I haven’t been reading much lately, but I’ve managed to read at least a little bit in Japanese (and Mandarin) every day. For novels I’m focusing on 冷たい密室と博士たち. I’ve kept up with my regular read-aloud sessions of 7SEEDS, ハイキュー, and ダンジョン飯 / 蟲師.
This reduced slate will probably be ongoing for a while, so I’ll cut out my manga volume a week goal. Death Note is first on the list when I bring that back.
告白 ~2% Candy and Cigarettes last 23 pages of vol.1
ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 26 pages
佐賀のがばいばあちゃん (IBC), chapter 5 and 6
I had watched a movie called 告白 many years ago, and I remember enjoying it a lot - it was a twisted tale of revenge set in a school (as many Japanese stories tend to be). Recently I found out that the movie was actually based on a book, and that said book has won the Japan Booksellers’ Award, so this is what I’ll be reading next. I only managed a tiny 2% for now, but I’m hoping to pick up speed in the coming days. The format is rather intimidating, with pages chock-full of text, as all of it is indirect speech (I think by various of the story’s protagonists?). But if you disregard that, the writing itself isn’t more difficult that what I’ve encountered so far. The text density is definitely higher though.
Yesterday I read this week’s IBC section and then I was running short of time and energy, so I went for something easier and started ゲゲゲの鬼太郎. I had proposed it for the ABBC but it was judged to be too difficult. I still believe it’s way easier than, say, Takagi-san, even though the text density looks intimidating at first glance. It’s not though, there’s just increased hiragana that takes up more space, and the writing is generally as straightforward as they come.
There's even sometimes simple definitions of more "obscure" words in the margins:
It’s interesting that the “monsters” are portrayed as having lived a blissful, peaceful existence for thousands of years before humans appeared and drove them into hiding and danger of extinction, just like any other animal. The monsters have a gentle, polite speech, while the humans seem rougher in their speech and behaviour, sometimes even scarier in their intent. I only read the first chapter which features 鬼太郎’s birth, so I’m looking forward to the adventures he’ll have next.
Fully finished 終ヴィル!!! This is by far the hardest thing I’ve read thus far. A lot of setting specific vocab, scientific vocab, really complex kanji that are hard to look up, and some difficult grammar. There’s probably some parts that I wasn’t able to completely understand. I originally wasn’t planning to buy this one because I thought it would definitely be too hard for me but I saw a review where someone recommended it and listed their main points as 絶望、絶望、絶望、which made me so curious I had to pick it up. Apparently this game normally has a play time of around 55 hours. It was worth the long time though I enjoyed this game a lot, and I think I learned quite a bit through playing it, including a bunch of different ways to say dead bodies.
Final game thoughts (spoiler free)
If I had to describe this game I’d call it a dark sci-fi fantasy. More specifically it’s described as 「バッドエンド、悲愛エンドがメイン、運命と絶望のダークファンタジー。」Which after playing it is definitely accurate. The setting is the island of アルペシェール, where everyone dies by the time they reach the age of 23. Due to this it came to be called the country possessed by the god of death. The full story description is here if anyone’s interested. I really enjoyed this game. I’d say it’s my second favorite game that was released last year, and pretty high up there in my general list of favorites, but it’s definitely on the dark side, and as expected from the description there’s a lot of death. I really liked the art, the mysteries, and just the general 雰囲気. This game is split into four routes, and then the 三幕. Out of these the 三幕 was my favorite, I guessed part of the mystery early on but that just made me more interested in finding the rest out. This route also made me cry for like an hour straight (which to be fair I cry relatively easily at stories, but usually only like slightly tearing up.) A part I didn’t like as much was sometimes the more sci-fi parts made me think “I really don’t think that’s how that works,” but I don’t really place that much value on scientific accuracy when I play otome games. This game has a really interesting required play order (not really a spoiler but blurred in case someone wants to figure it out themself). In this game you have to play the bad ends (絶望エンド）of the first four routes to unlock the 三幕. When you finish the 三幕, it unlocks the 救済 ends for the first four routes. So you have to play through each character’s bad endings in a row to progress the game, which did get kind of depressing. Overall I’d recommend this game to people who like dark settings, mysteries, and don’t mind bad ends or otome games that don’t focus as much on romance.
喪う （うしなう）to lose (a loved one); to be bereaved of (didn’t know this could be written with this kanji)
退く （ひく）to move back; to draw back; to recede (this is the third reading of this I’ve seen recently)
皆無 （かいむ）nonexistent; nil; none; nothing (at all); bugger-all
大半 （たいはん）majority; more than half; most (of)
謹んで （つつしんで）respectfully; humbly; reverently
停滞 （ていたい）stagnation; tie-up; standstill; congestion; delay; accumulation; falling into arrears
尽く （ことごとく）altogether; entirely
生贄 （いけにえ）(living) sacrifice
そぐう to be suitable; to be appropriate; to match
授ける （さずける）to grant; to give; to confer; to award
蠢く （うごめく）to wriggle; to squirm; to crawl like a worm
変異 （へんい）variation; rogue (something)
紅蓮 （ぐれん）bright red
亡骸 （なきがら）remains; corpse; (dead) body
因果関係 （いんがかんけい）consequence; causal relationship; nexus
死活問題 （しかつもんだい）matter of life or death; life-and-death problem
Read pages 35 to 37 of かがみの孤城. Those pages were surprisingly easy. Definitely should have started reading earlier though, because when I read too late I end up cutting off both my reading time and my sleeping time
I’m wondering whether to get an easier book to read when I’m low on time or energy, but かがみの孤城’s a loooong book and I’d rather finish it sooner, so maybe I should just focus on it
Well… I didn’t read much the last days, I just had no motivation. But, at least I managed to read a little each day.
I continued with the short story 冷蔵庫との対話 and also read the short story 夏が、空に、泳いで which I just finished. It were only 20 pages in total. Both stories are from the book 齋藤孝のイッキによめる! 名作選 中学生.
I have to second this! @Zakarius You’ve read (and shared) some pretty wild stories, and I always appreciate that.
Yes, it’s the best!
Personal experience, sometimes reading the easy book improves your skills faster, and when you go back to the harder book, it then feels a little easier and takes less time. So it won’t necessarily delay you that much to take a detour. Plus, it could increase your enjoyment of the harder book too. That’s how it went for me last night reading 霧のむこうのふしぎな町 again after finishing 夜カフェ at least.
Well, I ended up missing two days last week. Been good ever since, though. I’m definitely going to keep going with the challenge; if anything missing the days has really motivated me to not just “daily read”, but “read”, if that makes sense. I feel like I’ve been slipping more and more into the mindset of “gotta check this off for the day” rather than actively choosing to read Japanese as my leisure activity for a night, which lead to my missing days.
I’ve been keeping up with my 薬屋のひとりごと reading; we’re getting real close to the end of the book! Just a couple more weeks! I don’t think I’ll be participating in the next ABC book, so I definitely want to push myself to immediately start 薬屋2 after finishing 1. A good chunk of the specialized vocab from book 1 should still be fresh in mind, so I want to take advantage of that to have as smooth a start as possible.
I’ve also recently started another book, Alicemare (アリスメア), one that’s been on my shelf for a while. It’s a novelization of an indie game of the same name (made by △○□× / みわしいば for those who know them; vgperson translated the game, and it’s available on Steam). Compared to 薬屋, it’s a much easier read for me, so it’s relaxing to have a book to turn to that’s both interesting and doesn’t required looking up a new word every other sentence. I remember the game being light on story, so I’m really interested to see what happens in the book.
I’m hoping to focus on these two books for the most part, at least until I finish one.
this was my experience too, actually with かがみの孤城! I paused about half way through the first volume and read 世界から猫が消えたなら - which only took about a week (it’s a short book) and then when I went back to かがみ it somehow seemed way easier (that might be coincidence in that I was just far through enough to have got used to it). It was a nice little break though!
About a thief who breaks into a house, the family is all asleep but the baby sees him and begins to murmur. To calm the baby he pulls some silly faces, the baby giggles so he pulls some more. The baby is too cute that he forgets all about robbing the house and plays with the baby until morning.
Japanese found in the tall grass
Lonely New Word
ペロリ「ぺろり」ー sticking out your tongue quickly, can also mean to gobble something up quickly
If you ever need a small read then I very much recommend Hukumusume!
This is probably like the 50th time I’m recommending it but…
Though come Autumn I’ll have been using that site for a year and will be running out of stories, it feels odd to say as well that the stories are getting a little too easy (I mean, me, being able to read Japanese… what??), but that goes to show at least how good these threads are! Still, gonna miss reading all these out-there tales.
I looked at the first few panels and stuff you posted and I was: that looks gorgeous.
Then looked at cartoon gore ones: that looks terrifying, I think I’m gonna be sick.
I can’t handle gore.
But I hope you enjoy it.
Continued 坊ちゃん yesterday and today. It is getting easier, thankfully. Or maybe I’m just getting used to the voice. I can’t tell. Still left with some question marks, one of them related to dialect.
Here goes the difficulties
First the dialect one. The dialect is related to 四国 (not sure that is much of a spoiler, but anyway) since that is the boondocks we are hanging out in.
Here’s the sentence:
So I know of the negative dialect thing of わからない becoming わからん, maybe that is just slurring and not dialect—I’m no expert.
I assume けれ is partial けれども.
But what is もちっと? I honestly have no idea, and neither did a couple of places I checked.
おくれん=おくれない (I’m assuming, as in お+くれない
かなもし though? I know かな by itself is “I wonder” or similar translation. But もし on the end? Is that adding “if” to the whole thing somehow? Or just dialect stuff I don’t know.
わからなければ、わかるまで待て。(This is part of a longer speech, but I do believe this sentence stands on its own.)
So the first part is easy: If you don’t understand, …
Then I’m not sure. Or maybe the sentence just doesn’t make any sense to me. I often feel like まで stumps me a bit, when used outside strict timeline stuff.
Is this actually: If you don’t understand, until you (?) understand wait. (That sentence makes no sense.)
Or maybe he (this is 坊ちゃん talking) is saying: If I don’t understand, wait until I do?
Maybe I need to give more context for you awesome folks to help me, but maybe I’m just lost? (I can’t tell which.)
I’m interested in the “授業は思ったより” and/or really all of the first part (授業は思ったよりうまくいった). I understand everything that comes after that (except the exact nature of the dialect stuff I mentioned above). I also assume the last bit “は困った” is perhaps related to the very first part.
What exactly does " ‘lesson’ I thought " mean? It is the direct translation, and then comes a より and I guess I’m not entirely sure what is being compare to what.
If I had to take a guess, I would say that 坊ちゃん thought the lesson went well, but a student coming with a hard math problem means it didn’t? See, even my guess makes me confused.
Even with the difficulties, it feels nice to be able to read several pages without feeling like I’m missing something hugely important in the sentences I did have trouble with. But who knows, maybe I am. Wouldn’t be the first time with this story.
Today I’ve got Takagi-san from 58% to 85%. This manga is probably the perfect difficulty for me to both enjoy but still struggle at somewhat, which is quite fun. If I continue like this (I won’t I’ll be mostly busy tomorrow), I should finish it quite soon. After which I’ll need to pick a new book to read (ngl, Spy x Family is great as an anime, so it will probably be that, considering how it was free)
I was a bit tired so I decided to read something short today, and chose ふしぎねこのきゅーちゃん since every page is a self-contained story.
But then I was enjoying reading it so much that I ended up reading 25 pages which wasn’t much less than I’d have read if I’d picked something with chapters
It’s just so sweet and wholesome.
I read 100 characters in 9 lines lol. On a technicality I read every day still. So today my addon to use yomichan with Anki updated, and apparently changed to now only supporting new versions of Anki. I’ve been using an old one for the sake of some of my other addons and just cause it’s been familiar and stable… but I can’t find any way to downgrade this single addon. Since it’s the most important one to me I had to upgrade Anki itself. Along with breaking some things it also is enough of a UI change that I am getting lost trying to do a few things I could easily before, and in some ways it’s just objectively worse. Like I used to have my added cards list automatically update the moment I added them and now I have to change tabs to refresh it, lots of little things like that.
Continued my pirate quest. So we get a new character who is being described as being extremely handsome (あまりにも印象的で、ときに本人が不都合を感じるほどに。) are we getting closer to some interesting action parts? but then we learn ALLLL about that character’s background, which means another rundown on European history