📚📚 Read every day challenge - Spring 2022 🌸 🌱

June 7 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

I played some more AI: The Somnium Files today! I’m going down pretty much a completely different path than I have in the past so lots of new stuff; 硝子(しょうこ) is still a garbage mom though, she really told her daughter she wished she was never born huh?? Awful, the whole sequence in that somnium with アイボゥ comforting みずき through her mother’s voice was really depressing, that poor girl needs so many hugs :sob:

There was fun little part that I think is a Haikyuu reference? I could be reading Haikyuu into everything lmao, wouldn’t surprise me, but:

And then she just spikes this giant panda head full force :joy: powerful, I love Haikyuu

On a different note, I was in the mood to read a book today and I’m all caught up on 海辺(うみべ)のカフカ sooo I picked up (かぜ)(つよ)()いている again! And I ended up reading 20 pages in like two hours so yeah, safe to say I’ve improved since I last touched it. I also briefly attempted 錆喰(さびく)いビスコ again and I’m at the point now where I can actually tell how much weirder the writing is in it than in (かぜ)つよ :joy: (かぜ)つよ is miles easier for sure. But yeah it was really nice to go back to it! It felt really doable with some lookups here and there, and I always love seeing the character interactions and such. I’m finally living up to my avatar again haha :grin:

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Thanks. :heart:


June 8

Read chapter 13 and 14 of Yotsuba&, finishing volume 2. Favorite chapter was probably どんまい, but also loved the revenge chapter and the cake chapter. As for chapter 13 and 14:

Miura-chan… :cold_sweat: Poor Yotsuba, at least Ena has got her back, and then poor Ena. Seldom goes well for Ena, eh? The stillness at the end when we cut to Asagi was very nice. Then chapter 14, an Asagi chapter!, even called as such (sneakily). Although pretty tame appearance from her. Winding Fuuka up with making it seem like their dad is dead. There is some interesting stuff going on there potentially, considering the facial expressions of Asagi and mom. While Ena happily announces that Asagi will kill their dad soon. :joy:

So neither were laugh out loud chapters, although a couple of chuckles slipped out. Poor Fuuka though is the butt of a lot of jokes and supposedly not very skilled at anything. :sweat_smile: Her T-shirts are a highlight even if her family can’t appreciate them. I hope she gets to show off some brilliance at some point.

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Summary update for June so far:

I’ve continued reading everyday. I’m keeping up with the book clubs and finished 佐賀のがばいばあちゃん. I’ve also started 糞尿譚 (currently at 17%), which I’m finding hard. I mean, it was written in 1937 so there’s really no way it would be easy, but still, my newly-found confidence took quite the hit. It didn’t help that I tried listening today (something I haven’t really actively practiced so far), and, what do you know, Japanese is still very much a foreign language. :joy: I mean, I do catch most of the words I already know as long as they’re spoken slowly and with adequate pauses (not happening), but connecting them into a cohesive whole that makes sense? I’m still not really doing that.

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:tiger2: :books: The June Tanuki Den: Date 20220608 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

No Longer Tanuki Progress: 10.61%

Now I’ve gotten a bit further into the book I can safely say that the English version I’ve read was actually really quite bad. Maybe it was just the version I read, but it’s like reading a whole new book.

Most stuff I’ve read that’s been translated from Japanese is usually pretty good, so I’m surprised that a classic of Japanese literature has such a poor translation. Maybe I bought the really naff copy and somehow missed the good one :laughing:


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

Learnthings

復讐「ふくしゅう」ー Revenge
客間「きゃくま」ー Guest room; drawing room; parlour
捲る「めくって」ー to turn over; to turn pages; to leaf through (a book)
仲店「なかみせ」ー Shops lining a passageway in the precincts of a Shinto shrine. Also seen as: 仲見世.
滅茶苦茶「めちゃくちゃ」ー Absurd; unreasonable; preposterous!
出鱈目「でたらめ」ー Nonsense; rubbish
次兄「じけい」ー Second oldest brother
フラッシュ ー The flash of a camera; flashlight; newsflash; very shot scene of a TV show/film
更紗「さらさ」ー Cotton print; calico. From the Portuguese: Saraca. (Ateji kanji)
風呂敷 「ふろしき」ー Wrapping cloth

Kanji Form
「はず」ー kanji for はず - should (be); expected (to be)

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June 8th!

Today I read chapter 68 of Yotsuba. It started and ended as cutely as usual but there was a really sad bit in the middle which I wasn’t prepared for! It ended on a much nicer note though thankfully!

(Home Post)

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Summary post :bookmark:

June 8th :seedling: :eyes: :birthday:

・ かがみの孤城 下 (54% → 61%)

(I’ve forgotten how lively it is at home, feels good to be back.)

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Home

I read the preview for クロスゲーム. I remember borrowing the series from my local library (though in middle or high school, I don’t know) and loving it. I was reminded of the series today and thought I might get it sometime.

I read act 5 of ボーイミーツマリア.

It's almost showtime

Taiga landed the lead role in the play! It seems he’s improved quite a bit under Arima’s guidance (during the dress rehearsal, some of his fellow club members can’t believe it’s really him lol). Also, Arima calls him by his given name now!

lol special training for what, again, exactly?

Ah man, the guy who told Taiga that Arima was definitely a girl in ch 1 shows up to the dress rehearsal with the intent of confessing, and Arima, instead of ignoring the gallery as he intended, ends up having an outburst exposing himself as a guy when that guy tried to (way too loudly) argue with his friends that he knows Arima’s a girl and she must have her reasons for wearing the boys’ uniform and all that (yes, nearly everyone already knows he’s a guy, but that’s not the point—it’s when he’s in girls’ clothes; it’s not on his terms), and it triggers a panic attack, like when that teacher came to watch his performance last year and it messed him up, but Taiga is out of the wings and by his side in a second to try to calm him. The other girls dancing on stage with him tried to approach him— “Arima-kun? Are you all right?” —but he couldn’t really hear them. Only Taiga: his arms around him, supporting him; his voice telling him, “It’s all right. You’re all right.”

I kinda doubt it will, but if this ever gets an anime or something, I hope Enoki Junya voices Taiga. He’d be perfect for him.

The last chapter is longer than the others, ~60 pgs rather than ~30 for the previous ones.

I picked up 明日をくれた君に、光のラブレターを today and read the pre-story bits (three partial pages) and 9 pages of the prologue, 放課後のシークレット, leaving off on pg 16. Midzuki is an outsider, doesn’t have many friends (only the one, it seems: Ritsu), and doesn’t really know how to deal with people, so I can relate to her.

Some vocab of note:

めっそうもない [expression] don’t be absurd; that’s out of the question; nonsense
弱音を吐く (よわねをはく) [expression, カ五] to whine; to make feeble complaints
立ち稽古 (たちげいこ) [noun] rehearsal
物心 (ものごころ) [noun] awareness of things around oneself; ability to understand what’s going on around oneself; judgement; discretion
さらさらない [expression, い-adjective] not in the least
露見 (ろけん) [noun, する verb] discovery (of a plot, misdeed, etc.); detection; exposure; disclosure
当たり障りのない (あたりさわりのない) [expression, prenominal] harmless or inoffensive; bland; tepid
常日頃 (つねひごろ) [temporal noun] every day; at all times; frequently
狼狽 (ろうばい) [noun, する verb] confusion; dismay; consternation; panic
上旬 (じょうじゅん) [adverbial noun, temporal noun] first 10 days of the month

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June 8 :cherry_blossom: Home Post

Read some more (かぜ)つよ! They’re all doing their best in their own ways, it’s really nice to see. They’re all good characters :’) so it’ll inevitably hurt more when more angst comes, rip. I also started playing Obey Me! on a whim for funsies :joy: I don’t know much about it but I figure spotify’s recommended me enough of the songs from it at this point for me to give it a go haha. It’s cool so far! The whole intro section was kind of a lot but it seems fun, at the very least it’s more reading practice for now :man_shrugging:

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:tiger2: :books: The June Tanuki Den: Date 20220609 :cherry_blossom: :raccoon:

No Longer Tanuki Progress: 12.33%

It’s a lot more motivating now seeing that I’m moving by a percentage each read, rather than a tiny fraction.

I’m having fun too. Look forward to reading each day, even though I know how everything pans out, it is like reading it from new again. The humour really comes across in this first chapter (and the overall feeling of egotistical self-loathing that, even without knowing how the novel turns out, it’s used so well that you just know things aren’t going to go well), the tone is really well set.

Taking it a sentence at a time so I don’t get too frustrated with the start-stop of having to look up a lot of words and “what even is this grammar? WHAT IS THIS”, but that isn’t always smooth, today the record was beaten for longest sentence at 243.


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

Learnthings

博士「はかせ」ー Expert; learned person; Doctor (the PhD kind)
馴染「なじみ」ー Intimacy; familiarity
講談「こうだん」ー Storytelling with a highly dramatic delivery (usually chronicles of war, revenge tales and the like)
剽軽「ひょうきん」ー Facetious
嗚呼「ああ」ー Ah! Oh! Alas! (the line it’s used amused me: しかし、嗚呼、学校!)
殆ど「ほとんど」ー Almost; nearly; practically; basically; virtually
或る「ある」ー A certain [thing]; some [things]
全知全能「ぜんちぜんのう」ー Omniscience and omnipotence; all-knowing, all-powerful
赤恥「あかはじ」ー Great shame; great embarrassment
病み上り「やみあがり」ー Convalescence; to gradually get better after illness; the late stage of an illness when it starts to pass
人力車「じんりきしゃ」ー Rickshaw
綴り方「つづりかた」ー Way of writing (in a literary composition kind of way); way of spelling something; school composition (in other words: 作文)
滑稽噺「こっけいばなし」ー Funny story, focusing on humour and ridiculousness
痰壺「たんつぼ」ー Spittoon; spit jar
職員室「しょくいんしつ」ー Staff room
通信簿「つうしんぼ」ー Report card

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June 9

Started reading 渡瀬悠宇 The Best Selection 2 by 渡瀬 悠宇 yesterday (after I posted my update on finishing Yotsuba&). It is a short story collection. I read the first half (barely) of (story) Perfect Lovers, and today I read the other half.

Definitely some words/sentences here and there I had trouble understanding. One thing that confused me for a while was that the last name of a character was 浜 and I didn’t realize (his first name was mostly used), so there was one sentence that really confused me, but when it later became clear it was a character’s name, I could understand the sentence. Imagine that. :roll_eyes: But overall understanding of the story was fine.

I’m reading this more to finish it than thinking I’ll enjoy it a lot. I love Yuu Watase’s series Alice 19th; it is so good (although I think it is because it happens to fit my taste perfectly). But nothing else I’ve read of hers have been as enjoyable. And I felt very まあまあ about the first Best Selection, so not expecting to suddenly love her short stories in this one. They aren’t bad, just not… great. :woman_shrugging:

Completing things gives me a bit of a warm feeling when so much else doesn’t have that glow currently. So picked reading this so I could get it off my to-be-read pile and finish the mini-project of reading the two Best Selection volumes.

Edit: I also started playing Atelier Sophie with Japanese audio (but English text), and I’m enjoying the listening practice while also keeping it kinda non-study mode by just being able to read the English when I either don’t understand what they say or don’t quite catch the words (sometimes I lose focus). It is nice to notice how many little/short phrases I’ve seen so many times that I advance dialog without even glancing at the English (because I understood what they said). (I very pointedly stare at the visuals while listening so I don’t inadvertently use the English to understand the spoken words.)

Also so far the translation seems pretty good. Very happy to have the Japanese audio, because there is something about the cutiesy way characters talk in these kind of games that just sound awful in English (to me), but I have no problem with it in English. Although why the nun sounds like a 5 year old girl, when all other chars don’t sound that young, I do not know…

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June 9th!

I read chapter 69 of Yotsuba today, which means I’ve completed Volume 10 :slight_smile:
I’ll be reading bookclub stuff over the weekend I expect, but I’m planning to start Volume 11 once thats done. Todays chapter had lots of cute bits, including plenty of Miura having no idea how to handle Yotsuba. It was nice to meet Miura’s mother too! I loved Youtsuba’s description of her being おおきいみうら

(Home Post)

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NICE.

I’ll see myself out…

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I so nearly put a NICE into my post but managed to stop myself! :rofl:
Thanks for doing it so I didn’t have to.

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Summary post :bookmark:

June 9th :cherry_blossom:

・ かがみの孤城 下 (61% → 84%)

Is this book a light novel? Because there was a lot of white space and not very dense pages. As for the plot, I liked the development. I’ve decided to look at the book club threads after I’ve finished the book. Maybe I can finish it tomorrow :eyes: That would be cool. Then this will become the first book I’ll have finished within a week.

image

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What is and isn’t a light novel has always felt very vague to me, but imo light novels have very distinct character tropes and I didn’t pick up on any of those in かがみの孤城.

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june 9 :cherry_blossom: home post

So… I kinda stopped this challenge in the middle of May, whoops. But I’m going to get back to it! I’ve added a June calendar to my home post, and I read a bit of 極主夫道 today

May Recap

Did I read every day? Absolutely not :sweat_smile: However, I…

  • read about half of 極主夫道4
  • finished another Satori story (3/5 intermediate done!) and read through about half of the next one
  • actually finished the first volume of ふらいんぐうぃっち?? which was one of the things I was planning on dropping
  • did not start 999 or restart 神々のトライフォース like I said I would
  • dropped 夜カフェ for now but I’d love to finish it someday
June Goals

Prioritizing in this order:

  • 極主夫道 finish volume 4 and start volume 5
  • finish up the intermediate stories on Satori: 恋人 and 奥日光
  • restart the 神々のトライフォース manga
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If it’s published as a light novel or ライト文芸, it’s a light novel. That’s literally it. A publisher decided to put something in a bin rather than an other.
かがみの孤城 was published by ポプラ社 under their regular novel label rather than their light novel label (which is called ピュアフル, by the way), so it’s a regular novel.

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I would like to have a word with these publishers because I have a few books I would like re-binned :joy: but yeah, that makes sense, however unsatisfying it is.

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Home

I read the preview for 冒険少年, which is a short-story collection by Adachi Mitsuru. Of course, the preview’s only 11 pg long, and 7 of them are the cover and table of contents and whatnot, leaving only 4 pg for the actual story, so. Who knows if I’ll actually wanna get it or not! I also read the preview for しろくまにっき. It seems really gentle/warm. I ended up adding it and しろさめ’s other manga to my wishlist.

Whyyy do I keep jumping around, I haven’t even finished either of the two manga I’ve got started yet. Anyway, I was in the mood for fantasy, so I read 竜の小塔, the first story in 竜のかわいい七つの子: Seven Little Sons of the Dragon by 九井諒子. It was really good; I liked it. There were a lot of unknown words and kanji I had to look up though, and not even necessarily fantasy-related ones.

Synopsis

The Mountain Country and the Sea Country are on the brink of war, each determined to take back the other for themselves and make it one big country again, but they’re at a standstill because a dragon has made her nest over the only road connecting them; if anyone passes underneath, they’ll be killed. A man from the Sea Country, Sanan, is able to traverse it safely and bargains with the Mountain Country to let him carry supplies between the two until the hatchling leaves the nest and the war begins, because their countries rely on trade between them, but as things stand now, that’s come to a halt. (MC man: “What? Mountain potatoes can grow anywhere!” / Sanan: “The sea air damages the leaves, so they do not grow well in my country.” // SC man: “What? Salt is cheap!” / Sanan: “It’s valuable over there.”) From the very beginning, the people from both countries are shown to be just that: people. To the point where, when Sanan is dining with the MC soldiers on one of his runs, they forget that he’s a SC man and bemoan that they can’t wait for the war to begin—their blades have grown dull! But Sanan, of course, does not forget that, if it weren’t for the dragon and her nest, he could not be here like this right now; if it weren’t for the dragon and her nest, these same men treating him as one of their own would kill him with no hesitation. Finally the day comes where the hatchling is ready to leave the nest, and both armies amass on either side of the tower, prepared to charge once they’ve taken flight and their mother leaves with them. However, the hatchling takes a tumble, and everyone worries for them, fearing them dead or good as, and when they manage to fly off, everyone on both sides is so happy, everyone wearing the same smiles, that the war gets called off. They can’t fight people they’ve come to realize are just like them.

There’s also a side plot where Sanan and Yuruka (the daughter of one of the leaders of the Mountain Country, the same leader he bargained with) fall in love, but little time is spent on it. In fact, I’m not sure when she fell in love with him. From the beginning she didn’t trust, much less like, him simply because he hails from the Sea Country, and they don’t really spend much time together. Sanan, on the other hand, never viewed her poorly, so it’s more believable on his end. I suppose it must have been when the story first switched to Sanan’s POV, as it started out from Yuruka’s, and during his latest trip back to his country, she found herself worrying about him and his safety (while no doubt telling herself that’s foolish, and if he doesn’t return it’s likely that he just decided not to and that he never intended to hold up his end of the bargain and return with more goods for them this time and she was right not to trust him), and when he does return and gives her his necklace in lieu of a souvenir (which she didn’t want anyway!) she starts acting tsundere-like. But, well, this is only about 50 pg long and it’s not primarily a romance, so sensei had to fit it in there somehow. They had potential at least, so I can’t say I’m that dissatisfied. And then Yuruka starts the story wanting to visit the sea once they’ve won the war, but she ends it telling Sanan that she wants to visit the sea with him.

Well, saying that, I did go and read act 6 and the 描き下ろし ボーイミーツエトセトラ of ボーイミーツマリア, finishing the story! I love this book so much. I’m actually kinda sad I’ve finished it (even though I’m definitely gonna be rereading it a bunch). I’m sad we’ll never get any more.

"I did not sign up for this shit," says mom friend of local dumbass

Apparently this dumbass doesn’t even know what ホモ means, which is probably why he was unfazed when it got added to his nickname. He comes to realize that a guy liking another guy is considered “weird,” that being different (like a guy dressing as a gal) is “weird,” and this is the kind of world that Arima’s been living in all this time. (He still seems unbothered by whether he’s gay or not and by others thinking him weird, but he understands Arima’s situation a little better now.)

We learn that the man who’d saved Arima from that teacher was Taiga’s dad, on a detour through the park on his way to visit his wife in the hospital. He gives Arima a flower from the bouquet he brought when he starts crying and sits with him until the police arrive. He knows he hasn’t been a good person lately and has hurt the people he loves—he’d gotten the bouquet intending to apologize to his wife—which is probably why he never tells Taiga the reason he was too late that day and continues to let him think whatever he likes of him. That, and he likely knows that Taiga wouldn’t believe him anyway and would think he’s just making excuses. Not back then, and not now, either. Though, at the current point in the story, they seem to get along pretty well again (though that could just be Taiga’s good mood surrounding the upcoming play; plus, just because you can get along with someone doesn’t mean you don’t dislike them, especially when it’s someone you have to be around every day).

Ahhh and he’d put his hand atop Arima’s head and told him, “大丈夫。大丈夫,” the way Taiga put his arm around Arima’s shoulders last chapter and told him, “大丈夫。大丈夫.” Like father, like son. When they meet after the play the next day, Arima recognizes him (Taiga’s dad also seems to recognize him from that day but dismisses it since he thought the kid he’d saved was a girl and this kid is a boy), but Taiga never learns the truth about why his dad was late that day. I hope he does, in the future.

“‘Yuu the guy’ or ‘Yuu the girl’… You can just be Yuu.” (Or something to that effect, with a play on ‘actor’ and ‘actress,’ as Arima had just used those words on the previous page, and the kanji for his given name being common to both of them.) This moment, right here, is I believe where Arima decides it’s all right to let himself fall for Taiga: Taiga will love and accept him no matter who he is (and even if he never figures it out).

That expression!! (Also, that prince costume really suits Taiga.)

lol he kissed him all confident-like, and now he’s blushing just as much as Taiga

In the 描き下ろし, Taiga’s first date with Arima is fast approaching, and he’s come up with the perfect plan (in a notebook he’s titled “有馬とオレ ドキ♡ドキ デート 計画” lol) and he recruits Fukumaru and Tetsu to help him refine it. His plan involves himself being a cool, suave, perfect boyfriend and Arima being a shy, blushing girlfriend. And a whole lot of him putting his arm around Arima’s shoulders. His friends, however, are like, “I wonder if Arima will show up as a guy or a gal, though…” and, sure enough, the next day (and Taiga’s had them come along but keep some distance lmao), Arima shows up dressed more masculine than he usually does because he wants to be a cool, suave, perfect boyfriend to impress Taiga. And Taiga ends up being the one blushing with Arima’s arm around his shoulder lol. Tetsu and Fukumaru end up showing themselves when Taiga’s forgotten part 2 of his plan and very discreetly obviously calls out to them for it. Arima drags Tetsu off, wanting to know what kind of thing Taiga would be happy to receive from him and what kind of expensive restaurant he should take him to and how to grow a beard and how to get taller, and Tetsu’s just like, What did I get myself into. Poor Tetsu is just in a constant state of “Why do I have to deal with these idiots, I wanna go home,” huh. Except now it’s not just one idiot he’s gotta deal with, it’s two. The curse of being the mom friend, I suppose lol

Oh my gosh, after Tetsu and Fukumaru tell them to not overthink things and dump them, they go to see the タイガー仮面 movie in the theater, and afterwards when he’s telling Taiga what he thought of it, Arima unconsciously stops talking about タイガー partway through and starts talking about 大河 instead. They both realize it at the same time and die of embarrassment lol

Some vocab of note:

鉄槌を下す (てっついをくだす) [expression, サ五] to crack down on (e.g. crime, corruption, etc.); to deal a crushing blow to; to bring down the hammer on. In this case, it was 正義の鉄槌をくだす, to bring down the hammer of justice (on those barbaric Sea Country people).
頂戴 (ちょうだい) [expression, female language] please; please do for me
からがら [adverb] barely
孵る (かえる) [ラ五, intransitive] to hatch
取引 (とりひき) [noun, する verb] transactions; dealings; business. These no-okurigana words that look like they should use on’yomi but use kun’yomi sure can be tricky. I hope it gets easier to recognize them.
気を緩める (きをゆるめる) [expression, 一] to relax one’s efforts; to let up; to let one’s guard down
訳アリ (わけあり) [expression, な-adjective] having special circumstances (e.g. problems, issues, advantages, flaws, defects, etc.); imperfect (merchandise); with defects

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