1 month break.


No longer tanuki :joy:

Btw, if you haven’t checked it out already, there’s a book club for 人間失格. It was read as a part of the Advanced Book Club last year.

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I’ll be watching your experience with a lot of interest! Reading this is definitely one of my eventual goals. Honestly it’s probably not impossible for me right now? I just don’t think it’s the direction I want to apply my efforts just yet.


About to go out so I’ll be brief, but I might as well check in while I’m here! Another 8000 characters read. As Shiki’s story has progressed to the real substance, a lot of her more annoying quirks and even things I didn’t enjoy when the story was focused on them have taken on some new meaning, so that’s neat. Each day the route grows on me a lot more.

And it’s found an excuse to make Ryouichi a central character while he teaches us how to sail. I love a lot of things about Summer Pockets, but increasingly above all else my thoughts are “forget all of these girls; Ryouichi is my best bro.”

Anyway, overall, I’m back in a time where I find the reading to be pretty smooth, so it’s going great.

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Hey everyone! I sort of dropped off the wagon at the beginning of May, and haven’t been reading for a while… only websites or dictionary entries to help me write for my Japanese class.

I’m in a very busy time right now, but a three-week winter break (I live in Aus) is coming up, which will hopefully give me more time to read! I’ll do my best to get back on track for the next challenge, and continue the habit :smile:

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Summary Post

May 30 - 31
Final Fantasy VII

June 1
Final Fantasy VII


Alrighty then! End of the “official” challenge :tada: . I’ll most likely write my conclusion post tomorrow, though I plan to keep reading and updating through June anyways. I want to tweak just a little bit my approach to the challenges so that I can keep doing them without burnout for a long time. More on that tomorrow!

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Honestly whenever you do hit me up. I’m not looking to do it right now (though will also be watching @Zakarius 's read with interest) but it’s a ‘in the future’ book for me.

Personal aside as to why it's not 'now'

I was actually really excited to read it “eventually” awhile back, as at the time my only friend IRL who also studied Japanese had read it and it was his favorite book. He raved about it, and I really wanted to read it and discuss it with him, but at the time I felt my Japanese wasn’t on par to do it. He passed away rather unexpectedly a few months ago though and while I think my Japanese is there now, the feelings are too fresh :frowning: But I think with a bit of distance I could read it and enjoy it, which I think he would appreciate.

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Home

This evening I kind of got sucked into making クールドジ男子 incorrect quotes, and then whatever I was doing during the day, so I didn’t read nearly as much as I’d intended. My hands kept getting all gross and sweaty, too, which didn’t help. Ugh, I hate summer. Anyway, I did, however, read 6 (I think? Unless I’m forgetting where I started) pages of 海辺のカフカ, finishing ch 1.

This is the first time my phone’s IME has suggested ゑ from え. Granted, it was me double-checking to make sure 末 on its own is read すえ since my default is still まつ, and not me actually typing, which may make a difference. But it still surprised me to see it lmao

Some vocab of note:

First, one I found in my phone that I forgot to put on yesterday’s list:
爆誕 (ばくたん) [noun, する verb] sudden emergence; sudden formation; coming out of nowhere; bursting onto the scene. This is a slang word.

And now from today:
溺れる (おぼれる) [一, intransitive] to drown; to nearly drown; to sink below the surface (of water)
遺伝 (いでん) [noun, する verb] heredity; (genetic) inheritance

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Oh wow! Feel free to check out the book club threads, and if you have specific questions you can still ask questions there! I’m sure that many of the participants are still monitoring the threads.

No, absolutely not. The style is a bit different, e.g. nno quotation marks for direct speech, long sentences, unusual vocab and kanji, but with enough patience for lookups it’s totally doable.

(I read the first part with the club but I was very slow reading it so I deemed that it’s not a good usage of my time, and I dropped it. Maybe I‘ll pick it up again next year or so…)

@pocketcat

Answer to personal details

I‘m so sorry for your loss! Totally relatable that you wouldn’t want to read the book right now. But when you do eventually, I‘m sure it will be a great way to remember him.

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June 1 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

More AI: The Somnium Files, of course :grin: and what a day it was. Some of my questions were answered, and some were very much not :joy: wild all around!

AI stuff

Well some of my structural questions have been answered; I “finished” my first route! :tada: It’s definitely not actually over, just locked for now, but progress is progress. So yes, it is more like VLR and the like where you hop between timelines and oh things sure do happen differently. イリス and 応太(おうた) are alive! For now anyway :sweat_smile: And イリス still lost an eye so things aren’t great exactly, but at least marginally less horrific so that’s nice.

But my first route… a lot happened. I met 89 which just. There’s a lot there huh? I have no idea what to make of the whole scene with (ひとみ) being murdered by someone who’s supposedly been dead for a year, and where 伊達(だて)'s boss shows up, and also it’s the scene from his first somnium way back when, like?? And then the video of his boss killing the guy from the Diet? I… hm. I have more questions than ever :joy:

On a lighter note, アイボゥ punched a window and well:

So hey not all is grim!

Reading-wise it’s still been really great. Voice-acting is a definitely a big boost in that department, so it’s nice having basically every word read to me :joy: A difference I suppose it that I haven’t been using game2text or anything since I can’t bring myself to play it in windowed mode, so it’s just been looking stuff up from listening and that’s been totally fine which is also nice! There are lots of dumb language puns which are always fun :grin: all in all a good time!

Ryouichi true route?? Just sail off into the sunset haha

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Will do! With all the things I’m juggling, and it falling into a pile of probably hundreds of things that I “definitely want to do sometime in Japanese,” if I take ages and you decide to do it sometime, feel free to reach out to me too, haha. That situation is heavy, so sorry to hear about it, but yeah, with time I think reading it will be a really meaningful experience.

Glad to hear that, thanks. I didn’t know about the lack of quotation marks – while that’s not something that’ll keep me away, I can already see myself fumbling to realize what’s going on for the first half of the book every time it does it :sweat_smile: .

If only! Gonna throw Shiki overboard and just keep sailing. I guess Key does the side friend characters well. Some day I want to get to Little Busters and it sounds like a huge part of why that one has the legacy it does is just how much people love the friendship within it.

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Thanks! Didn’t know that there’d been a bookclub for this, I’ll have to check it out!

Judging from the updates you share, I think your level of reading is quite a bit higher than mine, so I think you’d be able to! But yeah, it is a bit of a commitment, I could wait until my reading is better for smoother reading but nahhh.

I’ve read it in English, but I’ve always wanted to see how it comes across in Japanese, since a lot of nuance is always lost in translations no matter how good they are. I’ve read the Junji Ito version too, which, while amazing… isn’t quite the same :rofl:
Also seen the Aoi Bungaku* anime series with it, so while I know what to expect… it doesn’t really help with understanding the language at all. But so far I’ve been able to recognise all the kanji (though recall is a bit slow for some) and the obscure stuff is, from what I’ve seen so far, either in hiragana or has furigana. The sentence structure is completely not what I’m used to though. But if your grammar is solid (which mine is not) then it’d probably be a much easier read.

*I’d recommend this a watch as it is probably one of my favourite anime series I’ve seen, and also covers the story Kokoro by Soseki Natsume, which is also on the “want to read” but that is probably getting ahead of myself now :thinking:

Reply

Really sorry to hear about your friend, I think it’d be a good way to remember your friend by when you feel up to it, it’d be a meaningful way to connect to them again. But it is ultimately a rather depressing read, so it’s not exactly the best of stories to be reading with it being so soon. I hope you manage to read it at some point!

Thanks! I’ll most likely be voicing my language woes on my updates here as I gradually lose my grips on comprehension :laughing:

And thanks to you all for the interest, now I have additional reading motivation! :books: :muscle:

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:blossom: May 25-31 :blossom: :house:
Back from my trip! I managed to squeeze in some reading on most days but also missed a few. I read the last two chapters of マグメル volume 5 on the plane. This was my first time feeling like reading in Japanese without a dictionary went really smoothly, there were only two words in the first chapter I didn’t know and one was a place name (静岡) and the other one was kanji I knew and could guess the meaning. This was mostly only possible because this chapter didn’t involve much marine specific stuff and ended in the next chapter when they started discussing 化学合成生物 and 硫化水素 (when I luckily realized I actually did have a dictionary downloaded) but it was nice while it lasted :joy:

After that I continued reading 真夜中のパン屋さん and finished the 上. I really didn’t like the way this customer’s story was handled and I honestly didn’t enjoy reading this section of the book, it felt like it really downplayed how harmful stalking can be and it established one of the main characters as being kind of one himself and totally agreeing with the customer who’s revealed to be a stalker (apparently the guy who makes bread followed a married woman throughout Europe and that’s how he got so good at making bread). I think the point might kind of be that all of the characters are a little messed up but still help each other and other people out but the things he said really rubbed me the wrong way and I found this part really hard to read. I’ll probably continue reading it though because I already bought the 下 before reading this part and the end revealed that there’s some really messy stuff relationship wise between the bread making guy and the owner of the bread shop involving the bread shop man’s wife that makes me wonder how these two guys in a situation that should’ve been a 修羅場 ended up opening a breadshop together and now I have to know.

Then the last few days I started the game 幻想マネージュ, so far it’s about Ema, a witch living in France who lost her ability to use magic as well as her memories of when she was ten when she got into an accident and almost drowned. One day a traveling amusement park comes to her town and she goes to take a look. There she meets the head of the park who she apparently met in the year her memories were lost, who knows she’s a witch and reveals to her that everyone working at the amusement park is chained there with magic and can’t leave the park and asks for her help. Seems interesting so far, I think this game is modeled after ゆめかわいい so everything is very pastel, the UI is kind of a lot, super sparkly, but really cute so far. It’s also kind of refreshing because the last game I played was so dark.

UI

Love the amusement park vibes and the animated textbox, not so fond of the katakana french :joy:

The textbox fades in and out like this when scenes change


読みづらい…

Can’t believe the challenge is already over, this post is already way too long so I think I’ll type up my summary tomorrow.

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Haha, that was definitely me at the time :joy_cat:

A short example from a different book to avoid spoilers

I think 人間失格 is probably somewhat easier than the following excerpt, but anyways. This is from a book called 糞尿譚 (ok in all honesty when I started I did not know the title’s kanji and thought eh, whatevs, just a title, right? :roll_eyes: Luckily it’s not a kinky story but instead about a guy who runs a business collecting feces from houses’ cesspits :sweat_smile:)

Anyways, here he is going around the houses trying to collect the fees for his service:

三べんも四へんも足を運ばせ、誰が居ないから判らないとか、今日は都合が悪いとか云った揚句、ようやく五度目位に、やっとくれるような家が何軒もあった。先月までは家族五人だったが、娘が一人このほど嫁に行ったから、十銭だけ引いてくれ、などといい、引かなければ他の汲取人に頼むからとすぐ云うので、仕方なしに割引したりする家も何軒かあった。汲取り方が悪くて不潔で仕方がない、あんな取り方をするなら金を払わぬ、と叱言を云い、今後注意しますからと平身低頭して陳謝すると、なおも飯時に取りに来て貰っては困るとか、色々と口喧しく云った揚句、今日はいかんから明後日頃来てみてくれ、などという家もあった。

By now I’ve come to like that style, actually! I can sound it out in my head so I can hear how the people speak, and that’s pretty enjoyable in itself.
If you are somewhat comfortable reading that, then you shouldn’t worry at all about 人間失格, would be my expectation.

Now that you say that :joy_cat:
There were a few discussions in the weekly threads about comparing different translations (to English and French, iirc) and some of them were really off :crazy_face: :woman_facepalming: It’s worthwhile checking out the threads just for these bits, I guess.

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:tiger2: :books: The June Tanuki Den: Date 20220602 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

No Longer Tanuki Progress: 0.02%

Not a whole lot of time today, so haven’t been able to read as much as I wanted, managed to get a paragraph in, but hopefully I’ll have more time tomorrow!


:seedling: Japanese found in the tall grass :seedling:

Learnthings

土台「どだい」ー From the beginning/onset; foundation/base
「しわ」ー Wrinkles


I remember the English version being pretty stiff, even the short bit I’ve read so far in Japanese the tone of voice really comes through, the English didn’t really give the same impression, just felt like a literal translation at times. I’ll check the threads when I have a chance!

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Oh yeah totally, as long as you’re able to not get frustrated, I’ve heard so many people attribute very good results to hanging in with things that are really hard for them at the time. It’s probably going to be great for you.

You know… I’m more curious than I should be at hearing that, ugh, haha.

I see what you mean about the writing style – it kinda gives it an interesting, different voice when he’s listing things people say in that way. The section was a bit of a struggle but most of that was more due to looking up a whole bunch of words and blanking on kanji, heh. Some things I was annoyed I didn’t remember, I think I actually mined written a different way, like 揚句.

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June 2

Felt like rereading the last chapter I read of Sailor Moon to start prepping for reading all of volume 4 (kanzenban) to finish the Black Moon arc. And I’m confused. I barely remember reading or even seeing most of that. A few bits and pieces here and there.

But I get why, the first half of the chapter or so is spent with enemies and I basically know one out of every third word or so, so without lookups I basically didn’t understand most of it. I did not bother looking up stuff because with that many look ups, I just get lost anyway. (Just to be clear, grammar isn’t confusing me, all the look ups would have been vocabulary.)

When the chapter moved into some other things, it was easier to follow along.

Mostly I wanted to remember where I was with each character so reading new material wouldn’t confuse as much. And by the end of the chapter, I felt like I got that. So that is a win at least.

I wonder if there are mangas that are Sailor Moon-esque, but with more modern day and less of the magic/fantasy elements. (And still preferably not meant for young kids like Cardcaptor Sakura which I’m sure I could tackle more easily, but I’m not that interested in reading as a manga.) One where I could acquire fantasy vocabulary in a smaller dose to ease the harder parts of Sailor Moon. More familiarity with the kind of vocabulary the baddies use and all the magic words (and the many very different verbs) would be so useful to understanding more of Sailor Moon.

Ah well, as mentioned, I will read until the end of the arc, and then maybe put Sailor Moon on hold again until I can expand that part of my vocabulary. (The reason Sailor Moon doesn’t work so well for this, is that they come in downpours every once in a while, and then mostly disappear, and the downpour again, and disappear. I’d rather have a dribble that was woven through the whole narrative.)

Did read (English) fiction yesterday, have tackled non-fiction already today. Will get to English fiction later.

Edit: If it wasn’t clear, reading Sailor Moon again was a bit discouraging, if not unexpectedly so.

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