Well I’m feeling like an idiot now. Apparently the nomination post for 海辺のカフカ mentioned the random, uncomfortable sexual parts, but I never even went into the Advanced Book Club thread, much less looked for the nomination post, never even thought to. I just saw the book’s home thread when it was first created, recognized it as one I was at least vaguely interested in reading someday, and decided that now with a book club was as good a time as any. Despite knowing nothing about Murakami but his name. Coulda saved myself some trouble.
It’s kinda funny though how I had separately come across Journey Under the Midnight Sun/白夜行 in English and Japanese. I went into my Amazon US wishlist since I was sure I had at least one other Murakami novel on there and came across two translated Higashino Keigo novels I’d added in 2017 (the other being The Devotion of Suspect X, which, after finding from the Wikipedia page that the woman and daughter still go to jail in the end, I decided not to read, since I feel they’re completely justified in killing her abusive, stalker ex-husband). I decided to look for Journey Under the Midnight Sun in Japanese and realized, wait, it’s this one, 白夜行, that I’ve had open in a tab for weeks, waiting to read the preview! (I have no idea how the hey to read the JP title though.)
So yeah I dropped 海辺のカフカ. I can’t get into one half of the story even though it seems interesting so it feels like I should! and I don’t know if there’ll be any more uncomfortable sexual scenes and I don’t care to find out. Since I still seem to have some sort of mental block that’s preventing me from continuing 2.43 for some reason (I don’t get why?? I love the series?? I’m excited about it?? But my brain has decided it’s just not the time, apparently), I’ll be picking up 明日をくれた君に、光のラブレターを.
I read the preview for 契約コハビテーション. The MC is a businessman, though I don’t know how old he is, and the LI is right now only guessed to be a college student, so I dunno what their age difference is, so… I dunno. I think I’ll leave it as a maybe for now, keep an eye on the scanlation and see if anything past ch 1 ever gets uploaded so I can see.
I read act 4 of ボーイミーツマリア. I forgot I left off right before Arima’s backstory.
The way his expression changes when that teacher calls him a girl… At age 7, he mostly thought of himself as a girl, but it seems he was already thinking that he wasn’t really one, or at the very least not the way his mother was trying to raise him as one (less because his body’s different and more because of his interests and the expectations of him and whatnot, I feel. idk I’m not really the same since I’m afab but I started feeling that I wasn’t really a girl at that age too, though I didn’t learn about nonbinary genders until college. Was definitely forced to be a girl though, in a way I wasn’t and didn’t want to be). His mother’s a former actress, and she really wanted a daughter who could achieve what she was never able to, so even if Yuu had been afab, she still wouldn’t have been a good mother. As it is, she had a hand in his trauma and directly contributed to his difficulty in figuring out his gender and identity. Does he only feel a connection to femininity and can’t say for certain that he’s a boy because of how he was raised? (Does he still see “being a girl” as some sort of safety, even after everything? He can’t act on stage as a boy in front of others, after all, can only dance as a girl after that teacher was somehow allowed to see his performance last year when he got out of prison, despite that he’d raped him and then tried to mutilate him with a knife. Whose effing bright idea was that to let him go?) Does he only feel so strongly that he’s not a girl because of what that teacher did to him? Is he a girl, a boy, both, neither? Figuring out what your gender is can be difficult enough even without trauma surrounding it.
Well, after this is when things should be getting better again.
Some vocab of note:
いちころ [noun] losing easily; being trounced; being beaten hands down
缶 (かん) [noun] can; tin. I’ve known this word for years, but TIL that it’s ateji. It’s probably no coincidence, then, that “can” and “缶” sound so similar—they’re probably the same word.
たちまち [adverb] in an instant; in a moment; immediately; right away; at once. suddenly; all of a sudden; all at once.
シール [noun] sticker
ザマ [noun, derogatory] mess; sorry state; plight; sad sight